LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Dec 2017, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Hanukkah

We have an aptly-themed puzzle for Hanukkah holiday, which starts at sunset this evening:

  • 61A. Two-millennia-old tradition that begins at sunset tonight : HANUKKAH
  • 17A. Potato __: 61-Across dish : PANCAKES
  • 19A. Items in a 59-Across lit for 61-Across : CANDLES
  • 37A. Traditional 61-Across surprise, aptly boxed, and spelled with the only four letters of the alphabet that don’t appear elsewhere in this grid : GIFT
  • 59A. 61-Across centerpiece : MENORAH

Bill’s time: 5m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. 1960s presidential monogram : LBJ

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.

4. Gremlins and Pacers : AMCS

The Gremlin is a subcompact car that was made by AMC in the 1970s. The Gremlin was positioned to compete with the Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto from the US, and with imports like the VW Beetle and Toyota Corona. On the list of ex-Gremlin drivers are Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush.

The AMC Pacer is an iconic car from the seventies. The Pacer has big glass windows leading to it being nicknamed “the Flying Fish Bowl” by “Car and Driver” magazine.

8. Lands’ End rival : LL BEAN

L.L.Bean (note the lack of spaces in the company name) was founded back in 1912 in Freeport, Maine as a company selling its own line of waterproof boots. The founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, gave his name to the enterprise. Right from the start, L.L.Bean focused on mail-order and sold from a circular he distributed and then from a catalog. Defects in the initial design led to 90% of the first boots sold being returned, and the company made good on its guarantee to replace them or give back the money paid.

17. Potato __: 61-Across dish : PANCAKES
(61A. Two-millennia-old tradition that begins at sunset tonight : HANUKKAH)

A latke is a delicious potato pancake (I’m Irish … so anything made with potato is delicious!). Latkes are traditional fare served by many celebrating the Hanukkah festival.

20. Novelist Ferber : EDNA

Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successfully for the stage and/or big screen.

23. Wife of Jacob : LEAH

According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

25. Rebecca of “Risky Business” : DE MORNAY

Actress Rebecca De Mornay made a name for herself playing the lead opposite a young Tom Cruise in 1983’s “Risky Business”. After filming the movie, Cruise and De Mornay lived together for a while in New York. For me, her most memorable role was the evil nanny in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”.

“Risky Business” is a very entertaining 1983 romcom starring Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay. This was an important movie for Cruise, as it really launched his film career. And, everyone remembers Cruise dancing in a pink dress shirt, briefs and socks to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll”. Great stuff …

29. “¿__ pasa?” : QUE

In Spanish, “que pasa?” translates literally as “what happened?” but is used to mean “how have things been going with you?”.

32. One lacking manners : BOOR

Back in the early 1500s, a “boor” was a rustic person, a peasant farmer, someone associated with the countryside. The term ultimately comes from the Latin “bos” meaning “cow, ox”. By the mid-1500s, someone described as boorish was considered rude in manner, which is our usage today.

38. Range dividing Europe and Asia : URALS

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

40. Rx items : MEDS

There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

42. Long-finned tunas : ALBACORES

Skipjack tuna would be called medium-sized, growing to about three feet long. Albacore tuna is a little larger.

49. Nash priest, not beast : ONE-L LAMA

The poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one for size:

The one-L lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-L llama,
He’s a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-L lllama.

59. 61-Across centerpiece : MENORAH
61. Two-millennia-old tradition that begins at sunset tonight : HANUKKAH

The term “Hanukkah” derives from the Hebrew for “to dedicate”. Hanukkah is a holiday lasting eight days that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem after successful Jewish revolt against the Seleucids in the 2nd-century BCE. The story of Hanukkah includes the miracle of the one-day supply of oil that kept the menorah alight for eight days.

There is a seven-branched menorah used symbolically in ancient temples. However, the Hanukkah menorah is a nine-branched lampstand that is lit during the eight-day holiday called Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. “Menorah” is the Hebrew word for “lamp”.

64. Greek love god : EROS

As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, and Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male. The Roman equivalent of Aphrodite was Venus, and the equivalent of Eros was Cupid.

66. Figured (out) : SUSSED

The verb “to suss” means “to figure out”. The term originated in the 1950s as police slang, a shortening of “to suspect”.

67. Suffix with ransom : -WARE

Ransomware is a piece of software used to extort money from computer users ranging from individuals to complete enterprises. The ransomware usually encrypts the victim’s data, and presents a message demanding a payment in exchange for the key needed to decrypt the data. On famous example is the WannaCry ransomware attack that was launched in may of 2017. Almost a quarter of a million computers were affected in over 150 countries. Actual ransom payments made by victims (to bitcoin accounts) amounted to over $130,000. The attackers have never been brought to justice.

68. Org. with narcs : DEA

“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Down

1. Pop icon Jennifer : LOPEZ

Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez (aka “J. Lo”) has two children with her third husband, singer Marc Anthony. The twins Maximilian and Emme were born in 2008. Reportedly, “People” magazine paid Lopez and Anthony $6 million to introduce the children to the public, making the images taken by the magazine the most expensive celebrity photographs of all time.

3. Barbara Bush’s twin sister : JENNA

Jenna Bush is one of the twin daughters of President George W. Bush. During her father’s 2004 presidential campaign, Jenna met and started dating Henry Hager who was a White House aide for Deputy chief of staff Karl Rove. The couple were married in 2008.

4. Legal org. : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA)

7. Bagel seed : SESAME

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

9. Actor Cariou : LEN

Len Cariou is a Canadian actor who is famous for his Broadway portrayal of “Sweeney Todd”. I most recognize him from supporting roles in “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Thirteen Days”, two great movies.

11. She, in Paree : ELLE

“Paree” is a nickname used sometimes in English for “Paris”. The word “Paree” represents the French pronunciation of the city name.

13. Quick snack : NOSH

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means snack, or as a verb meaning to eat between meals.

18. Hardhearted : CALLOUS

Our adjective “callous”, meaning “hardhearted”, comes from the Latin “callus” meaning “hard skin”. We still use the term “callus” in English for a hardened or thickened part of the skin.

22. Actor Voight : JON

Actor Jon Voight’s breakthrough role was Joe Buck, in the 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy”. Voight is the father of fellow actress Angelina Jolie.

28. Annie, notably : ORPHAN

“Little Orphan Annie” is a comic strip created in 1924 by Harold Gray. The title was taken from a poem written in 1885 by James Whitcomb Riley called “Little Orphant Annie” (and yes, that spelling “orphant” is correct). Strangely enough, the original name of the poem was “Little Orphant Allie”, changed forever at its third printing, purely because of a typesetter’s error!

30. Addresses after “http://” : URLS

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

32. Dutch South African : BOER

“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

36. Mormon sch. : BYU

Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah has about 34.000 students on campus making it the largest religious university in the country. The school was founded in 1875 by Brigham Young, then President of the Mormon Church.

43. University founder Stanford : LELAND

Leland Stanford became a very successful businessman in California after moving there from New York during the Gold Rush. Stanford then served as governor of the state for two years, and later US Senator for California. He founded the Leland Stanford Junior University in memory of his teenage son who died of typhoid fever while the family was travelling in Italy in 1884. The university opened its doors for business in 1891, and the first student admitted was none other than Herbert Hoover, the man would become the 31st President of the US.

45. Swiss peak : ALP

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

46. Kidney-shaped nut : CASHEW

The cashew is the seed of the cashew tree. The pulp of the cashew tree’s fruit (the cashew apple) is also consumed, usually processed into a fruit drink or distilled as a liquor.

47. 1998 Masters champ Mark : O’MEARA

Mark O’Meara is an American golfer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is known as one of the American players who competes in international tournaments more than most, and has a reputation as a real gentleman all around the world.

48. Philadelphia suburb : RADNOR

Radnor, Pennsylvania is a town lying 20 miles northeast of downtown Philadelphia. Radnor is named for the town of Radnor in Wales. Fans of the 1940 movie “The Philadelphia Story” might note that the original play of the same name was set in Radnor.

53. Actor Milo : O’SHEA

Milo O’Shea was a great Irish character actor from Dublin who has appeared in everything from “Romeo and Juliet” to “The West Wing”. O’Shea passed away in 2013, in New York City.

54. Home of Iowa State : AMES

The Iowa city of Ames was founded as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad in 1864. It was named for US Congressman Oakes Ames from the state of Massachusetts in honor of the role that Ames played in the building of the transcontinental railroad.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. 1960s presidential monogram : LBJ
4. Gremlins and Pacers : AMCS
8. Lands’ End rival : LL BEAN
14. World Cup cry : OLE!
15. Naked : BARE
16. Cross-referencing phrase : SEE ALSO
17. Potato __: 61-Across dish : PANCAKES
19. Items in a 59-Across lit for 61-Across : CANDLES
20. Novelist Ferber : EDNA
21. Key with four sharps : E MAJOR
23. Wife of Jacob : LEAH
24. Fervor : ZEAL
25. Rebecca of “Risky Business” : DE MORNAY
27. Relaxed condition : LOOSENESS
29. “¿__ pasa?” : QUE
32. One lacking manners : BOOR
34. Cowboy boot attachments : SPURS
36. Pack in cartons : BOX UP
37. Traditional 61-Across surprise, aptly boxed, and spelled with the only four letters of the alphabet that don’t appear elsewhere in this grid : GIFT
38. Range dividing Europe and Asia : URALS
39. “You gotta be kidding” : YEESH
40. Rx items : MEDS
41. Coffee server : URN
42. Long-finned tunas : ALBACORES
49. Nash priest, not beast : ONE-L LAMA
50. Roughly : OR SO
54. Make __ dash for : A MAD
57. Expired : LAPSED
58. Contented sounds : AAHS
59. 61-Across centerpiece : MENORAH
61. Two-millennia-old tradition that begins at sunset tonight : HANUKKAH
63. Football rushing plays : END RUNS
64. Greek love god : EROS
65. December 24, e.g. : EVE
66. Figured (out) : SUSSED
67. Suffix with ransom : -WARE
68. Org. with narcs : DEA

Down

1. Pop icon Jennifer : LOPEZ
2. Razor insert : BLADE
3. Barbara Bush’s twin sister : JENNA
4. Legal org. : ABA
5. Manage somehow : MAKE DO
6. Sweet liqueurs : CREMES
7. Bagel seed : SESAME
8. Finds out : LEARNS
9. Actor Cariou : LEN
10. In a shoddy way : BADLY
11. She, in Paree : ELLE
12. On an ocean liner : ASEA
13. Quick snack : NOSH
16. Music for a film : SCORE
18. Hardhearted : CALLOUS
22. Actor Voight : JON
26. Take for granted : ASSUME
28. Annie, notably : ORPHAN
29. Campus hangout : QUAD
30. Addresses after “http://” : URLS
31. Letter before tee : ESS
32. Dutch South African : BOER
33. Plow-pulling team : OXEN
35. Washing machine cycle : PRESOAK
36. Mormon sch. : BYU
43. University founder Stanford : LELAND
44. Malaise, with “the” : BLAHS
45. Swiss peak : ALP
46. Kidney-shaped nut : CASHEW
47. 1998 Masters champ Mark : O’MEARA
48. Philadelphia suburb : RADNOR
49. Smells : ODORS
51. Gathered leaves : RAKED
52. Trim whiskers : SHAVE
53. Actor Milo : O’SHEA
54. Home of Iowa State : AMES
55. Diner handout : MENU
56. Added stipulations : ANDS
60. Regret : RUE
62. “__ as directed” : USE

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