LA Times Crossword 24 Dec 20, Thursday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fish Ladder

Themed answers are in the down-direction, and each includes a FISH as a hidden word written upwards:

  • 30D Structure that creates a path for upstream migration, and a hint to hidden words in four long Down answers : FISH LADDER
  • 3D Incur debt beyond one’s means : GO INTO HOCK (hiding “COHO” upwards)
  • 9D Equine contest with weight penalties : HANDICAP RACE (hiding “CARP” upwards)
  • 18D Succinctly : IN A NUTSHELL (hiding “TUNA” upwards)
  • 21D Progress without faltering : NOT MISS A BEAT (hiding “BASS” upwards)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 30s

Bill’s errors: 2

SENSEI (sensai!!!)
NEET (Neat!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Streaming delay : LAG

In Internet terms, lag is a delay in response caused by network latency. We might notice lag when streaming a video, for example.

7 Goddess whom Arachne challenged to a weaving contest : ATHENA

In Greek and Roman mythology, Arachne was a mortal woman who was a great weaver. Arachne boasted that her weaving was greater than that of the goddess Athena (or Minerva in Roman myth), and this was proven true in a contest. As a result, Arachne was turned into a spider by Athena. “Arachne” is the Greek word for spider.

13 Lennon collaborator : ONO

After John Lennon married Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name by deed poll, adding “Ono” as a middle name. His official name became John Winston Ono Lennon, as he wasn’t allowed to drop the name “Winston” that was given to him at birth.

14 “Roth” investment : IRA

Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.

17 Market area with a counter : DELI

The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

19 Dojo teacher : SENSEI

“Sensei” is a Japanese form of address used for figures of authority, from lawyers to martial arts instructors.

The Japanese word “dojo” translates literally as “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

20 __ rigate: pasta dish : PENNE

The pasta known as penne comes in two main types, i.e. penne lisce (which is smooth) and penne rigate (which is furrowed).

24 Get by a threat : EXTORT

To extort is to obtain by force or intimidation. The term “extort” comes from the Latin “ex” (out) and “torquere” (to twist).

26 Tokyo brew : ASAHI

Asahi is a Japanese beer, and the name of the brewery that produces it. “Asahi” is Japanese for “morning sun”. Asahi introduced a “dry beer” in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed the brewery to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.

27 Siouan people : OTOE

The Otoe (also “Oto”) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

29 Corporate money mgrs. : CFOS

Chief financial officer (CFO)

33 Big name in 2008 financial news : LEHMAN

Lehman Brothers was one of the global financial services companies at the center of the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008, which was the largest bankruptcy filing in American history.

36 “SNL” Emmy nominee Bryant : AIDY

Actor and comedian Aidy Bryant made her debut on “Saturday Night Live” in 2012. Bryant married fellow comedian Conner O’Malley in 2018.

38 Armored truck stop : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

39 Cathedral areas : APSES

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

42 Busby or ushanka : FUR HAT

A busby is a military head-dress made from fur.

An ushanka is a fur cap with ear flaps from Russia. The name “ushanka” comes from the Russian “ushi” meaning “ears”.

43 Benevolent order : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

45 Severely damaged sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

48 Take back : RECANT

Our term “to recant”, meaning “to retract, take back” comes directly from the Latin “recantare”, which has the same meaning. In turn, “recantare” derives from “re-” (back) and “cantare” (to chant).

51 Competition with rhyme and rhythm : RAP BATTLE

Battle rapping (also “rap battling”) is a contest in which two or more rappers “fight it out” using opposing, improvised lyrics. I’d be annihilated …

55 WWII observance : V-E DAY

World War II started in 1 September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany. V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) was celebrated on 8 May 1945, when the German military surrendered in Berlin. V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day) was celebrated on 2 September 1945 when the Japanese signed the surrender document aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

56 Acquaint with the existing situation : ORIENT

“To orient” is to adjust relative to the surroundings. The original meaning back in the early 1700s was “to arrange facing east”, from the Old French “orient” meaning “east”. In turn, “orient” comes from the Latin “oriri” meaning “rise”, the idea being that the sun rises in the east.

57 Prom rental : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

60 Facial expression : VISAGE

“Visage” is the French word for “face”, and is a term we’ve imported into English to mean “face” or “facial expression”.

61 Versailles monarch : ROI

Versailles is a city located just 10 miles from the center of Paris. It is famous as home to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. The palace started out as a hunting lodge built in the village of Versailles in 1624, built for Louis XIII. Louis XIII extended the lodge into a full-blown château, but it was Louis XIV who expanded it into one of the largest palaces on the planet. Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles starting in 1678.

62 December 24, e.g. : EVE

Several factors contributed to the selection of December 25th as the day of the birth of Jesus. One factor is that it was the date of the winter solstice in the Roman calendar, and tradition had it that Jesus chose to be born on the shortest day of the year. It was also nine months after the vernal equinox (March 25th) in the same calendar, which was a date linked to the conception of Jesus.

65 __ tape : RED

Back in the days of yore in England, official documents were bound in bundles with red ribbon. So, getting through all the paperwork required “cutting through the red tape”.

Down

1 Jeweler’s glass : LOUPE

A loupe is a small magnifying lens that is held in the hand. “Loupe” is the French name for such a device.

3 Incur debt beyond one’s means : GO INTO HOCK (hiding “COHO” upwards)

The phrase “in hock” is an American invention. Back in the mid-19th century “in hock” meant both “in debt” and “in prison”. The word “hock” comes from the Dutch “hok” meaning “jail”.

The Coho salmon is dark blue with silver along the side of its body, but only during the phase of its life while it is in the ocean. When spawning and heading up into a freshwater river, the Coho has bright red sides.

6 “__ Ha’i” : BALI

The song “Bali Ha’i” is from the musical “South Pacific” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Bali Ha’i is the name of a volcanic island that neighbors the island on which the story takes place. The matriarch of Bali Ha’i is a character named Bloody Mary, and it is Bloody Mary who sings the song in the musical.

9 Equine contest with weight penalties : HANDICAP RACE (hiding “CARP” upwards)

The noun “handicap”, an advantage or disadvantage in a competition, comes from the phrase “hand-in-cap”, which was the name of an Old English trading game. In the game, two players agree to trade two possessions. The players and a referee all put some forfeit money into a cap, forming a kitty that can be won. The referee determines the value of the items and declares any difference in worth, an amount that has to be added by the owner of the lower-valued item so that the trade is “equal”. The players then put their hands into their pockets and draw out a token coin(s) at the same time, signalling that they agree with the valuation given. If agreement is reached, the referee collects the forfeit as a “fee” and the items are exchanged. If neither player agrees with the valuation they withdraw empty hands from their pockets, then the referee collects the fee and no exchange is made. If only one player agrees to the exchange, then that player collects the forfeit, and again no exchange is made.

Carp are freshwater fish that are used as food around the world, although they aren’t very popular in North American kitchens. The ornamental fish that we know as goldfish and koi are all types of carp.

10 “Frozen II” sister : ELSA

“Frozen II” is a 2019 sequel to the 2013 hit Disney movie “Frozen”. “Frozen II” was highly anticipated by audiences, and so had the highest worldwide opening of any animated film in the history of movies.

11 Bikini wax alternative, formerly : NEET

The hair removal product “Neet” was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as “Immac”. Today, it is sold under the name “Veet”.

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

23 Sacred song : PSALM

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

25 Number of Taylor Swift’s Grammys : TEN

Singer Taylor Swift had one of her first gigs at the US Open tennis tournament when she was in her early teens. There she sang the national anthem and received a lot of favorable attention for the performance.

30 Structure that creates a path for upstream migration, and a hint to hidden words in four long Down answers : FISH LADDER

A fish ladder is a structure built around a barrier in a river, a structure designed to allow fish to pass around that barrier. The focus is on fish that routinely swim upstream or downstream for spawning. The structure comprises a number of small steps that are easily navigated by the fish, hence the name “fish ladder”.

31 Classical theaters : ODEA

In ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

32 Part of iOS: Abbr. : SYST

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

33 After curfew : LATE

Our word “curfew” comes from an Old French word meaning “cover fire”. In medieval days a bell would ring in the evenings as a signal to bank the hearths in preparation for sleeping. The intent was to prevent uncontrolled fires starting from fireplaces that were not tended during the night.

38 Salty “Halt!” : AVAST!

“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

39 Parting words : AU REVOIR

“Au revoir” is a French phrase translating literally as “until seen again”, although the accepted usage is “goodbye”.

47 Safe place to drive : RANGE

That would be golf, for example.

51 Gad about : ROVE

To gad about is to move around with little purpose. The word “gad” comes from the Middle English “gadden” meaning “to hurry”.

52 Seed coat : ARIL

The casing surrounding many seeds is called the aril, and it may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and hence aids in the dispersion of the seeds.

53 Galileo’s hometown : PISA

Galileo Galilei may be the most famous son of the city of Pisa in Italy and was considered by many to have been the father of modern science. In the world of physics, Galileo postulated that objects of different masses would fall at the same rate provided they did so in a vacuum (so there was no air resistance). There is a story that he dropped two balls of different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate this, but this probably never happened. Centuries later, Astronaut David Scott performed Galileo’s proposed experiment when he dropped a hammer and feather on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission and we all saw the objects hit the moon surface, at exactly the same time.

54 Word on Irish stamps : EIRE

“Éire”, is the Irish word for “Ireland”. The related “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.

58 Extinct bird : MOA

Moas were flightless birds native to New Zealand that are now extinct. The fate of the Moa is a great example of the detrimental effect that humans can have on animal populations. The Maoris arrived in New Zealand about 1300 AD, upsetting the balance of the ecosystem. The Moa were hunted to extinction within 200 years, which had the knock-on effect of killing off the Haast’s Eagle, the Moa’s only predator prior to the arrival of man. Moa were huge creatures, measuring up to 12 feet tall with their necks stretched upwards.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Streaming delay : LAG
4 Blubber : SOB
7 Goddess whom Arachne challenged to a weaving contest : ATHENA
13 Lennon collaborator : ONO
14 “Roth” investment : IRA
15 Driveway application : SEALER
16 Mono- kin : UNI-
17 Market area with a counter : DELI
19 Dojo teacher : SENSEI
20 __ rigate: pasta dish : PENNE
22 Number-crunching need : INPUT DATA
24 Get by a threat : EXTORT
26 Tokyo brew : ASAHI
27 Siouan people : OTOE
28 Dog or hound : NAG
29 Corporate money mgrs. : CFOS
33 Big name in 2008 financial news : LEHMAN
35 Mod or nod suffix : -ULE
36 “SNL” Emmy nominee Bryant : AIDY
37 Steer clear of : AVOID
38 Armored truck stop : ATM
39 Cathedral areas : APSES
40 Some quirks : TICS
41 Hotel room sets : TVS
42 Busby or ushanka : FUR HAT
43 Benevolent order : ELKS
44 Support syllable : RAH
45 Severely damaged sea : ARAL
46 Became an issue : AROSE
48 Take back : RECANT
51 Competition with rhyme and rhythm : RAP BATTLE
55 WWII observance : VE DAY
56 Acquaint with the existing situation : ORIENT
57 Prom rental : LIMO
59 Ballroom dance move : DIP
60 Facial expression : VISAGE
61 Versailles monarch : ROI
62 December 24, e.g. : EVE
63 Flying high : ELATED
64 Cup handle : EAR
65 __ tape : RED

Down

1 Jeweler’s glass : LOUPE
2 Wing of no help in flying : ANNEX
3 Incur debt beyond one’s means : GO INTO HOCK (hiding “COHO” upwards)
4 Detour part, maybe : SIDEROAD
5 Rock with potential : ORE
6 “__ Ha’i” : BALI
7 Soften : ASSUAGE
8 Effective means of enforcement : TEETH
9 Equine contest with weight penalties : HANDICAP RACE (hiding “CARP” upwards)
10 “Frozen II” sister : ELSA
11 Bikini wax alternative, formerly : NEET
12 Opera highlight : ARIA
18 Succinctly : IN A NUTSHELL (hiding “TUNA” upwards)
21 Progress without faltering : NOT MISS A BEAT (hiding “BASS” upwards)
23 Sacred song : PSALM
25 Number of Taylor Swift’s Grammys : TEN
30 Structure that creates a path for upstream migration, and a hint to hidden words in four long Down answers : FISH LADDER
31 Classical theaters : ODEA
32 Part of iOS: Abbr. : SYST
33 After curfew : LATE
34 Good opponent : EVIL
38 Salty “Halt!” : AVAST!
39 Parting words : AU REVOIR
41 Rounded the bases after a homer, say : TROTTED
42 Not within walking distance : FAR
47 Safe place to drive : RANGE
49 Unsophisticated : NAIVE
50 Used a keyboard : TYPED
51 Gad about : ROVE
52 Seed coat : ARIL
53 Galileo’s hometown : PISA
54 Word on Irish stamps : EIRE
58 Extinct bird : MOA

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Dec 20, Thursday”

  1. GET BY A THREAT (24A) threw me off today: I interpreted it as to move past a threat rather than to obtain by a threat.
    Not familiar with either BUSBY or USHANKA (42A); same for MOA (58D), which, along with EAR (64A), was where I had to finish — pretty much of a natick for me there as CUP HANDLE gave me nothing.
    I hope everyone is having a safe but enjoyable holiday season 🎄🎉

  2. 27:00 no errors…for the theme I found SHELL at the bottom of 18D that misled me and I gave up.
    Happy and safe holidays to all😀
    Go Ravens 🙏

  3. No errors but had 2 “huh” moments.
    Didn’t know AIDY BRYANT got married and never heard of HANDICAP RACE , at least the version Bill describes.

    Merry christmas

  4. No errors, but took awhile. Some answers I didn’t know like asahi and
    rapbattle by crossing letters. Never got the theme and still shake
    my head over it. Merry Christmas everybody. Keep puzzling.

  5. I’ve decided to think in terms of standard deviations and so I will from this point forward disregard the top two times and the bottom two times. If I can find myself somewhere in that range, then it will be a good day. I don’t think today was one of those days. Looking forward to January 21, 2021!

  6. Made this harder than it had to be; took me 21:12 on-line with no errors or peeks. Tried to spell AIDY Addy for a while and had renege before RECANT etc etc…finally got it all straightened out.

    Didn’t know Ushanka but just watched a video of a very brave Russian director Vitaly Mansky conducting a protest in front of the FSB headquarters holding a pair of Tommy Hilfinger shorts, in the wake of the Navalny revelations. After a while a couple of ushanka wearing cops come out and then some more and finally the arrest him, after they figure out what is going on. 🙂

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/12/22/russian-director-mansky-detained-over-navalny-underwear-poisoning-picket-a72447

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