LA Times Crossword 15 Dec 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Matt Skoczen
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Mountain Range

Themed answers each include a MOUNTAIN RANGE ranged throughout, shown in circled letters in the grid:

  • 37A What each set of circled letters spells … and depicts : MOUNTAIN RANGE
  • 17A Enforcement arm of the fed. courts : US MARSHALS (hiding “URALS”)
  • 24A Streaming service whose logo ends with a math symbol : APPLE TV-PLUS (hiding “ALPS”)
  • 48A “What I Like About You” co-star : AMANDA BYNES (hiding “ANDES”)
  • 58A Family CBS series set on a self-named mountain : THE WALTONS (hiding “TETONS”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Sleepy Hollow” actress Christina : RICCI

Christina Ricci is an American actress who found fame on the big screen at an early age, playing the very young Wednesday Addams in the 1991 movie version of “The Addams Family”.

“Sleepy Hollow” is a Tim Burton film released in 1999. It is a screen adaptation of the short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. Stars of the film are Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci.

15 Included in the email loop, briefly : CC’ED

I wonder if the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle? A kind blog reader pointed out to me a while back that the abbreviation has evolved and taken on the meaning “courtesy copy” in our modern world.

17 Enforcement arm of the fed. courts : US MARSHALS (hiding “URALS”)

The US Marshals Service (USMS) is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the country, and was created in 1789 as the Office of the US Marshal. Included in the list of duties of the USMS is the apprehension of federal fugitives, transportation of federal prisoners and the protection of endangered federal witnesses.

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

19 With 16-Across, staff symbol for viola music : ALTO …
(16A See 19-Across : … CLEF)

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

The viola looks like and is played like a violin, but is slightly larger. It is referred to as the middle voice in the violin family, lying between the violin and the cello.

22 Somali-born supermodel : IMAN

Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a supermodel from Somalia who goes simply by the name “Iman” these days. “Iman” is an Arabic word for “faith”. She is a smart cookie. She has a degree in political science and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English. Iman was married to English rock star David Bowie from 1992 until his death in 2016.

Somalia is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Sadly, the nation is noted today for a devastating civil war and for its use as a base for pirates who prey on ships passing through the Indian Ocean along the Somali coast.

24 Streaming service whose logo ends with a math symbol : APPLE TV-PLUS (hiding “ALPS”)

Apple TV+ is a video streaming service offered by Apple. Apple TV (without the “+”) is the name of Apples media player, and also the name of Apple’s streaming app.

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

28 Curtain material : SCRIM

“Scrim” is the name given to that transparent fabric that hangs down onto a theater’s stage. It is often used with special lighting for various effects.

30 Vegas opening? : VEE

The opening letter in the word “Vegas” is a letter V (vee).

31 “How We Do (Party)” singer Rita : ORA

Rita Ora is a British singer who was born Rita Sahatçiu in Pristina, Yugoslavia to Albanian parents. The family name “Sahatçiu” comes from a Turkish word meaning “watchmaker”. Rita’s parents changed their name to make it easier to pronounce. So, the family name morphed from “watchmaker” to “time”, which is “ora” in Albanian.

32 German suffix with Konzert : -MEISTER

In an orchestra, the first violins are led by the concertmaster (from the German “Konzertmeister” meaning the same thing), who is often referred to as the “first chair” in the US. The first chair is usually regarded as the most skilled of the first violin section, and will usually play any solo passages (unless a guest soloist is performing a violin concerto).

40 Works with hide : TANS

Leather is made from animal skins. When the flesh, fat and hair is removed from the skin and it is dried, the resulting product is rawhide. Further treatment of the skin with chemicals that permanently alter the protein structure of the skin is known as tanning, and the resulting product is leather.

42 CPR provider : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

43 Darth, as a youth : ANI

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

48 “What I Like About You” co-star : AMANDA BYNES (hiding “ANDES”)

Amanda Bynes is an actress that made it big as a teenager on TV shows like “All That” and “The Amanda Show”. She then moved on to play teen roles on the big screen, particularly in “She’s the Man” and “Hairspray”.

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

55 “I do not see why I should __ turn back”: Frost : E’ER

“I do not see why I should e’er turn back” is a line from Robert Frost’s 1915 poem “Into My Own”.

56 Where many a stuck thing sticks : CRAW

“Craw” is another name for “crop”, a portion of the alimentary tract of some animals, including birds. The crop is used for the storage of food prior to digestion. It allows the animal to eat large amounts and then digest that food with efficiency over an extended period. The expression “to stick in one’s craw” is used when one cannot accept something, cannot “swallow” it.

57 Paris gal pal : AMIE

A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

58 Family CBS series set on a self-named mountain : THE WALTONS (hiding “TETONS”)

The very successful TV series “The Waltons” aired in the seventies and early eighties. It was based on a 1961 book “Spencer’s Mountain” written by Earl Hamner Jr., the show’s creator. The book was also the basis of a 1963 movie, also called “Spencer’s Mountain”, starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara.

Grand Teton National Park (NP) is located just south of Yellowstone NP, and a must-see if you are visiting the latter. The park is named after the tallest peak in the magnificent Teton Range known as Grand Teton. The origins of the name “Teton” is not very clear, although my one story is that it was named by French trappers, as the word “tetons” in French is a slang term meaning “breasts”.

61 Prejudice : BIAS

Prejudice is an unfair and unreasonable feeling of dislike towards someone or something. “Prejudice” comes from the Latin “prae-” meaning “before” and “iudicium” meaning “judgment”. The notion is that someone exhibiting “prejudice” is “pre-judging”.

65 Texter’s disclaimer, briefly : IMHO

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

Down

1 Google Maps offerings : ROUTES

Google Maps was developed as a web mapping service for desktops. The (wonderful!) Google Maps mobile app was released in 2008, and is now the most popular smartphone app in the world.

4 Vatican farewell : CIAO!

Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 110 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.

6 Blocker in a TV : V-CHIP

All television sets produced for the US market since the year 2000 are required by law to include a component called a V-chip. A V-chip allows a TV to be configured so that programming of specific “ratings” can be blocked from viewing. The “V” in V-chip stands for “viewer control”. It sounds like a great idea, but a lot of kids these days quickly do a search online and work out how to reset the password.

8 Sushi bar fare : EEL

Anyone going to a sushi restaurant can order all types of raw fish (known collectively as “sashimi”). However, eel is always served cooked, and that’s because the blood of eels contains a protein that cramps muscles if eaten. If the heart muscle “cramps”, the result can be death. The protein is easily rendered harmless by applying heat, i.e. by cooking.

9 Part of wpm: Abbr. : WDS

Words per minute (WPM)

13 NorCal airport : SFO

Northern California (NorCal)

24 “You said it!” : AMEN!

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.

25 The Oscars, say : EVENT

Legend has it that actor Emilio Fernández was the model for the Oscar statuette. Cedric Gibbons, art director at MGM, created the design and supposedly convinced a reluctant Fernández to pose nude for “Oscar”.

26 __ Haute : TERRE

Terre Haute, Indiana is a city close to the state’s western border with Illinois. The city is home to a state prison which in turn is home to the state’s death row. The name “Terre Haute” was chosen by French explorers in the 18th century to describe the location, as “terre haute” is French for “high ground”.

29 Don of talk radio : IMUS

Don Imus’s syndicated radio show “Imus in the Morning” used to broadcast from New York City. Imus has been described as a “shock jock”, a disc jockey who deliberately uses provocative language and humor that many would find offensive . I’m not a big fan of shock jocks …

33 Singer Turner’s memoir : I, TINA

“I, Tina” is a 1986 autobiography by Tina Turner. The book was so successful it was adapted into a movie called “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” The film version was released in 1993 and stars Angela Bassett as Tina Turner.

34 Indian “master” : SAHIB

“Sahib” is most recognized as a term of address used in India, where it is used in much the same way as we use “mister” in English. The term was also used to address male Europeans in the days of the British Raj. The correct female form of address is “sahiba”, but in the colonial days the address used was “memsahib”, a melding of “ma’am” and “sahib”

35 Barcelona aunt : TIA

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. It is also the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast, and the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

37 ABBA musical : MAMMA MIA!

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

38 Quebecer’s neighbor : ONTARIAN

The Canadian province of Ontario takes its name from the Great Lake. In turn, Lake Ontario’s name is thought to be derived from “Ontari:io”, a Huron word meaning “great lake”. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital of Ottawa as well as Toronto, Canada’s most populous city (and the capital of the province).

Québec is the largest province in Canada, and the only one with French as its sole official language. The name “Québec” comes from an Algonquin word “kebec” meaning “where the river narrows”. This refers to the area around Quebec City where the St. Lawrence River narrows as it flows through a gap lined by steep cliffs. The province has voted twice in referenda asking whether or not Quebec should become an independent country, once in 1980, and again in 1995. The 1995 result was 49% in favor of sovereignty, up from 40% in 1980.

40 __ cozy : TEA

A tea cozy is an insulated cover for a teapot, something to keep the tea hot. I don’t know what I’d do without my tea cosy/cozy …

46 “Thank U, Next” singer Ariana : GRANDE

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four seasons on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

47 Doctor Doogie : HOWSER

“Doogie Howser, M.D.” is the TV show that gave Neil Patrick Harris his big break. Harris played a teenager who worked as a physician.

49 Desert trial : N-TEST

Nuclear test (N-test)

56 Lower left PC key : CTRL

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.

57 It can replace “pie” in an idiom : ABC

The idiom “as easy as pie” is used to describe something that is simple to do. It appears that the reference here is to the simplicity of eating pie, rather than making a pie.

58 “Enough!” in texts : TMI!

Too much information (TMI)

59 Bad actor : HAM

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Sleepy Hollow” actress Christina : RICCI
6 Scenic overlook offering : VIEW
10 Tools with teeth : SAWS
14 Broadcast warning sign : ON AIR
15 Included in the email loop, briefly : CC’ED
16 See 19-Across : … CLEF
17 Enforcement arm of the fed. courts : US MARSHALS (hiding “URALS”)
19 With 16-Across, staff symbol for viola music : ALTO …
20 Oopsy on the keys : TYPO
21 Feel out of sorts : AIL
22 Somali-born supermodel : IMAN
23 67.5 deg. : ENE
24 Streaming service whose logo ends with a math symbol : APPLE TV-PLUS (hiding “ALPS”)
28 Curtain material : SCRIM
30 Vegas opening? : VEE
31 “How We Do (Party)” singer Rita : ORA
32 German suffix with Konzert : -MEISTER
36 Technical sch. : INST
37 What each set of circled letters spells … and depicts : MOUNTAIN RANGE
40 Works with hide : TANS
41 “This tastes awful!” : I HATE IT!
42 CPR provider : EMT
43 Darth, as a youth : ANI
44 Green stuff : DOUGH
48 “What I Like About You” co-star : AMANDA BYNES (hiding “ANDES”)
53 In favor of : PRO
54 Sciences partner : ARTS
55 “I do not see why I should __ turn back”: Frost : E’ER
56 Where many a stuck thing sticks : CRAW
57 Paris gal pal : AMIE
58 Family CBS series set on a self-named mountain : THE WALTONS (hiding “TETONS”)
61 Prejudice : BIAS
62 Pole at sea : MAST
63 Undercut : ERODE
64 Is too busy, say : CAN’T
65 Texter’s disclaimer, briefly : IMHO
66 Change : ALTER

Down

1 Google Maps offerings : ROUTES
2 On the same page : IN SYNC
3 RV park vehicle : CAMPER
4 Vatican farewell : CIAO!
5 Like some bargain bin mdse. : IRR
6 Blocker in a TV : V-CHIP
7 “Show your cards” : I CALL
8 Sushi bar fare : EEL
9 Part of wpm: Abbr. : WDS
10 Rogue : SCAMP
11 The whole time : ALL ALONG
12 Professional who breast-feeds another’s child : WET NURSE
13 NorCal airport : SFO
18 Syrup source : SAP
22 “__ got it!” : I’VE
24 “You said it!” : AMEN!
25 The Oscars, say : EVENT
26 __ Haute : TERRE
27 Grabbed a chair : SAT
29 Don of talk radio : IMUS
33 Singer Turner’s memoir : I, TINA
34 Indian “master” : SAHIB
35 Barcelona aunt : TIA
36 Really enjoying : INTO
37 ABBA musical : MAMMA MIA!
38 Quebecer’s neighbor : ONTARIAN
39 Helps : AIDS
40 __ cozy : TEA
43 Common online interruptions : ADS
45 Yank from the soil : UPROOT
46 “Thank U, Next” singer Ariana : GRANDE
47 Doctor Doogie : HOWSER
49 Desert trial : N-TEST
50 “Oy!” : YEESH!
51 Not familiar with : NEW TO
52 Big Band __ : ERA
56 Lower left PC key : CTRL
57 It can replace “pie” in an idiom : ABC
58 “Enough!” in texts : TMI!
59 Bad actor : HAM
60 Grassy expanse : LEA

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Dec 21, Wednesday”

  1. No errors…
    Never heard of RITA ORA and she shows twice in recent crosswords?? Hmmm.

    Struggled a bit on 48A. Had AMANDA BGNES because I thought 50D was GEESH.
    Soon realized it was YEESH..
    So is it YEESH GEESH or JEESH? or is it crossword constructors preference? I’ve been at this long to realize it’s whatever they want to use if any variations show up on the internet. You just have to roll with it it…. YIPES!!!

  2. 6:00, 1 dumb error.

    Another proof for the existence of the Crossword Conspiracy: The entry I (and others) complained about Sunday in the LAT showed up in today’s WSJ.

    @Anon Mike
    I’ve learned pretty quickly to not assume anything. I pretty much assume any jumble of letters is going to show up anywhere until I see definite proof it won’t.

    1. The Eiger is a well-known feature of the Alps, and I have seen it in many crossword puzzles. Mountaineers, in particular, are certain to recognize the name. It’s unwise to conclude that one’s own lack of familiarity with something implies that lack on everyone else’s part.

      And, as for strange coincidences: such things happen in “real life”, as well. I described one such coincidence in a late post here last Thursday:

      https://laxcrossword.com/2021/12/la-times-crossword-9-dec-21-thursday.html

      I’m still trying to figure out whether I should have rushed out to buy a lottery ticket instead of going home, closing the blinds, and waiting for whatever disaster the omen portended … 😜.

  3. Catching on to the theme about midway through the puzzle helped a
    lot. No errors today, but I did google the Amanda Bynes name. I
    already had it entered, but as I didn’t know the name, I looked to make
    sure. I figured “yeesh” was the down answer. Good puzzle for me today.

  4. 21:55 with one dumb error.
    I thought it was just me who says “whatever it takes” for crossword setters. Glad to see I’m not alone😀
    Stay safe😀

  5. 18:24 – 1 cheat – didn’t know AMADABYNES/YEESH

    Picked up on the theme early on, which helped MOUNTAINRANGE, but it didn’t help that much in the other clues.

    Time a bit slow but really enjoyed the puzzle.

    Be Well.

  6. 11:44 with no errors or lookups. Pretty good for a Wednesday. Had to change CLEF>ALTO on 19A, and move CLEF up one row. Until today, knew only of treble and bass clefs. Also changed MOOLA>DOUGH, FOR>PRO. No other particular issues.

  7. Back to normal from yesterday – no errors or Googles on Wednesday!
    Did not actually know Ms. BYNES, Ms. ORA, or I CALL.
    The clever theme helped.
    I often say YEESH. I beleive it’s a substitute for Jesus.
    Love Tim Burton and Ms. Ricci.

  8. Slightly tricky Wednesday for me; took 12:42 with one error, same as several people BiNES/iEESH. I’d heard of her but never seen her before and I really should have gotten YEESH, although I managed to at least fix nER to EER.

    Learned about SCRIM, which I at first had as SeRge.

    Very funny clue in the WSJ: “Lab oratory?” being ARF 🙂

  9. @Dirk … I apparently got “ARF” from the downs and neglected to go back and look at its clue, so … thank you for “cluing me in”. Very funny, indeed.

  10. I’m not into live shows or concerts that would create an Encore. I know that the continuous audience applause warrants an encore but can somebody please explain how an encore is demanded? And multiple times?

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