LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Dec 14, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Fred Piscop
THEME: Hop In! … each of today’s themed answers has the word HOP hidden INSIDE:

37A. Words to a hitchhiker, and a literal hint to what spans both words of the answers to starred clues HOP IN!

17A. *Source of chips and 6-Across IDAHO POTATO
51A. *Cervantes creation SANCHO PANZA
11D. *Wide-legged fashion GAUCHO PANTS
25D. *Rory McIlroy won it in 2014 BRITISH OPEN

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. USO show attendees GIS
The initials “G.I.” stand for “Government Issue” and not “General Infantry” as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

14. Purity measure KARAT
A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

15. Card for a seer TAROT
Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future.

16. Hibachi residue ASH
The traditional hibachi in Japan is a heating device, often a ceramic bowl or box that holds burning charcoal. This native type of hibachi isn’t used for cooking, but rather as a space heater (a brazier). Here in the US we use the term hibachi to refer to a charcoal grill used as a small cooking stove, which in Japanese would be called a “shichirin”. “Hibachi” is Japanese for “firepot” coming from “hi” meaning “fire”, and “bachi” meaning “bowl, pot”.

17. *Source of chips and 6-Across IDAHO POTATO
Idaho has the nickname the Gem State, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state.

23. Drop in the ocean EBB TIDE
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

27. Certain female grouse SAGE HEN
The term “sage hen” can be used to describe sage-grouse females. And, the one-word term “sagehen” can be used for any sage-grouse, male or female. At least, I think so …

30. Lake Erie port TOLEDO
Toledo, Ohio lies in the northwest of the state, at the western end of Lake Erie. Toledo was founded as a result of the prosperity that hit the area when the Miami and Erie Canal was constructed in the 19th century connecting Cincinnati to the Great Lakes. Toledo is known as the Glass City as several glass companies originated there, including Owens Corning and Pilkington North America. There is a large exhibition of glass art at the Toledo Museum of Art.

31. Like Wrigley Field’s walls IVIED
The famous ballpark that is home to the Chicago Cubs was built in 1914. Back then it was known as Weeghman Park, before becoming Cubs Park when the Cubs arrived in 1920. It was given the name Wrigley Field in 1926, after the owner William Wrigley, Jr. of chewing gum fame. Wrigley Field is noted as the only professional ballpark that has ivy covering the outfield walls. The ivy is a combination of Boston Ivy and Japanese Bittersweet, both of which can survive the harsh winters in Chicago.

38. Anti-art movement DADA
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe. According to the Dada Manifesto of 1918:

DADA DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING. Every man must shout: there is great destructive, negative work to be done. To sweep, to clean. Dada means nothing… Thought is produced in the mouth.

39. One of football’s Mannings ELI
Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning is quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback.

42. “Heathers” actor Christian SLATER
Christian Slater is an actor from New York City. My favorite roles that he has played are in “Broken Arrow” with John Travolta, and in the TV series “The West Wing”.

“Heathers” is 1988 film starring Christian Slater as a high-school outside who gets in the habit of killing some of his fellow students. The “Heathers” in the title are four popular girls in the school, each named Heather.

44. Terrarium pet TURTLE
A “terrarium” is contained environment used to house land animals. The term comes from the equivalent “aquarium”, a tank for holding mainly fish. In general, a contained environment for keeping live animals or plants is known as a “vivarium”

45. Siri speaks on them IPHONES
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett recently revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

47. Idiomatic trendsetters JONESES
The phrase “keep up with the Joneses” was popularized by the comic strip called “Keep up with the Joneses” that first appeared in American newspapers in 1913. The eponymous “Jones” family never appeared in person in the strip, but were referred to constantly,

49. They’re usually loaded SOTS
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning a fool. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

51. *Cervantes creation SANCHO PANZA
Sancho Panza is Don Quixote’s squire, spouting out humorous comments called “sanchismos”.

The full name of Cervantes’s novel is “The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha”. In the story, Don Quixote is a retired country gentleman who heads out as a knight-errant and who renames himself Don Quixote of la Mancha. In his mind he designates a neighboring farm girl called Aldonza Lorenzo as his lady love, and renames her Dulcinea del Toboso.

59. Poseidon’s realm OCEAN
Poseidon was the god of the sea in Greek mythology as well as the “Earth-Shaker”, the god responsible for earthquakes.

60. Hunter of myth ORION
The huntsman of Greek mythology called Orion was the son of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Because of his heritage, Orion was said to have the ability to walk on the sea.

62. Grown-up efts NEWTS
Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

63. Wyoming’s __ Range TETON
Grand Teton National Park is located just south of Yellowstone NP, and a must-see if you are visiting the latter. The park is named after the tallest peak in the magnificent Teton Range known as Grand Teton. The origins of the name “Teton” is not very clear, although my favorite story is that it was named by French trappers, as the word “tetons” in French means “breasts”!

Down
1. Schuss, say SKI
A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, not taking any turns to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

3. Procter & Gamble detergent ERA
Era was the first liquid laundry detergent produced by Procter & Gamble.

7. Designer Spade KATE
Kate Spade fashion design house was founded as a supplier of handbags in 1993. The brand is named for founder Kate Brosnahan Spade. The equivalent male brand is called Jack Spade.

8. Tax-deferred plan, for short IRA
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

10. Trio in funny shorts STOOGES
The Three Stooges were a trio who appeared in funny shorts. That would be short films, not short pants …

11. *Wide-legged fashion GAUCHO PANTS
Gaucho pants are very loose around the leg. I guess they’re named for the South American cowboys known as gauchos.

13. Gold lamé quality SHEEN
Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. Lamé is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

22. Writer Buntline NED
Ned Buntline was the pen name of E. Z. C. Judson, a writer of dime novels in nineteenth century. Judson had run away to sea as a boy, so he was familiar with a “buntline”, the rope that sits at the bottom of a square sail. After he had established himself as a writer, he met up with Buffalo Bill Cody on a lecture tour. Reluctantly at first, Cody agreed to be the subject of a series of dime novels called “Buffalo Bill Cody – King of the Border Men”.

23. Newsstand app download E-ZINE
Newsstand is an application that comes with Apple devices such as the iPad and iPhone. Users can access digital version of newspapers and magazines using the Newsstand app.

25. *Rory McIlroy won it in 2014 BRITISH OPEN
The four major golf competitions in men’s golf are:

– the Masters Tournament
– the US Open
– the Open Championship (aka “the British Open”)
– the PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy is an incredibly successful golfer from Northern Ireland. McIlroy is a relatively young man and the current world number one on the circuit, so folks can’t help but compare him to Tiger Woods.

27. __ boom SONIC
Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

28. Arkin of “Argo” ALAN
The actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine” from 2006, a movie that I just did not understand …

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I saw “Argo” recently and recommend it highly, although I found the scenes of religious fervor pretty frightening …

30. Fleshy-snouted beast TAPIR
All four species of tapir are endangered. Even though the tapir looks much like a pig, it is more closely related to the horse and the rhinoceros.

34. Singer with the albums “19” and “21” ADELE
Adele is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older.

35. Stuff to hawk WARES
The verb “to hawk” has a Germanic origin, from the Low German word “hoken” meaning “to peddle”. A hawker is actually slightly different from a peddler by definition, as a hawker is a peddler that uses a horse and cart, or a van nowadays perhaps, to sell his or her wares.

41. Solar event caused by magnetic activity SUNSPOT
A “solar flare” is a sudden energy release from the surface of the Sun that can be perceived as a flash of brightness and an eruption of magnetic energy. That magnetic energy reaches the Earth about two days after the event, and can disrupt long-range radio communications on our planet. The location of solar flares has been strongly linked to sunspot groups, groups of dark spots on the Sun’s surface.

43. London lav LOO
Our word “lavatory” originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s a “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

44. Oz visitor TOTO
In movie “The Wizard of Oz” Toto is played by a terrier, but in the books by L. Frank Baum, Toto was just described as “a little black dog, with long, silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose”.

45. Major religion of Indonesia ISLAM
Indonesia is a remarkable country, the fourth most populous country in the world, and the country with the largest population of Muslims. And, it has an amazing 17,508 islands.

47. “Flag” artist Jasper JOHNS
Jasper Johns is a contemporary artist from Augusta, Georgia. Johns’ most famous work is called “Flag”, which he created two years after being discharged from the US Army, in 1954. “Flag” is a representation of the “Stars and Stripes” made with paint and a collage of newsprint.

49. Ella’s style SCAT
Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

53. Improved partner? NEW
“New and improved …”

56. Bronx tourist attraction ZOO
The Bronx Zoo in New York City is the largest metropolitan zoo in the country, and is located right on the Bronx River.

57. New England cape ANN
Cape Ann is 30 miles north of Boston and is on the northernmost edge of Massachusetts Bay. The Cape was first mapped by the explorer John Smith. Early in his adventurous life Smith had been captured and enslaved by the Ottoman Empire. His “owner” in his days of slavery was a woman called Tragabigzanda, and apparently the slave and owner fell in love. What we know today as Cape Ann, Smith originally called Cape Tragabigzanda in her memory.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Crockpot concoctions STEWS
6. Bar snack made from 17-Acrosses SKINS
11. USO show attendees GIS
14. Purity measure KARAT
15. Card for a seer TAROT
16. Hibachi residue ASH
17. *Source of chips and 6-Across IDAHO POTATO
19. Draw upon USE
20. Two-thumbs-up review RAVE
21. When directed ON CUE
23. Drop in the ocean EBB TIDE
27. Certain female grouse SAGE HEN
29. Round numbers ZEROES
30. Lake Erie port TOLEDO
31. Like Wrigley Field’s walls IVIED
32. Baby spoilers, perhaps NANAS
33. Play with, cat-style PAW
36. Brings home NETS
37. Words to a hitchhiker, and a literal hint to what spans both words of the answers to starred clues HOP IN!
38. Anti-art movement DADA
39. One of football’s Mannings ELI
40. Like 101 courses BASIC
41. Not as loopy SANER
42. “Heathers” actor Christian SLATER
44. Terrarium pet TURTLE
45. Siri speaks on them IPHONES
47. Idiomatic trendsetters JONESES
48. Trembled SHOOK
49. They’re usually loaded SOTS
50. Cut back LOP
51. *Cervantes creation SANCHO PANZA
58. Wolfed down ATE
59. Poseidon’s realm OCEAN
60. Hunter of myth ORION
61. Jamaican “mister” MON
62. Grown-up efts NEWTS
63. Wyoming’s __ Range TETON

Down
1. Schuss, say SKI
2. Tiny bit TAD
3. Procter & Gamble detergent ERA
4. Sob syllable WAH!
5. Legendary STORIED
6. Housewarming buy? STOVE
7. Designer Spade KATE
8. Tax-deferred plan, for short IRA
9. “__ funny!” NOT
10. Trio in funny shorts STOOGES
11. *Wide-legged fashion GAUCHO PANTS
12. Campaign topic ISSUE
13. Gold lamé quality SHEEN
18. Inflates, as an expense account PADS
22. Writer Buntline NED
23. Newsstand app download E-ZINE
24. Slanted edge BEVEL
25. *Rory McIlroy won it in 2014 BRITISH OPEN
26. Little piggies TOES
27. __ boom SONIC
28. Arkin of “Argo” ALAN
30. Fleshy-snouted beast TAPIR
32. Snouts NOSES
34. Singer with the albums “19” and “21” ADELE
35. Stuff to hawk WARES
37. Can’t stomach HATE
38. Chance it DARE
40. Trusts BANKS ON
41. Solar event caused by magnetic activity SUNSPOT
43. London lav LOO
44. Oz visitor TOTO
45. Major religion of Indonesia ISLAM
46. ID component PHOTO
47. “Flag” artist Jasper JOHNS
49. Ella’s style SCAT
52. Complete perfectly ACE
53. Improved partner? NEW
54. “__ you serious?” ARE
55. Minor objection NIT
56. Bronx tourist attraction ZOO
57. New England cape ANN

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Dec 14, Wednesday”

  1. Good morning everyone.

    Simple theme that I didn't catch
    until the reveal.
    Sancho Panza and of course the names
    were all unknown to me but crosses
    to the rescue.

    As for 10D…. I don't know, These are kinda short.

    Have a great day all!

  2. Like @Addict, didn't notice theme until end. Did know sidekick Panza, but never heard of: NED Buntline, SAGE HEN, KATE Spade; but, no problem on a Wed.

  3. Hi Bill and solvers!
    Pretty smooth for a Wednesday.
    Nice placing of the theme answers and hardly any abbreviations.
    Had two Os in 4D waiting for BOO or HOO, but WAH pushed its way in.
    Used to have a Wah-Wah pedal for the electric piano back in the day.
    Carrie, you keep track of ADO.
    Willie D has steam coming out of his ears with EPEE.
    I think my least favorite is TAT for TATTOO, but there a plenty of groaners to choose from.
    See you all later.

  4. @Addict
    Maybe you're right. Maybe it was the clothing the Stooges wore, and not the short feature. Not a big fan of the Three Stooges, I must say. Don't yell at me 🙂

    @Sfingi
    I agree. Didn't need the theme to solve this one.

    @Pookie and Carrie
    Personally, I am over OREO cookies …

  5. I did most of the across clues, so I didn't even notice EPEE lol…

    Another crossword blogger would probably say this is full of "crossfill," his term for rather over-used answers spiced up with some groan-worthy clues. But that's life.

    I don't know why I thought of this, but Sancho Panza reminded me that Jason Alexander once sang "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha on Letterman. That's right, George Costanza sings, and very well (FF to about 4:20) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LqFvL2-MUM

    Halfway to the weekend!

  6. OMG, I finished a Wednesday with no mistakes! It's been awhile. I thought the clues & theme were kinda fun. Maybe I'm just saying that because I "aced" it (another frequent crossfill lol.)
    I'm on the case for ADO and fearing Thursday's grid — see y'all next time!

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