LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Dec 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Warren Stabler
THEME: Final Numbers … each of today’s themed answers is a famous phrase that ends with double-digit number:

20A. 19th-century military service revolver COLT FORTY-FIVE
37A. Steak sauce brand HEINZ FIFTY-SEVEN
53A. Highway originally from Chicago to Santa Monica ROUTE SIXTY-SIX

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “__, poor Yorick!”: Hamlet ALAS
In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, there is a scene when Prince Hamlet holds in his hand the skull of the deceased court jester Yorick. Hamlet starts into a famous monologue at this point:
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is …
The opening line is often misquoted as “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well.”

5. Fig. on a new car window MSRP
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

14. Phnom __, Cambodia PENH
Phnom Penh (also “Pnom Penh”) is the capital of Cambodia, and has been so since the French colonized the country in the late 1800s. The city’s name translates from the Khmer language as “Hill of Penh”.

15. Prefix meaning “god” THEO-
The prefix “theo-” means “god”, coming from the Greek word “theos” that has the same meaning.

16. Vivien of “Gone With the Wind” LEIGH
As casting proceeded for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind”, Clark Gable was a shoo-in from day one. The role of Scarlett was considered very desirable in the acting community, with Bette Davis on the short list, and Katherine Hepburn demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick to discuss the role. Vivien Leigh was an unlikely contender, an English actress for the definitive Southern belle role. Selznick was adamant though, and stuck by his choice despite a lot of protests.

17. Jason’s ship ARGO
In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts sailed on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. The vessel was called the “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

18. Walt’s friend, and enemy, in “Breaking Bad” HANK
Walter White is the protagonist on the hit TV drama “Breaking Bad”. Played by Bryan Cranston, White is a high school chemistry teacher who resorts to manufacturing high-grade crystal meth in order to ensure his family’s security after his death.

Hank Schrader is a DEA agent in the hit TV show “Breaking Bad”. Portrayed by actor Dean Norris, Schrader is the brother-in-law of Walter White, the protagonist in the story. The twist is that Hank is chasing down a notorious meth “cook”, and he doesn’t realise that his quarry is his own brother-in-law Walter.

19. “L.A. Law” lawyer ARNIE
Arnie Becker is a divorce lawyer played by Corbin Bernsen on the TV show “L.A. Law”.

“L.A. Law” ran on NBC from 1986 to 1994, and was one of the network’s most successful drama series. It took over from the equally successful “Hill Street Blues” in the Thursday night 10 p.m. slot until, after a six-year run, it was itself replaced by yet another respected drama, “E.R.” The opening credits showed that famous California licence plate. The plate was on a Jaguar XJ for most of the series, but moved onto a Bentley towards the end of the run. For each series the registration sticker was updated, so no laws were being broken.

20. 19th-century military service revolver COLT FORTY-FIVE
The Colt Single Action Army is a revolver that is better known as the “Colt .45”. It was the standard military service revolver for the US Army from 1873 to 1892. The Colt .45 is also known as the “Gun that Won the West”.

23. Visine dose EYE DROP
Visine is a brand of eye drops made by Johnson & Johnson, advertised to “get the red out”. The red in the eye is reduced because Visine contains tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride, a vasoconstrictor. The blood vessels creating the redness constrict when Visine is applied, and you “get the red out” as the blood is “squeezed” away from the surface of the eye.

27. Brit. reference OED
The “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) contains over 300,000 “main” entries and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb “set”. When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb “put”. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).

28. Barbie’s guy KEN
Barbie’s male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken’s family name is Carson. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie’s boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Soon after the split, Barbie “met” Blaine, a boogie boarder from Australia.

30. Piddling amount DRIB
A “drib” is a negligible amount, as in “dribs and drabs”.

37. Steak sauce brand HEINZ FIFTY-SEVEN
The HJ Heinz Company is an American concern, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1869, by Henry John Heinz. It was Heinz himself who came up with the marketing slogan of “57 Varieties”. The “57” really doesn’t have any relevance to the range of products available as Heinz chose the “5” because it was his lucky number, and the “7” because it was his wife’s lucky number.

42. Slammin’ Sammy of the links SNEAD
Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball, by teeing off from home plate. Snead’s best-remembered nickname was “Slammin’ Sammy”.

45. Robert E. Lee’s org. CSA
The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation and retained the post for the life of the government.

Robert E. Lee is renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state. During the Civil War, Lee’s men referred to him affectionately as “Marse Robert”, with “marse” being slang for “master”.

46. Asian New Year TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

49. Luxury apartment feature TERRACE
Our word “terrace” comes into English via French. The Old French “terrasse” was a platform that was built on a mound of “earth”, and the Latin for “earth” is “terra”.

53. Highway originally from Chicago to Santa Monica ROUTE SIXTY-SIX
The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the “Main Street of America”. The road gained notoriety because of Nat King Cole’s song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, and also because of the sixties TV show called “Route 66”.

56. Under way, to Sherlock AFOOT
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in writing the “Sherlock Holmes” stories, had his hero use the phrase “the game is afoot” on more than one occasion. Holmes first uttered the expression in “The Adventures of the Abbey Grange”. However, the phrase was used long before Conan Doyle put pen to paper. In William Shakespeare’s “King Henry IV Part I” there is the line “Before the game is afoot, thou let’st slip”.

59. Karma FATE
Karma is religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one’s life, future life, or afterlife and vice versa.

60. Eponymous swindler Charles PONZI
Charles Ponzi was born in Luigi, Italy in 1882 and arrived in the US in 1903, flat broke having gambled away all his money on the voyage to Boston. Ponzi devised a scheme to buy what were known as “international reply coupons” through friends in Italy, which he had sent to him in the US so that he could redeem them on this side of the Atlantic. As the value in the US was greater than that in Italy, he could make a handsome profit. This was in itself an “illegal” transaction, buying an asset in one market at a low price, then immediately selling it in another market at a higher price. But it’s what he did next that became known as a Ponzi Scheme. He couldn’t redeem his coupons quickly enough due to red tape so he approached other investors, initially friends, and had them give him cash so that he could buy more coupons in Italy. He promised the investors he would double their money, which they did initially. Many people wanted to get in on the scheme seeing that Ponzi was able to make the new investors a profit and double the money of the original investors. Eventually, somebody did the math and word started to get out that the investment was risky, so the number of new investors started to fall. Without sufficient new investors Ponzi couldn’t double the money of his latest investors, and the whole scheme unraveled.

61. Former student ALUM
An “alumnus” (plural … alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural … alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

62. Fed. power dept. ENER
The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

Down
2. “Bad, Bad” Brown of song LEROY
“Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” is a song written and first performed by Jim Croce, a number-one hit for him in 1973.

3. One of four in a square ANGLE
Our word “square” comes from “quadrus”, the Latin for “square”.

4. Debunked SHOT DOWN
The word “bunk” is short for “bunkum”, the phonetic spelling of “Buncombe”, which is a county in North Carolina. Supposedly, a state representative made a dull and irrelevant speech that was directed to his home county of Buncombe, bringing the term “bunkum” into the language with the meaning of “nonsense”. The derivative word “debunk” first appeared in a novel by William Woodward in 1923, when he used it to describe “taking the bunk out of things”.

5. Highest peak in Ore. MT HOOD
Mount Hood is a volcanic peak in northern Oregon. Mount Hood is the highest peak in the state, and is located about 50 miles southeast of Portland. There are six ski areas on the mountain, including a resort called Timberline that has North America’s only lift operating year-round for skiing.

6. Like a honed knife SHARP
“To hone” is to sharpen, a verb derived from the noun “hone” A “hone” is a whetstone used in sharpening.

8. Slammer POKY
“Pokey” (also “poky”) is a slang term for prison, possibly a corruption of “pogie”, a term for a “poorhouse”.

10. Marked by intense feeling FERVID
Our word “fervid”, meaning “heated in spirit, burning”, derives ultimately from the Latin “fervere”, meaning “to boil”.

12. IRS Form 1040 calculation AGI
Adjusted gross income (AGI)

Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

13. With 41-Across, Bronx ball club, familiarly THE
(41A. See 13-Down YANKS)
The New York Yankees baseball team has the nickname “the Bronx Bombers”. The nickname reflects where the team plays (the Bronx) and the team’s reputation for hitting (bombers). The New York Yankees were the first team to retire a uniform number, doing so on July 4, 1939. That day they retired the number 4 in honor of Lou Gehrig.

22. Keister FANNY
“Fanny” is a slang term for the buttocks, rump. One has to be careful using the slang term “fanny” if traveling in the British Isles, because over there it has a much ruder meaning …

Back in the early 1900s a “keister” was a safe or a strongbox. It has been suggested that this term was then used as slang by pickpockets for the rear trouser pocket in which one might keep a wallet. From this usage, keister appeared as a slang term for the buttocks in the early 1930s.

26. Govt. obligation T-BOND
A Treasury note (T-Note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-Note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-Bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-Bond matures in 20-30 years.

28. “The Trial” novelist Franz KAFKA
Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, then part of Bohemia and today the capital of the Czech Republic. Kafka is known as one of the greatest novelists who worked in the German language, and even has an adjective named after him. Something that is “kafkaesque” is senseless, disorienting and may have menacing complexity. As it was for many great artists, Kafka’s fame came after his death when much of his work was published.

29. Tolkien tree giants ENTS
Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

31. Ruling descendants of Genghis KHANS
Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire, destined to be the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world. He first built his empire by uniting nomadic tribes of northeast Asia, but once Genghis Khan had consolidated his position, he initiated Mongol invasions throughout Eurasia. At it’s height, the Mongol Empire stretched from the River Danube to the Sea of Japan.

50. Yoga posture ASANA
“Asana” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

54. Netherlands cheese EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

55. Farm storage cylinder SILO
“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English, originally coming from the Greek word “siros” that described a pit in which one kept corn.

56. LAPD alert APB
An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “__, poor Yorick!”: Hamlet ALAS
5. Fig. on a new car window MSRP
9. B equivalent, in music C-FLAT
14. Phnom __, Cambodia PENH
15. Prefix meaning “god” THEO-
16. Vivien of “Gone With the Wind” LEIGH
17. Jason’s ship ARGO
18. Walt’s friend, and enemy, in “Breaking Bad” HANK
19. “L.A. Law” lawyer ARNIE
20. 19th-century military service revolver COLT FORTY-FIVE
23. Visine dose EYE DROP
24. In the thick of AMIDST
27. Brit. reference OED
28. Barbie’s guy KEN
30. Piddling amount DRIB
31. Famous KNOWN
34. “__ bet?”: “Care to wager?” WANNA
36. Altar promise I DO
37. Steak sauce brand HEINZ FIFTY-SEVEN
40. Piercing tool AWL
41. See 13-Down YANKS
42. Slammin’ Sammy of the links SNEAD
43. Catches in the act NABS
45. Robert E. Lee’s org. CSA
46. Asian New Year TET
47. Position in the batter’s box STANCE
49. Luxury apartment feature TERRACE
53. Highway originally from Chicago to Santa Monica ROUTE SIXTY-SIX
56. Under way, to Sherlock AFOOT
58. Weight loss plan DIET
59. Karma FATE
60. Eponymous swindler Charles PONZI
61. Former student ALUM
62. Fed. power dept. ENER
63. Plagued BESET
64. Sulk MOPE
65. From Chicago to Boston EAST

Down
1. Quickly APACE
2. “Bad, Bad” Brown of song LEROY
3. One of four in a square ANGLE
4. Debunked SHOT DOWN
5. Highest peak in Ore. MT HOOD
6. Like a honed knife SHARP
7. Landlord’s charge RENT
8. Slammer POKY
9. Insurance case CLAIM
10. Marked by intense feeling FERVID
11. Solid baseball hit LINE DRIVE
12. IRS Form 1040 calculation AGI
13. With 41-Across, Bronx ball club, familiarly THE
21. Agitated state FRENZY
22. Keister FANNY
25. Album’s first half SIDE A
26. Govt. obligation T-BOND
28. “The Trial” novelist Franz KAFKA
29. Tolkien tree giants ENTS
31. Ruling descendants of Genghis KHANS
32. Unfamiliar with NEW AT
33. Some Oklahoma billionaires OIL BARONS
34. Comes out on top WINS
35. State as fact ASSERT
38. Diamond surface FACET
39. Competitor’s payment ENTRY FEE
44. Clock radio “Shut up!” button SNOOZE
46. iPhone user’s “Keep in touch” TEXT ME
48. Be effective CUT IT
49. Traffic jam TIE-UP
50. Yoga posture ASANA
51. Quotes as a source CITES
52. Apply, as pressure EXERT
54. Netherlands cheese EDAM
55. Farm storage cylinder SILO
56. LAPD alert APB
57. Friend’s opposite FOE

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Dec 15, Monday”

  1. Hello, everyone. Nice puzzle by Mr. Stabler, and a great writeup by Bill. I had an easy and a very enjoyable time, solving the puzzle.

    Ken doll, with accessories – $ 15
    Barbie doll, married – $ 15
    Barbie doll, divorced – $ 185
    Why ? Divorced Barbie comes with Ken's car, Ken's mansion with pool, Ken's office, ken's horse …
    Old joke.

    I wondered about the name of the black lawyer, in L A Law. He was the actor, Blair Under wood, and acted the role of 'Jonathan Rollins'.

    Have a nice day, and great short week, all.

  2. I was glad to see Bill's reference to the meaning of "fanny" in Great Britain. I recall learning the difference between the American English "area" called the "fanny" and that of our British friends when I spent time with a lot of UK guy's during my time as an expat worker in the Middle East in the early 80's.

  3. Per the Urban Dictionary – 'fanny' in the UK refers to the female genitalia, and is considered obscene and taboo. Thus the 'fanny pack' purse for tourists, is called the 'bum pack'. The Atlantic Ocean can cause a big difference in perception.

  4. Well, I blew it on Monday.
    Had AGE for IRS calculation.
    Confused Social Security with the IRS, as in what AGE do you qualify for S.S.
    tsk, tsk.
    (sigh)

  5. WOW I really blew it for a Monday. Missed 2 letters~~also had AGE, like Pookie, and had TPOND instead of TBOND!! But it's NOT my fault!! The A's got me: APACE. Please! Worst of all (no disrespect to the setter, who's much too young to know,) side one of an album IS NOT CALLED SIDE A!!! That term – or "A-side" – is reserved for singles, AKA 45s. WHO'S WITH ME??
    Maybe I should calm down now, and wish you all a happy Tuesday…
    Be well~~™

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