LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Dec 2017, Friday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Two Things

Today’s themed clues reference two different individuals who have the same name:

  • 17A. Two foes of Rocky : NATASHA AND CREED
  • 27A. Two loves of Homer : POETRY AND MARGE
  • 43A. Two specialties of Spock : LOGIC AND BABIES
  • 54A. Two priorities of Blondie : DAGWOOD AND MUSIC

Bill’s time: 9m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Whack : STAB

Take a whack, take a stab, take a guess.

14. Spaghetti Western director Sergio : LEONE

Spaghetti Westerns are cowboy movies that were produced and directed by Italians in the 1960s. Pioneer in the field was filmmaker Sergio Leone. Leone directed the best-known and most successful movies in the genre: “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964), “For a Few Dollars More” (1965) and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966), all of which star Clint Eastwood.

17. Two foes of Rocky : NATASHA AND CREED

Fearless Leader, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale are all characters in the cartoon show “Rocky and Bullwinkle”. Fearless Leader is the dictatorial ruler of Pottsylvania, and Boris and Natasha are two of his minions, two inept government agents.

In the “Rocky” series of films, Rocky Balboa was given the ring name “The Italian Stallion”. Rocky’s first real opponent was Apollo Creed, known in the ring as “The Master of Disaster” and “The Count of Monte Fisto”.

23. Mountain nymph : OREAD

The Oreads were the mountain nymphs that accompanied the goddess Artemis on her hunting expeditions. Each Oread dwelled on a different mountain, for example:

  • Daphnis (on Mount Parnassos)
  • Echo (on Mount Cithaeron)
  • Ida (on Mount Ida)

26. Form of love in Paris? : AIME

“I love you” translates into “te amo” in Spanish, and into “je t’aime” in French.

27. Two loves of Homer : POETRY AND MARGE

Homer was a famous poet of Ancient Greece who is believed to be the author of the two classic epic poems “Iliad” and “Odyssey”. However, some scholars believe that Homer did not actually exist, but rather he is the personification of oral tradition that was passed down through the ages.

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

35. Mine entrance : ADIT

An adit is specific type of mine access, a horizontal shaft that extends into the mine. This can be compared with the more traditional vertical shaft that is used for access into most mines. Adits make sense when the ore is located inside a mountain or hill, as opposed to “underground”, as they allow the mine entrances to be on the valley floor.

39. Blunted blade : EPEE

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, both of which are also thrusting weapons. However, the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

43. Two specialties of Spock : LOGIC AND BABIES

Leonard Nimoy played the logical Mr. Spock in the original “Star Trek” television series. Spock has to be the most popular character on the show, and he keeps popping up in “Star Trek” spin offs to this day. Nimoy first worked alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk) in an episode of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (I loved that show!), with Nimoy playing a bad guy and Shatner playing an U.N.C.L.E. recruit.

Dr. Benjamin Spock owes his fame to his 1946 best-selling book “Baby and Child Care”. For over fifty years, “Baby and Child Care” sold more books than any other, except for the Bible.

46. “Heartburn” novelist Ephron : NORA

“Heartburn” is a 1983 novel by Nora Ephron that is a fictionalized account of her own marriage to and divorce from investigative journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame. “Heartburn” was adapted into a movie of the same name in 1986, with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson playing the lead roles.

47. San Diego State athlete : AZTEC

The Aztecs are the athletic teams of San Diego State university. The team mascot is the Aztec Warrior.

54. Two priorities of Blondie : DAGWOOD AND MUSIC

“Blondie” was created as a comic strip by Chic Young. It was first published in 1930, and is still being created today (although the strip is now controlled by Chic’s son, Dean). The strip spawned a series of radio programs (1939-1950) and a series of Blondie films (1938-1950). Blondie is married to Dagwood Bumstead. Dagwood slaves away at a construction company run by Julius Dithers, whose wife is called Cora. Another famous character in the strip is Elmo Tuttle, a pesky neighborhood kid who is always bugging Dagwood.

Singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein founded the rock band Blondie in 1974. Blondie’s biggest hits were “Heart of Glass”, “Call Me”, “Rapture” and “The Tide is High”.

61. Milk by-product : WHEY

When milk curdles it separates into two parts, the solid curds and the liquid whey.

62. Oracle : SEER

In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”.

63. Entourage : POSSE

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

Down

1. It parallels the radius : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

4. Acapulco article : UNA

The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

6. Sterne’s Tristram : SHANDY

Laurence Sterne is best known for his novel “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman”. It is an epic work, that was published in nine volumes over ten years.

8. Gothic novelist Radcliffe : ANN

Ann Radcliffe was an English author famous for her Gothic novels. Radcliffe is credited with pioneering the genre of Gothic fiction, and influenced later writers such as the Marquis de Sade, Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Walter Scott.

9. Important place for good manners : BEDSIDE

We tend to appreciate a good bedside manner in medical professionals.

10. Pupil’s cover : CORNEA

The cornea is the transparent part of the eye in the front, covering the iris and the pupil. Even though the cornea is not part of the lens it acts as a lens, and in fact does most of the work focusing light coming in through the eye. The cornea is in effect a fixed-focus lens passing on light to the variable-focus lens that is inside the eye.

11. Cassini of fashion : OLEG

Oleg Cassini, the French-born American fashion designer, had two big names particularly associated with his designs. In the sixties he produced the state wardrobe for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and he was also the exclusive designer for Hollywood’s Gene Tierney, who was Cassini’s second wife.

19. Feature of many a list : COMMA

Our word “comma” comes into English via Latin from the Greek “komma” meaning “clause in a sentence”.

26. Name at the end of many a “60 Minutes” episode : ANDY

Andy Rooney began his career in newspapers during WWII working for “Stars and Stripes” in London. He had some memorable experiences during the war, including flying on the first American bombing raid over Germany. He was also one of the first American journalists to visit the German concentration camps as they were liberated. He started his segment called “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” on CBS’s “60 Minutes” way back in 1978, and so was on our screens for over 30 years. Rooney passed away in 2011.

27. MLB Network analyst Martinez : PEDRO

Pedro Martinez is a retired baseball pitcher from the Dominican Republic. Martinez won the Cy Young Award three times, and was on the Boston Red Sox team that won the 2004 World Series.

31. Bridge column word : EAST

That would be bridge, the card game.

32. Caesarean section? : GAUL

The Gauls were a Celtic race, with Gaul covering what is now known as France and Belgium. We use the term “Gallic” today, when we refer to something pertaining to France or the French.

36. Clinton transportation secretary Federico : PENA

Federico Peña served as the Secretary of Transportation and as the Secretary of Energy in the Clinton administration.

37. Tony relative : OBIE

The Obies are the “Off-Broadway Theater Awards”. The Obies are presented annually and the recipients are chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper.

42. NYC dance troupe : ABT

The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) was founded in New York City in 1939. ABT was officially recognized by the US Congress as “America’s National Ballet Company” in 2006.

49. Arch type : OGEE

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S). An ogee arch is composed of two ogees, with one being the mirror of the other and meeting at the arch’s apex.

54. Margery of nursery rhymes : DAW

“See Saw Margery Daw” is a nursery rhyme that goes:

See Saw Margery Daw,
Jacky shall have a new master;
Jacky shall earn but a penny a day,
Because he can’t work any faster.

57. Tabloid topic : UFO

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

“Tabloid” is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co,) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, applied to newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “Yeah” : UH-HUH
6. Whack : STAB
10. They’re corny : COBS
14. Spaghetti Western director Sergio : LEONE
15. Refine : HONE
16. Spread for dinner, say : OLEO
17. Two foes of Rocky : NATASHA AND CREED
20. Request to go out, maybe : ARF!
21. Cease : END
22. Airs : SONGS
23. Mountain nymph : OREAD
26. Form of love in Paris? : AIME
27. Two loves of Homer : POETRY AND MARGE
32. Implies : GETS AT
33. One may accompany a finger snap : IDEA
34. Small battery : AAA
35. Mine entrance : ADIT
36. Meddle : PRY
37. Artist’s array : OILS
38. Large brewer : URN
39. Blunted blade : EPEE
41. Blots : DABS AT
43. Two specialties of Spock : LOGIC AND BABIES
46. “Heartburn” novelist Ephron : NORA
47. San Diego State athlete : AZTEC
48. Advances : LOANS
50. Chemical suffix : -ENE
51. Fertility clinic supply : OVA
54. Two priorities of Blondie : DAGWOOD AND MUSIC
58. Between ports : ASEA
59. Bridge site : NOSE
60. A lot : OFTEN
61. Milk by-product : WHEY
62. Oracle : SEER
63. Entourage : POSSE

Down

1. It parallels the radius : ULNA
2. Get wind of : HEAR
3. Hurrying, with “it” : HOTFOOTING
4. Acapulco article : UNA
5. Cock and bull : HES
6. Sterne’s Tristram : SHANDY
7. Hopper on a pad : TOAD
8. Gothic novelist Radcliffe : ANN
9. Important place for good manners : BEDSIDE
10. Pupil’s cover : CORNEA
11. Cassini of fashion : OLEG
12. Honey bunch : BEES
13. Ground cover : SOD
18. Soul mate? : HEART
19. Feature of many a list : COMMA
24. Common medical advice : REST
25. In-flight info : ETA
26. Name at the end of many a “60 Minutes” episode : ANDY
27. MLB Network analyst Martinez : PEDRO
28. Put on : AIRED
29. What supply shortages often do : RAISE COSTS
30. Big dos : GALAS
31. Bridge column word : EAST
32. Caesarean section? : GAUL
36. Clinton transportation secretary Federico : PENA
37. Tony relative : OBIE
39. Low-price prefix : ECONO-
40. Service aces? : PARSONS
41. Stunned : DAZED
42. NYC dance troupe : ABT
44. Kind of : IN A WAY
45. Stadium sign : BANNER
48. Eye piece : LASH
49. Arch type : OGEE
50. Convenience : EASE
52. Competes : VIES
53. Bad marks in high school? : ACNE
54. Margery of nursery rhymes : DAW
55. Female antelope : DOE
56. Floor cleaner : MOP
57. Tabloid topic : UFO

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Dec 2017, Friday”

  1. This was one tough tough puzzle – though I enjoyed it. The theme was clear very quickly and it helped but the cluing was rather difficult. Thats a Friday for you. Some of the common words were clued beyond my ken, and I often had to try all the letters of the alphabet ! Phew.
    But still, finally it all came together. I don’t think I can do too many of these.

    There has always been a need for some people to know their ‘future’. The seers and oracles did it for the rich and famous in the ancient times – and the gypsies (Roma ? ) did it for the ordinary poor in the recent medieval times and even today. They are probably more students and practitioners of human psychology than anything else. In India, horoscope planners and readers can do the same thing, long distance, without the subject even being there in person…

    I first thought ‘parallels the radius’ was a Tangent … but there were not enough spaces.

    I am surprised that people expect good bedside manners in physicians …. that mattered when they did ‘house calls’ … a long time ago. Nowadays when you have to rush to an emergency room, for all symptoms, you’re supposed to be grateful, if they ‘see you’ inside of forty five minutes ….

    Thank you Bill, for the all the information, that I will digest for the next hour.
    Have a great Friday, folks, and a great weekend.
    I hope Jeff is safe and having a good time,

  2. 40D clue is Service Aces. I worked it out, but still don’t know its derivation. I assume it is from tennis, but am not sure. Parsons is the answer, and Bill did not provide his usual insight.

    Can someone explain?

  3. LAT: 21:35, 2 dumb errors. Finally got an outing in with a Friday puzzle online. Will see how far I can get this week. Hopefully I can get where I can handle doing any kind of puzzle online as much as I can write it, so I can just get a happy mixture going. WSJ: 22 minutes, 1 error. I see what I’m supposed to see for the meta, I think. But I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with it to get an answer yet.

    @Dave
    Themeless #10 and #100 were both DNFs for me about 25% filled after about an hour each, difficulty-wise they were pretty close to what I usually get with Croce’s grids. So I’d say he was harder back then. Though after this point I’m just half-inclined to e-mail both BEQ and Croce and see what they think.

    @Carrie
    WISE OFF is an expression meaning something similar to SASS. Giving lip or so on.

    A lot of BEQ’s labels are semi-subjective. If you saw what I posted this week, I think he actually eased up a bit this week comparatively (averaged about 31:30 with an error) – I wouldn’t class them as any tougher than the Sat LAT.

    As far as puzzles he does, he hasn’t done anything truly easy for a long time. There’s a reason as they’re hard to do. He talks about that in one of his early bloggings, and notes that Wednesday NYT type grids are the easiest to construct in his view and describes the difficulties of both easy grids and the themeless ones (actually he says those are easier to construct than easy difficulty grids).

    Anyhow BEQ’s medium level stuff isn’t any more difficult than what the LAT’s done the last couple of days. And his hard stuff usually parallels about to a Friday or Saturday NYT grid.

    I’m also reminded that I wanted to suggest the Matt Jones puzzles to you and others here. They’re pretty parallel to the LAT, but they’re different in a pretty nice way. 🙂

  4. LAT: 12:55, no errors. Newsday: 11:03, no errors. WSJ: 15:41, no errors; I have a perfectly good answer for the meta, but the way in which I’m justifying it is sufficiently unsatisfying to make me think I may have fallen for a red herring; perhaps all will become clear later on this morning.

    @Carrie …

    I also balked a little at “wise off”; it wasn’t common where I grew up and I surmise that it’s a regional expression.

    I downloaded five “medium” and five “hard” BEQ puzzles, but I haven’t had a chance to look at them yet. In the time span I was looking at, I didn’t find any “easy” ones.

    And I’m so sorry to hear about your nephew’s misfortune. My daughter is in North Hollywood and reports that she has smelled smoke and found fine ash on her balcony. Scary.

    @Glenn …

    I tangled with another of the Croce puzzles from January (01/10) and correctly filled 164 of its 188 squares (I don’t count the black ones ?) before turning to Google to research the rest. By investing enough time, I might have been able to fill in two-thirds of the remaining 24 squares without outside help, but there was one little section involving obscure things that I didn’t know and would have had the devil of a time guessing. I will continue doing the early Croce puzzles, but try to limit tbe amount of time I spend on them.

    I actually emailed Croce (sometime in October, maybe?) to ask him about a clue that I didn’t understand. (His answer was that he occasionally throws in a cryptic-style clue – just for grins, I guess.) In my email, I complimented him on his seemingly magical ability to stay just this side of impossibility and he responded that that was his goal. At what point he adopted that as a goal, I cannot say for sure, but I’m guessing it was sometime after January.

    1. I just finished today’s Croce: 55:55, no errors (adding yet more weight to the notion that his recent puzzles are easier than the ones from eleven months ago).

      @Glenn … I also did my first two BEQ puzzles from last September: one from 2016/09/08, in 17:05, and one from 2016/09/12, in 27:13, with no errors; neither was particularly difficult. I’ve also downloaded the three earlier BEQ puzzles you’ve mentioned, but haven’t tried doing them yet. To be continued …

  5. Pretty fun Friday; took about 40 minutes with no errors. Nice theme which helped get things moving after filling in the gimmes.

    Just inexplicably put EASe instead of EAST, but caught it at the cross.

    @Carrie – That’s really sad for your nephew. I hope he gets a lot of support from coworkers and friends. If it gets in the news, hopefully some of the people he helped out will be able to return the favor.

    My cousin in San Diego is safe but he’s undoubtedly smelling smoke once again. The fire’s about 12 miles away.

  6. Hi everyone! ?
    One wrong letter on this one. Total Natick for me at SHANDY/OREAD, and I guessed T instead of D. DANG! ?
    ***HI JEFF!! ?***
    GLENN, thanks for the info on difficulty levels, especially regarding BEQ. I’ll try Mike Jones also.
    DAVE & DIRK, many thanks for the kind thoughts. I think my nephew and his girlfriend are in shock. Being farmers, they were especially attached to their place. Dirk, I think you’re on to something there! Maybe the Ventura sheriff’s department can release something. Shawn (my nephew) probably isn’t the only volunteer who dealt with losses of his own.
    Someone did start a Go Fund Me page for them. Maybe some of the people he helped will see it.
    It is so sad. I hope to get up to Ojai soon — not that I can do much for them…?
    Be well~~™?

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