LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Dec 16, Saturday




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Constructed by: Doug Peterson & Patti Varol

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. Only pitcher whose jersey number was retired by the Mets : TOM SEAVER

George Thomas “Tom” Seaver is a former baseball pitcher, noted for his ten-year stint with the New York Mets from 1967 to 1977. Seaver earned the nickname “Tom Terrific”, and is the only Met player to have his jersey number retired. When he quit baseball he moved out here to California and opened up a small winery in Calistoga. Keep an eye out for the vineyard’s name, “Seaver Family Vineyards”, and their cabernets “Nancy’s Fancy” and “GTS”.

16. Certain internet chatter : AOLER

Even though instant messaging (sending IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

18. Lopez who played Jiminez in “The Dirty Dozen” : TRINI

Trini Lopez is a noted singer and guitarist from Dallas, Texas. He is perhaps best known for his international hit “If I Had a Hammer” from 1963, as well as “Lemon Tree” from 1965.

“The Dirty Dozen” is a very entertaining 1967 WWII movie that is based on a 1965 novel of the same name by E. M. Nathanson. In turn, the novel was inspired by a real-life military unit nicknamed “the Filthy Thirteen”. The latter were a demolition unit in the 101st Airborne Division whose mission was to targets behind enemy lines. The movie had quite the cast, led by Lee Marvin and supported by Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas and Donald Sutherland, as well as football player Jim Brown and singer Trini Lopez.

20. Company whose old factory had a water tower shaped like the company’s product : DIXIE CUP

Dixie Cup is a brand of disposable papers cups. The first such cups were introduced to promote hygiene at shared water fountains, as prior to disposable cups, glasses or dippers were shared by people taking a drink. As such, the Dixie Cup was introduced in 1907 as the “Health Kup”. The name was changed in 1919 to Dixie Cup, after a line of dolls (presumably as the cups were relatively small).

30. Test ban subjects : A-BOMBS

There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. Uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. These devices are called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy.

33. Coloratura Gluck : ALMA

Alma Gluck was the stage name of Romanian-born American soprano Reba Feinsohn. Gluck’s second marriage was to violinist Efrem Zimbalist. Gluck and Zimbalist’s son was Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. the noted actor and star of television’s “77 Sunset Strip”.

The musical term “coloratura” is used to describe elaborate melody that may include runs and trills. “Coloratura” translates from Italian literally as “coloring”. The term has been extended to include operatic roles featuring such melodies, and singers who are associated with such roles.

34. Crow heard on tracks : SHERYL

Sheryl Crow famously dated cyclist Lance Armstrong from 2003-2006. Armstrong has stated publicly more than once that Crow’s music cured his cancer.

36. Keats wrote on one : URN

Here’s the first verse of the poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats:

THOU still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

39. Santa __ winds : ANA

The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

40. The blahs : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for boredom, a word that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized and actually pronounce “correctly”.

42. New England sch. in Kingston : URI

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was first chartered as an agricultural school, back in 1888. URI’s main campus today is located in the village of Kingston.

43. 1980 film with the #1 hit “Magic” : XANADU

“Xanadu” is a 1980 musical film starring Olivia Newton John. The film is largely remembered for its soundtrack, which features number-one hits “Xanadu” by Newton-John and ELO, and “Magic” by Newton-John. The movie itself was so poorly received that it inspired publicist John J. B. Wilson to inaugurate the annual Golden Raspberry Awards.

46. Like the Kara Kum : ARID

The Karakum Desert is located in Turkmenistan in Central Asia, covering about 70% of the country. It is bordered to the north by the infamous Aral Sea, the southern part of which continues to dry out. As such, the Karakum is expanding in size.

47. Goddess on whose bust Poe’s raven perched : PALLAS

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …

53. Bad check letters : NSF

Not sufficient funds (NSF)

54. It takes a licking : LOLLIPOP

A lollipop is piece of candy on a stick. The name “lollipop” surfaced in 1908, and was taken from a prominent race horse of the day name Lolly Pop.

65. Death in Venice : MORTE

The city of Venice in northeast Italy is built in a saltwater lagoon on the Adriatic Coast, on 117 small islands. The classic transportation along the waterways is the gondola, but this is really only used for tourists these days, as well as on ceremonial occasions. The locals rely on the motorized water-buses.

66. Bright one in a school : NEON TETRA

The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

67. Hebrew letters : BETHS

“Aleph” is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and “beth” the second.

68. Montana’s has a plow, a pick and a shovel : STATE SEAL

The state name Montana comes from the Spanish “montaña” meaning “mountain, mountain country”. The naming of the state was the subject of much debate in the past, with some objecting due to the fact that most of “Montana” isn’t mountainous.

Down

1. Pedometer unit : STEP

A pedometer is an instrument worn by a runner or walker that measures the number of steps taken. The name of the device comes from “pes”, the Latin for “foot”.

2. Georgetown newspaper, with “The” : HOYA

“The Hoya” has been the student newspaper of Georgetown University since 1920.

The athletic teams of Georgetown University are known as the Hoyas. The name is derived from “Hoya Saxa”, a traditional cheer yelled out at Georgetown games as far back as 1893. The term is a mixture of Greek and Latin, with the Greek word “hoya” meaning “such” or “what”, and “saxa” translating from Latin as “rocks” or “small stones”. The cheer is usually rendered in English as “what rocks!”.

4. Brand on the Alcan Highway : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

The Alaska Highway is also known as the Alaska-Canadian Highway or ALCAN Highway. A highway connecting the contiguous United States to Alaska was proposed in the twenties, but the Canadian authorities didn’t believe the project had much merit as the road would be used by very few of its citizens. The perceived importance of the route increased during WWII and President Roosevelt deemed the road a strategic necessity so he made a deal with Canada. The cost of construction would be born by the US, but the road and related facilities were to be handed over to Canada at the end of the war. The project was accelerated when the Japanese invaded and occupied Kiska and Attu Islands in the Aleutians. The road of course has been improved and is still in use today. The ALCAN Highway forms part of what is popularly known as the Pan-American Highway, which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the south of Argentina or Chile depending on how the route is defined.

6. Tam patterns : TARTANS

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

7. Some gametes : OVA

A gamete is a reproductive cell that has half the full complement of genes needed to make a normal cell. In sexual reproduction, it takes two gametes, one from each parent, to fuse into one cell which then develops into a new organism. The female gamete is the ovum, and the male the sperm.

8. Journalist Whitelaw __ : REID

Journalist Whitelaw Reid learned his trade working on his his father’s newspaper, the “New York Herald Tribune”, starting in 1938. He took over the reins at the paper in 1953, succeeding his mother in that role. Outside of work, Reid was an avid tennis player. In 1998, he won the national indoor singles championship for competitors 85 and older. In 2003, he won with his partner the national clay-court doubles championship for men over age 90.

9. Orange half of a comic duo : ERNIE

For many years, I believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence.

12. 2013 literature Nobelist : ALICE MUNRO

Alice Munro is a writer from southwestern Ontario in Canada. Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.

13. Eye care brand : RENU

ReNu is a brand name of contact lens products sold by Bausch & Lomb.

21. Letter between Whiskey and Yankee : X-RAY

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

23. “Herbie: Fully Loaded” star : LOHAN

“Herbie: Fully Loaded” is a 2005 comedy movie starring LIndsay Lohan, Michael Keaton and Matt Dillon. The film is a continuation of the “Herbie” series of films that made its debut in 1963.

“The Love Bug” is a 1969 film from Walt Disney, the star of which is a 1963 Volkswagen Bug named Herbie. Believe it or not, the movie is based on a book called “Car, Boy, Girl” written by Gordon Buford. “The Love Bug” spawned a series of sequels such as “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” (1977) and “Herbie: Fully Loaded” (2005).

31. TD Garden skater : BRUIN

TD Garden is a sports arena that was built in the 1990s to replace the aging Boston Garden as home for the Boston Celtics basketball team and the Boston Bruins hockey team.

32. Snarky : SNIDE

“Snark” is a term that was coined by Lewis Carroll in his fabulous 1876 nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”. Somehow, the term “snarky” came to mean “irritable, short-tempered” in the early 1900s, and from there “snark” became “sarcastic rhetoric” at the beginning of the 21st century.

35. Odorless gas : RADON

Radon is a radioactive gas, a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

41. Styron’s Turner : NAT

“The Confessions of Nat Turner” is a 1976 novel by William Styron. It is written as a first-person narrative by slave and rebellion leader Nat Turner, and is based on a real document, a “confession” told by Turner to attorney Thomas Gray while he awaited trial.

Nat Turner was a slave in Virginia who led a slave rebellion in 1831 that led to the deaths of over a hundred people. Half of the casualties were white,and half were black. The 55 white deaths took place on the day of the rebellion as a growing mob of slaves traveled from house-to-house freeing fellow slaves but also killing any white people they came across; men, women and children. The rebellion was suppressed within two days by a white militia. Slaves involved in the rebellion were tried for insurrection and related crimes, and a total of 56 blacks were executed on suspicion of involvement in the uprising. In the aftermath, life for slaves became even more difficult as any freedoms that they had earned were largely curtailed.

44. Hustler’s request : ASAP

As soon as possible (ASAP)

48. Demon of Semitic lore : LILITH

Lilith is a demon in Jewish mythology. According to Jewish folklore, God created Lilith from the same dirt as Adam, and was Adam’s first wife. Other legends state that Lilith refused to become subservient to Adam, and would not live with him in the Garden of Eden.

52. Stops on a commuter train : TOWNS

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

54. Souvlaki choice : LAMB

Souvlaki is a “fast food” from Greece, consisting of meat (often lamb) grilled on a skewer, and sometimes served in a pita sandwich.

55. Plains native : OTOE

The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

56. Painter Mondrian : PIET

Piet Mondrian was a painter from the Netherlands who also lived and worked in Paris, London and New York. Mondrian’s works ranged in style from Impressionism to Abstract.

59. Electoral analyst Silver : NATE

Nate Silver is a statistician who first gained notoriety by developing a forecasting system that predicted the future performance of baseball players. He then made a name for himself in the world of politics by predicting the outcome of the 2008 US presidential race. Silver successfully predicted the outcome of the election in 49 of the 50 states, missing out on Indiana, which Barack Obama won by less than 1% of the vote. Silver publishes his polling data at the website FiveThirtyEight.com.

60. Cajun staple : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for it edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

The great explorer Verrazano gave the name “Arcadia” to the coastal land that stretched from north of present day Virginia right up the North American continent to Nova Scotia. The name Arcadia was chosen as it was also the name for a part of Greece that had been viewed as idyllic from the days of classical antiquity. The “Arcadia” name quickly evolved into the word “Acadia” that was used locally here in North America. Much of Acadia was settled by the French in the 1600s, and then in 1710 Acadia was conquered by the British. There followed the French and Indian War after which there was a mass migration of French Acadians, often via the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) to the French colony of Louisiana. The local dialectic pronunciation of the word “Acadian” was “Cajun”, giving the name to the ethnic group for which Louisiana has been home for about 300 years.

61. Sci-fi author Stephenson : NEAL

Neal Stephenson is a novelist and video game designer whose work is often classified as science fiction or speculative fiction. I must admit, I haven’t indulged …

64. 1988 film noir remake : DOA

Both the original 1950 film “D.O.A.” starring Edmond O’Brien, and its 1988 remake starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, are excellent movies in my opinion. The basic storyline is that the lead character discovers he has been poisoned, and uses the limited time he has to live in order to discover who “murdered” him.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Sole proprietor? : SHOE STORE

10. Spiffy : SMART

15. Only pitcher whose jersey number was retired by the Mets : TOM SEAVER

16. Certain internet chatter : AOLER

17. Headache source : EYESTRAIN

18. Lopez who played Jiminez in “The Dirty Dozen” : TRINI

19. Bear fruit : PAN OUT

20. Company whose old factory had a water tower shaped like the company’s product : DIXIE CUP

22. One of the gang : PAL

24. Get the word out? : ERASE

25. “Wrong call, I suppose” : GUESS NOT

30. Test ban subjects : A-BOMBS

33. Coloratura Gluck : ALMA

34. Crow heard on tracks : SHERYL

36. Keats wrote on one : URN

37. Mount, as a comeback : STAGE

39. Santa __ winds : ANA

40. The blahs : ENNUI

42. New England sch. in Kingston : URI

43. 1980 film with the #1 hit “Magic” : XANADU

46. Like the Kara Kum : ARID

47. Goddess on whose bust Poe’s raven perched : PALLAS

49. Droning : MONOTONE

51. Target : AIM AT

53. Bad check letters : NSF

54. It takes a licking : LOLLIPOP

57. Bargain for : PLAN ON

62. Canceled a reservation, maybe : ATE IN

63. Tossing and turning : WIDE AWAKE

65. Death in Venice : MORTE

66. Bright one in a school : NEON TETRA

67. Hebrew letters : BETHS

68. Montana’s has a plow, a pick and a shovel : STATE SEAL

Down

1. Pedometer unit : STEP

2. Georgetown newspaper, with “The” : HOYA

3. Sign : OMEN

4. Brand on the Alcan Highway : ESSO

5. Stings : SETUPS

6. Tam patterns : TARTANS

7. Some gametes : OVA

8. Journalist Whitelaw __ : REID

9. Orange half of a comic duo : ERNIE

10. Like some appetites : SATIABLE

11. To a greater extent : MORE SO

12. 2013 literature Nobelist : ALICE MUNRO

13. Eye care brand : RENU

14. Touch off : TRIP

21. Letter between Whiskey and Yankee : X-RAY

23. “Herbie: Fully Loaded” star : LOHAN

25. Get ready to hit the road : GAS UP

26. Modern opening? : ULTRA-

27. Smartphone notification : EMAIL ALERT

28. Sink : SAG

29. Latish wake-up time : TEN AM

31. TD Garden skater : BRUIN

32. Snarky : SNIDE

35. Odorless gas : RADON

38. Scrutinizes : EXAMINES

41. Styron’s Turner : NAT

44. Hustler’s request : ASAP

45. Still saved : UNSPENT

48. Demon of Semitic lore : LILITH

50. In recent times : OF LATE

52. Stops on a commuter train : TOWNS

54. Souvlaki choice : LAMB

55. Plains native : OTOE

56. Painter Mondrian : PIET

58. Dazzles : AWES

59. Electoral analyst Silver : NATE

60. Cajun staple : OKRA

61. Sci-fi author Stephenson : NEAL

64. 1988 film noir remake : DOA

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18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Dec 16, Saturday”

  1. 14:12, no errors, iPad. Got held up for a bit in the upper right, starting with the fact that I wanted a RAVENOUS appetite for 10D instead of a SATIABLE one. (Rule 1: Never make an entry in a crossword, however clever you imagine you are to have thought of it, unless you have a crossing entry that meshes with it … 🙂 )

    1. Hello all. I stumbled upon Bill’s excellent work a few months back. I work in the automotive industry in the Detroit area, and, even though my job is quite laborious and all-consuming, my pal and I always find a way to do the LA Times Crossword while we work. We were thrilled to discover Bill and his explanations for those pesky clues that escape our grasp. We have improved leaps and bounds over the last couple of months, in large part due to this very blog and the anecdotes within.

      I did have a question. I try and visit this blog every day but it is sometimes difficult and I often fall behind. Is their any possibility this blog could also serve as an audio resource? A short daily entry where the answers could be read aloud in a short upload, like an answers podcast? I would love to listen to this on my daily commute home from work. I’m always very bummed when I can’t read through all of Bill’s work. Is this a possibility? Would this be too time consuming Bill? Is this a silly request? Thanks in advance.

      Nick

      1. Hi there, Nick.

        That’s a very good question, about a podcast. I’ve never thought about such an idea, and I’ll ruminate on it. I have been asked a couple of times to “record” the grid as I solve it, sharing by video how I personally get into a puzzle and complete it. I believe there’s an app for that, but I think there’d be limited interest. As to your question, Nick, one option that may be available right now for you is to activate “reader mode” in your browser. Most browsers, including mobile browsers, offer such a tool. You’d have to research your particular setup, and there’s usually a little effort required to switch the option on, I think. A “reader” tool finds the main content of a web page and reads it to you out loud. Maybe that will help?

        1. FWIW, just about any program in this day and age can tie into the Text-To-Speech API offered by about every operating system if they bothered to do it. I know you can set Adobe Acrobat to do it for PDFs.

          The only issue would be getting plain clear-text of whatever it is you want read. For a web page, you’d have to copy out the main text for what you want read into a format which the reader would understand or you’d get all the sidebar data, ads, etc, along with the headers/footers, etc. But it would work rather well once you cut out all the noise.

          1. I agree, Glenn, about the “clutter” issue with text-to-speech apps. I did read though, that Google’s web page reader for Chrome does a good job stripping out the ads and sidebars, focusing on the main content. That said, I’ve never used it myself.

          2. @Bill
            True. Actually I just tried it with this copy of Firefox where I’m at, and putting the browser into “reader mode” only produced the main post of your blog, which worked very well when I turned “Narrate” on. So it might not be a big issue.

  2. Nice puzzle, great job by Bill, as always. Trivia question o’ the day: What WAS that retired jersey number worn by Tom Seaver?

  3. Love your blog Bill, wouldn’t go a day without reading it (and comparing your completion time to mine — I’m usually @ double yours).
    It would seem that the clue for 44 Down “Hustler’s request” has two correct answers with the same four letters?
    ASAP — As Soon As Possible – let’s hurry (hustle) it up
    A SAP — someone a hustler can “con,” “cheat,” etc. (this is the “answer” I came up with…)
    Wadda think Bill?

  4. @all
    Didn’t get my usual crossword day in until today, but only had one Naticky type error so far (on Wed). Fri-Sun await.

    @Dave, Heidi
    Gaffney usually throws up a softball when the previous puzzle he does (this case being the SANTA FE puzzle) ends up being confusing in one way or the other. Needless to say, I hit it out of the park, as I’m sure most who entered will have.

  5. A very doable Saturday that I…uhh…didn’t do. Completely. I got everything until the SW area.

    I agree with De that there are a lot of proper names in this one. I was able to overcome a lot of them via crosses and educated guesses, but the SW did me in with PALLAS, LILITH (Lilith Crane?), BETHS (you’d think I’d know that from past blogs), Coloratura Glick, and Souvlaki all ganging up on me in the same area. I eventually surrendered and had to go to Google for help down there.

    Also read 16A “Certain internet chatter” as the talk itself (chatter) rather than the person chatting. What type of chat would be referred to as AOLER?? Now I get it…Duh..

    Best –

    1. Thanks for explaining that one, Jeff.
      It made no sense to me.
      Oh, the person CHATTING.
      Nope, never would have gotten it anyway.

  6. Finished in about 2 hours with only two errors LILIde, since I had no reasonable basis to make an guesses. I did correctly guess the second L in PALLAS.

    Very satisfying to make it this far and I guess I need to brush up on my Italian and Hebrew. Also, shouldn’t have put in mile, instead of STEP for Pedometer unit, which held up that corner for a while.

    Thanks for all the explanations Bill.

  7. Hi everyone!!
    Nice to see some new faces here!
    I finíshed this thing!! I had the same problem as you in the SW, Jeff. Wasn’t sure I’d make it outta there alive — PALLAS/LILITH/ BETHS involved some lucky guesses.
    I had TOMMY JOHN before TOM SEAVER…. good trivia question, Joe! I could guess but I’d probably be wrong. Penciled in GREASE before XANADU, then thought about the time frame and figured it out.
    RE: Chatter — I get that it refers to the person chatting, but wouldn’t we say “chatterer?!” Who’s with me on that??
    Be well~~™???

    1. Hmm … One who chats is a chatter and one who chatters is a chatterer? One who bats is a batter and one who batters is a batterer? But … one who mats is a weaver and one who matters is a sweetheart … 🙂 (I’m in a goofy mood this morning … )

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