LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Dec 2017, Monday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Outerwear

The OUTER, circled letters in each of today’s themed answers give us items of OUTERWEAR:

  • 56A. Garment fittingly represented by this puzzle’s circles : OUTERWEAR
  • 16A. Gift-wrapping need : CLEAR TAPE (giving “cape”)
  • 37A. Hipster : COOL CAT (giving “coat”)
  • 10D. Outdoor lot for cars : PARKING AREA (giving “parka”)
  • 23D. “Blurred Lines” singer : ROBIN THICKE (giving “robe”)

Bill’s time: 5m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9. Rectangular Apple : IPAD

The groundbreaking iPad was introduced by Apple in 2010. The iOS-based iPads dominated the market for tablet computers until 2013, when Android-based tablets (manufactured by several companies) took over the number-one spot.

16. Gift-wrapping need : CLEAR TAPE (giving “cape”)

Scotch Tape is a brand of adhesive tape made by 3M. “Scotch Tape” is one of those brand names that has become so used widely that it has become a generic term for the product. The equivalent brand name of product that we use over in Ireland is Sellotape. This British brand also has become a generic term, and so is our equivalent to “Scotch tape”.

18. Country singer Steve : EARLE

Steve Earle is an American songwriter and performer, and someone with a reputation of having lived a hard life. Earle’s brushes with the law and drug addiction problems have earned him the nickname “the hardcore troubadour”.

20. “Mr. November,” for Derek Jeter, e.g. : MONIKER

Derek Jeter played his entire professional baseball career with the New York Yankees, and was the team’s captain. Jeter is the all-time career leader for the Yankees in hits, games played, stolen bases and at bats. He is also the all-time leader in hits by a shortstop in the whole of professional baseball. Jeter’s performances in the postseason earned him the nicknames “Captain Clutch” and “Mr. November”. Jeter retired from the game in 2014.

24. Rep.’s campaign rival : DEM

The modern-day Democratic Party was founded in 1828 when supporters of Andrew Jackson broke away from the former Democratic-Republican Party during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. That date makes the Democratic Party the oldest voter-based political party in the world. Andrew Jackson became the first Democratic US president, in 1829.

The modern-day Republican Party was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists. The party’s name was chosen as a homage to Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Party, which had been subsumed into the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican US president, in 1861. Since then, there have been more US presidents from the Republican party than from any other.

26. Home for a pride : LION’S DEN

A group of lions is known as a “pride”. It’s possible that the term “pride”, in this context, derives from the Latin “”praeda” meaning “prey”.

30. Exile island for Napoleon : ELBA

I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

31. Dance for which “it takes two” : TANGO

The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.

33. JPEG relative : GIF

In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.

The JPEG file format was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), hence the name.

36. Quotable boxer : ALI

Muhammad Ali first used his famous catchphrase “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” before his world title fight against Sonny Liston in 1964. Back then Ali still went by his birth name of Cassius Clay.

39. Duffer’s dream : ACE

A “duffer” is a golfer, and not a very good one.

41. Capital of Yemen : SANA’A

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet in the Yemeni Mountains, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

42. Large First Nations tribe : CREE

The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

“First Nations” is a term used in Canada describing the ethnicity of Native Americans who are neither Inuit nor Métis people.

49. Golf great Ernie : ELS

Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. He is a former World No. 1 and has won four majors: the US Open (1994 & 1997) and the British Open (2002 & 2012).

55. TV host Lake : RICKI

Ricki Lake is perhaps as well known for her “Ricki Lake” talk show, as she is for playing Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 movie “Hairspray”.

Down

5. Place of rapid growth : HOTBED

In gardening terms, a hotbed is an area where decaying matter makes it warmer than its surroundings. The heat is generated by the activity of the organisms responsible for decomposition. The term “hotbed” is used figuratively in describing an environment that incubates some sort of growth or development, as in “a hotbed of activity”.

10. Outdoor lot for cars : PARKING AREA (giving “parka”)

A parka is a hooded jacket, often lined with fur, that is worn in cold weather. The original parka was a pullover design, but nowadays it is usually zipped at the front. “Parka” is the Russian name for the garment , absorbed into English in the late 1700s via the Aleut language.

11. “Inferiority complex” coiner Alfred : ADLER

Alfred Adler was one of the group of medical professionals that founded the psychoanalytic movement. Today, Adler is less famous than his colleague Sigmund Freud.

15. Half a score : TEN

Our verb “to score” meaning “to tally”, comes from the Old Norse “skor”, which is a “mark, notch”. It is likely that items such a livestock were counted by placing a notch in a stick for each set of twenty, hence our use of the noun “score” to mean “twenty”.

21. Last Greek letter : OMEGA

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe when in uppercase. The lowercase omega looks like a Latin W. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron, meaning “little O” (O-micron).

22. “O Pioneers!” author Cather : WILLA

American novelist Willa Cather wrote what’s referred to as the “prairie trilogy”, books that tell the story of Swedish immigrants living in Nebraska. The titles in the trilogy are “O Pioneers!”, “The Song of the Lark” and “My Antonia”. Cather won the Pulitzer Prize for another novel, “One of Ours”, that is set in Nebraska and the French battlefields of WWI.

23. “Blurred Lines” singer : ROBIN THICKE (giving “robe”)

Robin Thicke is a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles who has a pair of showbiz parents. Robin’s Dad is actor Alan Thicke who made his name on the TV show “Growing Pains”. Robin’s mother is singer and actress Gloria Loring. Loring and her husband composed the theme songs for the TV shows “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life”.

27. School near Windsor : ETON

The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself as described in the Fleming novels).

32. Final Four org. : NCAA

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

37. Civil War side: Abbr. : CSA

The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation, and retained the post for the life of the government.

38. Hall’s pop music partner : OATES

Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo who were most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release “Maneater”.

42. Narnia creator : CS LEWIS

Apparently it’s not certain how C. S. Lewis came to choose Narnia as the name of the fantasy world featured in his series of children’s books, including “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. There was an ancient city in Umbria that the Romans called Narnia, but there is no evidence of a link.

46. Salad oil bottles : CRUETS

A cruet is a small glass bottle that holds a condiment or perhaps a dressing. The word “cruet” comes from the Old French word for an earthen pot.

47. Deborah of “The King and I” : KERR

The lovely Deborah Kerr was a Scottish actress who made a real name for herself on the American stage and in Hollywood movies. Despite all her success, and six nominations for a Best Actress Oscar, Kerr never actually won an Academy Award. In 1967 she appeared in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” at the age of 46, making her oldest Bond Girl of all time.

“The King and I” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a book by Margaret Landon called “Anna and the King of Siam” first published in 1944. Landon’s book is based on a true story, told in the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Leonowens was the governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s, and she also taught the king’s wives.

52. “Divergent” films heroine : TRIS

Tris Prior is the protagonist in the “Divergent” series of movies, and is played by actress Shailene Woodley.

The “Divergent” series of movies is based on the “Divergent” novels written by Veronica Roth. The movies and novels are set in a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago called the Divergent Universe. The story is about a citizenry that is divided into five different factions based on personality traits. The critics weren’t crazy about the first movie in the series, but I really enjoyed it …

53. Baby goat : KID

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

57. School in the smallest U.S. state : URI

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as an agricultural school back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus is located in the village of Kingston.

The largest US states by land area are, in order:

  1. Alaska
  2. Texas
  3. California
  4. Montana
  5. New Mexico

The smallest US states are:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Delaware
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Jersey
  5. New Hampshire

60. Color of most pomegranate seeds : RED

The name of the fruit called a “pomegranate” comes from the Latin “pomum” meaning “apple” and “granatum” meaning “seeded”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Cushions for gymnasts : MATS
5. Guard’s shout : HALT!
9. Rectangular Apple : IPAD
13. Tons : A LOT
14. Student’s repetitive cry with a raised hand : OH OH!
15. Sports page news : TRADE
16. Gift-wrapping need : CLEAR TAPE (giving “cape”)
18. Country singer Steve : EARLE
19. Rowdy crowds : MOBS
20. “Mr. November,” for Derek Jeter, e.g. : MONIKER
22. Put pen to paper : WRITE
24. Rep.’s campaign rival : DEM
25. Title for a knight : SIR
26. Home for a pride : LION’S DEN
28. Genesis paradise : EDEN
30. Exile island for Napoleon : ELBA
31. Dance for which “it takes two” : TANGO
33. JPEG relative : GIF
36. Quotable boxer : ALI
37. Hipster : COOL CAT (giving “coat”)
39. Duffer’s dream : ACE
40. Air circulator : FAN
41. Capital of Yemen : SANA’A
42. Large First Nations tribe : CREE
43. “__ does it!” : THAT
45. Meddling type of “driver” who’s not actually driving : BACK SEAT
48. “Never heard of them” : WHO?
49. Golf great Ernie : ELS
51. “Don’t sweat it!” : RELAX!
52. “Is that really your opinion?” : THINK SO?
54. Not wavering in the least : SURE
55. TV host Lake : RICKI
56. Garment fittingly represented by this puzzle’s circles : OUTERWEAR
61. Signed in pen : INKED
62. Leisurely gait : TROT
63. Doing nothing : IDLE
64. Bird’s snack : SEED
65. Drinks slowly : SIPS
66. Dragged to court : SUED

Down

1. Apple computer : MAC
2. Every bit : ALL
3. Little piggy : TOE
4. Staying power : STAMINA
5. Place of rapid growth : HOTBED
6. Light-bulb moments : AHAS
7. Prune, as a branch : LOP
8. Unifying idea : THEME
9. Aggressive poker table words : I RAISE
10. Outdoor lot for cars : PARKING AREA (giving “parka”)
11. “Inferiority complex” coiner Alfred : ADLER
12. Doe or stag : DEER
15. Half a score : TEN
17. Goes bad : ROTS
21. Last Greek letter : OMEGA
22. “O Pioneers!” author Cather : WILLA
23. “Blurred Lines” singer : ROBIN THICKE (giving “robe”)
24. Paternity test sites : DNA LABS
26. One of many that fall in the fall : LEAF
27. School near Windsor : ETON
29. Tiny speck : DOT
32. Final Four org. : NCAA
34. Mountaineer’s tool : ICE AX
35. Thirds of a yard : FEET
37. Civil War side: Abbr. : CSA
38. Hall’s pop music partner : OATES
42. Narnia creator : CS LEWIS
44. Tooted one’s horn : HONKED
46. Salad oil bottles : CRUETS
47. Deborah of “The King and I” : KERR
48. Complain with self-pity : WHINE
50. Ransacks : LOOTS
52. “Divergent” films heroine : TRIS
53. Baby goat : KID
54. “Enough!” : STOP!
57. School in the smallest U.S. state : URI
58. End of a school address : EDU
59. Malt beverage : ALE
60. Color of most pomegranate seeds : RED

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Dec 2017, Monday”

  1. Didn’t get the theme at all. Had “easy” before THAT (does it). SANAA. Never heard of “Blurred Lines” or TRIS. Too old.

    Pretty bad for a Monday.

  2. Easy Monday for me, though I originally had caRR instead of Kerr.

    I don’t know how some of the others did on the meta, but I don’t think I even understand the explanation. Guess I have to think more like a constructor.

    Have a great day yall.

    1. @Megan
      I didn’t get anywhere on the meta, per usual.

      As far as an explanation goes, they’re mainly cross-references that weren’t properly noted:

      1. Most obvious (and what I did see) is that 46-A should properly be clued [Part 4 of the quip], as this is part of the quote.

      2. 1-A has three dots in the clue, which would be improper. If we search, 6-A is the other half and should be clued as such (“… and the other half” or some such thing) for the three dots to make sense.

      3. 42-D makes no sense as a clue (“Another”). A matching clue is 11-D, which must be the original reference.

      4. 58-A references 74-A, but 74-A doesn’t refer to 58-A but to a Christmas entity.

      Put the wrongly clued things in order from top-to-bottom: OSCAR, OCTOPUS, PAGE, SANTA, and then take the first initials and you get the contest answer.

      I don’t know if that helps (it’s another meta that I don’t get how ANYONE could get), but the typical terse language they use isn’t too befitting to explain this one.

      1. Well, as I said in a late post yesterday, I did send in the right answer (but it now appears that I’m not getting my mug, damn it ???). FWIW, I had the answer within a couple of minutes of finishing the puzzle, but I spent a couple of days trying to reconcile the OCTOPUS / UNICORN thing: it took me that long to decide that the word “Another” in the second clue was actually a problem of the same magnitude as the others.

      2. I just reviewed the comments about the meta on Friday’s WSJ blog and found them most interesting. Some of the posters made extremely creative discoveries in the puzzle – things I would never have seen – that, unfortunately, turned out to be unhelpful.

        I think a fair amount of luck comes into play in doing the metas. As I recall, early on, I read the clue for 59A (“A crossword editor has to be careful in changing one – unlike this puzzle’s editor, who was careless four times herein”) and immediately thought of “OOPS” (which has four letters and expresses one’s reaction to making a careless mistake). So, a stroke of luck: from then on, I was predisposed to look for those four letters associated with clues that might have been changed unwisely … and, in short order, I found three of them. All that remained was to decide how to get the second “O”. For a while, I looked at the clue for 28D (“Words sworn by”), which seemed to me to be oddly phrased, but a Google search indicated that it was kosher as a clue for “OATH”, so I was left with 11D (“Creature with eight arms”) as the altered clue and 42D (“Another creature named with a numerical prefix” => “UNICORN”) as the problematic one (and I still think that finding them in a puzzle that I was doing would not strike me as odd … but of course I’m not a puzzle editor).

        I think I’m going to make copies of all the meta explanations that I have seen so far and review them once a week; surely, in time, the setters will run out of new ways to bewilder us … ?

  3. Jane, as above, quite a tricky puzzle, for a Monday. I had a few missteps, but enjoyed it nevertheless. ( One word ? ). Winter is finally here, and the white stuff is on the ground.

    Carrie, and others, I am really sad and sorry to hear of all the fires in Ca. I hope things improve fast for the better. My sincere sympathies.

    CLEAR TAPE::: Bill, as you may be undoubtedly aware of, cellophane was an older technology, which involved a clear glassy cellulose layer, which is less durable. The Scotch ( tm@R 3 M ), or the Sellophane (tm@R, in UK, by Henkel ) is a much later technology, and more advanced.

    There is very nice Google Doodle on Max Born ( 1954 Nobelist ) . I had the honor of meeting one of his co-authors Emil Wolf, at the Univ. of Rochester NY in 1972.

    Have a nice day, all you folks,

  4. @Glenn … I’ve now finished three of the older BEQ puzzles that you posted: BEQ #10 (2009/05/22): 39:04, with one more or less avoidable error. BEQ #100 (2011/01/20): 36:41, no errors. BEQ #221 (2013/06/10): 18:55, no errors. The first two of these seemed pretty difficult, but my times on them are pretty much in line with my times on later BEQ’s. I will probably download some more of his puzzles, but I’m going to have to cut back in order to get back out and catch up on some of the exercise I haven’t been getting …

  5. Hi gang! ?
    Peaceful Monday solve. No errors, but I did have OTOE before CREE. I thought the term First Nations referred to U.S. tribes as well as Canadian.

    GLAD to see that no one responded to my Sunday comments, as I figured it out shortly after posting and felt stoopid at having asked!!! ? Of course — GRACE is a blessing of a meal, and “It’s not always good” referred to MIXED BLESSING — obviously!!! That was the clue answer. Yikes ?!!
    Thank you Vidwan for the kind thoughts! Many people have come forth in support of my nephew — including some surprising ones. So, the cliché is true — we find out what people are really made of in times of tragedy. ?
    Be well~~™?

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