LA Times Crossword 4 Dec 18, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Animal Parts

Themed answers sound like common phrases that refer to the parts of specific animals. And, the beasts referenced in the clues are all cartoon animals:

  • 16A. Hesitation from Sylvester? : CAT’S PAUSE (sounds like “cat’s paws”)
  • 20A. Accomplishment by Porky? : PIG’S FEAT (sounds like “pig’s feet”)
  • 37A. Affirmative from Tony? : TIGER’S AYE (sounds like “tiger’s eye”)
  • 59A. Story from Remy? : RAT’S TALE (sounds like “rat’s tail”)
  • 63A. Water source for Simba? : LION’S MAIN (sounds like “lion’s mane”)

Bill’s time: 6m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. “Whip It” rock band : DEVO

Devo is a band from Akron, Ohio formed back in 1973. The band’s biggest hit is “Whip It” released in 1980. Devo have a gimmick: the wearing of red, terraced plastic hats that are referred to as “energy domes”. Why? I have no idea …

15. Dr. Hahn on “Grey’s Anatomy” : ERICA

Erica Hahn is a character in the TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” who is played by actress Brooke Smith. Smith also appeared in the movie “The Silence of the Lambs” playing Catherine Martin, the young woman who was abducted and trapped in a dry well.

16. Hesitation from Sylvester? : CAT’S PAUSE (sounds like “cat’s paws”)

Sylvester J. Pussycat is also known as Puddy Tat, and is a character who appeared in “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons. Sylvester is the cat who is often trying to get the better of Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales and Hippety Hopper. Sylvester’s trademark line is the exclamation “Sufferin’ succotash!”, which emphasizes the characters pronounced lisp.

The term “cat’s-paw” has several meanings. The one I am most familiar with is small ripple on a surface of water caused by a light wind.

18. Center of activity : LOCUS

“Locus” (plural “loci”) is Latin for “place”, and is used in English with the same meaning. The term can also be used to describe a center of power or activity.

20. Accomplishment by Porky? : PIG’S FEAT (sounds like “pig’s feet”)

Porky Pig was the first of the characters created by Warner Bros. to become a hit with audiences. Porky Pig is the guy with the line at the end of each cartoon, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!” If you don’t mind a little adult language, there’s a very funny 11-second Porky Pig clip that the studio released on a blooper reel in 1938. Porky Pig stutters out “Son of g-g-gun”, only he doesn’t say “gun” …

22. Former Fox TV series set in Newport Beach : THE OC

“The O.C.” is a teen drama that aired for four seasons on Fox finishing up in 2007. I never watched it, but I understand that it is set in Newport Beach in Southern California.

25. Ringing organ, at times : EAR

Tinnitus is a ringing sound in the ears when there is actually no sound present. The term derives from the Latin verb “tinnire” meaning “to ring”.

26. Detergent brand : ERA

Era was the first liquid laundry detergent produced by Procter & Gamble.

28. ’60s hallucinogen : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

35. Slim candle : TAPER

I used to think that the word “taper” was used for a slender candle because said candle was “tapered” in shape, but it’s exactly the opposite. It turns out that our word “tapered” comes from the candle. “Taper” and “tapur” are Old English words meaning “candle”. From these nouns arose the verb “to taper” meaning “shoot up like flame”. This meaning evolved into “become slender” from the idea that a candle’s flame has such a shape.

37. Affirmative from Tony? : TIGER’S AYE (sounds like “tiger’s eye”)

Tony the Tiger has been the mascot of Frosted Flakes cereal since the product’s introduction in 1951. As Tony would say, “They’re Gr-r-reat!” Well, I thought they were when I was a lot younger …

Tiger’s eye is a reddish-gold colored gemstone made mainly from quartz that is colored by iron oxide.

43. Tech sch. near Albany, N.Y. : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

New York’s state capital of Albany was founded as a Dutch trading post called Fort Nassau in 1614. The English took over the settlement in 1664 and called it Albany, naming it after the future King of England James II, whose title at the time was the Duke of Albany. It became the capital of New York State in 1797.

46. Win, place or show : BET

When betting on a horse race, the first-place finisher is said to “win”. A horse finishing first or second is said to “place”. A horse finishing first, second or third is said to “show”.

53. “Frozen” sister : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

57. One of Crayola’s hundreds : COLOR

In the year 2000, the Crayola company held the “Crayola Color Census 2000”, in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

59. Story from Remy? : RAT’S TALE (sounds like “rat’s tail”)

“Ratatouille” is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

A rat’s tail is a hair style with a tail-like, thin tuft of hair growing down the back of the neck.

61. Greek goddess of wisdom : ATHENA

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

62. “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” musical : EVITA

“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” is a hit song that came out of the 1976 concept album “Evita” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Recorded by English singer Julie Covington, it is sung by the character Eva Perón on the album and in the subsequent stage musical. Covington opted out from appearing in the musical, and so the role of Eva went to Elaine Paige.

63. Water source for Simba? : LION’S MAIN (sounds like “lion’s mane”)

In the 1994 movie “The Lion King”, the protagonist is Simba, the lion cub born to Mufasa and Sarabi. The main antagonist is Scar, Simba’s uncle and Mufasa’s brother. Simba is voiced by Matthew Broderick, and Scar is voiced by Jeremy Irons.

“Lion’s mane” is a common name for the edible mushroom Hericium erinaceus. The common name arises from the mushroom appearance as it grows in clumps of dangling spines that might resemble the mane of a lion.

67. Out of the wind : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

68. “Frozen” reindeer : SVEN

“Sven” is a Scandinavian name. “Sven” is derived from the Old Norse word for “young man” or “young warrior”.

70. Scottish monster’s loch : NESS

The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

Down

3. Neon diner sign : EAT HERE

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

4. Food service giant : SYSCO

It’s hard to drive down any highway in the US without coming across a Sysco truck. It really is a huge company, the largest food service enterprise in the country. “Sysco” is an abbreviation for Systems and Services Company.

6. End of a professor’s URL : EDU

An Internet address (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locators (URL).

7. Italian scooter : VESPA

Vespa is a brand of motor scooter that was originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.

8. Playwright Eugene : O’NEILL

The playwright Eugene O’Neill was born in a New York City hotel room in what is now called Times Square, in 1888. That building no longer exists and there is a Starbucks on the site today, but you can go take a look at the commemorative plaque at the Northeast corner of 43rd and Broadway. O’Neill died in 1953, in room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston. His last words were, “I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room, and God damn it, died in a hotel room.” Eugene O’Neill won a Pulitzer for his play “Anna Christie”.

9. Emmy winner Steve of “60 Minutes” : KROFT

Journalist Steve Kroft has been a correspondent on the excellent CBS newsmagazine show “60 Minutes” since 1989.

The marvelous news magazine program “60 Minutes” has been on the air since 1968. The show is unique among all other regularly-scheduled shows in that it has never used theme music. There is just the ticking of that Aristo stopwatch.

11. Quito’s country : ECUADOR

The full name of the capital city of Ecuador is San Francisco de Quito. Quito is the second highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.

15. Trains over the street : ELS

Elevated railroad (El)

21. Unified whole, in psychology : GESTALT

“Gestalt” is a German word meaning “shape”. The principles of gestaltism were developed in Germany in the early 1900s. One of the main tenets is that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”.

23. Film title “Citizen” : KANE

1941’s “Citizen Kane” was the first film made by Orson Welles, and considered by many to be the finest film ever made. It’s a remarkable achievement by Wells, as he played the lead, and also produced and directed. Despite all the accolades for “Citizen Kane” over the decades, the movie was far from a commercial success in its early run and actually lost money at the box office.

29. One of a calendar septet : DAY

We have seven days in a week because there are seven classical planets in the Solar System. The days were named for these “planets” during the Roman era:

  • Sun (Sunday)
  • Moon (Monday)
  • Mars (Tuesday)
  • Mercury (Wednesday)
  • Jupiter (Thursday)
  • Venus (Friday)
  • Saturn (Saturday)

34. “The Chronic” rapper, familiarly : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

39. Red and Yellow : SEAS

There are four seas named in English for colors:

  • the Yellow Sea
  • the Black Sea
  • the Red Sea
  • the White Sea.

40. Israeli port on the Mediterranean : TEL AVIV

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, a name chosen in 1910.

44. Brewpub draft : PALE ALE

Pale ale is a beer made using mainly pale malt, which results in a relatively light color for a malted beer.

46. Special Forces headgear : BERETS

The US Army Special Forces are known as the Green Berets because they wear … green berets. The Green Beret is also worn by the Royal Marines of the British Army. When US Army Rangers and OSS operatives were trained by the Royal Marines in Scotland during WWII, graduates of the gruelling training program were awarded green berets by their British instructors. The US soldiers, although proud of their new headgear, were not allowed to wear it as part of their uniform. They had to wait until 1961, when President Kennedy authorized the green beret for exclusive use by US Special Forces.

52. Construction site sights : CRANES

The lifting device known as a crane is so called because of its resemblance to the wading bird with the same name.

54. “The Lord of the Rings” actor Sean : ASTIN

Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy” and the character Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” movies. You might also have seen him playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of “24”. Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke, and the adopted son of actor John Astin (of “The Addams Family” fame).

60. Smidgen : TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

64. Portland’s st. : ORE

Portland is the largest city in Oregon. The city was founded by two claimholders from back East, one from Boston, Massachusetts and one from Portland, Maine. Both of the founders wanted to name the new city after their hometowns, and settled the dilemma with a coin toss. Portland won …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Fights (for) : VIES
5. “Whip It” rock band : DEVO
9. __-slapper: funny joke : KNEE
13. On the road : AWAY
14. Biblical paradise : EDEN
15. Dr. Hahn on “Grey’s Anatomy” : ERICA
16. Hesitation from Sylvester? : CAT’S PAUSE (sounds like “cat’s paws”)
18. Center of activity : LOCUS
19. Fireplace receptacle : ASHCAN
20. Accomplishment by Porky? : PIG’S FEAT (sounds like “pig’s feet”)
22. Former Fox TV series set in Newport Beach : THE OC
23. Curly cabbage : KALE
24. Minor flap : TO-DO
25. Ringing organ, at times : EAR
26. Detergent brand : ERA
28. ’60s hallucinogen : LSD
30. Pierre’s negative : NON
31. Near-failing mark : DEE
33. Reach its destination, as a trip : END
35. Slim candle : TAPER
37. Affirmative from Tony? : TIGER’S AYE (sounds like “tiger’s eye”)
40. Royal crown : TIARA
42. Slim fish : EEL
43. Tech sch. near Albany, N.Y. : RPI
46. Win, place or show : BET
47. Seasonal shelf sitter : ELF
49. __ moment’s notice : AT A
51. Curved shape : ARC
53. “Frozen” sister : ELSA
55. Charged particles : IONS
57. One of Crayola’s hundreds : COLOR
59. Story from Remy? : RAT’S TALE (sounds like “rat’s tail”)
61. Greek goddess of wisdom : ATHENA
62. “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” musical : EVITA
63. Water source for Simba? : LION’S MAIN (sounds like “lion’s mane”)
65. Fainthearted : TIMID
66. Fairy tale heavy : OGRE
67. Out of the wind : ALEE
68. “Frozen” reindeer : SVEN
69. “That was close!” : WHEW!
70. Scottish monster’s loch : NESS

Down

1. Obey an eviction notice : VACATE
2. “He scammed me!” : I WAS HAD!
3. Neon diner sign : EAT HERE
4. Food service giant : SYSCO
5. College faculty head : DEAN
6. End of a professor’s URL : EDU
7. Italian scooter : VESPA
8. Playwright Eugene : O’NEILL
9. Emmy winner Steve of “60 Minutes” : KROFT
10. “Good shot!” : NICE ONE!
11. Quito’s country : ECUADOR
12. Crayola Factory’s Pennsylvania home : EASTON
15. Trains over the street : ELS
17. Running rate : PACE
21. Unified whole, in psychology : GESTALT
23. Film title “Citizen” : KANE
27. Trappings of royalty : REGALIA
29. One of a calendar septet : DAY
32. Incoming flight info : ETA
34. “The Chronic” rapper, familiarly : DRE
36. Each : PER
38. Rage : IRE
39. Red and Yellow : SEAS
40. Israeli port on the Mediterranean : TEL AVIV
41. “The hour has arrived” : IT’S TIME
44. Brewpub draft : PALE ALE
45. Unexpected turns of events : IRONIES
46. Special Forces headgear : BERETS
48. Abide by : FOLLOW
50. Plays a part : ACTS
52. Construction site sights : CRANES
54. “The Lord of the Rings” actor Sean : ASTIN
56. Horse’s mouthful? : NEIGH
58. “Not again!” : OH MAN!
60. Smidgen : TAD
61. From the top : ANEW
64. Portland’s st. : ORE

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