LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Dec 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Don Gagliardo & C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Jumping First … today’s grid contains three sets of circled letters, with each set spelling out a four-letter word that can follow JUMPING:

71A. Word that can precede the word in each set of puzzle circles JUMPING …

– JUMPING JACK
– JUMPING FROG
– JUMPING BEAN

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Game piece associated with 71-Across CHECKER
(71A. Word that can precede the word in each set of puzzle circles JUMPING …)
“Checkers” is yet another word that I had to learn moving across the Atlantic. In Ireland the game is called draughts.

8. “C’mon, Let’s Play” store TOYS “R” US
Geoffrey the Giraffe (formerly “Dr. G. Raffe”) is the mascot of the Toys “R” Us store. Dr. G. Raffe made his debut in 1957 in an advertising campaign for Children’s Bargain Town. Raffe’s catchphrase was ‘Toys “R” us’. The catchphrase became so popular, that the Children’s Bargain Town changed its name in 1969.

15. Estate planner’s suggestion ROTH IRA
Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.

16. Chess grandmaster Karpov ANATOLY
Russian grandmaster Anatoly Karpov was the official world chess champion from 1975 until 1985.

17. Cancún’s peninsula YUCATAN
The Yucatán Peninsula is located in southeastern Mexico, where it separates the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest from the Caribbean Sea to the southeast.

Cancún is a city and island on the east coast of Mexico, on the other side of the Yucatan Channel from Cuba. The city is growing rapidly due to its booming tourist business. Cancún is the center of what’s often called “The Mexican Caribbean” or the “Mayan Riviera”.

18. Copied XEROXED
Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York and originally made photographic paper and equipment. Real success came for the company in 1959 when it introduced the first plain-paper photocopier. Xerox named Ursula Burns as CEO in 2009, the first African American woman to head up a S&P 100 company. Burn was also the first woman to succeed another female CEO (replacing Anne Mulcahy).

19. “Nurse Jackie” network, briefly SHO
“Nurse Jackie” is a comedy-drama series centered on an emergency room nurse at a hospital in New York City. The lead character is played by Edie Falco, who also played Tony Soprano’s wife on the “The Sopranos”.

22. Org. concerned with the AQI EPA
The air quality index (AQI) is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

23. VW hatchback GTI
The Volkswagen Rabbit is a small, front-wheel drive car that is sold as the Volkswagen Golf outside of North America. There is a very popular GTI version of the Golf that was introduced in 1976. The initialism “GTI” stands for Grand Tourer Injection.

26. Selective socializer, perhaps SNOB
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

29. Geologic periods EONS
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

31. Soulful Franklin ARETHA
I think Aretha Franklin, often referred to as the Queen of Soul, had a tough life. Franklin had her first son when she was just 13-years-old, and her second at 15. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Franklin as number one in their list of the greatest singers of all time.

40. Dagger of yore SNEE
“Snick or snee” is the name given to cut and thrust while fighting with a knife. The phrase is rooted in a pair of Dutch words and it gave its name to a “snee”, a light sword-like knife.

41. Apple music player IPOD NANO
The iPod Nano is the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There have been seven versions of the Nano to date and the current Nano as well as playing tunes is an FM player, records voice memos, has a pedometer and can connect with external devices (like a heart monitor, maybe) using Bluetooth technology.

45. Chess ploy GAMBIT
A gambit is a chess opening that intrinsically involves the sacrifice of a piece (usually a pawn) with the intent of gaining an advantage. The term “gambit” was first used by the Spanish priest Ruy Lopez de Segura who took it from the Italian expression “dare il gambetto” meaning “to put a leg forward to trip someone”. Said priest gave his name to the common Ruy Lopez opening, which paradoxically is not a gambit in that there is no sacrifice.

49. __ Mahal TAJ
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child.

50. Much of Oceania ATOLLS
An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring and enclosing a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.

The part of the Pacific Ocean known as Oceania is roughly equivalent to the tropical islands of the South Pacific. Oceania can be divided into the regions of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

55. Recital numbers SOLI
“Soli” (the plural of “solo”) are pieces of music performed by one artist, whereas “tutti” are pieces performed by all of the artists.

57. Tampa NFLer BUC
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL in 1976 along with the Seattle Seahawks as expansion teams. The Bucs had a tough start in the NFL, losing their first 26 games. Things went better in the early eighties, but then the team went through 14 consecutive losing seasons. Their luck changed again though, and they won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season.

59. Polynesian beverage KAVA
Kava is a plant found in the western Pacific. Its roots are used to make an intoxicating drink also called kava, which acts as a sedative.

61. Spam holder CAN
Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”.

65. The United States, to Mexicans EL NORTE
“El Norte” is the term many people in Central America use for the United States and Canada, meaning “the North” in Spanish.

68. Carrier to Tehran IRAN AIR
Iran Air was founded in 1944 as Iranian Airways Company, and so is the oldest airline operating today in the Middle East.

Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around an awful long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

Down
2. Fourth-most populous U.S. city HOUSTON
The city of Houston, Texas was named for General Sam Houston, who served as President of the Republic of Texas and then as Governor after Texas was annexed as a US state in 1845.

3. Dürer work ETCHING
Albrecht Dürer was a German artist active in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Dürer was noted for his etchings and engravings as well as for his paintings.

4. Former Labor secretary Elaine CHAO
When President George W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Labor, he made a bit of history as Chao then became the first Chinese American in history to hold a cabinet post. It turned out that Chao became the only cabinet member to hold her post for President Bush’s full eight years in office. In 1993, Chao married Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader of the US Senate.

10. Easily maneuvered, at sea YARE
I always think that the term “yare” is such a romantic one. In the nautical world it applies to a vessel that responds easily to the helm.

12. 1987 film loosely based on “Cyrano de Bergerac” ROXANNE
Edmond Rostand wrote the famous play “Cyrano de Bergerac” in 1897. There have been a couple of interesting film adaptations, namely “Roxanne” starring Steve Martin, and an Oscar-winning “Cyrano de Bergerac” (in French) starring Gérard Depardieu.

14. Australian airport, in itineraries SYD
Australia’s Sydney Airport (SYD) is located just five miles south of the city center, and next to Botany Bay. There have been plans to build a second airport on the outskirts of the city, dating back to the 1940s.

28. Small shot BBS
A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.080″ in diameter) to size FF (.23″). 0.180″ diameter birdshot is size BB, which gives the airgun its name.

31. Repeated notes in Chopin’s “Raindrop” prelude A-FLATS
The “Raindrop” is the longest of Frédéric Chopin’s cycle of 24 preludes. The piece features as repeating A-flat that reminds the listener of raindrops, hence the preludes nickname. A lovely work …

35. Dunham who created and stars in the HBO series “Girls” LENA
Lena Dunham is a co-star in the HBO series “Girls”, and is also the show’s creator. Dunham garnered a lot of attention for herself during the 2012 US Presidential election cycle as she starred in ad focused on getting out the youth vote. In the spot she compared voting for the first time with having sex for the first time. I must say, I quite enjoy the show “Girls” …

“Girls” is an HBO comedy-drama series that was created by and stars Lena Dunham. The show follows a group of female friends living their lives in New York City. Good show …

39. Hoodwinks SNOOKERS
The use of the word “snooker” to mean “to cheat” has been used since the early 1900s. The term probably took on that connotation as it’s relatively easy to trick someone who is new to the game of snooker.

“Hoodwink” has had the meaning “to deceive” since about 1600. Prior to that it meant simply “to blindfold”, and is simply a combining of the words “hood” and “wink”.

41. Jurist Lance ITO
Judge Lance Ito came in for a lot of criticism for his handling of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The lead prosecutor in that trial was Marcia Clark, you might recall. I read the book that’s Clark wrote about the trial called “Without a Doubt”, and she pointed out one trait of Judge Ito that I think is quite telling. Ito would almost always refer to the prosecutor as “Marcia”, while addressing the men on both sides of the case as “Mister”.

42. Spray on a pan PAM
PAM cooking oil was introduced in 1961 by Leon Rubin and Arthur Meyerhoff. The name “PAM” is an acronym … standing for “Product of Arthur Meyerhoff”. Who’d a thunk it …?

43. Lake Huron natives OJIBWAS
The Ojibwe (also “Ojibwa”) are the second-largest of the First Nations, surpassed only by the Cree. The name “Ojibwa” is more common in Canada, whereas the alternative anglicization “Chippewa” is more common in the US.

Lake Huron takes its name from the Huron Native American people that lived by its shores. Early French explorers often called the lake “La Mer Douce”, which translates as “the freshwater sea”.

44. Earthenware pot OLLA
An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in Ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

46. Martini & Rossi parent company BACARDI
The company that is today known as Martini & Rossi was started in the mid-1800s in Italy, by Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi (and a third partner who sold out years later). From day one it was focused on bottling the fortified wine known as vermouth. Nowadays, the company is also famous for its sparkling wines, and its sponsorship of Grand Prix racing teams. And yes, the famous cocktail is probably named for Mr. Martini.

48. Demolition stuff 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.

51. Dance music provider LIVE DJ
… as opposed to a dead DJ …

58. Trendy hi CIAO
“Ciao” is used informally in Italian to say both “hello” and “goodbye”. Other salutations used in both senses are “shalom” in Hebrew, “salaam” in Arabic and “aloha” in Hawaiian.

60. Six-time All-Star Moises ALOU
Moises Alou played major league baseball, as did his father Felipe and his uncle Matty.

62. Rap name adjective LIL’
Lil’ is a short form of the word “little”. There are a whole slew of rappers named Lil’ something, like Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ J, and Lil’ Kim.

66. __ de plume NOM
“Nom de plume” translates from French simply as “pen name”.

67. Neurologist’s tool, briefly EEG
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Game piece associated with 71-Across CHECKER
8. “C’mon, Let’s Play” store TOYS “R” US
15. Estate planner’s suggestion ROTH IRA
16. Chess grandmaster Karpov ANATOLY
17. Cancún’s peninsula YUCATAN
18. Copied XEROXED
19. “Nurse Jackie” network, briefly SHO
20. Attempt STAB
22. Org. concerned with the AQI EPA
23. VW hatchback GTI
24. Way out EXIT
26. Selective socializer, perhaps SNOB
29. Geologic periods EONS
31. Soulful Franklin ARETHA
33. Catch NAB
34. Swallow up ENGULF
36. Asks for more REORDERS
38. Fish used as bait in bass fishing EELS
40. Dagger of yore SNEE
41. Apple music player IPOD NANO
45. Chess ploy GAMBIT
49. __ Mahal TAJ
50. Much of Oceania ATOLLS
52. Cut with teeth SAWN
53. Pass over OMIT
55. Recital numbers SOLI
56. Cool one CAT
57. Tampa NFLer BUC
59. Polynesian beverage KAVA
61. Spam holder CAN
62. Like some skinny jeans LOW-RISE
65. The United States, to Mexicans EL NORTE
68. Carrier to Tehran IRAN AIR
69. Critical DO OR DIE
70. Training units LESSONS
71. Word that can precede the word in each set of puzzle circles JUMPING …

Down
1. Sound from a crib CRY
2. Fourth-most populous U.S. city HOUSTON
3. Dürer work ETCHING
4. Former Labor secretary Elaine CHAO
5. Word with press or mess KIT
6. Historic stretches ERAS
7. Many a talk show caller RANTER
8. Wage earners’ concerns TAX BITES
9. Person ONE
10. Easily maneuvered, at sea YARE
11. Bus schedule listings STOPS
12. 1987 film loosely based on “Cyrano de Bergerac” ROXANNE
13. Suffix with glob -ULE
14. Australian airport, in itineraries SYD
21. “Timber!” yeller AXER
23. Awe-full expression? GEE!
25. Revealing beachwear THONGS
27. Wake maker OAR
28. Small shot BBS
30. Sought damages SUED
31. Repeated notes in Chopin’s “Raindrop” prelude A-FLATS
32. Square measure AREA
35. Dunham who created and stars in the HBO series “Girls” LENA
37. Reps. counterparts DEMS
39. Hoodwinks SNOOKERS
41. Jurist Lance ITO
42. Spray on a pan PAM
43. Lake Huron natives OJIBWAS
44. Earthenware pot OLLA
46. Martini & Rossi parent company BACARDI
47. “Include me” I WANT IN
48. Demolition stuff TNT
51. Dance music provider LIVE DJ
54. Chances to play TURNS
58. Trendy hi CIAO
60. Six-time All-Star Moises ALOU
61. Firm: Abbr. CORP
62. Rap name adjective LIL’
63. Mine output ORE
64. Committed thing SIN
66. __ de plume NOM
67. Neurologist’s tool, briefly EEG

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Dec 15, Thursday”

  1. ^Agree. Whereas yesterday had a weak theme but plenty of fun stuff, this is a weak theme in a grid with lots of crossfill. TAXBITES, AXER, and SOLI are especially bad. YARE was new to me, but otherwise this is a disappointing grid from two generally solid constructors.

    Calling Lance ITO a "jurist" is ridiculous: (a) he's retired (b) not only did he screw up the OK trial, his erros in the Charles Keating trial led to the verdict being vacated.

  2. The puzzle was challenging, because of the words, as above YARE, SOLI and GTI. At;east I now know what GTI stands for.

    I had a very 'quick night' – the ability of 4 mg. ( about one crystal of sugar – ) of opiate to knock a person out for 8 hours, cannot be underestimated. Maybe that is why Shah Jahan ( King of the Universe – ), the builder of the Taj Mahal, consumed opium about 4 times a day. I am slowly recovering, and deciding between 'feeding a fever' or 'starving the fever'.

    I studied at the Univ. of Rochester, NY, and the Xerox people were very careful not to use the word, 'xeroxed' for 'copied' or to use Xerox as a verb or an adjective – because they did not want it to attain generic status and lose their TM altogether. Forty percent of the Univ. of Rochester endowments, were locked up in donated Xerox stock.

    A nice book, is 'My years with Xerox: The Billions nobody wanted', by John H Dessauer. John worked with Chester Carlson, who founded the company and the technology.

    Have a nice day, all.

  3. "they did not want it to attain generic status and lose their TM altogether."

    Trademarks lose their status in the minds of people and they forget. One surprise I found in researching heroin in terms of history is that is in fact a trademark of a developed pharmaceutical. So few realize. I sure didn't. "Aspirin" is another good example.

    Of course, the other constant in studying such matters is the ubiquity of such so called "bad drugs" in society before they were finally heavily regulated (read banned), and how such lessons in history are often conveniently forgotten. One can take that as an average precautionary tale of any such "drugs", but such a discussion goes beyond the bounds of this blog.

  4. A very clever and ingenious theme, but I only got it thanks to Bill's blog. I simply didn't see what "sets" they were referring to. Maybe if the clue had said "Word that can precede the four-letter word in each set" I could have put two and two together . . . .

  5. Bubble Wrap, (which should properly be referred to as air crap, er, air cap ), Dumpsters, Ping Pong ( yes ! Its french, who'd have thunk it ).

    Just to let you know, I have trademarked FOOD, AIR and WATER and CROSS and WORD … and BLOG and BILL BUTLER. Also OBAMA ( the teams colors of the Alabama U.) and HILLARY and DON TRUMP are also taken. Now, onto U S DOLLAR and L A TIMES.

  6. Willie- Hah!
    My husband is the only person I know who requests a tissue. Everyone else I know wants a Kleenex.

    Personally, I'm grateful for copiers. Carbon paper-ugh!

    I still don't see the sets

    Bella

  7. Had fun with this puzzle and when I finally got my first instinct of "snow jobs" straightened out for 39 Down's clue of "hoodwinked" then the grid came to fruition at that point.

    If anyone here enjoys a well written mystery and would like to learn a whole lot more about the "Ojibwe" or "Ojibwa" (in the case of this puzzle) people then I heartily recommend the Cork O'Connor series (14 books counting) by William Kent Krueger which has the main character who lives on Iron Lake, Minnesota in the little town of Aurora and is half Ojibwe (or as you soon learn by reading these novels they call themselves "Anishinaabe"). These are wonderful books if you like to read well written mysteries set in the wilds of Minnesota and bring to life not only the people but the place as well.

  8. DNF for me. When I got to AXER I said, "No you didn't." to the constructors.
    That spoiled the whole puzzle.
    Why "skinny jeans"? Any jeans can be LOW RISE.
    @Bill yeah,"as opposed to a dead DJ".
    See you all tomorrow.

  9. @Bill & Pookie

    You can have a "canned" DJ who has put together the music recording for your party – or a "live" DJ "spinning" for it…just depends on what sort of budget you have.

    For anyone doing the daily WSJ puzzle today…it was a bear. I think I got it right, but the number of strike overs and mulling time was excessive, even by my liberal standards!

  10. @Bill, LOL! I thought, if Bill's time is under 10 minutes I'll be SO glum! Sure enough, you came in at 9:59….!!
    @Bella–the letter sets are in groups of 4, separated by black squares, with the last 2 letters a line down. Not sure how I figured that out, sinçe it's pretty convoluted, but it actually helped me. I got lucky, altho it's still a DNF. Had to borrow about five words from Bill.
    Here's my trademarked sign-off, which spent about three minutes in R & D:
    Be well~~™

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