LA Times Crossword 10 Dec 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: David Poole
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: White Water

Themed answers each comprise two words, the first of which can follow WHITE, and the second of which can follow WATER:

  • 55A Canoeing challenge whose first word can precede the start and whose second word can precede the end of the answers to starred clues : WHITEWATER
  • 20A *Fruity adult beverage : WINE COOLER (white wine & water cooler)
  • 28A *Black-spotted orange flower : TIGER LILY (white tiger & water lily)
  • 38A *Toy pistols used on stage : CAP GUNS (whitecap & water guns)
  • 46A *Toy car brand : HOT WHEELS (white hot & waterwheels)
  • Bill’s time: 5m 32s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    1 Chinese sauce additive : MSG

    Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

    4 Olympic swimming star Ledecky : KATIE

    Katie Ledecky is a swimmer who won her first Olympic gold medal at just 15 years of age, in the 800-meter freestyle. In 2016, Ledecky also became the youngest person to make “Time” magazine’s “Time 100” annual list of most influential people in the American world. Katie’s uncle is Jon Ledecky, owner of the New York Islanders hockey team.

    9 L.L.Bean competitor : J.CREW

    J.Crew is a clothing and accessory retailer. Never been there, but I’ve seen the name turn up on credit card statements somehow …

    L.L.Bean (note the lack of spaces in the company name) was founded back in 1912 in Freeport, Maine as a company selling its own line of waterproof boots. The founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, gave his name to the enterprise. Right from the start, L.L.Bean focused on mail-order and sold from a circular he distributed and then from a catalog. Defects in the initial design led to 90% of the first boots sold being returned, and the company made good on its guarantee to replace them or give back the money paid.

    15 Stereotypical Pi Day celebrants : NERDS

    The first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14. Pi Day has been celebrated on March 14th (3/14) every year since 1988, when it was inaugurated at the San Francisco Exploratorium. In countries where the day is usually written before the month, Pi Day is July 22nd, reflecting the more accurate approximation of pi as 22/7. Interestingly, March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

    16 “Drab” color : OLIVE

    Olive drab is a dull, light brown color. The term “drab” once described a dull, light brown color. We probably most associate olive drab with the color of uniforms worn by US soldiers during WWII. Many GIs referred to those uniforms as “ODs”, a reference to the olive drab color.

    17 Handel’s “Messiah” et al. : ORATORIOS

    An oratorio is a large musical work for orchestra, choir and solo singers. Oratorios usually have a religious theme and are similar to operas, but without the action, costume and scenery.

    “Messiah” is a famous oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel that was first performed in Dublin, Ireland in 1742. The libretto is a text from the King James Bible that was compiled by Handel’s friend Charles Jennens. Not long after he received the libretto from Jennens, Handel took just 24 days to compose the full oratorio. He was obviously on a roll, became Handel started into his next oratorio, “Samson” just one week after finishing “Messiah”. He finished the first draft of “Samson” within a month.

    19 Creepy film motel : BATES

    Bates Motel and house were constructed on the backlot of Universal Studios for the 1960 HItchcock movie “Psycho”. They are still standing, and for me are highlights of the backlot tour that is available to visitors.

    20 *Fruity adult beverage : WINE COOLER (white wine & water cooler)

    A wine cooler is a drink made from wine and fruit juice, and often some soda.

    23 Cowboys QB Prescott : DAK

    Dak Prescott was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2016 draft as a backup quarterback for starting QB Tony Romo. The Cowboys needed Prescott as backup immediately, when Romo got injured before the first game of the season.

    26 “Keystone” police : KOPS

    The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

    28 *Black-spotted orange flower : TIGER LILY (white tiger & water lily)

    “Tiger Lily” is a common name applied to several species of lily that have orange flowers with black accents.

    33 Prefix with center : EPI-

    The epicenter is the point on the surface of the Earth that is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

    34 __ Valley: Reagan Library site : SIMI

    Simi Valley, California is perhaps best known as home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The library is a great place to visit, and there you can tour one of the retired Air Force One planes.

    37 Pitcher’s stat : ERA

    Earned run average (ERA)

    38 *Toy pistols used on stage : CAP GUNS (whitecap & water guns)

    Cap guns are toy guns that use as ammunition a small quantity of explosive that is shock-sensitive. The small disks of ammunition come as individual pellets or perhaps in plastic rings. The cap guns that I used as a child came with about 50 pellets of ammunition on a roll of paper. As a kid, I used to think that cap guns were so cool. Now, not so much …

    42 Asian food breadcrumbs : PANKO

    “Panko” is a breadcrumb used in some Japanese cuisine, primarily as a crunchy coating for fried foods.

    44 Novelist Leon : URIS

    Leon Uris is an American writer. Uris’s most famous books are “Exodus” and “Trinity”, two excellent stories, in my humble opinion …

    45 They, to Thierry : ILS

    “Ils” is the French for “they”, if not referring to feminine nouns (when “they” translates as “elles”).

    46 *Toy car brand : HOT WHEELS (white hot & waterwheels)

    The Hot Wheels brand of toy car was introduced by Mattel in 1968. Hot Wheels models are all die-cast, with many designs coming from blueprints provided by the manufacturers of the full-size car.

    49 Artist Warhol : ANDY

    American artist Andy Warhol was a leader in the pop art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s. Many of his works became the most expensive paintings ever sold. A 1963 Warhol canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” fetched over 100 million dollars in 2013.

    50 “The Good Earth” mother : O-LAN

    Pearl S. Buck’s novel “The Good Earth” won a Pulitzer in 1932, and helped Buck win the Nobel Prize for literature a few years later. The novel tells of life in a Chinese village and follows the fortunes of Wang Lung and his wife O-Lan. Although “The Good Earth” has been around for decades, it hit the bestseller list again in 2004 when it was a pick for Oprah’s Book Club.

    51 Some SAT takers : SRS

    Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

    52 Olympian bigwig : ZEUS

    In Greek mythology, Zeus served as the king of the Olympic gods, and the god of the sky and thunder. He was the child of Titans Cronus and Rhea, and was married to Hera. Zeus was the equivalent of the Roman god Jupiter, who had similar realms of influence.

    55 Canoeing challenge whose first word can precede the start and whose second word can precede the end of the answers to starred clues : WHITEWATER

    63 Talus : ANKLE BONE

    The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called the ankle bone. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

    64 Orange Muppet : ERNIE

    For many years, I believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence. Aww, I don’t wanna believe that’s a coincidence …

    66 ER VIPs : MDS

    One might find a registered nurse (RN) and a medical doctor (MD) in an emergency room (ER).

    67 Cockamamie : INANE

    “Cockamamy” (sometimes “cockamamie”) is a slang term meaning “ridiculous, incredible”. The term goes back at least to 1946, but may have originated as an informal term used by children in New York City in the 1920s.

    69 Automated spam creator : BOT

    A bot is a computer program that is designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

    Down

    2 Indian cover-up : SARI

    The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

    3 Concert keyboard : GRAND PIANO

    A grand piano is one with the frame supported horizontally on three legs. An upright piano has the frame and strings running vertically. Grand pianos come in many sizes. For example, the length of a concert grand is about 9 feet, a parlor grand is about 7 feet, and a baby grand is about 5 feet.

    8 Ancient mystic : ESSENE

    The Essenes were a Jewish religious group who are most noted these days perhaps as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    11 Baptism or bris : RITE

    Baptism is a rite admitting a candidate, often an infant, into many Christian Churches. The ceremony usually uses water as a sign of purification. Water may be poured on the head, or the candidate may be totally immersed in water.

    A mohel is a man who has been trained in the practice of brit milah (circumcision). Brit milah is known as “bris” in Yiddish. The brit milah ceremony is performed on male infants when they are 8-days old.

    12 Like Olympic years, numerically : EVEN

    There is an Olympic Games held every two years, alternating between a Winter and Summer Games.

    18 Oolong and pekoe : TEAS

    The name for the Chinese tea called “oolong” translates into English as “black dragon”.

    A pekoe (or more commonly “orange pekoe”) is a medium-grade black tea. There is no orange flavor in an orange pekoe tea. The “orange” name most likely derived from the name of the trading company that brought the tea to Europe from Asia.

    21 1921 play that introduced the word “robot” : RUR

    Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

    27 Celeb with her “OWN” network : OPRAH

    Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)

    28 Andalusian aunt : TIA

    Andalusia (“Andalucía” in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region’s history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.

    30 Lively baroque dance : GIGUE

    A gigue is a dance from the baroque era. Popular in France, the dance was derived from the British jig.

    31 Red Square shrine : LENIN’S TOMB

    Lenin’s Tomb is a mausoleum in which lie the embalmed remains of Vladimir Lenin. The tomb lies just outside the walls of the Kremlin in Red Square. Lenin died in 1924, after which his body was housed in a wooden structure in Red Square for viewing by mourners. The current marble and granite structure was completed in 1930. The body has rested there on display ever since, except for the years of WWII when there was a perceived danger of Moscow falling to the Germans. The body was evacuated to Tyumen in Siberia for the war years.

    39 Often-bookmarked address, briefly : URL

    An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

    40 Grafton’s “__ for Noose” : N IS

    Sue Grafton wrote detective novels, and her “alphabet series” feature the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with “A Is for Alibi” in 1982 and worked her way up to “Y is for Yesterday” before she passed away in 2017.

    43 “80’s Ladies” country singer : KT OSLIN

    Singer K. T. Oslin is best known for her string of country hits in the eighties.

    48 Surround, as with a saintly glow : ENHALO

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

    49 Graceful steed : ARAB

    The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

    52 Cube root of acht : ZWEI

    In German, “zwei” (two) cubed is “acht” (eight).

    54 Forearm bone : ULNA

    The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinky-side”.

    57 Boxing ref’s calls : TKOS

    In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Chinese sauce additive : MSG
    4 Olympic swimming star Ledecky : KATIE
    9 L.L.Bean competitor : J.CREW
    14 Listening organ : EAR
    15 Stereotypical Pi Day celebrants : NERDS
    16 “Drab” color : OLIVE
    17 Handel’s “Messiah” et al. : ORATORIOS
    19 Creepy film motel : BATES
    20 *Fruity adult beverage : WINE COOLER (white wine & water cooler)
    22 Put in the mail : SENT
    23 Cowboys QB Prescott : DAK
    24 Well-worn pencils : NUBS
    26 “Keystone” police : KOPS
    28 *Black-spotted orange flower : TIGER LILY (white tiger & water lily)
    33 Prefix with center : EPI-
    34 __ Valley: Reagan Library site : SIMI
    35 Strand at a ski lodge, say : ICE IN
    37 Pitcher’s stat : ERA
    38 *Toy pistols used on stage : CAP GUNS (whitecap & water guns)
    41 Prefix with natal : NEO-
    42 Asian food breadcrumbs : PANKO
    44 Novelist Leon : URIS
    45 They, to Thierry : ILS
    46 *Toy car brand : HOT WHEELS (white hot & waterwheels)
    49 Artist Warhol : ANDY
    50 “The Good Earth” mother : O-LAN
    51 Some SAT takers : SRS
    52 Olympian bigwig : ZEUS
    55 Canoeing challenge whose first word can precede the start and whose second word can precede the end of the answers to starred clues : WHITEWATER
    61 Safe places? : WALLS
    63 Talus : ANKLE BONE
    64 Orange Muppet : ERNIE
    65 Not tight enough : LOOSE
    66 ER VIPs : MDS
    67 Cockamamie : INANE
    68 Beginning : ONSET
    69 Automated spam creator : BOT

    Down

    1 Cat’s cry : MEOW!
    2 Indian cover-up : SARI
    3 Concert keyboard : GRAND PIANO
    4 Rap on the door : KNOCK
    5 Sleek, in car talk : AERO
    6 75% of a quartet : TRIO
    7 Pop star : IDOL
    8 Ancient mystic : ESSENE
    9 Position at work : JOB
    10 Enduring work : CLASSIC
    11 Baptism or bris : RITE
    12 Like Olympic years, numerically : EVEN
    13 “Wild” 1800s region : WEST
    18 Oolong and pekoe : TEAS
    21 1921 play that introduced the word “robot” : RUR
    25 Euphoria : BLISS
    26 Stay fresh in the fridge : KEEP
    27 Celeb with her “OWN” network : OPRAH
    28 Andalusian aunt : TIA
    29 Little rascal : IMP
    30 Lively baroque dance : GIGUE
    31 Red Square shrine : LENIN’S TOMB
    32 Give in : YIELD
    34 Grouchy look : SCOWL
    36 Prone to prying : NOSY
    39 Often-bookmarked address, briefly : URL
    40 Grafton’s “__ for Noose” : N IS
    43 “80’s Ladies” country singer : KT OSLIN
    47 “Yee-__!” : HAW
    48 Surround, as with a saintly glow : ENHALO
    49 Graceful steed : ARAB
    51 “Ni-i-ice!” : SWEET!
    52 Cube root of acht : ZWEI
    53 Merit : EARN
    54 Forearm bone : ULNA
    56 Part of, plotwise : IN ON
    57 Boxing ref’s calls : TKOS
    58 “Anything __?” : ELSE
    59 Opposite of exo- : ENDO-
    60 “Don’t play” music staff symbol : REST
    62 Date regularly : SEE

    18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 10 Dec 19, Tuesday”

    1. 5:31, without ever stopping to try to figure out the theme… just pounded out answers. Would have been under 5 minutes if I hadn’t gotten everything filled in except KTOSLIN, whom I’d never heard of and so I had to stop and stare at the crossings for a while. I hate it when that happens.

    2. I also didn’t know ktoslin. Of course I read The Good Earth a couple of hundred years ago, it seems, but didn’t even remember that there was a mother… Easy other than that.

      1. I think the trick (and you know there’s a trick because of the question mark in the clue) to that answer is that a lot of home safes are installed in a wall. So a wall in a house could be a “place” where you might find a “safe.” 🙄

    3. ENHALO? Really? 😉

      I’m not sure an ARAB is a horse, but an Arabian is. I grew up on Arabian Trail. There is an All-Arabian horse show here in Scottsdale every January, one of our tourism centerpieces. And every winner of the Triple Crown, with one exception, is descended from a single Arabian horse brought to England in the early 1700s named The Darley Arabian.

      Happy Holidays, folks!

    4. Had to Google for KT OSLIN. On a Tuesday! Crosses didn’t help because I also didn’t know O LAN and PANKO, for a double Natick.

      Also didn’t know 2 sports clues: KATIE and DAK, but got them by crosses.
      Theme was good.

    5. Fun puzzle, my only goof was KT OSLIN, as country music is not my thing
      Vivaldi’s string music is currently what gives me the most musical pleasure.

      Eddie

    6. 7:45. These puzzles always seem so much harder after a few days off. Does your crossword lizard brain go dormant after a few rounds of tequila?

      I too fell into the KTOSLIN/OLAN abyss. I just started putting in vowels until “O” worked.

      I glanced at the comments from the last week without looking at the puzzles at all so for all I know, all comments are warranted. However, it sure seems like a lot of people are miserable doing these things. I don’t want to come across as a Pollyanna or Jiminy Cricket, but if they bugged me that much I’d stop doing them. Lighten up and just have fun with these things.

      That said – ENHALO?….Looks like a job for Carrie to come to our rescue….Perhaps I should have enexclamationpointed that sentence…

      Best –

      1. >but if they bugged me that much I’d stop doing them.

        I guess people do these things in order to get some joy and fun out of them. When they do certain things like use odd language and unwidely used slang, it kind of deprives that joy and fun and makes it hard to “lighten up”. Hence the comments, especially on the Saturday (12/07) grid. I know personally that if anything I want something that’s relatively reasonably fair, and if I don’t get that…well…

    7. Not a bad beginning to this weeks puzzles. Theme was easy too. Had a hard time last week however, and hope it doesn’t repeat itself Thurs.!

    8. 9:18, and 5 errors; although I thought to (mis)spell KOPS “correctly, I thought the down fill was COOL, instead of KEEP, so that created four of the mistakes. Surprisingly, I guessed right on KTOSLIN, having no friggin clue about PANKO.

      So, it wasn’t the curse of a proper name that did the most damage. Still, I derate this puzzle for putting all that trouble in the same quadrant.

    9. We got yesterday’s and I thought we had 98% (letter base) today. But, I used
      KTLANGE because I had never heard of OSLIN. I also don’t think ENHALO
      is a real word, even though I got it. All of our errors were in the SW quadrant,
      all of 53 down and the above KT person. 95%, letter base. Pretty fun. I have
      my moments with some of the puzzles that this group of commenters seem
      to also have trouble with. But, since Bill and Glenn were both around 5 minutes,
      this one must have been pretty easy. Still fun to try; hang in, Jeff.

    10. Aloha y’all!!🦆

      No errors, but I also thought that one area with O-LAN and KT OSLIN was tricky. 🤔 Similar to John, I wanted to put KD LANG there. Just by chance I know PANKO, and I finally remembered O-LAN, so I survived.

      ….but ENHALO??!!?? REALLY??!!? Gawd! 😫 Jeff, you can borrow some of my exclamation marks!!! That EN trick is almost as bad as the A words, like “aroar” or “abuzz.”

      Re BATES Motel: there’s an old motel in my hood to which that name is applied, because it was run down and creepy for many years, and because it’s actually on a street called Bates Ave!! Then the place was abandoned, till about four years ago when it was taken over by an artist, who painted the entire thing white, INCLUDING the palm trees. I guess it’s a minor tourist attraction…there are always a few people out front taking pictures.

      Be well~~ ~~🍷

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