LA Times Crossword 16 Dec 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Brock Wilson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Ludwig van Beethoven

Themed answers are SYMPHONIES written by LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN:

  • 17A With 63-Across, musician born 12/16/1770 : LUDWIG VAN …
  • 63A See 17-Across : … BEETHOVEN
  • 39D 63-Across work : SYMPHONY
  • 26A Nickname for a 63-Across 39-Down : CHORAL
  • 55D Key of the 26-Across 39-Down: Abbr. : D MIN
  • 40A Numerically, 63-Across’ C-minor 39-Down : FIFTH
  • 50A Nickname for a 63-Across 39-Down : EROICA
  • 10D Nickname for a 63-Across 39-Down : PASTORAL

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

Bill’s time: 7m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Quotable Yankee, familiarly : YOGI

Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America’s most celebrated “author” of malapropisms. Here are some greats:

  • It ain’t over till it’s over.
  • 90% of the game is half mental.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • It’s déjà vu all over again.
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.
  • A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

9 Fencing blades : EPEES

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

14 Tarzan raisers : APES

In the stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes was actually Englishman John Clayton, Viscount Greystoke.

15 Cher and Sade, vocally : ALTI

“Cher” is the stage name used by singer and actress Cherilyn Sarkisian. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1988 and won the season’s Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

Singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

16 16th-century English queen : MARY I

Mary I was Queen of England and Ireland from 1553 to 1558. Mary was the only surviving child from the marriage of King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Unlike her father, Mary adhered to her Roman Catholic faith and was noted for her brutal persecution of Protestants during her reign. She had almost three hundred religious dissenters burned at the stake, resulting in her gaining the nickname “Bloody Mary”. Roman Catholic rule was reversed after she died, when her half-sister Elizabeth I succeeded to the throne.

17 With 63-Across, musician born 12/16/1770 : LUDWIG VAN …
63A See 17-Across : … BEETHOVEN

Ludwig van Beethoven is my favorite composer from the Classical period. There are two excellent films that showcase his music and give fictionalized yet entertaining accounts of different aspects of his life: “Immortal Beloved” (1994) that speculates on the identity of one of Beethoven’s lovers, and “Copying Beethoven” (2006) that explores the events leading up to the triumphant premiere of his 9th Symphony.

19 North Sea county : ESSEX

Essex is a county in England that is referred to as one of the “home counties”. The home counties are those that surround the city of London, outside of London itself. “Home county” is not an official designation but has been in popular use since the 1800s. The list of home counties usually comprises Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex.

The North Sea is an offshoot of the Atlantic Ocean that is located between Britain and Scandinavia.

20 German steel city : ESSEN

Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany. The city experienced major population growth in the mid-1800s that was driven by the iron works established by the Krupp family.

25 Ming most look up to : YAO

Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

26 Nickname for a 63-Across 39-Down : CHORAL
63A See 17-Across : … BEETHOVEN
39D 63-Across work : SYMPHONY

Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” is his wonderful “Choral” symphony. When it was composed in 1824 it was the first time that a major composer had used voices in a symphony. By the time of the Ninth’s premier, Beethoven was essentially deaf. He insisted on sharing the stage with the musical director (who was conducting), and was visibly counting out time but was off by quite a few measures. When the last notes were played there was enthusiastic applause, although Beethoven was still conducting. The lead contralto had to walk over to Beethoven, stop him, and turn him to the audience to receive his adulation.

34 __ Vegas : LAS

Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows (“las vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”) present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city’s tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in “the mob”, as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).

35 Marks for removal : DELES

“Dele” is the editorial instruction to delete something from a document, and is often written in red.

37 “Inferno” poet : DANTE

Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is “Inferno”, which is the Italian word for “Hell”. In the poem, Dante is led on a journey by the poet Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell on which are written the famous words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

38 Story lines : ARCS

A story arc is a continuing storyline in say a television show that runs through a number of episodes. Story arcs are also found in comics, books, video games, and other forms of media.

40 Numerically, 63-Across’ C-minor 39-Down : FIFTH
63A See 17-Across : … BEETHOVEN

Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” has one of the most recognizable openings in the whole of the classical repertoire, and comprises just four simpel notes. The work is sometimes referred to as the “Fate Symphony”, with that opening motif representing Fate knocking at the door.

42 Tolkien trilogy, to fans : LOTR

“Lord of the Rings” (LOTR)

Author J. R. R. Tolkien is best known as the author of the fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of Rings”. After serving as an officer in the First World War, his first job as a civilian was researching the history and etymology of words for the Oxford English Dictionary. In fact, Tolkien was assigned the words from “waggle” through “warlock”.

47 Toon crime fighter __ Possible : KIM

“Kim Possible” is an animated Disney TV series for kids that originally ran from 2002 until 2007. The title character is a teenage crimefighter, with a partner named Ron Stoppable.

50 Nickname for a 63-Across 39-Down : EROICA
63A See 17-Across : … BEETHOVEN
39D 63-Across work : SYMPHONY

Beethoven originally dedicated his “Symphony No. 3” to Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven admired the principles of the French Revolution and as such respected Bonaparte who was “born” out of the uprising. When Napoleon declared himself Emperor, Beethoven (and much of Europe) saw this as a betrayal to the ideals of the revolution so he changed the name of his new symphony from “Bonaparte” to “Eroica”, meaning “heroic, valiant”.

52 Pipe plastic : PVC

PVC is polyvinyl chloride, the third most widely produced plastic in the world (after polyethylene and polypropylene). PVC is resistant to corrosion from biological and chemical agents making it a favored choice these days for sewage lines, replacing the traditional metal materials. It is so chemically stable that it will be around a long, long time …

53 Like cotton candy : SPUN

What we call “cotton candy” here in the US has some interesting names in the rest of the world. Back in Ireland it’s candyfloss, in France it “barbe à papa” (Dad’s beard), and in Australia it is called fairy floss. “Fairy floss” is actually the original name for cotton candy, a name first used when the confection was introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

65 Tony winner Menzel : IDINA

Actress and singer Idina Menzel came to public attention when she was a member of the original Broadway cast of “Rent”. She is known on the small screen for playing Shelby Corcoran on the musical TV show “Glee”. On the big screen, her most noted performance was as the voice actor behind Queen Elsa in the Disney hit “Frozen”. It is Menzel who sings the Oscar-winning song “Let It Go” in “Frozen”.

66 The M in BLT? : MAYO

Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

69 Chopped side dish : SLAW

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

70 Some traffic court cases: Abbr. : DWIS

In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

Down

1 New Haven school : YALE

The city of New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants from England. New Haven is home to Yale University. The city also initiated the first public tree planting program in the country. The large elms included in the program led to New Haven being called “the Elm City”.

2 Musical work : OPUS

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes use the plural “opuses” in English, but that just annoys me …

3 H.S. proficiency tests : GEDS

The General Educational Development (GED) tests are a battery of four tests designed to demonstrate that a student has the academic skills of someone who has graduated from an American or Canadian high school.

5 XK-E, for short : JAG

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

We knew them as E-type Jags in my part of the world growing up, but they were marketed over in the US as the Jaguar XK-E line. The XK-E was manufactured from 1961 to 1974.

7 Greek vowels : ETAS

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

8 It makes cents : ZINC

Zinc is the chemical element with the atomic number 30 and the element symbol “Zn”. Zinc is a metal that can form pointed crystals after smelting. It is probably these crystals that gave the element its name, which comes from the Old High German “zint” meaning “point”.

The original one-cent coin was introduced in the US in 1793 and was made of 100% copper, giving rise to the nickname “copper” for a 1-cent coin. The composition varied over time, and was 100% bronze up to the 1940s. During WWII there was a shortage of copper to make bronze, so the US Mint switched to zinc-coated steel for production of one-cent coins in 1943. The “steelie” is the only coin ever issued by the US mint that can be picked up by a magnet. Today’s one-cent coin consists mainly of zinc.

9 Important gem in Oz : EMERALD

The Emerald City is the capital of the Land of Oz in L. Frank Baum’s series of “Oz” novels.

10 Nickname for a 63-Across 39-Down : PASTORAL
63A See 17-Across : … BEETHOVEN
39D 63-Across work : SYMPHONY

Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his magnificent Symphony No. 6 (The Pastoral) in the key of F major. He then wrote his shorter Symphony No. 8 in the same key, and referred to it as “my little symphony in F”.

11 Gaelic language : ERSE

There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be “Gaeilge” (in Ireland), “Gaelg” (on the Isle of Man) and “Gaidhlig” (in Scotland).

13 Touchdown points : SIX

That would be football.

22 Bony Olive : OYL

E. C. Segar’s cartoon character Olive Oyl had quite a large family. Her mother is Nana Oyl, and her father Cole Oyl. Olive’s brother is Castor Oyl, and she has uncles named Otto Oyl and Lubry Kent Oyl (my favorite!).

24 Musical symbol : CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

27 Gold rush storyteller : HARTE

Bret Harte was a storyteller noted for his tales of the American West, even though he himself was from back East, born in Albany, New York. One work attributed to him is “Ah Sin”, a disastrously unsuccessful play written by Harte with Mark Twain. The two writers didn’t get on at all well during the writing process, and when the play was produced for the stage it was very poorly received. Nevertheless, Twain suggested a further collaboration with Harte, and Harte downright refused!

The California gold rush actually started in 1848. The first to exploit the find were those people already in California. By 1849 the word had spread and gold-seekers started to arrive from all over the world. The “out-of-towners” who arrived in 1849 became known as forty-niners.

28 “The Odd Couple” roommate : OSCAR

“The Odd Couple” is a play by the wonderfully talented Neil Simon that was first performed on Broadway, in 1965. This great play was adapted for the big screen in 1968, famously starring Jack Lemmon (as Felix Unger) and Walter Matthau (as Oscar Madison). The success of the play and the film gave rise to an excellent television sitcom that ran from 1970-1975, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In 1985, Neil Simon even went so far as to adapt the play for an all-female cast, renaming it “The Female Odd Couple”. I’d like to see that one …

29 Group self-pic, in slang : WEFIE

A selfie is a self-portrait, one usually taken with a digital camera or cell phone. A “group selfie” is sometimes referred to as a “groufie” or “wefie”. A “couple selfie” is known as an “usie” or “ussie”, although those terms are sometimes also used for a group picture.

30 Started, as a co. : ESTD

Established (“est.” or “estd.”)

31 Japanese mushroom : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

32 Web site : ATTIC

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

The silk that makes up a web is a protein fiber that is “spun” by a spider. Spider silk is about one sixth of the density of steel, yet has a comparable tensile strength.

33 Stuffed Jewish dish also called kishke : DERMA

Kishka (also “kishke” and “stuffed derma”) is a sausage or intestine stuffed with meat and meal. The dish comes from Eastern Europe and is popular in Jewish communities.

41 Dickens sycophant : HEEP

Uriah Heep is a sniveling and insincere character in the novel “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens. The character is such a “yes man” that today, if we know someone who behaves the same way, then we might call that person a “Uriah Heep”.

A sycophant is a selfish person, and one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

49 Summer coolers, briefly : ACS

The modern form of air conditioning (AC) that is still used today was invented by Willis Carrier in 1902. He co-founded the Carrier Engineering Corporation in New York in 1915. The Carrier Corporation eventually moved to Syracuse, New York in 1937. Beyond the world of air conditioning, the Carrier name has been associated with Syracuse University’s famous Carrier Dome since it opened in 1980. The Carrier Dome is the largest on-campus basketball stadium in the country.

54 Autobahn auto : AUDI

The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch’s young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that “horch” was German for “hear” and he suggested “Audi” as a replacement, the Latin for “listen”.

The federal highway system in Germany is known as the Autobahn (plural “Autobahnen” in German). Famously, there are no federally mandated speed limits on the autobahn, although many, many stretches of the highway do indeed have posted and enforced limits. Where there is no speed limit posted, there is an advisory speed limit of 130 km/hr (81 mph). It is not illegal to travel over this speed limit, but legal liability may increase at higher speeds if that speed contributes to an accident.

56 System/360s, e.g. : IBMS

The System/360 is a line of mainframe computers introduced by IBM in 1964. It was an extremely successful design and so a handful are still around, albeit in museums.

57 Piccata meat : VEAL

The dish named “piccata” originated in Italy, with the traditional meat used being veal. Whatever meat used is sliced and flattened with a tenderizer, seasoned, dredged in flour and browned in a pan. The juices from the pan are the base for the sauce, to which are added lemon juice, white wine, shallots, caper and butter.

60 Mortgagee’s option, for short : REFI

Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. Such an arrangement was so called because the “pledge” to repay “dies” when the debt is cleared.

61 Laryngitis docs : ENTS

The branch of medicine known as “ear, nose and throat” (ENT) is more correctly called “otolaryngology”.

The suffix “-itis” is used to denote inflammation, as in laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), otitis (inflammation of the ear), tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon), tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).

62 Ohio or Mississippi: Abbr. : RIV

The Ohio River forms in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. It empties into the Mississippi near the city of Cairo, Illinois.

The Mississippi River runs right through the Midwest. It originates in Lake Itasca, Minnesota and flows into the Gulf of Mexico about a hundred miles below New Orleans. The name Mississippi is a corruption of a Native American name “misi-ziibi”, meaning “Great River, Father of Waters”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Quotable Yankee, familiarly : YOGI
5 “Yikes!” : JEEZ!
9 Fencing blades : EPEES
14 Tarzan raisers : APES
15 Cher and Sade, vocally : ALTI
16 16th-century English queen : MARY I
17 With 63-Across, musician born 12/16/1770 : LUDWIG VAN …
19 North Sea county : ESSEX
20 German steel city : ESSEN
21 Offered an arm to : ESCORTED
23 Basics : ABCS
25 Ming most look up to : YAO
26 Nickname for a 63-Across 39-Down : CHORAL
29 Literate : WELL READ
34 __ Vegas : LAS
35 Marks for removal : DELES
37 “Inferno” poet : DANTE
38 Story lines : ARCS
40 Numerically, 63-Across’ C-minor 39-Down : FIFTH
42 Tolkien trilogy, to fans : LOTR
43 Remains : STAYS
45 It’s usually not a hit : SIDE-B
47 Toon crime fighter __ Possible : KIM
48 Spread throughout : PERMEATE
50 Nickname for a 63-Across 39-Down : EROICA
52 Pipe plastic : PVC
53 Like cotton candy : SPUN
54 Sticky stuff : ADHESIVE
58 Facebook action : SHARE
62 Unverified word : RUMOR
63 See 17-Across : … BEETHOVEN
65 Tony winner Menzel : IDINA
66 The M in BLT? : MAYO
67 Artist’s quarters : LOFT
68 Record material : VINYL
69 Chopped side dish : SLAW
70 Some traffic court cases: Abbr. : DWIS

Down

1 New Haven school : YALE
2 Musical work : OPUS
3 H.S. proficiency tests : GEDS
4 Oath beginning : I SWEAR …
5 XK-E, for short : JAG
6 Seasonal aides : ELVES
7 Greek vowels : ETAS
8 It makes cents : ZINC
9 Important gem in Oz : EMERALD
10 Nickname for a 63-Across 39-Down : PASTORAL
11 Gaelic language : ERSE
12 Watched closely : EYED
13 Touchdown points : SIX
18 __ humor: grumpy : IN BAD
22 Bony Olive : OYL
24 Musical symbol : CLEF
26 Bracelet fastener : CLASP
27 Gold rush storyteller : HARTE
28 “The Odd Couple” roommate : OSCAR
29 Group self-pic, in slang : WEFIE
30 Started, as a co. : ESTD
31 Japanese mushroom : ENOKI
32 Web site : ATTIC
33 Stuffed Jewish dish also called kishke : DERMA
36 Itemize : LIST
39 63-Across work : SYMPHONY
41 Dickens sycophant : HEEP
44 A few : SEVERAL
46 Salon item : BRUSH
49 Summer coolers, briefly : ACS
51 Indefinitely suspended : ON HOLD
53 “Later!” : SEE YA!
54 Autobahn auto : AUDI
55 Key of the 26-Across 39-Down: Abbr. : D MIN
56 System/360s, e.g. : IBMS
57 Piccata meat : VEAL
59 Openly declare : AVOW
60 Mortgagee’s option, for short : REFI
61 Laryngitis docs : ENTS
62 Ohio or Mississippi: Abbr. : RIV
64 Auto club service : TOW

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Dec 20, Wednesday”

  1. Forgot the name of the Japanese mushroom ENOKI and didn’t know KIM POSSIBLE or the Jewish dish. Guessed ENOLI and LIT and that gave me DERTA for the dish. Failed on all three.

    Ref: 54D and my first autobahn experience. I remember driving on the autobahn and seeing the “speed limit” sign that said “120 KM – Das ist Genug!”
    The locals advised me it wasn’t a limit as much as it was advice.. my ’65 Ford Taurus couldn’t get much over 70 mph anyway so I was good.

  2. No errors, but had to look up “Kim” Possible because never heard of this
    toon. ….and early in the game had to change alto to alti to finish out zinc.
    (My spell-check doesn’t like “alti!”) It’s not so smart after all!

  3. 9:27. Sped through (for me), then had two blanks where enoki, derma, and kim cross. Put in the k, which seemed kind of familiar, then took a wild guess at the m for kim and somehow I was done.

  4. I had the IN first and so quickly entered MINT for ” 8D – It makes cents”. And there my troubles began (not helped by me thinking it’s Ludwig Von instead of Van…).
    A good Wednesday puzzle!

  5. 21:22 and I had Kid for Kim also…this kind of puzzle clues are like a form 1040 and I pay someone else to do that dreaded task for me.
    It took a while to get ZINC AND ALTI because I thought Beethoven’s title was Von.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens🙏

  6. 9 minutes, 47 seconds, no errors. Look: WEFIE is not a word, it isn’t even “a thing”. Knock it off with the weak attempts to be “current”.

  7. Jeez, tough puzzle. I, too, originally had Von instead of Van for 17A. I never heard of derma or Kim Possible and the acronym LOTR (I’m not a Tolkien fan) and just guessed on the “m” and “r” to get derma. Other than all that, piece of cake!

  8. No Googles or errors.
    Had saturATE before PERMEATE. Didn’tknow LOTR or IDiNA.
    I thought it was strange to refer to EROICA, CHORAL or PASTORAL as nicknames.
    All in all, a clever puzzle.

  9. Aloha meine Freunden!!!🤗

    No errors, but I also struggled in that mid-East region, not knowing DERMA or LOTR. I thought surely I’d come here and find I’d made a mistake somewhere.

    I also got irritated at having to refer to OTHER answers in so many clues, but that’s just me being cranky. 🙁

    Be well ~~🥂

  10. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 12:13 with 2 errors, mostly because I had no idea: LOT? and KI? A real Natick corner, which I didn’t feel like wasting any time on.

    At least I finally remembered ENOKI and IDINA. Liked the “M in BLT?” clue.

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