LA Times Crossword 5 Dec 18, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): It’s Hot Inside

Themed answers include some hot synonyms, i.e. BURN, FLAME, FIRE and BLAZE:

  • 17A. Get increasingly steamed : DO A SLOW BURN
  • 26A. Provocative social media tactic : FLAME TROLLING
  • 44A. Battlefield order : FIRE WHEN READY!
  • 59A. Striking white stripe between a horse’s eyes : FACIAL BLAZE

Bill’s time: 6m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Spars on the briny : MASTS

The briny is the sea, with “brine” meaning “salty water”. The term “briny” was originally used for “tears”.

11. Spanish I verb : AMO

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

14. Vital body vessel : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

15. Choristers who are usually women : ALTOS

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

16. Young bloke : LAD

“Bloke” is British slang for “fellow”. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

19. “Diary of a Wimpy __”: Jeff Kinney book series : KID

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is a series of humorous novels for children and teens by cartoonist and author Jeff Kinney. The central character in the books is middle school student Greg Heffley. The series is very successful, and there is now a series of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movies.

20. Home of the NHL’s Blues : STL

The St. Louis Blues hockey team takes its name from the song “St. Louis Blues”, a jazz and popular music classic.

22. Radio hobbyists : HAMS

Amateur radio enthusiasts were first called “ham operators” by professional telegraph operators, and the term was intended to be insulting. It came from the similar term “ham actor”, describing a person who is less than effective on the stage. But amateur operators eventually embraced the moniker, and so it stuck.

23. Rickie Fowler’s org. : PGA

Rickie Fowler is a former number-one ranked amateur golfer who now plays on the PGA Tour. You’ll often see Fowler wearing orange on the course. He always wears orange on the last day of a golf tournament in honor of Oklahoma State University, his alma mater.

26. Provocative social media tactic : FLAME TROLLING

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person, as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. Sad, sad people …

Flaming is an Internet phenomenon in which a person posts insults directed against another. People have been insulting each other since time immemorial, but the Internet provides a forum in which cowardly individuals can hurl insults while hiding behind anonymity.

32. Old Italian bread? : LIRE

The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

34. Jai __ : ALAI

Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

35. Forearm-related : ULNAR

The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”.

39. Disciple’s query : IS IT I?

At the Last Supper, Jesus told his apostles that one of them would betray him that day. According to the Gospel of Matthew:

And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

47. __ Mode, designer voiced by Brad Bird in “Incredibles 2” : EDNA

Director Brad Bird won the Best Animated Feature Oscar for 2004’s “The Incredibles” and 2007’s “Ratatouille”, both of which were Pixar movies. Bird has also directed live-action films, included the very successful 2011 movie “Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol”.

“Incredibles 2” is a 2018 movie that is a sequel to 2004’s “The Incredibles”. Both films were written and directed by Brad Bird. Bird was also a cast member for “Incredibles 2” as he voiced Edna Mode, a fashion designer for superheroes.

49. Skinny : INFO

The use of the word “skinny” meaning information, comes from WWII military slang for “the truth”, probably a derivative of the expression “the naked truth” (evocative of “skinny-dipping”).

55. Getting stuff done, initially : TCB

Taking care of business (TCB)

58. “Who, me?” : MOI?

“Moi” is the French word for “me”. One might say “Moi?” when feigning innocence.

64. Animation frame : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

66. Hindu spiritual writing : SUTRA

The word “sutra” is used in Hinduism for a learned text, one usually meant to be studied by students.

Down

1. Despicable dudes : CADS

Our word “cad”, meaning “person lacking in finer feelings”, is a shortening of the word “cadet”. “Cad” was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used “cad” as a term for a boy from the local town. “Cad” took on its current meaning in the 1830s.

3. Depleted sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

4. “__ Quiet Uptown”: “Hamilton” song : IT’S

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

5. Spanish dessert wine : MALAGA

Malaga is a fortified sweet wine from the city of Málaga in Spain.

Málaga is the capital city of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia in Spain. Located on the Mediterranean coast, it is considered the southernmost large city in Europe, and lies about 80 miles north of Africa. Included in the list of notable people born in Málaga are artist Pablo Picasso, and Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas.

6. Bryn __ College : MAWR

Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania is a women’s liberal arts school that was founded in 1885. Bryn Mawr was the first women’s university in the nation to offer graduate education through to a PhD. While the undergraduate program is open only to females, the school opened up the postgraduate program to males in 1931.

7. Goya’s “Duchess of __” : ALBA

María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th Duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.

9. Bullfight figure : TORERO

The term “torero” is used to describe all bullfighters. The term “matador” is reserved for the bullfighter whose job is to make the final kill. Aptly enough, “matador” is Spanish for “killer”.

10. ID gradually being omitted from Medicare cards : SSN

President Obama signed “The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act” in April of 2015. Among other things, the bill calls for the removal of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from Medicare cards in a move designed to protect cardholders from identity theft.

11. Water’s capability to neutralize acid : ALKALINITY

The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are the alkalis, the hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

18. President who appointed two women to the Supreme Court : OBAMA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

25. Pierre’s “his” : A LUI

The French for “his, belonging to him” is “à lui”, and for “hers, belonging to her” is “à elle”

29. Stairway element : RISER

The riser is the vertical part of a step in a flight of stairs.

30. Statistician Silver : NATE

Nate Silver is a statistician who gained celebrity by developing a forecasting system that predicted the future performance of baseball players. He then made a name for himself in the world of politics by predicting the outcome of the 2008 US presidential race on his website FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver successfully predicted the outcome of the election in 49 of the 50 states, missing out on Indiana, which Barack Obama won by less than 1% of the vote. FiveThirtyEight was less successful in predicting the specifics of the 2012 presidential election, but came closer than almost all other pollsters. In 2016, FiveThirtyEight predicted a victory for Hillary Clinton, but with a much lower probability than other poll aggregators. And, they all got it wrong. Oh, and why the name FiveThirtyEight.com? Because there are 538 electors in the US electoral college.

33. Cross inscription : INRI

The letters written on the cross on which Jesus died were INRI. “INRI” is an initialism standing for the Latin “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum”, which translates into English as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”.

45. Black ice, e.g. : HAZARD

Black ice isn’t really black, but rather is transparent and allows the black color of the pavement below to be seen through it. Black ice is a notable hazard in that it forms in relatively dry conditions from moisture in the road surface itself. When that moisture freezes, it expands and creates an icy, transparent film.

46. Boeing rival : AIRBUS

Airbus is an aircraft manufacturer based in Blagnac, France just outside Toulouse. Airbus produces about half of the world’s jetliners. The company built the first fly-by-wire aircraft (the A320) and also builds the world’s largest airliner (the A380).

49. All-in-one Apple : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

50. Florida State player, familiarly : ‘NOLE

Florida State University (FSU) is located in Tallahassee, the state capital of Florida. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Seminoles (sometimes “the ‘Noles”). The team name was chosen in 1947 by the students in a vote, and alludes to the Seminole people who originally lived in the state. Most of the Seminole now live in Oklahoma, after their forced relocation by the US government in the 1840s.

54. Early late-night TV host : PAAR

Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: “Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

56. Business magnate : CZAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

57. Olympics coach Karolyi : BELA

Béla Károlyi is a gymnastics coach from Romania who has lived in the US since 1981. Károlyi has coached both the US and Romanian national teams, with both winning Olympic gold.

59. Tower authority: Abbr. : FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

60. The SEC’s Tigers : LSU

The Tigers are the sports teams of Louisiana State University (LSU). They are officially known as the Fightin’ Tigers, and the school mascot is “Mike the Tiger”. The name comes from the days of the Civil War, when two Louisiana brigades earned the nickname the “Louisiana Tigers”. Given the French/Cajun history of Louisiana, the LSU fans use the cheer “Geaux Tigers” instead of “Go Tigers”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Insurance submission : CLAIM
6. Spars on the briny : MASTS
11. Spanish I verb : AMO
14. Vital body vessel : AORTA
15. Choristers who are usually women : ALTOS
16. Young bloke : LAD
17. Get increasingly steamed : DO A SLOW BURN
19. “Diary of a Wimpy __”: Jeff Kinney book series : KID
20. Home of the NHL’s Blues : STL
21. Scrape off : ABRADE
22. Radio hobbyists : HAMS
23. Rickie Fowler’s org. : PGA
24. One way to travel : RAIL
26. Provocative social media tactic : FLAME TROLLING
32. Old Italian bread? : LIRE
34. Jai __ : ALAI
35. Forearm-related : ULNAR
36. Wee hr. : ONE AM
38. Approves : OKS
39. Disciple’s query : IS IT I?
40. “Am not!” retort : ARE SO!
41. Spa treatment : PEEL
43. Bullet __: list highlight : ITEM
44. Battlefield order : FIRE WHEN READY!
47. __ Mode, designer voiced by Brad Bird in “Incredibles 2” : EDNA
48. Strive : VIE
49. Skinny : INFO
51. Sleeping bag closer : ZIPPER
55. Getting stuff done, initially : TCB
58. “Who, me?” : MOI?
59. Striking white stripe between a horse’s eyes : FACIAL BLAZE
61. From A to Z : ALL
62. Venue with skyboxes : ARENA
63. Expected : USUAL
64. Animation frame : CEL
65. Venomous snake : ADDER
66. Hindu spiritual writing : SUTRA

Down

1. Despicable dudes : CADS
2. Ransack : LOOT
3. Depleted sea : ARAL
4. “__ Quiet Uptown”: “Hamilton” song : IT’S
5. Spanish dessert wine : MALAGA
6. Bryn __ College : MAWR
7. Goya’s “Duchess of __” : ALBA
8. It may be ear-piercing : STUD
9. Bullfight figure : TORERO
10. ID gradually being omitted from Medicare cards : SSN
11. Water’s capability to neutralize acid : ALKALINITY
12. Injure badly : MAIM
13. Track ratios : ODDS
18. President who appointed two women to the Supreme Court : OBAMA
22. Sledding spot : HILLSIDE
23. “Yes, fine by me” : PLEASE DO
25. Pierre’s “his” : A LUI
26. Second cup at a diner, e.g. : FREE REFILL
27. Unite on the sly : ELOPE
28. Spoken for : TAKEN
29. Stairway element : RISER
30. Statistician Silver : NATE
31. Dire : GRIM
32. Bakery unit : LOAF
33. Cross inscription : INRI
37. Like harvested hay : MOWN
42. Video game stage : LEVEL
45. Black ice, e.g. : HAZARD
46. Boeing rival : AIRBUS
49. All-in-one Apple : IMAC
50. Florida State player, familiarly : ‘NOLE
52. Secured, as a win : ICED
53. Source of cones : PINE
54. Early late-night TV host : PAAR
55. Lacking slack : TAUT
56. Business magnate : CZAR
57. Olympics coach Karolyi : BELA
59. Tower authority: Abbr. : FAA
60. The SEC’s Tigers : LSU

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