LA Times Crossword 6 Dec 18, Thursday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): In and Out

Each themed answer comprises two phrases that differ only in that one uses “IN” and the other “OUT”:

  • 17A. Heist that really puts a burglar on the map? : BREAK-OUT BREAK-IN
  • 25A. Retro renege? : BACK-IN BACK-OUT
  • 42A. Unexpected visit from a hippie? : DROPOUT DROP-IN
  • 56A. Scene-stealing understudy? : STAND-IN STANDOUT

Bill’s time: 6m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Southwest art colony : 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.

15. Blood type letters : ABO

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

16. Palindromic French pronoun : ELLE

“Elle” is the French word for “she”.

21. Corrida cheer : OLE!

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.

22. Cable network that airs vintage sitcoms : TV LAND

TV Land is a cable television channel that debuted in 1996. “TV Land” is a name that was used by Nick at Nite in the eighties, and is a term originally coined by “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show”.

23. Place for rest and exercise : SPA

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

24. AFL partner : CIO

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

25. Retro renege? : BACK-IN BACK-OUT

To renege on something is to back out of it. “To renege a verb commonly used in card games like bridge and whist. A renege is when a player doesn’t follow suit, even though there may be a card of the suit led in his/her hand.

36. Bucks : MOOLA

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

“Buck” is a slang term for “dollar”. The term has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days.

38. Top of le corps : TETE

In French, the “tête” (head) is the top of “le corps” (the body).

45. Two for dinner? : ENS

There are two letters N (en) in the word “dinner”.

47. Performer with a record 21 Oscar nominations : STREEP

Meryl Streep has had more nominations for an Academy Award than any other actor, which is both a tribute to her talent and the respect she has earned in the industry. I am not a huge fan of her earlier works but some of her recent movies are now on my list of all-time favorites. I recommend “Mamma Mia!” (you’ll either love it or hate it!), “Julie & Julia”, “It’s Complicated” and ”Hope Springs”.

51. ESPN broadcaster Shriver : PAM

Pam Shriver is a former professional tennis player who was especially respected for her abilities as a doubles player. Most of her success came with playing partner Martina Navratilova. Shriver was marred for several years to james Bond actor George Lazenby, with whom she has three children.

52. Energy units : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

59. Sushi seaweed : NORI

Nori is an edible seaweed that we used to know as “laver” when I was living in Wales. Nori is usually dried into thin sheets. Here in the US, we are most familiar with nori as the seaweed used as a wrap for sushi.

60. Trauma ctrs. : ERS

Emergency room (ER)

Down

6. Actress Goldberg : WHOOPI

Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson. Goldberg is multi-talented, and is one of a very short list of entertainers to have won all four major showbiz awards:

  • an Oscar (for “Ghost”)
  • an Emmy (two, for “The View”)
  • a Grammy (for “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, as a producer)
  • a Tony (also for producing “Thoroughly Modern Millie”)

7. Oasis fruit : DATE

Date palms can be either male or female. Only the female tree bears fruit.

9. Wednesday’s mom : MORTICIA

Gomez and Morticia (“Tish”) Addams were the parents in “The Addams Family”, a creation of the cartoonist Charles Addams. In the sixties television show, Gomez was played by John Astin and Morticia was played by Carolyn Jones.

Wednesday Addams is the daughter in the television sitcom “The Addams Family”. In the original cartoon strip, members of the Addams family had no given names. The names were introduced for the television show.

10. Blue-green hue : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes it name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

11. __-Seltzer : ALKA

Alka-Seltzer is a brand of fizzy antacid that has been marketed since 1931. In terms of ingredients, it is a mix of sodium bicarbonate, aspirin and anhydrous citric acid.

12. Lena of “Alias” : OLIN

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland. Olin’s most famous performance was in “Chocolat” released in 2000, and then she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting actress in the TV show “Alias”.

“Alias” is an action show that was aired by ABC from 2001 to 2006. Star of the show is Jennifer Garner. Garner plays a CIA agent named Sydney Bristow who must adopt multiple aliases over the series for her missions, while concealing her real career from family and friends. Sydney’s mother is a former Russian spy played by the marvelous Lena Olin.

18. __ Bator : ULAN

The name of Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar (formerly anglicized as “Ulan Bator”) translates as “the Red Hero”. The “Red Hero” name was chosen in honor of the country’s national hero Damdin Sükhbaatar. Sükhbaatar fought alongside the Soviet Red Army in the fight for liberation from Chinese occupation.

23. Master moguls : SKI

Moguls are the series of bumps in the surface of snow that arise naturally as a succession of skiers make turns on a slope.

24. Fenway great Yastrzemski : CARL

Carl Yastrzemski, who played his whole career with the Boston Red Sox, goes by the nickname “Yaz”.

The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell-out since May of 2003. I recently had the pleasure of touring Fenway Park. It’s quite a place …

26. Red who put out fires : ADAIR

Red Adair was a famous fighter of fires in oil fields, and was a native of Houston, Texas. Adair’s exploits were the inspiration for a 1968 movie called “Hellfighters” starring John Wayne.

27. Jerry’s neighbor : COSMO

Cosmo Kramer is the outrageous character played by Michael Richards on “Seinfeld”. “Seinfeld” co-creator, Larry David, introduced Kramer into the story, basing the character on real-life comedian Kenny Kramer who used to live across the hall from him.

Jerry Seinfeld is a standup comedian and comic actor from Brooklyn, New York. Jerry is most famous for playing the lead in the “Seinfeld” sitcom from 1989 to 1998. “Seinfeld” was good for Jerry, earning him $267 million in 1998 alone, and making him the highest-paid celebrity that year.

30. Development sites : UTERI

“Uterus” (plural “uteri”) is the Latin word for “womb”.

31. Grand __ National Park : TETON

Grand Teton National Park (NP) is located just south of Yellowstone NP, and a must-see if you are visiting the latter. The park is named after the tallest peak in the magnificent Teton Range known as Grand Teton. The origins of the name “Teton” is not very clear, although my one story is that it was named by French trappers, as the word “tetons” in French is a slang term meaning “breasts”.

32. __ bunt: productive MLB out : SAC

To bunt in baseball is to barely hit the ball, just enough to have it roll slowly in front of the infielders.

34. Mink lair : DEN

There are two species of mink extant, the European Mink and the American Mink. There used to be a Sea Mink which was much larger than its two cousins, but it was hunted to extinction (for its fur) in the late 1800s. American Minks are farmed over in Europe for fur, and animal rights activists have released many of these animals into the wild when raiding mink farms. As a result the European Mink population has declined due to the presence of its larger and more adaptable American cousin.

36. Marshmallow-filled treats : MOONPIES

Marshmallow cream was developed in 1927. Soon after, workers in the coal mines around Chattanooga, Tennessee started dipping graham crackers in marshmallow cream as a snack. Then a local baker jumped on the idea, and came up with a sandwich made with a marshmallow filling between two round graham crackers. His young grandson remarked that the popped bubbles in the marshmallow (from baking) looked like moon craters, and the MoonPie was born. I used to love them as a kid, although we called them “Wagon Wheels” in our part of the world.

41. “__ appétit!” : BON

The phrase “Enjoy your meal” translates into French as “Bon appétit”, and into German as “Guten Appetit”.

44. Wyndham-owned chain : RAMADA

The Ramada Inn hotel chain takes its name from the Spanish word for a shady resting place. A ramada is a shelter with a roof and no walls, mainly found in the American southwest. Nowadays a ramada can be temporary or permanent, but originally ramadas were makeshift shelters constructed by aboriginal Indians from branches or bushes.

The Wyndham hotel chain was founded Dallas in 1981 by one Trammell Crow. Apparently, Trammell named the company for a woman who wrote a profile of him for “Fortune” magazine. The woman’s name was Wyndham Robertson.

47. Taxpayer IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

48. Firebird roof option : T-TOP

A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

The Pontiac Firebird was made by General Motors (GM) from 1967 to 2002. GM introduced the Firebird to compete with the Ford Mustang.

50. City near Vance Air Force Base : ENID

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because is has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

Vance Air Force Base is located just a few miles south of Enid, Oklahoma. The main mission of the base is to train pilots for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Vance AFB is named after a Medal of Honor recipient from WWII, Leon Robert Vance, Jr.

52. Pop singer Brickell : EDIE

Edie Brickell is a singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas. Brickell has been married to fellow singer Paul Simon since 1991.

53. “Mazes and Monsters” novelist Jaffe : RONA

Rona Jaffe was an American novelist perhaps most famous for two of her books, “The Best of Everything” and “Mazes and Monsters”. “The Best of Everything” was published in 1958 and has been compared with the HBO television series “Sex and the City” as it depicts women in the working world. “Mazes and Monsters” was published in 1981 and explores a role-playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons and the impact it has on players.

55. Lid problem : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

57. FDR agency : NRA

The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was one of the first agencies set up under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. On the one hand the NRA help set minimum wages and maximum working hours for workers in industry, and on the other hand it helped set minimum prices for goods produced by companies. The NRA was very popular with the public, and businesses that didn’t opt to participate in the program found themselves boycotted. The NRA didn’t survive for long though, as after two years of operation it was deemed to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and so it ceased operations in 1935.

58. __ King Cole : NAT

Nat King Cole’s real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn’t pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all – the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Free-speech inhibitor : GAG LAW
7. Rep.’s opponent : DEM
10. Southwest art colony : TAOS
14. From the beginning : AFRESH
15. Blood type letters : ABO
16. Palindromic French pronoun : ELLE
17. Heist that really puts a burglar on the map? : BREAK-OUT BREAK-IN
20. Seeded : SOWN
21. Corrida cheer : OLE!
22. Cable network that airs vintage sitcoms : TV LAND
23. Place for rest and exercise : SPA
24. AFL partner : CIO
25. Retro renege? : BACK-IN BACK-OUT
32. “Me too” : SO DO I
33. Word with goal or detail : ORIENTED
35. Remote power sources : AAAS
36. Bucks : MOOLA
38. Top of le corps : TETE
39. Purplish reds : CRIMSONS
41. Oil __ : BARON
42. Unexpected visit from a hippie? : DROPOUT DROP-IN
45. Two for dinner? : ENS
46. Made a getaway : RAN
47. Performer with a record 21 Oscar nominations : STREEP
51. ESPN broadcaster Shriver : PAM
52. Energy units : ERGS
56. Scene-stealing understudy? : STAND-IN STANDOUT
59. Sushi seaweed : NORI
60. Trauma ctrs. : ERS
61. Delicate : DAINTY
62. Did 90, say : SPED
63. Took a load off : SAT
64. Relaxed : AT EASE

Down

1. Speaks freely : GABS
2. Spherical hairdo : AFRO
3. Went up a size : GREW
4. Low-fat : LEAN
5. Say “pretty please,” say : ASK
6. Actress Goldberg : WHOOPI
7. Oasis fruit : DATE
8. Weaken : EBB
9. Wednesday’s mom : MORTICIA
10. Blue-green hue : TEAL
11. __-Seltzer : ALKA
12. Lena of “Alias” : OLIN
13. Really excite : SEND
18. __ Bator : ULAN
19. Call to mind : EVOKE
23. Master moguls : SKI
24. Fenway great Yastrzemski : CARL
25. Corporate body : BOARD
26. Red who put out fires : ADAIR
27. Jerry’s neighbor : COSMO
28. Help for a child at a parade : BOOST
29. Like some bar offerings : ON TAP
30. Development sites : UTERI
31. Grand __ National Park : TETON
32. __ bunt: productive MLB out : SAC
34. Mink lair : DEN
36. Marshmallow-filled treats : MOONPIES
37. Burden : ONUS
40. Clip : SPEED
41. “__ appétit!” : BON
43. “Shoot!” : DRAT!
44. Wyndham-owned chain : RAMADA
47. Taxpayer IDs : SSNS
48. Firebird roof option : T-TOP
49. More than pink : RARE
50. City near Vance Air Force Base : ENID
51. Hissed attention-getter : PSST!
52. Pop singer Brickell : EDIE
53. “Mazes and Monsters” novelist Jaffe : RONA
54. Inner workings : GUTS
55. Lid problem : STYE
57. FDR agency : NRA
58. __ King Cole : NAT

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Dec 18, Thursday”

  1. This took me awhile. Right off the bat I had Morticia spelt Mortisha, because of her nickname Tish, so had to change things. Finally my brain woke up and In & Out, fell into play. Took some time but ended up working out. Fri. Sat. ugh!

  2. About an hour , I struggled but finished. Now for some strange reason I’ve got a hankering for an RC Cola and Moon Pie?

    Eddie

    1. I once had a job at a country club and ran the caddie concession. The favorite
      snack was moon pies and RC Cola!

      2 errors when I misspelled MORTICIA. 0 omissions. Very hard puzzle, but I did
      catch on to the theme and got all of those answers.

  3. LAT: 8:21, no errors. Newsday: 10:09, no errors. WSJ: 25:48, no errors, but it took me an awfully long time to figure out the theme (maybe the WSJ folks were trying to make up for the lack of Thursday difficulty in the NYT and LAT puzzles? 😜). BEQ: 22:19, no errors, but it reminded me of three words that I hadn’t thought of in years and exposed me to another word I’d never heard of: “kilderkin”; it’s not actually in the puzzle, but I came across it after finishing, while checking out the other ones – anyone here know it?).

  4. Aided by a theme that made it possible to quickly fill in the key rows, I flew through this in 8:02, and no errors. Then, I come here and am quickly brought down to earth by Bill’s solve time. *sigh*

  5. LAT: 8:46, no errors. Easiest of the week. WSJ: 38:07, no errors. Tough, good theme. Great puzzle! Newsday: 15:44, no errors. BEQ: 57:10, no errors. Indeed quite “hard”, but sadly for the usual reasons.

  6. As Dave and Glenn both commented, the WSJ was a toughie today. Finally I caught on to the theme as I stared at a lot of unfilled in real estate and that got me going and, eventually, across the finish line. LAT’s was quick.

  7. I had z tough time with today’s puzzle and I am surprised that most of you found it pretty easy.

    I am not used to the slang like bucks etc and that got me down. I did not know which Jerry and who was Wednesday. ( I remember an actress named Tuesday Weld … but that was it ) it also took me some time to catch onto the long answers.

    Have a nice day, all

  8. This was also easy for me. A Thursday, and I only had to Google for SAC (sports).

    @Eddie – I also wanted that MOON PIE. @Vidwan – I also thought of Tuesday Weld.

    Speaking of Jerry, saw him live tonite at our beautiful Stanley theater here in Utica.

  9. Did this at a leisurely pace while selling my honey, but it was really easy and I finished in no time despite my dealing with customers intermittently. Once I got the theme everything just flowed very smoothly. I did have to wait for a few crosses (TVLAND, GAGLAW, NORI, COSMO) but except for TVLAND, I kinda knew the answer anyway.

    I knew about Wednesday and her brother Pugsley and I used to regularly watch the Addams Family and the Munsters…great comedy back then! Still like some of you guys, Tuesday Weld was/is one of my favorite actresses. I really liked “The Cincinnati Kid” and “Pretty Poison.”

  10. Hey all!🙃
    No errors on a very easy Thursday…and from Ed Sessa! Does he feel guilty for all the difficult grids he’s given us in the past!!?

    Sfingi, you saw Jerry and here he is in the puzzle…was it fun?

    Be well🐷🐩🦄

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