LA Times Crossword 11 Dec 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Michael Schlossberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Job Hazards

Themed answers are common phrases interpreted as HAZARDS associated with particular JOBS:

  • 63A Occupational concerns such as 17-, 28- and 49-Across : JOB HAZARDS
  • 17A Result of overexposure in the field? : FARMER’S TAN
  • 28A Result of carelessness in a locker room? : ATHLETE’S FOOT
  • 49A Result of excessive practice in calligraphy class? : WRITER’S CRAMP

Bill’s time: 6m 28s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • EDSEL (Edsil!!!) … embarrassing …
  • STUPEFY (stupify!!!) … much more embarrassing …

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 MLB family name : ALOU

Jesus Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

16 Voice mail signal : TONE

Wait for the beep …

17 Result of overexposure in the field? : FARMER’S TAN

A “farmer’s tan” or “golfer’s tan” is one that affects only the arms and neck, and is the result of wearing a sleeveless shirt.

20 Actress Mendes : EVA

I best know actress Eva Mendes as the female lead in the movie “Hitch”, in which she played opposite Will Smith. Mendes was known off the screen for dating actor Ryan Gosling from 2011 to 2013.

21 Brewpub orders : IPAS

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

22 Fencing blades : EPEES

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

23 Blitz by a linebacker : RED DOG

In football, a blitz (also “red dog”) is a maneuver by players in the line of scrimmage designed to quickly overwhelm the opposing quarterback.

26 Ill-fated Ford : EDSEL

Edsel Ford was the only child of automobile manufacturing pioneer Henry Ford. Edsel became president of Ford Motors, as Henry’s sole heir, and served in that capacity from 1919 until his death in 1943. Henry’s name is very much associated with the Model T, the Tin Lizzie. Edsel was the man behind the subsequent development of the more fashionable Model A. However, despite Edsel’s many successes, his name is inextricably linked with the highly unsuccessful Edsel line of cars.

28 Result of carelessness in a locker room? : ATHLETE’S FOOT

The skin condition known as tinea is more usually referred to as ringworm. Tinea pedis is commonly known as athlete’s foot.

33 Hot rod : DRAGSTER

Back in the 18th century “drag” was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was “dragged” along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted “drag” as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to “drag racing”. A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

A hot rod is an American car that has been modified for speed by installing a larger than normal engine. A street rod is generally a more comfortable type of hot rod, with the emphasis less on the engine and more on custom paint jobs and interiors. By definition, a street rod must be based on an automobile design that originated prior to 1949.

36 Cellist with multiple Grammys : YO-YO MA

Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist who was born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.

38 Picks from a lineup : IDS

Identity document (ID)

40 Champagne label word : SEC

“Sec” is a term used in France for “dry”

49 Result of excessive practice in calligraphy class? : WRITER’S CRAMP

Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting. The term “calligraphy” comes from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

51 Cloud, as of gnats : SWARM

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

52 Title Mozart valet who married Susanna : FIGARO

Figaro is the title character in at least two operas: “The Barber of Seville” (“Il barbiere di Siviglia”) by Rossini, and “The Marriage of Figaro” (“Le nozze di Figaro”) by Mozart. The two storylines are based on plays by Pierre Beaumarchais, with one basically being a sequel to the other.

56 “__ Health”: Quiet Riot album : METAL

Quiet Riot is a heavy metal band from Los Angeles that was founded in 1973. Two of Quiet Riot’s biggest hits are “Cum On Feel the Noize” and “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”, both of which are covers of songs originally recorded by British glam rock band Slade. I’m a big fan of Slade; Quiet Riot, not so much …

58 Hops hot spot : OAST

An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an “oast house” or “hop kiln”. The term “oast” can also apply to a kiln used to dry tobacco.

The foodstuff that we call “hops” are actually the female flower of the hop plant. The main use of hops is to add flavor to beer. The town in which I live here in California used to be home to the largest hop farm in the whole world. Most of the harvested hops were exported all the way to the breweries of London, where they could fetch the best price.

62 Greek Cupid : EROS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

67 Free speech org. : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

68 Sampler wisdom : ADAGE

A sampler is a piece of needlework that often includes letters and words. Also, samplers are often used to demonstrate skills used in cross-stitching and embroidery.

69 Eyelid irritation : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

71 Dancer cohort : COMET

We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
  • Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Down

2 Tequila plant : AGAVE

Tequila is a city in Mexico that is located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. The city is the birthplace of the drink called “tequila”. Local people made a variety of a drink called mezcal by fermenting the heart of the blue agave plant that is native to the area surrounding Tequila. It was the Spanish who introduced the distillation process to the mescal, giving us what we now know as “tequila”.

3 Spot for a Mercedes : CAR AD

Emil Jellinek was a European automobile entrepreneur whose claim to fame is that he commissioned the Mercedes 35 HP, a design that’s cited as the first modern car. Prior to 1901’s 35 HP, cars were really modified stagecoaches. Jellinek chose the name “Mercedes” in honor of his daughter Adriana, whose nickname was “Mercédès”.

4 Second-oldest Kardashian sister : KIM

Kim Kardashian is a socialite and television personality. She was introduced into society by her friend, Paris Hilton. Kardashian’s name first hit the headlines when a homemade sex tape, made by her and singer Ray J, was leaked.

5 Formula __ auto racing : ONE

In motor racing, the designation “formula” is a set of rules that all participants and cars must abide by. The definition of “Formula One” was agreed back in 1946, with the “one” designating that it is the most advanced of the “formulae”, and the most competitive.

6 Winged stinger : WASP

While the wasp is considered to be a nuisance by many, the insect is very important to the agricultural industry. Wasps prey on many pest insects, while having very little impact on crops.

7 Ski resort near Snowbird : ALTA

Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird, located next to Alta, has been in operation since 1971.

9 Space heater? : SUN

Our sun is a sphere of hot plasma that forms the center of our solar system. The Sun’s mass has two main components, with almost three quarters made up by hydrogen, and a quarter by helium. The continual nuclear fusion reaction in the Sun’s core converts hydrogen into helium, and generates a lot of energy. We should all be pretty grateful to the Sun for generating that energy …

12 Novelist Tyler : ANNE

Anne Tyler is a novelist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most of Tyler’s novels are set in Baltimore, Maryland, where she now resides. Tyler’s most famous title has to be “The Accidental Tourist”, which was adapted into a 1988 film starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner and Geena Davis. Tyler might be considered somewhat of a recluse in her professional life as she rarely makes personal appearances to promote her books.

13 Classic autos : REOS

The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

22 Standard Oil brand : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

24 Former U.N. leader Hammarskjöld : DAG

Dag Hammarskjöld was the second secretary-general of the United Nations, right up until his death in a plane crash in Rhodesia in 1961. The crash was considered suspicious at the time as the bodyguards were found to have bullet wounds when they died, but this was put down to bullets exploding in the fire after the crash.

25 NFL periods forced by ties : OTS

Overtime (OT)

27 Susan of “L.A. Law” : DEY

Actress Susan Dey first appeared on “The Partridge Family” when she was 17-years-old when she had no acting experience. Years later, Dey won a Golden Globe for playing the leading role of Grace Van Owen in “L.A. Law”.

29 Hawaiian garland : LEI

What’s known as “May Day” around the world is also called “Lei Day” in Hawaii. Lei Day started in the twenties and is a celebration of native Hawaiian culture.

30 Triage MD : ER DOC

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

34 Fanny : REAR

“Fanny” is a slang term for the buttocks, rump. You have to be careful using the slang term “fanny” if traveling in Britain and Ireland, because over there it has a much ruder meaning …

35 Difficult H.S. class covering U.S. or world events : AP HISTORY

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

39 Round Table title : SIR

King Arthur (and his Round Table) probably never really existed, but his legend is very persistent. Arthur was supposedly a leader of the Romano-British as they tried to resist the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

42 “I’m the culprit” : IT WAS ME

A culprit is a person guilty of a crime, or is perhaps the source of a problem. The term “culprit” comes from Anglo-French with an interesting etymology. Back in the day, a prosecutor opening a trial would use the words “Culpable: prest (d’averrer nostre bille)” meaning “guilty, ready (to prove our case”, which was abbreviated to “cul. prit”. The abbreviated French was mistakenly applied in English as a term to describe the defendant, the “culprit”.

43 “Cryptonomicon” novelist Stephenson : NEAL

“Cryptonomicon” is a 1999 novel by Neal Stephenson. The storyline is bifurcated into two time periods. The first involves cryptology experts stationed at the Allied code-breaking center at Bletchley Park in the UK during WWII. The second set of characters are cryptologists in the fictional Sultanate of Kinakuta working in the 1990s. I haven’t read this one, but it sounds like my kind of book …

46 ’90s trade pact : NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a treaty between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

47 “Yuck, tell someone else!” : TMI!

Too much information (TMI)

48 Fuel efficiency stat : MPG

Miles per gallon (mpg)

53 The “A” in James A. Garfield : ABRAM

James Abram Garfield, the 20th President, was assassinated in office. He was shot twice, and one bullet could not be found (it was lodged in his spine). Inventor Alexander Graham Bell developed a metal detector in an attempt to locate the bullet, but apparently he was unsuccessful because of interference from the metal bed frame on which the president lay. Garfield died two months after being shot.

57 Middle proof word : … ERAT …

The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

64 Efron of “Baywatch” (2017) : ZAC

Zac Efron is an actor from San Luis Obispo, California. Apparently Efron is a heartthrob to “tweenyboppers”. His big break came with the hit Disney movie “High School Musical”.

“Baywatch” is a 2017 comedy film that is based on the TV series of the same name that famously starred David Hasselhoff. The movie stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

65 Hubbub : ADO

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Super silly : WACKO
6 Gum balls, e.g. : WADS
10 Surgery memento : SCAR
14 “Once more!” : AGAIN!
15 MLB family name : ALOU
16 Voice mail signal : TONE
17 Result of overexposure in the field? : FARMER’S TAN
19 “Yeah, that’ll never happen” : UM, NO
20 Actress Mendes : EVA
21 Brewpub orders : IPAS
22 Fencing blades : EPEES
23 Blitz by a linebacker : RED DOG
26 Ill-fated Ford : EDSEL
28 Result of carelessness in a locker room? : ATHLETE’S FOOT
33 Hot rod : DRAGSTER
36 Cellist with multiple Grammys : YO-YO MA
37 Sales pro : REP
38 Picks from a lineup : IDS
40 Champagne label word : SEC
41 Sighing contentedly : AAHING
45 Salve : OINTMENT
49 Result of excessive practice in calligraphy class? : WRITER’S CRAMP
51 Cloud, as of gnats : SWARM
52 Title Mozart valet who married Susanna : FIGARO
56 “__ Health”: Quiet Riot album : METAL
58 Hops hot spot : OAST
61 Laundry hamper : BIN
62 Greek Cupid : EROS
63 Occupational concerns such as 17-, 28- and 49-Across : JOB HAZARDS
66 Balmy : WARM
67 Free speech org. : ACLU
68 Sampler wisdom : ADAGE
69 Eyelid irritation : STYE
70 “That’s enough” : WHEN
71 Dancer cohort : COMET

Down

1 Thin cookie : WAFER
2 Tequila plant : AGAVE
3 Spot for a Mercedes : CAR AD
4 Second-oldest Kardashian sister : KIM
5 Formula __ auto racing : ONE
6 Winged stinger : WASP
7 Ski resort near Snowbird : ALTA
8 Complete one exercise segment : DO A SET
9 Space heater? : SUN
10 Utterly shock : STUPEFY
11 Grow slack, as a poorly tied knot : COME LOOSE
12 Novelist Tyler : ANNE
13 Classic autos : REOS
18 “Correctomundo!” : RIGHT!
22 Standard Oil brand : ESSO
24 Former U.N. leader Hammarskjöld : DAG
25 NFL periods forced by ties : OTS
27 Susan of “L.A. Law” : DEY
29 Hawaiian garland : LEI
30 Triage MD : ER DOC
31 Portent : OMEN
32 Diplomat’s need : TACT
33 “Do I need to __ you a map?” : DRAW
34 Fanny : REAR
35 Difficult H.S. class covering U.S. or world events : AP HISTORY
39 Round Table title : SIR
42 “I’m the culprit” : IT WAS ME
43 “Cryptonomicon” novelist Stephenson : NEAL
44 Dog’s “I’m warning you!” : GRR!
46 ’90s trade pact : NAFTA
47 “Yuck, tell someone else!” : TMI!
48 Fuel efficiency stat : MPG
50 Kiss : SMOOCH
53 The “A” in James A. Garfield : ABRAM
54 Narrow hilltop : RIDGE
55 Initial stage : ONSET
56 Kitty cries : MEWS
57 Middle proof word : … ERAT …
59 Fit : ABLE
60 Avoid like the plague : SHUN
63 Uppercut target : JAW
64 Efron of “Baywatch” (2017) : ZAC
65 Hubbub : ADO

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Dec 19, Wednesday”

  1. 6:07 for me… like other people, CAR AD took me longer than it should have, and I had ACE instead of REP in the center west which messed me up for a little while (and I don’t think that a sales REP is necessarily a “pro” so I dislike that clue).

    COMET for “Dancer cohort” was a bit of a groaner, and I also dislike that clue because while “supporter or companion” is an alternate definition for “cohort,” it’s usually understood to mean a *group* of similar people or things… that more-obscure use here doesn’t really belong in a Wednesday puzzle.

  2. A generally enjoyable grid with enough Seinfeld references to make it fun, like YOYOMA, but deductions for the dreadful EPEES and a reference to the Kartrashian family.

    Speaking of bad television, you know Quiet Riot and their album METAL Health because of their lead singer Kevin Drubrow (RIP). Or at least you know his brother, Dr. Terry Dubrow from “Botched.” 🙂 I won’t go into the 80s metal band WASP, or Slade, who rates a big “asi asi” for me.

  3. No errors, no Googles. Did not actually know ALTA or RED DOG.

    As usual, I don’t like abbrevs that don’t indicate they are abbrevs in some way such as TMI or IDS.

    @Willie – I’ll use that Kartrashian expression. Thanks, but I had to look up “asi asi,” which means so-so.

  4. 25:43 no errors….I haven’t heard REDDOG for a long time in football.
    It’s nice to know that others feel embarrassed by their mistakes once in a while…….GO RAVENS

  5. No errors today; pretty straightforward answers except for “car ad” which
    I got by default. Still don’t quite understand that one.

  6. No posting errors, but 8 omissions for 96% (letter basis). I knew RED DOG, missed
    parts of ALTA, DO A SET, ZAC and ABRAM. Considered good for a Wednesday.
    Averaging a tad over 97% so far this week. Not very speedy, but having fun,
    along with Jumble and Wonderword. Missed the Jumble answer, but got the
    answer for Wonderword.

  7. Late thought – FARMERS TAN put me in mind of “red neck,” which was an expression to describe white sharecroppers.

  8. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 16 minutes with no errors.

    Had to change inane to WACKO and beep to TONE. CAR AD took a minute or two, but fortunately it was surrounded by mostly gimmes. I was going to check out Metal Health, but decided not to.

  9. Hello every buddy!!🦆

    No errors, tho I initially had the same error as Bill: STUPIFY instead of STUPEFY. Caught it in time. I also was challenged by CAR AD for awhile. 🤔

    AAHING is weird.

    I thought that the theme would go somewhere, like a hidden word or anagrams or something, but it was straightforward.

    Jeff, cute link!

    I’m sure that y’all REALLY want to hear my James A. Garfield comments again but I’ll limit myself to just one: His doctor, Doctor Bliss, had the first name of Doctor. So his name was Doctor Doctor Bliss!!!🙂

    Bill, FWIW: Moises ALOU has been retired for several years now.⚾️

    Be well ~~🍹

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