LA Times Crossword 21 Dec 21, Tuesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Lead Dog

Themed answers each LEAD off with a breed of DOG:

  • 68A With 69-Across, Iditarod front-runner … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : LEAD …
  • 69A See 68-Across : … DOG
  • 1A *With 4-Across, researcher’s wear : LAB …
  • 4A *See 1-Across : … COAT
  • 20A *Briefs alternative : BOXER SHORTS
  • 36A *Jewel-encrusted film noir title bird : MALTESE FALCON
  • 56A *Sock hop attire : POODLE SKIRT

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

Bill’s time: 4m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 *With 4-Across, researcher’s wear : LAB …

4 *See 1-Across : … COAT

Our term “laboratory”, often shortened to “lab”, comes from the Medieval Latin word “laboratorium” meaning “place for labor, work”. This in turn comes from the Latin verb “laborare” meaning “to work”.

24 Lena of “Riviera” : OLIN

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland. Olin’s most famous performance was in “Chocolat” released in 2000, and then she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting Actress in the TV show “Alias”.

“Riviera” is a TV drama created by Irish director Neil Jordan that started airing in 2017. The show centers on an American art curator (played by Julia Styles), who is trying to uncover the truth about the death of her billionaire husband. It’s all set in the French Riviera, hence the title. Haven’t seen this one, but it looks interesting …

25 Feast with poi : LUAU

Nowadays, the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of poi, the bulbous underground stems of taro.

26 50 Cent piece, e.g. : RAP

Rap star 50 Cent’s real name is Curtis James Jackson III, and is from South Jamaica in Queens, New York. 50 Cent had a rough life starting out, first dealing drugs at the age of 12. He dropped his illegal activities to pursue a rap career, but still fell victim to an assailant who pumped nine bullets into him. The alleged shooter was himself shot three weeks later, and died. 50 Cent’s alleged attacker was a bodyguard and close friend of Mike Tyson.

31 Sixth sense: Abbr. : ESP

The so-called sixth sense is extrasensory perception (ESP).

32 2021 World Series champs: Abbr. : ATL

The 2021 World Series was played between the Atlanta Braves of the National League and the Houston Astros of the American League. The Braves emerged victorious, four games to two.

35 “Garfield” dog : ODIE

Jon Arbuckle is a fictional character, and the owner of Odie from Jim Davis’s comic strip “Garfield”. Garfield is Arbuckle’s orange tabby cat. Odie is his less-than-smart beagle.

36 *Jewel-encrusted film noir title bird : MALTESE FALCON

The classic detective novel “The Maltese Falcon” was written by Dashiell Hammett and first published in 1930. The main character is Sam Spade, a character played by Humphrey Bogart in the third movie adaptation of the book, a film of the same name and released in 1941.

47 Buffet with guacamole and salsa :

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

51 Chekov’s early “Star Trek” rank: Abbr. : ENS

Walter Koenig played Pavel Chekov in the original “Star Trek” series. Mr Chekov was a Russian character although Koenig himself was born in Chicago, the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania.

54 Musical finale : CODA

In music, a coda is primarily a passage that brings a movement to a conclusion. “Coda” is Italian for “tail”.

55 CPR expert : EMT

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

56 *Sock hop attire : POODLE SKIRT

Poodle skirts have a solid color with a prominent design on the front. Back in the fifties, a poodle was a popular design to adorn the skirt, hence the name “poodle skirt”.

63 Poe’s “Annabel __” : LEE

“Annabel Lee” was the last complete poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The opening lines are:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;

The closing lines are:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

65 Latin 101 verb : ESSE

“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am”, “est” means “he, she is”, and “erat” means “he, she was”.

67 Checked for prints : DUSTED

In the world of criminology, there are three classes of fingerprints:

  • Patent prints are those which are obvious, easily spotted by the naked eye.
  • Impressed prints are those made when the fingertips apply pressure to a soft material or surface, such as the skin.
  • Latent prints are those that are invisible to the naked eye, but which can be detected using special equipment and materials.

68 With 69-Across, Iditarod front-runner … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : LEAD …
69 See 68-Across : … DOG

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers an incredible 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. Finishing times range from over 8 days to 15 days or more. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!

Down

1 Sappho’s island home : LESBOS

Lesbos is a Greek island in the northeast of the Aegean Sea. The Greek poet Sappho came from Lesbos, and she was a woman noted for her powerful emotional poems directed towards other females. It is because of the writings of Sappho from Lesbos that we have our word “lesbian”.

2 Anatomical ring : AREOLA

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

3 Secession approved in a 2016 U.K. referendum : BREXIT

The UK held a referendum in June 2016 in which 52% of voters chose to leave the European Union (EU). The term “Brexit” was used for the vote, a portmanteau of “Britain” and “exit”. The vote led to some debate about the future of the UK. The Scottish electorate voted for the UK to stay in the EU, and so that revived speculation about Scotland leaving the UK. There is also some discussion about Northern Ireland’s future in the UK, as the Northern Irish electorate also voted to stay in the EU.

4 Three-time Grammy-winning singer Vikki : CARR

“Vikki Carr” is the stage name of singer Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martínez Cardona, born in El Paso. Most of Carr’s success came with songs released in Spanish, but also had a big hit in 1967 with the English-language song “It Must Be Him”.

6 Asian nurse : AMAH

“Amah” is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture and yet the term actually comes from the Portuguese “ama” meaning “nurse”. Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an amah.

7 Alpine region in Italy and Austria : TYROL

The Austrian state of Tyrol (“Tirol” in German) has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially if you love the mountains. It is in the very west of the country, just south of Bavaria in Germany. The capital city is the famous Innsbruck.

South Tyrol is the most northerly province of Italy. It borders Austria to the north, and the majority of citizens of South Tyrol speak German as a first language.

8 Sportscaster Bob with 29 Emmys : COSTAS

Bob Costas has been a sportscaster for NBC since the early eighties. Costas has a son called Keith. Just before his son was born, Costas made (as a joke) a bet with Minnesota Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett that if he was batting over .350 by the time the child was born, he would name the baby “Kirby”. Well, Puckett won the bet, but the actual name chosen was Keith Michael Costas. When Puckett reminded Costas of the agreement, the birth certificate was changed to Keith Michael Kirby Costas. My wife would have made my life not worth living …

10 “Evil Woman” rock gp. : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) recorded the song “Evil Woman” in 1975. “Evil Woman” was written by the band’s lead vocalist Jeff Lynne, in just thirty minutes!

11 Legendary city of gold : EL DORADO

The original El Dorado was a Muisca chief who was covered with gold dust in a tribal ritual and then dove into Lake Guatavita in present-day Colombia. Later, “El Dorado” was adopted as the name for a mythical “Lost City of Gold” that became a quest from many Spanish Conquistadors who explored the Americas.

12 Jargon with words ending in -ay : PIG LATIN

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ixnay” (ix-n-ay), and for “scram” is “amscray” (am-scr-ay).

The noun “jargon” can describe nonsensical and meaningless talk, or the specialized language of a particular group, trade or profession. The term “jargon” is Old French, with the more usual meaning of “chattering”. How apt …

22 Poe’s __ Morgue : RUE

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, and is recognized as the first “detective story” ever written. The murder is solved when it is determined that the murderer was actually an orangutan.

30 Aptly palindromic ABBA hit : SOS

The ABBA song “SOS” was originally titled “Turn Me On”. In the movie “Mamma Mia!”, “SOS” is performed by Meryl Streep (brilliantly) and by Pierce Brosnan (terribly).

34 “The Last Jedi” villain Kylo : REN

Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a 2017 movie from the “Star Wars” film franchise, and the second installment of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. The title character is Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. Ah, but is Luke in fact the “last Jedi”?

40 Europe’s __ de Genève : LAC

Lake Geneva straddles the border between France and Switzerland. The lake has a lot of “official” names!

  • English: Lake Geneva
  • French: Lac Léman or Lac de Genève
  • German: Genfersee or Genfer See
  • Italian: Lago Lemano or Lago di Ginevra

45 Supported from the bleachers, with “for” : ROOTED …

At a sports event one might sit in the bleachers. “Bleachers” is a particularly American term used to describe the tiered stands that provide seating for spectators. These seats were originally wooden planks, and as they were uncovered they would be bleached by the sun, giving them the name we use today. Sometimes the fans using the bleachers might be referred to as “bleacherites”.

46 Progressive spokeswoman : FLO

Progressive is a popular auto insurance company, the one that uses the perky character named “Flo” as a spokesperson. Flo is played by comedian and actress Stephanie Courtney.

49 Glandular prefix : ADRENO-

The naturally occurring hormone adrenaline is also known as epinephrine. Adrenaline takes its name from the adrenal glands that produce the hormone. The glands themselves take their name from their location in the body, right on the kidneys (“ad-renes” meaning “near or at the kidneys” in Latin). The alternative name of epinephrine has a similar root (“epi-nephros” meaning “upon the kidney” in Greek).

53 ’50s Ford failure : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

58 “Frozen II” sister : ELSA

“Frozen II” is a 2019 sequel to the 2013 hit Disney movie “Frozen”. The sequel was highly anticipated by audiences, and so had the highest worldwide opening of any animated film in the history of movies.

61 Tom Brady, before he became a Buc : PAT

Quarterback Tom Brady signed up with the New England Patriots in 2000, and led the team to more Super Bowl appearances than any other player in history. He signed up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, and led them to win the Super Bowl in his first season. Brady is from San Mateo, California, which isn’t very far from here. He dated actress Bridget Moynahan for a couple of years, and the pair have a child together. Brady has been married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen since 2009.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 *With 4-Across, researcher’s wear : LAB …
4 *See 1-Across : … COAT
8 Nested newborns’ noises : CHEEPS
14 Be off : ERR
15 Major employer? : ARMY
16 Like some quaint lamps : OIL LIT
17 “Get it?” : SEE?
18 Back : REAR
19 Old-fashioned type : STODGE
20 *Briefs alternative : BOXER SHORTS
23 Soccer cheer : OLE!
24 Lena of “Riviera” : OLIN
25 Feast with poi : LUAU
26 50 Cent piece, e.g. : RAP
27 Send-ups : SATIRES
31 Sixth sense: Abbr. : ESP
32 2021 World Series champs: Abbr. : ATL
33 Relish : SAVOR
35 “Garfield” dog : ODIE
36 *Jewel-encrusted film noir title bird : MALTESE FALCON
41 Curly cabbage : KALE
42 Vocally twangy : NASAL
43 Nothing : NIL
44 Pound sound : ARF!
47 Buffet with guacamole and salsa : TACO BAR
51 Chekov’s early “Star Trek” rank: Abbr. : ENS
52 Give (out) sparingly : DOLE
54 Musical finale : CODA
55 CPR expert : EMT
56 *Sock hop attire : POODLE SKIRT
60 Seize, as an opportunity : LEAP AT
62 __ proprietor : SOLE
63 Poe’s “Annabel __” : LEE
64 Infuriate : ENRAGE
65 Latin 101 verb : ESSE
66 Finish : END
67 Checked for prints : DUSTED
68 With 69-Across, Iditarod front-runner … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : LEAD …
69 See 68-Across : … DOG

Down

1 Sappho’s island home : LESBOS
2 Anatomical ring : AREOLA
3 Secession approved in a 2016 U.K. referendum : BREXIT
4 Three-time Grammy-winning singer Vikki : CARR
5 Valuable minerals : ORES
6 Asian nurse : AMAH
7 Alpine region in Italy and Austria : TYROL
8 Sportscaster Bob with 29 Emmys : COSTAS
9 Asks (for), as a loan : HITS UP
10 “Evil Woman” rock gp. : ELO
11 Legendary city of gold : EL DORADO
12 Jargon with words ending in -ay : PIG LATIN
13 Church feature : STEEPLE
21 Strand at sea : ENISLE
22 Poe’s __ Morgue : RUE
28 Backstabber : RAT
29 Christmas __ : EVE
30 Aptly palindromic ABBA hit : SOS
34 “The Last Jedi” villain Kylo : REN
35 The end of time? : … O’CLOCK
36 Top-level computer list : MAIN MENU
37 Elite athletes : ALL-STARS
38 Lucrative, as a contract : FAT
39 Smart-whip link : … AS A …
40 Europe’s __ de Genève : LAC
41 Prepared for a proposal : KNEELED
44 Common Sunday newspaper insert : AD PAGE
45 Supported from the bleachers, with “for” : ROOTED …
46 Progressive spokeswoman : FLO
48 Heated to bubbling : BOILED
49 Glandular prefix : ADRENO-
50 Like family-friendly films : RATED-G
53 ’50s Ford failure : EDSEL
57 “You snooze, you __” : LOSE
58 “Frozen II” sister : ELSA
59 Gardener’s purchase : SEED
61 Tom Brady, before he became a Buc : PAT

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Dec 21, Tuesday”

  1. 41 down is spelled incorrectly: there’s no word “kneeled.” Correct spelling is KNELT. It is hard to do a puzzle with misspelled words in it.

    1. Hi, Mary. I prefer one over the other, too, though I did neither when I prepared for my proposal. They’re both acceptable, and I’d suggest that this is not too bad compared to many crossword-isms.

      Happy Holidays to all!

  2. FYI: 19 across answer STODGE is old fashioned food, not a type of person, which is what the clue leads you to think. A person can be stodgy, but not a stodge, or food. Makes no sense.

  3. Did this when I wasn’t quite awake enough. I had “Evil Woman” mixed up with “Evil Ways,” and figured it was Santana, but that wouldn’t work. Otherwise, no problems.

  4. Not one, but TWO E.A. Poe clues in ONE puzzle? My, my! And what would we do without the ever-present Auntie Nonny Mus rebukes? As the Beatles say . . . “Let It Be.”

    1. I think the rebuke comes from the dictionary, rather than from me. Bill is very careful to back up his commentary through research; I think we posters could do the same … 🤨.

  5. Add to @Marys comments that my paper didn’t publish any clue for 41A or 29D…Good puzzle?
    Somehow no errors.
    Stay safe😀

  6. 16:35 – no peeks/errors.

    NE corner ate me alive for over 10 minutes – couldn’t see BREXIT past my nose – aaarrgghhhh!

    Tough crowd today …

    Be Well

  7. One Natick error, so I should have Googled: I had OLIx crosses ExISLE.
    Had twEEtS before CHEEPS.
    Did not actually know ELSA, PAT, ATL, ENS.
    Didn’t notice one of the DOGs in the theme, that is, the LABrador.
    Is there another theme: RAT, FAT, PAT?
    Not to be stodgy, but with grammar and spelling, I stick with what was correct in my day. Just because most people say ofTen, it doesn’t mean I don’t cringe.

  8. Slightly tricky Tuesday for me; took 10:27 with no peeks or errors. Skittered around in the NE and parts of the SW and SE and middle, waiting for crosses. Theme didn’t really help, but I got the theme answers no problem.

    I can accept KNEELED and KNELT but PLEADED is just so awkward compared to PLED.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.