LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Dec 15, Sunday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Garry Morse
THEME: La-La Land … each of today’s themed answers contains the LA letter sequence, twice:

22A. Cocktail made with Southern Comfort ALABAMA SLAMMER
28A. Starbucks order VANILLA LATTE
57A. Windows material PLATE GLASS
74A. With “The,” 2002 Steven Pinker best-seller subtitled “The Modern Denial of Human Nature” BLANK SLATE
100A. Security measure BURGLAR ALARM
108A. Modifying words RELATIVE CLAUSE
31D. Steinbeck novel set in Monterey TORTILLA FLAT
42D. Dog once shunned because it wasn’t black CHOCOLATE LAB

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Dance with a queen PROM
A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

5. Facebook tally LIKES
Back in the mid-1600s, a “tally” was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or paid. The term came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”.

18. Texter’s guffaw ROFL
Rolling on Floor Laughing (ROFL)

19. The Little Mermaid ARIEL
“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton.

22. Cocktail made with Southern Comfort ALABAMA SLAMMER
An Alabama Slammer is cocktail that is served over ice in a Collins glass. A common recipe is:

– ¾ oz. Amaretto
– ¾ oz. Southern Comfort
– ¾ oz. Sloe Gin
– top up with orange juice

Southern Comfort is a brand of liqueur that is flavored with fruit, spice and whiskey. It was first produced in 1874, by a bartender in New Orleans called Martin Wilkes Heron. Heron originally named his formulation “Cuffs and Buttons”.

25. Rat, for one RODENT
By definition, a rodent is a mammal which has front teeth that are continuously growing, and they have to continuously gnaw away on things to keep those teeth short. There are a lot of rodents in the world, as they make up forty percent of all mammalian species.

26. Plural French pronoun ILS
“Ils” is the French for “they”, if not referring to feminine nouns (for which “they” translates as “elles”).

27. Mets’ rival NATS
The Washington Nationals baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

28. Starbucks order VANILLA LATTE
The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in Herman Melville’s book “Moby Dick”.

32. Common Market inits. EEC
The European Economic Community (EEC) was also called “the Common Market”. The EEC was a NAFTA-like structure that was eventually absorbed into today’s European Union.

35. Texter’s “Beats me” IDK
I don’t know (IDK)

39. Kate, before being “tamed” SHREW
William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.

43. Eponymous band location E STREET
The E Street Band is the backing group for Bruce Springsteen. The band came together in 1972 but didn’t take a formal name until two years later. The keyboard player in the original line up was David Sancious, and his mother allowed the group to rehearse at her home. That home was on E Street in Belmar, New Jersey, and that’s where the band got their name.

46. 22-year-old golf phenom Jordan who won the Masters, U.S. Open and FedExCup in 2015 SPIETH
Jordan Spieth is a young golfer from Dallas who made a name for himself in 2015 by becoming the second-youngest person to win the Masters, with only Tiger Woods being younger.

50. 12-member oil gp. OPEC
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

57. Windows material PLATE GLASS
Plate glass quite simply is glass produced in the form of a plate, as opposed to container glass which is produced in the form of say a bottle or a jar.

59. Italy’s La __ SCALA
La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its name: “Teatro alla Scala” in Italian.

61. Prince __ Khan ALY
Aly Khan was a familiar name used by the media when referring to Prince Ali Solomone Aga Khan, the Pakistani ambassador to the UN from 1958 to 1960. Khan made it into the papers a lot as he was the third husband of actress Rita Hayworth.

62. Chicago mayor Emanuel RAHM
The current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning to take up President Obama’s offer to become the White House Chief of Staff.

63. Reproductive units SPORES
Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in a protective shell that is highly resistant to damage, and resistant to heat in particular.

66. Wranglers, e.g. JEEPS
Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler is a direct descendent of the military “Jeep” vehicle that was heavily relied on during WWII.

The Jeep is the original off-road vehicle. It was developed by the American Bantam Car Company in 1940 at the request of the US government who recognized the upcoming need for the armed forces as American involvement in WWII loomed. The Bantam Company was too small to cope with demand, so the government gave the designs to competing car companies. The design and brand eventually ended up with AMC in the seventies and eighties.

69. King who succeeds his father, say DYNAST
A “dynast” is someone who rules by virtue of heredity.

71. Old televangelist org. PTL
“The PTL Club” was a daily television show hosted by televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. PTL is short for both “Praise the Lord” and “People that Love”. The show ended its run of over ten years in 1987 when it was revealed that Jim Bakker was involvement in financial and sexual scandals. Bakker served 5 years in jail, part of an 18-year sentence.

72. Old, to Oskar ALTE
“Alte” is the German word for “old” or “old man”.

74. With “The,” 2002 Steven Pinker best-seller subtitled “The Modern Denial of Human Nature” BLANK SLATE
Steven Pinker’s 2002 book “The Blank Slate” argues that the tabula rasa (i.e. “blank slate”) model of social science is not valid. The blank slate model holds that the mind has no innate traits, and Pinker argues that human behavior is shaped mainly by evolution.

78. Ltr.-bottom letters ENCL
Enclosure (encl.)

79. __ cum laude MAGNA
When an academic degree is awarded, a level of distinction can be noted depending on the degree of success achieved by the student. There are three types of honor, each with a Latin name:

– cum laude: meaning “with honor” (literally “with praise”)
– magna cum laude: meaning “with great honor”
– summa cum laude: meaning “with highest honor”

80. Cough drop LOZENGE
Back in the 14th century, a “lozenge” was a diamond shape. The original lozenges, which were tablets held in the mouth to dissolve, had this diamond shape and hence the name.

82. “The Joy Luck Club” author AMY TAN
Amy Tan lives not too far from here, in Sausalito just north of San Francisco. Tan is an American writer of Chinese descent whose most successful work is “The Joy Luck Club”. “The Joy Luck Club” was made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tell of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club, a group playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.

84. Dog days mo. AUG
“Dog Days” is the term given to the warmest and most humid days of summer. The term derives from the ancient belief that hot weather was caused when Sirius (the Dog Star) was in close proximity to the sun.

93. “… baked __” IN A PIE
“Sing a Song of Sixpence” is an English nursery rhyme that dates back to the 1700s. In the rhyme there are a couple of lines that have always intrigued me:

Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie

This seems to be a reference to the practice in the 16th century of “baking” live birds into a pie for special occasions. When the crust was cut open the birds would fly away, much to the amusement of the diners.

94. Passel TON
A passel is a large group or quantity. “Passel” is a variant of the word “parcel”.

95. GPS offering RTE
A Global Positioning System (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

96. School attendance drop-off cause FLU
Influenza (flu) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.

97. __ Miguel, largest of the Azores SAO
São Miguel Island is the largest island in the archipelago of the Azores.

99. Balearic island IBIZA
The Balearic Islands (“Baleares” in Spanish) form an archipelago in the western Mediterranean of the east coast of Spain. The Balearics are made up up four main islands: Ibiza and Formentera (aka “the Pine Islands”), Majorca and Minorca.

104. Machu Picchu dweller INCA
Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cuzco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

106. Film lover’s collectible CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

108. Modifying words RELATIVE CLAUSE
A relative clause is one starting with who, that, which, whose or when. They identify or define the preceding noun. For example:

– Saturday’s was a puzzle that I could not finish
– I picked up the crossword, which someone had already solved
– Do you know the constructor who creates the most difficult puzzles?

112. Fair-hiring initials EEO
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Commission was set up by the Civil Rights Act.

116. One of 400,000-plus in the U.S. ATM
There are about 425,000 ATMs in the US, and about 3,000,000 worldwide. The average amount withdrawn at one time is about $60. Users visit ATMs 7-8 times a month.

118. Drive-thru transactions: Abbr. DEPS
Deposit (dep.)

Down
5. Dalai __ LAMA
The Dalai Lama is a religious leader in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th to hold the office. He has indicated that the next Dalai Lama might be found outside of Tibet for the first time, and may even be female.

9. Pole or Croat SLAV
The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

– the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
– the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
– the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

11. Bonn’s river, in Bonn RHEIN
The river running through Europe that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German, “Rhin” in French and “Rijn” in Dutch.

After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany, a choice promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the capital was moved to Berlin.

12. Marx not seen in films KARL
Karl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary who helped develop the principles of modern communism and socialism. Marx argued that feudal society created internal strife due to class inequalities which led to its destruction and replacement by capitalism. He further argued that the inequalities created in a capitalist society create tensions that will also lead to its self-destruction. His thesis was that the inevitable replacement of capitalism was a classless (and stateless) society, which he called pure communism.

14. “Ring Cycle” goddess ERDA
In Richard Wagner’s (very, very lengthy) Ring Cycle, Erda is the goddess of the Earth (as well as wisdom and fate). Erda gives birth to eight immortal daughters called the Valkyries.

15. Tryster’s request MEET ME?
In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting.

21. Basketball Hall of Famer who was inducted while a U.S. senator BRADLEY
Bill Bradley played his whole NBA career with the New York Knicks, although prior to joining the Knicks he played professional basketball for a year in Europe while attending Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. After retiring from basketball, Bradley served three terms as a Democratic US Senator from New Jersey, and then ran unsuccessfully for the party’s Presidential nomination in the 2000 election.

24. Expert MAVEN
I’ve always loved the word “maven”, another word for an expert. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” meaning someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

29. Fatty compounds LIPIDS
Lipids are a groups of naturally occurring molecules, including fats, waxes and fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D and E). Sometimes we use the words “fat” and “lipid” interchangeably but fats are a subgroup of lipids, specifically a group best called triglycerides.

31. Steinbeck novel set in Monterey TORTILLA FLAT
“Tortilla Flat” was the first of John Steinbeck’s novels to become a commercial success, published in 1935. The novel was made into a film of the same name in 1942 starring Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr (with Akim Tamiroff playing Pablo).

40. Leeway metaphor ROPE
If you give someone enough rope to hang himself, enough leeway …

Our word “leeway” meaning “spare margin” is nautical in origin. A vessel’s leeway is the amount of drift motion away from her intended course that is caused by the action of the wind.

42. Dog once shunned because it wasn’t black CHOCOLATE LAB
The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s.

51. __ officer PAROLE
The term “parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

55. Drawing stick CRAYON
Our word “crayon” came into English from French, in which language it means “pencil”. The French term originally applied to a chalk pencil, with “craie” being French for chalk.

56. Envelope-to-the-forehead TV persona CARNAC
Carnac the Magnificent was a character played by Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show”, a mystic soothsayer. Carson introduced Carnac in 1964.

58. __ salad GREEK
A Greek salad includes tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and especially feta cheese and Kalamata olives. The dressing usually consists of olive oil seasoned with salt and oregano.

59. It starts in Mar. SPR
Spring (spr.) starts in March (Mar).

63. Sailing component? SILENT I
The first letter I in the word sailing is a silent I.

65. Superman’s symbol ESS
Superman has a big letter S on the front of his costume.

66. Big name in fabric stores JO-ANN
Jo-Ann Stores operates the Jo-Ann Fabrics and Jo-Ann Etc. retail outlets. The original store was opened in 1943 by two couples: the Reichs and Rohrbachs. That first store was actually a cheese shop in Cleveland. Over time, the cheese was dropped in favor of fabrics and the Jo-Ann name was introduced. The name was chosen by combining the names of the daughters of the two couples (Joan and Jacqueline Ann).

67. Sicilian resort ENNA
The city of Enna sits very high up in the hills of Sicily, overlooking the whole island below. Enna is the capital of the province that bears its name, which is the highest province in the whole of Italy.

70. Pond plants ALGAE
Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

71. Guerra’s opposite PAZ
In Spanish, the opposite of “guerra” (war) is “paz” (peace).

76. Theater sections LOGES
In most theaters today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be the name given to box seating.

83. 1963 hit on the flip side of “Candy Girl” MARLENA
“Candy Girl” is a 1963 hit song recorded by the Four Seasons. The B-side of “Candy Girl” is “Marlena”, which made it into the charts as well on its own merits.

84. Integra maker ACURA
The Honda Integra was sold in the US under the Acura badge. The Integra was produced from 1985 until 2006.

86. Gastronome EPICURE
An epicure is a gourmet, one who appreciates fine food and drink in particular. The term is derived from the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus.

88. What landlubbers lack SEA LEGS
A ”lubber” is a clumsy person and a “landlubber” is a contemptuous term used by sailors for a man of the land. Sailors might call an inexperienced seaman a landlubber or perhaps just a “lubber”.

90. How chop suey may be served ON RICE
Many believe that the Chinese dish known as chop suey was invented in America, by Chinese immigrants. In fact, by the time it showed up in the US it already existed in the Taishan district of Guangdong in southeast China, the origin of many of those immigrants. “Chop suey” translates as “assorted pieces”, and is made up of some meat and eggs quickly cooked with vegetables in a thickened sauce.

91. Race with gates SLALOM
Slalom is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom.

98. Oscar winner at age 10 O’NEAL
Tatum O’Neal is the youngest actress to win a “competitive” Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1974 when she was just 10 years old, for her role as Addie in “Paper Moon”. The youngest person to win an honorary Academy Award was Shirley Temple, who was only 5 years old when she was presented with an Oscar in 1934.

103. Monthly budget amt. MTGE
Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. The idea was that a pledge to repay a loan dies when the debt is cleared.

105. Harlem sch. CCNY
The City College of New York (CCNY) is a college of the City University of New York. The City College was founded as the Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847, and was the first free public institution of higher education in the whole country.

The Manhattan district of Harlem is sometimes divided into Central Harlem, West Harlem and East Harlem. East Harlem is also known as Spanish Harlem.

109. Dockworker’s org. ILA
International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Dance with a queen PROM
5. Facebook tally LIKES
10. Bug IRK
13. Conductor’s setting TEMPO
18. Texter’s guffaw ROFL
19. The Little Mermaid ARIEL
20. Catching-on cry AHA!
21. Survived the test BORE UP
22. Cocktail made with Southern Comfort ALABAMA SLAMMER
25. Rat, for one RODENT
26. Plural French pronoun ILS
27. Mets’ rival NATS
28. Starbucks order VANILLA LATTE
30. Origins ROOTS
32. Common Market inits. EEC
34. From, in German names VON
35. Texter’s “Beats me” IDK
36. __ student MED
37. How some flowers are planted IN ROWS
39. Kate, before being “tamed” SHREW
41. Joined in a film lab SPLICED
43. Eponymous band location E STREET
45. Geologic time unit EON
46. 22-year-old golf phenom Jordan who won the Masters, U.S. Open and FedExCup in 2015 SPIETH
47. Syrup source TREE SAP
49. Disreputable SHADY
50. 12-member oil gp. OPEC
54. Eighth-century year DCCI
57. Windows material PLATE GLASS
59. Italy’s La __ SCALA
60. Like some hygiene ORAL
61. Prince __ Khan ALY
62. Chicago mayor Emanuel RAHM
63. Reproductive units SPORES
64. Like an ill-equipped rowboat OARLESS
66. Wranglers, e.g. JEEPS
68. Sub compartment AIR LOCK
69. King who succeeds his father, say DYNAST
70. Of the highest quality A-ONE
71. Old televangelist org. PTL
72. Old, to Oskar ALTE
73. Takes it easy LOAFS
74. With “The,” 2002 Steven Pinker best-seller subtitled “The Modern Denial of Human Nature” BLANK SLATE
77. School barometer TEST
78. Ltr.-bottom letters ENCL
79. __ cum laude MAGNA
80. Cough drop LOZENGE
82. “The Joy Luck Club” author AMY TAN
84. Dog days mo. AUG
85. Cut back on food intake ATE LESS
89. How food may be salted TO TASTE
91. Threaded hardware SCREW
93. “… baked __” IN A PIE
94. Passel TON
95. GPS offering RTE
96. School attendance drop-off cause FLU
97. __ Miguel, largest of the Azores SAO
99. Balearic island IBIZA
100. Security measure BURGLAR ALARM
104. Machu Picchu dweller INCA
106. Film lover’s collectible CEL
107. Web browser? SPIDER
108. Modifying words RELATIVE CLAUSE
111. Nuts in some ice cream PECANS
112. Fair-hiring initials EEO
113. Gradually gather GLEAN
114. Anesthetize DRUG
115. “Later!” SEE YA!
116. One of 400,000-plus in the U.S. ATM
117. Before the crowd EARLY
118. Drive-thru transactions: Abbr. DEPS

Down
1. Grassland PRAIRIE
2. Deodorant options ROLL-ONS
3. In some respects OF A SORT
4. Diamond org. MLB
5. Dalai __ LAMA
6. Steamed IRATE
7. X’s in some letters KISSES
8. Slender fish EEL
9. Pole or Croat SLAV
10. Irritated response to “Aren’t you awake yet?” I AM NOW!
11. Bonn’s river, in Bonn RHEIN
12. Marx not seen in films KARL
13. Mechanic’s set TOOLKIT
14. “Ring Cycle” goddess ERDA
15. Tryster’s request MEET ME?
16. Gave up the ball PUNTED
17. Chose, with “for” OPTED
21. Baskteball Hall of Famer who was inducted while a U.S. senator BRADLEY
23. Comeback ANSWER
24. Expert MAVEN
29. Fatty compounds LIPIDS
31. Steinbeck novel set in Monterey TORTILLA FLAT
33. Look the wrong way, maybe CHEAT
38. Look beyond SEE PAST
40. Leeway metaphor ROPE
41. Muscle malady SPASM
42. Dog once shunned because it wasn’t black CHOCOLATE LAB
44. Blinking and sweating, in poker TELLS
46. Persian sovereigns SHAHS
48. For instance SAY
49. Offended smack SLAP
51. __ officer PAROLE
52. Chooses ELECTS
53. Vampire’s bed? CASKET
54. Idle drawing DOODLE
55. Drawing stick CRAYON
56. Envelope-to-the-forehead TV persona CARNAC
58. __ salad GREEK
59. It starts in Mar. SPR
63. Sailing component? SILENT I
65. Superman’s symbol ESS
66. Big name in fabric stores JO-ANN
67. Sicilian resort ENNA
68. Attending an afternoon social AT TEA
70. Pond plants ALGAE
71. Guerra’s opposite PAZ
74. One swinging in a box BATTER
75. Derogatory remark SLUR
76. Theater sections LOGES
79. “Goodness me!” MY STARS!
81. Friendly GENIAL
83. 1963 hit on the flip side of “Candy Girl” MARLENA
84. Integra maker ACURA
86. Gastronome EPICURE
87. Judges SIZES UP
88. What landlubbers lack SEA LEGS
89. Piece on top TOUPEE
90. How chop suey may be served ON RICE
91. Race with gates SLALOM
92. Relinquishing of rights WAIVER
94. Cookbook amts. TBSPS
96. Speedy FLEET
98. Oscar winner at age 10 O’NEAL
101. Down Under howdy G’DAY
102. Vicinity AREA
103. Monthly budget amt. MTGE
105. Harlem sch. CCNY
109. Dockworker’s org. ILA
110. Stick in ADD

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4 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Dec 15, Sunday”

  1. 37:25, no errors. Easy enough, but I made a few missteps along the way. Oddly enough, on Sunday, I seem to take significantly longer to do the LAT crossword than the NYT crossword, even though I usually think of it as being easier. Maybe it's just because I do the NYT puzzle first?

    Is anyone else having more trouble than usual with the robot challenge thing? It has suddenly become downright uncooperative: each time, it makes me go through a couple of rounds of looking at those pictures (which are frequently rather ambiguous on my iPad because they're so small).

  2. Nice Sunday effort. A few minutes more than Dave, but this was a pretty good time for me anyway. I had Wrangler jeans before Jeeps, but I'll let that error slide as, amazingly, both are equally plausible.

    A few random thoughts:
    ROFL? I just use LMFAO 🙂
    Vanilla latte? For me anything but black coffee ruins the flavor.
    I guess the LA Times had to get this puzzle in "as is" while RAHM Emmanual is still mayor of Chicago…
    Loved CARNAC, but the best part of the act was watching Ed and Johnny crack up. I really miss Johnny Carson.
    Piece of trivia: "Yug" (transliterated) in Russian means "south" so Yugoslavia is really just South Slavia…
    Are you telling me you can bake a bird into a pie and it will live to fly away afterwards?? Color me dubious.

    Best –

  3. This puzzle would have been solved much quicker if I hadn't first put in "police" and then "patrol" for 51 Down before I finally got parole. Whew! I'm good at shooting myself in the foot, or in this instance in both feet.

  4. ( I didn't do the puzzle, so no comments on the puzzle itself.)

    Jeff, I read your comments on Yug-oslavia, 'South Slav-ia' trivia … then chuckled and moved on. This evening, I was reading about exonyms ( what 'other' peoples call geographical names, peoples and things …… and endonyms – what the local people would call it themselves…. and came across the exonym for Slav, and what the Slavs thought of the Germans.

    And, I said to myself, this would interest Jeff, and add to his blog entry !!!

    I hope you get the right page and paragraph in the link.
    Look for the paragraph, 'Exonyms as pejoratives' !!

    Basically, the slav peoples called themselves that because they thought they had 'speech', and the Germans were nemy ( pl. nemtsi) which meant 'mutes', because their language was unintelligible.

    We learn a lot, as we go along.
    BTW, China, Egypt and Germany are English exonyms for Zhongguo, Masr and Deutschland. Could be an idea for a crossword puzzle theme.

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