LA Times Crossword 21 Dec 18, Friday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: L-Ending Out

Themed answers are common phrases in which we leave OUT the ENDING letter L:

  • 64A. Allowing use of, as a library does … or, in three parts, a hint to four puzzle answers : LENDING OUT (or, “L-ENDING OUT”)
  • 17A. Cartoon drawing of Rip Van Winkle? : SLEEPER CEL (from “sleeper cell”)
  • 24A. Decoration for a Tinseltown party gift? : HOLLYWOOD BOW (from “Hollywood Bowl”)
  • 39A. Dismiss a disobedient film computer? : FIRE HAL (from “fire hall”)
  • 51A. Dixie hospitality, e.g.? : SOUTHERN DRAW (from “Southern drawl”)

Bill’s time: 9m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Lying lion in “The Lion King” : SCAR

In the 1994 movie “The Lion King”, the protagonist is Simba, the lion cub born to Mufasa and Sarabi. The main antagonist is Scar, Simba’s uncle and Mufasa’s brother. Simba is voiced by Matthew Broderick, and Scar is voiced by Jeremy Irons.

14. Colleague of Samuel and Sonia : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

15. Yorkshire river : OUSE

“Ouse” is the name of several rivers in England, most notably the Great Ouse in Yorkshire. The name comes from the Celtic word “usa” meaning “water”.

17. Cartoon drawing of Rip Van Winkle? : SLEEPER CEL (from “sleeper cell”)

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

“Rip Van Winkle” is a short story written by Washington Irving. The story was an instant hit, and was adapted for the stage just a few years after its first publication in 1819. Since then “Rip” has featured on the small screen, big screen and even in an operetta.

19. Camera part : IRIS

The iris diaphragm of a lens is analogous to the iris of the eye, in that it is the opening through which light passes. The size of that aperture changes the amount of light passing through the lens. The size of the aperture is routinely referred to as the f-stop, and can be varied on many cameras.

21. “We need to get a cat!” : EEK!

Eek! There’s a mouse!

24. Decoration for a Tinseltown party gift? : HOLLYWOOD BOW (from “Hollywood Bowl”)

The amphitheatre known as the Hollywood Bowl has a very distinctive white, arched cover over the stage, which sort of looks like an upturned bowl. That said, the Hollywood Bowl actually takes its name from the concave depression in which it sits, surrounded by the Hollywood Hills.

Back in the mid-1400s, the word “tinsel” applied to cloth into which was woven gold or silver thread. The term came from the Middle French word “estincelle” meaning “spark, spangle”, which ultimately derived from the Latin “scintilla” meaning “spark”. By the end of the 1500s, “tinsel” described thin strip of shiny metal. The word “Tinseltown” wasn’t applied to Hollywood until 1972.

27. Seat for a shot : STOOL

That would be a barstool.

30. Piedmont province : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

31. Orchestral gong : TAM-TAM

The tam-tam is a gong that also goes by the names “chau gong” or “bullseye gong”. It is the kind of gong that has become part of a symphony orchestra, having been introduced by French composer François-Joseph Gossec in 1790.

33. Salem winter hrs. : PST

Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.

39. Dismiss a disobedient film computer? : FIRE HAL (from “fire hall”)

In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

Depending on where you live, you might find a fire trucks in a firehouse, fire station or fire hall.

43. “Oliver Twist” type : WAIF

“Oliver Twist” is a novel by Charles Dickens. It is a popular tale for adaptation to the big screen. There were two silent film versions, in 1909 and 1922, and the first talkie version was released in 1933, with many to follow. The latest “Oliver” for the big screen was a 2005 Roman Polanski production.

48. “Insecure” Emmy nominee __ Rae : ISSA

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

51. Dixie hospitality, e.g.? : SOUTHERN DRAW (from “Southern drawl”)

“Dixie” is a nickname sometimes used for the American South, and often specifically for the original 11 states that seceded from the Union just prior to the Civil War. It’s apparently not certain how the name “Dixie” came about. One theory is that it comes from the term “dixie” which was used for currency issued by banks in Louisiana. The 10-dollar bills had the word “dix” on the reverse side, the French for “ten”. From the banknote, the French speaking area around New Orleans came to be known as Dixieland, and from there “Dixie” came to apply to the South in general.

58. Macabre monogram : EAP

Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and in dire need of medical help. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

59. Name of two of Henry VIII’s wives : ANNE

Famously, King Henry VIII had six queens consort. There is a rhyme that is commonly used to help remember the fates of each of his wives, which goes:

King Henry the Eighth, to six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded.

The use of the term “divorce” isn’t quite accurate though, as in fact Henry had two of his marriages annulled. His wives (and their fates) were:

  1. Catherine of Aragon (Annulled),
  2. Anne Boleyn (Beheaded),
  3. Jane Seymour (Died)
  4. Anne of Cleves (Annulled),
  5. Catherine Howard (Beheaded),
  6. Catherine Parr (Survived).

Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII of England. Anne was found guilty of high treason after about a thousand days of marriage to Henry, accused of adultery and incest (probably trumped-up charges). She was executed, but perhaps her legacy lived on in her only child, as her daughter reigned for 45 very prosperous years as Queen Elizabeth I.

Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. It seems that Anne’s arranged marriage to Henry was doomed from the day the two met soon after she arrived in England. Henry just wasn’t attracted to her, but the couple went ahead with the wedding. The marriage was annulled six months later on the grounds that it had not been consummated. Anne lived the rest of her life in England, and in fact outlived Henry’s five other wives.

63. Massachusetts motto opener : ENSE …

The motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem”, a Latin phrase that can be translated as “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty”. The quotation is from a passage written by English politician Algernon Sidney who was executed for treason by King Charles II.

69. Busybody : YENTA

Yenta (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

70. Two-time World Series champs : METS

The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962 as a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

72. Boorish : CRASS

Back in the early 1500s, a boor was a rustic person, a peasant farmer, someone associated with the countryside. The term “boor” ultimately comes from the Latin “bos” meaning “cow, ox”. By the mid-1500s, someone described as boorish was considered rude in manner, which is our usage today.

Down

2. Self-titled 1969 jazz album : ELLA

That would be an album by Ella Fitzgerald.

5. Blueprint : MAP

Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.

6. Culinary mushroom : MOREL

The morel is that mushroom with the honeycomb-like structure on the cap. Morels highly prized, especially in French cuisine. They should never be eaten raw as they are toxic, with the toxins being removed by thorough cooking.

Our word “culinary” means “of the kitchen, of food”. The term derives from the Latin “culina” meaning “kitchen, food”. As an aside, “culina” is also the source of our word “kiln”.

8. “Ash Wednesday” poet’s monogram : TSE

“Ash Wednesday” is a poem that T. S. Eliot (TSE) wrote in 1930, soon after he converted to Anglicanism. Eliot had been raised a Unitarian.

In the Christian tradition, the first day in the season of Lent is called Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday, Palm Crosses from the prior year’s Palm Sunday are burned. The resulting ashes are mixed with sacred oil and then used to anoint worshipers on the forehead with the shape of a cross.

9. Device that generates solar power : HELIOSTAT

A heliostat is a device designed to reflect sunlight towards a particular target and to maintain that reflection on the target even as the sun moves across the sky. These days, heliostats are primarily used to provide extended periods of light inside a building, or to aid in the production of solar energy. The term “heliostat” comes from the Greek “helios” meaning “sun” and “stat” meaning ‘stationary”.

10. Bash : SHINDIG

“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think, and is one describing a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game similar to field hockey.

11. West Indies native : CARIB

The Island Caribs are an American Indian people who are native to the Lesser Antilles islands, part of the West Indies. It is thought that the Island Caribs are possibly descended from the Kalina (also “Mainland Carib”) people who are native to the northern coastal areas of South America. The Caribbean Sea takes its name from the Island Carib people.

18. Unagi, e.g. : EEL

“Unagi” is the Japanese name for freshwater eel, and “anago” is the name for saltwater eel.

25. Kiddie lit count : OLAF

Count Olaf is the main antagonist in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, the collection of children’s novels penned by Lemony Snicket (the pen name of Daniel Handler).

28. Twelve Oaks neighbor : TARA

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

29. Katz of “Dallas” : OMRI

Omri Katz played John Ross Ewing, the son of J. R. and Sue Ellen Ewing on “Dallas”. Katz retired from acting in 2006.

32. Mother of J.R. and Bobby : MISS ELLIE

Miss Ellie is the matriarch of the famed Ewing family, around which the TV series “Dallas” was written. For most of the series, Miss Ellie was played by Barbara Bel Geddes, and once in a TV movie of Dallas by Molly Hagan. Barbara Bel Geddes left the show in 1984 and was replaced by the celebrated actress Donna Reed. When Bel Geddes decided to return to the show the following year, Reed was fired. This was much to Reed’s chagrin, and so a lawsuit ensued.

33. Row of seats : PEW

A pew is a bench in a church, one 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”.

36. Whiskey __ : SOUR

A whiskey sour is made from whiskey, lemon juice and sugar, and is usually garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

37. Cafepress.com offerings : TEES

CafePress is an online retailer that specializes in supplying user-customized items, items such as t-shirts, bags, clocks, mugs and calendars.

41. 1970 Kinks hit : LOLA

“Lola” is a fabulous song that was written by Ray Davies and released by the Kinks back in 1970. Inspired by a real life incident, the lyrics tell of young man who met a young “lady” in a club, danced with her, and then discovered “she” was actually a transvestite. The storyline isn’t very traditional, but the music is superb.

The Kinks were an English band who participated in the British Invasion of America in the sixties, although only briefly. After touring the US in the middle of 1965, the American Federation of Musicians refused permits for the Kinks to book concerts for four years, apparently in response to some rowdy on-stage behavior by the band.

47. Hard-to-define spiritualist : NEW-AGER

New-Age music is created to provide a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere. The New Age movement is often said to have begun with the release of an album called “Spectrum Suite” by Steven Halpern in 1975.

52. Not a heavy weight : OUNCE

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a libra. That libra connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” though comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

54. Bogotá babies : NENES

“Nene” is the Spanish word for a male baby or young child.

Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. Noted for having many libraries and universities, Bogotá is sometimes referred to as “The Athens of South America”.

56. N.Y. engineering sch. : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

60. Actress Gaye of “Ali” : NONA

The actress Nona Gaye is best known for playing the character Zee in the last two of “The Matrix” series of films. Nona is the only daughter of singer Marvin Gaye.

“Ali” is a 2001 biographical movie about Muhammad Ali, with Will Smith in the title role. Among other things, the film is noted for its realistic fight scenes. The scenes were realistic because Smith was really being hit, as hard as his opponents could manage.

62. Itinerary info : ETAS

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

65. Victorian __ : ERA

The Victorian era was a period in British history from 1837 to 1901, defined by the reign of Queen Victoria. Generally speaking, the Victorian era was a period of peace and prosperity for the UK.

66. 9/11 Memorial site: Abbr. : NYC

The 9/11 Memorial is at the former location of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. It consists of two square pools located where the Twin Towers stood, surrounded by trees. The pools are continually filled by water cascading down the sides. I found that the noise of the water to some extent drowns out the sound of city noise, providing a respectful and peaceful haven for visitors.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Spite : VENOM
6. Don’t believe it : MYTH
10. Lying lion in “The Lion King” : SCAR
14. Colleague of Samuel and Sonia : ELENA
15. Yorkshire river : OUSE
16. In fine fettle : HALE
17. Cartoon drawing of Rip Van Winkle? : SLEEPER CEL (from “sleeper cell”)
19. Camera part : IRIS
20. Blackens : TARS
21. “We need to get a cat!” : EEK!
22. Set off : IGNITE
24. Decoration for a Tinseltown party gift? : HOLLYWOOD BOW (from “Hollywood Bowl”)
27. Seat for a shot : STOOL
30. Piedmont province : ASTI
31. Orchestral gong : TAM-TAM
33. Salem winter hrs. : PST
34. Hat-removing event : GUST
38. Be off base : ERR
39. Dismiss a disobedient film computer? : FIRE HAL (from “fire hall”)
42. Future fish : ROE
43. “Oliver Twist” type : WAIF
45. Farm mom : SOW
46. It may be held or bitten : TONGUE
48. “Insecure” Emmy nominee __ Rae : ISSA
50. Bad looks : LEERS
51. Dixie hospitality, e.g.? : SOUTHERN DRAW (from “Southern drawl”)
57. Dig : TUNNEL
58. Macabre monogram : EAP
59. Name of two of Henry VIII’s wives : ANNE
63. Massachusetts motto opener : ENSE …
64. Allowing use of, as a library does … or, in three parts, a hint to four puzzle answers : LENDING OUT (or, “L-ENDING OUT”)
67. First-rate : ACES
68. Angry : IRED
69. Busybody : YENTA
70. Two-time World Series champs : METS
71. Like falling off a log? : EASY
72. Boorish : CRASS

Down

1. Protective wear, often : VEST
2. Self-titled 1969 jazz album : ELLA
3. Poetic negative : NE’ER
4. Not to be repeated : ONE-SHOT
5. Blueprint : MAP
6. Culinary mushroom : MOREL
7. Foul : YUCKY
8. “Ash Wednesday” poet’s monogram : TSE
9. Device that generates solar power : HELIOSTAT
10. Bash : SHINDIG
11. West Indies native : CARIB
12. Colleague of Kagan and Kavanaugh : ALITO
13. Alter with thread : RESEW
18. Unagi, e.g. : EEL
23. Nabbed : GOT
25. Kiddie lit count : OLAF
26. Clean with soap : WASH
27. Brood : STEW
28. Twelve Oaks neighbor : TARA
29. Katz of “Dallas” : OMRI
32. Mother of J.R. and Bobby : MISS ELLIE
33. Row of seats : PEW
35. Advocate : URGE
36. Whiskey __ : SOUR
37. Cafepress.com offerings : TEES
40. Big laugh : ROAR
41. 1970 Kinks hit : LOLA
44. Gym goal : FITNESS
47. Hard-to-define spiritualist : NEW-AGER
49. Cow, for one : SHE
51. Cook, as clams : STEAM
52. Not a heavy weight : OUNCE
53. Up in the air : UNSET
54. Bogotá babies : NENES
55. Family nickname : DADDY
56. N.Y. engineering sch. : RPI
60. Actress Gaye of “Ali” : NONA
61. Bar freebies : NUTS
62. Itinerary info : ETAS
65. Victorian __ : ERA
66. 9/11 Memorial site: Abbr. : NYC

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Dec 18, Friday”

  1. LAT: 28:17, 3 random errors on stuff I can’t say I like. WSJ: DNF after 23:55 on the bottom right, no errors. Got an idea on the meta, but it’s just a wild guess. Newsday: 14:53, no errors.

  2. Another “theme”, a bit more timely: NOEL
    It is only the final ‘L’ that is dropped but, hey, ’tis the season !!!

  3. LAT: 15:19, no errors. Newsday: 8:56, no errors. WSJ: 17:41, no errors, and no bright ideas about the meta (none that go anywhere, anyway).

    And today’s NYT is noteworthy in that it was a sports reference that enabled me to finish without error! (Will wonders never cease?! … 🤪)

    Still down with a cold … sleeping half the day … grrr … 😳

  4. 27:56. Felt very Friday-ish. I had several missteps I had to back out of, but I finally finished this one.

    Vidwan –
    Quite a sobering note from yesterday, but I hope all is well now.

    Best –

    1. Well said, Jeff. I am at that age when old friends and co-workers are slipping away (the latest only five days ago), so I can’t help but think about the sobering realities of life on this earth.

      In any case, here’s hoping you do many more years worth of puzzles, Vidwan!

  5. I actually made it through this Friday puzzle! It was rough going for a while but did finish. Had “a one” before getting “aces.” That saved me in the SW corner.

  6. I can’t remember a puzzle in recent days that was so full of disingenuous, murky clues as this one. “Manufactured difficulty” is *not* appreciated. I absolutely hated this puzzle. DNF: @80% completed before I gave up.

  7. Half my friends are dead. I wave at cemeteries, and imagine the bodies stretched out. My grandfather founded a cemetery here (with 2 other guys) and changed the name from Crow Hill to Crown Hill. Shades of E.A.P.
    Didn’t get the theme till the last clue,

    Had “age” before ERA, ewe before cOW before SOW (hi girls!). STOOP before STOOL.

    Honestly Massachusetts – too much of a mouthful! Why not “Live Free or Die” or something.

    Had to Google SCAR (had SheR), ENSE, OLAF, OMRI, MISS ELLIE, NONA. Lots of shows I didn’t watch back in the day.
    Didn’t know TAMTAM, ISSA, NEW AGER.
    How is UNSET “up in the air”? My dictionary applies it to cement or jewelry.

  8. Tough start to this puzzle but I finished in about 20 minutes with no errors amazingly. I actuayl liked the theme. Lots of guessing at the end. Just wondering how much average guessing is done by the experts ???

    I agree about the manufactured difficulty – there just be a limit to the number of BS clues in one puzzle.

    Had to guess on EAP/TSE/RPI – but those are common answers but:
    TAMTAM/OMRI – seriously OMRI Katz
    ENSE/UNSET – I took Latin must have forgot ENSE remember ESSE

    Didn’t really know ISSA or NONA ( I thought it was my grandmother) and what the heck is cafepress.com but TEES fit
    End of rant – I still love crosswords !!!

  9. Pretty tough Friday; took about 50-60 minutes with one error. I do the puzzles in ink and when I’m not sure, I write very lightly. This grid is about 3/4 written very lightly! Got the theme and that helped a lot. Crosswordese helped a lot. Wags helped a lot – TAMTAM.

    Just had to change OiSE, which I mis-remembered. I watched Dallas, back in the day, and I don’t remember Omri at all!? Also didn’t know Nona Gaye, but she’s beautiful. So NENES are Hawaiin birds and Colombian babies.

    With only one error on this beauty I consider myself lucky. On to Saturday…

  10. Hi gang!🙃
    No errors. I liked the theme. Wasn’t sure about ENSE/UNSET till I came here to check. TAM TAM was an educated guess: i thought of “Tom-tom” and “tambourine.” (Does that qualify as an educated guess??🤔)

    I’m so glad that HAL refused to open those pod bay doors!! Provides endless opportunities to quote him….can’t remember if Dave ultimately got out—🙂… guess I need to watch 2001 again.

    Be well ~~🌟

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