LA Times Crossword 6 Dec 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Beth Rubin
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Wows

Themed answers are common expressions meaning “Wow!” that seem appropriate to a person specified in the clue:

  • 17A Thelma’s “Wow!”? : GEEZ, LOUISE!
  • 24A Astronomer’s “Wow!”? : OH MY STARS!
  • 39A Saint’s “Wow!”? : GOOD ONE!
  • 48A Safari guide’s “Wow!”? : THAT’S WILD
  • 60A Chameleon’s “Wow!”? : OUT OF SIGHT

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

Bill’s time: 5m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Shawkat of “Being the Ricardos” : ALIA

Alia Shawkat is an actor who might be best known for playing Maeby Fünke on the sitcom “Arrested Development”. Shawkat is best friends with fellow actor Elliot Page (formerly Ellen Page), whom she met while filming the 2009 movie “Whip It”.

“Being the Ricardos” is a 2021 biopic about the lives of married couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Lucy and Desi are played by Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem. The title comes from the show “I Love Lucy”, in which Ball and Arnaz played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. I haven’t seen this one, but it’s on my list as the film was written and directed by the great Aaron Sorkin …

9 Bygone Swedish automaker : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. The assets were acquired in 2012 by NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden), a new company that used the SAAB name on its vehicles for several years.

13 Icelandic saga : EDDA

“Poetic Edda” and “Prose Edda” are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in 13th-century Iceland.

14 Code creator : MORSE

Samuel Morse was a very accomplished and reputable painter (he was engaged to paint a portrait of President John Adams, for example). In 1825 Morse was in Washington working on a commissioned painting when he received a one-line letter by horse-messenger telling him that his wife was ill. He left immediately for his home in New Haven, Connecticut but by the time that Morse arrived his wife had already died and had been buried. This single event spurred him to move from painting to the development of a rapid means of long distance communication, leading to the single-wire telegraph and Morse code.

17 Thelma’s “Wow!”? : GEEZ, LOUISE!

“Thelma & Louise” is a thought-provoking movie, and one that is very entertaining. It was directed by Ridley Scott in 1991, and stars two fabulous leads in Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. You’ll also spot Brad Pitt onscreen in his first significant movie role.

19 Site with handmade goods : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

20 Ilana of “Broad City” : GLAZER

Ilana Glazer is a comedian from Long Island, New York. Along with comedian Abbi Jacobson, she is the co-creator of the Comedy Central sitcom “Broad City”.

“Broad City” is a sitcom shown on Comedy Central that started out life as a web series on the Internet. It’s about two young Jewish American women having misadventures in New York City.

21 “__ Lot”: Stephen King novel : ‘SALEM’S

Stephen King’s “’Salem’s Lot” was published in 1975, his second novel. It belongs to the horror genre, so you won’t catch me reading it. The title refers to the Maine town of Jerusalem’s Lot, or ‘Salem’s Lot for short. There’s an interesting story about the actual publication of the first edition. The intended price of $8.95 was changed at the last minute to $7.95, but not all the price changes were made before release. A few copies “escaped” with the dust cover marked $8.95, and they are now worth a lot of money. Go check your bookshelves …

27 British prep school : ETON

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provide free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

33 Badminton target : BIRDIE

A shuttlecock (also “bird, birdie”) is the conical, feathered projectile used in the game of badminton. Previously referred to as a “shuttlecork”, the object is probably so named because it is “shuttled” back and forth over the net, and because the feathers resemble those on a cockerel.

The game of badminton was developed in the mid-1700s by British military officers in India. There was already an old game called battledore and shuttlecock, so the creation of badminton was essentially the addition of a net and boundary lines for play. The game was launched officially as a sport in 1873 at Badminton House in Gloucestershire in England, hence the name that we now use.

37 Fertility clinic cells : OVA

“Ovum” (plural “ova”) is Latin for “egg”.

38 Smog watchdog org. : EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

41 Bolivia neighbor: Abbr. : ARG

Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America that is bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Argentina. The land now occupied by Bolivia was originally part of the Inca Empire. The country declared independence from Spain in 1809, which led to 16 years of war. When the Republic was finally named, “Bolivia” was chosen in honor of Venezuelan-born revolutionary leader, Simón Bolívar.

44 Stark daughter played by Sophie Turner 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.

46 Canadian gas brand : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

48 Safari guide’s “Wow!”? : THAT’S WILD

“Safari” is a Swahili word meaning “journey” or “expedition”.

57 Loosen, as a corset : UNLACE

A corset is a close-fitting undergarment that is stiffened with a material such as whalebone. Corsets are more usually worn by women, to shape the body. The word “corset” is a diminutive of the Old French “cors” meaning “body”.

58 “Lip __ Battle” : SYNC

“Lip Sync Battle” is a reality TV show in which celebrities battle it out lip syncing famous songs. The show was created by John Krasinki and Stephen Merchant. It grew out of an idea that Merchant, Krasinski (and Emily Blunt) had for an appearance Krasinski made on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”. Fallon made it a recurring segment in his show, and then Krasinksi and Merchant got backing to make it a show of its own. I’ve never seen “Lip Sync Battle”, but on discovering that Krasinkski and Merchant came up with the concept, I just had to watch highlights on YouTube. It looks very entertaining …!

60 Chameleon’s “Wow!”? : OUT OF SIGHT

Chameleons are a family of Old World lizards, many of which have the ability to change their skin coloration and pattern. The term “chameleon” is simplified Latin, and is ultimately derived from the Greek for “lion of the ground”.

Down

1 “__ Sue Got Married” : PEGGY

“Peggy Sue Got Married” is a Francis Ford Coppola movie from 1986, a comedy-drama starring Kathleen Turner in the title role. The movie is a fantasy piece, with Turner playing a woman who is transported back in time to her senior year in high school. The movie’s cast includes a lot of actors who later became big stars, including Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt, Joan Allen and Sofia Coppola.

2 “Rolling in the Deep” singer : ADELE

“Rolling in the Deep” is a 2010 song by Adele that she released on her incredibly successful album “21”. The single was Adele’s first #1 in the US.

6 Singer Rawls : LOU

Lou Rawls was an American soul and blues singer known for his smooth vocal style. With his singing career well on the way, Rawls was asked to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” in 1977 at a Muhammad Ali fight in Madison Square Garden. This performance led to him being asked to sing the anthem many, many times in the coming years with his last rendition being at a World Series game in 2005. Rawls passed away in January of the following year.

7 Notre Dame Fighting __ : IRISH

The athletic teams of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana are known as the Fighting Irish. There are several debated etymologies for the moniker “Fighting Irish”, with the most generally accepted being that it was applied by the press in the 1920s, reflecting the team’s fighting spirit and grit, determination and tenacity. I guess “grit, determination and tenacity” are characteristics often associated with the Irish.

8 Tea region of India : ASSAM

Assam is a state in the far northeast of India, and just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea, as well as its silk.

11 Tonsils-checking sounds : AHS

The palatine tonsils are located at the back of the human throat. The exact role that tonsils play isn’t completely understood, but it is known that they are in the first line of defense in the body’s immune system. They provide some level of protection against pathogens that are ingested and inhaled.

18 “__ we forget” : LEST

“Lest we forget” is an oft-quoted phrase, one that comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “Recessional”. Kipling wrote the piece on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 and used it to express sadness at the waning of the British Empire. The phrase “lest we forget” is used in this context, a warning that the empire will decline. Ever since WWI we’ve been using the words on memorials as a plea not to forget the sacrifices made by others in the past.

22 Cosmetician Lauder : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

24 Scallion kin : ONION

Scallions are edible plants with a mild onion flavor. They are also called green onions or spring onions.

25 Variety show : REVUE

“Revue” is the French word for “review”.

26 Kiosk : STAND

Our word “kiosk” came to us via French and Turkish from the Persian “kushk” meaning “palace, portico”.

28 Orchestra pitch setter : OBOE

When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance, you’ll note (pun!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

31 Media mogul Winfrey : OPRAH

Oprah Winfrey’s multimedia production company is known as Harpo Studios. “Harpo” is “Oprah” spelled backwards, and is also the name of the husband of the character who Winfrey played in the movie “The Color Purple”.

34 Dietary guideline letters : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

36 Trésor spokesmodel Sastre : INES

Inés Sastre is a supermodel and actress from Spain. She is a smart cookie, having studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, and speaking French , English and Italian, as well as her native Spanish.

39 Wimbledon playing surface : GRASS

The Wimbledon Championships of tennis are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club located in Wimbledon, a district of London. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and have been played on grass since day one.

45 Wall Street investments : STOCKS

New York’s famous Wall Street was originally named by the Dutch “de Waalstraat”. The “Waal” in question was a wall erected by Dutch colonists to protect them from an attack by the British from the north. The attack by land never came, but the British did mount a successful invasion by sea. The British demolished the wall two decades later, in 1699.

47 IRS IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987. Today, a SSN is required for a child of any age in order to receive a tax exemption.

49 “__’ve thought it?” : WHO’D

Who’d have thunk it?

50 Arctic natives : INUIT

The Inuit people live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada. A member of the Inuit people is known as an “Inuk”.

51 Numbers game : LOTTO

Originally, lotto was a type of card game, with “lotto” being the Italian for “a lot”. We’ve used “lotto” to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.

57 Sci-fi hoverers : UFOS

Disc-shaped flying objects have been reported in the sky since the Middle Ages. In the modern era, the event that launched the term “flying saucer” was a UFO sighting in 1947, which was covered widely in the media. Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine unidentified flying objects in formation near Mount Rainier in Washington. In describing the objects, he repeatedly used the words “saucer”, “disc” and “pie-plate”. Newspapers latched onto the terminology, and we’ve been seeing flying “saucers” ever since.

58 Old ultrafast plane, briefly : SST

The first supersonic transport (SST) to fly was the Tupolev Tu-144, which was constructed in the Soviet Union. The Tu-144 first flew in 1968, but did not carry passengers until 1977. The aircraft was permanently grounded as a passenger craft in 1978 due to concerns about safety (there had been two Tu-144 crashes). The second SST to fly was the Anglo-French Concorde, which operated at a profit for over 27 years until it was withdrawn from service in 2003. There was one Concorde crash, in Paris in July 2000. Since then, there have been no commercial SST services.

61 Bonus WNBA periods : OTS

Overtime (OT)

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) was founded in 1996. The WNBA had to compete with the American Basketball League (ABL), a professional women’s basketball league that started playing games the same year the WNBA was founded. The ABL folded in its third season.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Gave money to : PAID
5 Shawkat of “Being the Ricardos” : ALIA
9 Bygone Swedish automaker : SAAB
13 Icelandic saga : EDDA
14 Code creator : MORSE
16 Canyon comeback : ECHO
17 Thelma’s “Wow!”? : GEEZ, LOUISE!
19 Site with handmade goods : ETSY
20 Ilana of “Broad City” : GLAZER
21 “__ Lot”: Stephen King novel : ‘SALEM’S
23 Raises one’s voice : YELLS
24 Astronomer’s “Wow!”? : OH MY STARS!
27 British prep school : ETON
29 Property manager’s sign : TO LET
30 Like memories to smile about : FOND
33 Badminton target : BIRDIE
37 Fertility clinic cells : OVA
38 Smog watchdog org. : EPA
39 Saint’s “Wow!”? : GOOD ONE!
40 Religious sister : NUN
41 Bolivia neighbor: Abbr. : ARG
42 File manager menu option : RENAME
43 Requirement : NEED
44 Stark daughter played by Sophie Turner on “Game of Thrones” : SANSA
46 Canadian gas brand : ESSO
48 Safari guide’s “Wow!”? : THAT’S WILD
52 Scarecrow innards : STRAW
56 “Jinkies! That’s out of the question!” : GOSH NO!
57 Loosen, as a corset : UNLACE
58 “Lip __ Battle” : SYNC
60 Chameleon’s “Wow!”? : OUT OF SIGHT
62 Enjoy a bath : SOAK
63 “Me too” : DITTO
64 Change direction suddenly : VEER
65 Pulls (at), as heartstrings : TUGS
66 Gentle throw : TOSS
67 Whirlpool : EDDY

Down

1 “__ Sue Got Married” : PEGGY
2 “Rolling in the Deep” singer : ADELE
3 Like a best-case scenario : IDEAL
4 Really wowed : DAZZLED
5 Spanish for “love” : AMOR
6 Singer Rawls : LOU
7 Notre Dame Fighting __ : IRISH
8 Tea region of India : ASSAM
9 Appear that way : SEEM TO
10 Has no help : ACTS ALONE
11 Tonsils-checking sounds : AHS
12 Son : BOY
15 Too wiggly to hold : EELY
18 “__ we forget” : LEST
22 Cosmetician Lauder : ESTEE
24 Scallion kin : ONION
25 Variety show : REVUE
26 Kiosk : STAND
28 Orchestra pitch setter : OBOE
30 Sumptuous meal : FEAST
31 Media mogul Winfrey : OPRAH
32 “I heard you the first dozen times!” : NAG! NAG! NAG!
34 Dietary guideline letters : RDA
35 Like some all-weather stadiums : DOMED
36 Trésor spokesmodel Sastre : INES
39 Wimbledon playing surface : GRASS
43 Prerecorded : NOT LIVE
45 Wall Street investments : STOCKS
47 IRS IDs : SSNS
49 “__’ve thought it?” : WHO’D
50 Arctic natives : INUIT
51 Numbers game : LOTTO
53 Threw a fit : RAGED
54 Had sore muscles : ACHED
55 Humble reply to “Great work, team!” : WE TRY
57 Sci-fi hoverers : UFOS
58 Old ultrafast plane, briefly : SST
59 “__ and me both!” : YOU
61 Bonus WNBA periods : OTS

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Dec 22, Tuesday”

  1. Didn’t know INES SANSA and misspelled ALIA with an E on the end. Which gave me ESSAM instead of ASSAM and I actually knew ASSAM so I should have guessed better.

    Never watched ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, BEING THE RICARDOS, GAME OF THRONES, or BROAD CITY. so never heard of any of those actors/ actresses.

    Quite the TV Guide version today.

  2. 8:21, no errors. Went slightly astray with the “Thelma’s Wow” clue as GEENADAVIS seemed to make sense but eventually I figured out the DAZZLED cross.

  3. Not too bad today! Didn’t know 44A because I may be the only person who never watched “Game of Thrones”! 😂

    Enjoy the day!! 😊

    1. 17:21 no errors.
      @ChristineW…your not alone…between Oreos, Adele and Game of Thrones there is one a day🤪
      Stay safe😀

  4. 8 mins 3 sec and no errors, but needed Check Grid to sort out 4 fills. Struggled a bit with this one, and felt it had a few too many obscure names in it.

  5. My son told me I should watch Game of Thrones. I asked, “Isn’t that the show with flying dragons?” He gave the response of the old Roseanne Roseannadanna character on SNL when it was actually funny. “Nevermind.”

  6. Why is the oboe assumed to have the perfect pitch “A”? Doesn’t the oboe need to be tuned as well? If so, what does it use?

    Interesting story about Morse and his dedication to create his code. Thanks Bill.

  7. Eton a “prep school”? False! Eton is a Public School, or in US parlance, a private secondary school. In England, a prep school is for under-12yearolds – ie. a school to prepare students to attend public schools (such as Eton.

  8. 27 across – False! Eton IS NOT a ‘prep school! It is a British Public School, (which is actually a private secondary school).

    A British prep school is a school for under-12yearolds to prepare them to attend a public school. I, in fact, attended such a school as a child.

  9. 3:36

    As Click and Clack might say — especially after hearing a truly impressive SAAB story — Sonia Henie’s Tutu!

  10. 7:24 – no errors or lookups. False start: LENT>PAID.

    New: ALIA Shawkat, Ilana GLAZER, SANSA Stark, INES Sastre, “Tresor.”

    No trouble with the theme.

    No Game of Thrones for me, either; or Arrested Development, Broad City.

  11. Mostly easy Tuesday for me; took 7:53 with no peeks or errors. We had ALIA recently but I already forgot and I spaced on SANSA for about 10 seconds. Didn’t know INES or ILANA either, but managed all of them with crosses and remembering. Cute theme that didn’t really help.

    I was a big fan of Game of Thrones, but they could’ve skipped the zombies and the zombie flying dragon was just jumping the shark.

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