LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Dec 16, Thursday




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Constructed by: Bruce Haight

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Aye, Aye Captain

Today’s themed answers each contain the name of a CAPTAIN from literature, as a hidden word:

  • 35A. Indication of cooperation with ones hidden in this puzzle’s four other longest answers : AYE, AYE, CAPTAIN
  • 17A. D-Day code name : OMAHA BEACH (hiding AHAB)
  • 24A. Again : ONE MORE TIME (hiding NEMO)
  • 49A. Cleaner with a blade : SQUEEGEE MOP (hiding QUEEG)
  • 58A. 1957 #1 song title that appears in the line after “I’m in love” : ALL SHOOK UP (hiding HOOK)

Bill’s time: 6m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Golden Fleece 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.

The Golden Fleece was the fleece of a winged ram made from pure gold that was held by King Aeëtes in Colchis, a kingdom on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. The fleece is central to the tale of Jason and the Argonauts, who set out on a quest to steal the fleece by order of King Pelias.

10. Tach nos. : RPMS

The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

14. Any “30 Rock” episode, now : RERUN

“30 Rock” is a sitcom on NBC that was created by the show’s star Tina Fey. Fey is an ex-performer and writer from “Saturday Night Live” and uses her experiences on that show as a basis for the “30 Rock” storyline. Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer for the fictional sketch comedy series “TGS with Tracy Jordan”.

16. Tahari of fashion : ELIE

Elie Tahari is an American fashion designer, although he was born in Jerusalem. Tahari immigrated to the US from Israel in 1971 and started work as an electrician in the the Garment District in New York City. It was there that he became interested in fashion.

17. D-Day code name : OMAHA BEACH (hiding AHAB)

The Normandy landings on D-Day in 1944 took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The worst fighting by far took place on Omaha Beach, a sector assigned to the US Army that was transported by elements of the US Navy and the Royal Navy.

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

19. Carroll specialties : PUNS

Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He was born in 1832 in the village of Daresbury near Warrington in the county of Cheshire, in the northwest of England. And, let’s not forget one of Carroll’s most beloved characters, the Cheshire Cat.

23. Official lang. of Trinidad and Tobago : ENG

Trinidad and Tobago is a republic in the southern Caribbean, largely comprising the two main islands of Trinidad and Tobago.

24. Again : ONE MORE TIME (hiding NEMO)

In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

27. Oktoberfest souvenirs : STEINS

A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is the German for “stone”.

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve been there twice, and it really is a great party …

29. Actor Stephen : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

31. Balkan native : SERB

Serbs are an ethnic group native to the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Although Serbs exist as a minority group in many countries in the region, they are the majority ethnic group in Serbia, in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe is usually referred to as “the Balkans”. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains located in present-day Bulgaria and Serbia. “Balkan” is Bulgarian for “mountain”.

32. “Key Largo” co-star : BACALL

What a bombshell Lauren Bacall was, with that husky voice and her quiet, suggestive manner. Bacall was born in New York City to Jewish immigrant parents from Europe. She was actually a first cousin of Shimon Peres, the former President and Prime Minister of Israel. Famously, Bacall was married to Humphrey Bogart, from 1945 until his passing in 1957.

Key Largo is an island in the Florida Keys. The island gained a lot of celebrity in 1948 when the John Huston movie “Key Largo” was released, starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Lauren Bacall.

41. Some PX patrons : NCOS

An NCO or “noncom” is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant major (sgt. maj.).

A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent store on an Air Force Base is called a Base Exchange (BX).

43. George Lucas’ alma mater: Abbr. : USC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known the success of its athletic program. USC athletes have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

The producer and director George Lucas has amassed an incredibly large fortune, primarily due to the phenomenal success of his movie franchises “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones”. Worth about $3 billion, Lucas has gone the way of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, agreeing to give half of his fortune to charity as part of “The Giving Pledge”.

49. Cleaner with a blade : SQUEEGEE MOP (hiding QUEEG)

The first squeegee was known as a “squilgee”, and was used to wash fish blood and scales off the decks of fishing vessels.

Herman Wouk won a Pulitzer in 1951 for his novel “The Caine Mutiny”. The story involves mutiny and court-martial aboard a US Navy vessel and reflected, at least partly, the personal experiences of Wouk as he served in the Pacific in WWII aboard a destroyer-minesweeper. The novel was adapted into a marvelous film released in 1954 starring Humphrey Bogart as Philip Queeg, the harsh captain of the USS Caine.

53. Bishops and pawns : MEN

That would be chess.

54. “The Last Supper,” for one : MURAL

Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural “The Last Supper” can be seen on an end wall of the dining hall in the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. If you want to see the painting in person, you have to make a reservation ahead of time. And once you get there, you’re only allowed 15 minutes of viewing time. It’s very popular …

55. NBA part: Abbr. : NATL

The National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America. The NBA name was adopted in 1949. Of the four major sports leagues in North America, the NBA has the highest average annual salary per player.

58. 1957 #1 song title that appears in the line after “I’m in love” : ALL SHOOK UP (hiding HOOK)

“All Shook Up” is a song composed by Otis Blackwell and recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957. It was the first Elvis recording to top the UK charts.

A well’a bless my soul
What’sa wrong with me?
I’m itchin’ like a man in a fuzzy tree
My friends say I’m actin’ wild as a bug
I’m in love
I’m all shook up
Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay, yay

Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto. Barrie openly acknowledged that the Hook character was based on Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab from the novel “Moby Dick”.

63. Dr. Evil portrayer in Austin Powers films : MYERS

Mike Myers does do a great British accent, witness his performance in the madcap “Austin Powers” movies. He has an advantage though, as both his parents are British, and live in Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Evil is a character played by Mike Myers in the “Austin Powers” series of movies. The character lampoons various James Bond villains, just as Austin Powers lampoons James Bond himself.

65. Garage sale caveat : AS IS

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

66. Capital on the Aar : BERNE

Bern (sometimes “Berne”, especially in French) is the capital city of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. The Aar is a major tributary of the Rhine, and flows through Bern, the nation’s capital.

Down

3. Citrus greenhouse : ORANGERY

An “orangery” was an elaborate greenhouse-like structure that was built to protect fruit trees, particularly oranges. Orangeries were very obvious signs of wealth from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Their usefulness diminished as imported citrus fruits became more and more available. One of the most famous orangeries can be seem at the Palace of the Louvre in Paris, where it is now used as a museum.

The Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris is an art gallery with a fabulous collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works. The original building was erected to shelter orange trees, hence the name. The museum holds a beautiful series of water-lily paintings by Monet in two wonderfully lit oval rooms.

5. Wisconsin-based tool manufacturer : SNAP-ON

Snap-on is a tool manufacturer that was founded in 1920 in Milwaukee as the Snap-on Wrench Company. The initial product the company supplied was a set of ten sockets that that snapped on to interchangeable handles.

6. Young adult fiction writer Griffin : ADELE

Adele Griffin is an author of fiction for young adults from Philadelphia. Included in the list of her works are the novels “Sons of Liberty” and “Where I Want to Be”, as well as the “Witch Twins” and “Vampire Island” series.

8. Sierra or Yukon : GMC

The GMC Sierra truck is also sold as the Chevrolet Silverado.

The GMC Yukon is basically the same vehicle as the Chevrolet Tahoe.

12. Dr. Evil’s cohort : MINI-ME

The actor Verne Troyer is best known for playing the character Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” series of films. Troyer suffers from a form of dwarfism, and at a height of only 2 ft 8 in is one of the shortest men in the world.

Dr. Evil is a character played by Mike Myers in the “Austin Powers” series of movies. The character lampoons various James Bond villains, just as Austin Powers lampoons James Bond himself.

13. Italian sonnet closing : SESTET

A sestet is a group of six lines of poetry similar to a quatrain, a group of four lines.

A sonnet is a 14-line poem with a specific structure and rhyming scheme. A popular rhyming scheme for what is known as the Italian sonnet is ABBA, ABBA, CDECDE. Compare this with the Shakespearean sonnet which rhymes as ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG.

18. Subject that may come up in a frank discussion? : BUNS

A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

25. Ocean predators : ORCAS

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

32. Pantyhose shade : BEIGE

Our word “beige” comes from the Old French “bege”, a term that applied to the natural color of wool and cotton that was not dyed.

34. Tall and thin : LANK

The term “lank” can describe something that is straight and flat, particularly hair. The usage was extended in the early 1800s (especially in the form “lanky”) to mean “awkwardly tall and thin”.

36. Disney daughter of King Triton : ARIEL

“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton.

37. Masculine principle : YANG

The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

42. Neural junction : SYNAPSE

A synapse is a junction between a nerve cell and another cell over which an electrical or chemical signal can pass.

44. Knight’s attendant : SQUIRE

A squire can be an escort, say one attending to a woman. A squire is also a young nobleman who attended a knight in days of yore. A fun example would be Sancho Panza who accompanied the deluded Don Quixote.

45. Stone-pushing Winter Olympian : CURLER

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone is it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

48. Self-possession : APLOMB

“Aplomb” is such a lovely word, meaning confidence and assurance. It is a French word that literally means “perpendicularity”, or “on the plumb line”. The idea is that someone with aplomb is poised, upright, balanced.

51. Zhou __ : ENLAI

Zhou Enlai (also Chou En-Lai) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

52. Mardi Gras purchases : MASKS

“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent. Lent starts on the next day, called Ash Wednesday.

58. Harper Lee’s home st. : ALA

Nelle Harper Lee was an author from Monroeville, Alabama. For many years, Lee had only one published novel to her name. That is a “To Kill a Mockingbird”, a contribution to the world of literature was enough to earn her the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Pulitzer Prize. Harper Lee was a close friend of fellow author Truman Capote who was the inspiration for the character named “Dill” in her novel. Lee was all over the news in 2015 as she had published a second novel, titled “Go Set a Watchman”. The experts seem to be agreeing that “Go Set a Watchman” is actually a first draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Lee passed away less than a year after “Go Set a Watchman” hit the stores.

59. Avignon article : LES

The definite article in French can be “le” (with masculine nouns), “la” (with feminine nouns), and “les” (with plurals of either gender).

Avignon is a city in the southeast of France on the Rhône river. Avignon is sometimes called the “City of Popes” as it was home to seven popes during the Catholic schism from 1309 to 1423.

60. Santana’s “__ Como Va” : OYE

“Oye Como Va” is a song written by Tito Puente in 1963. The best-known recording is the cover version by Santana released in 1970.

Santana is a Latin rock band from by guitarist Carlos Santana in San Francisco in 1967. Santana’s big break came with a well-received performance at Woodstock in 1969, when the band was completely unknown.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Moves with effort : PLODS

6. Golden Fleece ship : ARGO

10. Tach nos. : RPMS

14. Any “30 Rock” episode, now : RERUN

15. Trial version : DEMO

16. Tahari of fashion : ELIE

17. D-Day code name : OMAHA BEACH (hiding AHAB)

19. Carroll specialties : PUNS

20. Got elected : WON

21. Influence : PULL

22. Loaf : DOG IT

23. Official lang. of Trinidad and Tobago : ENG

24. Again : ONE MORE TIME (hiding NEMO)

27. Oktoberfest souvenirs : STEINS

29. Actor Stephen : REA

30. Clear : NET

31. Balkan native : SERB

32. “Key Largo” co-star : BACALL

35. Indication of cooperation with ones hidden in this puzzle’s four other longest answers : AYE, AYE, CAPTAIN

40. Red hair and green eyes : TRAITS

41. Some PX patrons : NCOS

43. George Lucas’ alma mater: Abbr. : USC

46. Having one sharp : IN G

47. It makes a lot of dough : BAKERY

49. Cleaner with a blade : SQUEEGEE MOP (hiding QUEEG)

53. Bishops and pawns : MEN

54. “The Last Supper,” for one : MURAL

55. NBA part: Abbr. : NATL

56. Keep __ distance : AT A

57. Pains : AILS

58. 1957 #1 song title that appears in the line after “I’m in love” : ALL SHOOK UP (hiding HOOK)

61. Hunted one : PREY

62. Security lapse : LEAK

63. Dr. Evil portrayer in Austin Powers films : MYERS

64. Lab fluids : SERA

65. Garage sale caveat : AS IS

66. Capital on the Aar : BERNE

Down

1. Masterful ability : PROWESS

2. Soothing brew : LEMON TEA

3. Citrus greenhouse : ORANGERY

4. “I can’t believe I missed that!” : DUH!

5. Wisconsin-based tool manufacturer : SNAP-ON

6. Young adult fiction writer Griffin : ADELE

7. Sphere of influence : REALM

8. Sierra or Yukon : GMC

9. “I’m impressed!” : OOH!

10. Move, roots and all : REPOT

11. Connect to a power source : PLUG IN

12. Dr. Evil’s cohort : MINI-ME

13. Italian sonnet closing : SESTET

18. Subject that may come up in a frank discussion? : BUNS

22. Provided the hands : DEALT

25. Ocean predators : ORCAS

26. Garner : REAP

28. “Su-r-r-r-re” : I BET

32. Pantyhose shade : BEIGE

33. Vegas routine : ACT

34. Tall and thin : LANK

36. Disney daughter of King Triton : ARIEL

37. Masculine principle : YANG

38. Fridge convenience : ICEMAKER

39. Point at which commitment occurs : NO RETURN

42. Neural junction : SYNAPSE

43. Some road atlas pgs. : US MAPS

44. Knight’s attendant : SQUIRE

45. Stone-pushing Winter Olympian : CURLER

47. Those two : BOTH

48. Self-possession : APLOMB

50. Cushy class : EASY A

51. Zhou __ : ENLAI

52. Mardi Gras purchases : MASKS

58. Harper Lee’s home st. : ALA

59. Avignon article : LES

60. Santana’s “__ Como Va” : OYE

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Dec 16, Thursday”

  1. This one filled in pretty fast for a Thursday except the NE which forced me to guess a bit. ELIE Tahari, MINI ME and SESTET all had to be filled via crosses and guesses.

    I had never heard the term self possession to mean “calm and self assured, poised…etc.”, but it does. That’s why I tune in here every day.

    Best –

  2. It’sThrus., so no surprise that I had to Google – for ELIE and ADELE Griffin. Still don’t know them. Young people stuff is getting harder than sports.

    I’ve never heard a SQUEEGIE called a SQUEEGIE MOP, but, Ok.

    Liked the theme. Loved The Caine Mutiny.

  3. @Carrie I posted a link to the Cow jumped over the moon
    COOKIE JAR

    I wouldn’t know how to post my own photo, though.
    Did not finish or even come close on this puzzle.
    Too tough for me. 🙁

  4. Going with the theme of today’s grid I’ll say my effort didn’t leave a (bligh)t upon this puzzle, and completed it pretty quickly, at least for me who likes to linger over these things!

  5. The NE was hard for me too. Had to go to Bill for answers. But not a horrible Thurs. for me. Didn’t understand the “hidden” thing, as the paper had the captains in circles. So, it was very obvious to me. But couldn’t come up with ‘aye, aye’. So….what ever.

  6. I took a long time to finally solve the WSJ daily grid, and after it was done it looked like the Exxon Valdez had run aground on my puzzle carrying a load of black ink. But finished it was! (channeling my inner Yoda)…

  7. A tough puzzle was had by all. I was no exception. The main answers were a big help, and I even got the theme . Yay !
    Late today, because of a funeral. I gave a speech, and praised, extempore. Normally, I am not so good at impromptu speeches, but at my age, who cares. Spoke from the heart. Also was caught, while driving on a highway, in a terrific snow flurry, at 12oF it was all powder snow, the vehicle jack knifed while in the fast lane, our car turned 180+ degrees, but no damage and most importantly, both of us are alive. Someone, up there, is taking good care of us.

    Have a good night, and drive slowly, when the conditions demand it,
    sometimes the coefficient of friction can suddenly reduce to zero.

    Btw, I thought ‘self possession’ was about the movie, ‘The Exorcist”….

    1. Nice job Bill ! You might have written a little more about ORANGERY – I think that it an interesting historical item……….Bruce Haight

      1. Hi there, Bruce.
        Thanks for stopping by, and a bigger thanks for your puzzle today. I wish that we solvers had more opportunity to express our gratitude to the crossword constructing community.

        Your remark about “orangery” is spot on. I really should have elaborated and not skipped over that clue. I’ve added a few words now, thank to your prompt 🙂

    2. Wow, Vidwan! What an experience! I’m glad you’re okay! I grew up driving in horrible winter conditions in Iowa, so I’m not too bad at it, but, even so, at 73, I’ve become a bit of a coward about going out on bad days here in Colorado …

  8. In other news: I just finished doing this week’s WSJ Friday puzzle contest and it was another easy one. (Or maybe I’m getting better at them? Nah … 🙂 … but that is the third one in a row for me!)

  9. This was right in my wheelhouse and I was able to finish in about 14 minutes on paper, although I had to quickly put in the “T” at the end of DOGIT as the web-site was coming up. Almost book-ended with the first movie I ever saw “Jason and the Argonauts” and the first album I ever bought “Santana” (actually “Oye como va” was on their 2nd album “Abraxis”.)

    Welcome to the puzzle author, Bruce Haight. I’d seen ORANGERY once before and took your advice to look into them. Similar to a greenhouse or a conservatory, designed to protect citrus or other tropical trees and plants during cold winters in harsh Winter environments. They’ve been around since the 1500s. Very cool.

  10. Dirk!! Wheelhouse!! I get it!!
    Thanks Pookie — I just KNEW I remembered that photo!
    Vidwan, I’m also very glad you’re okay. Sounds like you had quite a day…..
    Hi Bruce! Thanks for a fun and challenging puzzle ?
    I also had trouble in the NE, as well as the top center. Didn’t know ADELE and had BETA before DEMO. I’m glad I did some of the puzzle earlier in the day; otherwise I probably would have had to cheat my way out.
    Some cute clues here! I like “Garage sale caveat” = AS IS. Nice to see Lauren BACALL here….agree with Bill — lovely actress. Her (first) autobiography, “By Myself,” was a great read and well written, and I’m quite sure she wrote it all herself. No ghost writer.
    !Así que nos vemos el viernes, amigos!
    Be well~~™?

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