LA Times Crossword 2 Dec 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hardware’s up Front

Themed answers each start with an item of hardware:

  • 17A Impress one’s future employer, maybe : NAIL AN INTERVIEW
  • 26A Gobble breakfast in one minute, say : BOLT DOWN A MEAL
  • 43A Cause confusion and disarray : SCREW THINGS UP
  • 55A Perform a sailing maneuver : TACK INTO THE WIND
  • Read on, or jump to …
    … a complete list of answers

    Bill’s time: 7m 01s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    1 Degas medium : PASTELS

    Edgar Degas was a French artist who was famous for both his paintings and his sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

    A “pastel” is a crayon made from a “paste” containing a powdered pigment in a binder. The term “pastel” can also be used to describe a work created using pastels.

    8 Panini cheese : ASIAGO

    Asiago is a cheese that is named for the region in northeastern Italy from where it originates. It comes in varying textures depending on its age. Fresh Asiago is very smooth, while aged Asiago can be be very crumbly.

    In Italy, a sandwich made from sliced bread is called a “tramezzino”, while sandwiches made from non-sliced breads are called “panini” (singular “panino”). We’ve imported the plural term “panini” into English to describe a single pressed and toasted sandwich.

    14 Examples of basic chemistry? : ALKALIS

    The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are alkalis, hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

    15 Libraries, often : LENDERS

    Our word “library” ultimately derives from the Latin “liber” meaning “book”.

    19 First name in American folk music : PETE

    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!”

    20 The Auld Sod : EIRE

    “Auld Sod” (meaning simply “old sod”) is a familiar term for “Ireland”, especially when referring to the country as one’s homeland from abroad. ‘Tis true …

    24 Waits with a guitar : TOM

    Tom Waits is a singer-songwriter from Pomona, California. Waits is noted for his growling, rasping voice.

    30 Wireless standard initials : LTE

    In the world of telecommunications, the initialism LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, and is wireless broadband communication standard. In general terms, LTE improves broadband speeds. As I understand it, LTE technology allows a 3G network to perform almost as well as a true 4G network, and so LTE is sometimes marketed as 4G LTE, even though it’s really “3G plus”.

    31 __ Cabos: Baja area : LOS

    Los Cabos is a municipality located right at the very southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula that has a very vibrant tourist industry. The name “Los Cabos” translates from Spanish as “The Capes”.

    40 Native American Heritage Mo. : NOV

    Native American Heritage Month was first observed in 1990 after President George H. W. Bush declared that November would be set aside to honor America’s tribal peoples.

    41 Women’s campus gp. : SOR

    A sorority (sor.) is the female counterpart to a fraternity (frat.).

    42 Internet pioneer : AOL

    Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983, the company changed its name in 1989 to America Online. As America Online went international, the initialism AOL was used in order to shake off the “America-centric” sound to the name. During the heady days of AOL’s success the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That’s when users referred to AOL as “Always Off-Line”.

    47 Hemingway moniker : PAPA

    Apparently, author Ernest Hemingway picked up the moniker “Papa” on the birth of his first child (as one might expect!). Hemingway seemed to like the nickname and welcomed its use outside of the family, and his admirers obliged.

    49 __ Speedwagon : REO

    REO Speedwagon is an American rock band that formed in 1967, and is still going strong. The band’s biggest hits are “Keep On Loving You” (1980) and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” (1985). The founding members chose the name for the REO Speed Wagon flatbed truck. Note that the band’s name is one word “Speedwagon”, whereas the vehicle’s name uses two words “Speed Wagon”.

    50 Maine college town : ORONO

    The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine that was founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

    51 La Corse, par exemple : ILE

    Corsica (“La Corse” in French) is a large island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to France. Napoléon Bonaparte was born on Corsica, in the town of Ajaccio.

    54 Reindeer in “Frozen” : SVEN

    In the 2013 animated film “Frozen”, Kristoff is a 21-year old iceman who is accompanied by Sven, his reindeer. Kristoff is voiced by Jonathan Groff.

    55 Perform a sailing maneuver : TACK INTO THE WIND

    “To tack” is a sailing term, one meaning “to veer into and through the wind in order to change course”. After the maneuver is completed, the wind is coming over the opposite side of the vessel.

    60 Cretan princess who aided Theseus : ARIADNE

    In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of Minos, the King of Crete and master of the Minotaur. Minos charged his daughter with control of the labyrinth that housed the Minotaur. However, Ariadne fell in love with Theseus, who had vowed to kill the Minotaur, and she helped him fulfill his mission. In other myths, Ariadne became the bride of the god Dionysus.

    61 Trivial detail : MINUTIA

    Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

    62 Occupation : METIER

    “Métier” is French for “trade, profession”.

    63 Gathering places for many unions : CHAPELS

    Those would be marriages.

    Down

    2 Inspired by : A LA

    The phrase “in the style of” can be translated as “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

    3 Winter Olympics equipment : SKI POLES

    The first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924, in Chamonix, France. The Winter and Summer Games were held in the same year until 1992 after which they were staggered, so that we have an Olympic Games every two years.

    6 Stanza part : LINE

    “Stanza” is an Italian word meaning “verse of a poem”.

    7 Money for some AARP members : SSI

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides financial relief to persons with low incomes who are 65 or older, or who are blind or disabled. The SSI program is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) even though the Social Security trust fund is not used for SSI payments. SSI payments come out of general tax revenue.

    8 Nissan model : ALTIMA

    Nissan has been making the Altima since 1993. In 2007 the company started to produce a hybrid version, Nissan’s first foray into the hybrid market and a successful one by all accounts. Altima hybrids are even used as police cruisers by the New York Police Department.

    10 Memo intro : IN RE

    The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

    11 Really, e.g.: Abbr. : ADV

    Adverb (adv.)

    12 Real last name of Dr. Seuss : GEISEL

    “Dr. Seuss” was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Geisel first used the pen name while studying at Dartmouth College and at the University of Oxford. Back then, he pronounced “Seuss” as it would be in German, i.e. rhyming with “voice”. After his books found success in the US, he went with the pronunciation being used widely by the public, quite happy to have a name that rhymes with “Mother Goose”.

    13 Circular snacks : OREOS

    The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

    16 “M*A*S*H” actress : SWIT

    Loretta Swit started playing Major “Hot Lips” Houlihan on “M*A*S*H” in 1972. She and Alan Alda were the only actors who appeared in both the pilot and the series finale. Swit has written a book on needlepoint, would you believe? It’s called “A Needlepoint Scrapbook”.

    18 Classic Vegas sights : NEONS

    The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

    24 Ark units : TWOS

    Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently, “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

    25 Capital of Azerbaijan : BAKU

    Baku is the capital city of Azerbaijan and sits on the Caspian Sea. It’s thought that the name “Baku” comes from the Persian “Bad-kube” meaning “wind-pounded city”.

    28 Native New Zealander : MAORI

    The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting some time in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing mortal humans from spiritual entities. The Māori refer to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

    29 Course concerned with idioms: Abbr. : ESL

    English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

    34 Ancient Andean : INCA

    The Inca Empire was known as the Tawantinsuyu, which translates as “land of the four quarters”. It was a federal organization with a central government that sat above four “suyu” or “quarters”, four administrative regions.

    35 Blue Jays, in crawls : TOR

    The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

    36 Salmon variety : COHO

    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.

    37 Multi-use hardboard product : MASONITE

    Masonite is a hardboard made by pressure-molding steam-cooked wood fibres. The product was patented in 1924 by William H. Mason, who was a friend and protégé of Thomas Edison.

    39 Iams alternative : ALPO

    Alpo is a brand of dog food introduced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

    41 __ pad : STENO

    Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

    43 Hard cash? : SPECIE

    Coined money, as opposed to paper money, can be referred to as “specie”.

    44 Jo, in “Little Women” : WRITER

    “Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of “little women” comprises Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy, the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

    45 Nine-day prayer ritual : NOVENA

    In the Roman Catholic tradition, a novena is a set of prayers or services that are repeated over nine successive days. “Novena” derives from the Latin “novem” meaning “nine”.

    47 Hummus go-with : PITA

    Pita is a lovely bread from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

    The lovely dip/spread called hummus usually contains mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. The name “hummus” is an Arabic word for “chickpeas”.

    53 Pulitzer novelist Tyler : ANNE

    Anne Tyler is a novelist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most of Tyler’s novels are set in Baltimore, Maryland, where she now resides. Tyler’s most famous title has to be “The Accidental Tourist”, which was adapted into a 1988 film starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner and Geena Davis. Tyler might be considered somewhat of a recluse in her professional life, as she rarely makes personal appearances to promote her books.

    54 __ Tzu: dog breed : SHIH

    The Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dog, and a breed that originated in China. Shih Tzus have long hairy coats but they don’t shed.

    56 “Krazy __” : KAT

    “Krazy Kat” is a successful comic strip that ran from 1913-1944 and was drawn by George Herriman.

    57 Cinephile’s TV choice : TMC

    The Movie Channel is owned by Showtime, which in turn is a subsidiary of CBS. The channel’s name is often abbreviated to “TMC”, although this is informal usage.

    58 Soccer score word : NIL

    Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

    59 Court figs. : DAS

    District attorney (DA)

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Degas medium : PASTELS
    8 Panini cheese : ASIAGO
    14 Examples of basic chemistry? : ALKALIS
    15 Libraries, often : LENDERS
    17 Impress one’s future employer, maybe : NAIL AN INTERVIEW
    19 First name in American folk music : PETE
    20 The Auld Sod : EIRE
    21 “__ did”: “You caught me” : SO I
    22 Make restitution : ATONE
    24 Waits with a guitar : TOM
    25 Unsurpassed : BEST
    26 Gobble breakfast in one minute, say : BOLT DOWN A MEAL
    30 Wireless standard initials : LTE
    31 __ Cabos: Baja area : LOS
    32 Seek information : ASK
    33 “I concur with that evaluation” : YES, IT IS
    36 Counterpart of Row 1 : COLUMN A
    40 Native American Heritage Mo. : NOV
    41 Women’s campus gp. : SOR
    42 Internet pioneer : AOL
    43 Cause confusion and disarray : SCREW THINGS UP
    47 Hemingway moniker : PAPA
    49 __ Speedwagon : REO
    50 Maine college town : ORONO
    51 La Corse, par exemple : ILE
    52 Key : MAIN
    54 Reindeer in “Frozen” : SVEN
    55 Perform a sailing maneuver : TACK INTO THE WIND
    60 Cretan princess who aided Theseus : ARIADNE
    61 Trivial detail : MINUTIA
    62 Occupation : METIER
    63 Gathering places for many unions : CHAPELS

    Down

    1 Kitchen implement : PAN
    2 Inspired by : A LA
    3 Winter Olympics equipment : SKI POLES
    4 Skill : TALENT
    5 Over the moon : ELATED
    6 Stanza part : LINE
    7 Money for some AARP members : SSI
    8 Nissan model : ALTIMA
    9 One looking ahead : SEER
    10 Memo intro : IN RE
    11 Really, e.g.: Abbr. : ADV
    12 Real last name of Dr. Seuss : GEISEL
    13 Circular snacks : OREOS
    16 “M*A*S*H” actress : SWIT
    18 Classic Vegas sights : NEONS
    22 With dexterity : ABLY
    23 Roomy bag : TOTE
    24 Ark units : TWOS
    25 Capital of Azerbaijan : BAKU
    27 Green shade : OLIVE
    28 Native New Zealander : MAORI
    29 Course concerned with idioms: Abbr. : ESL
    34 Ancient Andean : INCA
    35 Blue Jays, in crawls : TOR
    36 Salmon variety : COHO
    37 Multi-use hardboard product : MASONITE
    38 Lamp, e.g.; light, only sometimes : NOUN
    39 Iams alternative : ALPO
    41 __ pad : STENO
    43 Hard cash? : SPECIE
    44 Jo, in “Little Women” : WRITER
    45 Nine-day prayer ritual : NOVENA
    46 Matured : GREW UP
    47 Hummus go-with : PITA
    48 Frighten : ALARM
    52 Dress length : MIDI
    53 Pulitzer novelist Tyler : ANNE
    54 __ Tzu: dog breed : SHIH
    56 “Krazy __” : KAT
    57 Cinephile’s TV choice : TMC
    58 Soccer score word : NIL
    59 Court figs. : DAS

    19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Dec 21, Thursday”

    1. 23:15 with 1 letter error in CaHO/SaR. Should have pondered it a little more. Had considered COHO, but wasn’t sure, and SAR looked like an acronym for a Student organization.

      The first two themed answers helped to get the last two. Had to change IRA>SSI, MAXIMA>ALTIMA, ARLO>PETE, REPAY>ATONE, OLE>NIL.

    2. 11 mins 16 seconds, with no errors, but I wasted a bunch of time on one fill.
      That clue for 38 Down has got to be the year’s single worst. Makes absolutely NO sense, even after you solve the fill.

      Once again, the editor drops the ball.

      1. “Makes absolutely NO sense, even after you solve the fill.”
        I beg to differ. Makes sense to me. Lamp is a noun and that is the only part of speech it is. However light can be either a noun – as in, Please turn off the light – or a verb – as in, I’m going to light the barbecue.

      2. Allen, I think the clue for 38D is okay. “Lamp” is an example of a word that is always a noun; but “light” is also a verb or an adjective in addition to being a noun, depending on usage context.

      3. I agree with @Pea Kay and @Ray C.

        A minor quibble: The word “lamp” can be used as a verb. A Wikipedia article gives the following meanings: 1. (slang) To hit, clout, belt, wallop; 2. To hunt at night using a lamp; 3. (slang) To hang out or chill; to do nothing in particular; 4. To make into a table lamp, said of a vase or urn, etc. Most (or all) of these are unfamiliar to me.

        This doesn’t let Allen off the hook. The clue does made complete sense to me: quibbles aside, you can’t use “lamp” as a verb in the same way that you can use “light” as a verb.

        1. Wow Nonny! You did dig deep on research. I just relied on my knowledge of English language usage. Thanks for expanding my language horizons with your “minor quibble.” I’m not so up with current slang.

      4. Have to add my vote. Usually I complain about poorly written clues, but that wasn’t one I’d ever complain about. Pretty clean as it goes, and aptly explained by the others.

    3. 24:10 – about 4 cheats, error crossing sOr/cOho – didn’t know either. But found he puzzle fun.

      Didn’t know ARIADNE, METIER & WRITER. I must live a culturally shallow life …

      Got the top half in 5 mins, but not knowing ARIADNE, METIER ate me alive.

      Loved CHAPELS!

      Be Well

    4. Very challenging and fun Thursday for me; took 23:26 with one error ARIAnNE/MInI, which I guess lines up with my preferences 🙂

      @Bill – Asiago cheese is not really crumbly. If you check out google images it’s just normal in-a-wheel cheese, from the foothills above Venice and Padua.

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