LA Times Crossword 20 Dec 21, Monday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Dan Schoenholz
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Middle School

Themed answers each include the name of a SCHOOL hidden in the MIDDLE:

  • 56A Junior high … and what each set of circles is? : MIDDLE SCHOOL
  • 19A Dome-shaped frozen areas at the two ends of the Earth : POLAR ICE CAPS (RICE in the middle)
  • 27A One in charge of a depot : STATION AGENT (IONA in the middle)
  • 37A Cognac, crème de cacao and cream cocktail : BRANDY ALEXANDER (YALE in the middle)
  • 45A Over an extended period : IN THE LONG RUN (ELON in the middle)

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

Bill’s time: 4m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Trevi Fountain city : ROME

The Trevi Fountain (“Fontana di Trevi”) is a huge fountain in Rome, one that is the largest constructed in the Baroque style. The tradition is that if one throws a coin in the fountain then one is guaranteed a return visit to the city. Tourists throw in an amazing 3,000 euros (over $4,000) every day. The money is collected and is used to stock a supermarket for the needy of the city.

15 Stomach woe : ULCER

Until fairly recently, a peptic ulcer was believed to be caused by undue amounts of stress in one’s life. It is now known that 70-90% of all peptic ulcers are in fact associated with a particular bacterium.

16 “In memoriam” bio : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

18 Caulking need : PUTTY

The term “caulk” comes from old Norman French “cauquer”, and described the action of filling gaps with lime. “Caulk” has the same root as our word “chalk”.

19 Dome-shaped frozen areas at the two ends of the Earth : POLAR ICE CAPS (RICE in the middle)

The polar ice cap at the north of our planet is floating pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. The southern polar ice cap is an ice sheet that covers the landmass known as Antarctica. About 70% of all the freshwater on Earth is held in the southern polar ice cap.

Rice University is a private school in Houston, Texas. William Marsh Rice had made a will endowing the funds for the establishment of the school at the time of his death. When he was found dead one morning in his bed, his lawyer announced that his will had been changed, with the bulk of Rice’s estate actually going to the lawyer making the announcement. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the lawyer had paid Rice’s valet to murder his employer using chloroform and a fake will was written. Eventually, the original will was deemed valid and the funds were disbursed so that the school could be built.

27 One in charge of a depot : STATION AGENT (IONA in the middle)

Our term “depot”, meaning “station, warehouse”, comes from the French word “dépôt”. The French term translates into English as “deposit” or “place of deposit”.

Iona College is a Roman Catholic school run by Christian Brothers in New Rochelle, New York. The Brothers named the college for the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland on which is located Iona Abbey, which was founded by St. Columba. The school’s sports teams are called the Iona Gaels, and the team mascot goes by the name “Killian”.

35 Zip, in soccer : NIL

The first Zippo lighter was made in 1933, in Bradford, Pennsylvania. The name “Zippo” was simply a word invented by the company founder, George Blaisdell, as he liked the word “zipper”. You can buy one today for $12.95, or if you want the solid gold model … for $8,675.95.

36 Slow musical movement : LENTO

A lento passage is a piece of music that has a slow tempo. “Lento” is “slow” in Italian.

37 Cognac, crème de cacao and cream cocktail : BRANDY ALEXANDER (YALE in the middle)

The class of cocktails known as Alexanders comprise a base spirit added to crème de cacao and cream. The classic version is the brandy Alexander.

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

42 Swahili’s language group : BANTU

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

43 1950s prez : IKE

When the future president was growing up, the Eisenhowers used the nickname “Ike” for all seven boys in the family, as “Ike” was seen as an abbreviation for the family name. “Big Ike” was Edgar, the second oldest boy. “Little/Young Ike” was Dwight, who was the third son born. Dwight had no sisters.

45 Over an extended period : IN THE LONG RUN (ELON in the middle)

Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina located close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

51 Smidgen : TAD

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

60 “__ Secretary”: Téa Leoni title role : MADAM

“Madam Secretary” is A TV show that first aired from 2014 to 2019. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role: Racine at first base). She also played the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni started playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary” in 2014, and that’s a show I quite enjoy …

64 Microsoft browser : EDGE

The Microsoft Edge web browser was introduced in 2015 as a replacement for Internet Explorer. As of 2020, Microsoft Edge has 10% of the web browser market, second only to Google Chrome that dominates with 70% market share.

69 Basketball Hall of Famer Archibald or Thurmond : NATE

Nate Archibald is a retired basketball player who played mainly for the Kansas City Kings and the Boston Celtics. Archibald could get the ball in the basket, but was also willing to pass to a teammate when advantageous. He is the only player to lead the league in assists and scoring in the same season.

Nate Thurmond is a retired basketball player who was known to fans as “Nate the Great”. Thurmond spent most of his career with the Golden State Warriors, but also played with the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers in his latter years. After retiring from the game, Thurmond returned to San Francisco and opened a restaurant called Big Nate’s BBQ.

Down

1 Yorick’s skull in “Hamlet” and the dagger in “Macbeth,” e.g. : PROPS

In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, there is a scene when Prince Hamlet holds in his hand the skull of the deceased court jester Yorick. Hamlet starts into a famous monologue at this point:

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is …

The opening line is often misquoted as “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well.”

In William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, one of the more famous soliloquies starts with, “Is this a dagger which I see before me …?” There isn’t an actual dagger in front of Macbeth, but instead he sees the vision of a dagger pointing at King Duncan’s bedchamber, perhaps suggesting that he should go ahead with his plan to murder the King.

Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?

2 Automaton : ROBOT

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

3 Poet Dickinson : EMILY

Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily’s younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and it was published in batches over the coming decades.

4 Rose features : PETALS

The fruit of the rose plant is known as the rose hip or rose haw. I remember drinking rose hip syrup when I was a kid …

8 Merged union: Abbr. : AFL-CIO

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

15 Swedish university city : UPPSALA

Uppsala is the fourth largest city in Sweden and is home to Uppsala University founded in 1477, the oldest university in the whole of Scandinavia. I very nearly went to study at Uppsala University, but in 1979 and not in 1477 …

20 Like a prof. emeritus : RET

“Emeritus” (female form “emerita”, and plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb “emerere” meaning to complete one’s service.

21 Columnist Landers : ANN

“Ask Ann Landers” was an advice column written by Eppie Lederer from 1955 to 2002. Eppie was the twin sister to Pauline Phillips, the person behind “Dear Abby”. Eppie took over the “Ask Ann Landers” column from Ruth Crowley who started it in 1943.

25 Major chip maker : INTEL

Intel is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips. The company was founded in 1968, and the name “Intel” is derived from the term “int(egrated) el(ectronics)”. Recognition of the Intel brand has been greatly helped by the success of the “Intel Inside” campaign that started back in 1991.

28 “… have you __ wool?” : ANY

The old English nursery rhyme “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” is usually sung as:

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

The tune that accompanies the rhyme is a variant of the French melody “Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman”, which we know best in English as the tune for “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

29 Andalusian aunt : TIA

Andalusia (“Andalucía” in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region’s history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.

31 With 41-Down, boomer’s kid : GEN-
(41D See 31-Down : -XER)

32 “Steal This Book” author Hoffman : ABBIE

Abbie Hoffman was the founder of the Yippies, an activist group that had violent clashes with the police during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Hoffman, along with six other defendants, were eventually brought up on charges related to the protests and became known collectively as the Chicago Seven.

“Steal This Book” is a 1971 book by political and social activist Abbie Hoffman. It takes the form of a guide for young people seeking to embrace the counterculture born in the 1960s. “Steal This Book” turned out to be a success, prompting Hoffman to declare, “It’s embarrassing when you try to overthrow the government and you wind up on the Best Seller’s List”.

34 “Divine Comedy” poet : DANTE

In Dante’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy”, the poet journeys through the three realms of the dead. The Roman poet Virgil guides Dante through Hell and Purgatory. Dante is guided through Heaven by Beatrice, the poet’s ideal of womanhood Beatrice

40 Heart test: Abbr. : EKG

An EKG measures the electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred, as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

48 Scanned bars: Abbr. : UPC

Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code (UPC)

53 Wyoming’s state sport : RODEO

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated into English as “round up”.

54 Roman wraps : TOGAS

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

56 Brewer’s need : MALT

Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried. The cereal is germinated by soaking it in water, and then germination is halted by drying the grains with hot air.

57 Etna output : LAVA

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” (sometimes “Muncibeddu”) in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

61 Lumberjack tool : AXE

A lumberjack is a logger, one harvesting and transporting trees to mills. As one might perhaps imagine, “lumberjack” was originally a Canadian term.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Get ready, as for surgery : PREP
5 Dada lover? : MAMA
9 Breathe like a hot dog : PANT
13 Trevi Fountain city : ROME
14 “Yeah, right!” : AS IF!
15 Stomach woe : ULCER
16 “In memoriam” bio : OBIT
17 Shout : YELL
18 Caulking need : PUTTY
19 Dome-shaped frozen areas at the two ends of the Earth : POLAR ICE CAPS (RICE in the middle)
22 Distinctive manner of writing, say : STYLE
23 Sit-__: protests : INS
24 Bro’s sibling : SIS
27 One in charge of a depot : STATION AGENT (IONA in the middle)
32 Throw in : ADD
35 Zip, in soccer : NIL
36 Slow musical movement : LENTO
37 Cognac, crème de cacao and cream cocktail : BRANDY ALEXANDER (YALE in the middle)
42 Swahili’s language group : BANTU
43 1950s prez : IKE
44 On the __: sneakily : SLY
45 Over an extended period : IN THE LONG RUN (ELON in the middle)
50 Scratch (out), as a living : EKE
51 Smidgen : TAD
52 Harbor cities : PORTS
56 Junior high … and what each set of circles is? : MIDDLE SCHOOL
60 “__ Secretary”: Téa Leoni title role : MADAM
63 Ultra-modest skirt : MAXI
64 Microsoft browser : EDGE
65 Banishment : EXILE
66 Enthusiastic : AVID
67 Big jump : LEAP
68 Came’s opposite : WENT
69 Basketball Hall of Famer Archibald or Thurmond : NATE
70 Share on Facebook, say : POST

Down

1 Yorick’s skull in “Hamlet” and the dagger in “Macbeth,” e.g. : PROPS
2 Automaton : ROBOT
3 Poet Dickinson : EMILY
4 Rose features : PETALS
5 Polite request : MAY I?
6 “Just __ … ” : A SEC
7 1,760 yards : MILE
8 Merged union: Abbr. : AFL-CIO
9 In addition to : PLUS
10 Assume a role : ACT
11 Bottom line : NET
12 Give it a go : TRY
15 Swedish university city : UPPSALA
20 Like a prof. emeritus : RET
21 Columnist Landers : ANN
24 Transmits : SENDS
25 Major chip maker : INTEL
26 Kid’s bedtime request : STORY
28 “… have you __ wool?” : ANY
29 Andalusian aunt : TIA
30 Messin’ around, in rap slang : ILLIN’
31 With 41-Down, boomer’s kid : GEN-
32 “Steal This Book” author Hoffman : ABBIE
33 Had a beer, say : DRANK
34 “Divine Comedy” poet : DANTE
38 Utmost degree : NTH
39 Eventually and aptly, after “in” : … DUE TIME
40 Heart test: Abbr. : EKG
41 See 31-Down : -XER
46 Young fellow : LAD
47 Extra guy who’s “out” : ODD MAN
48 Scanned bars: Abbr. : UPC
49 Of little value : NO HELP
53 Wyoming’s state sport : RODEO
54 Roman wraps : TOGAS
55 Took a nap : SLEPT
56 Brewer’s need : MALT
57 Etna output : LAVA
58 Leave the room : EXIT
59 One of a cube’s six : SIDE
60 Kitty’s sound : MEW
61 Lumberjack tool : AXE
62 Terrible racket : DIN

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Dec 21, Monday”

  1. Quick run today. No errors.
    Thought I was in error with 15D UPPSALA. but no stranger to Bill.. he almost went to school there!!!! 1979!
    I was in my sophomore year in college then too!!! Exactly 7,493 miles in a straight line from UPPSALA!

  2. 9:36 with no errors or lookups. A fairly straightforward solve, but did not know UPPSALA or the BRANDY drink. Knowing the theme helped complete ALEXANDER. FOR 27A, I had thought stationMASTER, but AGENT works, too.

  3. 4:17

    A rare Monday where I caught on to the theme before finishing the puzzle. It came together in a satisfying manner. I’ve learned of IONA via crosswords, and today I learned of ELON.

    It bugs me a little that these are colleges and universities, not middle schools.

  4. @ Pam… Each is a school situated in the “middle” of the answer.
    37A – I realize that “cognac” had to be used in the recipe clue because “brandy” is part of the answer but it would be a real snob who would demand that cognac be used in his Brandy Alexander.

  5. Nice easy Monday for me; took 6:47 with no peeks or errors. Theme eluded me until I got here. Finally looked up where Iona and Elon were located.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.