LA Times Crossword 19 Dec 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Brian E. Paquin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 9m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 “Fawlty Towers” network : BBC

“Fawlty Towers” might just be the world’s greatest sitcom, and is popular on both sides of the Atlantic. It was written by, and stars, John Cleese and his then-wife Connie Booth. There were two series, one broadcast in 1975, and the other in 1979. There have been three attempts to remake the series in the US, one of which starred John Larroquette as Basil Fawlty, but none of the remakes worked at all.

13 Not a brick-and-mortar operation : E-SHOP

“E-tail” is the term used these days for online shopping (coming from “retail”). E-tail is often compared to regular shopping in the “real world” by juxtaposing it with a “brick-and-mortar” store.

15 Squirrel’s pal, to Boris : MOOSE

“The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show” is a cartoon series that originally aired on television in the late fifties and early sixties. The title characters are a moose (Bullwinkle) and a squirrel (Rocky). Rocky the Flying Squirrel is formally known as Rocket J. Squirrel, Bullwinkle’s full name is Bullwinkle J. Moose.

19 Surname suggesting anonymity : DOE

Though the English court system does not use the term today, “John Doe” first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with the similar “Richard Roe”. An unknown female is referred to as “Jane Doe ”, and the equivalent to Richard Roe is Jane Roe (as in Roe v. Wade, for example). Variants of “John Doe” used outside of the courts are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.

20 Ride __ : SHOTGUN

The person riding alongside the driver of a vehicle is said to be “riding shotgun”. Even though the phrase is a reference to the armed guard who rode beside the driver of a stagecoach in the Old West, the term wasn’t coined until the early 20th century.

22 Boris’ sidekick : NATASHA

Fearless Leader, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale are all characters in the cartoon show “Rocky and Bullwinkle”. Fearless Leader is the dictatorial ruler of Pottsylvania, and Boris and Natasha are two of his minions, two inept government agents.

24 Agent taking a cut? : REP

Representative (rep.)

25 ’70s-’80s televangelist show “The __ Club” : PTL

“The PTL Club” was a daily television show hosted by televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. PTL is short for both “Praise the Lord” and “People that Love”. The show ended its run of over ten years in 1987 when it was revealed that Jim Bakker was involved in financial and sexual scandals. Bakker served 5 years in jail as part of an 18-year sentence.

27 Disgust : ODIUM

Odium is a strong dislike or aversion. The term is Latin in origin and relates to the Latin word “odi” meaning “I hate”.

33 Assets of KFC and Coca-Cola, e.g. : SECRET RECIPES

The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

The exact formula for Coca-Cola is a trade secret. The secret recipe is locked in a vault. That vault is on public display in the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

37 Classic ’60s hit that mentions a roller coaster : PALISADES PARK

“Palisades Park” is a 1962 song recorded by Freddy Cannon. It is a rock and roll number that pays tribute to New Jersey’s Palisades Amusement Park that was located just across the Hudson River from New York City.

41 Nordic language : SAMI

Lapland is a geographic region in northern Scandinavia, largely found within the Arctic Circle. Parts of Lapland are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The people who are native to the region are called the Sami people. The Sami don’t like to be referred to as “Lapps” and they regard the term as insulting.

Someone is described as Nordic if he or she is a native of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland or Iceland.

46 Inverness objection : NAE

Inverness is in effect the capital city of the Scottish Highlands. It is the most northerly city in the whole of the United Kingdom. Inverness sits at the mouth of the River Ness, which flows from the famous Loch Ness.

47 White or Black : SEA

The White Sea is an inlet of the Barents Sea in Russia. The major port of Archangel (“Archangelsk”) is located on the White Sea.

The Black Sea is in southeastern Europe just south of Ukraine. In the north of the Black Sea is the Crimean Peninsula.

51 Upper arm muscle : TRICEPS

The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

54 Genetic messenger : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

55 Tusk, in fact : TOOTH

Tusks are the front teeth of certain animals that grow continuously. The tusks piggs, hippo and walruses are elongated canine teeth. The tusks of elephants are elongated incisors.

58 Examine carefully : VET

The verb “to vet” comes from the term “veterinarian”. The idea is that to vet something is to subject it to careful examination, like a veterinarian checking out an animal.

59 Same old same old feeling : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a term that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

60 __ nous : ENTRE

In French, something might perhaps be discussed “entre deux” (between two) or “entre nous” (between us).

61 “… __ the set of sun”: “Macbeth” : ERE

“That will be ere the set of sun” is a line from William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. It is a line that is spoken by one of the three witches.

62 ’90s-’00s band with a star in its logo : NSYNC

NSYNC was a boy band from Orlando, Florida that was formed in 1995. The name of the group came from a comment by the mother of band member Justin Timberlake, who said the boys voices sounded “in sync”. But, it’s also true that the letters of the name NSYNC are the last letters of the given names of the five band members:

  • Justin Timberlake
  • Chris Kirkpatrick
  • Joey Fatone
  • Lance “Lansten” Bass
  • JC Chasez

63 Hardy girl : TESS

The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.

Down

1 Mr. and Mr. : MESSRS

The abbreviation “Messrs.” is used at the head of a list of male names in place of “Misters”. It is an abbreviation of the French “messieurs”, the plural of “monsieur”. The equivalent female term is “mesdames”, the plural of “madame”, and is shortened to “Mmes.”

2 Shuns : ESCHEWS

“To eschew”, meaning “to avoid, shun”, comes from the Old French word “eschiver” that means the same thing.

4 Haul : LOOT

“Loot” is the name given to anything taken by dishonesty or force, particularly during war. The term came into English from the Hindi “lut” meaning “goods taken from an enemy”.

6 Campaign pro : POL

Politician (pol)

8 Court org. : USTA

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national organization governing the sport of tennis in the US. The USTA was founded way back in 1881 as the United States National Lawn Tennis Association.

12 Like bisque : CREAMY

A traditional bisque is a creamy soup made from crustaceans such as lobster, crab or shrimp. The term “bisque” probably comes from the Bay of “Biscay” off the west coast of France, a nod to the French origin of the soup and its seafood content. So, if you see a vegetable “bisque” in a restaurant, you’ll know that the term is being misused …

14 NBA scoring stat : PPG

Points per game (PPG)

30 Half-Betazoid aboard the Enterprise : TROI

Deanna Troi is a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” who is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

34 Wyoming’s “Oil City” : CASPER

The Wyoming city of Casper was established just a few miles east of the former site of Fort Caspar, which gave the settlement its name. In turn, Fort Caspar was named for US Army officer Caspar Collins, who was killed in 1865 at the Battle of the Plate Bridge Station. “Platte Bridge Station” was the name of the trading post that had existed at the site of Fort Caspar.

50 One of Tommy Tune’s ten : TONY

The Tony Awards are more completely referred to as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. The awards are named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who was a co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

Tommy Tune is an actor, dancer and director from Texas who was at the height of his fame in the late sixties and seventies.

56 Vineyard vessel : TUN

A tun is a barrel, often a large barrel used in winemaking. The term “tun” came to be a measure of volume, originally 252 gallons of wine. The weight of such a volume of wine was referred to as a “tun”, which evolved into our contemporary unit “ton”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Kitten cry : MEWL
5 Top-notch : A-PLUS
10 “Fawlty Towers” network : BBC
13 Not a brick-and-mortar operation : E-SHOP
15 Squirrel’s pal, to Boris : MOOSE
16 Mess up : ERR
17 Cone topper : SCOOP
18 Send : ELATE
19 Surname suggesting anonymity : DOE
20 Ride __ : SHOTGUN
22 Boris’ sidekick : NATASHA
24 Agent taking a cut? : REP
25 ’70s-’80s televangelist show “The __ Club” : PTL
27 Disgust : ODIUM
28 Endures anxiously : SWEATS OUT
32 Not at all cool : EDGY
33 Assets of KFC and Coca-Cola, e.g. : SECRET RECIPES
36 Relentlessly : TO THE LAST
37 Classic ’60s hit that mentions a roller coaster : PALISADES PARK
41 Nordic language : SAMI
42 Much ballet dancing is done on them : TIPPY-TOES
44 Kid’s transport : TRIKE
46 Inverness objection : NAE
47 White or Black : SEA
48 As a minimum : AT LEAST
51 Upper arm muscle : TRICEPS
54 Genetic messenger : RNA
55 Tusk, in fact : TOOTH
57 Has status : RATES
58 Examine carefully : VET
59 Same old same old feeling : ENNUI
60 __ nous : ENTRE
61 “… __ the set of sun”: “Macbeth” : ERE
62 ’90s-’00s band with a star in its logo : NSYNC
63 Hardy girl : TESS

Down

1 Mr. and Mr. : MESSRS
2 Shuns : ESCHEWS
3 “Yay!” : WHOOPEE!
4 Haul : LOOT
5 “I couldn’t agree more” : AMEN TO THAT
6 Campaign pro : POL
7 Grant alternative : LOAN
8 Court org. : USTA
9 Address : SEE TO
10 __ manner : BEDSIDE
11 Guy greetings : BRO HUGS
12 Like bisque : CREAMY
14 NBA scoring stat : PPG
21 Riles : UPSETS
23 Able to do well : ADEPT AT
26 Cleverly attracted : LURED IN
29 Do an impersonation of : ACT LIKE
30 Half-Betazoid aboard the Enterprise : TROI
31 Like 30-Down, to an extent : TELEPATHIC
34 Wyoming’s “Oil City” : CASPER
35 Guessing game for a road trip : I SPY
37 Associate : PARTNER
38 Comment from one hurrying in : AM I LATE?
39 Floral cake decoration : ROSETTE
40 Fish that measure up : KEEPERS
41 Fast to the extreme : STARVE
43 Acts smart with : SASSES
45 Taken in : EATEN
49 Word in family business names : SONS
50 One of Tommy Tune’s ten : TONY
52 Steam : IRE
53 Is unable to : CAN’T
56 Vineyard vessel : TUN

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Dec 20, Saturday”

  1. No errors but it took longer to catch on .. bit it off in pieces and finished.. never heard of TOMMY TUNE .. SAMI almost got me since I was convinced it was ERSE then rethought it.. Also ODIUM.. hmm. Wasn’t sure but it worked out.

  2. No errors, but I wasn’t sure of that until I accessed Bill’s grid. I had to
    guess on “Sami” and PPG but guessed right for once. I thought I’d never
    find a starting point to this puzzle, but it was “Natasha” for me as I
    remember my kids watching Boris and Natasha in whatever cartoon
    they were in.
    t

  3. LAT: Almost an hour but did complete without error. A tough, but good puzzle I was able to do probably because of my age (who knows Freddy Cannon today?). One Across caught me right off (I had “meow” for the longest time).

  4. Elate for send-why? That doesn’t make any sense. Sorry. There’s no known way of saying an English sentence in which you begin a sentence with “send” and emphasize it. Get me a jury and show me how you can say “send July” and I’ll… go down on you. That’s just idiotic, if you’ll forgive me by saying so.

    1. @Joe … See the following page:

      https://www.thefreedictionary.com/send

      Specifically, see definition 7: “(Slang) To transport with delight; to carry away”.

      The example given is, “That music really sends me.”

      The usage is quite familiar to me and I think that “elate” is an appropriate synonym.

      ——

      And, since I’m here …

      LAT: 8:47, no errors, though I briefly had ETAIL before ESHOP.

      Today’s “Stumper”, from Newsday was uncharacteristically simple: 12:22, no errors. What’s up those guys? … 😜

      Yesterday’s Croce did not disappoint, though: 53:45, no errors (and I feel lucky to have done that well, as I had an awful time getting started on the thing).

    2. @ Joe – In this usage it would be a teenage girl (most likely) who would be confiding in one of her girl friends about a boy she had a crush on while saying “He really sends me with those blue eyes and his dimples” (You can have a pass on your generous offer…we need to have social distance after all! ;-D> ).

  5. I assumed that “send” was slang for “elate” based on the pop song
    “You Send Me,” popular sometime in the 50’s/60’s era.

  6. Something is wrong. My newspaper’s Sat. puzzle is constructed by Julian Lim.
    The puzzle Bill solves here is Sat., Dec. 20 not the 19th – a completely different puzzle.

  7. I have fond memories of going to Palisades Amusement Park in the 1960’s before it shut down. Freddy Cannon may have sung the song but Chuck Barris (who conceived and hosted the Gong Show and later claimed he was a CIA agent) wrote it in about 5 minutes.

  8. It’s not a true Saturday puzzle when I can finish in 25:21 with no errors but I’ll take it.👍
    Stay safe😀
    go Ravens🙏

  9. 12:20 1 error

    The original Rocky and Bullwinkle was the best! I still love the six-foot tall metal-munching moon mice.

  10. 16 minutes, 36 seconds, no errors. Northwest quadrant took forever, it seemed. But, I did get it finished, and I’ve seen far worse than this one.

  11. I’d been complaining about puzzles having too many names in them – and this one didn’t! So I appreciated this puzzle. I also found it difficult and had to look up several clues – couldn’t finish it on my own. Having “I’m into that” rather than “amen to that” led me astray, for one thing.

  12. Kind of a tough Saturday for me; took 43:23 on-line with no errors or peeks. Spent a lot of time in the NW and W middle, but finally sorted it out.

    Now I have an image of Boris in my mind… 🙂

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