LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Dec 16, Tuesday




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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: Ellen

Today’s themed answer each comprise two words, starting the letters L, N (which sounds like “ELLEN”):

  • 62A. Popular afternoon talk show, familiarly, and a homophonic hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers : ELLEN
  • 16A. Shellfish dish in a cream sauce : LOBSTER NEWBERG
  • 24A. Drivers’ ID figures : LICENSE NUMBERS
  • 41A. Chemical used for quick freezing : LIQUID NITROGEN
  • 54A. The Times in Los Angeles, e.g. : LOCAL NEWSPAPER

Bill’s time: 6m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Pilgrim to Mecca : HAJJI

A Haji (also “Hajji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj” or “hajj”.

10. Bay Area airport letters : SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) serves as the main base of operations for Virgin America (recently sold to Alaska Airlines), and is also the maintenance hub for United Airlines.

15. Head, slangily : NOB

The slang term “nob” has been used for “head” for over 300 years, and is a variant of “knob”.

16. Shellfish dish in a cream sauce : LOBSTER NEWBERG

Lobster Newberg is a rich dish made from lobster with butter, cream, cognac, sherry, eggs and Cayenne pepper. The dish was created by one Ben Wenberg for Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City in 1876, and was listed on the menu as Lobster à la Wenberg. Wenberg and the restaurant owner had a falling out, and so the restaurant owner renamed the dish to Lobster à la Newberg.

19. WWII spy gp. : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

21. Poetic tribute : ELEGY

Perhaps the most famous elegy in the English language is that written by Thomas Gray, completed in 1750. His “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is the source of many oft-quoted phrases, including:

  • Celestial fire
  • Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Kindred spirit

29. Genetic material : DNA

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.

31. Swiss currency : FRANC

Not only is the Swiss Franc legal tender in Switzerland, it is also the money used in Liechtenstein as well as the Italian exclave of Campione d’Italia.

33. Clotheshorse : FOP

“Clotheshorse” is an informal term used for a person who is into dressing fashionably. Not a term ever used to describe me, I must say …

36. “My gal” of song : SAL

“My Gal Sal” is a song written by composer Paul Dresser. “My Gal Sal” is also the name of the movie recounting Dresser’s life made in 1942. It stars Victor Mature as Dresser, and Rita Hayworth as Sally “Sal” Elliott.

40. Irritant “in your side” : THORN

A thorn in the side (often “thorn in the flesh”) is an idiom describing an irritant. The phrase comes from the Second Epistle to the Corinthians in the Christian Bible:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

48. Ark builder : NOAH

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

51. Texter’s “Wow!” : OMG

OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! or any other G words you might think of …

54. The Times in Los Angeles, e.g. : LOCAL NEWSPAPER

The “Los Angeles Times” newspaper started out life in 1881 as the “Los Angeles Daily Times”. The paper has a turbulent history, especially in the early 1900s when management and unions were at loggerheads. In 1910, two union members bombed the “Los Angeles Times” building causing a fire that killed 21 newspaper employees.

58. Moon goddess : LUNA

“Luna” is the Latin word for “moon”, and is the name given to the Roman moon goddess. The Greek equivalent of Luna was Selene. Luna had a temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome but it was destroyed during the Great Fire that raged during the reign of Nero.

59. Eastern guru : SWAMI

A swami is a religious teacher in the Hindu tradition. The word “swami” can also mean “husband” in the Bengali and Malay languages.

60. Part of wpm: Abbr. : WDS

Words per minute (WPM)

61. Capp of comics : ANDY

“Andy Capp” is a comic strip from Britain that is syndicated internationally. The strip was created by Reg Smythe in 1957 and is still going strong, despite the fact that Smythe passed away in 1998. Andy Capp and his wife Florrie (also “Flo”) are working class characters who live in the northeast of England. Andy is unemployed and Flo works as a charwoman. “Andy Capp” was my favorite comic strip growing up …

62. Popular afternoon talk show, familiarly, and a homophonic hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers : ELLEN

Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian in a scene with her therapist, who was played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

Down

1. Saintly glow : HALO

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo”, used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

3. Steve who co-founded Apple : JOBS

Apple Computers was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. The company incorporated the following year, but without Wayne. He sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak, for $800 …

7. Tool needed at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry : WAND

In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

9. Apple computer discontinued in 2006 : POWER MAC

Apple made a line of workstation personal computers called Power Macintosh (and then simply “Power Mac”). The line was introduced in 1994 and last produced in 2006.

12. MDs that bring out the kid in you? : OB/GYNS

Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)

23. __ bone (no laughing matter, really) : FUNNY

The ulnar nerve runs alongside the ulna (one of the bones in the lower arm). The ulnar nerve is the largest unprotected (not surrounded by muscle or bone) nerve in the human body. The nerve can be touched under the skin at the outside of the elbow. Striking the nerve at this point causes and an electric-type shock, known as hitting one’s “funny bone” or “crazy bone”.

24. ChapStick targets : LIPS

ChapStick is a brand name of lip balm owned by Pfizer, although it is so popular that the term tends to be used generically. ChapStick was invented way back in the 1880s by a Dr. Charles Browne Fleet in Lynchburg, Virginia.

27. Minn. neighbor : NDAK

North Dakota’s state capital is Bismarck, and the largest city is Fargo. The list of state nicknames includes the Peace Garden State, the Roughrider State and the Flickertail State.

31. “Slush” moneys : FUNDS

A “slush fund” is a sum of money that is held in reserve, or in the case of illicit dealings, that is used for paying bribes.

35. State founder William : PENN

William Penn was given a huge land grant in America by King Charles II, because the king owed Penn’s father a lot of money. Penn took up residence on this side of the Atlantic and called his new holding “New Wales”. He later changed this name to “Sylvania” (the Latin for “forest”) and finally to “Pennsylvania”.

37. Exacta relative : QUINELLA

The bet called a “quinella” is one in which the better must name the first two finishers, but not necessarily in the right order. The term comes from the French word “quine”, the word that also gave us the name of the casino game called Keno.

To win a bet called an exacta (also called a “perfecta”), the person betting must name the horses that finish first and second, and in the exact order. The related bet called the trifecta requires naming of the first, second and third-place finishers in the right order.

44. __ Major: Big Dipper constellation : URSA

The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

46. Mattel specialty : TOYS

Mattel is the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Mattel was founded by Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler in 1945, and they chose the company name by combining “Matt” with “El-liot” giving “Matt-el”.

51. October birthstone : OPAL

Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

52. Viral internet phenomenon : MEME

A “meme” (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Pilgrim to Mecca : HAJJI

6. Give and take : SWAP

10. Bay Area airport letters : SFO

13. Hang trimmings on : ADORN

14. Folded Mexican fare : TACO

15. Head, slangily : NOB

16. Shellfish dish in a cream sauce : LOBSTER NEWBERG

19. WWII spy gp. : OSS

20. Feature of some sweatshirts : HOOD

21. Poetic tribute : ELEGY

22. Subtle facial signal : WINK

23. Ready for ice skating : FROZEN

24. Drivers’ ID figures : LICENSE NUMBERS

28. Convention clip-on : ID TAG

29. Genetic material : DNA

30. Fringe benefit : PERK

31. Swiss currency : FRANC

33. Clotheshorse : FOP

36. “My gal” of song : SAL

37. Visibly nervous : QUAKY

38. Exhort : URGE

39. Prefix with cycle : UNI-

40. Irritant “in your side” : THORN

41. Chemical used for quick freezing : LIQUID NITROGEN

47. Stores, as ashes : INURNS

48. Ark builder : NOAH

49. Rub off the board : ERASE

50. “Will you let me?” : MAY I?

51. Texter’s “Wow!” : OMG

54. The Times in Los Angeles, e.g. : LOCAL NEWSPAPER

57. Acorn tree : OAK

58. Moon goddess : LUNA

59. Eastern guru : SWAMI

60. Part of wpm: Abbr. : WDS

61. Capp of comics : ANDY

62. Popular afternoon talk show, familiarly, and a homophonic hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers : ELLEN

Down

1. Saintly glow : HALO

2. Big fusses : ADOS

3. Steve who co-founded Apple : JOBS

4. Some sons: Abbr. : JRS

5. Latest fad : IN THING

6. Scoring unit, in golf : STROKE

7. Tool needed at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry : WAND

8. Expert : ACE

9. Apple computer discontinued in 2006 : POWER MAC

10. Hay fever symptom : SNEEZE

11. Painter of fakes : FORGER

12. MDs that bring out the kid in you? : OB/GYNS

17. Ages : EONS

18. Oozy gunk : BLOB

22. Watered down : WEAK

23. __ bone (no laughing matter, really) : FUNNY

24. ChapStick targets : LIPS

25. Creative process output : IDEA

26. PC key : CTRL

27. Minn. neighbor : NDAK

31. “Slush” moneys : FUNDS

32. Word with drop or fall : RAIN

33. Kissable fairy tale figure : FROG

34. Less kissable fairy tale figure : OGRE

35. State founder William : PENN

37. Exacta relative : QUINELLA

38. “I was afraid of this” : UH-OH

40. Walk aimlessly : TRAIPSE

41. Stay under the radar : LIE LOW

42. Bit of progress : INROAD

43. Duck calls : QUACKS

44. __ Major: Big Dipper constellation : URSA

45. More or less : IN A WAY

46. Mattel specialty : TOYS

50. Fix : MEND

51. October birthstone : OPAL

52. Viral internet phenomenon : MEME

53. Put on a happy face : GRIN

55. Religious sister : NUN

56. Leatherwork tool : AWL

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20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Dec 16, Tuesday”

  1. No issues with this one. I saw the theme relatively early. ELLEN seems to be a current obsession with setters for some reason. Seen her a lot lately. I guess these things go in cycles.

    SFO and OAK in today’s grid. The last time I flew into SFO I lost my sunglasses. Please return them to me if you found any…I used to like flying into and out of the Oakland airport, but they stopped running direct flights there from Houston. It was usually cheaper and less stressful. It always amused me when the biggest claim to fame of Oakland airport was “The Best Views of San Francisco” – which was a large ad in the middle of the airport. I don’t know if it’s still there.

    @Pookie
    What an awful way to spend the holidays. I hope it’s the type of bug that goes away quickly.

    Best –

  2. I had a great time with this puzzle despite the fact that I did not know Quinella, and Inurns (?) and some others. Lobster Newberg, I’ve heard of, but never tasted. As an aside, I assume Mr. Ben Wenberg, was probably, certainly, not jewish, since lobsters are definitely, not considered kosher.

    In one of my earlier jobs, I had worked with liquid nitrogen. It acts just like a liquid, very bubbly and smoky, ofcourse, and can freeze a long stemmed (!) rose, in five seconds flat. I was however not aware that it was used for quick freezing, on a commercial scale. Make sense.

    The word, ‘swami’ ( unlike the word ‘guru’) can also be used as a pejorative, both in India and the in the west. Too many magicians use swami as their middle name ….. Although Swami Vivekananda was a profound philosopher, the word, especially in current use, has fallen into some disrepute, because of self professed swamis who have had an indifferent reputation.

    Finally, ….. and I want to tread very delicately on this matter ….. the requirement for the trip of a Haj ( or Hadj) is one of the central tenets or requirements of Islam, for those financially or otherwise capable of doing so. However, certain sub-sects, ( the Shia Ismailis/Aga Khan(is) and certain Ahmediyyas – followers of Ghulam Ahmed, come to mind – ) are sometimes provided, by their leaders, with an alternative to this arduous journey. Also many of them, are forbidden by the state of Saudi Arabia, from even entering the kingdom, making such a trip, an impossibility. Google this, if interested.

    Carrie, from yesterday, Schroedinger’s uncertainty principle, is based on a concept that, say, ‘light’ is sometimes a wave of particles, and sometimes just packets of energy, with no mass ( or weight) – which enables it to travel through a vacuum. Jeff, would certainly explain it better. ( I never really understood it completely, myself -).

    Have a nice day, all.

  3. @Bill
    Could you please look at your moderation queue. I linked a reference to “Wordplay” in response to Carrie’s comment yesterday, so evidently it made it there.

    @Dave (the other blog)
    I’d link another post, but from what I gather, the symmetry rule comes from acrostic puzzles, where getting the list of words would spell out other words in other ways, even make complete sentences. While no one really knows exactly why that rule came about, it seems to fit. I will say though, that in learning how to make grids as I have of late that, while it can be a bit constricting, it does help in keeping a degree of order to what you’re trying to accomplish and enables a good rule or two when it comes to stats.

  4. @Jeff
    Just had to offer a thought: ELLEN is the new OPRAH (remember how many times she showed up when she was on?). When it comes to selecting things to try to give a grid a “pop culture” vibe, it’s not hard to come to mind, especially given the vowels.

    Have a nice rest of the day, everyone! 🙂

  5. @Vidwan827 — Me, too, on Quinella (worth Googling for its distinction from exacta/perfecta and trifecta), and Inurns (desperation-level reach on that one, IMHO).

  6. Quinella. Is that any relation to a chinchilla? Just kidding, I think. I thought this was more challenging that our usual Tuesday grids have been. But everyone else seems to have breezed through this one so maybe I’m just working off my “sugar” hangover from Christmas cookies which I devoured like a cross between the Cookie Monster and Godzilla…

  7. @ Vidwan, Carrie and Jeff. Thanks for your sympathy. Yeah, it was a rotten way to spend Christmas.
    As to today’s puzzle-no walk in the park for me, Tony.
    AURA/HALO SWAY/SWAP LAY LOW/LIE LOW SHAKY/QUAKY.
    Never heard of NOB…head, slangily.
    Favorite clue MDs that bring out the kid in you? : OB/GYNS 🙂
    Least favorite IN THING.
    @Carrie I’m always glad when the pressure of Christmas decorating, shopping, mailing. exchanging, and choir performances are behind me. Now, where am I going to put all the stuff and eat all the stuff we got for presents?

  8. “Inurn???” Really? Anyone out there an undertaker? Have you ever heard or used this word? I’ll bet that even the constructor was not happy with that one!

    @Bill – I may be mistaken , but I think that a person who bets is a bettor, not a “better (unless he/she wins the quinella!)”.

    Hope everyone’s Christmas/first night of Hanukkah was happy. Spent Christmas Eve with the mother-in-law and her family. It wasn’t too bad actually. She should have asked me to cook though!

  9. @Vidwan from last Friday.
    I looked at the trailer for
    LA LA LAND
    I gave up at 0:28 when he was pretending to play the piano. His right hand is in the wrong register (should be up and octave) and the ending run is actually one hand crossing over the other instead of just the right hand.
    I don’t think I could take it!:-)
    And no, there is no similarity. We were both jazz musicians ( real jazz) when we met on the east coast.:-)

  10. Pookie, I just happened to look at the blog …..
    Re: La La Land – you would think, in such sophisticated film productions, that they would hire a real pianist, atleast for technical advice …. After all, there are a score of voice experts / dialect therapists teaching the actors/actresses from the British Isles, on how to speak american english, so that they can be easily understood, on this side of the pond. A couple of pianists should have been mandatory for a movie like this. After all they hire baseball players, aviation pilots, chess grandmasters, NASA engineers etc. for authenticity and accurate depiction.

    Did you know, that the entire dance ballet sequences in Flashdance, was not Jennifer Beales, but a professional ballet dancer, Ms. Marine Jahan, who was her body dance double. ? and that she was not credited, AT ALL, in the movie ? . What a terrible shame !!@!!!

    1. @Vidwan – And then there’s poor Marnie Nixon, who dubbed vocals for many a star who couldn’t sing. No credit on the films, but she did finally get the acclaim she deserved.

  11. @all
    My first post of today ended up on the post queue for yesterday for some reason, which was mainly comments on puzzles but some to a few people too.

    @Tony Michaels
    I did about 98% of WSJ 12/24 pretty quickly (for me), especially compared to the other 2 21×21’s on Sunday (LAT, NYT). Didn’t have the time to go ahead and finish. So I would say easier than the norm I’m used to in WSJ land…of course the site that serves the PUZ for that is down, so I can’t check answers too readily. Of course, being an online-type, I can’t check the Saturday AT ALL since they don’t post the answer to it AT ALL..

  12. @Vidwan yes I knew that about Flashdance.
    Marni Nixon overdubbed for The King and I, West side Story, My Fair Lady and TONS of other actresses and I don’t she ever got credit.
    Sammy Davis playing flugelhorn in a Man called Adam. Horrors!
    Robert DeNiro playin tenor sax in NY, NY. Pitiful!
    At least Sal Mineo did a great job playing the right cymbals and the right drums in the Gene Krupa story, even though it was really Gene Krupas playing.
    Don’t get me started on Moulin Rouge Nicole Kidman.
    Give me the days when Gene Kelly did the whole number from beginning to end. Hrumph

    1. @Pookie – Did you know that Gene Kelly filmed the “Singin’ in the Rain” number with a bad flu and a 102°F fever? Now THAT’S a trooper! Think of that when next you watch it; he DOES look a bit loopy.

      1. @Justjoel — Not trying to be pedantic here, but passing it along because you might get tripped up by it (as I did?) in a puzzle: a TROOPER is a cop, specialized soldier or the like. A dedicated theatrical performer is a TROUPER (from “troupe”).

  13. Finished pretty quickly, around 15 minutes on paper. Had a little trouble with the B in BLOB, and like everyone else QUINELLA and INURNS. I just let the crosses help me fill those in.

  14. Hi everyone!!
    Fuzzle! Challenging but clever.
    Lobster Newberg — wow. Sounds so elegant. I can barely make Tuna Helper.
    @Glenn, yes I figured some of y’all would know about Schrodinger’s Puzzles, but it was new to me, and I want to try one!

    Bill! I’m glad you say that OMG can mean oh my GOSH!!! I never use it here cuz I don’t want to offend anyone but now I will use it!

    @Pookie re. piano playing: OMG that would bug me soooo much!! I can probably tolerate with piano as I don’t play, but I DO play guitar, and it irks me to no end when I see someone pretending to play, in a movie or on TV, and they’ve got it totally wrong. How do they not have pros to advise??!
    As for accent malfunctions — Dick Van Dyke in “Mary Poppins”….Groan….
    Sweet dreams~~™✌?

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