LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Dec 2017, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Neville Fogarty
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Hidden Gem

Today’s themed answers each contain a hidden word, a hidden GEM:

  • 57A. Diamond in the rough … or a literal feature of each answer to a starred clue : HIDDEN GEM
  • 17A. *Intricate feature of some Victorian gardens : HEDGE MAZE
  • 24A. *Politician for whom a Virginia university is named : GEORGE MASON
  • 33A. *Disney miser who swims in his money : SCROOGE MCDUCK
  • 49A. *Game to settle a score : GRUDGE MATCH

Bill’s time: 6m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Rope often coiled : LASSO

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

6. __ Lanka : SRI

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

9. Selassie of Ethiopia : HAILE

Emperor Haile Selassie I ruled Ethiopia until he was removed from power in a revolution in 1974. Selassie died in 1975 under suspicious circumstances and it is widely believed that he was assassinated.

15. See 16-Across : … EAR

16. With 15-Across, cochlea site : INNER …

The cochlea is a spiral structure in the inner ear. Included in the cochlea are hair cells that receive sound vibrations, causing them to move. The movement of the hairs is converted into nerve impulses that are interpreted in the brain.

17. *Intricate feature of some Victorian gardens : HEDGE MAZE

Hedge mazes date back to the mid-1700s, when they became fashionable in large European gardens. We tend to think of hedge mazes as “puzzles” to solve these days, but back then the labyrinthine path was meant to provide a long and interesting walk, rather than a conundrum. The oldest surviving puzzle hedge maze is in the grounds of Hampton Court in England, which was once home to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and then King Henry VIII. I’ve had the pleasure of walking that maze, and I must say that it was a surprisingly enjoyable experience …

19. Anglican leader : VICAR

A vicar is a member of the clergy in several Christian traditions. In more general terms, the we can use the word “vicar” for a person who acts in the place of another, i.e. a deputy. It was the latter usage of the term that gave rise to the religious usage, as a vicar in a church was considered a person acting for God.

20. Rainbow hue : INDIGO

The name of the color “indigo” ultimately comes from the Greek “indikon” meaning “blue dye from India”.

21. Eye part that may become detached : RETINA

The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, and is the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cell in the retina that are sensitive to light, one called rods and the other cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.

22. What circled R’s may indicate: Abbr. : TMS

Trademark (TM)

24. *Politician for whom a Virginia university is named : GEORGE MASON

George Mason was a Virginia politician who served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Mason was one of only three delegates who refused to sign the resulting constitution, citing that the document did not establish a “wise and just government”. Mason was also the first delegate to propose that the nation’s seat of government not be located in a state capital.

28. Quarterback Manning : ELI

Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning retired from football as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2015. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback. Eli, Peyton and Archie co-authored a book for children titles “Family Huddle” in 2009. It describes the Mannings playing football together as young boys.

29. Sinusitis-treating MD : ENT

Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)

The suffix “-itis” is used to denote inflammation, as in laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), otitis (inflammation of the ear) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).

30. Nepal’s continent : ASIA

Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

33. *Disney miser who swims in his money : SCROOGE MCDUCK

Scrooge McDuck is the rich uncle of Donald Duck. Donald first hit the screens in 1934, and Uncle Scrooge made his debut performance in 1947.

42. Word after black or photo : OPS

“Black ops” is the name given to covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

45. Nike’s __-FIT fabric : DRI

“Dri-FIT” is the brand name used by Nike for the company’s line of microfiber, polyester clothing. Designed for exercise, Dri-FIT garments supposedly move sweat away from the body so that it readily evaporates, and hence cools the body while keeping it relatively dry.

52. Badminton court divider : NET

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.

53. President after Jimmy : RONALD

Ronald Reagan started out his political career as a member of the Democratic Party, but switched to the Republicans in the early fifties. Reagan served as Governor of California for eight years, and vied unsuccessfully for the nomination for US President on two occasions. He finally succeeded in 1980 and defeated President Jimmy Carter to become the 40th US President in 1981.

President Jimmy Carter was the 39th President, and the only US president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize after leaving office (Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Barack Obama have also been so honored, but while in office).

54. “Bob’s Burgers” daughter : LOUISE

“Bob’s Burgers” is a cartoon sitcom that airs on Fox. Not for me …

56. Emcee’s opening : INTRO

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

61. Salinger’s “Franny __ Zooey” : AND

“Franny and Zooey” is a 1961 book by J. D. Salinger, author of “Catcher in the Rye”. Salinger’s 1961 publication is a little unusual in format. It comprises two separate works: a short story titled “Franny” and a novella titled “Zooey”. However, the two title characters are related, the pair being siblings and youngest members of the fictional Glass family.

63. Frost-covered : HOARY

The Old English word “har” meant “gray, venerable, old”, and came into English as “hoar” (and later “hoary”) with the same meaning. The term “hoar-frost” dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man’s beard.

Down

3. Extremely cruel : SADISTIC

A sadist is someone who derives pleasure from inflicting pain, with that pleasure often being sexual in nature. The term “sadist” comes from the Marquis de Sade, who was known to exhibit such tendencies.

5. Antsy : ON EDGE

The word “antsy” embodies the concept of “having ants in one’s pants”, meaning being nervous and fidgety. However, “antsy” has been used in English since the 1830s, whereas “ants in the pants” originated a century later.

6. Neptune, for one : SEA GOD

Neptune was the Roman god both of the sea and of freshwater. He was sometimes known as “Neptunus Equester” as he was also the god of horses and patron of horse-racing.

9. Collective intelligence : HIVE MIND

“Hive mind”, “group mind” and “social mind” are all alternative terms for “collective consciousness”. Collective consciousness is a set of shared ideas that act as a unifying force in a society.

10. Baker with Grammys : ANITA

Anita Baker is an R&B and soul singer who was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Baker’s most successful song is the Grammy-winning “Sweet Love” released in 1986.

13. Knight-__ : ERRANT

Someone described as “errant” is roving around, especially in search of adventure, as in “knight-errant”.

18. Demeanor : MIEN

One’s mien is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.

22. Bankrupt airline : TWA

Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan Am and TWA’s purchase by Howard Hughes, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the initialism “TWA”) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

23. Battleship call : MISS

Battleship is a remarkably fun guessing game that I used to play as a child. Back then we would play it just using pencil and paper, although these days kids are more likely to play an electronic version of the game.

27. Poet Teasdale : SARA

Sara Teasdale was a poet from St. Louis, Missouri although she spent much of her adult life in New York City. Examples of Teasdale’s most famous poems are “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “I Shall Not Care”. Teasdale committed suicide in 1933 by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.

31. Obama, e.g.: Abbr. : DEM

Most US presidents are eminently quotable. One of my favorite quotes from President Barack Obama comes from his address/performance at the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner:

What Washington needs is adult supervision.

32. African antelope : KUDU

The kudu is a type of antelope. The are two extant species: the lesser kudu of eastern Africa, and the greater kudu of eastern and southern Africa. The kudu horn is used as a musical instrument, as a horn.

34. The Stars and Stripes : OLD GLORY

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.

37. Manhattan concert hall : CARNEGIE

The prestigious Carnegie Hall in midtown Manhattan opened for business in 1891. The magnificent edifice was named after the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who provided the funds for construction.

38. Bauhaus artist Paul : KLEE

The artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. You can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.

The literal translation to the term “Bauhaus” is “House of Building”. It was a school (meaning education establishment) that operated from 1919 to 1933. It became famous for its approach to design across many disciplines, everything from art to typography.

42. Like Shrek : OGRISH

Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

43. “ASAP!” : PRONTO!

The Spanish, Italian (and now English) word “pronto” is derived from the Latin “promptus” meaning “ready, quick”.

44. Beverage brewed outdoors : SUN TEA

Sun tea is tea that is made simply by dropping tea into water and letting it “brew” in the sun for a few hours, and then adding ice. A blog reader has kindly pointed out that he was told by a doctor that sun tea has the potential to be dangerous. The sun-heated brew is warm enough and sits long enough to incubate any bacterial contamination that may be present. I think I’ll stick to my regular iced tea that is speedily brewed at high temperature …

47. Gulf War missile : SCUD

Scud missiles were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Soviets called them R-11 missiles at first, with later versions known as R-17 and R-300 Elbrus. The name “Scud” was actually the name NATO used for the missile, a name created by Western intelligence officers. Ballistic missiles haven’t been used a lot in actual warfare, the exception being the German V-2 rocket attacks on England during WWII. After the V-2, the second most-used ballistic missile in warfare is the Scud, which featured in a number of conflicts:

  • used by Egypt against Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973
  • used by the USSR in Afghanistan
  • used by Libya against a US Coast Guard station in the Mediterranean in 1986
  • used by Iranians and Iraqis in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88
  • used by Iraq in the Gulf War of 1990-91

48. Lancer’s protection : SHIELD

Lancers were a special type of cavalry soldier, ones who fought with lances!

59. Salt Lake City hrs. : MST

Salt Lake City (SLC) was founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as “Great Salt Lake City” up until 1868.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Rope often coiled : LASSO
6. __ Lanka : SRI
9. Selassie of Ethiopia : HAILE
14. “One more time!” : AGAIN!
15. See 16-Across : … EAR
16. With 15-Across, cochlea site : INNER …
17. *Intricate feature of some Victorian gardens : HEDGE MAZE
19. Anglican leader : VICAR
20. Rainbow hue : INDIGO
21. Eye part that may become detached : RETINA
22. What circled R’s may indicate: Abbr. : TMS
24. *Politician for whom a Virginia university is named : GEORGE MASON
26. Point of giving up : WIT’S END
28. Quarterback Manning : ELI
29. Sinusitis-treating MD : ENT
30. Nepal’s continent : ASIA
31. Swig or sip : DRINK
33. *Disney miser who swims in his money : SCROOGE MCDUCK
39. Clock radio feature : ALARM
40. Valley : DALE
42. Word after black or photo : OPS
45. Nike’s __-FIT fabric : DRI
46. Guarantees : ASSURES
49. *Game to settle a score : GRUDGE MATCH
52. Badminton court divider : NET
53. President after Jimmy : RONALD
54. “Bob’s Burgers” daughter : LOUISE
56. Emcee’s opening : INTRO
57. Diamond in the rough … or a literal feature of each answer to a starred clue : HIDDEN GEM
60. Give direction to : STEER
61. Salinger’s “Franny __ Zooey” : AND
62. Tender beef cuts : LOINS
63. Frost-covered : HOARY
64. “Certainly!” : YES!
65. Lived : DWELT

Down

1. __-di-dah: pretentious : LAH
2. Number on many a birthday card : AGE
3. Extremely cruel : SADISTIC
4. Communicate with a deaf person : SIGN
5. Antsy : ON EDGE
6. Neptune, for one : SEA GOD
7. Shaving device : RAZOR
8. Boiling blood : IRE
9. Collective intelligence : HIVE MIND
10. Baker with Grammys : ANITA
11. Cut into : INCISE
12. Use for support : LEAN ON
13. Knight-__ : ERRANT
18. Demeanor : MIEN
21. Artifact : RELIC
22. Bankrupt airline : TWA
23. Battleship call : MISS
25. Microbe : GERM
27. Poet Teasdale : SARA
31. Obama, e.g.: Abbr. : DEM
32. African antelope : KUDU
34. The Stars and Stripes : OLD GLORY
35. Rowed : OARED
36. Dreadful : GRIM
37. Manhattan concert hall : CARNEGIE
38. Bauhaus artist Paul : KLEE
41. Superlative suffix : -EST
42. Like Shrek : OGRISH
43. “ASAP!” : PRONTO!
44. Beverage brewed outdoors : SUN TEA
46. Not seeing eye to eye : AT ODDS
47. Gulf War missile : SCUD
48. Lancer’s protection : SHIELD
50. Challenger : DARER
51. Flared skirt : A-LINE
55. It may come down in winter : SNOW
57. Stable serving : HAY
58. Photo blowup: Abbr. : ENL
59. Salt Lake City hrs. : MST

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Dec 2017, Wednesday”

  1. I solved the puzzle too, as above post, with only three times the time …. Nice, cute and very, very enjoyable.

    Re: Sri Lanka …. I have mentioned this before, but according to the Ramayana ( Story of Rama – hindu mythology ~ 4000 BC ) …. Lanka was an island south of India, where the demon king and his army ( of demons -) took the kidnapped Sita, Rama’s wife. As to whether that was infact, Ceylon, is not at all, certain. However, the natives, living there, chose to retain the name, with an honorific suffix, denoting respect …. by their own choice.

    I have had the priviledge of going through the maze at Hampton Court, of King Henry the 8th, in the borough of Richmond, at my last visit to England. Unfortunately, some people had persistently, ‘crashed’
    through some of the hedges, (walls) creating ill defined ‘shortcuts’ and gaps in the hedges, and thus ruining the puzzle experience for everyone else. The guided tour, of the castle itself, was uniquely british, and very informative – something, almost as pleasurabke, as the Colonial Wiliamsburg experience.

    Thank you Bill, for Knight Errant …. I always assumed that that term referred to a knight ‘gone bad’ – as someone who had either taken up the job, in error or by misconception, or a knight who had made a big boo-boo. So, the word ‘errant’ comes from ‘errand’, and nor ‘error’.

    have a nice day, all you folks,

  2. LAT: 8:50, no errors; interesting to see another reference to the game “Battleship”, which I was totally unaware of until it was mentioned in another puzzle I did recently. Newsday: 7:19, no errors. WSJ: 10:19, no errors. Yesterday’s Tim Croce: ~1:15:00, no errors; and I’m more than ever convinced that he has consciously made his puzzles easier over the past eleven months.

    @Carrie … My ex and our daughter celebrated the latter’s birthday at a spa in Ojai about two weeks ago. Said daughter has been urging me to come out and spend time in the town, so it was a bit of a shock to read about the fires. Maybe it’s because of my age, but I’m getting the sense that no place is safe anymore; Mother Nature is on a tear … 😳

    1. @Dave
      I understand that the whole “consciously made puzzles easier” thing seems to be very widespread as an opinion with all sources. I notice that myself from doing NYT puzzles circa 2003-2004, and redoing some of the old Saturday LAT grids and WSJ from 2015-6. Of course, I haven’t done this long enough and consistently enough to really have a solid opinion and can’t really tell between my skill getting better and variation of difficulty without some protracted experience of puzzles through that time frame. Not to mention all the “current” pop culture references that get incredibly stale in those puzzles.

      But then again, I’m sure Croce gets feedback from solvers as do most other sources. It could be a possibility that they’ve seen enough newer solvers that the decision has been made to throttle down the difficulty. Hard telling for a person from my position. But I’m sure a large number of solvers will have their own thoughts on this.

      1. @Glenn … I did my first Croce puzzle in mid-September. Since then, I’ve been doing new Croce puzzles as he posts them and, at the same time, working my way backward through his older puzzles. (So far, I’ve done 92 of them in all.) At first, it seemed that both sets were getting easier for me and I attribute that to my becoming more familiar with his quirks. Ultimately, though, it seemed that the older ones were getting harder and harder. When I got back to the one from March 10, I “had to” use Google for the first time (not to look up an answer, but only to see if something that I had already written in was correct). A similar thing happened twice in February and twice more in January. Then, after struggling mightily with his puzzle from January 13, I simply gave up and used Google to actually research the answers. (It still took me over an hour to finish.) I haven’t actually looked much yet at the next one, from January 10, but I’m guessing that it’s going to be crazy hard. Meanwhile, I’ve been continuing to do recent Croce puzzles and finding them hard but doable. So my best guess is that, sometime in January, he began trying to make his puzzles easier. (I suppose it’s possible that I’m just psyching myself out, but I honestly don’t think so.)

  3. 14:54 with an (2?) error(s) at lIVEMIND. Never heard of HIVEMIND, but it makes more sense now that I look at it….except bees don’t really think together do they? I’ve never seen a Bee University, for instance…. 🙂

    This might be a question for Dirk, but the NYT had a SUE BEE honey reference this week. It’s a brand of honey I used to put on toast as a kid. What is the difference between that honey and what they call “raw” honey? Do they process something like Sue Bee honey in some way? I always thought I was consuming the real article. Others may know as well…

    Off to the planet Houston (Superman II reference) and then on to Puerto Vallarta for a few days to recover from dealing with my house in Houston. I’ll be sure to say hello to the Sergio Bustamante statues in Puerto Vallarta on the malecon for Vidwan. Back on Tuesday. I’ll check in when I can.

    Best –

  4. I got “hive mind” but have never heard of it. I messed up with putting Gerald (Ford) instead of Ronald. Dumb, so the SW was a disaster!

    Carrie: Oh, thanks. Wasn’t sure when I replied if it was the plastic or the tech thing. Now I’m laughing. Hope you aren’t close to the fires. I’m fine, but the Getty Center & Skirball are not.

  5. 42A: Word after black or photo: is “ops” actually a word or is it short for “operations” in which case ”(abbr.)” should have been in the clue?

    1. @Lulu … I think both “black ops” and “photo ops” have become such common phrases that they are no longer considered abbreviations. Slang, maybe. (My two cents worth … 🙂)

  6. Pretty easy Wednesday; took about 15 minutes with no errors.

    @Jeff – Had to do some research on Sue Bee honey since I’ve never heard of it, or hive mind for that matter. Apparently Sue Bee is produced by the Sioux Honey association and it labels it as pure and/or natural. Those adjectives mean nothing food-wise (FDA) and they’ve gotten in a little trouble with some traces of Monsanto’s Round-up being found in their honey. They produce their own and buy honey from American producers. Raw honey – what my bees produce and I sell – is never heated (above 90-100 degrees F) and strained but not commercially filtered. They’ve found some of the new neonicotinides in suburban honey but well below the allowed limits. You can have organic honey too (not mine) but that has to be in the middle of an organic orchard with 5 miles in each direction and it is certified by private agencies.

    @Carrie – Yow, those are some scary fires down there; stay safe. When these fires just shoot right into a city, like they did up here to Santa Rosa, it just seems we’ve gone on to a whole new level.

    Now back to making candles for tomorrow’s market…

  7. Hi friends!!
    No errors. Fun puzzle — fuzzle!!😊 😊
    @Dave, you should visit Ojai! It’s​ a lovely place. I hope that the destruction to surrounding forests does not leave the vistas charred and bare.
    As for the present: My brother and his wife have evacuated Ojai and are at a Motel 6 in Santa Barbara. They weren’t in the mandatory evac zone in East Ojai but the air quality, and fear of the fire spreading, drove them out. I’m just praying that their house is spared as well as the rest of the town! My late parents’ house — I hope it survives too.
    Meanwhile, my nephew, who does live in the evac zone in East Ojai, hasn’t even been there. He volunteers with the Ventura Fire Department and has been out helping people evacuate in areas around Ventura!! I really am afraid that he will get home and find his house is gone! But I am so proud of him — he’s out helping others rather than fretting over his own situation. Amazing kid. I couldn’t do that.
    Dirk, thank you! So true what you say. With the Skirball/Bel Air fire, it’s like, OMG the CITY is burning!!
    Be well~~™🍀

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