LA Times Crossword 8 Dec 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: As the World Turns

Themed answers each include the letter sequence “EARTH”, but with the order TURNED about:

  • 39A TV soap for 54 years … and a hint to the puzzle circles : AS THE WORLD TURNS
  • 17A Creator of unique gallery pieces : NICHE ARTIST
  • 24A “Louder, please” : I CAN’T HEAR YOU
  • 51A Free on request : FOR THE ASKING
  • 63A Motorcyclist’s state-of-the-art gear : SMART HELMET

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

Bill’s time: 5m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Pete Seeger’s instrument : BANJO

The instrument that we know today as the banjo is a derivative of instruments that were used in Africa.

The American folk singer Pete Seeger wrote and co-wrote a lot of classic songs. The list includes “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, “If I had a Hammer”, and “Turn, Turn, Turn!”

6 Biblical 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.

11 Chocolate dog : LAB

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

14 Hunter in the night sky : ORION

According to Greek mythology, Orion was a giant hunter who was placed in the night sky by Zeus, the king of the gods. Orion is very recognizable as a constellation, especially with the three bright stars known as “Orion’s Belt”. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is said to be Orion’s hunting dog, and this star sits at Orion’s “foot”.

16 Physicians’ gp. : AMA

American Medical Association (AMA)

19 Jake Tapper’s channel : CNN

Jake Tapper is a journalist working for CNN as Chief Washington Correspondent. Tapper is also a cartoonist. He wrote a comic strip called “Capitol Hell” that appeared in the Washington, DC paper “Roll Call” from 1994 to 2003.

20 Adam’s first home : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

21 Neptune’s domain : SEA

Neptune was a Roman god, of both the sea and of freshwater. He was sometimes known as “Neptunus Equester” as he was also the god of horses and patron of horse-racing.

22 “Amen” : SO BE IT

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

31 Ctrl+Z, in Windows : UNDO

The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.

32 Ruin’s companion : WRACK

The phrase “rack and ruin” (also “wrack and ruin”), meaning “complete destruction”, is a derivative of “wreck and ruin”.

39 TV soap for 54 years … and a hint to the puzzle circles : AS THE WORLD TURNS

“As the World Turns” is a soap opera that first aired in 1956 as a sister show to the soap “Guiding Light”, both of which were created by Irna Phillips. “As the World Turns” aired its final episodes in 2010.

43 Mug for a selfie : POSE

The verb “to mug” means “to make an exaggerated facial expression”. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions. “Mug” can also be a noun meaning “face”.

44 Nile viper : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

45 Race prelims : HEATS

The term “heat”, meaning “qualifying race”, dates back to the 1660s. Originally, a heat was a run given to a horse to prepare it for a race, to “heat” it up.

58 Waikiki Beach location : OAHU

Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu that is home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name “Waikiki” means “spouting fresh water” in Hawaiian.

62 “Little Birds” author Anaïs : NIN

“Little Birds” is a collection of erotic short stories by Anaïs Nin that was published in 1979, two years after the author died. The stories were written in the 1940s for a private collector of erotica.

63 Motorcyclist’s state-of-the-art gear : SMART HELMET

So-called smart motorcycle helmets might feature a heads-up display on the visor. Some might even call emergency services if a crash is detected.

66 First day of spring, in Hanoi : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

67 Conical plains shelter : TEPEE

A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

69 Biblical beast of burden : ASS

The ass or donkey is mentioned several times in the Bible. One of the most-quoted biblical stories involving an ass is the story of Balaam. Balaam was a diviner who appears in the Book of Numbers in. In one account, Balaam is held to task by an angel for particularly cruel treatment of an ass.

71 Modern storage units : BYTES

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. The prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, and so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and gigabyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

Down

1 Tibia or humerus : BONE

The tibia is the shin bone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

The humerus (plural “humeri”) is the long bone in the upper arm.

3 Naughty’s opposite, to Santa : NICE

Santa checks his list of those who are naughty or nice.

4 First of 21 Popes : JOHN I

The last pope named John was Pope John XXIII, who held office until his death in 1963. Even though he used the regnal number XXIII, he cannot really be considered the 23rd pope. John XVI was an antipope who made an illegitimate claim to the position from 997 to 998. In addition, there never was a Pope John XX. During the nineteenth century, historians discovered an error in records in which the papacy of John XIV was mistakenly interpreted as the reign of two different popes named John. So, the last Pope John was named the “23rd”, but was actually the “21st”.

8 Phoenix MLB team, on scoreboards : ARI

The Arizona Diamondbacks (also “D-backs”) joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

10 “The Wind in the Willows” amphibian : MR TOAD

Mr. Toad is one of the main characters in the children’s novel “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame. A. A. Milne (of “Winnie-the-Pooh” fame) wrote several plays based on “The Wind in the Willows”, the first of which is “Toad of Toad Hall”.

11 Cagney’s TV partner : LACEY

“Cagney & Lacey” is a police drama that originally aired in the 1980s. The title characters are two NYPD detectives with very different lives off the force. Christine Cagney, portrayed for six seasons by Sharon Gless, is a career-focused single woman. Mary Beth Lacy, portrayed by Tyne Daly, is a working mother. As an aside, Sharon Gless ended up marrying one of the show’s producers in 1991.

12 OB/GYN procedure : AMNIO

Amniocentesis (“amnio” for short) is the prenatal test which involves the removal of a small amount of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus using a hypodermic needle. The fluid naturally contains some fetal cells, the DNA of which can then be tested to determine the sex of the child and to check for the presence of genetic abnormalities.

13 African language group : BANTU

There are hundreds of Bantu languages, which are mainly spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

23 Irish accent : BROGUE

It’s possible that the use of the term “brogue”, meaning “Celtic or Irish accent”, is related to the use of “brogue” to mean “stout, heavy shoe”. According to one source, the footwear was “characteristic of the wilder Irish”. I suppose that the accent of the “wilder Irish” came to be known as a “brogue” as a result.

25 Pepsi rival : COKE

“Cola Wars” is a phrase used to describe the competing marketing campaigns of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Coke is winning …

26 Main body of the Constitution? : HULL

“Old Ironsides” is a nickname given to the USS Constitution even though she is actually a wooden-hulled ship. The Constitution was launched in 1797 and can still be seen at sea today. She is the oldest commissioned naval vessel in the world. You can visit Old Ironsides at the Boston Navy Yard, where I had the privilege of touring her in 2011. As an old sailor, I’d say she is the best-maintained ship I’ve ever been on, and paradoxically, she is also the oldest. Really, really beautiful …

34 Dada co-founder : ARP

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement was launched in Zurich, Switzerland by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire. The same group frequently expressed disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

41 Mount of Greek myth : OSSA

Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mount Pelion in the south, and the famed Mount Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

48 One doing axels : SKATER

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

49 Kin’s partner : KITH

The word “kith” describes friends and acquaintances, and is used in the phrase “kith and kin” meaning “friends and family”. “Kith” comes from an Old English word meaning “native country, home”, as the expression “kith and kin” was used originally to mean “country and kinsmen”.

51 Fruity soda brand : FANTA

The soft drink called “Fanta” has quite an interesting history. As WWII approached, the Coca-Cola plant in Germany had trouble obtaining the ingredients it needed to continue production of the cola beverage, so the plant manager decided to create a new drink from what was available. The new beverage was built around whey (leftover from cheese production) and pomace (left over after juice has been extracted from fruit). The inventor asked his colleagues to use their “imagination” (“Fantasie” in German) and come up with a name for the drink, so they piped up “Fanta!”

52 Village Voice awards : OBIES

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

“The Village Voice” is a free newspaper distributed in New York City. It had a great advertising slogan in the eighties: “Some people swear by us … other people swear AT us”.

53 Littlest littermates : RUNTS

Back around 1500, a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s “runt” was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed. Ultimately “runt” came to mean the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

59 Amo, amas, __ : AMAT

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

61 Tribe with a state named for it : UTES

The Ute are a group of Native American tribes who now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pete Seeger’s instrument : BANJO
6 Biblical song : PSALM
11 Chocolate dog : LAB
14 Hunter in the night sky : ORION
15 Radio station, e.g. : AIRER
16 Physicians’ gp. : AMA
17 Creator of unique gallery pieces : NICHE ARTIST
19 Jake Tapper’s channel : CNN
20 Adam’s first home : EDEN
21 Neptune’s domain : SEA
22 “Amen” : SO BE IT
24 “Louder, please” : I CAN’T HEAR YOU
27 Cry out loud : SOB
30 Make a choice : OPT
31 Ctrl+Z, in Windows : UNDO
32 Ruin’s companion : WRACK
34 Blonde or pale beverage : ALE
35 Slime : GOOP
39 TV soap for 54 years … and a hint to the puzzle circles : AS THE WORLD TURNS
43 Mug for a selfie : POSE
44 Nile viper : ASP
45 Race prelims : HEATS
46 Behaves : ACTS
48 One of two for a downhill run : SKI
50 Movie filming site : LOT
51 Free on request : FOR THE ASKING
56 Playground bully, e.g. : ABUSER
57 Butter square : PAT
58 Waikiki Beach location : OAHU
62 “Little Birds” author Anaïs : NIN
63 Motorcyclist’s state-of-the-art gear : SMART HELMET
66 First day of spring, in Hanoi : TET
67 Conical plains shelter : TEPEE
68 Car alarm sound : BLARE
69 Biblical beast of burden : ASS
70 Scornful look : SNEER
71 Modern storage units : BYTES

Down

1 Tibia or humerus : BONE
2 Dry as a desert : ARID
3 Naughty’s opposite, to Santa : NICE
4 First of 21 Popes : JOHN I
5 Number that’s its own square root : ONE
6 Mother or grandmother, e.g. : PARENT
7 Occupy, as a desk : SIT AT
8 Phoenix MLB team, on scoreboards : ARI
9 Eased : LESSENED
10 “The Wind in the Willows” amphibian : MR TOAD
11 Cagney’s TV partner : LACEY
12 OB/GYN procedure : AMNIO
13 African language group : BANTU
18 “Instantly!” letters : ASAP!
23 Irish accent : BROGUE
25 Pepsi rival : COKE
26 Main body of the Constitution? : HULL
27 Give and take : SWAP
28 Thereabouts : OR SO
29 Ones hanging out in caves : BATS
33 Ignores the rules : CHEATS
34 Dada co-founder : ARP
36 Like some traditions : ORAL
37 Not fooled by : ONTO
38 Hissed “Over here!” : PSST!
40 Guys in the fishing business, e.g. : WATERMEN
41 Mount of Greek myth : OSSA
42 Pizza crust order : THIN
47 Places for ribs : CHESTS
48 One doing axels : SKATER
49 Kin’s partner : KITH
51 Fruity soda brand : FANTA
52 Village Voice awards : OBIES
53 Littlest littermates : RUNTS
54 “Shop ’til you drop” affair : SPREE
55 “Wowie!” : GOLLY!
59 Amo, amas, __ : AMAT
60 “Take it!” : HERE!
61 Tribe with a state named for it : UTES
64 Impersonate : APE
65 Tidal flow : EBB

8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Dec 20, Tuesday”

  1. When I finally found the right day’s answers, also found no errors.
    That “main body of the Constitution” had me baffled at first until I
    figured out it was about a ship not a document.

  2. 15:17 no errors…I kept trying to make sense of HEART scrambled instead of EARTH which makes sense DUH
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens🙏

  3. 10:07 no errors

    I was wondering if the theme was about “As The World Turns” wrenching the HEART of the viewer. And then tomorrow’s answers turn up. Too confusing!

  4. No Googles. Had seT before LOT.
    Same problem as @Jack and @Mary.
    Didn’t know OBIES were connected to the Voice. Never heard of Jack Taper or ARI (sports).

  5. This is the second day in a row that Anais Nin was referred to and both times they spelled her name “Anas”. Am I missing something?

    1. There is an “i” for a fourth letter on mine. However, it is a special character, I suppose, because it has two little dots over it. If it were German, it would be an umlaut. Maybe that’s why you’re not seeing that character.

  6. Aloha folks!☕

    Dang! Thought I had no errors till I came here and found one – I had HILL instead of HULL. That gave me INDO for UNDO. Woulda caught it had I taken the time to check!!🙄

    I also got tangled up on the East Coast with GOOP/ORAL and of course I initially put the state name UTAH instead of the tribal name….just shoulda worked more carefully….🤔

    Be well~~🎸

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