LA Times Crossword 10 Dec 21, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): See? Kay’s Added

Themed answers are common phrases with “CK” inserted:

  • 18A Tinker Bell’s play ender? : FAIRY TACKLE (from “fairy tale”)
  • 24A TV channel with bizarre humor? : WACKY STATION (from “way station”)
  • 37A Harbormaster’s income source? : DOCKING BUSINESS (from “doing business”)
  • 48A Unreliable origami practitioner? : FICKLE FOLDER (from “file folder”)
  • 59A What an education budget provides? : SCHOOL BUCKS (from “school bus”)

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

Bill’s time: 10m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Bookmarked item : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

4 Commuting option : RAIL

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

8 “Gone With the Wind” feature : DRAWL

As casting proceeded for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind”, Clark Gable was a shoo-in from day one. The role of Scarlett O’Hara was considered very desirable in the acting community, with Bette Davis on the short list, and Katherine Hepburn demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick to discuss the role. Vivien Leigh was an unlikely contender, an English actress for the definitive Southern belle role. Selznick was adamant though, and stuck by his preference for Leigh despite a lot of protests.

13 __ Wee Reese : PEE

Pee Wee Reese was a shortstop who played his professional career with the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers. Reese is remembered not only for his skill on the field, but for his very visible support for teammate Jackie Robinson, who famously struggled to be accepted as the first African-American player in the majors. As he was an outstanding marbles player as a child, Reese was given the nickname “pee wee” after the name for a small marble.

14 Old Icelandic text : EDDA

“Poetic Edda” and “Prose Edda” are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in 13th-century Iceland.

15 Discussion-ending word : PERIOD

The punctuation mark used to terminate a sentence is called a “period” in American English, and a “full stop” in British English. The same punctuation mark has no symbol in Morse code, so the word STOP is used instead in telegraphy.

17 Bud 4 life : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

18 Tinker Bell’s play ender? : FAIRY TACKLE (from “fairy tale”)

That would be Tinker Bell playing football, say.

Tinker Bell is a fairy in the “Peter Pan” story by J. M. Barrie. “Tink” is a minor character in the original play and novel, but evolved into a major character in the many, many film and television adaptations of the tale.

20 Food bits : ORTS

Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

23 Schooner gear : SAILS

By definition, a schooner is a sailing vessel with two or more masts, but one on which the foremast is shorter than the rear mast(s).

24 TV channel with bizarre humor? : WACKY STATION (from “way station”)

A way station is an intermediate stop between principal stations on a line. We use the term “way station” more generally to mean any intermediate stopover.

27 This is one : CLUE

In the famous tale from Greek mythology, Theseus unwound a “clew” as he went into the Labyrinth to battle with the Minotaur. A clew is a ball of thread or yarn. After slaying the monster, Theseus found his way out of the maze by following the thread. It is this use of a “clew” as “something to point the way” that gives us our modern term “clue”. The original spelling of “clew” was often used in murder mysteries written by British authors.

28 Tech review website : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

42 Marquee name : STAR

A marquee is a large sign that is placed over the entrance to a theater. The marquee usually displays the names of the film or play currently showing, as well as the principal actors performing.

43 “___ War”: Jules Verne-based game : NEMO’S

In the 1954 movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne, the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

47 What an a cappella singer never wants to be : FLAT

A cappella music is sung without instruments accompanying. “A cappella” translates from Italian as “in the manner of the chapel”.

48 Unreliable origami practitioner? : FICKLE FOLDER (from “file folder”)

Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane (“orizuru“). The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).

54 Cheaply, after “for” : … A SONG

Something that goes “for a song” is sold very cheaply. The first known use of the phrase in print is in William Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well”.

Why, he will look upon his boot and sing; mend the
ruff and sing; ask questions and sing; pick his
teeth and sing. I know a man that had this trick of
melancholy sold a goodly manor for a song.

59 What an education budget provides? : SCHOOL BUCKS (from “school bus”)

“Buck” is a slang word meaning “dollar”. The term has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days.

65 31-Down, e.g.: Abbr. : NCO
(31d Rank above cpl. : SGT)

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

66 Meter creators : POETS

The meter of a poem is its rhythmic structure.

67 Jacuzzi effect : EDDY

“Jacuzzi” is one of those brand names that has become so much associated with the product that it is often assumed to be a generic term. The Jacuzzi company was founded in 1915 by the seven(!) Jacuzzi brothers in Berkeley California. The brothers, who were Italian immigrants, pronounced their name “ja-coot-si”, as one might suspect when one realizes the name is of Italian origin. The company started off by making aircraft propellers and then small aircraft, but suspended aircraft production in 1925, when one of the brothers was killed in one of their planes. The family then started making hydraulic pumps, and in 1948 developed a submersible bathtub pump so that a son of one of the brothers could enjoy hydrotherapy for his rheumatoid arthritis. The “hydrotherapy product” took off in the fifties with some astute marketing towards “worn-out housewives” and the use of celebrity spokesman Jack Benny.

Down

2 Type of optical telescope : REFRACTOR

The first patent application for a telescope was filed in 1608 in the Netherlands, to eyeglass maker Hans Lippershey. However, research has shown that there is some evidence that telescopes were built before 1608, perhaps as early as the mid-1500s. But it is clear that reports of Lippershey’s design spread quickly around Europe. By 1609, Galileo had built his own telescope and started to explore the night sky.

3 Mouse activities : LEFT-CLICKS

The computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

5 First president to live in the White House : ADAMS

John Adams was the second President of the United States. I must admit that I learned much of what I know about President Adams in the excellent, excellent HBO series “John Adams”, which is based on David McCullough’s 2001 biography of the same name. Having said that, I have also visited the Adams home in Quincy, Massachusetts several times. He was clearly a great man with a great intellect …

After George Washington was inaugurated as president in 1789, he lived in the Samuel Osgood House and then the Alexander Macomb House in New York City. When the capital moved to Philadelphia, President Washington occupied the Market Street Mansion, as did his successor John Adams. President Adams moved to the White House in the nation’s new capital in 1800.

6 “… a tale told by an __ … “: Macbeth : IDIOT

After the title character in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” learns of Lady Macbeth’s death, he utters the words:

[Life] is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

7 Caterpillar, say : LARVA

Caterpillars are the larval form of butterflies and moths.

8 Immunization letters : DPT

The DPT vaccine is a combination vaccine providing protection against diphtheria (D), pertussis (P) and tetanus (T).

Immunization is the process used to boost an individual’s immune system making it less likely to succumb to a particular disease. Before we learned to intervene, the immune system was bolstered only by contracting the disease and surviving it. Inoculation was developed specifically for the prevention of smallpox, and involves the introduction of small samples of diseased tissue into the body resulting in a mild case of the disease, and significant boost to the immune system. The related process of vaccination involves the introduction of a benign form of the microorganism or virus into the body so that a boost to the immune system can occur without catching the disease itself.

11 User-edited site : WIKI

A wiki is a website on which users are allowed to create and edit content themselves. The term “wiki” comes from the name of the first such site, introduced in 1994 and called WikiWikiWeb. “Wiki” is a Hawaiian word for “quick”, and is used because comprehensive content is created very quickly, as there are so many collaborators contributing to the site.

16 Paris’ Pont __ Arts : DES

The Pont des Arts is a footbridge crossing the River Seine in Paris. It is named for the nearby Palais du Louvre, which used to be known as the Palais des Arts. In recent years, tourists have attached “love locks” to the railing on the side of the bridge. These are padlocks engraved with the names of a couple who are in love. The pair attach the lock to the railing and then throw the key into the Seine as a romantic gesture.

25 Hairy legend : YETI

The yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

29 Figure in many devotional paintings : THE MADONNA

Mary, mother of Jesus is referred to by several names, including “Madonna”. “Madonna” is a medieval Italian term meaning “Our Lady”.

30 Reagan-era mil. program : SDI

One of the positive outcomes of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), aka “Star Wars”, was a change in US defense strategy. The new approach was to use missiles to destroy incoming hostile weapons, rather than using missiles to destroy the nation attacking the country. The former doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction went by the apt acronym of MAD …

31 Rank above cpl. : SGT

Sergeant (sgt.) is a rank above corporal (cpl.).

32 Org. with cases : ABA

American Bar Association (ABA)

33 Pelt : FUR

A pelt is the skin of a furry animal.

35 Things few understand : ESOTERICA

Something described as esoteric is meant only for a select few with special knowledge. The term “esoteric” comes from the Greek “esoterikos” meaning “belonging to an inner circle”.

36 Ed.’s stack : MSS

An editor (ed.) might read or edit a manuscript (ms).

38 Nuclear physics time unit: Abbr. : NSEC

“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns” (as opposed to “nsec”) and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

40 “M.O.” rapper : NELLY

“Nelly” is the stage name of rap artist Cornell Haynes, Jr. Nelly has had a few acting roles over the years, including an appearance in the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard”. He also was a regular on “Real Husbands of Hollywood”.

49 Putin’s USSR employer : KGB

The “Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti” (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d’état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Vladimir Putin became acting President of Russia at the very end of 1999 when Boris Yeltsin resigned. Putin was elected in his own right in 2000, re-elected in 2004, and then ran up against a term limit in 2008. In 2008 Putin was appointed by his successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, to the position of Prime Minister. Putin is a controversial figure, inside and outside Russia. On the one hand he led the country out of an economic crisis into a period of stability and relative prosperity. On the other hand he has been associated with government corruption and accused of allowing private concerns to have undue influence on government actions. And then, along came the 2016 US presidential election …

50 Magna cum __ : LAUDE

When an academic degree is awarded, a level of distinction can be noted depending on the degree of success achieved by the student. There are three types of honor, each with a Latin name:

  • cum laude: meaning “with honor” (literally “with praise”)
  • magna cum laude: meaning “with great honor”
  • summa cum laude: meaning “with highest honor”

51 Famed Castilian knight : EL CID

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast in 1094, making it his headquarters and home. He died in Valencia, quite peacefully, in 1099.

The Kingdom of Castile was one seven medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. The name “Catile” comes from the large number of castles that were built across the kingdom.

53 Property seizures : REPOS

Repossession (repo)

55 Atlantic fish commonly called a porgy : SCUP

The scup is a saltwater fish that is also known as the porgy. Native to the Atlantic coast of the US, records suggest that the scup was the most readily available catch in colonial times.

56 Where I-70 and I-75 cross : OHIO

Interstate 70 (I-70), which runs from Interstate 15 in Utah right across to Maryland, was the first Interstate project in the country. In the Rocky Mountains, I-70 passes through the Eisenhower Tunnel, one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world and the longest interstate tunnel in the country. The Eisenhower tunnel gives the people of Denver easy access to ski resorts such as Vail.

Interstate 75 (I-75) is one of the longest interstate highways in the country, running from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to southern Florida. More specifically, it runs from the Canadian border at the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge, down to the suburbs of Miami. That gives I-17 a length of almost 1,800 miles.

60 Early RCA output : LPS

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bookmarked item : URL
4 Commuting option : RAIL
8 “Gone With the Wind” feature : DRAWL
13 __ Wee Reese : PEE
14 Old Icelandic text : EDDA
15 Discussion-ending word : PERIOD
17 Bud 4 life : BFF
18 Tinker Bell’s play ender? : FAIRY TACKLE (from “fairy tale”)
20 Food bits : ORTS
22 Relocation : MOVE
23 Schooner gear : SAILS
24 TV channel with bizarre humor? : WACKY STATION (from “way station”)
27 This is one : CLUE
28 Tech review website : C|NET
30 Duration of employment : STINT
31 Protected : SAFE
34 Adjustable border : HEM
37 Harbormaster’s income source? : DOCKING BUSINESS (from “doing business”)
41 Bother a lot : IRK
42 Marquee name : STAR
43 “___ War”: Jules Verne-based game : NEMO’S
44 Aching : SORE
47 What an a cappella singer never wants to be : FLAT
48 Unreliable origami practitioner? : FICKLE FOLDER (from “file folder”)
54 Cheaply, after “for” : … A SONG
57 Bash : GALA
58 Past time : YORE
59 What an education budget provides? : SCHOOL BUCKS (from “school bus”)
62 Cold air quality : NIP
63 Get into gear : SUIT UP
64 Health factor : DIET
65 31-Down, e.g.: Abbr. : NCO
66 Meter creators : POETS
67 Jacuzzi effect : EDDY
68 Remote inserts : AAS

Down

1 What a “V” symbol means in violin music : UP-BOW
2 Type of optical telescope : REFRACTOR
3 Mouse activities : LEFT-CLICKS
4 One whistling often : REF
5 First president to live in the White House : ADAMS
6 “… a tale told by an __ … “: Macbeth : IDIOT
7 Caterpillar, say : LARVA
8 Immunization letters : DPT
9 Good thinking : REASON
10 Grasped by few : ARCANE
11 User-edited site : WIKI
12 Hang loosely : LOLL
16 Paris’ Pont __ Arts : DES
19 Still : YET
21 Keep from scoring : SKUNK
25 Hairy legend : YETI
26 Summertime treat : ICES
29 Figure in many devotional paintings : THE MADONNA
30 Reagan-era mil. program : SDI
31 Rank above cpl. : SGT
32 Org. with cases : ABA
33 Pelt : FUR
35 Things few understand : ESOTERICA
36 Ed.’s stack : MSS
38 Nuclear physics time unit: Abbr. : NSEC
39 Facts : INFO
40 “M.O.” rapper : NELLY
45 Famed : OF NOTE
46 Dress, as in a particular costume : RIG OUT
49 Putin’s USSR employer : KGB
50 Magna cum __ : LAUDE
51 Famed Castilian knight : EL CID
52 Forged : FAKED
53 Property seizures : REPOS
54 Brayer : ASS
55 Atlantic fish commonly called a porgy : SCUP
56 Where I-70 and I-75 cross : OHIO
60 Early RCA output : LPS
61 Farm enclosure : STY

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 10 Dec 21, Friday”

    1. As a treat, for a group, you might buy ices … or hamburgers … or movie tickets. IMO, the clue is (purposely) misleading, but totally acceptable.

  1. Finally got there without lookups or errors but it took a long time and for some reason I just couldn’t see the theme! That’s what I get for starting at 3a.m.!

  2. No errors but was a slog in NE , EAST and SW. The theme wasn’t a problem but I couldn’t get DPT or DRAWL or LOLL very quickly. Then there was ICES (is that a thing?) NELLY and FLAT… Then there was SCUP. I tried too hard to find SCUP and quit. Then focused on SUITUP and POETS and ASONG and let the chips fall where they may…
    I was sneezing during the whole puzzle and bit my tongue! I fought my through it like a UCF champ! (Ultimate Crossword Fighter)

  3. 12:54 1 error, as ROCKINGBUSINESS made as much sense to me as the other theme answers.

    So glad I can come here and find out what the theme is. Thank you!

  4. No errors, but plenty of lookups. Never caught on to the theme even
    after I was done. Some answers still don’t make a lot of sense: i.e.
    “drawl” Just my opinion.

  5. Kudos to Bill for his interpretation of the theme! Very clever!

    I also took my time in grokking the theme. I’m a little surprised that there wasn’t more of a revealer somewhere in the clues and/or the grid (but, in retrospect, I guess the commas in the clues were enough … 🤨).

    And, like @Anon Mike, I also sneezed my way through the puzzle! What’s up with that?! (I didn’t bite my tongue, though … 😜.)

  6. When there’s a specific, additional detail in a clue, I usually think it’s there for a reason. That’s why 47 Across through me off for a while: “What an a cappella singer never wants to be”.

    Surely an accompanied singer doesn’t want to be flat either? Indeed, the only kind of singing where it *doesn’t* matter as much if you drift off key a little is solo a cappella singing, because there’s no outside tonal reference.

  7. No errors but the NE corner took forever…18A took a long time to sink in as I was thinking of a stage play rather than a football one🤪
    Stay safe😀

  8. Some of the answers were definitely arcane.
    Didn’t grasp the theme but realized ck was
    part of it which helped a little. Challenging
    Friday puzzle. No look ups, no errors.

    @ Anonymous
    No singular for “ices”. Good call 😂

  9. 16:19, and no errors. Typical for a Wechsler grid, it’s full of 35 Down, and the theme is too inane, and too much of a stretch to be worthy of mention.

  10. 13:29 with no errors, lookups, or redos. Easily discernible theme, but I couldn’t have given it a “name” as Bill did – could only say that a “CK” was inserted.

  11. Too tough for me today; took 31:22 with 6 errors, all in the NE corner, with two “check grids” to help out. Had trouble in the NW too, but changed REFleCTOR to REFRACTOR and that helped get ORTS, WACKY… and SKUNK.

    Tried a few things in the NE, but I really should have gotten WIKI. Had faLL and never saw LOLL. We’ve had DPT before, so I really need to remember that.

    Oh well, live and learn. At least I untangled the other messes I created. Theme completely eluded me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.