LA Times Crossword 27 Dec 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Catherine Cetta
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Flat Broke

Themed answers each include the hidden word FLAT, but it is BROKEN up by other letters in the answer:

  • 58A Totally out of funds … and what each set of circles shows, casually : FLAT BROKE
  • 17A Become light-headed : FEEL FAINT
  • 24A Reason for a track race do-over : FALSE START
  • 36A Choose love over money, say : FOLLOW ONE’S HEART
  • 46A Finished version, as of a document : FINAL DRAFT

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

Bill’s time: 4m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Maine’s __ Bay : CASCO

Casco Bay is on the southern part of the Maine coast, and is an inlet on the Gulf of Maine. The city of Portland lies on Casco Bay.

9 Rotisserie rod : SPIT

We use the term “rotisserie” to describe a cooking device used to roast meat. The French word “rôtisserie” describes a shop selling cooked meats (“rôti” is French for “roasted”). We first absorbed the French term into English in the 1800s, when “rotisserie” described a similar establishment. It was only in the 1950s that we started to describe the home-cooking apparatus as a rotisserie.

14 Jinx : HEX

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

A jinx is a charm or a spell. The word “jinx” comes from an older word “jyng” from the 17th-century. A “jyng” was a wryneck, a type of bird much used in witchcraft.

15 Saturn’s largest moon : TITAN

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. Titan is unusual in many ways, including the fact that it is the only known satellite in the solar system that has its own atmosphere (our own moon does not, for example). Titan is the second largest moon in the solar system, after Ganymede that orbits Jupiter. Titan is so large that it has a greater volume than Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet.

20 Former Montreal MLBer : EXPO

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

21 Mauna __: Hawaiian for “long mountain” : LOA

Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

22 “Rolling” rockers : STONES

Even though Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been the driving force behind the Rolling Stones for decades, they didn’t start the group. The band was the idea of guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, and it was he who invited Richards and Jagger to join, as well as Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts to make an original lineup of six band members. Jones called the band “Rollin’ Stone” back then in 1962, named for the song by Muddy Waters. Jones was the leader, manager and decision maker for the first few years until songs written by Richards and Jagger became hits and he started to lose artistic control. In 1967, Jones was arrested for drug possession, and again in 1968. When his trouble with the law prevented him from getting a US work visa, Jones wasn’t able to accompany the Stones on a 1969 US tour. That was the last straw, it seems, and Jones and the Stones parted company. Famously, one month later, Jones was found dead, at the bottom of his swimming pool.

23 H.S. hurdles : SATS

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

28 “Famous” cookie maker : AMOS

Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name “Famous Amos”. The store was a smash hit and he was able to build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually purchased, making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf. Wally Amos also became an energetic literacy advocate. He hosted 30 TV programs in 1987 entitled “Learn to Read” that provided reading instruction targeted at adults.

33 Batter’s stat : RBI

Run batted in (RBI)

40 Driver’s aid : TEE

A tee is a small device on which, say, a golf ball is placed before striking it. The term “tee” comes from the Scottish “teaz”, which described little heaps of sand used to elevate a golf ball for the purpose of getting a clean hit with a club.

44 __ Spumante wine : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy that is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

50 Some canine retrievers : LABS

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

55 Nest egg initials : IRA

A nest egg is an amount of money laid down as a reserve. This is the figurative use of “nest egg” that originally described an artificial egg left in a nest to encourage a hen to lay real eggs in that spot. So our financial nest egg is set aside in anticipation of continued growth, more eggs being laid.

57 Mournful melody : DIRGE

A dirge is a slow and mournful piece of music, like perhaps a funeral hymn.

60 Passover meal : SEDER

The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

61 Sleep stage : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

62 Singer/songwriter Mann : AIMEE

Aimee Mann is a rock singer and guitarist from Virginia. Mann is married to Michael Penn, the brother of actor Sean Penn.

63 Lat. and Ukr., once : SSRS

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English, we often call the country “the Ukraine”, but I am told that we should just say “Ukraine”.

64 “__ to Joy” : ODE

“Ode to Joy” is a poem written in 1785 by German poet Friedrich Schiller. Famously, Ludwig van Beethoven used “Ode to Joy” in the fourth movement of his Ninth “Choral” Symphony that was first performed in 1824.

Down

2 Amazon’s virtual assistant : ALEXA

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with Amazon Echo smart speakers. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

4 Humongous : COLOSSAL

A colossus (plural “colossi”) is an exceptionally large statue, the most famous of which was the Colossus of Rhodes. This was a statue of the god Helios that stood over 100 feet tall, on the Greek island of Rhodes. New York’s Statue of Liberty was designed to have similar dimensions. The Emma Lazarus poem that is inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is in fact titled “The New Colossus”. We get our adjective “colossal”, meaning “of exceptional size”, from “colossus”.

Something humongous is very, very large. “Humongous” comes from the words “huge” and “monstrous”.

6 Akron native : OHIOAN

For much of the 1800s, the Ohio city of Akron was the fastest-growing city in the country, feeding off the industrial boom of that era. The city was founded in 1825 and its location, along the Ohio and Erie canal connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River, helped to fuel Akron’s growth. Akron sits at the highest point of the canal and the name “Akron” comes from the Greek word meaning “summit”. Indeed, Akron is the county seat of Summit County. The city earned the moniker “Rubber Capital of the World” for most of the 20th century, as it was home to four major tire companies: Goodrich, Goodyear, Firestone and General Tire.

7 Kidney-related : RENAL

Something described as renal is related to the kidneys. “Ren” is the Latin word for “kidney”.

9 Top of Texas? : STETSON HAT

Stetson is a brand of hats manufactured by John B. Stetson Company of St. Joseph, Missouri. The so-called “cowboy hat” that Stetson pioneered was such a success that the company became the largest hat maker in the world, producing over 3.3 million hats per year.

10 Cockpit occupants : PILOTS

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the original “cockpit” was a “pit” used for fighting “cocks”. The term was then applied nautically, as the name for the compartment below decks used as living quarters by midshipmen. The cockpit of a boat today, usually on a smaller vessel, is a sunken area towards the stern in which sits the helmsman and others (who can fit!). The usage extended to aircraft in the 1910s and to cars in the 1930s.

11 “Proud Mary” singer’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.

“Proud Mary” is a song written by John Fogerty and recorded in 1968 by Creedence Clearwater Revival with Fogarty singing lead vocals. The song was famously covered by Ike and Tina Turner in 1970. The “Proud Mary” in the title is a riverboat, with a “big wheel” that keeps on turnin’.

12 Spud : TATER

The word “spud”, used as a slang term for “potato”, was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

18 __ Romeo: sports car : ALFA

The “Alfa” in “Alfa Romeo” is actually an acronym, one standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

22 Final Four round : SEMIS

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

27 B-29 movers : PROPELLERS

The B-20 Superfortress heavy bomber built by Boeing was named for its predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress. It was the B-29 that dropped both of the atomic bombs during WWII.

30 Sushi garnish : ROE

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If we want raw fish by itself, then we have to order sashimi.

31 Bullfight cheer : OLE!

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.

32 Reply to a ques. : ANS

A question (ques.) needs an answer (ans.).

33 Issa of “Insecure” : RAE

“Insecure” is a comedy-drama TV show that premiered in 2016. It is co-written by and stars Issa Rae, who also created the comedy web series “Awkward Black Girl” on which “Insecure” is based.

35 “The Addams Family” cousin : ITT

In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

38 Skunk’s weapon : ODOR

Skunks have anal scent glands that can be used as defensive weapons. The glands produce sulfur-containing chemicals that have a really awful smell and that can irritate the eyes and skin.

43 Closet accessory for a coat : HANGER

In Old French a “clos” was an enclosure, with the diminutive form “closet” describing a small enclosure or private room. Over time this evolved into our modern usage of “closet”, describing a cabinet or cupboard.

44 Ski lodge style : A-FRAME

An A-frame house is one that has a steeply-angled roof, one forming the shape of the letter “A”. The A-frame design is popular in snowy regions, as the roof is so steeply pitched that it does not collect snow.

45 “Immediately!” in the ER : STAT!

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

46 Govt. agents : FEDS

A fed is an officer of a US federal agency, although the term “fed” usually applies to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

47 Yale and Penn : IVIES

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.

The University of Pennsylvania (also “Penn” and “UPenn”) was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses. Penn’s sports teams are known as the Quakers, and sometimes the Red & Blue.

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

48 “The Big Bang Theory” crowd : NERDS

“The Big Bang Theory” is a very clever sitcom that first aired in 2007. “The Big Bang Theory” theme song was specially commissioned for the show, and was composed and sung by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. The theme song was released in 2007 as a single and is featured on a Barenaked Ladies greatest hits album.

53 Alloy that symbolizes strength : STEEL

Steel is an alloy that is composed mainly of iron, with a small percentage of carbon.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Maine’s __ Bay : CASCO
6 Miner’s find : ORE
9 Rotisserie rod : SPIT
13 __ the time: on every occasion : ALL OF
14 Jinx : HEX
15 Saturn’s largest moon : TITAN
17 Become light-headed : FEEL FAINT
19 Cream of the crop : ELITE
20 Former Montreal MLBer : EXPO
21 Mauna __: Hawaiian for “long mountain” : LOA
22 “Rolling” rockers : STONES
23 H.S. hurdles : SATS
24 Reason for a track race do-over : FALSE START
26 Wing measurement : SPAN
28 “Famous” cookie maker : AMOS
29 Like the crowd after a home team homer : AROAR
32 Similar (to) : AKIN
33 Batter’s stat : RBI
36 Choose love over money, say : FOLLOW ONE’S HEART
40 Driver’s aid : TEE
41 Pea places : PODS
42 Ward off : AVERT
43 One who saves the day : HERO
44 __ Spumante wine : ASTI
46 Finished version, as of a document : FINAL DRAFT
50 Some canine retrievers : LABS
54 In equal amounts : EVENLY
55 Nest egg initials : IRA
56 Stick-to-it-iveness : GRIT
57 Mournful melody : DIRGE
58 Totally out of funds … and what each set of circles shows, casually : FLAT BROKE
60 Passover meal : SEDER
61 Sleep stage : REM
62 Singer/songwriter Mann : AIMEE
63 Lat. and Ukr., once : SSRS
64 “__ to Joy” : ODE
65 Watchdog’s warning : SNARL

Down

1 Streetside lunch spots : CAFES
2 Amazon’s virtual assistant : ALEXA
3 Was dreaming, perhaps : SLEPT
4 Humongous : COLOSSAL
5 Aptly named bug spray with an exclamation point : OFF!
6 Akron native : OHIOAN
7 Kidney-related : RENAL
8 Phone routing no. : EXT
9 Top of Texas? : STETSON HAT
10 Cockpit occupants : PILOTS
11 “Proud Mary” singer’s memoir : I, TINA
12 Spud : TATER
16 Where many eggs hatch : NEST
18 __ Romeo: sports car : ALFA
22 Final Four round : SEMIS
25 “Oh, for heaven’s __!” : SAKE
27 B-29 movers : PROPELLERS
29 Rear at sea : AFT
30 Sushi garnish : ROE
31 Bullfight cheer : OLE!
32 Reply to a ques. : ANS
33 Issa of “Insecure” : RAE
34 “It’s cold in here!” : BRR!
35 “The Addams Family” cousin : ITT
37 Hardly succinct : WORDY
38 Skunk’s weapon : ODOR
39 Villainous smile : EVIL GRIN
43 Closet accessory for a coat : HANGER
44 Ski lodge style : A-FRAME
45 “Immediately!” in the ER : STAT!
46 Govt. agents : FEDS
47 Yale and Penn : IVIES
48 “The Big Bang Theory” crowd : NERDS
49 Stayed home in bed, say : AILED
51 Smell : AROMA
52 Pedal pusher : BIKER
53 Alloy that symbolizes strength : STEEL
58 To’s partner : FRO
59 English lit degs. : BAS

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 27 Dec 21, Monday”

    1. Can’t write as quick as I can type. I usually try to do about half and half, but I do get curious how I’d do on puzzles both ways.

  1. 7:55 with no errors, lookups, or redos. A nice change after Sunday’s marathon-like effort.

    Did not know of CASCO Bay. Interesting and sad story about The Rolling Stone’s founder, Brian Jones. The Big Bang Theory makes me laugh even when I already know the dialog.

  2. No errors, no Googles.
    Didn’t know COSCO or EXPO.
    AROMA and ODOR in the same puzzle! what’s not to like.

    @Glenn – I always do paper, so I can stretch out (as far as 4’11” can be said to stretch) on my Civil War campaign bed. I use a Flair pen (in any color) since it doesn’t stop flowing ink like a Bic.

  3. Mostly easy Monday for me; took 8:29 with no peeks or errors. Had to dance around in the top half a bit to get CASCO,EXT and FEELFAINT, but then I saw how the theme was going to play out and it was mostly off to the races.

    @Pam – They had OREO in the WSJ 🙂

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