LA Times Crossword 31 Dec 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Mmm … Nice Puzzle!

Themed answers each start with a string of three letters that are the same. Those answers are also arranged alphabetically, from the top of the grid to the bottom:

  • 18A Remote control insert : AAA BATTERY
  • 26A Grievance filed with a consumer protection org. : BBB COMPLAINT
  • 49A Spec for a large loafer : EEE SHOE WIDTH
  • 63A Firefox or Chrome : WWW BROWSER

Bill’s time: 5m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “In Her Shoes” actress Cameron : DIAZ

Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz started out her professional life as a model. Diaz’s first acting role was in the 1994 film “The Mask”, starring alongside Jim Carrey.

“In Her Shoes” is a 2005 comedy-drama film starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine. MacLaine plays the grandmother of two very different sisters played by Diaz and Collette. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Jennifer Weiner.

5 “__ Flanders”: Defoe novel : MOLL

“Moll Flanders” is a novel written by Daniel Defoe in 1722, three years after he achieved fame with “Robinson Crusoe”. The book’s full title gives a lot of insight into the storyline:

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Etc. Who Was Born In Newgate, and During a Life of Continu’d Variety For Threescore Years, Besides Her Childhood, Was Twelve Year a Whore, Five Times a Wife [Whereof Once To Her Own Brother], Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon In Virginia, At Last Grew Rich, Liv’d Honest, and Died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums.

14 With the bow, to a violist : ARCO

“Arco” is a musical direction instructing a string player to return to normal bowing technique after a passage played using some other technique (perhaps pizzicato).

15 Furniture giant : IKEA

The IKEA furniture chain was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

16 Still standing, as a bowling pin : UNHIT

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

22 “Love It or List It” option : REMODEL

“Love It or List It” is a Canadian reality show that airs in the US on HGTV. Each episode features a couple that has differing views about living in their current home, with one “loving it” and pushing for a remodel, and the other wanting to “list it” and buy a new house.

23 Pie __ mode : A LA

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

24 Inoculation fluids : SERA

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

Immunization is the process used to boost an individual’s immune system making it less likely to succumb to a particular disease. Before we learned to intervene, the immune system was bolstered only by contracting the disease and surviving it. Inoculation was developed specifically for the prevention of smallpox, and involves the introduction of small samples of diseased tissue into the body resulting in a mild case of the disease, and significant boost to the immune system. The related process of vaccination involves the introduction of a benign form of the microorganism or virus into the body so that a boost to the immune system can occur without catching the disease itself.

26 Grievance filed with a consumer protection org. : BBB COMPLAINT

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a private concern (nope, it is not a government agency) that was founded in 1912. It operates like a franchise, with local BBB’s managed independently while operating to a “corporate” set of guidelines.

31 Source of iron : ORE

Iron ore comes in a number of different forms, like magnetite (the most magnetic of all minerals) and hematite (the most commonly exploited iron ore).

32 Palindromic supermodel : EMME

Emme is the highest-paid plus-size model in the world. Emme was born Melissa Miller in New York City, and was raised in Saudi Arabia.

33 Sevilla’s country : ESPANA

The city of Seville (“Sevilla” in Spanish) is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Fidelio” by Beethoven and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”.

39 Tally : SUM

Back in the mid-1600s, a tally was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or paid. The term “tally” came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

48 PC “oops” key : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

49 Spec for a large loafer : EEE SHOE WIDTH

The loafer slip-on shoe dates back to 1939. “Loafer” was originally a brand name introduced by Fortnum and Mason’s store in London. The derivative term “penny loafer” arose in the late fifties or early sixties, although the exact etymology seems unclear.

52 Mover’s transport : VAN

The vehicle we call a “van” takes its name from “caravan”, and is a shortened version of the older term. Back in the 1600s, a caravan was a covered cart. We still use the word “caravan” in Ireland to describe what we call a “mobile home” or “recreational vehicle” here in the US.

57 The tiniest bit : ONE IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

63 Firefox or Chrome : WWW BROWSER

In essence, the World Wide Web (WWW) is a vast collection of documents that is accessible using the Internet, with each document containing hyperlinks which point to other documents in the collection. So the “Web” is different from the Internet, although the terms are often used interchangeably. The Web is a collection of documents, and the Internet is a global network of computers on which the documents reside. The Web was effectively the invention of British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. The key to Berner-Lee’s invention was bringing together two technologies that already existed: hypertext and the Internet. I, for one, am very grateful …

A web browser is a piece of software used to access the World Wide Web (WWW). The first web browser was called “WorldWideWeb” and was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web. The browser known as Mosaic came out in 1993, and it was this browser that drove so much interest in the World Wide Web, and indeed in the Internet in general. Marc Andreessen led the team that created Mosaic, and he then set up his own company called Netscape. Netscape created the Netscape Navigator browser that further popularized the use of the Web starting in 1994. Microsoft responded by introducing Internet Explorer in 1995, which sparked the so-called “browser war”, a war that Microsoft clearly won. As Netscape floundered, the company launched the open-source Mozilla project which eventually led to the Firefox browser. Apple then came out with it’s own Safari browser in 2003. Google’s Chrome browser, introduced in 2008, is by far the most popular way to view the Web today.

Firefox is an open-source web browser produced by Mozilla. It was developed in 2002, and is in effect the successor to Netscape’s groundbreaking Navigator browser. Firefox was extremely popular in 2009, and challenged the domination of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer before succumbing to Google’s Chrome.

Google’s Chrome is now the most popular web browser used in the US, with Mozilla Firefox in second place and Internet Explorer in third. I find Chrome to be much, much more user-friendly than Internet Explorer, and more featured than Firefox. Chrome also works more seamlessly with other Google products and with Android phones.

65 Renegade on the road : JEEP

The Jeep Renegade is a relatively small SUV that was introduced in 2014. The Renegade is manufactured not in North America, but rather in Italy and in China.

68 Fronton game word : ALAI

A fronton is an open-walled playing area used for the sport of jai alai. Although most frontons in the US can be found in Florida, where the sport is most popular, the first jai alai fronton the country was located in St. Louis. It opened there around the time of the 1904 World’s Fair.

69 Smeltery refuse : DROSS

When metals are smelted, there is a scum made up of impurities that floats on the surface of the molten metal. This scum is called “dross” and is drawn off and discarded. The term “dross” has come to mean any waste or impure matter.

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

70 Pre-coll. exams : SATS

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”.

71 Latin Grammy winner Anthony : MARC

“Marc Anthony” is the stage name of Marco Antonio Muñiz, a Puerto Rican-American singer. Anthony’s first wife was Dayanara Torres, a former Miss Universe from Puerto Rico. His second wife was quite famous too: singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. He divorced from the latter in 2014.

Down

2 Saudi Arabia neighbor : IRAQ

Iraq is often called the “Cradle of Civilization” as it was home to Sumer, which was the earliest known civilization on the planet. By 5000 BC the Sumerian people were practicing year-round agriculture and had a specialized labor force. For the first time, a whole race were able to settle in one place by storing food, instead of having to migrate in a pattern dictated by crops and grazing land.

3 Rights org. since 1920 : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB) that 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”.

4 Astrological sign system : ZODIAC

Most of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are animals. This fact relates to the etymology of the term “zodiac”, which comes from the Greek “zodiakos kyklos”, literally “circle of animals”.

5 Soccer great who co-founded Athletes for Hope : MIA HAMM

Mia Hamm is a retired American soccer player. She played as a forward on the US national team that won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. Hamm scored 158 international goals, more than any other player in the world, male or female. Amazingly, Hamm was born with a clubfoot, and so had to wear corrective shoes when she was growing up.

Athletes for Hope (AFH) is a nonprofit with the mission of connecting professional athletes with charitable causes. AFH was founded in 2007 by a dozen pros from various sporting disciplines. The list of co-founders includes Muhammad Ali (boxing), Andre Agassi (tennis), Lance Armstrong (cycling), Mia Hamm (soccer), Tony Hawk (skateboarding) and Cal Ripken, Jr. (baseball).

6 “Works for me” : OKAY

Back in the late 1830s, there were some slang abbreviations coined mainly in Boston. The craze called for two-letter abbreviations of deliberately misspelled phrases. For example “no use” became “KY” from “know yuse”, and “enough said” became “NC” from “nuff ced”. Fortunately (I say!), the practice was short-lived. But, one of those abbreviations persists to this day. “All correct” was misspelled to give “oll korrect”, abbreviated to “OK”.

7 “Orange Is the New Black” actress DeLaria : LEA

Lea DeLaria is a comedian and actor who is perhaps best known for portraying Carrie “Big Boo” Black on the hit comedy-drama “Orange is the New Black”. Another of DeLaria’s claims to fame is that she became the first openly gay comic to appear on a late-night talk show, doing so in 1993 on “The Arsenio Hall Show”.

8 Tar pits locale : LA BREA

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirst. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

10 Golden rule preposition : UNTO

The Golden Rule is also known as the ethic of reciprocity, and is a basis for the concept of human rights. A version of the rule used in the Christian tradition is attributed to Jesus:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

12 Corvette quartet : TIRES

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The “Vette” has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

19 High-altitude home : AERIE

An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

21 __ gin fizz : SLOE

By definition, a cocktail known as a “fizz” includes lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the gin fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water. There is also a variant known as a sloe gin fizz.

24 Holmes and Poirot : SLEUTHS

The word “sleuth” came into English from Old Norse as far back as 1200 when it meant the “track or trail of a person”. In the mid-1800s, a sleuthhound described a keen investigator, a hound close on the trail of the suspect. Sleuthhound was shortened to “sleuth” and was used for a detective in general.

Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 novel, “A Study in Scarlet“. Amazingly, Conan Doyle wrote the novel in under three weeks, while working as a 27-year-old doctor. Mind you, he only got paid 25 pounds for all the rights to the story. I suppose it’s a good job that he only devoted a few weeks to it.

Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved characters. He is a wonderful Belgian private detective who plies his trade from his base in London. Poirot’s most famous case is the “Murder on the Orient Express”. First appearing in 1920’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, Poirot finally succumbs to a heart condition in the 1975 book “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”. Famously, Poirot is fond of using his “little grey cells”.

26 Animal that sounds dull : BOAR

“Boar” sounds like “bore”.

27 Puff pastry cheese : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry.

28 Karate skill award : BELT

Practitioners of judo and karate proceed through a series of proficiency grades known as the kyu system. At each progression, a different colored belt is awarded.

29 Some govt. heads : PMS

Prime Minister (PM)

30 Adorns with Charmin, for short : TPS

TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.

Charmin is a brand of toilet paper made by Procter & Gamble.

35 Tweed’s caricaturist : NAST

William Magear Tweed was known as “Boss” Tweed. He was a 19th-century, American politician who led the Democratic Party machine in New York, headquartered in Tammany Hall. He was one of the most successful of the corrupt politicians of the day, siphoning from taxpayers (in today’s money) billions of dollars. In 1871 he was arrested, and served time in jail. He was then rearrested on civil charges and served time in debtor’s prison. He managed to escape to Spain, but was arrested again and extradited to the United States. He died in jail in 1878.

Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. Nast was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today. Thomas Nast drew some famous cartoons in which he depicted the Tammany Society as a vicious tiger that was killing democracy. Nast’s use of the tiger symbology caught on and was used by other cartoonists to harp at the society.

36 Gothic window feature : ARCH

Gothic architecture is a style that dates back to the mid and late medieval period, following on from the Romanesque style. Gothic architecture originated in France in the 12th century, and was prevalent until the 16th century, when it was largely superseded by the Renaissance style. Gothic buildings often feature pointed arches, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses. The best known example of Gothic edifices are magnificent cathedrals and abbeys across Europe, many of which are still used today. Examples of the style can be seen in Notre Dame de Paris in France, Westminster Abbey in England, and Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.

40 Chinese leader who hosted Nixon : MAO

President Richard Nixon made a famous visit to China in 1972 that marked a thawing in the relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It was the first time that a US president had visited the PRC, and followed several secret diplomatic missions to Beijing by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. During the week-long visit, President Nixon had talks with Chairman Mao Zedong, and First Lady Pat Nixon was very visible as she toured schools, hospitals and factories.

47 Annoying sort : TWIT

“Twit” is a word not used very often here in America. It’s a slang term that used to be quite common in England where it was used for “someone foolish and idiotic”.

53 Sadat of Egypt : ANWAR

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

58 Sacred wading bird of ancient Egypt : IBIS

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

60 Ward of “CSI: NY” : SELA

Actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently, Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast. And, Ward played Dr. Richard Kimble’s murdered wife in the 1993 film version of “The Fugitive”.

64 Briny expanse : SEA

The briny is the sea, with “brine” meaning “salty water”. The term “briny” was originally used for “tears”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “In Her Shoes” actress Cameron : DIAZ
5 “__ Flanders”: Defoe novel : MOLL
9 Dethrones : OUSTS
14 With the bow, to a violist : ARCO
15 Furniture giant : IKEA
16 Still standing, as a bowling pin : UNHIT
17 Like worn tires : BALD
18 Remote control insert : AAA BATTERY
20 Like waterlogged sneakers : SQUISHY
22 “Love It or List It” option : REMODEL
23 Pie __ mode : A LA
24 Inoculation fluids : SERA
25 Chicago-to-Indianapolis dir. : SSE
26 Grievance filed with a consumer protection org. : BBB COMPLAINT
31 Source of iron : ORE
32 Palindromic supermodel : EMME
33 Sevilla’s country : ESPANA
37 Has a bug : AILS
39 Tally : SUM
41 Brawl souvenir : SCAR
42 Come back : RETURN
45 Lemonlike : TART
48 PC “oops” key : ESC
49 Spec for a large loafer : EEE SHOE WIDTH
52 Mover’s transport : VAN
55 Brewpub lineup : TAPS
56 Wrestler’s goal : PIN
57 The tiniest bit : ONE IOTA
59 As you like it, foodwise : TO TASTE
63 Firefox or Chrome : WWW BROWSER
65 Renegade on the road : JEEP
66 Suffer defeat : EAT IT
67 First in line : NEXT
68 Fronton game word : ALAI
69 Smeltery refuse : DROSS
70 Pre-coll. exams : SATS
71 Latin Grammy winner Anthony : MARC

Down

1 Applies gently : DABS
2 Saudi Arabia neighbor : IRAQ
3 Rights org. since 1920 : ACLU
4 Astrological sign system : ZODIAC
5 Soccer great who co-founded Athletes for Hope : MIA HAMM
6 “Works for me” : OKAY
7 “Orange Is the New Black” actress DeLaria : LEA
8 Tar pits locale : LA BREA
9 Overwhelms by sheer numbers : OUTMANS
10 Golden rule preposition : UNTO
11 Storage structures : SHEDS
12 Corvette quartet : TIRES
13 Fashion sense : STYLE
19 High-altitude home : AERIE
21 __ gin fizz : SLOE
24 Holmes and Poirot : SLEUTHS
26 Animal that sounds dull : BOAR
27 Puff pastry cheese : BRIE
28 Karate skill award : BELT
29 Some govt. heads : PMS
30 Adorns with Charmin, for short : TPS
34 Scored 100 on : ACED
35 Tweed’s caricaturist : NAST
36 Gothic window feature : ARCH
38 Go after in court : SUE
40 Chinese leader who hosted Nixon : MAO
43 Quick comebacks : RETORTS
44 “How cool!” : NEATO!
46 School assignments : REPORTS
47 Annoying sort : TWIT
50 Gives rise to : SPAWNS
51 Up the creek : IN A JAM
52 Made a solemn promise : VOWED
53 Sadat of Egypt : ANWAR
54 Not familiar with : NEW TO
58 Sacred wading bird of ancient Egypt : IBIS
59 Thumb-typist’s message : TEXT
60 Ward of “CSI: NY” : SELA
61 Rip : TEAR
62 Sweeping story : EPIC
64 Briny expanse : SEA

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 31 Dec 19, Tuesday”

  1. @Tony
    Doubly confusing. I looked for the puzzle that has that clue (“Gerald Ford succeeded him”) and answer (SPIROTAGNEW) and didn’t find it, even looking at search engines that index more popular puzzles. Didn’t even see the answer in relation to the WSJ. So that’s a good question: Which puzzle does this appear in?

    FWIW, crosswords are rife with such things and annoy me greatly, but I’ve learned to expect them.

    1. @Tony … I did find a site that knows about that clue (“Gerald Ford succeeded him”) and answer (“SPIROTAGNEW”) and says it appeared in a “Wall Street Journal quick crossword” (whatever that is … perhaps Glenn knows). It also presents a list of “clues that may be of interest to you” (or something like that), which I assume come from the same puzzle. Here’s a link to the site:

      http://www.danword.com/crossword/Gerald_Ford_succeeded_him

      A mystery … my first guess was that they pulled out an old WSJ puzzle and ran it instead of the proper one for yesterday, but that comment about a “quick” WSJ crossword puzzles me …

      1. Hi there Mr. Muss & Glenn as well. I found out that my print edition here in Los Angeles (and others from around the country) had a different puzzle than the online one. If you look at this link and click on “show conversations” a few other people from various cities with the print edition got the same puzzle as I did: https://blogs.wsj.com/puzzle/2019/12/30/market-forces-monday-crossword-december-30/ And I still feel like emailing Mike Shenk to complain about the clue/answer I griped about, but that would be gilding the nit, as it were. ;-D>

        1. @Tony … You probably know some of this already, but …

          I did a little more sleuthing at the library and I think I see what happened: I’m pretty sure that the puzzle you did in Monday’s print WSJ was the one that was supposed to run tomorrow (Wednesday), because the “Previous Puzzle’s Solution” blurb accompanying it gives the answers for today’s (Tuesday’s) puzzle. Today’s print WSJ includes this note: “The incorrect puzzle ran in Monday’s edition. The correct puzzle appears online. The solution for the Friday, Dec. 27 puzzle appears below. The solution for Monday’s puzzle will be printed Friday, Jan. 4 [sic]”.

          It appears to me that either the folks at the WSJ have been hitting the sauce a little too heavily or they need a new calendar (or both) … 😜.

      2. Good that it looks like the problem got sorted out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the puzzle Tony is looking at on Thursday.

        @A Nonny Muss
        “Quick” crossword is sometimes a label that gets applied to the typical American-style crossword. (Also called “Easy”, “Concise”, or “Straight”) The term is of British origin and is used there more than here, to denote something different than the typical cryptic. A literal “quick” crossword will be presented in a grid framework typical to a cryptic. But it will have the kind of clues we are familiar with here instead of the cryptic kind. An “American-style” is distinguished from the “quick style” by the scrunched up grid which contributes to more abbreviations and initialisms. (See Chapter 4, “The History of the Crossword”, Halpern)

        1. Ah. Quick. Yes. The “danword” page I found provides information about cryptic puzzles as well as “normal” (😜) ones, so it makes sense that he’s using the definition of “quick crossword” that you give.

          I finally ordered the book by Halpern and it just arrived, so it’s sitting there along with all the other books I will probably never find time to read … 😜.

          (Also, I think you’re right that we’ll probably see that puzzle on Thursday; I forgot that the WSJ isn’t published on New Year’s Day.)

          And I think Tony should go ahead and “gild the nit” … an inspired phrase! … 😜

  2. Pretty straightforward puzzle today with not too many unknown
    sports or entertainment names. No errors. Good way to end the
    year.

  3. Thanx for all the wellwishers yesterday. I had a tooth pulled and a nasty cold, but you made up for that. (Or “youse” made up for that – as they say in some Utica neighborhoods – it’s a plural.)
    The puzzle was so easy I never noticed the theme. Did have BAre before BALD and aleS before TAPS, and never heard of EMME.

    Happy New Year, New Month, New Decade to all!

  4. We had no posting errors Monday or Tuesday, but too many omissions. 10 on Monday
    for 95% solved and 18 today for 91%, both letter based. Missed two pretty easy long
    ones today that would have put us up in the higher 90’s. But, if the frog had wings, etc.
    It is what it is and still fun. Got the Jumble and the Wonderword today, after missing
    both yesterday. Anxious to stomp all over tomorrow’s feeble attempt to fool us.

    Happy New Year to all and may the road rise up to meet you (Irish Blessing from a Cajun).

  5. Mostly easy Tuesday for me; ended up with 16 minutes and no errors. I got slowed down in the NE corner when I preemptively put in SiloS and TtopS. At least the first made sense…so finally unwound the errors after a bit of thinking.

    Happy New Year everyone!!

  6. Happy New Year everyone!!🦆

    No errors. I did have WEB BROWSER before WWW and ALES before TAPS but those were pretty easy fixes.

    Dinner with friends tonight; then, they went off to a party and I went home. I don’t understand New Year’s Eve parties….maybe they had some meaning to me like 30 years ago? Tonight I was home by 7:30 and glad to be.

    A Nonny– I have to agree. I think our Tony should bring it up with the editors. That omission bothers me, altho I still say it might have been a misprint or a typo. Glenn– I usually only do the LA Times puzzle, so maybe I don’t know, but I don’t think such missteps are that common. They do occur occasionally. 🤔

    Here’s to 2020!!

    Be well ~~🍸

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