LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Dec 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joel Mackerry
THEME: Santa’s Warm Reception … each of today’s themed answers end with something that SANTA CLAUS might not want to encounter as he comes down the chimney:

1A. With 71-Across, seasonal visitor who’d appreciate being warned about the ends of 20-, 37- and 56-Across SANTA
71A. See 1-Across CLAUS

20A. Boasting, metaphorically BLOWING SMOKE
37A. Former lovers OLD FLAMES
56A. Accidental attack on allied forces FRIENDLY FIRE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. With 71-Across, seasonal visitor who’d appreciate being warned about the ends of 20-, 37- and 56-Across SANTA
71. See 1-Across CLAUS
Saint Nicholas of Myra is the inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (now in modern-day Turkey) during the 4th century AD, and was known for being generous to the poor. Centuries after he died, his remains were desecrated by Italian sailors and moved to Bari in Italy. One legend has it that the relics were moved again centuries later and reburied in the grounds of Jerpoint Abbey in Co. Kilkenny in Ireland, where you can visit the grave today. I choose to believe that Santa Claus’s relics are indeed buried in Ireland …

10. Pacific island nation FIJI
The island nation of Fiji is an archipelago in the South Pacific made up of over 330 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. Fiji was occupied by the British for over a century and finally gained its independence in 1970.

14. In the slightest A WHIT
Both “whit” and “fig” are used to describe a trivial amount, a mere trifle.

15. Arabian ruler EMIR
In English, emir can also be written as emeer, amir and ameer (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

17. Andean pack animal LLAMA
The wool from a llama is much softer than that from a sheep, and it is also free from lanolin.

The Andes is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world, running right down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles. The highest peak in the range is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

18. __ Day vitamins ONE A
One A Day is a line of multivitamins made by Bayer. One A Day was introduced way back in 1940.

19. Four-sided fig. RECT
Rectangle (rect.)

23. Gas, to a Brit PETROL
Petrol is the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.

26. __City: computer game SIM
“SimCity” is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. “SimCity” was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

33. Ottawa’s prov. ONT
Ottawa is the second largest city in the Province of Ontario (after Toronto) and is the capital city of Canada. The name “Ottawa” comes from an Algonquin word “adawe” which means “to trade”.

34. Reformer Jacob RIIS
Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. He wrote “How the Other Half Lives”, originally an extensive article that appeared in “Scribner’s Magazine” at Christmas 1889. The article had such an impact that Riis was commissioned to expand it into a book, which was published the following year.

40. __-load: prep for a marathon CARBO
Only relatively small amounts of carbohydrate can be stored by the human body, but those stores are important. The actual storage molecule is a starch-like polysaccharide called glycogen, which is found mainly in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is a quick source of energy when required by the body. Most of the body’s energy is stored in the form of fat, a more compact substance that is mobilized less rapidly. Endurance athletes often eat meals high in carbohydrate (carbo-loading) a few hours before an event, so that their body’s glycogen is at optimum levels.

43. Beige shade ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

44. “Goldfinger” novelist Fleming IAN
“Goldfinger” is the Ian Fleming’s seventh James Bond novel, first published in 1959. Fleming was in the habit of naming his characters after people in the real world. The novel’s colorful antagonist Auric Goldfinger was named after Hungarian-born British architect Ernő Goldfinger.

47. “Anchors __”: Navy fight song AWEIGH
The song “Anchors Aweigh” is strongly associated with the US Navy, largely because it is the fight song of the US Naval Academy. “Anchors Aweigh” was composed in 1906 by Lieutenant Charles Zimmerman who was bandmaster of the US Naval Academy Band at the time.

53. “Of course, Pierre!” OUI!
“Oui” is “yes” in French, and “non” is “no”.

55. Did the tango DANCED
The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay.

62. Purple flower LILAC
The ornamental flowering plant known as lilac is native to the Balkans, and is a member of the olive family.

67. Longtime “Tonight Show” host Jay LENO
Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

69. Blissful place EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

Down
1. Actor Mineo SAL
The actor Sal Mineo’s most famous role was John “Plato” Crawford, the kid who was in awe of the James Dean character in “Rebel Without a Cause”. Sadly, Mineo was murdered in 1976 when he was just 37 years old. He was attacked in the alley behind his Los Angeles apartment and stabbed through the heart. When an arrest was made it was discovered that the murderer had no idea that his victim was a celebrity, and that his plan was just to rob anyone who came along.

3. FDR home loan org. NHA
As part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the National Housing Agency (NHA) was established in 1942. The NHA was one of the government agencies that was to evolve over time in today’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

4. Musical tone color TIMBRE
The “timbre” of a sound is its distinguishing quality above and beyond its volume and pitch. “Timbre” was used in Old French to mean “sound of a bell”.

7. Marriott competitor OMNI
Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Irvine, California and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Marriott Hotels developed their initial properties in the fifties. The first to open was the Quality Inn near Washington DC, the first purpose-built airport hotel in the country.

8. Claims on property LIENS
A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

9. Like “Hamlet” TRAGIC
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 …

10. Accounting partnership, e.g. FIRM
A business is sometimes called a “firm”. “Firm” comes into English from Latin via the Italian “firma” meaning signature. The concept is that business transactions are confirmed, made firm, by applying a signature.

12. Onassis’ last wife, familiarly JACKIE O
Jackie Kennedy Onassis was born into a privileged family, the daughter of Wall Street stock broker John Vernou Bouvier III. Ms. Bouvier moved in the same social circles as the Kennedy clan, and first met the then-US Representative John Kennedy at a dinner party hosted by mutual friends. Years later, after she saw her husband assassinated and then her brother-in-law (Bobby Kennedy) suffer the same fate, Jackie declared that she feared for the life of her children as they bore the Kennedy name. She left the country, eventually meeting and marrying Aristotle Onassis. Reportedly she was very satisfied that the Greek shipping magnate was able to provide privacy and security for her children.

22. Pollution portmanteau SMAZE
“Smaze” is a weather phenomenon, a smoky haze that is like a fog but less damp. The term is a portmanteau of “smoke” and “haze”.

23. West Bank gp. PLO
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.

The bulk of the Palestinian territories are located in the West Bank. The term “West Bank” is a reference to lands west of the River Jordan.

24. Many millennia EON
Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

– supereon
– eon (also “aeon”)
– era
– period
– epoch
– age

A millennium is a period of 1,000 years.

25. Demolition initials TNT
TNT is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

29. The “vie” in “c’est la vie” LIFE
“C’est la vie” is French for “that’s life”.

30. Swipe FILCH
“Filch” is a slang term for steal, especially in a sly way.

35. “Nobody doesn’t like __ Lee” SARA
In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

37. Geisha’s sash OBI
The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied in what is called a butterfly knot.

The Japanese term “geisha” best translates as “artist” or “performing artist”.

39. World, in a Latin saying MUNDI
“Mundi” is Latin for “of the world”, and it is a word that appears in several phrases. For example:

– “spiritus mundi” (spirit of the world)
– “stupor mundi” (wonder of the world)
– “Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World)
– “sic transit gloria mundi” (thus passes the glory of the world)

40. Cost of a taxi CAB FARE
We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

44. Business abbr. INC
A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

50. Appetizing dinnertime aroma GARLIC
Our word “garlic” evolved via Old English from “gar” (spear) and “leac” (leek). The use of “spear” is apparently a reference to the shape of a clove.

51. Playwright Eugene O’NEILL
The playwright Eugene O’Neill was born in a New York City hotel room in what is now called Times Square, in 1888. That building no longer exists and there is a Starbucks on the site today, but you can go take a look at the commemorative plaque at the Northeast corner of 43rd and Broadway. O’Neill died in 1953, in room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston. His last words were, “I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room, and God damn it, died in a hotel room.” Eugene O’Neill won a Pulitzer for his play “Anna Christie”.

57. “Monday Night Football” channel ESPN
“Monday Night Football” aired on ABC from 1970 until 2005, before moving to ESPN in 2006.

58. Yin and __ YANG
The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

59. Arctic sheet FLOE
An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.

63. Mauna __ LOA
Mauna Loa on the “big island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

64. Sch. in Tempe ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. With 71-Across, seasonal visitor who’d appreciate being warned about the ends of 20-, 37- and 56-Across SANTA
6. Shed one’s feathers MOLT
10. Pacific island nation FIJI
14. In the slightest A WHIT
15. Arabian ruler EMIR
16. Confident words I CAN
17. Andean pack animal LLAMA
18. __ Day vitamins ONE A
19. Four-sided fig. RECT
20. Boasting, metaphorically BLOWING SMOKE
23. Gas, to a Brit PETROL
26. __City: computer game SIM
27. By way of VIA
28. One who shuns company LONE WOLF
31. Primary pursuit in the working world CAREER
33. Ottawa’s prov. ONT
34. Reformer Jacob RIIS
36. They end round numbers ZEROS
37. Former lovers OLD FLAMES
40. __-load: prep for a marathon CARBO
43. Beige shade ECRU
44. “Goldfinger” novelist Fleming IAN
47. “Anchors __”: Navy fight song AWEIGH
49. Not let go of HANG ONTO
52. Eng. majors’ degrees BAS
53. “Of course, Pierre!” OUI!
55. Did the tango DANCED
56. Accidental attack on allied forces FRIENDLY FIRE
60. Computes the total ADDS
61. Retro phone feature DIAL
62. Purple flower LILAC
66. Enlist again RE-UP
67. Longtime “Tonight Show” host Jay LENO
68. Words of defeat I LOST
69. Blissful place EDEN
70. Lawn border EDGE
71. See 1-Across CLAUS

Down
1. Actor Mineo SAL
2. Leatherwork tool AWL
3. FDR home loan org. NHA
4. Musical tone color TIMBRE
5. With nowhere to go but up, as one’s spirits AT A LOW
6. Cat call MEOW!
7. Marriott competitor OMNI
8. Claims on property LIENS
9. Like “Hamlet” TRAGIC
10. Accounting partnership, e.g. FIRM
11. Become frozen ICE OVER
12. Onassis’ last wife, familiarly JACKIE O
13. Crying IN TEARS
21. Prayer-opening words O LORD
22. Pollution portmanteau SMAZE
23. West Bank gp. PLO
24. Many millennia EON
25. Demolition initials TNT
29. The “vie” in “c’est la vie” LIFE
30. Swipe FILCH
32. Hi-__ monitor RES
35. “Nobody doesn’t like __ Lee” SARA
37. Geisha’s sash OBI
38. Access Facebook, say LOG ON
39. World, in a Latin saying MUNDI
40. Cost of a taxi CAB FARE
41. Gave, as a medal AWARDED
42. Trace evidence at a crime scene, e.g. RESIDUE
44. Business abbr. INC
45. Dined ATE
46. Wordless agreement NOD
48. Circle around a quarterback HUDDLE
50. Appetizing dinnertime aroma GARLIC
51. Playwright Eugene O’NEILL
54. Sheepish admission I LIED
57. “Monday Night Football” channel ESPN
58. Yin and __ YANG
59. Arctic sheet FLOE
63. Mauna __ LOA
64. Sch. in Tempe ASU
65. Pennies: Abbr. CTS

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Dec 15, Monday”

  1. The puzzle was easy with a few unusual words. Christmas is finally upon us.

    Bill, you write, Re: CLAUS, ' his remains were desecrated by Italian sailors …'. Desecrated would mean destruction and disrespectful disinterrment, in a bad sense. If it was done with reverence, for future preservation, perhaps exhumation would be a more neutral word.

    One-a-day was introduced by Bayer, a german company, in 1940, during the height of WW II ?

    Wishing everyone here happy Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas, and eventually, a Happy New Year.
    Now, to get some work done, before the year actually ends.

  2. I love showing people icons of the real Saint Nicholas. He has a white beard, but is balding, dark and thin; ans morose, often with tears streaming down his face. The deeds he had done involved secretly leaving enough money for dowries to keep a neighbor from selling his daughters into slavery. on the 3rd time, his neighbor "caught" him doing good. The Dutch Sinterklaas, Pepsi Cola, and Clement Moore (and others) changed the image. Sinterklaas has been running into problems because his little helper is Svarte Piet, a blackamore in Elizabethan garb who hits people and gives them coal. I've been to parties where this is portrayed in black-face. Not politically correct.

    Strangely, SANTA CLAUS were 2 of the last words I put in.

    I wanted to mention that Lim's Saturday puzzle was notable that the smallest words were 4 letters, if I recall correctly.

  3. This week is stating off on an ominous note as I put in NRA instead of NHA for 3 down. Doh! I hope that doesn't bode for an ill cross(word) wind blowing over my solving this week.

    Have a good Monday everyone and just keep your eye on the prize, a short week!

  4. As we learned in yesterday's NYT, there are several corporate slogans which are grammatically incorrect, such as the double negative in SARA Lee. Among others were: Think Different (Apple), Got Milk? (Dairy industry), Yeah, we got that (Staples), Leggo my Eggo, etc.

    Easy grid, the first of what I assume will b a week of Christmas themes.

  5. Easy puzzle that I managed to mess up. Had login/iui instead of LOGON/OUI. Another "duh" moment. My thanks to the setter for going easy on us in the cluing of RECT as well……

    @Vidwan
    Thanks for those exonyms and endonyms yesterday. I knew the Russians used that word for German (nyemyetski or nyemyets for the person), and yes it essentially means "can't talk". It was used very derisively in WWII and Stalin loved using that word for Germans. Interestingly, the word for the country is actually "Germania" (with a hard G) so "nyemyestski" is much more of a slight to the people and culture rather than the geographic region.

    @Willie
    Wasn't there a laundry detergent commercial a while back that advertised their product as making clothes "whiter than white"?……..whatever that means. I think Biz used to advertise that it had "blueing for whiteness"…another whiskey tango foxtrot moment.

    Best –

  6. Jeff, this is an ad for 'bluing' in laundry detergent, so take it with a pinch of salt. But it confirms what I've suspected all along. Even pure white is not pure white. I actually know a president of a powder manufacturing company, who can see blues and greens in a crimson red powder paint ….

    Who said, 'There is a pleasure in being mad, that none but madmen know'. ( John Dryden).

  7. OK, I'm the third one to mess up.
    Never heard of SIM city.
    My pollution portmanteau was SNAZE.
    Made sense to me.
    There's a guy who sells mattresses here whose catch phrase is, "We'll Beat Anyone's Advertised Price Or Your Mattress is Freee!!!”
    How many free mattresses do think he gives away?

  8. @Vidwan
    Who knew that was an actual product?? I'm a bachelor so I tend to just buy new shirts rather than actually wash them anyway….I wonder if a cop ever pulls me over for running a red light if I could convince him that red and green are just different shades of white…..

    @Pookie
    Isn't it Cold-eez that advertises that it is "guaranteed to shorten the length of your cold or your money back"? Talk about an unprovable claim one way or another. I doubt they've given away many freebies either.

  9. This puzzle reminds me of the old Charles Addams cartoon that shows Pugsly with an armful of logs racing to the fireplace while a kneeling Wednesday with bellows in hand stokes the raging blaze, as their parents look on from the doorway. The caption read, "The little dears, they still believe in Santa Claus."

  10. Like Pookie, I also had SNAZE. Meant to re-think it, since it didn't seem right, but I left it.
    I found this puzzle kinda uninspiring. A lot of Crosswordese,and the theme was blah.
    @Willie, my two cents: "Nobody doesn't like…" isn't a double negative! It's a clumsy phrase but grammatically correct. A double negative would contradict the speaker's intention, like "I don't want no cake." Agree on the others, tho — "Think different" always bugs me…:-
    Interesting stuff about St. Nicholas! Thanks, folks!
    Be well~~™

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