LA Times Crossword Answers 13 Dec 16, Tuesday




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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Skip It

Each of today’s themed answers ends with something that is often SKIPPED:

  • 50D. “Never mind” … or what one might do with the last word of 17-, 35-, 43- and 62-Across : SKIP IT
  • 17A. Of the poorest quality : THIRD CLASS (giving “skip class”)
  • 35A. Novel or short story, say : LITERARY WORK (giving “skip work”)
  • 43A. Fashionable dude : MAN ABOUT TOWN (giving “skip town”)
  • 62A. Well-hit line drive, in baseball jargon : FROZEN ROPE (giving “skip rope”)

Bill’s time: 7m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. California wine valley : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

19. The “I” in MIT: Abbr. : INST

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

21. Communication syst. for the hearing-impaired : ASL

It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

25. Heart exam: Abbr. : ECG

An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

28. One of the five basic tastes : UMAMI

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

30. Inventor Howe : ELIAS

Elias Howe was an American inventor. Howe wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of a sewing machine, but he was the first to develop one that was functional.

32. River through southern Russia : URAL

The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea.

35. Novel or short story, say : LITERARY WORK (giving “skip work”)

Our word “novel”, used for a lengthy work of fiction, comes from the Latin “novella” meaning “new things”.

41. Typically reddish-brown ape : ORANG

Orangutans (also “orangs”) are arboreal creatures, in fact the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, living in the rain forests. Like most species in rain forests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word “orangutan” is Malay, meaning “man of the forest”.

46. “The A-Team” muscleman : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

47. Pet food brand : ALPO

Alpo is a brand of dog food first produced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

51. “Waiting for Lefty” playwright Clifford : ODETS

Clifford Odets was a playwright, screenwriter and director from Philadelphia. “Waiting for Lefty” was the first play by Clifford Odets that made it to stage, in 1935. The storyline deals with cab drivers who are planning a strike. Famously, the play breaks through the “fourth wall” by placing actors within the audience who react to the action taking place on the stage.

53. Capote nickname : TRU

The larger-than-life Truman Capote was a celebrated author and comedian. Capote is perhaps most associated with his novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and his true crime novel “In Cold Blood”. Truman Capote grew up in Monroeville, Alabama. There he met, and became lifelong friends with, fellow novelist Harper Lee. Capote was the inspiration for the character “Dill” in Lee’s celebrated work “To Kill a Mockingbird”. In turn, Harper Lee was the inspiration for the character “Idabel” in Capote’s “Other Voices, Other Rooms”.

57. Canadian tribe : CREE

The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

58. Sgt., e.g. : NCO

A Chief Petty Officer (CPO) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the Navy (USN) and Coast Guard (USCG). The “Petty” is derived from the French word “petit” meaning “small”.

62. Well-hit line drive, in baseball jargon : FROZEN ROPE (giving “skip rope”)

In baseball, a “frozen rope” is a line drive that is hard hit, or a strong throw from the outfield. I guess a frozen rope is as straight as an arrow, or a well-hit baseball …

66. Choice on the fairway : IRON

That would be golf.

68. Big Apple stage award : OBIE

The Obies are the “Off-Broadway Theater Awards”. The Obies are presented annually and the recipients are chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper.

Apparently the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:

Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.

Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

71. Politician Romney : MITT

Mitt Romney was born Willard Mitt Romney in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. Romney’s parents named him after J. Willard Marriott (the hotel magnate) who was the father’s best friend, and after Milton “Mitt” Romney who was the father’s cousin and quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

Down

2. Pakistani city : LAHORE

Lahore is a large city in Pakistan, second in size only to Karachi. It is known as the Garden of the Mughals (or in English, Moguls) because of its association with the Mughal Empire. The Mughals ruled much of India from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

4. Dinghy blade : OAR

Our word “dinghy” comes from the Hindi “dingi”, the word for a small boat.

5. Fly ball paths : ARCS

That would be baseball.

6. 2008 Pixar robot : WALL-E

“WALL-E” is a very cute Pixar movie, released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot called WALL-E, who loves his “Hello Dolly”, and who falls in love with another robot called EVE.

7. Letters before an alias : AKA

Also known as (aka)

8. Hi-__ graphics : RES

High-resolution (hi-res)

9. Magazine VIPs : EDS

Editors (eds.)

10. Poppy narcotic : OPIUM

The opium poppy is the source of the narcotic alkaloids known as opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

11. Left the 44-Down sans permission : WENT AWOL

The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

In French, “avec” (with) is the opposite of “sans” (without).

13. Richard Gere title role : DR T

The 2000 movie “Dr. T & the Women” is a pretty good film, starring Richard Gere in the title role. There can’t be many romantic comedies about gynecologists …

18. __ 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.

24. The name Fred yells at the end of “The Flintstones” closing theme song : WILMA

Wilma is the wife of cartoon character Fred Flintstone. On the TV show, Wilma was voiced by Jean Vander Pyl. Vander Pyl was also provided the voice for Rosie the Robot on “The Jetsons”.

26. Museum manager : CURATOR

The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease.

33. Noble gas : ARGON

The rare gases are better known as the noble gases, but neither term is really very accurate. Noble gas might be a better choice though, as they are all relatively nonreactive. But rare they are not. Argon, for example, is a major constituent (1%) of the air that we breathe.

38. Rifle range rounds : AMMO

The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

39. Dyed-in-the-wool : HARDCORE

Something described as “dyed-in-the-wool”, is deeply ingrained, uncompromising in principle. The literal meaning of the phrase is “dyed before spinning”, the color being applied to thread before it is woven into fabric. Color applied this way is expected to be more enduring that in a fabric that is dyed after it has been woven.

40. Words to click on at a sweepstakes website : ENTER NOW

A “sweepstakes” is a lottery in which the participants pay into a fund that becomes the prize. The term “sweepstakes” comes from the Middle English word “swepestake”, the name for the person who “sweeps up” all the stakes in a game.

49. Jedi Master Obi-Wan __ : KENOBI

Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

54. Open, as a parka : UNZIP

A parka is a hooded jacket, often lined with fur, that is worn in cold weather. The original parka was a pullover design, but nowadays it is usually zipped at the front. “Parka” is the Russian name for the garment , absorbed into English in the late 1700s via the Aleut language.

56. Icy precipitation : SLEET

Apparently “sleet” is a term used to describe two weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls.

59. Small change : CENT

The original one-cent coin was introduced in the US in 1793 and was made of 100% copper. The composition varied over time, and was 100% bronze up to the 1940s. During WWII there was a shortage of copper to make bronze, so the US Mint switched to zinc-coated steel for production of one-cent coins in 1943. The steelie is the only coin ever issued by the US mint that can be picked up by a magnet. Today’s one-cent coin is comprised mainly of zinc.

61. eBay action : BID

eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!

62. Big Pharma watchdog: Abbr. : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves drugs for specific conditions. It is quite legal for a healthcare professional to prescribe an approved medication for a use that is different to the FDA-approved indication. This usage of the drug is described as “off-label”.

63. Cleared (of) : RID

Big Pharma is the nickname for the pharmaceutical industry. The nickname comes from the acronym for the lobbying group for the industry, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

65. CD-__ : ROM

CD-ROM stands for “compact disc read only memory”. The name indicates that you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you cannot write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. “And another thing … ” : ALSO …

5. Up on the latest info : AWARE

10. Not yet paid : OWED

14. California wine valley : NAPA

15. Gathered, as autumn leaves : RAKED

16. Tree fruit : PEAR

17. Of the poorest quality : THIRD CLASS (giving “skip class”)

19. The “I” in MIT: Abbr. : INST

20. Long stretch : EON

21. Communication syst. for the hearing-impaired : ASL

22. Jury __ : DUTY

23. Southern speech quality : DRAWL

25. Heart exam: Abbr. : ECG

28. One of the five basic tastes : UMAMI

30. Inventor Howe : ELIAS

32. River through southern Russia : URAL

34. Armed conflict : WAR

35. Novel or short story, say : LITERARY WORK (giving “skip work”)

38. “If I may cut in … ” : AHEM …

41. Typically reddish-brown ape : ORANG

42. Varieties : ILKS

43. Fashionable dude : MAN ABOUT TOWN (giving “skip town”)

46. “The A-Team” muscleman : MR T

47. Pet food brand : ALPO

48. Bottle parts : NECKS

51. “Waiting for Lefty” playwright Clifford : ODETS

53. Capote nickname : TRU

55. Calendar periods : WEEKS

57. Canadian tribe : CREE

58. Sgt., e.g. : NCO

60. Zero : NIL

61. Dog treat : BONE

62. Well-hit line drive, in baseball jargon : FROZEN ROPE (giving “skip rope”)

66. Choice on the fairway : IRON

67. Ruined : DID IN

68. Big Apple stage award : OBIE

69. Like morning grass : DEWY

70. Well-practiced : ADEPT

71. Politician Romney : MITT

Down

1. Fed the pot : ANTED

2. Pakistani city : LAHORE

3. Kind of column or cord : SPINAL

4. Dinghy blade : OAR

5. Fly ball paths : ARCS

6. 2008 Pixar robot : WALL-E

7. Letters before an alias : AKA

8. Hi-__ graphics : RES

9. Magazine VIPs : EDS

10. Poppy narcotic : OPIUM

11. Left the 44-Down sans permission : WENT AWOL

12. Patsy : EASY MARK

13. Richard Gere title role : DR T

18. __ Lama : DALAI

22. Fittingly : DULY

24. The name Fred yells at the end of “The Flintstones” closing theme song : WILMA

26. Museum manager : CURATOR

27. Research funding : GRANT

29. Bugs : IRKS

31. Happy hour perch : STOOL

33. Noble gas : ARGON

36. Blow up : ERUPT

37. Pained reaction : WINCE

38. Rifle range rounds : AMMO

39. Dyed-in-the-wool : HARDCORE

40. Words to click on at a sweepstakes website : ENTER NOW

44. Army outpost : BASE

45. Cry of victory : WE WON!

49. Jedi Master Obi-Wan __ : KENOBI

50. “Never mind” … or what one might do with the last word of 17-, 35-, 43- and 62-Across : SKIP IT

52. Itsy-bitsy : TEENY

54. Open, as a parka : UNZIP

56. Icy precipitation : SLEET

59. Small change : CENT

61. eBay action : BID

62. Big Pharma watchdog: Abbr. : FDA

63. Cleared (of) : RID

64. Poem of praise : ODE

65. CD-__ : ROM

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 13 Dec 16, Tuesday”

  1. Sorry Bill and Carrie – Sometimes I don’t have time to go back to the comments later in the day. It sounds so complicated with the Gravatar. (I was calling the Avatar an Icon – hey, I’m going to be 72 in a couple weeks!) So much to learn on these devices. I text and feel superior to friends who don’t even have a laptop.

    Anyway, never heard of FROZEN ROPE, or anything in sports besides ORR OTT TEE NFL…

  2. Not much to add to this one. So I guess I’m just adding that I have nothing to add.

    Bella – Interesting note on Greenland. Interesting for a whole slew of reasons. I might check that out when I have more time.

    Joel – I wonder if that was just a line. It’s hard to imagine Mark Twain as a vegetarian. Was that even a thing back then?

    Best –

  3. Thank you JustJoel, from yesterday. Difference between opioids and non-opioids, like NSAIDS, for those who may be interested. . My friend passed away, yesterday, noon. I am now assisting with another complexity – funeral arrangements.

    I had a good time with the puzzle – one of the easiest yet. Thank you, C.C. A very quick solve. The answers came like clockwork, and I was within a mile time ( four minutes – ) of Mr. Butler’s time.

    For those visiting MIT, the main tourist point of interest, is the long corridor between interconnected buildings, at the main campus, called the ‘infinite corridor’ !! Like Stonehenge (!) , of another epoch, on two days of the year, the sun shines, to illuminate, all along the length of the corridor, and, on those days, the corridor is crowed with sight seekers.

    Regarding, ASL and BSL, …. yesterday, I met, for the first time, my new ( to be – ) next door neighbor, who is a research professor in A.I. and computer science, and is originally from China. We spoke in english, and he apparently understood me, very well, but I could not understand him at all. Finally, I had to hand him a pad, so he could write out his answers. ( Jeff – he is a leftie.) Although my hearing is not perfect, but certainly not impaired, the main problem, seemed to me, was that his slurring of the letters ‘r’ and ‘l’ and omission of the pronunciation of the hard ‘d’ altogether. I felt very bad, and was extremely shocked, that a universally known, common language, can suddenly become, mutually un-intelligible !!@! Eventually, I hope to orient myself ( and my wife) to his accent, because you cannot use a notepad while talking on the phone …. and my life long interest in learning, continues.

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. Jeff, ( my third post ) , in India, where vegetarianism, is overwhelmingly, the norm, for the past three centuries, …… at the lower SE coast of the peninsula, ‘fish’ is normally called by the name, ‘jhal-kai’… which translates to, ‘water-vegetable’ or more as in, vegetable-of-the-sea .
    Euphemisms, were invented for a reason.

  5. @Vidwan My condolences on the loss of your friend. It sounds as if, by siting sentry over the weekend, you did what you could to see him through his last days. It was good of you to just be there.

    Regarding UMAMI…I don’t get it.
    Honey is sweet, coffee is bitter, lemons are sour, aged cheese is salty.
    According to google, umami taste is common to foods that contain high levels of L-glutamate, IMP and GMP, most notably in fish, shellfish, cured meats, mushrooms, vegetables (e.g., ripe tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, spinach, celery, etc.) or green tea, and fermented and aged products involving bacterial or yeast cultures, such as cheeses, shrimp pastes, fish sauce, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and yeast extracts such as Vegemite and Marmite.
    It sounds like more of a texture than a taste.
    Anyone?
    Maybe Joel and other foodies could ring in on this.

    1. @Pookie – In the 17 years I lived I lived in Japan, I never heard the word “umami.” “Mi” as a word ending usually converts an adjective to a noun. In this case, the adjective would “umai,” which means “delicious” or “savory.” IMHO, the correct forming of the noun would be “umasa,” which would then mean “savoriness” or “deliciousness.” One can do the same thing with just about any adjective; “shibui” means understated elegance (approximately)’ “shibusa” would mean “elegant.” As to the flavor of umami? Not really sure I get it, but I hope that helped!

  6. @Joel
    I have a kimono made by Carter Smith using Shibori technique of dying fabric. Does that word follow the same grammar as your examples? In other words, what does shibori mean?
    Thanks for your reply!

    SHIBORI

    1. @Pookie – I had never heard of the Shibori technique:I would have guessed the name of the person or school that developed it. But Vidwan is correct; Shibori is a derivative of the word “shiboru,” to wring or squeeze moisture out.

  7. Shibori is the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing. The word comes from the verb root shiboru, “to wring, squeeze, press.”

    this was copied and pasted from advice given by Ms. Gloria Google…..
    Pookie, I hope this helps.

    Pookie,

  8. Hi y’all!
    @Vidwan, so sorry to hear of your friend’s passing.
    Very interesting and informative blog and comments today! I actually thought that my paper had an error in the UMAMI clue!! Never heard of it; thought maybe it was a sushi dish. Bet you’re right, Joel: Westerners gave it the wrong name. BUT, Thanks to you and Pookie, I now have an idea what it tastes like….savory-sweet?
    This puzzle was kinda tough for me for a Tuesday!!!! I got tied up in the lower center. FROZEN ROPE?? I’ve never heard that to describe a solid line drive. Rope, or bullet, yes….and you have yourself a stand-up double. I miss baseball!!!!⚾?

    @Vidwan again, thank you for the anecdote about the word for fish in the south. Interesting!
    Now, if Pookie would be so kind as to post a link to a photo of herself in that kimono, all will be right with the world…?
    Sweet dreams~~™?

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