LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Dec 16, Monday




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Constructed by: Mel Rosen

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Word Worrd

Today’s themed answers comprise two words. The second word is the same as the first, but with a consonant doubled:

  • 20A. Pilfered German fruit bread? : STOLEN STOLLEN
  • 32A. Evidence of Russia’s currency collapse? : RUBLE RUBBLE
  • 42A. “Mister Ed” dot? : TITLE TITTLE
  • 54A. Final course in the Sahara? : DESERT DESSERT

Bill’s time: 8m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Cartoonist Addams : CHAS

Chas Addams was a cartoonist. Addams didn’t draw a cartoon strip but rather individual cartoons, although many of his cartoons did feature regular characters. His most famous characters were the members of the Addams Family, who were published in single-panel cartoons between 1938 and 1988 in “The New Yorker”. The Addams Family moved onto the small and big screens starting in 1964.

14. ___-poly : ROLY

The term “roly-poly” applies to several things, including a game in which a ball is “rolled” into holes on a board or table. A roly-poly is also cake-like dessert made from dough that has been spread out flat and then rolled up into the shape of a cylinder.

15. French painter of café scenes : MANET

Édouard Manet was a French painter whose works are mainly classified as Realist. Manet was friends with Impressionists masters like Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and greatly influenced the Impressionist movement. The list of Manet’s marvelous paintings includes “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe”, “Le Repose” and “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère”.

16. Smallest American coin : DIME

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

17. Mil. no-show : AWOL

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

18. “Fear of Flying” author Jong : ERICA

The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later, Jong wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

19. Herr’s home : HAUS

In Germany, a “Mr.” (Herr) is married to a “Mrs.” (Frau), and they live together in a house (Haus).

20. Pilfered German fruit bread? : STOLEN STOLLEN

“Stollen” is a lovely fruit bread made with dried fruit, nuts and spices. The bread is especially popular at Christmas, when it is called “Weihnachtsstollen” (referring to Christmas Eve) and “Christstollen” (referring to Christ).

32. Evidence of Russia’s currency collapse? : RUBLE RUBBLE

The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as several other countries of the former Soviet Union. One ruble is divided into one hundred kopecks (also “kopeks”).

37. Sch. in Charlottesville : UVA

The University of Virginia (UVA) was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who sat on the original Board of Visitors alongside former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus was built on land near Charlottesville that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

42. “Mister Ed” dot? : TITLE TITTLE

A “tittle” is a small diacritical mark used in writing, such as a cedilla or tilde used in some languages, or the dot over the lowercase letters i and j in English.

The sitcom “Mister Ed” first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed’s “voice” was that of actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later made frequent appearances on the show “Green Acres”.

46. Cotton thread : LISLE

Lisle is a cotton fabric that has been through an extra process at the end of its manufacture that burns off lint and the ends of fibers leaving the fabric very smooth and with a clean edge.

47. Tortoni’s cousin : SPUMONE

Spumone (plural “spumoni”) is an Italian dessert, one made with a mixture of three ice cream flavors and containing candied fruit and nuts.

Biscuit Tortoni is an ice cream dessert made with eggs and heavy cream and usually enhanced with a couple of teaspoons of rum. “Tortoni” was apparently an 18th century owner of an Italian café in Paris.

50. Pentathlon blades : EPEES

The original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic games consisted of a foot race, wrestling, long jump, javelin and discus. When a new pentathlon was created as a sport for the modern Olympic Games, it was given the name the “modern pentathlon”. First introduced in 1912, the modern pentathlon consists of:

  1. pistol shooting
  2. épée fencing
  3. 200m freestyle swimming
  4. show jumping
  5. 3 km cross-country running

54. Final course in the Sahara? : DESERT DESSERT

The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

58. B-movie safecracker : YEGG

“Yegg” is a slang word for a burglar and often for a safe-cracker. The origin of the term appears to be unknown.

62. Length times width : AREA

The area of a rectangle is its length multiplied by its width.

63. Infamous skater Harding : TONYA

Tonya Harding won the US Figure Skating Championships in 1991. Harding’s reputation was greatly tarnished in the run up to the 1994 Olympics, when her former husband and her bodyguard contracted someone to attack Harding’s main competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. During a practice session for the US Championship, a hired thug assaulted Kerrigan with police baton, attempting to break her leg. Kerrigan was forced to withdraw, and Harding won the championship. Both Harding and Kerrigan were selected for the Olympic team, and despite attempts to get Harding removed, both skated at the Games in Lillehammer. Harding finished in eighth place, and Kerrigan won the silver medal. Harding admitted that she helped cover up the attack when she found out about it, and was stripped of her US Championship title.

64. Hall of Fame catcher Carlton : FISK

Carlton “Pudge” Fisk is a retired professional baseball player. Fisk played for both the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox.

66. After-lunch sandwiches : OREOS

The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

Down

4. One of two in seven : SYLLABLE

There are two syllables in the word “seven”.

5. Chorus from the pews : AMEN!

A pew is a bench in a church, usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

6. Some “Wheel” prizes : CARS

Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since the game show first aired in 1975.

8. Fake drake, say : DECOY

A male duck is called a “drake” and a female duck is called a “duck”, or sometimes a “hen”.

12. Rhea’s Aussie relative : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

The rhea is a flightless bird native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek titan Rhea, an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

13. Hôtel __ Invalides: Paris landmark : DES

The Hôtel des Invalides is a building complex in Paris that was opened in the 1600s as a home and hospital for unwell and aged soldiers. Today, the complex includes several museums and monuments that relate to France’s military history. The magnificent former chapel known as the Dôme des Invalides houses several tombs, and is most notably the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte.

21. Author __ Stanley Gardner : ERLE

I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

25. Part of USNA : NAVAL

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

32. Hayworth and Rudner : RITAS

Rita Hayworth was born in Brooklyn as Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her father was a flamenco dancer from Spain and so his daughter fell naturally into dancing. The family moved to Hollywood where Hayworth’s father set up a dance studio, and there worked with the likes of James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The young Hayworth had a slow start in movies, finding herself typecast because of her Mediterranean features. When she underwent extensive electrolysis to change her forehead and dyed her hair red, she started to get more work (how sad is that?). In 1941 she posed for that famous pin-up picture which accompanied GIs all over the world.

Rita Rudner is a very funny comedian from Miami, Florida. For over ten years now, Rudner has been performing almost exclusively in Las Vegas.

33. Seize illegally : USURP

“To usurp” is to seize and hold by force, say the power or authority of a ruler. The term “usurp” comes to us from Latin via French, from “usus” (a use) and “rapere” (to seize).

35. Matzo __: Jewish egg dish : BREI

Matzah brei (translated as “fried matzah”) is a traditional Jewish dish made from matzo fried with eggs.

Matzo is a unleavened bread, that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating Matzo meal that is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.

36. Back muscles, in the gym : LATS

The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.

42. Dance floor units : TWOS

It does indeed take two to tango.

43. Sights in la Méditerranée : ILES

In French, the Mediterranean (la Méditerranée) is a sea (mer) containing “îles” (islands).

45. Pricey watches : OMEGAS

Omega is a manufacturer of high-end watches based in Switzerland. An Omega watch was the first portable timepiece to make it to the moon.

49. Mistake in the field : ERROR

That would be a baseball field.

52. Dadaist Max : ERNST

Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914” a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.

56. Belafonte classic : DAY-O

“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” is a traditional folk song from Jamaica. It is sung from the standpoint of dock workers unloading boats on the night shift, so daylight has come, and they want to go home. The most famous version of “Day-O” was recorded by Harry Belafonte, in 1956.

The singer and actor Harry Belafonte is of Caribbean descent, from Jamaica through his mother’s heritage, and from Martinique through his father. Born in New York City, Belafonte came to be known as the “King of Calypso”. His most famous recording is 1956’s “The Banana Boat Song”, and I suspect that his most famous movie performance is in Otto Preminger’s “Carmen Jones”.

57. Gaslight and Big Band : ERAS

The first US city to use gas streetlights was Baltimore, in 1816. The first private residence to be use gas illumination was in Philadelphia. The proliferation of gas lighting was largely driven by economics, as gaslight cost about 75$ less than oil lamps or candles. Gas lighting was also brighter and cleaner.

58. Deviate from a course : YAW

The word “yaw” means to deviate from the line of a course and is used mainly at sea. “Yaw” is derived from the Old Norse word “jaege” which means “to drive, chase”. As such, “yaw” is etymologically related to our word “yacht”.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Cartoonist Addams : CHAS

5. Sour substances : ACIDS

10. Parroted : APED

14. ___-poly : ROLY

15. French painter of café scenes : MANET

16. Smallest American coin : DIME

17. Mil. no-show : AWOL

18. “Fear of Flying” author Jong : ERICA

19. Herr’s home : HAUS

20. Pilfered German fruit bread? : STOLEN STOLLEN

23. Up until now : SO FAR

24. Timeline start : YEAR ONE

27. Play at the highest volume, as a radio : BLAST

31. Bravery award : MEDAL

32. Evidence of Russia’s currency collapse? : RUBLE RUBBLE

37. Sch. in Charlottesville : UVA

38. Words said with a nod : I SEE

39. Jeweled headpiece : TIARA

40. Stadium ticket designation : SEAT

41. Harbor puller : TUG

42. “Mister Ed” dot? : TITLE TITTLE

44. Bow and __ : ARROW

46. Cotton thread : LISLE

47. Tortoni’s cousin : SPUMONE

50. Pentathlon blades : EPEES

54. Final course in the Sahara? : DESERT DESSERT

58. B-movie safecracker : YEGG

60. Cheering noisily : AROAR

61. “Yes __?”: ultimatum words : OR NO

62. Length times width : AREA

63. Infamous skater Harding : TONYA

64. Hall of Fame catcher Carlton : FISK

65. Marries : WEDS

66. After-lunch sandwiches : OREOS

67. Lavish bash : FETE

Down

1. Rude and crude : CRASS

2. Genre for do-it-yourselfers : HOW-TO

3. Distant and cool : ALOOF

4. One of two in seven : SYLLABLE

5. Chorus from the pews : AMEN!

6. Some “Wheel” prizes : CARS

7. “What’s __ for me?” : IN IT

8. Fake drake, say : DECOY

9. Opposite of fresh : STALE

10. Stick (to) : ADHERE

11. Keyboard work for two : PIANO DUET

12. Rhea’s Aussie relative : EMU

13. Hôtel __ Invalides: Paris landmark : DES

21. Author __ Stanley Gardner : ERLE

22. Like a weak excuse : LAME

25. Part of USNA : NAVAL

26. Make more than merry : ELATE

28. Intro-to-painting course : ART I

29. Exec’s three-piece : SUIT

30. Little League precursor : T-BALL

32. Hayworth and Rudner : RITAS

33. Seize illegally : USURP

34. Gave reluctantly : BEGRUDGED

35. Matzo __: Jewish egg dish : BREI

36. Back muscles, in the gym : LATS

40. Measures by pacing : STEPS OFF

42. Dance floor units : TWOS

43. Sights in la Méditerranée : ILES

45. Pricey watches : OMEGAS

48. “Gee, cool!” : NEATO!

49. Mistake in the field : ERROR

51. Creepy : EERIE

52. Dadaist Max : ERNST

53. Tend to the flames : STOKE

55. Musical quality : TONE

56. Belafonte classic : DAY-O

57. Gaslight and Big Band : ERAS

58. Deviate from a course : YAW

59. Before, in odes : ERE

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Dec 16, Monday”

  1. This Monday pussle was supposed to be easy, but it turned out surprisingly but. I finally finished it, and the charming theme, and enjoyed the effort very much.

    Busy day today, I hope I get thru allright.

    I read the Sat and Sunday puzzles, and especially the comments. Very, very delightful.

    Have a great day, and a great week, and Happy Seasons Greetings.
    Prepare for a great Christmas, and a great Kwanzaa and all other happy celebrations.
    Is it that special time already ?

  2. One of my favorite words “yegg”. I knew someone who told me that his grandfather had been a yegg, not something you encounter all that often.

  3. Indeed more challenging that most Mondays. I wish more of them were like this. A few things I had to guess or get via crosses – e.g. YEGG (although I think I remember it from previous xwords), TITTLE and BREI.

    As for having fewer posters on Sundays – I think it’s a combination of the longer puzzle, people doing other things on Sundays, and the fact that a lot of newspapers carry different puzzles on Sundays. For example, the Houston Chronicle switches to the NY Times on Sundays after running the LA Times all week.

    Off to Monterrey, Mexico (a 50 minute flight from Houston) for the next 2 days. I’ll check in when/if I get a chance.

    Best –

  4. Hi all! This is a generally nice and encouraging group, even if it’s not always about the puzzles…so I’m here. 🙂 As for past puzzles, one dumb error on Saturday and three dumb errors on Sunday. As for Saturday, I think it was easier than the general LAT baseline. Couple of spots were hard to knock through but nothing that didn’t fall quickly enough. As for Sunday, 20D was a very rare for LAT trick entry, which was almost expected.

    As for Sunday grids in general, I’ve mentioned it as of late. They’re bigger, so they take longer and can take a lot more concentration. Coupled with the difficulty they can be at times, they can turn into not challenging hard (e.g. Sat), but boring hard (“chore” and “slog” get used there too). Then, as was mentioned, there’s always a plethora of other things people are doing (including other “Sunday special” grids like Reagle or the Washington Post) that might preclude a crack at the LAT. Personally, I can’t be around on Sundays, or I probably would be commenting…

    In other news, I ended up finishing all the late week NYT grids for the first time (and relatively on-time), including zero-erroring Saturday and Sunday. Always something encouraging somewhere, I suppose. 🙂

    1. Commented over on Bill’s other blog, too. Nice to see that I had some of the same problems on Thu and Fri that others did. 🙂

  5. 8:54, no errors, iPad. I agree that this puzzle was a little harder than the usual Monday outing – and I’m glad to find out it wasn’t just me … 🙂

    @Carrie … Getting everyone from the airport to my ex’s place took a lot longer than it normally would have, but it wasn’t as white-knuckled a trip as I thought it might be, either, so all is well (except for a missing suitcase) and my 21-month-old granddaughter got to learn a new word: Snow! Snow. Snow? (Repeat endlessly with varying intonations to enjoy the full impact of this … 🙂 ) Meanwhile, her 8-year-old big brother was teaching me about “water bottle flipping” and “mannequin challenges”. And I discovered a song called “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” that I swear I had never heard before, though everyone else present seemed to be familiar with it …

  6. I am soooo grateful my first grade teacher never told me to tittle my i’s. That might have sunk my academic career right there. Seriously, who thinks of these things? And why? Thanks to Bill for ‘splaining it, though!

    Anyone else humming “Come, Mr. Tallyman, and tally me bananas”? I think I preferr this to endless Jingle Bells.

    Happy Christmas season, everyone-

  7. Too challenging for me. Had ELopE instead of ELATE, Don’t know from Southern schools,but kept wondering what a SEAp was in a stadium. Since I also don’t know from sports, figured I’d find out here.
    Furthermore, I left -ISK without the F cuz I don’t know from sports, and frankly never heard of STEPS OFF meaning “measuring by pacing.”

    I’ve stopped doing Friday and Saturday puzzles. Too much of a slog.

    I did sing the Belafonte air.

  8. Naticky at BREI/LISLE but guessed right.
    I really didn’t get that syllable clue until later. Sheesh.
    MANET/Monet?
    TONYA/ Tany
    Lots of guessing today.

  9. Tougher Monday than usual for me as well. Finished without error in about 18 minutes and learned TITTLE as a new word.

    I usually don’t do Sundays because I have to do them on-line and since I only have 6.5 Mb/s, the delays can drive me nuts.

  10. Hi gang!!
    I can’t believe I was one letter off here! Had KEGG, came to the blog, and realized I HAD also seen YEGG before! Just couldn’t remember it, and didn’t know YAW anyway.
    Other than that, I thought it was a cute puzzle, and it went quickly. Now HERE’S something funny: I had DUCKY before DECOY!! It works as a “fake drake,” amiright??? My mind goes to cute rubber duckies!! ?
    Did someone here say that Hanukkah starts on Christmas Eve? That works out well– I’m having a few people of varying backgrounds over on the 24th, so we’ll have a lot to celebrate. ?❇??
    Hey David, I’m liking the fact that your little granddaughter learned “snow” while seeing it. Raised in So Cal, I didn’t see snow until I was about ten. I remember being SO surprised by the way it felt. I think I expected whipped cream….!!?
    Jeff, have fun! 50 minute flight–wow!
    Sweet dreams~~™?

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