LA Times Crossword 6 Dec 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Kevin Christian & Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Don’t Be Silly

Themed answers each start with something that can BE SILLY:

  • 62A “C’mon, get serious!” … and an admonition evidently ignored by the starts of the answers to starred clues : DON’T BE SILLY!
  • 17A *Cage for a bunny : RABBIT HUTCH (giving “silly rabbit!”)
  • 26A *Tool for filling in holes in the wall : PUTTY KNIFE (giving “Silly Putty”)
  • 40A *Bow users’ musical ensemble : STRING ORCHESTRA (giving “Silly String”)
  • 49A *Skin response to fear or cold : GOOSE FLESH (giving “silly goose!”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Mexican dip : SALSA

“Salsa” is simply Spanish for “sauce”.

10 “Notorious” Supreme Court justice, initially : RBG

The 2015 book “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” was co-written by Shana Knizhnik and Iris Carmon. Knizhnik had previously authored a “Notorious R.B.G” blog. The moniker “Notorious RBG” is reminiscent of the name of rap star the Notorious B.I.G.

13 Gold miner’s staked-out land : CLAIM

To stake a claim is to indicate something as one’s own. The phrase “stake a claim” was used historically to make and register a land claim. Someone doing so would mark the perimeter of the claimed land with stakes placed in the ground.

19 Actress Zadora : PIA

Pia Zadora is an American actress and singer. Zadora’s most famous role was in the 1982 film “Butterfly” in which she worked with Orson Welles and Stacey Keach. The film was based on the novel “The Butterfly” by James M. Cain and deals with the difficult subject of father-daughter incest.

21 __ Grey tea : EARL

The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

26 *Tool for filling in holes in the wall : PUTTY KNIFE (giving “Silly Putty”)

Silly Putty is a silicone polymer that is marketed as a toy, usually sold in an egg-shaped plastic container. It is a remarkable material that can flow like a liquid and can also bounce. Silly Putty was one of those accidental creations, an outcome of research during WWII in search of substitutes for rubber. The substitution became urgent as Japan invaded rubber-producing countries all around the Pacific Rim.

29 Blackjack card : ACE

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

31 “Superman”‘ actor Christopher : REEVE

Actor Christopher Reeve was most associated with his portrayal of Superman in the late seventies and early eighties. Reeve became paralyzed from the neck down when he fell from a horse in a jumping event in 1995. He published a best-selling autobiography 1999 called “Still Me”, and sadly passed away in 2004.

The 1978 movie “Superman” was directed by Richard Donner and stars a relatively unknown Christopher Reeve in the title role. Many critics cite “Superman” as the film that launched the reemergence of interest in superhero films, a level of interest that has only grown since then.

32 Hooded snake : COBRA

“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different families. The term is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

35 Final Four 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)

37 Dutch cheese town : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

40 *Bow users’ musical ensemble : STRING ORCHESTRA (giving “Silly String”)

Silly String is a brand of aerosol string. The “string” exits the aerosol can as a liquid, with the solvent evaporating rapidly in mid-air resulting in a continuous strand. Aerosol string is used as a toy, an application that really annoys me (I’m an old grouch!). However, the military has a use for the product, spraying it over areas where tripwires are suspected. The string falls to the ground if none are present, but gets caught on tripwires that are present without activating any explosive.

43 “The jig __” : IS UP

Back in Elizabethan times, a “jig” was a trick or game. So, the expression “the jig is up” has for some time meant “the trick or game is exposed”.

44 Double-reed wind : OBOE

A double-reed instrument is one in which two pieces of cane vibrate against each other to produce sound. In a single-reed instrument, just one piece of cane vibrates the mouthpiece. The best-known examples of double-reed instruments are the oboe and the bassoon.

45 Trio in H2O : ATOMS

A water molecule is composed of an oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms on roughly opposite sides (at about a 150-degree angle). So, sometimes the molecule is represented by “HOH”, although more usually by “H2O”.

46 Barnes’ bookselling partner : NOBLE

Barnes & Noble (B&N) is the oldest retailer of books in the US. The company started out in the book-printing business in 1873 and opened its first true bookstore in 1917, in New York City.

48 Italian three : TRE

In Italian, “due” (two) is company, and “tre” (three) is a crowd.

49 *Skin response to fear or cold : GOOSE FLESH (giving “silly goose!”)

The terms “goose bumps” and “goose flesh” come from the fact that skin which is cold can look like the flesh of a plucked goose.

53 Applies with a Q-tip : DABS

Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name “Baby Gays”. This was changed in 1926 to “Q-Tips”, with the Q standing for “quality”.

57 Finance whiz Suze : ORMAN

Suze Orman is a financial advisor who has gotten her message out on television, in books and on the speaking circuit. She often appears on PBS, and indeed is the most successful fundraiser public television has ever had.

58 Christmas song : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative for “Christmas carol”.

60 Rapper __ Kim : LIL’

“Lil’ Kim” is the stage name of rap artist Kimberly Denise Jones from Brooklyn, New York. Lil’ Kim spent a year in jail in 2005 for lying to a jury in a case about a shooting.

61 Oral health initials : ADA

The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest and oldest national dental association in the world. Today the ADA is based in Chicago, but the association was founded in Niagara Falls, New York in 1859. The ADA started out as a group of 26 dentists, and it now has more than 152,000 members.

69 Hosp. triage areas : ERS

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

71 Printer supply : TONER

The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.

Down

1 Carpenter’s fastener : SCREW

A carpenter is someone who shapes and assembles structural woodwork. The term “carpenter” comes from the Late Latin “carpentarius” meaning “wagon or carriage maker”. Both “carpenter” and “car” probably derive ultimately from the Gaulish word “karros” meaning “chariot”. Quite interesting …

2 Mission to remember : ALAMO

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

5 Gallic girlfriend : AMIE

A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

The Gauls were a Celtic race, with Gaul covering what is now known as France and Belgium. We use the term “Gallic” today, when we refer to something pertaining to France or the French.

6 Indira Gandhi’s father : NEHRU

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru’s only daughter Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi through marriage, though she was not related to Mahatma).

Indira Gandhi’s father was Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India. Indira herself became prime minister in 1966. She was assassinated in 1984 by two of her own bodyguards as she was walking to meet Peter Ustinov, who was about to interview her for Irish television.

11 Lawyer’s filing : BRIEF

The term “brief”, in the context of the law, applies to a written legal document presented in court as an argument in a legal process. “Brief” comes from the Latin “brevis” meaning “short”. So, I guess those arguments were originally meant to be short, concise.

18 Scotch or masking : TAPE

Scotch Tape is a brand of adhesive tape made by 3M. “Scotch Tape” is one of those brand names that has become a generic term for the product. The equivalent brand name of the product that we use over in Ireland is Sellotape. This British brand also has become a generic term, and so is our equivalent to “Scotch tape”.

25 California county that contains parts of Yosemite National Park : MARIPOSA

Mariposa County, California lies in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and is home to the central section of Yosemite National Park.

President Abraham Lincoln passed a bill in 1864 creating the Yosemite Grant, which was the first piece of federal legislature that set aside park land for preservation and public use. The Yosemite Grant paved the way for the creation of Yellowstone as the nation’s first national park in 1872. Yosemite was made a national park in 1890.

32 CBS forensic series : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but has finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” was set in Las Vegas, and hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

33 NFL tiebreakers : OTS

Overtime (OT)

34 Multiple Grammy winner featured on “Uptown Funk” : BRUNO MARS

Bruno Mars is a singer-songwriter from Honolulu who has been active in the music business since 2006. “Bruno Mars” is a stage name, as Mars was born “Peter Hernandez”.

“Uptown Funk” is a 2014 song released by Mark Ronson and featuring Bruno Mars. It was a huge hit, and broke the record for the most streamed musical track in the US in one week. There was some controversy following the song’s release, due to claims of similarities with the 2015 song “Oops Up Side Your Head”. A lawsuit resulted in the addition of co-writers to the credits for “Uptown Funk”, and a transfer of 17% of the song’s royalties.

35 Prize since 1901 : NOBEL

The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and is presented in Oslo.

36 __-Magnon : CRO

Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

38 Vaccination spot : ARM

A vaccine used to be a modified virus administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity,until RNA vaccines were introduced to combat COVID-19. British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

39 More, in Madrid : MAS

Madrid is the most populous city in Spain, and is the nation’s capital. It is located very close to the geographical center of the country. Madrid is the second-largest city in the European Union by population, after Berlin. People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

41 Game with putting : GOLF

The modern game of golf originated in Scotland in the 15th century. The first written record of golf is actually a banning of the game, by King James II in 1457. King James IV was a fan of golf, and so lifted the ban in 1502. The venerated Old Course at St. Andrews dates back to 1574. The first golf club established in the US was in Yonkers, New York in 1888. That first club was also named St. Andrews.

42 Lend an __: listen : EAR

To lend an ear is to listen. The phrase “lend an ear”, like so many phrases, was coined by the Bard. There is a famous speech made by Mark Antony in William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that starts with:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.

54 Poe’s middle name : ALLAN

Celebrated American writer Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) was born “Edgar Poe” in 1809 in Boston. Poe’s father abandoned Edgar and his two siblings after the death of their mother. As a result, Edgar was taken into the home of the Allan family in Richmond, Virginia. His foster parents gave the future author the name “Edgar Allan Poe”.

55 Ship’s hull region : BILGE

The bilge is the lowest internal part of a ship. The water that collects in there is called bilge water. The term “bilge” is also used as slang for nonsense talk.

59 Aspiring DA’s exam : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Mexican dip : SALSA
6 Kitten-lifting spot : NAPE
10 “Notorious” Supreme Court justice, initially : RBG
13 Gold miner’s staked-out land : CLAIM
14 Polishes, as text : EDITS
16 Botch the job, say : ERR
17 *Cage for a bunny : RABBIT HUTCH (giving “silly rabbit!”)
19 Actress Zadora : PIA
20 Moody music genre : EMO
21 __ Grey tea : EARL
22 Wasn’t feeling well : AILED
24 Early bird’s reward : WORM
26 *Tool for filling in holes in the wall : PUTTY KNIFE (giving “Silly Putty”)
29 Blackjack card : ACE
31 “Superman”‘ actor Christopher : REEVE
32 Hooded snake : COBRA
35 Final Four org. : NCAA
37 Dutch cheese town : EDAM
40 *Bow users’ musical ensemble : STRING ORCHESTRA (giving “Silly String”)
43 “The jig __” : IS UP
44 Double-reed wind : OBOE
45 Trio in H2O : ATOMS
46 Barnes’ bookselling partner : NOBLE
48 Italian three : TRE
49 *Skin response to fear or cold : GOOSE FLESH (giving “silly goose!”)
53 Applies with a Q-tip : DABS
57 Finance whiz Suze : ORMAN
58 Christmas song : NOEL
60 Rapper __ Kim : LIL’
61 Oral health initials : ADA
62 “C’mon, get serious!” … and an admonition evidently ignored by the starts of the answers to starred clues : DON’T BE SILLY!
66 Part of mph : PER
67 Promised to tell the truth : SWORE
68 “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” e.g. : ADAGE
69 Hosp. triage areas : ERS
70 Still-life subject : EWER
71 Printer supply : TONER

Down

1 Carpenter’s fastener : SCREW
2 Mission to remember : ALAMO
3 Materials partner on a repair bill : LABOR
4 Member of the fam : SIB
5 Gallic girlfriend : AMIE
6 Indira Gandhi’s father : NEHRU
7 Grownup : ADULT
8 Racetrack stop : PIT
9 And so on, briefly : ETC
10 Answered, as an email : REPLIED TO
11 Lawyer’s filing : BRIEF
12 Student’s mark : GRADE
15 Ice cream drink : SHAKE
18 Scotch or masking : TAPE
23 Played the market : INVESTED
25 California county that contains parts of Yosemite National Park : MARIPOSA
27 Copy on transparent paper : TRACE
28 “You betcha!” : YEAH!
30 Recycle bin item : CAN
32 CBS forensic series : CSI
33 NFL tiebreakers : OTS
34 Multiple Grammy winner featured on “Uptown Funk” : BRUNO MARS
35 Prize since 1901 : NOBEL
36 __-Magnon : CRO
38 Vaccination spot : ARM
39 More, in Madrid : MAS
41 Game with putting : GOLF
42 Lend an __: listen : EAR
47 Is flexible : BENDS
48 You, biblically : THEE
49 Flip out : GO APE
50 Trial judge’s demand : ORDER!
51 Between, in French : ENTRE
52 Like a designated driver : SOBER
54 Poe’s middle name : ALLAN
55 Ship’s hull region : BILGE
56 More cunning : SLYER
59 Aspiring DA’s exam : LSAT
63 Be obligated to : OWE
64 “Don’t delay!” : NOW!
65 Pre-marital (just barely) promise : I DO

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Dec 21, Monday”

  1. Pretty easy – 7:23 with no errors, lookups, or redos. An interesting intersection of NOBLE and NOBEL, plus NOEL thrown in nearby. For me, it’s always been gooseBUMPS as opposed to gooseFLESH.

  2. Easy Monday for me; took 10:11 with no errors or peeks. I did have to go back and find MARaPOSA after I finished, which cost me a bit of time…sigh!

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