LA Times Crossword 7 Dec 18, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): “Etoic”

Themed answers are common phrases in which the -E at the end of one word has been changed to -IC:

  • 16A. Art class model, say? : STATIC EMPLOYEE (from “state employee”)
  • 25A. Homeowner’s extreme reaction to a hailstorm? : WINDOW PANIC (from “window pane”)
  • 34A. Ancient Roman’s suggestion to a sweat-drenched pal? : CHANGE YOUR TUNIC (from “change your tune”)
  • 46A. Where sick con victims seek help? : PATSY CLINIC (from “Patsy Cline”)
  • 59A. Stand-up invited to a holiday meal? : COMIC FOR DINNER (from “come for dinner”)

Bill’s time: 10m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. City in which much of “Moonlight” is set : MIAMI

“Moonlight” is a 2016 semi-autobiographical film based on an unpublished play by Tarell Alvin McCraney titled “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”. “Moonlight” won the season’s Best Picture Oscar, thus becoming the first film to do so with an all-black cast, and the first with an LGBT storyline.

6. Lively display of stamps? : FLAMENCO

Flamenco is a style of Spanish music and dance. The origin of the word “flamenco” isn’t clearly understood, but the explanation that seems most credible to me is that it comes from Flanders in Northern Europe. Given that “flamenco” is the Spanish word for “Flemish” and Flanders is home to the Flemish people it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

14. Long range : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

18. Singer Jones : TOM

Tom Jones … now he has a real voice and is a great showman. I saw him in Las Vegas many, many moons ago, and it was one of the best Vegas shows I’ve ever attended. Although “Tom Jones” is a carefully selected stage name (he was born Thomas Woodward) the name isn’t too far from reality as Jones is his mother’s maiden name. The stage name was chosen by his manager to capitalize on the appeal of “Tom Jones”, a filmed version of the Henry Fielding novel that was having a successful run at the time. The name also emphasized Tom’s Welsh roots, as Jones is a very common name in Wales.

19. Ashes not caused by fire : TREES

The wood of the ash tree is a hardwood, although it is relatively elastic. Famously, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats. It is also the wood of choice for hurleys, the wooden sticks used in the Irish sport of hurling.

22. Genesis twin : ESAU

Esau, was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother Jacob, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

23. Volcanic rock : BASALT

Basalt is a volcanic rock that is created when lava cools rapidly at the earth’s surface.

31. Lot unit : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. A area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

32. Sucker of sorts : LEECH

We are most familiar with medicinal leeches, which feed on the blood of mainly vertebrate animals. However, most leeches are predatory and swallow other invertebrates for food.

43. Asian holiday : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

46. Where sick con victims seek help? : PATSY CLINIC (from “Patsy Cline”)

The etymology of the word “patsy” meaning “fall guy” isn’t really understood. One colorful theory suggests that the term comes from an 1890s vaudeville character named Patsy Bolivar. Patsy always got the blame when something went wrong.

Patsy Cline was a country music singer who managed to cross over into the world of pop music where she enjoyed great success. Cline is one of a long list of musical legends who died in plane crashes. Cline was 30 years old when she was killed in 1963 in a Piper Comanche plane piloted by her manager, Randy Hughes. Hughes and Cline decided to make that last flight despite warnings of inclement weather, and it was a severe storm that brought down the plane in a forest outside Camden, Tennessee.

53. Bust size? : KILO

That would be a drug bust.

54. Flynn of film : ERROL

Actor Errol Flynn was born 1909 in Tasmania, Australia where he was raised. In his twenties, Flynn lived in the UK where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film “In the Wake of the Bounty” and then appeared in a British film “Murder at Monte Carlo”. It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. Flynn’s non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

56. Attorney’s org. : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

65. Cutting tool for making joints : TENON SAW

One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon. It is basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In the related dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

66. Works on a batter : STIRS

In cookery, a batter is a mixture of flour, eggs and milk that has been beaten together. The term “batter” comes from the Old French noun “batteure” meaning “beating”.

Down

3. Biblical exile : ADAM

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

7. Fabric with a glint : LAME

Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. Lamé is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

8. Some dadaist works : ARPS

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

9. Brooks with lines : MEL

Mel Brooks’ real name is Melvin Kaminsky. Brooks is one of very few entertainers (there are only ten) who have won the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam” i.e. an Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy. He is in good company, as the list also includes the likes of Richard Rogers, Sir John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch and Audrey Hepburn.

11. British poet Alfred : NOYES

Alfred Noyes was an English poet best known for his narrative poem “The Highwayman”, published in 1906. The highwayman in the poem is in love with an innkeeper’s daughter named Bess. Bess dies trying to warn her lover about an ambush, and then the highwayman dies when trying to exact revenge for her death. The highwayman and Bess meet up as ghosts on winter nights.

12. ’80s-’90s Olds models : CIERAS

Oldsmobile made the Cutlass Ciera from 1982 to 1996. The Ciera was the most successful model that bore the Oldsmobile badge.

13. Score early in the set, maybe : ONE ALL

That might be tennis, for example.

17. Bird crop : CRAW

“Craw” is another name for “crop”, a portion of the alimentary tract of some animals, including birds. The crop is used for the storage of food prior to digestion. It allows the animal to eat large amounts and then digest that food with efficiency over an extended period. The expression “to stick in one’s craw” is used one when one cannot accept something, cannot “swallow” it.

23. Stuttgart suds : BIER

Stuttgart is the sixth-largest city in Germany, and is located in southern Germany. The city is sometimes called “the cradle of the automobile” as Karl Benz made his first cars and motorcycles there, as were the first VW Beetle prototypes. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche cars are still manufactured in Stuttgart and the surrounding area.

25. WWII female : WAC

The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed in 1942, and the unit was converted to full status the following year to become the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). Famously, General Douglas MacArthur referred to the WACs as his “best soldiers”, saying they worked harder, complained less and were better disciplined than men. The WACs were disbanded in 1978 and the serving members were integrated into the rest of the army.

26. Gigi : je :: Greta : __ : ICH

“Ich” is the German for “I”, as in “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner), the famous words of support uttered by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 in a speech in West Berlin. The supposed translation of “Ich bin ein Berliner” as “I am a jelly doughnut” … that’s just an urban myth. President Kennedy’s use of German was perfectly correct.

27. Org. with frequent firings : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

29. Fresh, to Franz : NEU

In German, the opposite of “alt” (old) is “neu” (new).

37. Equivalent of OTOH : YET

On the other hand (OTOH)

38. Photographer Goldin : NAN

Nan Goldin is an American photographer who is based in New York, Berlin and Paris.

40. Health org. with HQ in Atlanta : CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …

45. Queen’s “Somebody __” : TO LOVE

“Somebody to Love” is a 1976 by British rock band Queen that is often compared to their 1975 megahit “Bohemian Rhapsody”. While the latter has a voice track that mimics an English-style choir, “Somebody to Love” features a gospel choir. The song was written by lead singer Freddie Mercury, who was inspired by the music of Aretha Franklin.

47. Peter of Peter, Paul & Mary : YARROW

Peter Yarrow was the “Peter” in the folk music group Peter, Paul and Mary. Yarrow’s most famous composition is probably “Puff, the Magic Dragon”, which he co-wrote with Lenny Lipton.

51. Many suffragists : WOMEN

Universal suffrage is said to exist when all citizens have the right to vote, regardless of race, sex, belief, wealth or social status. That said, the term “universal suffrage” has been used differently in times past, and in particular in the context of universal suffrage for men. There is some debate about which nation was the first to achieve universal suffrage. New Zealand opened up voting to all citizens regardless of sex in 1893, however, women did not have the right to stand for election at that time. Finland is another contender for the “first universal suffrage” moniker, having achieved that status in 1906.

54. Young newts : EFTS

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

55. “The Godfather” composer Nino : ROTA

Nino Rota was a 20th-century Italian composer who was best known for composing film scores. He was very productive, composing an average of three scores per year for 46 years, including an incredible 13 scores in 1954. He won a Best Original Score Oscar in 1974 for “The Godfather Part II”.

“The Godfather” series of films is based on “The Godfather” novel by Mario Puzo, first published in 1969. Francis Ford Coppola worked with Puzo in partnership to adapt his novel into the screenplay for the first film, and to write the screenplays for the two sequels. Coppola holds that there are really only two films in “The Godfather” series, with “The Godfather Part III” actually being the epilogue.

58. Liberal follower? : ARTS

The term “liberal arts” dates back to classical antiquity. The liberal arts were those subjects deemed essential to master for a citizen to take active part in civil life. “Citizens” were “free people”, hence the use of the term “liberal arts”. The list of subjects studied in olden times were generally sevenfold: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy/astrology.

60. “Can __ forward when my heart is here?”: Romeo : I GO

Act II of Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet” opens with Romeo speaking the lines:

Can I go forward when my heart is here?
Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out.

62. D.C. ballplayer : NAT

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. City in which much of “Moonlight” is set : MIAMI
6. Lively display of stamps? : FLAMENCO
14. Long range : ANDES
15. Valuable collectible : RARE COIN
16. Art class model, say? : STATIC EMPLOYEE (from “state employee”)
18. Singer Jones : TOM
19. Ashes not caused by fire : TREES
20. Notable times : ERAS
22. Genesis twin : ESAU
23. Volcanic rock : BASALT
25. Homeowner’s extreme reaction to a hailstorm? : WINDOW PANIC (from “window pane”)
30. Calculating : SLY
31. Lot unit : ACRE
32. Sucker of sorts : LEECH
34. Ancient Roman’s suggestion to a sweat-drenched pal? : CHANGE YOUR TUNIC (from “change your tune”)
41. Wise guys, maybe : SAGES
42. Hotel worker : MAID
43. Asian holiday : TET
46. Where sick con victims seek help? : PATSY CLINIC (from “Patsy Cline”)
50. Went from 50 to 40 : SLOWED
52. “Put __ on it!” : A LID
53. Bust size? : KILO
54. Flynn of film : ERROL
56. Attorney’s org. : ABA
59. Stand-up invited to a holiday meal? : COMIC FOR DINNER (from “come for dinner”)
63. “It’s my duty” : I’VE GOT TO
64. Really irk : EAT AT
65. Cutting tool for making joints : TENON SAW
66. Works on a batter : STIRS

Down

1. It’s often rigged : MAST
2. Fascinated by : INTO
3. Biblical exile : ADAM
4. Came across : MET
5. “Can this be true?” : IS IT SO?
6. Clear, as a schedule slot : FREE UP
7. Fabric with a glint : LAME
8. Some dadaist works : ARPS
9. Brooks with lines : MEL
10. Green prefix : ECO-
11. British poet Alfred : NOYES
12. ’80s-’90s Olds models : CIERAS
13. Score early in the set, maybe : ONE ALL
17. Bird crop : CRAW
21. Muddy enclosure : STY
22. Delightful places : EDENS
23. Stuttgart suds : BIER
24. Bank holding: Abbr. : ACCT
25. WWII female : WAC
26. Gigi : je :: Greta : __ : ICH
27. Org. with frequent firings : NRA
28. See 57-Down : … A LOSS
29. Fresh, to Franz : NEU
33. Like a rainforest : HUMID
35. Show awe : GAPE
36. Quaint “Yikes!” : EGAD!
37. Equivalent of OTOH : YET
38. Photographer Goldin : NAN
39. Sundial marking : III
40. Health org. with HQ in Atlanta : CDC
43. “Naughty!” : TSK!
44. Draw out : ELICIT
45. Queen’s “Somebody __” : TO LOVE
47. Peter of Peter, Paul & Mary : YARROW
48. Lump of earth : CLOD
49. Easter display : LILIES
51. Many suffragists : WOMEN
54. Young newts : EFTS
55. “The Godfather” composer Nino : ROTA
56. Opposition member : ANTI
57. With 28-Down, persevere despite hardship : BEAR …
58. Liberal follower? : ARTS
60. “Can __ forward when my heart is here?”: Romeo : I GO
61. Fool : CON
62. D.C. ballplayer : NAT

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