LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Dec 2017, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Agnes Davidson & C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: What’s for Dessert?

Each of today’s themed answers includes a type of dessert as a hidden word:
Each of today’s themed answers includes a type of dessert as a hidden word:

  • 59A. Dinner table question answered by this puzzle’s circled letters : WHAT’S FOR DESSERT?
  • 17A. Polygraph procedure : LIE DETECTOR TEST (hiding “torte”)
  • 23A. Aunt Bee’s boy : OPIE TAYLOR (hiding “pie”)
  • 38A. Five-card draw variation : JACKS OR BETTER (hiding “sorbet”)
  • 48A. Tract : PLOT OF LAND (hiding “flan”)

Bill’s time: 5m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Jeans joints : SEAMS

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

14. Major deity in Indonesia : ALLAH

The name “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So “Allah” can be translated as “God”.

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, and is the country with the largest population of Muslims. And, Indonesia has an amazing 17,508 islands.

17. Polygraph procedure : LIE DETECTOR TEST

We are most familiar with the term “polygraph” as the generic name for a lie detector instrument. This usage began in 1921, although the term had been around since the end of the 18th century. Back then, a polygraph was a mechanical device use to make multiple copies as something was written or drawn. Famously, Thomas Jefferson used a polygraph to preserve copies of letters that he wrote to correspondents.

21. Latte option : MOCHA

Mocha is a port city in Yemen on the Red Sea and was once the principal port for the capital city of Sana’a. Mocha was the major marketplace in the world for coffee until the 1600s, and gave its name to the Mocha coffee bean, which in turn gave it’s name to the mocha brown color, and to the flavor of coffee infused with chocolate.

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

23. Aunt Bee’s boy : OPIE TAYLOR

Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier). Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

28. Jicama or ginseng : ROOT

The plant called the jícama is also known as the Mexican yam and Mexican turnip. Jícama is grown for its tuberous root. The tuber’s interior is usually eaten raw.

The word “ginseng” comes from a Chinese term meaning “man root”. The term is used as the root of ginseng is forked and is said to resemble the legs of a man.

31. Two-time Oscar-winning director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

32. Stock market debut, initially : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

35. St. Peter holds its keys : HEAVEN

In the Christian tradition, Saint Peter is often depicted as the keeper of the gates of heaven. This depiction arises from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew:

I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

38. Five-card draw variation : JACKS OR BETTER

That would be poker.

42. Sidekick who rode Scout : TONTO

Famously, the Lone Ranger’s horse was called Silver and Tonto’s mount was named Scout. In the earlier shows, Tonto rode a horse called White Feller.

44. Article in Der Spiegel : EIN

“Der Spiegel” is a very successful German magazine found on newsstands all over Europe. The name “Der Spiegel” translates from German into “the Mirror”.

45. Veterinarian’s subj. : ANAT

“Vet” is an abbreviation for “veterinarian”, a professional who treat animals for disease and injury. The word “veterinary” comes from the Latin “veterinae” meaning “working animals, beasts of burden”.

56. Disney World’s county : ORANGE

Orange County, Florida used to be known as Mosquito County. It was renamed to Orange County in honor of the county’s main product. The county seat is Orlando.

The Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Florida receives more visitors annually than any other theme park in the whole world. The Magic Kingdom alone received about 17½ million visitors in 2012, and that’s not including the visitors to nearby Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

59. Dinner table question answered by this puzzle’s circled letters : WHAT’S FOR DESSERT?

Our word “dessert” comes from the French verb “desservir” meaning “to clear the table”. The idea is that dessert is usually the the last course to be cleared from the table.

64. Ancestry.com diagram : TREE

Ancestry.com is the largest commercial genealogy company in the world. It operates out of Provo, Utah.

67. “Size matters not” Jedi master : YODA

Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the “Star Wars” series of films. Yoda’s voice is provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of “Muppets” fame.

68. Out of style : PASSE

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”.

Down

1. Black Friday events : SALES

In the world of retail, “Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Black Friday is when many stores start the holiday shopping season, and so offer deep discounts to get ahead of the competition.

2. Magical mixture : ELIXIR

An elixir is a solution of alcohol and water that is used to deliver a medicine. The term “elixir” can also be used to mean a medicine that has the power to cure all ills.

3. Syrian city on the Silk Road : ALEPPO

Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and is located not far from Damascus, the nation’s capital. Aleppo owes it size and history of prosperity to its location at the end of the Silk Road, the trade route that linked Asia to Europe (and other locations). The Suez Canal was opened up in 1869 bringing a new route for transport of goods, and so Aleppo’s prosperity declined over the past one hundred years or so. The city’s population has suffered terribly since the start of the Syrian Civil War, with the Battle of Aleppo raging from 2012 to 2016.

5. Author Silverstein : SHEL

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “The Giving Tree”, which was first published in 1964. “The Giving Tree” tells of a young boy who has a special relationship with a tree in a forest. The message of the book seems to be that the tree provides the little boy with everything he needs.

6. One, for Monet : UNE

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works.

7. Mythical big bird : ROC

The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.

8. Apple pie spice : NUTMEG

The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.

9. Supercilious type : SNOOT

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout” and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

“Supercilious” is a such a lovely-sounding word, with a not-so-lovely meaning. Someone described as supercilious is lofty with pride, haughtily contemptuous. The term derives from the Latin “supercilium” meaning “eyebrow” (actually “above the eyelid), the idea being that a person is prone to raise his or her eyebrows to express haughtiness.

12. Video game letters : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

13. Life-saving pro : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

18. General on Chinese menus : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

19. Early TV maker : RCA

During WWI, the US government actively discouraged the loss of certain technologies to other countries, including allies. The developing wireless technologies were considered to be particularly important by the army and navy. The government prevented the General Electric Company from selling equipment to the British Marconi Company, and instead facilitated the purchase by GE of the American Marconi subsidiary. This purchase led to GE forming the Radio Corporation of America that we know today as RCA.

24. __ Robles, California : PASO

Paso Robles is a lovely little city in San Luis Obispo County, California. Paso Robles is home to many, many wineries. The name Paso Robles translates from Spanish as “The Pass of the Oaks”.

25. Subject of Newton’s first law : INERTIA

Newton’s first law of motion states that a body that is moving maintains the same velocity unless it is acted upon by an external force. That resistance to changing velocity is known as “inertia”.

27. Director Howard : RON

Ron Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show”. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “The Da Vinci Code” and “A Beautiful Mind”, the latter earning Howard a Best Director Oscar.

30. Dealer’s tip : TOKE

“Toke” is an informal term for a tip given to a dealer or other employee at a casino.

34. Negev Desert land: Abbr. : ISR

The Negev is a desert region in southern Israel. The largest city in the Negev is Beersheba. The Negev covers about 4,700 square miles, which is about 55% of Israel’s landmass.

36. Soul singer James : ETTA

Etta Jones was a jazz singer, sometimes known as the “jazz musician’s jazz singer”. Because she has a similar name to Etta James, Jones was often confused with the more popular singer. Jones never really had any huge commercial success though, despite the respect that she engendered within the inner sanctums of the jazz world.

38. “Just Visiting” Monopoly square : JAIL

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

40. City on the Rhine : BONN

After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany. That choice was promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the capital was moved to Berlin.

44. Matador’s opponent : EL TORO

“Matador” is a Spanish word used in English for a bullfighter, although the term isn’t used in the same way in Spanish. The equivalent in Spanish is “torero”. “Matador” translates aptly enough as “killer”.

46. “Gunsmoke” star James : ARNESS

James Arness played the role of Matt Dillon, Marshal of Dodge City, on “Gunsmoke” for twenty years. If you count the occasions when he reprised the role for specials, he actually performed as Matt Dillon over five decades. Did you know that Peter Graves, the actor who played Jim Phelps on “Mission: Impossible”, his real name was Peter Arness? He and James were brothers.

47. Mosul Dam’s river : TIGRIS

Mosul is located in northern Iraq and is the third largest city in the country, after Baghdad and Basra. Mosul is located on the west bank of the Tigris river, opposite the ruins of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh in the east bank.

50. Some NHL endings : OTS

In overtime (in OT)

51. Old Glory’s star count : FIFTY

The person who coined the phrase “Old Glory” with reference to the American flag was Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts. As Driver was leaving on an 1831 voyage aboard the brig Charles Doggett, he unfurled the American flag that he had just been given by a group of friends. As the flag caught the breeze, he uttered the words, “Old Glory!”. That’s the story anyway. On that same voyage, Charles Doggett rescued the famous mutineers of the HMS Bounty, after he encountered them on Pitcairn Island.

52. Female deer : DOE

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

54. Davis of “All About Eve” : BETTE

I must confess that I have a problem watching movies starring Bette Davis. I think I must have seen her play one of her more sinister roles when I was a kid and it gave me nightmares or something. So, I have never seen the 1950 classic “All About Eve”, given that Bette Davis gets top billing. But, the title role of Eve Harrington was played by Anne Baxter, and Ms Baxter’s movies I do enjoy. Coincidentally, on the epic television series “Hotel”, when Bette Davis became ill, it was Anne Baxter who was chosen to take on her role.

57. Invitation request : RSVP

RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer please”.

58. Much of the Silk Road is in it : ASIA

The Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

59. Chicago-based cable superstation : WGN

WGN America is a cable television network based in Chicago. The WGN name has long been associated with Chicago, and is the initialism for the former slogan of the Chicago Tribune: “World’s Greatest Newspaper”.

62. Org. in the 2000 film “Traffic” : DEA

The 2000 film “Traffic” explores the illegal drug trade. The movie is adapted from a 1989 British TV miniseries called “Traffik”. There was a lso 2004 American TV miniseries produced called “Traffic”, which was based on both the prior TV show and the movie.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Jeans joints : SEAMS
6. Big coffee holders : URNS
10. Window unit : PANE
14. Major deity in Indonesia : ALLAH
15. Sentence structure element : NOUN
16. Entry on a list : ITEM
17. Polygraph procedure : LIE DETECTOR TEST
20. Boots from school : EXPELS
21. Latte option : MOCHA
22. Small swallow : SIP
23. Aunt Bee’s boy : OPIE TAYLOR
28. Jicama or ginseng : ROOT
31. Two-time Oscar-winning director Lee : ANG
32. Stock market debut, initially : IPO
33. Racket : NOISE
35. St. Peter holds its keys : HEAVEN
38. Five-card draw variation : JACKS OR BETTER
41. Professional pursuit : CAREER
42. Sidekick who rode Scout : TONTO
43. Ventilate : AIR
44. Article in Der Spiegel : EIN
45. Veterinarian’s subj. : ANAT
48. Tract : PLOT OF LAND
53. Tease : RIB
55. “I understand!” : GOT IT!
56. Disney World’s county : ORANGE
59. Dinner table question answered by this puzzle’s circled letters : WHAT’S FOR DESSERT?
63. No longer here : GONE
64. Ancestry.com diagram : TREE
65. Pop by : VISIT
66. They catch fish : NETS
67. “Size matters not” Jedi master : YODA
68. Out of style : PASSE

Down

1. Black Friday events : SALES
2. Magical mixture : ELIXIR
3. Syrian city on the Silk Road : ALEPPO
4. Conjured up : MADE
5. Author Silverstein : SHEL
6. One, for Monet : UNE
7. Mythical big bird : ROC
8. Apple pie spice : NUTMEG
9. Supercilious type : SNOOT
10. Brief and forceful : PITHY
11. Totally creamed : ATE ALIVE
12. Video game letters : NES
13. Life-saving pro : EMT
18. General on Chinese menus : TSO
19. Early TV maker : RCA
24. __ Robles, California : PASO
25. Subject of Newton’s first law : INERTIA
26. “0” button letters : OPER
27. Director Howard : RON
29. It may be enough : ONCE
30. Dealer’s tip : TOKE
34. Negev Desert land: Abbr. : ISR
35. Lady bird : HEN
36. Soul singer James : ETTA
37. Oceans : A TON
38. “Just Visiting” Monopoly square : JAIL
39. Overbearing : ARROGANT
40. City on the Rhine : BONN
41. Gas tank cover : CAP
44. Matador’s opponent : EL TORO
46. “Gunsmoke” star James : ARNESS
47. Mosul Dam’s river : TIGRIS
49. Convenient bags : TOTES
50. Some NHL endings : OTS
51. Old Glory’s star count : FIFTY
52. Female deer : DOE
54. Davis of “All About Eve” : BETTE
57. Invitation request : RSVP
58. Much of the Silk Road is in it : ASIA
59. Chicago-based cable superstation : WGN
60. Tool that gets ground up : HOE
61. Flushed : RED
62. Org. in the 2000 film “Traffic” : DEA

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