LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Dec 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeff Stillman
THEME: Add an Eye … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase into which the word EYE has been added:

18A. “The 11:00 p.m. flight is now boarding”? RED-EYE ALERT (from “red alert”)
28A. Inconsolable freshwater fish? WAILING WALLEYE (from “Wailing Wall”)
47A. Fearful Iowan? CHICKEN HAWKEYE (from “chickenhawk”)
62A. Fictional sailor’s pies? POPEYE TARTS (from “Pop-Tarts”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Dictionary abbr. ADJ
adjective (adj.)

4. Pests repelled by cedar MOTHS
Cedar is used for the manufacture of some wardrobes and chests as it has long been believed that the fragrant oil in the wood is a moth-repellent. However, whether or not cedar oil is actually effective at keeping moths away seems to be in doubt.

14. __ Kappa Epsilon: U.S./Canada frat with more than 250 chapters TAU
Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) is a fraternity that was founded in 1899 at Illinois Wesleyan University. One of TKE’s better-known members was President Ronald Reagan.

15. Skylab’s path ORBIT
Skylab was sent into orbit by NASA in 1973 and continued to circle the Earth there until 1979. Although it was in orbit for many years, Skylab was only occupied by astronauts for 171 days, in three missions in 1973-1974. Skylab burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere a lot earlier than expected, showering some huge chunks of debris on our friends in Australia.

20. Rabies victim MAD DOG
“Rabies” is actually the Latin word for “madness”. The name is a good choice for the viral disease, as once the virus spreads to the brain the infected person or animal exhibits very tortured and bizarre behavior including hydrophobia, a fear of water. The virus is passed on to humans most often through a bite from an infected dog. It is curable if it is caught in time, basically before symptoms develop. Once the virus passes up the peripheral nervous system to the spine and the brain, there isn’t much that can be done.

22. Org. making raids DEA
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.

24. Capital near the Gulf of Tonkin HANOI
Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

28. Inconsolable freshwater fish? WAILING WALLEYE (from “Wailing Wall”)
Walleye is freshwater fish native to Canada and the northern US. The walleye takes its name from its distinctive eyes. The eyes reflect light, rather like those of a cat, creating a phenomenon of “eyeshine”. The walleye’s eyes are well adapted for hunting for food in turbid waters, but makes them a more visible prey to anglers that hunt for them at nighttime.

The Western Wall (also called the Wailing Wall) is a remnant of an ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The wall is a sacred site for the faithful, and has been a place for prayer and pilgrimage for centuries. The term “Wailing” was assigned in English as many Jewish people came to the site to mourn the destruction of the Temple.

34. Trac II cousin ATRA
Fortunately for crossword setters, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

Gillette introduced the Trac II in 1971. The Trac II was the world’s first twin-blade razor.

35. “Frasier” sibling NILES
In the sitcom called “Frasier”, Niles Crane is the brother of the title character Frasier Crane. Fraiser is played by Kelsey Grammer and Niles is played by David Hyde Pierce. Frasier was originally intended to be an only child in the show’s storyline, but the producers decided to add a brother when they noted that David Hyde Pierce looked remarkably like Kelsey Grammer.

38. “The Shoop Shoop Song (__ His Kiss)”: Cher hit IT’S IN
“The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)” dates back to 1963 when it was written by Rudy Clark. The song was rejected by most singers to whom it was offered including the big “girl band” of the day, the Shirelles. It was first recorded by Merry Clayton, but it took a second recording by Betty Everett to hit the charts. Over in England, the Searchers had some success with the song in 1964, and then the Hollies, Swinging Blue Jeans, Helen Shapiro, Lulu and Sandie Shaw all had a go. Finally, along comes Cher in 1990 and records her version for the 1990 film “Mermaids”, and again it’s a flop. Cher’s version was re-released in the UK in 1991 and it just took off. It stayed at number one for 5 weeks. The public is so fickle …

41. Lexus competitor ACURA
Acura is a division of the Honda Motor Company, their luxury brand. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

46. Rock ‘n’ roll middle name ARON
Elvis Aron Presley (aka “the King”) was the younger of two identical twins. His brother was stillborn, delivered 35 minutes before Elvis. The brother was named Jesse Garon Presley. So, although born a twin, Elvis was raised as an only child.

47. Fearful Iowan? CHICKEN HAWKEYE (from “chickenhawk”)
Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State in honor of Chief Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk people during the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War.

There are three species of hawk that are often referred to as chickenhawks here in North America:

– the Cooper’s hawk (also “quail hawk”)
– the sharp-shinned hawk
– the red-tailed hawk

51. Stallone nickname SLY
If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

62. Fictional sailor’s pies? POPEYE TARTS (from “Pop-Tarts”)
Popeye first appeared in 1929 in a comic strip called “Thimble Theatre”. The strip, created by E. C. Segar, ran for ten years before Popeye made an appearance. Popeye received such a great welcome from readers that he soon “took over” the strip, and eventually even hogged the strip’s title. Before Popeye turned up Olive Oyl was the main character.

Pop-Tart is the most successful single brand for the Kellogg company, as millions of the sugary treats are sold every year. The US Military bought quite a few in 2001, and dropped 2.4 million Pop-Tarts into Afghanistan during the invasion after 9/11.

66. Speak from a podium ORATE
“Podium” (plural “podia”) is the Latin word for “raised platform”.

67. Zagreb native CROAT
Zagreb is the capital city of the European Republic of Croatia. Zagreb became the capital of Croatia after the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

68. Whammy HEX
“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

“Whammy” is a slang term for a hex, a supernatural spell.

71. Rubble creator 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.

Down
3. Two-time Emmy winner for “Taxi” JUDD HIRSCH
Judd Hirsch is an actor from the Bronx in New York City who got his big break playing Alex Rieger on the sitcom “Taxi”.

4. Capital of the Comoros MORONI
The Comoros is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern coast of Africa. The Comoros gained independence from France in 1975. The capital of the Comoros is the city of Moroni, which is located on the island of Grande Comore.

5. Its state tree is the Douglas fir OREGON
Various species of Douglas fir are native to North and Central America, and to Asia. The tree gets its name from the Scottish botanist David Douglas, who introduced the species into Europe.

6. Up in the air, on a sched. TBD
To be determined (TBD)

8. Case for an ophthalmologist STYE
Ophthalmology is that branch of medicine dealing with the physiology and health of the eye. “Ophthalmos” is the Greek word for “eye”.

10. “Ecce homo” speaker PILATE
Pontius Pilate was the judge at the trial of Jesus Christ and the man who authorized his crucifixion. Over the years, many scholars have suggested that Pilate was a mythical character. However in 1961 a block of limestone was found in the modern-day city of Caesarea in Israel, and in the block was an inscription that included the name of Pontius Pilate, citing him as Prefect of Judea.

According to the Gospel of John, when Pilate presented a scourged and beaten Jesus to the crowd he used the words “Ecce homo”, Latin for “Behold the man”.

12. Toaster-to-plug link WIRE
The electric toaster is a Scottish invention, created by the Alan McMasters in Edinburgh in 1893.

13. Brooklyn hoopsters NETS
The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets until relatively recently were the New Jersey Nets based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

19. Bald __ EAGLE
The bald eagle is sometimes referred to as the American eagle. It is both the national bird and the national animal of the USA, and appears on the US Seal.

21. __ Lama DALAI
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.

27. Disney queen who sings “Let It Go” ELSA
“Let It Go” is an incredibly successful song from the Disney animated film “Frozen” released in 2013. It was performed in the movie by Idina Menzel, who also was the voice actor for the character Elsa. “Let It Go” is one of the very few Disney songs to make it into the Billboard Top Ten.

31. Talmud letters ALEPHS
“Aleph” is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and “beth” the second.

The Talmud is a collection of writings by thousands of rabbis and is a central text in Rabbinic Judaism, second only to the Torah.

33. Jetson who attends Little Dipper School ELROY
“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it was debuted in 1963 by ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” are like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family are Rosie the household robot, and Astro the pet dog.

37. Hamlet or Ophelia DANE
In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Ophelia is courted by Hamlet, the man himself. Ophelia is the daughter of nobleman Polonius. She dies …

39. Component of ocean H2O NACL
Sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) is an ionic compound, a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na) ions in between the chlorides.

A water molecule is composed of an oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms on roughly opposite sides (about a 150-degree angle). So, sometimes the molecule is represented by “HOH”, although more usually it’s “H2O”.

45. Video calling option SKYPE
The main feature of the Skype application is that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called “Sky peer-to-peer” so the first commercial name for the application was “Skyper”. This had to be shortened to “Skype” because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

48. Fiji’s 500-plus ISLETS
The island nation of Fiji is an archipelago in the South Pacific made up of over 330 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. The archipelago also includes 500 islets. Fiji was occupied by the British for over a century and finally gained its independence in 1970.

49. Like some matters of the heart? AORTAL
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

50. Forcibly removes WRESTS
The verb “to wrest” can mean to obtain by violent twisting and pulling. The word “wrest” derives from the Middle English “wresten” meaning “to twist”. Our word “wrestling” has the same etymology.

53. NYSE debuts IPOS
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

54. Cartoon explorer with a talking backpack DORA
“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

55. October birthstone OPAL
97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, about 80%.

58. Hawaiian starch source TARO
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Dictionary abbr. ADJ
4. Pests repelled by cedar MOTHS
9. Give birth to SPAWN
14. __ Kappa Epsilon: U.S./Canada frat with more than 250 chapters TAU
15. Skylab’s path ORBIT
16. Impish type PIXIE
17. Out of the ordinary ODD
18. “The 11:00 p.m. flight is now boarding”? RED-EYE ALERT (from “red alert”)
20. Rabies victim MAD DOG
22. Org. making raids DEA
23. Fruity coolers ADES
24. Capital near the Gulf of Tonkin HANOI
26. Figure out GET
28. Inconsolable freshwater fish? WAILING WALLEYE (from “Wailing Wall”)
34. Trac II cousin ATRA
35. “Frasier” sibling NILES
36. Out of use OLD
38. “The Shoop Shoop Song (__ His Kiss)”: Cher hit IT’S IN
40. Suffix with chlor- -IDE
41. Lexus competitor ACURA
43. Personal quirk TIC
44. __ in the right direction A STEP
46. Rock ‘n’ roll middle name ARON
47. Fearful Iowan? CHICKEN HAWKEYE (from “chickenhawk”)
51. Stallone nickname SLY
52. More resentful SORER
53. Star with tons of fans IDOL
56. Darling PET
59. Go kicking and screaming RESIST
62. Fictional sailor’s pies? POPEYE TARTS (from “Pop-Tarts”)
65. “I’m impressed!” GEE!
66. Speak from a podium ORATE
67. Zagreb native CROAT
68. Whammy HEX
69. Party dip SALSA
70. Laughs heartily HOWLS
71. Rubble creator TNT

Down
1. Tiny power source ATOM
2. Cry from a crib DADA!
3. Two-time Emmy winner for “Taxi” JUDD HIRSCH
4. Capital of the Comoros MORONI
5. Its state tree is the Douglas fir OREGON
6. Up in the air, on a sched. TBD
7. Hurried, old-style HIED
8. Case for an ophthalmologist STYE
9. Salt scrub venue SPA
10. “Ecce homo” speaker PILATE
11. Cut down AXED
12. Toaster-to-plug link WIRE
13. Brooklyn hoopsters NETS
19. Bald __ EAGLE
21. __ Lama DALAI
25. Start to burn IGNITE
27. Disney queen who sings “Let It Go” ELSA
28. “Let me catch up!” WAIT!
29. Web site ATTIC
30. Spread out WIDEN
31. Talmud letters ALEPHS
32. “Couldn’t agree more” YOU’RE RIGHT
33. Jetson who attends Little Dipper School ELROY
37. Hamlet or Ophelia DANE
39. Component of ocean H2O NACL
42. Bakery display CAKES
45. Video calling option SKYPE
48. Fiji’s 500-plus ISLETS
49. Like some matters of the heart? AORTAL
50. Forcibly removes WRESTS
53. NYSE debuts IPOS
54. Cartoon explorer with a talking backpack DORA
55. October birthstone OPAL
57. Make a lasting impression? ETCH
58. Hawaiian starch source TARO
60. Not overlooked SEEN
61. Smartphone message TEXT
63. Word of support YEA
64. Chairs may be arranged in one ROW

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Dec 15, Wednesday”

  1. Crunchy and puzzling, but still enjoyable. The problem with being the first poster is that I can't comment on someone else's post.

    I can't help but to repost T V Tropes on Crosswords from yesterday clues, which was originally linked by a kind person on another blog.

    The writing is fascinating reading and will waste atleast a couple of hours of your time. However, even for the maven(s) of crossword puzzle solvers, like you-all, these sets of articles are fantastic.

    Try not to read all of them, at one sitting.
    I may post again later.

  2. Interesting Wednesday. Clever theme. I tied Bill's time as long as you don't count the first 20 minutes I worked on it…

    Heading home to St. Louis see the fam tomorrow. AGAIN I'm violating my personal rule of never traveling on or around national holidays. Third time this year. We'll see how it goes. I'll be at Scottrade Center for the Blues hockey game Saturday night. That might make the trip worth it.

    Best –

  3. Re: Wailing Wall. This term is frowned upon by most jewish people, the preferred term is Western Wall or Kotel. Of course, Bill has already explained all this !

    There is a fierce debate, ongoing, in Israel, primarily by 'secular' and/or reformed jews and some feminists, about whether there should be a need for gender segregation, (by sex – ), whilst praying at the wall. See Women of the Wall.

    Nothing more to add. Have a nice day, folks. Cute Google doodle on the season today.

  4. Didn't notice theme until end. The EYEs have it.

    I must be geographically challenged. I had to Google for CROAT. Then, I got MORONI, but the only MORONI I know is the LDS angel. Nor have I heard of Comoros.

    HAd "rolE" before DANE.

    Liked the clue for ATTIC.

    @Jeff – i'm working out my own multiple of Bill's time. Saturday puzzles blow it as it stretches into days.

  5. A few erasures today ISLAND before ISLETS, INE before IDE, TBA before TBD, POINT in the right direction before A STEP.
    @Carrie wish we could see your photo!
    Off to buy a few gift cards for the ones I have no clue what to get them!

  6. Hey Pookie, I'll try to post a link!
    Cute puzzle, and the theme helped. @Vidwan thanks for interesting links today!
    @Vidwan & Willie, I also checked the article to make sure it had the Pez episode from Seinfeld, but I'd forgotten that one with Elaine. LOL!
    Now I'm going to try speaking instead of typing:
    Hi everybody
    HEY, IT WORKED!
    Christmas Eve I'm going to a beautiful church here in LA which has THE BIGGEST PIPE ORGAN IN THE WORLD.
    Be well~~™

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