LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Dec 2017, Monday

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Constructed by: Peter Koetters
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Brats

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Each of today’s themed answers ends with a type of sausage, a relative of a BRAT:

  • 1D. Babysitting nightmares … or relatives of the ends of the four longest puzzle answers : BRATS
  • 20A. Piltdown Man, purportedly : THE MISSING LINK
  • 26A. Really skimpy, like the polka-dot bikini of song : TEENIE-WEENIE
  • 42A. Hangover remedy, so they say : HAIR OF THE DOG
  • 50A. “Honestly speaking … ” : TO BE QUITE FRANK

Bill’s time: 5m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey __ : OSWALD

Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin who killed President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Oswald served with the US Marines from 1956 until 1959. One month after leaving the military, Oswald traveled to the Soviet Union via a circuitous route across the Atlantic and Europe. He entered the Soviet Union on a visa that was only valid for one week, but once in the country he made it clear that he wanted to stay. Oswald settled in Minsk for a few years, working there as a lathe operator and living in government-subsidized housing. In 1961, Oswald married a 19-year-old Russian student and the couple had a baby girl a year later. Oswald grew tired of life in Russia though, so he and his new family moved to the US in 1962, settling in the Dallas area. Oswald’s widow still lives in Texas.

10. Mediterranean exile isle : ELBA

Napoléon Bonaparte was a military professional from Corsica who rose to prominence after the French Revolution during the French First Republic. He took over the country in 1799 in a coup d’état and installed himself as First Consul. Soon after, he led France in the Napoleonic Wars, conflicts between the growing French Empire and a series of opposing coalitions. He was eventually defeated at the Battle of Leipzig and was forced into exile on the Italian island of Elba off the Tuscan coast. Napoleon escaped in 1815 and regained power, only to be finally defeated a few months later at the Battle of Waterloo. The British dispatched him to the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic where he lived out the last six years of his life as a prisoner.

19. New Mexico art community : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began to settle in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

20. Piltdown Man, purportedly : THE MISSING LINK

The Piltdown Man hoax is the most famous deception in the world of paleontology. The hoax played out in 1912 when a Charles Dawson announced that he had a skull fragment that was discovered at a gravel pit near the village of Piltdown in East Sussex in England. Most of the scientific community believed this was the fossilized remains of a form of man unknown up to that point. It was forty years later when it was determined that the skull fragment was in fact a composite of a medieval human skull, a 500-year old orangutan and some fossilized chimpanzee teeth. No one is really sure who pulled off the hoax, but I believe the police are looking at the usual suspects …

The term “missing link” is usually applied to the concept that there existed some form of animal that is a hybrid between apes and humans. The idea that there was some “apeman” is discounted these days by the scientific community, which now favors the theory of evolution.

26. Really skimpy, like the polka-dot bikini of song : TEENIE-WEENIE

“Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” was first released in 1960, and was a number one hit that year for Brian Hyland. At the time, bikini bathing suits were considered very risque in society, but their popularity grew dramatically, with the song getting a lot of the credit for the new-found acceptance.

34. Finance guru Suze : ORMAN

Suze Orman is a financial advisor who has gotten her message out on television, in books and on the speaking circuit. She often appears on PBS, and indeed is the most successful fundraiser public television has ever had.

35. Bearded Serengeti critter : GNU

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

39. Biblical craft : ARK

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

41. Dugout craft : CANOE

The boat know as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

42. Hangover remedy, so they say : HAIR OF THE DOG

The “hair of the dog” is an alcoholic drink that is taken to lessen the symptoms of an existing hangover. The expression is written more completely as “the hair of the dog that bit you”. It originated with the belief that if a dog bit someone, placing some hairs of the dog into the wound who fend off the potential of rabies. The more contemporary practise is to treat a hangover with a glass of the same alcoholic drink that caused it in the first place.

45. Playwright Chekhov : ANTON

Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

46. What drinks like Jolt provide : ENERGY

Jolt Cola is a sugary beverage with a whole load of caffeine in it (hence the name “Jolt”).

59. Big app for Apple : ITUNES

iTunes is a very, very successful software application from Apple. It’s basically a media player that works on platforms like the iPad, iPhone and iPod. It connects seamlessly to the iTunes store, where you can spend all kinds of money.

60. Angsty rock genre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

62. Deputized bands : POSSES

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

Down

5. Credit __: Zurich bank : SUISSE

Credit Suisse is a financial services company that was founded in 1856 by one Alfred Escher. The original purpose of Credit Suisse (then known as the “Swiss Credit Institution”) was to fund the buildout of the Swiss rail network.

8. Writer Uris : LEON

Leon Uris is an American writer. Uris’s most famous books are “Exodus” and “Trinity”, two excellent stories, in my humble opinion …

9. Bit of wine sediment : DREG

The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), are also called “lees”.

22. Bank’s claim : LIEN

A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

27. Nine-piece combo : NONET

A nonet is a piece of music requiring nine musicians for a performance. The term is also used for the group itself.

28. “When __ Eyes Are Smiling” : IRISH

“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” is an American song of tribute to Ireland that dates back to 1912. The lyrics were written by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr., and the tune was composed by Ernest Ball.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure ’tis like a morn in spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,
And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.

31. Nebraska city : OMAHA

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. It is located on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

32. “Pulp Fiction” writer/director Quentin : TARANTINO

I”m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think “Pulp Fiction” is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence it’s really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta’s career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly received performances.

33. Luau lamp : TIKI TORCH

A tiki torch is a bamboo torch that’s very commonly used in Tiki culture. Tiki culture is a relatively modern invention dating from the 20th century, and is the experience created in Polynesian-style restaurants. The word “Tiki” is borrowed from Polynesia.

37. TV dial letters : UHF

TV frequencies here in North America are divided into two bands. The VHF band covers channels 2 through 13; the UHF band covers channels 14 through 83.

43. Paso __: California wine city : ROBLES

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”.

44. Political pundit Myers : DEE DEE

Dee Dee Myers was a very capable White House Press Secretary in the first two years of the Clinton administration, and was the first woman to hold that post. After leaving the White House, Myers acted as a consultant on the TV show “The West Wing”, and I am sure helped add that touch of authenticity to a great television program.

48. Garden-guarding figurine : GNOME

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable so we now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

52. Golden rule preposition : UNTO

The Golden Rule is also known as the ethic of reciprocity, and is a basis for the concept of human rights. A version of the rule used in the Christian tradition is attributed to Jesus:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

53. Irreverent radio host Don : IMUS

Don Imus’s syndicated radio show “Imus in the Morning” used to broadcast from New York City. Imus has been described as a “shock jock”, a disc jockey who deliberately uses provocative language and humor that many would find offensive . I’m not a big fan of shock jocks …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “See ya” : BYE
4. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey __ : OSWALD
10. Mediterranean exile isle : ELBA
14. Managed : RAN
15. Rain, to a picnic : RUINER
16. Stereotypical techie : NERD
17. Play part : ACT
18. Innermost foot digit : BIG TOE
19. New Mexico art community : TAOS
20. Piltdown Man, purportedly : THE MISSING LINK
23. Vain gaits : STRUTS
24. Less hospitable : ICIER
26. Really skimpy, like the polka-dot bikini of song : TEENIE-WEENIE
31. River rollicker : OTTER
34. Finance guru Suze : ORMAN
35. Bearded Serengeti critter : GNU
36. Word after milk or meter : MAID
37. Confederacy foe : UNION
38. Stock holders? : POTS
39. Biblical craft : ARK
40. Where the heart is : CHEST
41. Dugout craft : CANOE
42. Hangover remedy, so they say : HAIR OF THE DOG
45. Playwright Chekhov : ANTON
46. What drinks like Jolt provide : ENERGY
50. “Honestly speaking … ” : TO BE QUITE FRANK …
55. Birth announcement word : GIRL
56. Like the bed of someone rushing out : UNMADE
57. Cell occupant : CON
58. A single time : ONCE
59. Big app for Apple : ITUNES
60. Angsty rock genre : EMO
61. Amazed sounds : OOHS
62. Deputized bands : POSSES
63. Lawn coating : DEW

Down

1. Babysitting nightmares … or relatives of the ends of the four longest puzzle answers : BRATS
2. Luxury boat : YACHT
3. Go in : ENTER
4. Moon, e.g. : ORBITER
5. Credit __: Zurich bank : SUISSE
6. Powdered headwear : WIGS
7. Naysayer : ANTI
8. Writer Uris : LEON
9. Bit of wine sediment : DREG
10. Lure : ENTICE
11. Using for support : LEANING ON
12. Forcefully entered : BROKE INTO
13. Website pop-ups : ADS
21. Muffled, as a trumpet : MUTED
22. Bank’s claim : LIEN
25. Employ again : REUSE
27. Nine-piece combo : NONET
28. “When __ Eyes Are Smiling” : IRISH
29. Overact : EMOTE
30. Pale : WAN
31. Nebraska city : OMAHA
32. “Pulp Fiction” writer/director Quentin : TARANTINO
33. Luau lamp : TIKI TORCH
37. TV dial letters : UHF
38. “Your table’s ready” signaler : PAGER
40. Ice cream holder : CONE
41. Come clean : CONFESS
43. Paso __: California wine city : ROBLES
44. Political pundit Myers : DEE DEE
47. Sped : RACED
48. Garden-guarding figurine : GNOME
49. Informal “Catch my drift?” : Y’KNOW?
51. Witticism : QUIP
52. Golden rule preposition : UNTO
53. Irreverent radio host Don : IMUS
54. Sunbathers’ goals : TANS
55. Sticky stuff : GOO

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17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Dec 2017, Monday”

  1. LAT: 5:34, no errors. Newsday: 6:52, no errors. Croce #3 (2014/12/09): about an hour and a half, with two squares in error (half Natick, half dumb mistake on my part – should have spent a few more minutes staring at it). The answer to Friday’s WSJ contest hasn’t been posted, so I don’t know if I got it or if I fell into a trap; I think, either way, I’ll have a lot of company.

  2. Merry Christmas everyone!

    Today’s puzzle was pretty easy. I didn’t have a chance to work on the weekend puzzles, so I don’t know what I missed. Maybe I’ll get to them later in the week as things finally wind down.

    @Dave – someone on the WSJ site posted that the answer was O Christmas Tree. That’s what I go after putting it down on Friday and picking it up again on Saturday morning.

    Hope yall have a great day!

    1. Thanks, Megan! That was also my answer, but, like some others, I thought it came a little too easily, so I was wary. I’ll feel better about it when I see an “official” answer on the WSJ site … ??

      And … I just checked. Our answer has now been made official. And I’m running out of edit time … ?

  3. Merry Christmas to all. I’ll echo Dirk’s words from a few days ago and thank Bill for continuing to do this blog so consistently that is truly remarkable…and easy to start taking for granted. I think I say this every year, but I’ll say it again: If the world came to an end today, Bill’s blog would still be up tomorrow morning somehow. Even as a “labor of love” , as he states, I can’t imagine being that consistent in doing anything…

    Fun theme today. When I saw BRATS I sort of guessed how the theme would go, and I was right. MISSING LINK now? ……getting perilously close to APEDOM again….

    Best –

  4. WISHING EVERYONE ON THIS BLOG A VERY HAPPY, PROSPEROUS AND A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.
    May this day, bring peace and serenity and goodwill to all peoples.
    Bill, Thank You – for all you do, and lots of joy and happiness. Thank you, with gratitude for all teaching and the labor of love, that dedication throughout the year.

    I had a great time with the puzzle – no Xmas theme though …. that might have been too obvious. I read all about Lee Harvey, and his wife, Marina. I also read up on Hair of the dog … cute idea, except that, now, I’m too old to get plastered.

    Now, to read about the Piltdown man …

    Have a nice day, and a great week, folks

  5. Merry Christmas all!

    5:44, no errors on this. BEQ to come… As for the meta, it was completely slam dunk easy, as I think it was intended as such…

    @Jeff
    2020 is a long time away. I’m sure Vegas will get a lot more excited when the Raiders actually start playing there. Still it will be weird upon top of weird (Los Angeles Chargers, and Las Vegas Raiders (if they don’t change the name?)…gonna always be San Diego and Oakland for most that are in that division).

  6. @Glenn – it’s a Monday, albeit Xmas.

    Didn’t notice theme – again.

    Had trOll before GNOME – nice to see GNU in the same puzzle.

    Nice to see TARANTINO all written out – too bad he’s in the same puzzle as OSWALD.

  7. Today’s BEQ: 17:34, with two (one-square) errors, one a stupid half-Natick at the intersection of 1A and 4D and the other a full Natick at the intersection of 9D and 27A.

    BEQ’s blog entry for today reveals that he is a member of the “Boston Typewriter Band”. Check out the following video (BEQ is the guy on the far right):

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t29Ix8JOgnw

    Wild! ?

    1. @Dave
      Indeed. He mentions this on his bio that appears on the sidebar, as well. As for the puzzle, DNF 1 error (20A-1D) after about 65 minutes, about 80% filled. Nothing as weird and idiotic about this grid like Friday’s NYT. Got more than I thought, though.

      FWIW, I decided to extend some of my remarks to the person that responded to you and Allen on the NYT blog and put it on my own. I may have to just do that to begin with, as it’s probably rough for someone to write and not typically see anyone paying attention, especially if someone writes something days after people typically look at it. Especially if it’s a good topic to talk about for someone. I wasn’t sure if I addressed the ink part adequately, but did my best with it.

      1. @Glenn …
        I’m involved in another discussion with one Dale Stewart on the NYT blog (in syndie-time). He made the claim that there are always more “across” clues than “down” clues and wondered why. And I sort of agreed, though the first one I really checked (today’s BEQ) seems to refute the claim. Any thoughts on this?

        Would have more to say about the new post on your blog, but my iPad is about to run out of battery power (and it’s late) …

        Mañana … ?

        1. @Dave
          I have several given my experience in learning how to construct puzzles. But I have an idea I want to try involving some programmer powers first before I say too much. Another good idea for a blog post in any event. But I won’t be able to respond readily. Hopefully, Dale Steward will get to see when I’m ready to respond.

          To answer the other question there, WordPress limits reply chains to 4 entries, so you have to make a new comment if it goes beyond that.

          1. @Glenn … Never mind Dale’s claim: he was counting clues incorrectly. However, there may still be some interesting observations to be made about the ratio of “across” clues to “down” clues.

            And now my battery is really low … ?

  8. @Dave
    Actually I’ll throw up a post to answer the question anyway when I get ready to do it. Got a lot to say before an analysis. But also got the capability to actually count a large number of puzzles (working on a way to read PUZ to do analysis right now – at the clue matching part atm), so I can actually tell how many of each.

    If you have any ideas of questions to answer, let me know. It’s probably going to be a combination of WSJ puzzles and BEQ since that’s what I can access a large number of.

    1. @Glenn … You should read the final posts over there before posting anything in response to Dale’s question. Instead of actually counting the “across” and “down” clues, he was interpreting the largest number he saw in each list as the count for the list. I’m embarrassed it took me so long to see where he was going wrong and he’s likely to be a little embarrassed if and when he sees and understands my latest post explaining the situation.

      And, actually, he has now seen it and says that he is beginning to understand (posted on edit time – 50 seconds left … )

      1. Okay, I just saved the section I saw here to read through, I’ll go back and look before I post. Actually, people always overestimate things based on the clue numbers. A trick (if I get it right): To tell the number of clues in a grid, find the largest number in the clue lists, and then add the number of dual numbered clues. This one has 72 words (63 + 9 dual clues).

        (Finished out the interface, just need to write up the program to analyze it now).

  9. Hi every buddy!! ?
    Happy Feast of Stephen, as I believe the 26th is called.
    Easy Monday. Didn’t notice the theme, but that may be because I don’t eat red meat. ?
    Sfingi/Jane! Maybe TARANTINO will make a film about OSWALD!! That could be cool.
    I’ve read several books on Oswald and the assassination. Norman Mailer’s “Oswald’s Tale” is a good read.
    @Dave! I also did Newsday’s Monday puzzle, having discovered that they’re FREE. I LIKE free!! ? Found it easier than the typical LAT Monday. Was it a fluke, or are Newsday’s puzzles generally easier than LAT??
    Be well~~™?

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