LA Times Crossword 14 Dec 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Parker Higgins
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): That’s a No-No

Themed answers are repetitious idioms, featuring the word “NO” twice:

  • 12A With 12-Down, mantra on embracing difficulty : NO PAIN, …
  • 12D See 12-Across : … NO GAIN
  • 22A With 22-Down, idiom meaning “easy peasy” : NO MUSS, …
  • 22D See 22-Across : … NO FUSS
  • 30A With 30-Down, aphorism excusing misconduct that didn’t cause damage : NO HARM, …
  • 30D See 30-Across : … NO FOUL
  • 44A With 44-Down, expression describing an absence without leave : NO CALL, …
  • 44D See 44-Across : … NO SHOW

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

Bill’s time: 6m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 One-named “Baby Beluga” singer : RAFFI

“Raffi” is the stage name used by Canadian singer and author Raffi Cavoukian. He is best known for his music written for children.

6 EMT skill : CPR

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

9 Longtime ThinkPad maker : IBM

IBM introduced the ThinkPad notebook in 1992 and the brand is still sold today, although no longer manufactured by IBM. IBM sold off its personal computer division in 2005 to Lenovo. A ThinkPad was used aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1993 on a mission focused on repairing the Hubble Telescope. The ThinkPad was being tested to see how it performed in space, given the high levels of radiation found in that environment. Now, there are about 100 (!) ThinkPads on board the International Space Station.

12 With 12-Down, mantra on embracing difficulty : NO PAIN, …
[12D See 12-Across : … NO GAIN]

A mantra is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.

17 Río contents : AGUA

In Spanish, “agua” (water) is found in a “río” (river), and around an “isla” (island).

18 __ roast: Sunday entrée : RUMP

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

20 Grace of “Will & Grace” : ADLER

Debra Messing is most famous for playing Grace Adler on the television series “Will & Grace”.

21 __ Andreas Fault : SAN

The famous San Andreas Fault in California lies along the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The faultline was named in 1885 after a small lake just south of San Francisco called Laguna de San Andreas.

22 With 22-Down, idiom meaning “easy peasy” : NO MUSS, …
[22D See 22-Across : … NO FUSS]

“Muss” means “state of disorder”, and is a term that probably evolved from “mess”. The phrase “no muss, no fuss” means “no bother, no mess made, no excessive hustle and bustle”.

27 Lizzo genre : RAP

“Lizzo” is the stage name of rap singer Melissa Jefferson. She is quite the flutist, having studied classical music and the flute at the University of Houston.

28 Exams for srs. : 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”.

29 Gobble (up) : SNARF

To snarf down is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

30 With 30-Down, aphorism excusing misconduct that didn’t cause damage : NO HARM, …
[30D See 30-Across : … NO FOUL]

An aphorism is a short and pithy statement that embodies a general truth or insightful observation. Some great examples are:

  • Life is a journey, not a destination (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • The average person thinks he isn’t (Larry Lorenzoni)
  • To err is human, to forgive divine (Alexander Pope)
  • Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one (Albert Einstein)
  • Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely (Lord Acton)

34 McFlurry cookies : OREOS

A McFlurry is an ice cream dessert served in McDonald’s restaurants. A McFlurry is made from soft-serve ice cream, to which are added crushed candy bars or cookies. Cleverly, a McFlurry is mixed on a machine with the mixing blade then doubling as a spoon with which one eats it.

36 Sleeping sickness carrier : TSETSE FLY

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, a disease that is more correctly called African trypanosomiasis. The disease is only observed in humans who have been bitten by a tsetse fly that is infected with the trypanosome parasitic protozoan.

40 __ bene : NOTA

“Nota bene” is Latin for “note well”, and is abbreviated to “NB”.

42 Part of a schmear campaign? : LOX

Lox is a brine-cured salmon filet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

The word “schmear” comes from the Yiddish word “shmir” meaning “spread”. The phrase “the whole schmear” is a relatively recent one, dating back to around 1969 and coming from the world of business.

43 __ gin fizz : SLOE

By definition, a cocktail known as a “fizz” includes lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the gin fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water. There is also a variant known as a sloe gin fizz.

48 Golden Rule preposition : UNTO

The Golden Rule is also known as the ethic of reciprocity, and is a basis for the concept of human rights. A version of the rule used in the Christian tradition is attributed to Jesus:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

50 Jekyll’s alter ego : HYDE

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story, including that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.

55 Floppy successors : CD-ROMS

I don’t think my kids really know what a floppy disk is. A floppy is made of a thin and flexible magnetic material that can store data, enclosed in a protective case. I’ve used 8-inch floppies in my time, and many 5.25-inch floppy disks. Until fairly recently, I had a desktop that would take 3.5-inch disks, although I think the last 3.5-inch floppy disappeared from the house several years ago …

57 Members of a cabal, maybe : SCHEMERS

A cabal is a small group of plotters acting in secret, perhaps scheming against a government or an individual. The use of “cabal” in this way dates back to the mid-1600s. It is suggested that the term gained some popularity, particularly in a sinister sense, during the reign of Charles II in the 1670s. At that time, it was applied as an acronym standing for “Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale”, a group of ministers known for their plots and schemes.

59 __ projection : ASTRAL

An astral projection is an out-of-body experience. It is often associated with incidents of near-death and describes the phenomenon of the astral body leaving the physical body and traveling around the astral plane.

Down

1 Domed building : ROTUNDA

In architecture, the word “rotunda” describes a building with a circular ground plan. Often the building has a dome, but that isn’t a strict requirement. The term can also refer to a round room within a building. The most famous example in this country is the Rotunda in the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

2 Samoan capital : APIA

Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.

4 1980s Pontiacs : FIEROS

General Motors produced the two-seater Pontiac Fiero sports car from 1984 to 1988. “Fiero” means “proud” in Italian and “wild, fierce, ferocious” in Spanish.

6 Nabisco brand : CHIPS AHOY!

Chips Ahoy! is a Nabisco brand of chocolate chip cookies.

7 Tennis pundit Shriver : PAM

Pam Shriver is a former professional tennis player who was especially respected for her abilities as a doubles player. Most of her success came with playing partner Martina Navratilova. Shriver was married for several years to James Bond actor George Lazenby, with whom she has three children.

8 Poet Dove : RITA

Poet Rita Dove received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and was the second African American to be so honored (the first being Gwendolyn Brooks).

9 Home of Firenze : ITALIA

Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region in Italy. Something from or related to Florence is described as “Florentine”. The city is known as “Firenze” in Italian.

11 Scotland yards? : METRES

On the other side of the Atlantic we use the French spelling for measurements that originated in French, so “metre” for “meter” and “litre” for “liter”.

15 Mardi Gras accessories : MASKS

“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent. Lent starts on the next day, called Ash Wednesday.

31 Silver State city : RENO

Reno, Nevada was named in honor of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War. The city has a famous “Reno Arch”, a structure that stands over the main street. The arch was erected in 1926 to promote an exposition planned for the following year. After the expo, the city council decided to keep the arch and held a competition to decide what wording should be displayed, and the winner was “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

The official nickname of Nevada is the Silver State, a reference to the importance of silver ore in the state’s growth and economy. An unofficial nickname is the Battle Born State. “Battle Born” is a reference to Nevada being awarded statehood during the American Civil War.

33 __ 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.

36 “No Scrubs” pop trio : TLC

The girl band called TLC is from Atlanta, Georgia. The band’s name comes from the trio’s original members:

  • Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
  • Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
  • Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas

“No Scrubs” is a 1999 song by girl group TLC. The title uses the slang term “scrub”, which refers to a person who cannot get his or her life together.

41 Catkin trees : ALDERS

Alders are deciduous (i.e. not evergreen) trees with fruit called catkins. The tree carries both male and female catkins that look very similar to each other, but the male catkin is longer than the female. Alders are pollinated by wind usually, although bees can play a role.

45 Fresnel __: lighthouse installation : LENS

A Fresnel lens is a relatively compact, composite lens developed specifically for use in lighthouses. They are gradually being replaced by more modern lighting systems, but the lenses often stay in place as an exhibit in lighthouses open for visitors. That’s not only because the lenses are interesting, as they are also objects of great beauty (in my humble opinion). They are named for their inventor, French civil engineer and physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel.

49 Part of STEM, briefly : TECH

The acronym “STEM” stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology. The acronym STEAM adds (liberal) arts to the STEM curriculum.

52 Home of the Munch Museum : OSLO

Edvard Munch was a Norwegian expressionist, and most famous for his painting “The Scream”, painted in 1893. What a wonderful work that is, a true representation of expressionism. The Munch Museum in Oslo is dedicated to his work and life. In 2004, two of Munch’s paintings, “The Scream” and “Madonna”, were stolen from the Munch Museum by armed robbers who subdued the museum guards. The paintings were missing for two years, but recovered in 2006.

53 Brand of sport sandals : TEVA

Teva is a brand of sandal marketed as a sport sandal. The first design was the creation of a river guide working the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The design was patented in 1987.

55 Baseball’s “Iron Man” Ripken : CAL

Cal Ripken played his entire, 20-year professional baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken was known as the “Iron Man” because he showed up for work every day, come rain or shine. He played 2,632 straight games, blowing past the previous 2,130-game record held by Lou Gehrig.

58 “The Princess Diaries” novelist Cabot : MEG

“The Princess Diaries” is a series of novels for young adults by Meg Cabot. There have been two Disney adaptations of the books, both starring Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis and Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One-named “Baby Beluga” singer : RAFFI
6 EMT skill : CPR
9 Longtime ThinkPad maker : IBM
12 With 12-Down, mantra on embracing difficulty : NO PAIN, …
13 Bun holder : HAIR TIE
15 Incentives : MOTIVES
16 “It’s curtains for me!” : I’M TOAST!
17 Río contents : AGUA
18 __ roast: Sunday entrée : RUMP
20 Grace of “Will & Grace” : ADLER
21 __ Andreas Fault : SAN
22 With 22-Down, idiom meaning “easy peasy” : NO MUSS, …
24 Party coolerful : ICE
25 Young’uns : KIDDOS
27 Lizzo genre : RAP
28 Exams for srs. : SATS
29 Gobble (up) : SNARF
30 With 30-Down, aphorism excusing misconduct that didn’t cause damage : NO HARM, …
32 Simple camera setting : AUTO
34 McFlurry cookies : OREOS
36 Sleeping sickness carrier : TSETSE FLY
40 __ bene : NOTA
42 Part of a schmear campaign? : LOX
43 __ gin fizz : SLOE
44 With 44-Down, expression describing an absence without leave : NO CALL, …
46 Baseball hats : CAPS
48 Golden Rule preposition : UNTO
50 Jekyll’s alter ego : HYDE
51 Unopened : NEW
52 Most aged : OLDEST
54 Barnyard bird : HEN
55 Floppy successors : CD-ROMS
57 Members of a cabal, maybe : SCHEMERS
59 __ projection : ASTRAL
60 Acts like a helicopter parent : HOVERS
61 Get beaten by : LOSE TO
62 Worker’s hourly pay : WAGE

Down

1 Domed building : ROTUNDA
2 Samoan capital : APIA
3 Best-liked, in texts : FAV
4 1980s Pontiacs : FIEROS
5 “Long story short … ” : IN SUM …
6 Nabisco brand : CHIPS AHOY!
7 Tennis pundit Shriver : PAM
8 Poet Dove : RITA
9 Home of Firenze : ITALIA
10 Halve : BISECT
11 Scotland yards? : METRES
12 See 12-Across : … NO GAIN
14 __ and reel : ROD
15 Mardi Gras accessories : MASKS
19 Wall, in Spanish : MURO
22 See 22-Across : … NO FUSS
23 Practice boxing : SPAR
26 “Dang!” : DRAT!
28 Kiss : SMOOCH
30 See 30-Across : … NO FOUL
31 Silver State city : RENO
33 __ Aviv : TEL
35 “Don’t move!” : STAY HERE!
36 “No Scrubs” pop trio : TLC
37 Real blankety-blank : SO-AND-SO
38 Aces : EXPERTS
39 Takes interest, maybe : LENDS
41 Catkin trees : ALDERS
44 See 44-Across : … NO SHOW
45 Fresnel __: lighthouse installation : LENS
47 Promised : SWORE
49 Part of STEM, briefly : TECH
52 Home of the Munch Museum : OSLO
53 Brand of sport sandals : TEVA
55 Baseball’s “Iron Man” Ripken : CAL
56 Bath rug : MAT
58 “The Princess Diaries” novelist Cabot : MEG

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Dec 22, Wednesday”

  1. No errors. About 11 minutes.

    Interesting that Bill didn’t provide a little narrative on NO CALL/ NO SHOW.

    I’ve never heard of that either. I was in the military for awhile. If your name was “called” and there was no response, you were AWOL , you were a no show. But maybe it’s not a military reference ?

  2. No errors, no lookups…but it took me almost 30 minutes. I didn’t know
    the “schmear” campaign part but I guessed on TLC as the pop trio. and got
    the “Congratulations” sign. Altogether a fun puzzle.

  3. I spent four years in the military and I never heard of no call, no show.
    Never heard of Teva.
    Didn’t know Meg Cabot.
    I thought schemers was kind of weak for members of a cabal.
    Otherwise it was great fun! 🙂

  4. Great fun, indeed. Once I stumbled onto the theme, everything fell into place. Except for the preponderance of PPP’s, a good puzzle.

  5. No call/No show is not a military term but rather a term applied to civilian employees and a reason that they then may be fired for cause (abandoning their job) if the employer so desires.

    I’ll give high marks to any crossword that uses a Pontiac automobile clue that results in a model other than a GTO. Along with a one named singer clue that results on something other than Adele!

  6. 42:51 no errors…that has to be an all time low for a Wednesday puzzle…I guess my 81 year old brain is giving out😥
    Stay safe😀

  7. Fun puzzle had no muss no fuss mixed up but fixed it …loved the theme thought schemers was a stretch…but fun overall!!

  8. 13:41 – no errors or lookups. False starts: BFF>FAV, SCARF>SNARF, NOLO>NOTA (NOLO was just a guess from nolo contendere).

    New: RAFFI, “Baby Beluga,” RITA Dove, MURO, “No Scrubs,” “Catkin trees,” MEG Cabot (but I enjoyed the Princess Diaries movie). Also never used “snarf up” – always “scarf down.”

    I enjoyed the clever no-no theme.

    I echo Tony Michaels’ comments about Pontiacs and one-named singers, adding ENYA for a 4-letter answer.

  9. Thought it would be easy, turned out to be hard.

    Took 17:53 with two dumb errors. Same never heard ofs as Ray C, along with TEVA sandals and except for “Catkin trees.” I goofed up the rAtE instead of WAGE, which I should’ve got. Also never heard of NO CALL, NO SHOW, which doesn’t even make sense to me.

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