LA Times Crossword 3 Dec 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Diton
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Broadway Smashes

Themed answers each comprise two BROADWAY musicals SMASHED together:

  • 34A Hit shows, and a hint to four puzzle answers : BROADWAY SMASHES
  • 16A Nightclub for seasonal workers? : ELF CABARET
  • 22A Reaction to opening a can of Whiskas? : CAT’S APPLAUSE
  • 47A Like the Charles River in February, to a local? : WICKED FROZEN
  • 56A Styling gel for a ’50’s teenager? : HAIR GREASE

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

Bill’s time: 10m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Rocky greetings : YOS

You might remember Rocky Balboa saying, “Yo, Adrian!” in the original “Rocky” movie. Adrian was Rocky’s wife, played by Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

13 ’40s-’50s “Giant Brain” : ENIAC

The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, at which time it was the first general-purpose electronic computer, and dubbed “Giant Brain” by the press. Its original purpose was the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

14 Streaming biggie : ROKU

Roku is a manufacturer of digital media players that allow access to audio and video programming over the Internet that is shown on television. Roku was founded in Los Gatos, California in 2002 by Anthony Wood. Wood chose the company name “Roku” as it is the Japanese word for “six”, and Roku is the sixth company that Wood founded. For what it’s worth, Rokus are my streaming devices of choice …

16 Nightclub for seasonal workers? : ELF CABARET

“Elf” is a comedy movie that was released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role, with James Caan supporting and Ed Asner playing Santa Claus. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City. The film was adapted into a stage musical that premiered on Broadway during the Christmas season of 2010.

The musical “Cabaret” is based on “I Am a Camera”, a 1951 play written by John Van Druten. In turn, the play was adapted from a novel “Goodbye to Berlin” written by Christopher Isherwood. The action in the musical takes place in the 1930s, in a seedy Berlin cabaret called the Kit Kat Klub. “Cabaret” is a great stage musical, although the 1972 film of the musical isn’t one of my favorites.

18 Capital on a fjord : OSLO

The Norwegian capital of Oslo is located at the northern end of a fjord known as Oslofjord. The fjord is home to 40 islands that lie within the city’s limits. Oslo also has 343 lakes.

20 Watson portrayer opposite Jonny Lee Miller’s Holmes : LIU

Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I do enjoy one of Liu’s more recent projects in which she plays Joan Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

Jonny Lee Miller is a British actor whose big break came with the role of Sick Boy Williamson in the 1996 hit film “Trainspotting”. More recently, he played Sherlock Holmes in the crime drama series “Elementary”. Miller married fellow actor Angelina Jolie in 1996, but divorced in 2000.

21 California athlete : ANGEL

The Anaheim Angels baseball team is today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LAA). The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

22 Reaction to opening a can of Whiskas? : CAT’S APPLAUSE

The brand name “Whiskas” has been used for cat food since 1988, but the product itself has been made in McLean, Virginia since 1936. Whiskas was originally sold under the name “Kal Kan”.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s source material for his hit musical “Cats” was T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. Eliot’s collection of whimsical poems was published in 1939, and was a personal favorite of Webber as he was growing up. “Cats” is the second longest-running show in Broadway history (Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” is the longest and is still running; deservedly so in my humble opinion). My wife and I have seen “Cats” a couple of times and really enjoyed it …

“Applause” is a stage musical based on the 1950 movie “All About Eve”. The musical premiered in 1970 on Broadway, with Lauren Bacall playing actress Margo Channing. “Applause” won that season’s Tony Award for Best Musical, and Bacall won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical.

30 Pontificates : OPINES

To pontificate is to issue dogmatic decrees with a pompous air. Back in 1818, the word had the more literal meaning, “to act as a pontiff, pope”.

33 Narrow strip of wood : LATH

The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall. The term is also used for the main elements in a trellis, or the lengths of wood in a roof to which shingles are nailed.

42 Hung jury result : MISTRIAL

A hung jury is a jury that cannot reach a verdict.

46 Pop of pop music : IGGY

Iggy Pop is a punk rock performer from Muskegon, Michigan. When he was in high school, he was a drummer for a local band called the Iguanas, and so was given the nickname “Iggy”. He was the vocalist for a band called the Stooges, and is often referred to as the Godfather of Punk.

47 Like the Charles River in February, to a local? : WICKED FROZEN

The Charles River runs for 80 miles through eastern Massachusetts, taking a twisting route through 23 cities before emptying into the Atlantic in Boston. That circuitous flow reflects the river’s Native-American name “Quinobequin”, meaning “meandering”. The river’s English name was chosen by English king Charles I, who named it after himself.

“Wicked” (more completely, “Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz”) is a 2003 stage musical that is a retelling of the L. Frank Baum novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The musical is based on a 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire” called “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West”.

“Frozen” is a stage musical that debuted on Broadway in 2018, and which is based on the 2013 movie of the same name. The musical actually premiered in a try-out in Denver in 2017.

50 Nice thoughts? : IDEES

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera. Something described as “à la niçoise” is “of Nice”.

52 Pilot or Explorer : SUV

The Honda Pilot is a mid-size crossover SUV that was introduced in 2002. The luxury version of the vehicle is sold as the Acura MDX.

The Ford Explorer SUV was introduced in 1990, and is still going strong. The same car has been sold as the Mercury Mountaineer and the Lincoln Aviator.

55 Gold rush town where Wyatt Earp ran the Dexter Saloon : NOME

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

56 Styling gel for a ’50’s teenager? : HAIR GREASE

The full name of the famed show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”, although the 1979 film adaptation was simply titled “Hair”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed over the past few decades said he … satirically …

“Grease” was, and still is, a very successful stage musical with a blockbuster film version released in 1978. The movie stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Travolta wasn’t the first choice for the lead role. It was first offered to Henry Winkler of “Happy Days” fame in which he played “the Fonz”. Winkler turned down the role for fear of being typecast as a leather-clad fifties “hood”.

61 Wind from the French for “high wood” : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

63 Half of a Chinese pair : YIN

The yin and yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

Down

4 Lakers rivals, on NBA scoreboards : LAC

The Los Angeles Clippers NBA team started off life as the Buffalo Braves in 1970. The Braves took on the Clippers name when the franchise moved to San Diego in 1978. The new team name was chosen in honor of the great clipper ships that used to pass through San Diego Bay. The San Diego Clippers were sold in 1982 to real estate developer Donald Sterling, who moved the team to his native Los Angeles two years later. That move was not approved by the NBA, which resulted in a lawsuit and a $6 million fine, but the team was allowed to stay in its new home.

The Los Angeles Lakers (LAL) basketball team started out in 1947 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team chose the Lakers name in honor of the nickname of Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. The Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960.

5 Milan’s La __ : SCALA

La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its Italian name “Teatro alla Scala”.

6 Alison of bluegrass : KRAUSS

Alison Krauss is a bluegrass-country singer and musician from Illinois. You can hear some of her music on the soundtracks of movies like “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Cold Mountain”.

7 Scand. land : NOR

Strictly speaking, Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe that covers the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The broader region that includes Finland and Iceland is referred to locally as “the Nordic countries”.

8 Prez after Harry : 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.

10 Max who owned the Woodstock farmland : YASGUR

The 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

15 “Hidden Figures” actress Janelle __ : MONAE

Janelle Monáe is a singer and actress. I’m not familiar with her as a singer, but did see Monáe play NASA engineer Mary Jackson in the excellent 2016 film “Hidden Figures”.

“Hidden Figures” is an excellent 2016 film based on a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. Both book and film tell the story of female African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Mercury and Apollo programs in the 1960s.

22 Wrestler-turned-actor John : CENA

John Cena is a professional wrestler turned rapper and actor. Although wrestling, rapping and “Cena-style” movies wouldn’t be my cup of tea, I have to admire Cena’s philanthropic record. He holds the title for the most wishes granted by a single individual for the Make-A-Wish Foundation that benefits children with life-threatening medical conditions.

25 Website for animal owners : PETMD

PetMD is an online resource that provides information to animal owners. I think it’s like WebMD, but not for humans …

27 Fig. in lending : APR

Annual percentage rate (APR)

28 2016 Olympics city : RIO

Even though the 2016 Olympic Games was a summer competition, it was held in Rio de Janeiro in winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the opening ceremony on 5th August 2016 fell in the local winter season. The 2016 games was also the first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

31 Tinder outings : E-DATES

Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

37 Crone : HAG

“Hag” is a shortened form of the Old English word “haegtesse” meaning “witch”.

38 Unit of energy : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

39 Bond, for one : SPY

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number “007” was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th-century English spy named John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

42 Olympic skater Ito : MIDORI

Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact, she landed her first triple jump in training when she was only 8 years old. Ito won Olympic silver in 1992, and was chosen as the person to light the Olympic cauldron at the commencement of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

43 Certain clutch player, in sports parlance : ICEMAN

A clutch player is someone who comes through in the clutch, who performs well at a critical moment in the game.

44 Shooting competition : SKEET

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

49 2001 scandal subject : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

56 Bunny __ : HOP

The bunny hop is a dance similar to the conga, in that the dancers are in a line and holding the hips of the person in front of them. The cycle of steps is:

  1. Tap the floor twice with the left foot
  2. Tap the floor twice with the right foot
  3. One hop forwards
  4. One hop backwards
  5. Three hops forwards

57 White House nickname : ABE

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the US. There are several stories told about how he earned the nickname “Honest Abe”. One story dates back to early in his career as a lawyer. Lincoln accidentally overcharged a client and then walked miles in order to right the wrong as soon as possible.

The White House was designed by an Irishman. James Hoban from County Kilkenny emigrated to the US in his twenties, and won the design competition for the White House in 1792.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Some model home residents : DOLLS
6 Wrinkle, as one’s brow : KNIT
10 Rocky greetings : YOS
13 ’40s-’50s “Giant Brain” : ENIAC
14 Streaming biggie : ROKU
15 Gas station convenience : MART
16 Nightclub for seasonal workers? : ELF CABARET
18 Capital on a fjord : OSLO
19 Easter supply : DYE
20 Watson portrayer opposite Jonny Lee Miller’s Holmes : LIU
21 California athlete : ANGEL
22 Reaction to opening a can of Whiskas? : CAT’S APPLAUSE
26 Hardly well : RARE
29 Surprise hits : SLEEPERS
30 Pontificates : OPINES
33 Narrow strip of wood : LATH
34 Hit shows, and a hint to four puzzle answers : BROADWAY SMASHES
40 Top-notch : A-ONE
41 Note in the key of B major : D-SHARP
42 Hung jury result : MISTRIAL
46 Pop of pop music : IGGY
47 Like the Charles River in February, to a local? : WICKED FROZEN
50 Nice thoughts? : IDEES
51 What “W” may mean : WIN
52 Pilot or Explorer : SUV
55 Gold rush town where Wyatt Earp ran the Dexter Saloon : NOME
56 Styling gel for a ’50’s teenager? : HAIR GREASE
60 “Dagnabbit!” : DRAT!
61 Wind from the French for “high wood” : OBOE
62 Baseball VIP : OWNER
63 Half of a Chinese pair : YIN
64 Conference giveaways : PENS
65 Demanding attention : NEEDY

Down

1 Act : DEED
2 Just : ONLY
3 Long sentence : LIFE
4 Lakers rivals, on NBA scoreboards : LAC
5 Milan’s La __ : SCALA
6 Alison of bluegrass : KRAUSS
7 Scand. land : NOR
8 Prez after Harry : IKE
9 Tsk relative : TUT
10 Max who owned the Woodstock farmland : YASGUR
11 Discount phrase : OR LESS
12 Pinched : STOLE
15 “Hidden Figures” actress Janelle __ : MONAE
17 Tiny amount : BIT
21 Top dogs : ALPHAS
22 Wrestler-turned-actor John : CENA
23 Not seasonal : ALL-YEAR
24 Pod residents? : PEAS
25 Website for animal owners : PETMD
26 Hold up : ROB
27 Fig. in lending : APR
28 2016 Olympics city : RIO
31 Tinder outings : E-DATES
32 There’s a point to it : SWORD
35 “It’s not __, it’s a when” : AN IF
36 __ guard : SHIN
37 Crone : HAG
38 Unit of energy : ERG
39 Bond, for one : SPY
42 Olympic skater Ito : MIDORI
43 Certain clutch player, in sports parlance : ICEMAN
44 Shooting competition : SKEET
45 A bit fuzzy, as an image : LOW-RES
47 Blowing a lot : WINDY
48 Evasive maneuver : ZIG
49 2001 scandal subject : ENRON
52 Sound : SANE
53 Secondhand : USED
54 To a high degree : VERY
56 Bunny __ : HOP
57 White House nickname : ABE
58 Charged particle : ION
59 Farm mom : EWE

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Dec 21, Friday”

      1. @Zack
        Welcome to the site. As you might read back and see, between Bill, me, and a couple of others on here, these kind of times are quite regular and quite possible. There’s also many others out in the world that will do these puzzles in half the time or more. If you look into something called the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, you will see many examples of it. In fact, I’m probably low C high D flight if I were to enter that.

        Anyhow, welcome again.

    1. Yes. And they’re the “rivals.” The explanation should say that the Lakers are LAL. It’s a little incomplete there. Bill will fix it, I suspect.

      1. Thx, Clay3454. All fixed now, albeit very late in the day. My proofreading is bad in general, and really bad when it comes to sports! I appreciate the help.

  1. Hard to start but quick finish.

    KNIT for wrinkle?

    Misread clue for 4D and put LAL then when 16A fell, had to reread the clue. Missed the “rival”.

  2. 21:34 5 errors, concentrated in the northeast

    I got the theme okay, and it even helped.

    That combination of YO, YASGUR, and MONAE kicked my butt with a combination of didn’t remember, didn’t know, and couldn’t spell. I managed to brute-force my way, A to Z, cell by cell, until I finally got the banner.

    Oof!

  3. Gotta know your theatre for this one. And, as one (of many) who was actually an attendee at Woodstock, the answer to !0D was a snap. I even met the man there!
    Then there is 26A. Crosses got it, but the clue was inadequate for the answer. Isn’t it interesting how “sound” has so many definitions?

  4. 35:16 and I had pet me and e sharp…same old same old.
    I don’t get the wicked part of the Charles river being frozen.
    Stay safe😀

  5. 14:31 but had to look up “California athlete” to fill in the NG. I went through the pro and college teams that I could remember, but Angels did not come to mind. They have an interesting name history, of which California Angels was my most recent memory. The intersecting proper names of MONAE & YASGUR were not familiar to me, either; although I saw Hidden Figures and, of course, know of the Woodstock festival.

  6. 14:04 and escaped error-free. This one was tough, and it took a while for the many pop-culture references and names to come to me.

  7. I thought it was a clever puzzle and not too hard for a Friday. I never time myself — I get too many interruptions for one thing.

    Jeri

  8. Didn’t realize half of those were Broadway
    shows so I had to wait for Bill to explain
    the theme 😵‍💫
    But no look ups, no errors….

  9. i was stuck on elf — did not realize it was a broadway hit! Otherwise, pretty easy for a Friday, at least for me.

  10. I also did not know the name of the giant brain or the Woodstock farm owner! This is in addition to my previous comment saying I could not get elf!

  11. Mostly easy Friday for me; took 13:46 with no peeks or errors, although I did an alphabet run to get the banner on “D”SHARP. Had a bit of trouble in the NE as I guessed AgGie (UC Davis) at first, but since nothing after that worked, I backed that out. I also spelled YASGaR wrong at first, until the cross made that untenable. Knew the beautiful Janelle from previous crossword appearances, although not “Hidden Figures”.

    Having seen Woodstock some 10-12 times as a teen, riding our bikes to the local drive-in and sneaking over the fence to sit between speakers, the Yasgur clue was a gimme (except the spelling). Always stayed until the end for Jimi’s “Villanova Junction”.

    Nice to see the great Iggy Pop again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fWw7FE9tTo

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