LA Times Crossword 16 Dec 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Matt Forest & Shannon Rapp
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Tease Out

Themed answers are common phrases with “TT” taken OUT:

  • 60A Untangle carefully, and a phonetic hint for the answers to the starred clues? : TEASE OUT and Ts OUT
  • 18A *Haymaker’s agenda? : BALE PLAN (from “battle plan”)
  • 24A *Major uptick in swimsuit sales? : BIKINI BOOM (from “Bikini Bottom”)
  • 37A *”The whole team has earned happy hour!” : WE DESERVE BEER (from “we deserve better”)
  • 52A *Hungry hawk’s polite request? : PREY, PLEASE (from “pretty please”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 IG or FB post : PIC

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”, or “IG”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

If you’ve seen the movie “The Social Network”, you might remember that Facebook (FB) started off as “Facemash”, a site created by Mark Zuckerberg while he was attending Harvard. Facemash became “Thefacebook” and membership was opened to students beyond Harvard, initially including Ivy League schools and then most colleges across North America.

15 Fruit cocktail fruit : PEAR

A fruit salad comprises a range of diced fruits, often served in syrup. The term “fruit cocktail” might be used for fruit salad served as an appetizer, and “fruit cup” for a smaller serving in cup or small glass.

16 Reddit tell-all session, for short : AMA

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

17 Facial hair, casually : STACHE

“Stache” is slang for “mustache/moustache”.

18 *Haymaker’s agenda? : BALE PLAN (from “battle plan”)

Hay is dried grass that is stored for use as animal fodder. Straw consists of the dried stalks of cereal plants, the residue left after the grain and chaff have been removed. Straw can also be used as animal fodder, as well as fuel, bedding and thatch.

20 West Coast sch. with more than 100 NCAA championships : USC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known for the success of its athletic program. USC Trojans have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

21 Crispy Crunchies! fries maker : ORE-IDA

Ore-Ida frozen foods are all made using potatoes. The company is located in Oregon, just across the border from Idaho. “Ore-Ida” is a melding of the two state names.

23 Karate level : BELT

Practitioners of judo and karate proceed through a series of proficiency grades known as the kyu system. At each progression, a different colored belt is awarded.

24 *Major uptick in swimsuit sales? : BIKINI BOOM (from “Bikini Bottom”)

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. One story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment …

The animated TV series “SpongeBob SquarePants” is set in the Bikini Atoll, in a fictional underwater city called Bikini Bottom.

27 Fancy foot work : PEDI

Pedicure (pedi)

28 Vinaigrette ingredient : OIL

A vinaigrette is a mixture of oil with an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. A traditional mixture of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar forms a stable emulsion that is commonly used as a salad dressing. The term “vinaigrette” is a diminutive form of the French word “vinaigre” (meaning “vinegar”). Back in the 1800s, such a mixture was referred to as “French dressing”, a term that has evolved to describe a creamy dressing in contemporary American cuisine.

35 DoorDash category : ASIAN

DoorDash is the largest food delivery company in the country. Customers can order food from many different restaurants using the DoorDash app, and a DoorDash driver delivers it to a home or office. DoorDash also operates ghost kitchens, facilities that prepare meals for delivery customers of a group of restaurants.

37 *”The whole team has earned happy hour!” : WE DESERVE BEER (from “we deserve better”)

We deserve better beer …

41 Arya’s sister on “Game of Thrones” : SANSA

Sophie Turner is an English best known for her first TV role, portraying Sansa Stark on the show “Game of Thrones”. She was only 14 years old when she first appeared in the show in 2010. In 2016, she married American singer Joe Jones, one of the three Jonas Brothers.

43 Part of FWIW : IT’S

For what it’s worth (FWIW)

44 Some 45s, briefly : EPS

An extended-play (EP) record, CD or download contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

48 High time : NOON

Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

50 Switch on the radio? : AM/FM

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

58 Hall of Fame pitcher Fingers : ROLLIE

Rollie Fingers is a former MLB relief pitcher, only the second relief pitcher to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Fingers is noted for his waxed handlebar mustache. He originally grew it along with other players to get a bonus payment while playing for the Oakland Athletics, but he still sports it to this day.

59 Baby goat : KID

Male goats are bucks or billies, although castrated males are known as wethers. Female goats are does or nannies, and young goats are referred to as kids.

64 Copier size: Abbr. : LTR

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

65 D.C. paper : WAPO

“The Washington Post” (WaPo) is the oldest paper still being published in the DC area, having been founded in 1877. Famously, “The Post” reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein led the media’s investigation into what we now called the Watergate scandal. “The Washington Post” was purchased in 2013 by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

66 Almond flour’s lack : GLUTEN

Gluten is a protein mixture found in foods processed mainly from wheat. The sticky properties of gluten are used in making bread, giving dough its elasticity and making the final product chewy. “Gluten” is the Latin word for “glue”.

68 Small songbird : WREN

The wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

Down

2 Ethnic group in Rwanda : TUTSI

The Tutsi are the second-largest population in Rwanda, with the Hutu being the largest. The bloody conflict that has existed between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples dates back to about 1880 when Catholic missionaries arrived in the region. The missionaries found that they had more success converting the Hutus than the Tutsi, and when the Germans occupied the area during WWI they confiscated Tutsi land and gave it to Hutu tribes in order to reward religious conversion. This injustice fuels fighting to this very day.

3 Album unit : TRACK

The Latin word “album” translates as “white”. Back in the 17th century, public notices and lists of names were written on a board painted white, or in a souvenir book with white pages known as an “albo” (from “album”). Over time, the term “album” came to be used in English for a blank book created to collect signatures or other mementos. By the end of the 19th century, albums were used to collect photographs. The term “album” was applied to long-playing gramophone records in the early 1950s, because the record sleeves resembled large photographic albums.

4 Corner key on a PC : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used just to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

5 Brush up on a fading skill, perhaps : REHONE

“To hone” is to sharpen, a verb derived from the noun “hone” A “hone” is a whetstone used in sharpening.

6 Challenging sci. class featuring evolutionary studies : AP BIO

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

7 Jet ski brand : SEA-DOO

Sea-Doo is a brand name of personal watercraft (PWC). Other well-known brands are Jet Ski and WaveRunner.

8 Charcuterie choice : SALAMI

“Salame” (note the letter E at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

In French, a “charcutier” is a pork butcher, although the term “charcuterie” has come to describe a genre of cooking focused on prepared meats such as bacon, ham, sausage and pâté. Although these meats often feature pork, it is not exclusively so. The word “charcuterie” comes from the French “chair” meaning “flesh” and “cuit” meaning “cooked”.

9 Three, in Rome : TRE

In Italian, one can find the number “tre” (three) on “un orologio” (a clock).

10 Regimen based on the eating habits of early humans : PALEO DIET

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and the domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

Quite often, the terms “regime” and “regimen” seem to be used interchangeably. In contemporary usage, “regime” is applied more generally, and “regimen” more specifically. A “regimen” is a systematic approach that one might apply to something, to exercise or diet for example. The term “regime” can also be used in such contexts, but can have additional definitions, such as “government in power”. A form of government cannot be described as a “regimen”.

14 Puts down : DERIDES

To deride is to treat with contemptuous mirth. The term comes into English via Old French from the Latin “deridere” meaning “to ridicule”. In turn, “deridere” comes from the prefix “de-” (down) and “”ridere” (to laugh). So, to ridicule or deride is “to laugh down at”.

19 “Call the Midwife” airer : PBS

“Call the Midwife” is a BBC drama about midwives working in the East End of London in the late fifties and early sixties. I must admit, one of the reasons I am intrigued by this show is that I can well remember the midwife coming to our house in the East End of London in 1959 for the delivery of my younger brother. I am sure the attending nurse was a wonderful person, but I remember being scared every time she pulled up outside our flat on her bicycle!

25 Discontinued music players : IPODS

The iPod is Apple’s discontinued signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all used flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

29 Course component of 6-Down : LAB
[6D Challenging sci. class featuring evolutionary studies : AP BIO]

Our term “laboratory”, often shortened to “lab”, comes from the Medieval Latin word “laboratorium” meaning “place for labor, work”. This in turn comes from the Latin verb “laborare” meaning “to work”.

34 Hurler’s stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

36 Pont Neuf’s river : SEINE

Paradoxically, Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge standing today that crosses the River Seine in Paris. The paradox is that the name translates to “new bridge”. The bridge is in two parts, as it crosses from the Left Bank to the Île de la Cité (on which stands Notre Dame) and then from the Île de la Cité to the Right Bank.

38 “Mangia!” : EAT!

“Mangia!” is Italian for “Eat!” and is a word often used in the names of Italian restaurants or in brand names of Italian foods.

39 Old 45, perhaps : VINYL

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

Strictly speaking, the term “vinyl” describes the ethenyl functional group (-CH=CH2) found in some organic chemicals. Perhaps the most often encountered example of such a chemical is vinyl chloride, a chemical used to produce the polymer polyvinyl chloride. The name “vinyl” was coined in 1851 by German chemist Hermann Kolbe. He chose the term because the vinyl group is closely related to ethyl alcohol, and “vinum” is Latin for “wine”. Cheers …

41 “Grey’s Anatomy” setting : SEATTLE

The very successful hospital drama “Grey’s Anatomy” has been on television since 2005. The title is a reference to the show’s central character, Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo), as well as a reference to the classic human anatomy textbook commonly called “Gray’s Anatomy”.

46 Ruckus : UPROAR

The word “ruckus” is used to mean “commotion”, and has been around since the late 1800s. “Ruckus” is possibly a melding of the words “ruction” and “rumpus”.

47 Traveling ensemble : TROUPE

“Troupe” is a French word meaning “company, band”.

49 Estadio shout : OLE! OLE!

In Spain, one might hear a shout of “Olé!” in “un estadio” (a stadium).

51 Org. with Earthquakes and Fire : MLS

The Earthquakes are the professional soccer team in San Jose, California. The team was formed in 1996 as the San Jose Clash.

The Chicago Fire is the city’s Major League Soccer (MLS) team. The Fire were founded in 1997, and are named for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

53 “Rocketman” icon John : ELTON

“Rocketman” is a very entertaining musical biopic about the life of Elton John. The title role is taken by English actor Taron Egerton, who actually did a great job singing the songs in the film himself. The movie’s title comes from Elton John’s 1972 hit record “Rocket Man”.

54 Japanese breed : AKITA

The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

55 Biting remark? : SIC ‘EM

“Sic ’em” is an attack order given to a dog, one instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with “sic” being a variation of “seek”.

63 Formal duds : TUX

Apparently, the style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

“Duds” is an informal word meaning “clothing”. The term comes from the word “dudde” that was used around 1300 as the name for a cloak.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Absolute : UTTER
6 Short helper? : ASST
10 IG or FB post : PIC
13 Breastfed : NURSED
15 Fruit cocktail fruit : PEAR
16 Reddit tell-all session, for short : AMA
17 Facial hair, casually : STACHE
18 *Haymaker’s agenda? : BALE PLAN (from “battle plan”)
20 West Coast sch. with more than 100 NCAA championships : USC
21 Crispy Crunchies! fries maker : ORE-IDA
23 Karate level : BELT
24 *Major uptick in swimsuit sales? : BIKINI BOOM (from “Bikini Bottom”)
26 Footprint maker : SOLE
27 Fancy foot work : PEDI
28 Vinaigrette ingredient : OIL
30 Lousy grade : DEE
31 __-mo : SLO
33 Scrape (by) : EKE
35 DoorDash category : ASIAN
37 *”The whole team has earned happy hour!” : WE DESERVE BEER (from “we deserve better”)
41 Arya’s sister on “Game of Thrones” : SANSA
42 Feel icky : AIL
43 Part of FWIW : IT’S
44 Some 45s, briefly : EPS
45 “Tsk!” : TUT!
48 High time : NOON
50 Switch on the radio? : AM/FM
52 *Hungry hawk’s polite request? : PREY, PLEASE (from “pretty please”)
57 Narrate : TELL
58 Hall of Fame pitcher Fingers : ROLLIE
59 Baby goat : KID
60 Untangle carefully, and a phonetic hint for the answers to the starred clues? : TEASE OUT and Ts OUT
62 Catch sight of : NOTICE
64 Copier size: Abbr. : LTR
65 D.C. paper : WAPO
66 Almond flour’s lack : GLUTEN
67 Language suffix : -ESE
68 Small songbird : WREN
69 Finals, e.g. : EXAMS

Down

1 Get off a mailing list, informally : UNSUB
2 Ethnic group in Rwanda : TUTSI
3 Album unit : TRACK
4 Corner key on a PC : ESC
5 Brush up on a fading skill, perhaps : REHONE
6 Challenging sci. class featuring evolutionary studies : AP BIO
7 Jet ski brand : SEA-DOO
8 Charcuterie choice : SALAMI
9 Three, in Rome : TRE
10 Regimen based on the eating habits of early humans : PALEO DIET
11 “You have my full attention!” : I’M ALL EARS!
12 Water flask : CANTEEN
14 Puts down : DERIDES
19 “Call the Midwife” airer : PBS
22 Transport with hill-assist mode : E-BIKE
25 Discontinued music players : IPODS
29 Course component of 6-Down : LAB
31 Where some day traders trade? : SWAP MEETS
32 Scattered light effect in a photo : LENS FLARE
34 Hurler’s stat : ERA
36 Pont Neuf’s river : SEINE
38 “Mangia!” : EAT!
39 Old 45, perhaps : VINYL
40 Leaving unceremoniously? : ELOPING
41 “Grey’s Anatomy” setting : SEATTLE
46 Ruckus : UPROAR
47 Traveling ensemble : TROUPE
49 Estadio shout : OLE! OLE!
51 Org. with Earthquakes and Fire : MLS
53 “Rocketman” icon John : ELTON
54 Japanese breed : AKITA
55 Biting remark? : SIC ‘EM
56 Happy places : EDENS
61 “Ick” : EWW
63 Formal duds : TUX

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Dec 22, Friday”

  1. No errors.. got stuck in NW corner. UNSUB and TUTSI held me up. Wasn’t until I got BIKINI BO(TT)OM did things work out even though I never heard of them.

    Really enjoyed reading all the new commenters yesterday and reading their story.

    I’ve been on this blog for over 10 years. Quite a variety of techniques.

    I was a computer nerd from the early days and I relish doing these on paper and not doing them online. Screen burnout for me.

    @glen is a long time blogger here but haven’t heard from him for a while.

    1. @Anon Mike – thx for the insight.

      Yeah, I also miss Glenn, hope he’s OK.

      @Nonny never returned either – he was, along with Glenn, one of the consistent supporters of others on this site.

  2. Realizing the theme helped finish this one, but not without a
    couple of lookups. I suppose “wapo” stands for Washington Post,
    but didn’t think of it. A few good guesses like “swapmeets” and
    “I’m all ears” gave me enough boost to plug on til the end.

  3. 14:28, no errors. As often happens, I got to the theme reveal way too late and didn’t appreciate it until reading Bill B.’s explanation. I think I will try starting in the south for Monday-Friday puzzles for a while & see how that goes.

  4. I never heard the phrase “tease out” before, but it helped me figure out the starred clues. Kind of clever. Also didn’t know Tutsi.

  5. Grey’s Anatomy setting had me spinning in circles for awhile. I kept wanting to this of something along the lines of “hospital” or something. That’s what happens when the puzzle constructor uses a show that I am unfamiliar with.

    Finished without final error and really not that difficult for a Friday.

  6. Wow! Truly, a Friday-worthy puzzle. Almost perfect but, since I didn’t know SANSA, missed it and EAT (probably shoulda got that one but had OUT). PREY good for a tough one. Oh, as I understand it, PPP’s are people, places and products.

  7. 9 minutes 20 seconds, and no errors. Issues, yes. The top center quadrant gave me no end of trouble, having to overwrite a few times to get the right entries. The “theme” was tortured in the extreme, but that’s to be expected now…

  8. No look ups, no errors. One change on the fly, out/eat. It helped that I remembered APBIO from a couple of weeks ago! Decent
    challenge and clever theme. Again too many
    PPP’s. We deserve better….

  9. 13:49 – no errors or lookups. False starts: SKIDOO>SEADOO, BLUE>BELT, BIKINITOPS>BRAS>BOOM, SAND>SOLE.

    New: “Arya,” SANSA, “Pont Neuf.”

    Theme: I recognized that TT could be added to 24A & 37A, and that helped me figure out teaseOUT, and so I also saw the samenpattern in 18A & 52A.

    Rollie Fingers had a great stache!
    Another “duplicate” clue, this one related to 45 records.

  10. Nice, mostly easy Friday for me; took 19:14 with no peeks or errors. Plaed it carefully and just filled what I knew for sure and then ventured into educated guesses and looking at crosses. Remembered APBIO and SANSA – Queen of the North – from just a short while ago. Tried to work with the theme, but finally just did them literally, which worked fine. Looked at “Mangia!” for a while, before finally remembering EAT.

    ROLLIE Fingers played for the, across the bay, Athletics, but was such a character that even us Giants fans liked him.

    I too miss Glenn, I hope he is just taking a short break. As for Nonny – that’s actually Dave Kennison. He was just going incognito for a while. Now he pops in from time to time.

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