LA Times Crossword 31 Dec 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Joe Deeney
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Something for the Magazine

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to a MAGAZINE:

  • 17A Magazine article? : “TIME” PIECE
  • 24A Magazine employee? : “PEOPLE” PERSON
  • 37A Magazine revenue? : “WIRED” MONEY
  • 52A Magazine ad? : “CRICKET” PITCH
  • 61A Magazine founders? : “O” PIONEERS

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

Bill’s time: 10m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Uncomfortable spot : ZIT

The slang term “zit”, meaning “pimple”, came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

13 Arctic trout : CHAR

The Arctic char is a cold-water fish that is found in freshwater bodies in the very north of our planet, as the name suggests. In fact, no other freshwater fish is found as far north as the Arctic char.

14 Word with rock or rain : ACID …

The musical genre known as acid rock is a subset of psychedelic rock. The term comes from the influence of the drug LSD (acid) on some compositions in the early days.

Acid rain is any precipitation that is unusually acidic. The acidity in rain mainly comes from sulfur dioxide that is discharged into the atmosphere from industrial plants and volcanic eruptions.

16 “The Thunder Dragon Kingdom” : BHUTAN

Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located high up in the Eastern Himalayas between China to the north and India to the south, east and west. Bhutan has been a constitutional monarchy since 2008, and has been ranked by “Businessweek” as the “happiest” country in Asia.

The official name of the Kingdom of Bhutan is “Druk Yul” in the Sino-Tibetan language of Dzongkha. “Druk yul” translates as “the Land of the Thunder Dragon”. The Kings of Bhutan are referred to as “Druk Gyalpo” meaning “Dragon King”, and citizens of Bhutan are known as “Drukpa” meaning “Dragon people”.

17 Magazine article? : “TIME” PIECE

“TIME” was the first weekly news magazine in the US. It was founded in 1923 by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce. Hadden and Luce had previously worked together as chairman and managing editor of the “Yale Daily News”.

20 Egyptian leader before Sadat : NASSER

Gamal Abdel Nasser was the second president of Egypt, and was in office from 1956 until he died in 1970. He stood alongside Muhammad Naguib, Egypt’s first president, during the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 that overthrew the ruling monarchy of Egypt and Sudan. Nasser was an advocate of Pan-Arabism, an ideology promoting unification of Arab peoples and countries. President Nasser went so far as forming the United Arab Republic (UAR), a union between Egypt and Syria that started in 1958 but fell apart in 1961 when Syria withdrew.

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.

21 Hockey trophy namesake : ART ROSS

Art Ross was a Canadian who played professional hockey from 1905 to 1918. Ross then worked as a game official on the ice, before launching a second career as coach and general manager of the Boston Bruins. In 1947, Ross donated the Art Ross Trophy to the NHL that is awarded annually to the league’s highest scorer.

24 Magazine employee? : “PEOPLE” PERSON

There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

30 Iris part : PETAL

Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

31 Japanese national sport : SUMO

Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

37 Magazine revenue? : “WIRED” MONEY

“Wired” is a technology-focused magazine published since 1993 by Condé Nast in San Francisco. One interesting feature in “Wired” is the annual granting of the magazine’s Vaporware Awards, “honoring” products and games that were pitched and hyped but never delivered.

43 FBI director before Comey : MUELLER

Robert Mueller served as Director of the FBI from 2001 to 2013, serving under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Famously, Mueller was appointed special counsel to oversee an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

James Comey was appointed Director of the FBI by President Barack Obama in 2013, and was famously dismissed by President Donald Trump in 2017.

46 Atomic theory pioneer : BOHR

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein had a series of public debates and disputes in the twenties and thirties. Although the two respected each other very highly, they held very different views on quantum theory, different views on the laws of physics at the atomic level. The passage of time has shown that Bohr won out in those debates.

Niels Bohr and Ernest Rutherford introduced a model in which the atom comprised a small, positively charged nucleus around which traveled negatively-charged electrons. This model is often referred to as the Rutherford-Bohr model, or simply the Bohr model.

47 Blues and Jazz, e.g. : TEAMS

The St. Louis Blues hockey team takes its name from the song “St. Louis Blues”, a jazz and popular music classic.

The Utah Jazz professional basketball team moved to Salt Lake City in 1979. As one might guess from the name, the team originated in New Orleans, but only played there for five seasons. New Orleans was a tough place to be based because venues were hard to come by, and Mardi Gras forced the team to play on the road for a whole month.

52 Magazine ad? : “CRICKET” PITCH

“Cricket” is a literary magazine for children that was founded in 1973. “Cricket” was the first in a line of children’s magazines for different ages, e.g. “Babybug”, Ladybug” and “Spider”.

57 Supreme Court appointee between Stevens and Scalia : O’CONNOR

Sandra Day O’Connor is a former associate justice on the US Supreme Court. She was the first woman appointed to the court, and was in office from 1981 after being appointed by President Reagan. As the court became more conservative she was viewed as the swing vote in many decisions. As a result, O’Connor was known as one of the most powerful women in the world. She retired in 2006 (replaced by Samuel Alito), and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2009.

John Paul Stevens retired as an associate justice on the US Supreme Court in 2010 after having served for over 34 years. That made him the third longest serving justice in the history of the court. Stevens had been nominated by President Gerald Ford to replace Justice William O. Douglas, who had been the longest serving justice in the court (at over 36 years).

Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986, and was the longest-serving member of the court on the occasion of his passing in 2016. Justice Scalia’s minority opinions were known for the scathing language that he used to criticize the Court’s majority.

61 Magazine founders? : “O” PIONEERS

The full name of the publication, usually called “O”, is “O: The Oprah Magazine”. Since the magazine’s founding in 2000, Oprah has appeared alone on the cover of each issue, with two exceptions. On the April 2009 cover Oprah was shown with First Lady Michelle Obama, and on the December 2009 cover Oprah shared the limelight with Ellen DeGeneres.

67 Baker’s starter component : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

69 Certain survivor’s malady, for short : PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Down

2 Growing fad? : CHIA PET

Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terra-cotta figurines to which moistened chia seeds are applied. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.

3 Pet with cheek pouches : HAMSTER

The rodents known as hamsters are commonly kept as house pets. Male hamsters are called bucks, females are called does, and baby hamsters are known as pups.

4 “__ Tu”: 1974 hit : ERES

We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That’s how ABBA got their big break when they won in 1974 with “Waterloo”. In 1973, Spain’s entry was “Eres tú” (“It’s You”, literally “You Are”) sung by the band Mocedades. “Eres tú” came second in the competition, but should have won in my humble opinion.

5 Democratic Republic of the Congo, once : ZAIRE

The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war’s fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.

8 Overseas county : SHIRE

The word “shire” comes from the Old English “scir” meaning “administrative district”. The term was replaced with “county” as far back as the 14th century, but the usage persists to this day. That is largely because some counties retain the use of “-shire” as a suffix (Yorkshire, Lancashire etc.).

9 Like Leeds Castle, architecturally : TUDOR STYLE

Leeds Castle in England is named for the village of Leeds in Kent, and not the more famous city of Leeds in Yorkshire. Perhaps most notably, the castle was home to Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII. The first castle on the site was built in 1119, but most of the current structure only dates back to the 1800s. It is a spectacular building, sitting on islands in a small lake.

12 Lang. of Belize : ENG

Belize was formerly known as British Honduras, which explains why English is the country’s official language. Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America, and borders Mexico and Guatemala.

16 Sight in the skies above Gotham : BATPLANE

The Batmobile was introduced in the world of comic books in 1939. It started out as a simple, red convertible, with nothing special to recommend it. Over the years though, the car evolved and became more and more sophisticated. The Batmobile always had pride of place in the Batman tales, but once in a while Batman would take the Batplane, Batboat and Batcycle out for a spin.

22 Blues-rocker Chris : REA

Chris Rea is a singer-songwriter and respected blues guitar player from England. Rea’s biggest hit is a song that he wrote himself called “Fool (If You Think It’s Over”), released in 1978.

25 Role for Ronny : OPIE

Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier). Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

36 __ Aviv : TEL

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 as a housing development outside the port city of Jaffa. Tel Aviv and Jaffa merged in 1950.

38 First year of the next millennium : MMMI

The number 3001 is written as MMMI in Roman numerals.

40 Robin Roberts’ network : ABC

Robin Roberts became anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” (GMA) in 2005, prior to which she was a sportscaster on ESPN for 15 years.

41 Solar eclipse phenomena : CORONAE

The external part of the sun is made up of ionized material at a very high temperature and a very low density. This external aura is known as the solar corona, with “corona” being Latin for “crown”. The corona is best observed during a solar eclipse, when the bright light from the sun’s main body is blocked by the moon.

48 WWII command : ETO

European Theater of Operations (ETO)

49 Protective garment : APRON

In Old French, a “naperon” was a “small table-cloth”. The term was absorbed into English as “napron”, describing a cloth used to cover the front of a person at work. Over time, “a napron” was heard as “an apron”, giving us our contemporary noun “apron”.

51 Intuited : SENSED

“To intuit” is a verb formed from the noun “intuition”, and means “to know intuitively”.

55 Chewie’s pal : HAN

Wookiees are a biped race featured in “Star Wars”. The most notable Wookiee is Chewbacca (aka “Chewie”), the loyal friend and associate of Han Solo who serves as co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon spaceship.

62 Treat on March 14 : PIE

The first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14. Pi Day has been celebrated on March 14th (3/14) every year since 1988, when it was inaugurated at the San Francisco Exploratorium. In countries where the day is usually written before the month, Pi Day is July 22nd, reflecting the more accurate approximation of pi as 22/7. Interestingly, March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Feel compassion for : ACHE
5 Uncomfortable spot : ZIT
8 Focus on winning a contest? : STARE
13 Arctic trout : CHAR
14 Word with rock or rain : ACID …
16 “The Thunder Dragon Kingdom” : BHUTAN
17 Magazine article? : “TIME” PIECE
19 Pitching in : AIDING
20 Egyptian leader before Sadat : NASSER
21 Hockey trophy namesake : ART ROSS
23 Go (for) : OPT
24 Magazine employee? : “PEOPLE” PERSON
28 Fail to hold it together : WEEP
30 Iris part : PETAL
31 Japanese national sport : SUMO
32 Enter noisily : TROMP IN
35 Swear : ATTEST
37 Magazine revenue? : “WIRED” MONEY
40 Submit : ACCEDE
43 FBI director before Comey : MUELLER
46 Atomic theory pioneer : BOHR
47 Blues and Jazz, e.g. : TEAMS
50 Days of anticipation : EVES
52 Magazine ad? : “CRICKET” PITCH
56 “__ had enough!” : I’VE
57 Supreme Court appointee between Stevens and Scalia : O’CONNOR
58 Firm up : HARDEN
60 Captures : SNARES
61 Magazine founders? : “O” PIONEERS
64 See to : HANDLE
65 Shaving mishap : NICK
66 Chip in? : ANTE
67 Baker’s starter component : YEAST
68 Look at intently : EYE
69 Certain survivor’s malady, for short : PTSD

Down

1 Commercial imperative : ACT NOW!
2 Growing fad? : CHIA PET
3 Pet with cheek pouches : HAMSTER
4 “__ Tu”: 1974 hit : ERES
5 Democratic Republic of the Congo, once : ZAIRE
6 __ the kicker: call a time-out moments before a field goal attempt : ICE
7 Facial spasm : TIC
8 Overseas county : SHIRE
9 Like Leeds Castle, architecturally : TUDOR STYLE
10 Contested : AT ISSUE
11 Coerced payments : RANSOMS
12 Lang. of Belize : ENG
15 Passed out : DEALT
16 Sight in the skies above Gotham : BATPLANE
18 Cheerleading asset : PEP
22 Blues-rocker Chris : REA
25 Role for Ronny : OPIE
26 Remain undecided : PEND
27 “I was being sarcastic!” : NOT!
29 Sources of juice : POWER CORDS
33 Fielder prefix : MID-
34 False purpose : PRETENSE
36 __ Aviv : TEL
38 First year of the next millennium : MMMI
39 Get rid of : OUST
40 Robin Roberts’ network : ABC
41 Solar eclipse phenomena : CORONAE
42 Certain Mexican-American : CHICANA
44 Clear : EVIDENT
45 Goes back : REVERTS
48 WWII command : ETO
49 Protective garment : APRON
51 Intuited : SENSED
53 Prepared to speak to a tot, maybe : KNELT
54 Fail in the clutch : CHOKE
55 Chewie’s pal : HAN
59 Gather : REAP
60 Short : SHY
62 Treat on March 14 : PIE
63 Not very welcoming : ICY

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 31 Dec 21, Friday”

  1. 11:05, no errors.

    @Ray C (Yesterday)
    One of the things I find about the use of most proper nouns in crosswords is indeed that “crossword famous” factor. I’ve often joked that most unfamiliar references I’ve seen in crosswords are things I’ll never see again anywhere else, and this has often been very true over the years I’ve done this. Notable exception: Crosswordese such as 4D in this one.

    1. I agree, Glenn. There are many things that I see/use in crosswords that I don’t use or hear any other time. Funny thing about ERES TU which got lots of radio play in my high school days: it’s a track on a record that I recently digitized; so, some relevancy to me.

  2. No errors. had trouble with the cluing.. all of it…
    i grinded through it even though i was frustrated with each clue.

    after while you just go with it… it’s a crossword.

    Happy NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Even though I inked in Cricket Pitch for 52 Across I didn’t get the meaning until I came to Bill’s blog and found out that Cricket was a magazine for kids. Fairly tricky cluing but not unusual for a Friday. No final errors.

    A Happy New Year to all my crossword loving companions!

  4. 15:00

    Pretty good trick that the magazines in today’s theme are still offering print subscriptions.

    Had to change the only hockey trophy I know from STANLEY -> ARTROSS.
    And I got there by brute forcing through the alphabet in the last open square at the intersection of ARTROSS and Chris REA.

    Ah, those sports terms and names of performers!

  5. 50:55 with 2 errors…I had no clue what 61A meant until I read Bills answer…also didn’t know cricket or wired.
    Stay safe😀
    Happy new year to all👍

  6. I found this one very difficult but enjoyable for some reason.
    I often think of standard deviations and so I disregard the fastest and slowest times. Of course, mine are often on the slowest end. But being a stubborn old man, I refuse to give up. Who cares, right?

  7. The theme helped but only a little. There was a bit of an England theme as well despite Cricket not referring to the game.
    No look ups,no errors.
    Happy New Year to all!

  8. Untimed, but DNF, mostly with the SW corner unfilled. Too many cynical clues in this one for me. Along with too many names I couldn’t conjure up based on the clues.

  9. Very tough, but ultimately doable Friday for me; took 48:02 with 1 error: ACTNOs/sEEP. It looked impossible at first, but very slowly chipped away, and then parts started to make sense! Theme helped make a lot of headway all over the grid.

    @Nonny – Boy, your lovely home state sure seems to be in the cross-hairs this year. I sincerely hope you weren’t affected by the most recent tragedies, or for that matter those in the recent past. Take good care and Happy New Year – hopefully!!

    1. Yeah, I have to agree, it isn’t really that common. I did do a Google search and it brought up: “O’Pioneers”

      which is the first part of a Great Plains trilogy from 1913 by Willa Cather. I was unfamiliar with it, but it is a thing. 3.9/5 rated

  10. A day late with a 27:05 and two lookups in the NW corner – just couldn’t come up with the “Arctic trout” and “Pet with cheek pouches” (even though my daughter brought home the class hamster many years ago). I first expected it to be some kind of RAT because I had SNAP for 28A (later changed to WEEP). Once those two were filled in, the rest of that corner fell into place – ERES, NASSER, & TIMEPIECE just weren’t enough to get it done since I had errors with SNAP & STOMPIN.

    Also had to change ADDING>AIDING, STOMPIN>TROMPIN, PUPIL>PETAL, GENRE>TEAMS (yes, I should know better due to the mismatch of singular answer to plural clue).

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