LA Times Crossword 12 Jan 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Two-Party

Themed answers each comprise TWO words that are types of PARTY:

  • 59A Like the U.S. political system, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : TWO-PARTY
  • 17A *Afternoon social that may include a waltz or two : TEA DANCE (tea party & dance party)
  • 38A *Brewery container : BEER KEG (beer party & keg party)
  • 11D *Growing business? : GREENHOUSE (Green Party & house party)
  • 28D *Monster.com activity : WORK SEARCH (work party & search party)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Staves off : AVERTS

The word “stave” was originally the plural of “staff”, a word describing a wooden rod. To “stave off” originated with the concept of holding off with a staff. In the world of barrel-making, a stave is a narrow strip of wood that forms part of a barrel’s side.

17 *Afternoon social that may include a waltz or two : TEA DANCE (tea party & dance party)

What we tend to think of as a waltz today is danced at about 90 beats per minute. The original waltz was much faster, and danced at about 180 beats per minute. To differentiate, we now call the faster dance a “Viennese Waltz”, and sometimes refer to the other as the “English Waltz” or “slow waltz”.

20 Start of a pirate’s refrain : YO-HO-HO!

The fictional sea shanty called “Dead Man’s Chest” was introduced in Robert Louis Stevenson’s great novel, “Treasure Island”. In the book, Stevenson only describes the chorus, which goes:

Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

23 Phobos, to Mars : MOON

Mars has two moons, the larger of which is Phobos and the smaller Deimos. “Phobos” is the Greek word for “fear”, and “Deimos” is Greek for “dread”.

25 Cry after a golfer’s ace : IT’S IN!

One well-documented hole in one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes in one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes in one in his one and only round of golf.

34 New Mexico art community : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began settling in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

35 Wall St. takeover : LBO

A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a transaction in which an investor acquires a controlling volume of stock in a company, but buys that stock with borrowed funds (hence “leveraged”). Often the assets of the acquired company are used as collateral for the borrowed money. There is a special form of LBO known as a management buyout (MBO) in which the company’s own management team purchases the controlling interest.

37 U.K. continent : EUR

The continent of Europe was named for Europa, a Phoenician princess of Greek mythology.

40 Arg. neighbor : URU

The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, which reflects the nation’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second-smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …

Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

43 Elton John’s title : SIR

Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Sir Elton was knighted in 1998, not for his music per se, but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.

44 Chinese menu possessive : TSO’S

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

45 Used a stun gun on : TASED

Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

46 Jared of “Panic Room” : LETO

Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, Leto is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world, one of his most critically acclaimed roles was that of a heroin addict in “Requiem for a Dream”. He also appeared in “American Psycho”, “Panic Room” and “Lord of War”. Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club”, which he portraying a transgender woman.

“Panic Room” is an excellent 2002 thriller film starring Jodie Foster and Forest Whitaker. Foster plays a mother who locks herself into a panic room in her apartment when a gang of thieves led by Forest Whitaker breaks in. Foster’s role was originally played by Nicole Kidman, but Kidman had to drop out of the project after two weeks of filming due to a flare-up of an old injury. Five weeks into filming after recasting, Foster found out that she was pregnant. After some wardrobe changes, Foster continued filming, with a stunt double taking over in scenes requiring excessive exertion.

47 Russo of “Ransom” : RENE

The talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to high school (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting.

“Ransom” is a 1996 movie starring Mel Gibson as the father of a young boy who is kidnapped. The film has an interesting pedigree. It is a remake of the 1956 film titled “Ransom!”, starring Glenn Ford, which in turn was inspired by a 1954 episode of “The United States Steel Hour” television anthology series. All three productions focus on the father’s public offer to pay the ransom amount as a bounty on the heads of the kidnappers.

48 Panache : ECLAT

“Éclat” can describe a brilliant show of success, as well as the applause or accolade that one receives for that success. The word “éclat” derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially one in a hat.

50 “Giant” author Ferber : EDNA

Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successfully for the stage and/or big screen.

“Giant” is a 1952 novel by author Edna Ferber. It was adapted into a successful Hollywood movie released in 1956. In the film, Bick Benedict (played by Rock Hudson) marries Leslie (played by Elizabeth Taylor) and takes his new wife home to the family ranch in Texas called Reata. The ranch’s handyman is Jett Rink, played by James Dean. Dean was killed in a car accident before the film was released. Some of Dean’s lines needed work before the film could be released and so another actor had to do that voice-over work.

52 “The Piano Lesson” painter Henri : MATISSE

Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early career, Matisse was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts” who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a lifelong friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

59 Like the U.S. political system, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : TWO-PARTY

The modern-day Democratic Party was founded in 1828 when supporters of Andrew Jackson broke away from the former Democratic-Republican Party during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. That date makes the Democratic Party the oldest voter-based political party in the world. Andrew Jackson became the first Democratic US president, in 1829.

The modern-day Republican Party was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists. The party’s name was chosen as a homage to Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Party, which had been subsumed into the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican US president, in 1861. Since then, there have been more US presidents from the Republican party than from any other.

62 Deep sleep : COMA

Our term “coma” comes from the Greek “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.

63 B&B, maybe : INN

In the US, an intimate inn is a bed & breakfast (B&B). Traditionally, a bed & breakfast back in Ireland is more basic accommodation, and used to be much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

64 1896 and 2004 Olympics setting : ATHENS

The Modern Olympic Games came about after the International Olympic Committee was founded by Pierre de Coubertin at a meeting in Paris in 1894. Coubertin suggested that the first Games be held in Paris in 1900, as it would coincide with the 1900 Universal Exposition planned for the French capital that year. The 1900 Games did indeed take place in Paris, but they were preceded by the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896. Organizers at the 1894 meeting were concerned that public interest in a modern Olympiad might wane during a six-year waiting period. The solution was to hold the inaugural Games in 1896. Fittingly, the committee chose Athens, Greece as the first host city.

When Athens hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 2004, it marked the second time the city hosted the Modern Games. Athens had hosted the inaugural Modern Olympiad in 1896. New medals were designed for the 2004 games. From 1928 onwards, the obverse of Olympic medals featured the Colosseum in Rome. Medals used from 2004 onwards feature the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, which had been refurbished and used for the inaugural Games in 1896.

Down

1 Part of SLC : CITY

Salt Lake City (SLC) was founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as “Great Salt Lake City” up until 1868.

2 Sundae-topping cookie : OREO

There’s a lot of speculation about how the dessert called a sundae got its name, but there seems to be agreement that it is an alteration of the word “Sunday”.

4 “Famous Potatoes” state : IDAHO

Idaho has the nickname “Gem State”, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State, as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state. I’d go for the potatoes over the gems, but that’s probably just me. Oh, and Idaho license plates have borne the slogan “Famous Potatoes” for decades …

5 Does some necking : CANOODLES

To canoodle is to indulge in caresses and kisses.

The term “necking” applies to kissing and caressing. I like what Groucho Marx had to say on the subject:

Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.

7 Tick repellent : DEET

“DEET” is short for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, an active ingredient in insect repellents. DEET is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing. It is also used to protect against tick bites.

9 Vespers : EVENSONG

Vespers is an evening prayer service in some Christian traditions. “Vesper” is the Latin for “evening”. Vespers is also known as “Evensong”.

11 *Growing business? : GREENHOUSE (Green Party & house party)

There are “Green” political parties in many parts of the world, with most embracing environmentalism, social justice, consensus decision-making and nonviolence as central principles. Many national Green parties joined to form the Global Greens (GG) network in 2001.

12 Coup d’__ : ETAT

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

13 Ukr. or Est., once : SSR

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English, we often call the country “the Ukraine”, but I am told that we should say just “Ukraine”.

Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

22 Barrister’s topper : WIG

In a common law jurisdiction with a split legal profession, such as England, lawyers can be either solicitors or barristers. Someone needing legal help will retain a solicitor for that purpose. If a court trial is required, then a barrister is retained to make representation before a judge and perhaps a jury. The barrister is the lawyer who wears a wig.

24 Local theater, briefly : NABE

“Nabe” is a familiar term used to describe a neighborhood, or a local movie theater.

27 Hot spot : SAUNA

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

28 *Monster.com activity : WORK SEARCH (work party & search party)

Monster.com is a huge (“monster”) employment website. At any one time, there are apparently about a million jobs posted on the website.

30 Swedes’ neighbors : NORSE

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. Norway is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

32 Noted 2001 bankruptcy : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

33 Word in a green trio? : REUSE

The so-called “waste hierarchy” can be restated as the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The preferences are in order:

  1. Reduce consumption
  2. Reuse manufactured products
  3. Recycle raw materials

36 British landing facility : AERODROME

An aerodrome is a facility where aircraft take off and land. An aerodrome could be a small airstrip, a large commercial airport or even a military airbase. The term “aerodrome” is used quite often in the UK, but rarely here in the US.

46 Capt.’s underlings : LTS

The rank of lieutenant (lt.) is superior to the rank of sergeant (sgt.), and below the rank of captain (capt.).

51 Sherpa’s country : NEPAL

In the Tibetan language, “Sherpa” means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

55 Colored eye part : IRIS

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

56 Italian peak : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

58 Mandela’s land: Abbr. : RSA

Republic of South Africa (RSA)

As a young man, Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela was eventually arrested and admitted to charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964. He remained behind bars for 27 years, mainly in the infamous prison on Robben Island. As the years progressed, Mandela became a symbol of the fight against apartheid. He was released in 1990, and immediately declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s white minority population. Mandela was elected president of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) in 1994, an office that he held until 1999. Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Playfully shy : COY
4 Cooled with cubes : ICED
8 Shrubs arranged as barriers : HEDGES
14 Anger : IRE
15 It has three numbers and two slashes : DATE
16 Staves off : AVERTS
17 *Afternoon social that may include a waltz or three : TEA DANCE (tea party & dance party)
19 Stay close to : BE NEAR
20 Start of a pirate’s refrain : YO HO HO!
21 Matching tops worn together : TWINSET
23 Phobos, to Mars : MOON
25 Cry after a golfer’s ace : IT’S IN!
26 “Even __ speak … ” : AS WE
29 Goldarn : DANG
31 [None of the above] : [OTHER]
34 New Mexico art community : TAOS
35 Wall St. takeover : LBO
36 Tom, Dick or Harry : ANYONE
37 U.K. continent : EUR
38 *Brewery container : BEER KEG (beer party & keg party)
40 Arg. neighbor : URU
41 Hopping joints? : ANKLES
43 Elton John’s title : SIR
44 Chinese menu possessive : TSO’S
45 Used a stun gun on : TASED
46 Jared of “Panic Room” : LETO
47 Russo of “Ransom” : RENE
48 Panache : ECLAT
50 “Giant” author Ferber : EDNA
52 “The Piano Lesson” painter Henri : MATISSE
54 Depends (on) : RELIES
58 Summer TV fare : RERUNS
59 Like the U.S. political system, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : TWO-PARTY
61 Hush-hush : SECRET
62 Deep sleep : COMA
63 B&B, maybe : INN
64 1896 and 2004 Olympics setting : ATHENS
65 Command to a dog : HEEL
66 Anatomical pouch : SAC

Down

1 Part of SLC : CITY
2 Sundae-topping cookie : OREO
3 “All right!” : YEAH!
4 “Famous Potatoes” state : IDAHO
5 Does some necking : CANOODLES
6 “Yada, yada, yada” letters : ETC
7 Tick repellent : DEET
8 Hard thing to kick : HABIT
9 Vespers : EVENSONG
10 Population statistic : DENSITY
11 *Growing business? : GREENHOUSE (Green Party & house party)
12 Coup d’__ : ETAT
13 Ukr. or Est., once : SSR
18 Stadium toppers : DOMES
22 Barrister’s topper : WIG
24 Local theater, briefly : NABE
26 Bothered big-time : ATE AT
27 Hot spot : SAUNA
28 *Monster.com activity : WORK SEARCH (work party & search party)
30 Swedes’ neighbors : NORSE
32 Noted 2001 bankruptcy : ENRON
33 Word in a green trio? : REUSE
36 British landing facility : AERODROME
38 Sheets and pillowcases : BED LINEN
39 Sky box? : KITE
42 Professor’s address : LECTURE
44 Singing syllables : TRA-LA
46 Capt.’s underlings : LTS
49 Helpers: Abbr. : ASSTS
51 Sherpa’s country : NEPAL
52 Convene : MEET
53 Carve in stone : ETCH
55 Colored eye part : IRIS
56 Italian peak : ETNA
57 Match audio and video : SYNC
58 Mandela’s land: Abbr. : RSA
60 Tales of __: misfortunes : WOE

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Jan 21, Tuesday”

    1. Back in the olden days, I went to tea dances on Sunday afternoons at the USNA in Annapolis (or tea fights, as they were affectionately called). Local high school girls in white gloves went to be dance partners for young gentlemen 😊 – times have definitely changed.

  1. No errors or lookups.
    The answers I didn’t know came easily through crossing letters. (After
    I changed “beer-mug to beer-keg”)

  2. 20:20 no errors…for a Tuesday this was a little tough IMO…1D was a horrible clue…I really believe the LAT is ramping up their puzzles to be on a par with the NYT.
    Stay safe.
    Go Ravens…Buffalo and maybe even snow. BRR.

  3. No errors, no Googles. Had AFR before RSA and BEER MUG before BEER KEG.
    Didn’t figure out the theme. Didn’t need to.
    Never heard of NABE. Don’t like it.
    My favorite mug/stein in my collection says (auf Deutsch): The best pastime is old money and young wives.

  4. “Nabe” is a familiar term used to describe a neighborhood, or a local movie theater.???

    Familiar to whom?? Never heard of it! Too many uncommon abbreviations!

  5. 7:12 no errors

    I’ve heard “nabe” and other words shortened to single syllables, generally spoken by some dang youngster or other.

  6. 16:44, 2 errors.

    Add “NABE” to the list of imaginary words that no one said, ever. Let me guess, you skimmed this one out of Merriam-Webster, right?

    This was just a poor puzzle. Bad clues, bad fills, just bad all around.

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