LA Times Crossword 15 Dec 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Adam Vincent
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Cue the Music

Themed answers each end with a type of MUSIC:

  • 36A Instruction to start playing … or a hint to the end of 18-, 24-, 49- and 56-Across : CUE THE MUSIC
  • 18A Drywall material : SHEETROCK
  • 24A Freezer aisle treat : ICE CREAM POP
  • 49A Similar but unspecified things : ALL THAT JAZZ
  • 56A Peepers of a certain color, affectionately : BABY BLUES

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Roadie’s load : AMPS

A “roadie” is someone who loads, unloads and sets up equipment for musicians on tour, on the “road”.

10 World’s best-selling cookie : OREO

The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

16 Home to il Colosseo : ROMA

In Italian, “il Colosseo” (the Colosseum) is found in “Roma” (Rome).

The Colosseum of Rome was the largest amphitheater in the whole of the Roman Empire in its day, and could seat about 50,000 people. The structure was originally called the “Amphitheatrum Flavium” but the name changed to “Colosseum” after a colossal statue of Emperor Nero was located nearby.

17 Ouzo flavoring : ANISE

Ouzo is an apéritif from Greece that is colorless and flavored with anise. Ouzo is similar to French pastis and Italian sambuca.

22 School fundraising gp. : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

23 Filmmaker Brooks : MEL

Mel Brooks’ real name is Melvin Kaminsky. Brooks is one of very few entertainers (there are only ten) who have won the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam” i.e. an Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy. He is in good company, as the list also includes the likes of Richard Rogers, Sir John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch and Audrey Hepburn.

27 Spelling showdown : BEE

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a bee. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a quilting bee, or even a spelling bee.

28 Sleep stage : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

39 Eagle or evil organ : EYE

Eagles have extraordinary eyesight that is several times stronger than that enjoyed by humans. The average eagle weighs about ten pounds, and yet has eyes that are about the same size as human eyes.

The evil eye is a curse that is cast by giving a malicious glare.

47 “Argo” spy org. : CIA

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

48 Total: Abbr. : AMT

Amount (amt.)

54 2016 Olympics city : RIO

Even though the 2016 Olympic Games was a summer competition, it was held in Rio de Janeiro in winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the opening ceremony on 5th August 2016 fell in the local winter season. The 2016 games was also the first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

60 Lyric poem : EPODE

An epode is a lyric poem made up of couplets in which the first line is long, and the second line much shorter. The form was invented by the Greek poet Archilochus, and was most famously used by the Roman poet Horace.

64 French greeting : SALUT

In French, “salut” means “hi”, and is less formal than “bonjour”. The former term can also be used as a friendly toast.

66 Ink cartridge color : CYAN

“Cyan” is short for “cyan blue”. The term comes from the Greek word “kyanos” meaning “dark blue, the color of lapis lazuli”.

Four-color printing uses four different color inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The black ink is also known as the “key”. The first letter of the colors (with black being ”key”) give the more common name for four-color printing, namely CMYK.

Down

1 Jamaican genre : SKA

Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of a sound.

2 Cure-all : PANACEA

Panacea was the Greek goddess of healing. She lent her name to the term “panacea” that was used by alchemists to describe the beguiling remedy that could cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely.

3 Marked by widespread growth : EPIDEMIC

Something described as epidemic affects an unusually large proportion of a population. The term “epidemic” comes from the Greek “epi” meaning “among” and “demos” meaning “people”.

4 Trig ratio : COSEC

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

8 Like Ivy League clothing styles : PREPPY

A preppy is a student or graduate of a preparatory school. Such a school is designed to prepare students for college, and is often private with expensive fees.

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

10 “Catch-22” pilot : ORR

The bomber pilot in Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22” is named Orr. He has no other name, just “Orr”.

“Catch-22” is a novel by Joseph Heller set during WWII. The title refers to absurd bureaucratic constraints that soldiers had to suffer. Heller’s “Catch 22” was invoked by an army psychiatrist to explain that any pilot requesting to be evaluated for insanity, to avoid flying dangerous missions, had to be sane as only a sane man would try to get out of such missions. The term “catch-22” has entered the language and describes a paradoxical situation from which one can’t escape due to contradictory rules; one loses, no matter what choice one makes.

11 iRobot vacuum : ROOMBA

The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a cool-looking device that navigates its way around a room by itself, picking up dirt as it goes. Like I said, it’s cool-looking but I am not sure how effective it is …

12 Award show hosts : EMCEES

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

13 Buffalo Bill show shooter : OAKLEY

Many regard Annie Oakley as the first American female superstar, given her celebrity as a sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. She toured with the show all over Europe, and performed her act for the likes of Queen Victoria of England and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Supposedly, using a .22 caliber rifle from 90 feet away, Oakley could split a playing card edge-on, and shoot five or six holes in the card before it hit the ground!

Buffalo Bill Cody became a great showman after he retired from the US Army. While serving in the Army, Buffalo Bill was awarded the Medal of Honor. William Frederick Cody earned his “Buffalo Bill” nickname while supplying buffalo meat to the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Cody “hunted” and slaughtered over 4,000 American bison in an 18-month period to fulfill his contract with the railroad.

21 Money-back offer : REBATE

We most associate use “rebate” as a noun, describing a return part of a payment. The term “rebate” came into English from the French verb “rebattre” meaning “to beat down, drive back”. Makes sense to me …

24 Not online: Abbr. : IRL

In real life (IRL)

25 Structure with a keystone : ARCH

The keystone of an arch is the last piece put in position, the placement of which allows the arch to bear weight. The keystone sits right at the apex.

33 Queen __: “Lemonade” star’s nickname : BEY

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”. Her fan base goes by the name “Beyhive”.

37 Sled dog command : MUSH

Mushing is the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled. “Mush” is thought to come from the French “marche” meaning “go, run”.

38 Soda since 1886 : COCA-COLA

The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. The first sales were in Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, where a glass of the new beverage sold for five cents. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years.

42 Looney toon? : TAZ

The “Looney Tunes” character known as the Tasmanian Devil, or “Taz”, first appeared in a cartoon short with Bugs Bunny called “Devil May Care” in 1954.

43 Monopoly maker : HASBRO

The Hasbro toy company was founded in 1923, to sell textile remnants. The founders were Herman, Hillel and Henry Hassenfeld, three brothers and hence the name “Hasbro”. The company diversified into toys in the early forties, with the first real market success being Mr. Potato Head.

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman named Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

46 Like a baker’s apron, probably : FLOURY

In Old French, a “naperon” was “small table-cloth”. The term was absorbed into English as “napron”, describing a cloth used to cover the front of a person at work. Over time, “a napron” was heard as “an apron”, giving us our contemporary noun “apron”.

49 Wall St. trader : ARB

An arbitrageur (arb.) is someone one who profits from the purchase of securities in one market and the subsequent sale in another, by taking advantage of price discrepancies across markets.

52 Country made up of 6,852 islands : JAPAN

The island nation of Japan comprises 6,852 islands in total. The five main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa.

58 GPS approx. : ETA

The modern Global Positioning System (GPS) system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

59 Taxpayer’s ID : SSN

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

61 “The War of the Worlds” foes, e.g. : ETS

“The War of the Worlds” is a science fiction classic penned by H. G. Wells in 1895-97. This compelling story of Martians invading Earth has been adapted many times into radio dramas, a television series and several movies.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Technical details : SPECS
6 Roadie’s load : AMPS
10 World’s best-selling cookie : OREO
14 Superhero sound effect : KAPOW!
15 Are in the past? : WERE
16 Home to il Colosseo : ROMA
17 Ouzo flavoring : ANISE
18 Drywall material : SHEETROCK
20 “Won’t you be __ and … “: polite request words : A DEAR
22 School fundraising gp. : PTA
23 Filmmaker Brooks : MEL
24 Freezer aisle treat : ICE CREAM POP
27 Spelling showdown : BEE
28 Sleep stage : REM
29 Sound like an ass : BRAY
30 “Piece of cake!” : EASY!
31 Chill : LAID BACK
34 Syrup source : SAP
36 Instruction to start playing … or a hint to the end of 18-, 24-, 49- and 56-Across : CUE THE MUSIC
39 Eagle or evil organ : EYE
40 Unrecoverable expense, in economics : SUNK COST
43 Cat’s warning : HISS
46 Seek, as a compliment, with “for” : FISH …
47 “Argo” spy org. : CIA
48 Total: Abbr. : AMT
49 Similar but unspecified things : ALL THAT JAZZ
53 Unwinding spot : SPA
54 2016 Olympics city : RIO
55 Outline, maybe : TRACE
56 Peepers of a certain color, affectionately : BABY BLUES
60 Lyric poem : EPODE
62 Get up in arms : RILE
63 Crafts go-with : ARTS
64 French greeting : SALUT
65 Finds in mines : ORES
66 Ink cartridge color : CYAN
67 Digital “I’ve got it!” gestures : SNAPS

Down

1 Jamaican genre : SKA
2 Cure-all : PANACEA
3 Marked by widespread growth : EPIDEMIC
4 Trig ratio : COSEC
5 Promise with one hand on the Bible : SWEAR
6 Cuteness reactions : AWS
7 “I could go either way” : MEH
8 Like Ivy League clothing styles : PREPPY
9 Sort out : SEE TO
10 “Catch-22” pilot : ORR
11 iRobot vacuum : ROOMBA
12 Award show hosts : EMCEES
13 Buffalo Bill show shooter : OAKLEY
19 Select, as for a job : TAP
21 Money-back offer : REBATE
24 Not online: Abbr. : IRL
25 Structure with a keystone : ARCH
26 Finally arrives : MAKES IT
30 Totally rad, in modern lingo : EPIC
32 Club fees : DUES
33 Queen __: “Lemonade” star’s nickname : BEY
34 Summery headwear : SUN HAT
35 Pose a question : ASK
37 Sled dog command : MUSH
38 Soda since 1886 : COCA-COLA
41 Evaluated, as competition : SIZED UP
42 Looney toon? : TAZ
43 Monopoly maker : HASBRO
44 Get in the way of : IMPAIR
45 Horse house : STABLE
46 Like a baker’s apron, probably : FLOURY
49 Wall St. trader : ARB
50 Purple hue : LILAC
51 Lock on the head : TRESS
52 Country made up of 6,852 islands : JAPAN
57 “Sure” : YES
58 GPS approx. : ETA
59 Taxpayer’s ID : SSN
61 “The War of the Worlds” foes, e.g. : ETS

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Dec 20, Tuesday”

  1. 19:57 no errors.
    Ravens 47 Browns 42 in what IMO was one of the greatest games ever👍👍
    Stay safe …help is coming😀

  2. No errors, no Googles.
    Did not know: SUNKCOST, EPODE, IRL, BEY. Blame the last 2 on my age. Does the pilot have the same name as crossword’s famous hockey player?
    REM should be indicated as abbrev.

    1. As Jablonowski (what an odd first name! 😜) says above, it stands for “In Real Life”. (I first encountered this acronym quite recently and I still pause over it when I see it.)

      And, since I’m here: 7:27, no errors, no missteps, no complaints … 🤨.

  3. Carrie: There was a Marine Land here in the LA area. Think it was back in the the late ’80’s. I worked at an Ad Agency that did there print ads. It was in the Pacific Palisades or close by. Public outrage set in and that was the demise of it. Just like Sea World.

  4. 7:22 no errors

    The sunk cost fallacy happens when one realizes that a failing project cannot succeed no matter how much money is poured in, and yet you can’t bring yourself to pull the plug because you’ve spent so much on it.

  5. “In real life” started after folks started meeting each other online and wanted to get to know each other in person, or in real life. I guess at 54, I’m the young one in this group. 😉

  6. Why don’t you print the “clue or subject” of each daily puzzle as you do for Sunday. Most of the time there’s no relevance to the answers as you are solving the puzzle. Thanks.

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