LA Times Crossword 28 Dec 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Henry Lin-David
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: When to Tease?

Themed clues are all the same, homophonically speaking …

  • 17A Teatime : AFTERNOON REPAST
  • 41A Tee time : GOLF RESERVATION
  • 65A T-time : DRESS-DOWN FRIDAY

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

Bill’s time: 5m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Nile serpents : ASPS

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

9 Kama __ : SUTRA

The “Kama Sutra” is renowned for its descriptions of positions that can be used for sexual intercourse, but the sutra includes many other texts that deal with various matters of a sexual nature, including how to woo a woman, the conduct of a “chief wife”, the conduct of “other wives”, how to make money as a courtesan, and much more.

14 Number of Greek Muses : NINE

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

15 Owl’s call : WHOO!

Much of an owl’s diet consists of small mammals. As a result, humans have used owls for centuries to control rodent populations, usually by placing a nest box for owls on a property. Despite the fact that owls and humans live together in relative harmony, owls have been known to attack humans from time to time. Celebrated English bird photographer Eric Hosking lost an eye when attacked by a tawny owl that he was trying to photograph. Hosking wrote a 1970 autobiography with the wry title “An Eye for a Bird”.

17 Teatime : AFTERNOON REPAST

Our word “repast”, meaning “meal”. came to us via French (in which language “repas” is “meal”). Ultimately the term comes from the Latin “repascere” meaning “to repeatedly graze”.

20 Contraption : GIZMO

The word “gizmo” (also “gismo”), meaning something the name of which is unknown or forgotten, was originally slang used by both the US Navy and the Marine Corps. The exact origin seems unknown.

21 The Stooges, e.g. : TRIO

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you might have noticed that the line-up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946. Shemp stayed with the troupe until he himself died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

22 Shailene’s “Divergent” role : TRIS

Shailene Woodley is the actress who plays Tris Prior, the main protagonist in the “Divergent” series of movies.

The “Divergent” series of movies is based on the “Divergent” novels written by Veronica Roth. The movies and novels are set in a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago called the Divergent Universe. The story is about a citizenry that is divided into five different factions based on personality traits. The critics weren’t crazy about the first movie in the series, but I really enjoyed it …

23 Track on a DVD : SONG

The abbreviation “DVD” doesn’t actually stand for anything these days, although it was originally short for “digital video disk”. The use of the word “video” was dropped as DVDs started to be used for storing a lot more than video. As a result, some folks assign the phrase “digital versatile disk” to “DVD”.

25 What might be granted after begging one’s pardon? : AMNESTY

A pardon is in effect a demonstration of pity and forgiveness for the crime. Amnesty is absolution while formally forgetting (“amnesty” is related to the term “amnesia”) that the crime took place. Further, a pardon can only be awarded to someone who has been convicted, whereas amnesty can be awarded to individuals who have not yet faced trial.

27 Triangular sail : JIB

A jib is a triangular sail that is set at the bow of a sailboat.

30 Soft mineral : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

33 Twistable cookie : OREO

There is an “official” competition involving Oreo cookies, in case anyone is interested in participating. A competitor has to take several steps to finish an OREO Lick Race:

  1. Twist open the cookie.
  2. Lick each half clean of creme.
  3. Show the clean cookie halves to the fellow competitors.
  4. Dunk the cookie halves in a glass of milk.
  5. Eat the cookie halves.
  6. Drink the milk.
  7. Ready, set, go …

35 Singer Anthony : MARC

“Marc Anthony” is the stage name of Marco Antonio Muñiz, a Puerto Rican-American singer. Anthony’s first wife was Dayanara Torres, a former Miss Universe from Puerto Rico. His second wife was quite famous too: singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. He divorced from the latter in 2014.

37 Common sprain site : ANKLE

The ankle joint proper is the hinge joint connecting the ends of the tibia and fibula in the leg with the top of the talus in the foot.

44 Big glitch : SNAFU

“SNAFU” is an acronym standing for “situation normal: all fouled up” (well, that’s the polite version!). As one might perhaps imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

“Glitch” comes into English from German via Yiddish. The original German word is “glitschen” meaning “to slip”. It is a relatively new term, and generally applied to computer software bugs.

45 Captain Hook’s right hand : SMEE

In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s bosun and right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on a pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan had cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto. Barrie openly acknowledged that the Hook character is based on Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab from the novel “Moby Dick”.

47 __-cone : SNO

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

52 Lustrous sheet fabrics : SATEENS

Sateen is a cotton fabric. It has a weave that is “four over, one under”, meaning that most of the threads come to the surface to give it a softer feel.

56 Treble __: music symbol : 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.

58 Turkish military leader : AGHA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

68 Fable writer : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

69 Take for a __: scam : RIDE

The slang term “scam”, meaning “swindle”, may come from the British slang “scamp”.

71 Minuscule : TEENY

“Minuscule” is one of those words that’s often misspelled, usually as “miniscule”.

72 Prince William’s school : ETON

The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who was British prime minister from 2010 to 2016. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington and George Orwell. Author Ian Fleming was also an Eton alumnus, as was Fleming’s iconic character James Bond, although 007 was expelled by the school.

Born in 1982, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is the elder of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. As such, William is second in line to the British throne, after his father.

73 Auto pioneer Ransom __ : OLDS

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the founder of the Oldsmobile and REO brands. Olds introduced the first modern “stationary” assembly line (Henry Ford’s famous innovation was the “moving” assembly line). As a result, it can be argued that the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced, low-priced automobile, rather than Ford’s Model T.

Down

2 Coffeehouse amenity : WI-FI

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

3 1998 film with talking bugz? : ANTZ

“Antz” was the first feature movie released by Dreamworks SKG, the studio founded by Steven Spielberg and two partners in 1994. “Antz” came out in 1998, and has a stellar cast that includes Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Gene Hackman and many, many other big names. The cartoon is quite unique in that the facial features of the voice actors are reflected in the animated characters.

5 Wheat bristle : AWN

“Awn” is the name given to hair- or bristle-like structures found in numerous species of plants. In some species, like barley, the awns can contain photosynthetic tissue.

6 Pony in a bar : SHOT GLASS

A shot glass is a small glass used to measure or hold liquor. There is no standard size for a shot in most parts of North America, but it is generally 1.25 to 1.5 fluid ounces. A smaller, 1 fl. oz. shot is called a “pony shot” or “short shot”.

8 Justice Sotomayor who swore in Vice President Harris : SONIA

Sonia Sotomayor was the first Hispanic justice appointed to the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

Kamala Harris was a US Senator for California starting in 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Although she dropped out of the race, she was chosen by eventual nominee Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. When the Biden-Harris ticket won the election, Harris became the highest-ranking female politician in the history of the US.

10 Latest in an endless series of occurrences : UMPTEENTH

The word “umpty” was introduced as slang for a Morse code dash. In the early 1900’s, the same term came to mean “of an indefinite number”, and was associated with the numerals divisible by ten, i.e. twenty, thirty, forty, etc. The extended adjective “umpteen” began to appear during WWI as army slang.

11 Some ski lifts : T-BARS

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

19 Capital of Italia : ROMA

In Italian, “Roma” (Rome) is the “capitale” (capital) of “Italia” (Italy).

26 Sweet Sixteen org. : NCAA

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)

28 Steel, mostly : IRON

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

29 “Romanian Folk Dances” composer Bartók : BELA

Béla Bartók was a composer and a pianist. After Liszt, Bartók is considered by many to have been Hungary’s greatest composer.

“Romanian Folk Dances” is a suite of six piano pieces composed by Hungarian Béla Bartók in 1915. The suite is based on folk dances from the region of Transylvania. In 1915, Transylvania was part of Hungary, and so the original title of the work was “Romanian Folk Dances from Hungary”. The name changed when Transylvania became part of Romania at the end of the First World War.

31 Espresso topper : CREMA

“Crema” is the name given to that brown foam that sits on the top of a freshly prepared cup of espresso. There’s no milk involved; just foamy coffee.

Espresso is often served in a small cup known as a demitasse. The term “demitasse” translates from French as “half cup”).

34 Winter at the Jersey Shore, say : OFF-SEASON

“Jersey Shore” is the name given to the coastal region of the state of New Jersey. The most northerly stretch of “the Shore” is in Perth Amboy, a New Jersey city that falls within the New York metropolitan area. The most southerly part of the Shore is Cape May Point, which is also the southernmost point in New Jersey.

36 Increase in loudness : CRESCENDO

Crescendo (cresc.) is an Italian word meaning “gradually becoming louder”, and is often seen on a musical score. The term with the opposite meaning is “diminuendo” (dim.).

38 Korean exports : KIAS

Kia Motors is the second-largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). Kia was founded in 1944 as a manufacturer of bicycle parts, and did indeed produce Korea’s first domestic bicycle. The company’s original name was Kyungsung Precision Industry, with the Kia name introduced in 1952.

39 “Queen of QVC” Greiner : LORI

On the TV show “Shark Tank”, Lori Greiner is one of the “sharks”, one of the investors who choose whether or not to back entrepreneurs making a pitch for their businesses. Greiner has been described as a “serial inventor” and made millions selling those inventions on QVC. Her success on the shopping channel earned her the nickname “the Queen of QVC”.

42 Mystical old letter : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

48 Harry Styles’ band, to fans : ONE-D

One Direction (1D) is a UK-based boy band. Each member of the band competed in the reality show “The X Factor”, and didn’t do very well. The five were then combined in a boy band at a later stage of the competition. They only finished in third place, but I don’t think they care. They’re doing very, very well for “losers” …

Harry Styles is a singer from England who got his big break when he appeared on the British version of “The X Factor”, from which he was selected as an original member of the boy band One Direction. Styles turned to acting, and had a significant role in the 2017 war movie “Dunkirk”. Reading the gossip columns reveals that he dated Taylor Swift for a while in 2012.

52 1978 Peace co-Nobelist Anwar : SADAT

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978, along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

55 Mall unit : STORE

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to be a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

57 Corn chip : FRITO

The Frito Corporation was started in 1932 by Elmer Doolin, basically in his mother’s kitchen. Doolin paid $100 for a corn chip recipe from a local restaurant and started producing Fritos at the rate of 10 pounds per day.

60 Silly goose : TWIT

“Twit” is a word not used very often here in America. It’s a slang term that used to be quite common in England where it was used for “someone foolish and idiotic”.

62 Cher or Adele, e.g. : IDOL

“Cher” is the stage name used by singer and actress Cherilyn Sarkisian. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1988 and won the season’s Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US. “30” followed in 2021.

64 A mantis has five of them : EYES

The term “praying mantis” is often used for species of insects more correctly called simply “mantises”. The familiar term refers to the prayer-like posture adopted by the insect with their forelimbs folded. Strangely, the praying mantis is the only animal that we know with only one ear. That ear is located deep in the thorax or chest. Perhaps to make up for the one ear, the mantis has five eyes. There are two bulbous compound eyes and

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Whack with a folded newspaper, say : SWAT
5 Nile serpents : ASPS
9 Kama __ : SUTRA
14 Number of Greek Muses : NINE
15 Owl’s call : WHOO!
16 Fireplace glower : EMBER
17 Teatime : AFTERNOON REPAST
20 Contraption : GIZMO
21 The Stooges, e.g. : TRIO
22 Shailene’s “Divergent” role : TRIS
23 Track on a DVD : SONG
25 What might be granted after begging one’s pardon? : AMNESTY
27 Triangular sail : JIB
30 Soft mineral : TALC
32 Secret advantage “up one’s sleeve” : ACE
33 Twistable cookie : OREO
35 Singer Anthony : MARC
37 Common sprain site : ANKLE
41 Tee time : GOLF RESERVATION
44 Big glitch : SNAFU
45 Captain Hook’s right hand : SMEE
46 For experts, as a game : HARD
47 __-cone : SNO
49 “Doubtful” : AS IF
51 Certain sib : SIS
52 Lustrous sheet fabrics : SATEENS
56 Treble __: music symbol : CLEF
58 Turkish military leader : AGHA
59 Bachelor ending : -ETTE
61 Wake up : ARISE
65 T-time : DRESS-DOWN FRIDAY
68 Fable writer : AESOP
69 Take for a __: scam : RIDE
70 Musical pitch : TONE
71 Minuscule : TEENY
72 Prince William’s school : ETON
73 Auto pioneer Ransom __ : OLDS

Down

1 Surprise problem : SNAG
2 Coffeehouse amenity : WI-FI
3 1998 film with talking bugz? : ANTZ
4 Swarms : TEEMS
5 Wheat bristle : AWN
6 Pony in a bar : SHOT GLASS
7 Destitute : POOR
8 Justice Sotomayor who swore in Vice President Harris : SONIA
9 “What did I tell you?” : SEE?
10 Latest in an endless series of occurrences : UMPTEENTH
11 Some ski lifts : T-BARS
12 Convene again : RE-SIT
13 Like craft shows : ARTSY
18 Tooth anchor : ROOT
19 Capital of Italia : ROMA
24 “__ it”: “Whatever you want” : NAME
26 Sweet Sixteen org. : NCAA
27 Runs leisurely : JOGS
28 Steel, mostly : IRON
29 “Romanian Folk Dances” composer Bartók : BELA
31 Espresso topper : CREMA
34 Winter at the Jersey Shore, say : OFF-SEASON
36 Increase in loudness : CRESCENDO
38 Korean exports : KIAS
39 “Queen of QVC” Greiner : LORI
40 What means may justify : ENDS
42 Mystical old letter : RUNE
43 Bride’s face cover : VEIL
48 Harry Styles’ band, to fans : ONE-D
50 Dread : FEAR
52 1978 Peace co-Nobelist Anwar : SADAT
53 Concur : AGREE
54 The ones here : THESE
55 Mall unit : STORE
57 Corn chip : FRITO
60 Silly goose : TWIT
62 Cher or Adele, e.g. : IDOL
63 Beach cover : SAND
64 A mantis has five of them : EYES
66 Secret agent : SPY
67 Swampy area : FEN

26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Dec 21, Tuesday”

  1. Seemed like this one had a lot more “ehh, I guess” clues than a usual Tuesday. It’s been a while since I’ve loaded up a disc, but SONG on a DVD?

  2. Agree with Anonymous.. Tea after REPAST? didn’t know PONY was a shot glass. It’s CREMA not CREME ? Because there is no milk?
    Missed RESIT. Had RESET and didn’t know if 22A was TRIS or TRES.

    WHOO knows?

  3. No errors, no lookups, but I don’t quite understand 65A. I know what
    dress down Friday is, but what does the “T” stand for in T-time?

  4. For Mary S: T as in T-shirt for dress down Friday. I loved dress down Friday back in the day, then I just worked from home! So I guess then it became PJ Friday!
    Stay safe 😊

  5. 7:35 1 error from confusing ARN with AWN

    @Anon Mike, @Jack

    CREMA is the white foam topping a well-made espresso.

    @Mary S
    Maybe DRESSDOWNFRIDAY means you can wear a T-Shirt to work? I hope not!

  6. Yikes! Seemed really different for a Tuesday. Didn’t get 65across. Is that really an expression? Just not my day I guess.

  7. Agree with Mary. What is T-time and Friday?
    Tea is an afternoon meal in England. Not just a drink. Thus an Afternoon Repast.

  8. Okay, I’ll accept my stupidity for my error for giZmo/giSmo-antZ/antS. I didn’t see the film mentioned in the clue and the “z” in the clue didn’t register.
    On the other hand, because I don’t watch QVC, 39D was a guess so “LoNi” seemed logical which made 46A “haNd” also logical. Now can somebody explain to me why an expert would consider a game to be hard vs (in my mind) a hand in poker? Other than those two SNAFUS, I thought it was an easy Tuesday puzzle.

    1. Fitz, my supposition on your “hard game” question is that experts will select the Hard Level of a [computer] game to play, rather than easy or medium.

  9. @Pam in MA …thanks for the info…I don’t drink coffee let alone all the fancy stuff…it smells great but I just can’t get it down🤪

  10. CREMA because it’s Italian.

    No errors or Googles, but did not know: TRIS, LORI, ONED. Apparently ONED is short for ONE Direction. Not that I know anything about that.

    Remember Picasso’s print, The Frugal REPAST?

  11. Thought I did well, but didn’t get the banner when I finished and went through it again step-by-step. Finally did a “check-grid” to find HAnD/LOnI. So, 12:55 with one error. I see now, from the Ray’s comment that HARD does make a little sense…no idea who LORI is, along with TRIS.

    When I was still working, we called it Casual Fridays; can’t say I’ve ever heard Dress Down Fridays before…dunno.

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