LA Times Crossword 30 Nov 18, Friday

Advertisement

Advertisement

[ad_below_grid]

Constructed by: Dan Margolis
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: That’s My Cue

Themed answers replace a “Q” sound with a letter Q (cue):

  • 56A. Words before entering … and a hint to five puzzle answers : THAT’S MY CUE
  • 10A. Like many Miamians : QBAN (from “Cuban”)
  • 17A. Not to be tolerated : INEXQSABLE (from “inexcusable”)
  • 26A. Unruffled : COOL AS A QCUMBER (from “cool as a cucumber”)
  • 43A. Potentially lifesaving efforts : RESQ OPERATIONS (from “rescue operations”)
  • 62A. Charge : AQSE (from “accuse”)

Bill’s time: 8m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

[ad_above_googlies]

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Like many Miamians : QBAN (from “Cuban”)

Miami, Florida is home to the largest Cuban-American community in the country, with over a third of the city’s population being of cuban origin. The size of this community increased in the late fifties and early sixties as many wealthy Cubans left their native land after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959.

14. Craft pointed in two directions? : CANOE

The boat know as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

15. __-a-brac : BRIC

“Bric-a-brac” is a French phrase (actually “bric-à-brac”) that was used as far back as the 16th century. Back then, it was a nonsense term meaning “at random” or “any old way”. Since Victorian times we have used the phrase in English to describe a collection of curios, statues and the like. In modern usage, bric-a-brac tends to be a selection of cheaper items.

16. Bear overhead : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

21. One of the two most recent Pac-12 members : UTES

The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

“Pac-12” is an abbreviation for the Pacific-12 Conference, a college athletic conference in the western US. The Pac-12 has won more NCAA National Team Championships than any other conference. The Pac-12 was founded in 1915 as the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC). Over time as it grew, the conference went by the names Big Five, Big Six, Pacific-8, Pacific-10 and became the Pacific-12 in 2011.

22. Xerxes’ empire : PERSIA

Xerxes was the eldest son of Darius I of Persia. He succeeded to the throne in 486 BC as Xerxes I, and was later to be known as Xerxes the Great. It was Xerxes who fought against the Spartans in the famous Battle of Thermopylae.

24. Krombacher output : BIER

Krombacher is a very successful brewery in Germany, with the largest output in the whole country. Privately held, Krombacher was founded in 1803 in the community of Krombach in eastern Germany, hence the brewery’s name.

25. In __: undisturbed : SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

26. Unruffled : COOL AS A QCUMBER (from “cool as a cucumber”)

Apparently scientists have shown that the inside of a cucumber growing in a field can be up to twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding air. That’s something that was believed by farmers as early as the 1730s, at which time the phrase “cool as a cucumber” was coined.

32. Native American shelter : WIGWAM

The terms “wickiup” and “wigwam” are generally synonymous, with the former used mainly in the Southwest and West, and the latter used in the Northeast and Canada. Wickiups/wigwams are domed structures with a frame made from arched poles, and covered with a roofing material such as grass, bark, reeds, hide or cloth.

33. Polynesian carving : TIKI

A tiki is a large carving of wood or stone resembling a human form that is found in Polynesian cultures. The carvings often mark out boundaries surrounding sites that are sacred to the locals.

34. Waze suggestion: Abbr. : RTE

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

37. “La Vie en Rose” singer : PIAF

“La Môme Piaf” (the Little Sparrow) was the nickname of France’s most famous singer, Édith Piaf. What a voice this woman had, and what gorgeous ballads she sang. Édith Piaf lived a life that was not without controversy. She was raised by her mother in a brothel in Normandy, and had a pimp as a boyfriend in her teens. She had one child, while very young, born illegitimately and who died at 2-years-old from meningitis. Her singing career started when she was discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée. Leplée was murdered soon after, and Piaf was accused of being an accessory to the murder but was later acquitted. During World War II she was branded a traitor by many as she frequently performed for the German occupying forces, although there are other reports of her supporting the resistance movement. Later in her life she was seriously injured in no less than three, near-fatal car accidents, including one with her friend, Charles Aznavour. While recovering from her injuries she became addicted to pain medication, an addiction that lasted for the rest of her life. When she died in 1963 she was denied a Catholic funeral mass because of her lifestyle, but the crowds that turned out for her funeral procession managed to stop all traffic in Paris, the only time that has happened since the end of WWII.

The literal translation of the title to the French song “La Vie en rose” is “Life In Pink”, but a better translation would be “Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses”.

38. Duffer’s dream : ACE

One well-documented hole in one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes in one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes in one in his one and only round of golf.

A duffer is a golfer, and not a very good one at that.

39. Final notes : CODA

In music, a coda is primarily a passage that brings a movement to a conclusion. “Coda” is Italian for “tail”.

47. Seagoing shortening : BO’S’N

A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. He or she is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel, and instead is in charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. “Boatswain” is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bo’s’n” is also very popular.

59. Beatles song that begins, “Is there anybody going to listen to my story” : GIRL

“Girl” is a 1965 song by John Lennon that was released by the Beatles on the “Rubber Soul” album. Years later in 1980, Lennon released his hit single “Woman”, which he described as “a grown-up version of ‘Girl’”.

When I think of all the times I’ve tried so hard to leave her
She will turn to me and start to cry
And she promises the earth to me
And I believe her
After all this times I don’t know why
Ah, girl
Girl

Down

2. Many a “Hamlet” character : DANE

The full title of William Shakespeare’s play that we tend to call “Hamlet” is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays and it is also his longest, the only one of his works comprising over 4,000 lines. That’s about a 4-hour sitting in a theater …

4. Curse : POX

A pox was any of the diseases that produced “pocks” on the skin, eruptive pustules. The pox might perhaps be smallpox or chickenpox. But, when cursing someone by saying “a pox on you” the reference was to the “great pox”, namely syphilis.

5. Drink with blanco and plata varieties : TEQUILA

Tequila comes in four categories, depending on how long it has been aged:

  • “Blanco” (white) or “plata” (silver) is unaged
  • “Reposado” (rested) is aged 2 months to a year
  • “Añejo” (aged, vintage) is aged 1-3 years
  • “Extra añejo” (extra aged, ultra aged) is aged 3 years or more

6. Grizzlies, e.g., for short : NBAERS

The Grizzlies are the NBA team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies moved to Memphis in 2001, having been founded as the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1995. As a result of the move, the Grizzlies became the only team from the “big four” professional sports based in Memphis, and the Toronto Raptors were left as the only Canadian team in the NBA.
The Minnesota Timberwolves is the NBA franchise based in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves joined the league as part of an expansion in 1987. The NBA had been in Minneapolis before as the city was home to the Minneapolis Lakers from 1947-1960, until the team moved to Los Angeles.

7. “Nor to their idle __ doth sight appear”: Milton : ORBS

English poet John Milton wrote two sonnets to his pupil and friend Cyriac Skinner. “Sonnet XXII” opens with the lines:

Cyriac, this three years’ day these eyes, though clear
To outward view of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot;
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun or moon or star throughout the year,
Or man or woman …

Milton talks here about his own blindness, an affliction that he endured for at least the last twenty years of his life.

10. Number needed for official business : QUORUM

“Plenum” (plural “plena”) is the name given to a complete legislative assembly under the parliamentary system, with the associated term of “quorum” being the minimum number of members required to be present to conduct business.

11. Support group? : BRAS

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

12. Italian wine region : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

13. Rocket launcher : NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

23. Holder of needles : ETUI

An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

25. Newspaper ad meas. : SQ IN

Square inch (sq in)

26. “Odyssey” sorceress : CIRCE

Circe was a minor goddess in Greek mythology. The goddess of magic, she was fond of transforming those who did not please her into animals by using magical potions. In Homer’s “Odyssey”, Odysseus was given the herb called “moly” to protect him from the magical powers of Circe.

29. Beach Boy Wilson : BRIAN

Brian Wilson is mainly known as the leader and the main songwriter for the Beach Boys. Wildly successful, Wilson fell foul to drug abuse in the seventies, as well as mental illness. Wilson’s life story was the subject of the excellent 2014 biopic “Love & Mercy”.

30. States overseas : ETATS

In French, an “état” (state) is an “entité politique” (political entity).

36. Frankfurt’s river : ODER

Frankfurt an der Oder is a town in Brandenburg, Germany that is right on the border with Poland. The suffix “an der Oder” shows that it lies on the Oder River and also serves to differentiate the town from the larger and more famous city of Frankfurt am Main.

37. McJob holder : PEON

A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word “peon” comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

“McJob” is a slang term for a low-paying position that offers little chance for advancement. The term of course comes from front-line jobs at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant.

39. Mozart’s “__ fan tutte” : COSI

Mozart’s comic opera “Così fan tutte” is also known in English as “The School for Lovers”. The literal translation of the opera’s Italian title is “Thus do all (women)”, or “Women are like that”.

40. Like pedi-showing shoes : OPEN-TOE

Pedicure (pedi)

42. Stable visitors : WISE MEN

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

44. Veep before Gore : QUAYLE

Dan Quayle served as both a US Representative and a US Senator from Indiana before becoming the 44th Vice President, under President George H. W. Bush. Quayle refused to run for office in 1996, going up against the Clinton/Gore ticket, but entered the fray again in 2000 seeking the Republican nomination for president. Ironically, he was defeated by the son of his former Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush.

Al Gore was born in Washington DC, and is the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the “tougher” option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

48. Sitar music : RAGA

Raga isn’t really a genre of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. It is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

49. Actor La Salle : ERIQ

Eriq La Salle played Dr. Peter Benton on “ER”, and is best known in film for his portrayal of Darryl in the 1998 comedy “Coming to America”.

51. Controversial Mideast strip : GAZA

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

52. Partie d’une comédie : ACTE

In French, an “acte” (act) is “partie d’une comédie” (part of a comedy).

54. Use thread on threads, say : MEND

“Clothing” might sometimes be referred to as “threads”.

58. Former hoopster __ Ming : YAO

Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

Advertisement

[ad_below_googlies]

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Accommodate : ADAPT
6. “Who, me?” : NOT I?
10. Like many Miamians : QBAN (from “Cuban”)
14. Craft pointed in two directions? : CANOE
15. __-a-brac : BRIC
16. Bear overhead : URSA
17. Not to be tolerated : INEXQSABLE (from “inexcusable”)
19. Farm feed : OATS
20. Pasture moisture : DEW
21. One of the two most recent Pac-12 members : UTES
22. Xerxes’ empire : PERSIA
24. Krombacher output : BIER
25. In __: undisturbed : SITU
26. Unruffled : COOL AS A QCUMBER (from “cool as a cucumber”)
32. Native American shelter : WIGWAM
33. Polynesian carving : TIKI
34. Waze suggestion: Abbr. : RTE
35. Flubs : ERRS
36. Dominate : OWN
37. “La Vie en Rose” singer : PIAF
38. Duffer’s dream : ACE
39. Final notes : CODA
41. Gym wear : SWEATS
43. Potentially lifesaving efforts : RESQ OPERATIONS (from “rescue operations”)
46. One often paying a fee : USER
47. Seagoing shortening : BO’S’N
48. Stay put : REMAIN
51. Stare slack-jawed : GAPE
52. Sleeve : ARM
55. Like __ of sunshine : A RAY
56. Words before entering … and a hint to five puzzle answers : THAT’S MY CUE
59. Beatles song that begins, “Is there anybody going to listen to my story” : GIRL
60. Exude : OOZE
61. Like some kitchens : EAT-IN
62. Charge : AQSE (from “accuse”)
63. Old-style “Wow!” : EGAD!
64. Exceedingly : NO END

Down

1. Stinging : ACID
2. Many a “Hamlet” character : DANE
3. Freshly : ANEW
4. Curse : POX
5. Drink with blanco and plata varieties : TEQUILA
6. Grizzlies, e.g., for short : NBAERS
7. “Nor to their idle __ doth sight appear”: Milton : ORBS
8. Up to, in ads : ‘TIL
9. Chip maker : ICE PICK
10. Number needed for official business : QUORUM
11. Support group? : BRAS
12. Italian wine region : ASTI
13. Rocket launcher : NASA
18. Anger : STEAM
23. Holder of needles : ETUI
24. Bends over forward : BOWS
25. Newspaper ad meas. : SQ IN
26. “Odyssey” sorceress : CIRCE
27. Cruel sorts : OGRES
28. Fighting big-time : AT WAR
29. Beach Boy Wilson : BRIAN
30. States overseas : ETATS
31. Whistle blowers : REFS
32. Sport : WEAR
36. Frankfurt’s river : ODER
37. McJob holder : PEON
39. Mozart’s “__ fan tutte” : COSI
40. Like pedi-showing shoes : OPEN-TOE
41. Bus route components : STOPS
42. Stable visitors : WISE MEN
44. Veep before Gore : QUAYLE
45. Let up : ABATED
48. Sitar music : RAGA
49. Actor La Salle : ERIQ
50. Blemishes : MARS
51. Controversial Mideast strip : GAZA
52. Partie d’une comédie : ACTE
53. Destruction : RUIN
54. Use thread on threads, say : MEND
57. Monopolize : HOG
58. Former hoopster __ Ming : YAO

Advertisement

[ad_below_clue_list]

26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Nov 18, Friday”

  1. Excellent puzzle! “Aqse” for charge almost got me; spent too much time on it even though I had already figured out the q for cu connection. Now I know: the puzzle’s author made a mistake–“accuse” has two c’s, not just one as in the other substitutions.

  2. 10:38, no errors. I somehow managed to start this puzzle in the lower right and work it from the bottom up, so I got the “revealer” almost immediately and understood what it meant as soon as I got to “RESQ” and “QCUMBER”; but, I had already entered “ERIC” and “ACSE” and, at the end, I paused for several seconds over it before I realized that it was another instance of the theme. Silly me … 😜. (And RJB makes a good point … perhaps that’s why I was confused … 😜.)

    Newsday: 8:16, no errors. WSJ: 11:39, no errors; got the meta within a minute or two (so … yay … I won’t have to think about it all weekend! 🤪).

    @Carrie … Thanks for the response … I’ll mention it to my ex. She’s occasionally in LA visiting daughter and grandkids, so that might be a a time to ask you some questions – if and when she really decides to do this. (She’s a sweet lady. I think you’d enjoy talking to her, in any case.)

    1. Tim Croce: 1:00:18 when I filled in the final letter, but there was one square (a Natick, really) that somehow looked wrong, so I went off and did tomorrow’s WSJ and, when I returned, I immediately saw what was probably wrong and corrected it, so I ended up with no errors.

  3. I knew something was strange on the top when I started, so I went to the bottom and got the reveal, so things came along slowly. The bottom left aqse had me stumped, I had written acse also.

  4. Q?an & a?se did not ring a bell so I left them blank, the rest eventually
    fell in place after I took a break for a trip to the post office for stamps. That 30/40 minute break seemed to help me finish the remainder of the puzzle.

    Eddie

  5. 18:54. I had the same experience wrestling with AQSE at the end as everyone else did, but I finally worked it out.

    Lots of help from crosswords past. I remember Xerxes as an answer in a puzzle a while ago so I had PERSIA right away. That factoid about cucumbers (Qcumbers?) was in Bill’s NYT write up a couple of weeks ago. Amazing.

    I’m off to TEQUILA land (Puerto Vallarta) on Tuesday so nice timing on that one. I didn’t realize there was an “extra anejo” category – probably because few bottles last longer than 3 years…. I’ll have to seek it out. One other bit of tequila trivia – blanco has about 5% more alcohol content (i.e. 40% vs 35% roughly). I prefer reposada for sipping, but I prefer blanco in margaritas because the stronger taste of blanco can compete with all the lime and cointreau and still come through.

    Vattelappesca is Italian and means “God only knows” “Who knows?” best I could tell…I just looked it up. I need to learn how to actually say it now.

    Best –

  6. Very hard puzzle for me. Didn’t get the Q thing until Qban. But still struggled through the rest of it. NW was my only DNF area.

  7. Nope. That’s my CUE in only ONE of the five themers (45A). It’s my CU in three (10A, 17A, 26A)and my CCU in one (62A). My two cents’ worth: Dan Margolis is a journeyman constructor whose editor let him down on this one.

    1. @Anonymous … I think Jack (above) has the right of it: In each case, it’s the sound of the “Q” that’s important. (It certainly works for me, at any rate … 😜.)

  8. I’ve enjoyed ur Xword puzzles for years thus the reason for my comment. I was dismayed by ur characterization of a Mcjob holder in 37 down as a “peon”. Very unprofessional of you, not to mention demeaning!!!

  9. Had tEeN before PEON (much kinder) and “the magi” before WISEMEN.

    Googled 3 – It’s Friday, after all: BIER, UTES and YAO – last 2 were sports.

    “POX on you” – a rollicking Elizabethan song by Henry Purcell. Listen to it on YouTube.

    Wrinkled my brow over AQSE, like everyone. Otherwise, a clever puzzle.

  10. 18 mins 58 sec, 4 errors caused by this overly-qt theme. I’d prefer these kinds of silly shenanigans remain at the NY Times, personally.

  11. Fairly tough Friday for me, which I had to do on-line. Lost patience with parts of the SE and SW and turned on red letters. Finished in 38 minutes, with a bit of cheating.

  12. Greetings!🙃

    I’m saying no errors on this one: I started at the bottom left and had AQSE but wasn’t sure– so I peeked at Bill’s. So I got it, I just didn’t understand it till quite a bit later in the solving process.

    I knew I was right; I remember ERIQ La Salle cuz he’s handsome– so shoot me!! 😊

    Weirdly fun puzzle.

    Be well ~~🥂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.