LA Times Crossword Answers 18 Aug 2017, Friday










Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: The X-Files

Today’s grid includes five set of circled letters in an X-configuration. Those letters can be rearranged to spell out the word FILES:

  • 39A. ’90s-’00s sci-fi hit … or what this puzzle’s circles graphically depict : THE X-FILES

Bill’s time: 8m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Sound check item : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

8. Euripides tragedy : MEDEA

“Medea” is a tragedy penned by Ancient Greek playwright Euripides. Dealing with the myth of Jason and Medea, it was not received well at its debut in 431 BC. It was premiered at that year’s Dionysia festival in Athens, competing against plays by Euphorion and Sophocles. Euphorion’s play won the competition and Euripides’ “Medea” came in last.

13. __ cross : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

16. Hipbone-related : ILIAC

The ilium is the upper portion of the hipbone.

19. Quantum of solace? : SOFT C

A quantum is a share or portion.

A quantum (portion) of the word “solace” is a soft letter C (cee).

22. Copier room quantity : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

29. Dawn goddess : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos is Aurora.

30. Bread component : CARB

Only relatively small amounts of carbohydrate can be stored by the human body, but those stores are important. The actual storage molecule is a starch-like polysaccharide called glycogen, which is found mainly in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is a quick source of energy when required by the body. Most of the body’s energy is stored in the form of fat, a more compact substance that is mobilized less rapidly. Endurance athletes often eat meals high in carbohydrate (carbo-loading) a few hours before an event, so that their body’s glycogen is at optimum levels.

31. Toy used on flights : SLINKY

The marvelous Slinky toy was invented in the early forties by a naval engineer called Richard James. James was developing springs for the navy that could stabilize sensitive instruments in rough seas. One day he accidentally knocked one of his experimental coils off a shelf and watched it “step” onto a stack of books, then onto a table and from there onto the floor where it recoiled itself very neatly. The Slinky was born …

35. Disney character who sings, “The cold never bothered me anyway” : ELSA

“The cold never bothered me anyway” is the last line in the chorus of the hit song “Let It Go” from the soundtrack of the 2013 Disney movie “Frozen”.

“Let It Go” is an incredibly successful song from the Disney animated film “Frozen” released in 2013. It was performed in the movie by Idina Menzel, who also was the voice actor for the character Elsa. “Let It Go” is one of the very few Disney songs to make it into the Billboard Top Ten.

36. Go Fish request : TENS

Go Fish a very simple card game, usually played by children:

Q. Do you have any queens?
A. No.
Q. Go fish!

37. Turns red, maybe : RUSTS

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

39. ’90s-’00s sci-fi hit … or what this puzzle’s circles graphically depict : THE X-FILES

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

42. 2006 demotion : PLUTO

Pluto was discovered in 1930, and was welcomed as the ninth planet in our solar system. Pluto is relatively small in size, just one fifth of the mass of our own moon. In the seventies, astronomers began to discover more large objects in the solar system, including Eris, a “scattered disc object” at the outer reaches. Given that Eris is actually bigger than Pluto, and other objects really aren’t that much smaller, Pluto’s status as a planet was drawn into question. In 2006 there was a scientific definition for a “planet” agreed for the first time, resulting in Pluto being relegated to the status of “dwarf planet”, along with Eris.

45. Heracles’ beloved : IOLE

Iole was a beautiful young woman of Greek Mythology who was loved by Heracles. But Heracles could not marry Iole because her father refused to allow the match. In Roman mythology, Heracles was known as Hercules.

51. 1962 “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” singer : MONROE

Famously, the actress Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to President John F. Kennedy at an event celebrating his 45th birthday. The rendition was extremely sensual and provocative, a mood that was helped by Monroe’s sultry tone and her very tight-fitting dress. That dress later sold at auction in 1999 for over one and a quarter million dollars. Sadly, Monroe was to commit suicide just three months later.

53. Fla. resort : BOCA

The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

55. Physics unit : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, as there are 10 million ergs in one joule. 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.

58. Trident-shaped letters : PSIS

The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

63. Sugar source : BEETS

The biggest producer of sugar beets in the world is Russia, with France and the US in second and third place.

64. Civilian garb : MUFTI

Mufti is civilian dress that is worn by someone who routinely wears a uniform. The term is probably related somehow to the Arabic “mufti”, the word for a Muslim scholar who interprets Islamic law.

66. Pair in the score for Beethoven’s Fifth : OBOES

If I had to name which of Beethoven’s symphonies I listen to most often, at the top of the list comes the 7th followed closely by the 9th, and then the 5th a little further down. But that four-note opening of the 5th … that is superb …

68. Dandy : FOP

A dandy is a man who is overly fastidious with regard to his personal appearance. There’s a suggestion that the term originated in Scotland, where “Dandy” is a diminutive of the name “Andrew”. Back in the early 1800s, when the use of “dandy” was at its height, the female equivalent was a dandizette.

69. Partner of ciencias : ARTES

In Spanish, one might study the “ciencias” (sciences) and/or the “artes” (arts).

71. Pizzeria chain : UNO

The chain of pizza parlors known today as Uno Chicago Grill used to be called Pizzeria Uno, or just “Uno’s”. Apparently Uno’s created the world’s first deep dish pizza.

73. Holden Caulfield, for one : TEEN

“The Catcher in the Rye” is the most famous novel from the pen of J. D. Salinger. The main character and narrator in the book is Holden Caulfield, a teenager who gets expelled from a university prep school. Caulfield also makes appearances in several short stories written by Salinger, as do other members of the Caulfield family.

Down

1. Visiting Pimlico : AT A RACE

Pimlico Race Course is a horse racetrack in Baltimore, Maryland that is most famous as host for the Preakness Stakes. The track opened in 1870 in area that had been known as Pimlico since the mid 17th century. The “Pimlico” name was given by English settlers as a nod to Olde Ben Pimlico’s Tavern in London.

3. Blowfish : PUFFERS

“Fugu” is the Japanese name for pufferfish, also known as blowfish. Fugu is a notorious dish on a Japanese menu as it can be extremely poisonous. The liver, ovaries and eyes of the pufferfish contain lethal amounts of the poison tetrodotoxin, which paralyses muscles causing death by asphyxiation.

6. “The Big Sleep” genre : NOIR

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

“The Big Sleep” is a film released in 1946, and a great example of the film noir genre. Based on Raymond Chandler’s 1939 novel of the same name, the movie stars Humphrey Bogart as detective Philip Marlowe, and Lauren Bacall as the sultry daughter of Marlowe’s client.

9. Wells race : ELOI

In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

11. Enjoys a buffet, usually : EATS OUT

Our word “buffet” comes from the French “bufet” meaning “bench, sideboard”. So, a buffet is a meal served from a “bufet”.

15. Farm structure : GRAIN SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English, originally coming from the Greek word “siros” that described a pit in which one kept corn.

21. Company that survived Canada’s Prohibition : LABATT

The Labatt Brewing Company is the largest brewer in Canada. The company was founded by John K. Labatt in London, Ontario in 1847.

23. Jan. honoree : MLK

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states resisted naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”). It was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.

26. Tequila sunrise direction : ESTE

Tequila is a city in Mexico that is located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. The city is the birthplace of the drink called “tequila”. Local people made a variety of a drink called mescal by fermenting the heart of the blue agave plant that is native to the area surrounding Tequila. It was the Spanish who introduced the distillation process to the mescal, giving us what we now know as “tequila”.

28. Old plucked strings : LYRE

The lyre is a stringed instrument most closely associated with Ancient Greece, and with the gods Hermes and Apollo in particular. According to myth, Hermes slaughtered a cow from a sacred herd belonging to Apollo and offered it to the gods but kept the entrails. Hermes used the entrails to make strings that he stretched across the shell of a tortoise, creating the first lyre. Apollo liked the sound from the lyre and agreed to accept it as a trade for his herd of cattle.

32. Minuteman Statue city : LEXINGTON

The Massachusetts town of Lexington is famous as the site of the Battle of Lexington, when the opening shots were fired in the American Revolution. Lexington is now a suburb of Boston.

Back in the colony of Massachusetts Bay, the local militia was made up of all the able-bodied males in the colony who were aged between 16 and 60. These men were called to service only when necessary. Some of the men in towns around the colony were trained for rapid deployment, and were known as “minute men”.

41. Garlic relative : LEEK

The leek is a vegetable closely related to the onion and the garlic. It is also a national emblem of Wales (along with the daffodil), although I don’t think we know for sure how this came to be. One story is that the Welsh were ordered to wear leeks in their helmets to identify themselves in a battle against the Saxons. Apparently, the battle took place in a field of leeks.

42. Stage employee : PROP MAN

We use the term “props” for objects that are used by actors on stage during a play. The term is a shortening of the older term “properties”, which was used with the same meaning up through the 19th century.

48. Paint thinner solvent : ACETONE

Acetone is the active ingredient in nail polish remover and in paint thinner.

52. Hosp. areas : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

57. “An Enemy of the People” playwright : IBSEN

“An Enemy of the People” is an 1882 play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen.

Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright, considered by many to be the greatest playwright since William Shakespeare. Ibsen was famous for shocking his audiences by exploring subjects that offended the sensibilities of the day (the late 1800s).

59. Editor’s afterthought : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

61. Act as lookout, say : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

65. Orbiting research facility: Abbr. : ISS

International Space Station (ISS) is a modular facility that comprises components launched into space by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and by American Space Shuttles. The station has been occupied by astronauts and scientists continually since November, 2000.

67. “Fairest of creation,” in a Milton classic : EVE

“Paradise Lost” is an epic poem written by Englishman John Milton. It is indeed an epic work, published originally in ten volumes with over ten thousand lines of verse. The “paradise” that is “lost” is the Garden of Eden, from which Adam and Eve were expelled by God in the “Fall of Man”.

Return to top of page

Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Sound check item : AMP

4. Went down : SANK

8. Euripides tragedy : MEDEA

13. __ cross : TAU

14. Skewer relative : PRONG

16. Hipbone-related : ILIAC

17. Woofer’s output? : ARF!

18. Even less given to emotion : ICIER

19. Quantum of solace? : SOFT C

20. Leave in disarray, probably : RIFLE

22. Copier room quantity : REAM

24. “Taking that as a given … ” : IF SO …

25. Comfortable (with) : AT EASE

27. Indisposed : ILL

29. Dawn goddess : EOS

30. Bread component : CARB

31. Toy used on flights : SLINKY

34. Rural road track : RUT

35. Disney character who sings, “The cold never bothered me anyway” : ELSA

36. Go Fish request : TENS

37. Turns red, maybe : RUSTS

39. ’90s-’00s sci-fi hit … or what this puzzle’s circles graphically depict : THE X-FILES

42. 2006 demotion : PLUTO

45. Heracles’ beloved : IOLE

46. Very little : A DAB

50. Agent : REP

51. 1962 “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” singer : MONROE

53. Fla. resort : BOCA

54. Natural resource : OIL

55. Physics unit : ERG

56. Shut off completely, as lights : KILLED

58. Trident-shaped letters : PSIS

60. Order to Spot : STAY!

63. Sugar source : BEETS

64. Civilian garb : MUFTI

66. Pair in the score for Beethoven’s Fifth : OBOES

68. Dandy : FOP

69. Partner of ciencias : ARTES

70. Forward attitude : NERVE

71. Pizzeria chain : UNO

72. Stick dwellings : NESTS

73. Holden Caulfield, for one : TEEN

74. Court call : LET

Down

1. Visiting Pimlico : AT A RACE

2. __ counseling : MARITAL

3. Blowfish : PUFFERS

4. Furtive sorts : SPIES

5. Golf chip path : ARC

6. “The Big Sleep” genre : NOIR

7. Walk-in joint? : KNEE

8. Inaccurate introduction? : MIS-

9. Wells race : ELOI

10. Suggests an alternative : DIFFERS

11. Enjoys a buffet, usually : EATS OUT

12. Engages with boldness : ACCOSTS

15. Farm structure : GRAIN SILO

21. Company that survived Canada’s Prohibition : LABATT

23. Jan. honoree : MLK

26. Tequila sunrise direction : ESTE

28. Old plucked strings : LYRE

32. Minuteman Statue city : LEXINGTON

33. About to receive : IN FOR

38. Not to be wasted : USABLE

40. Diamond plate : HOME

41. Garlic relative : LEEK

42. Stage employee : PROP MAN

43. Down time : LEISURE

44. Makes joyous : UPLIFTS

47. Joyless : DOLEFUL

48. Paint thinner solvent : ACETONE

49. Dicey situation : BAD SPOT

52. Hosp. areas : ORS

57. “An Enemy of the People” playwright : IBSEN

59. Editor’s afterthought : STET

61. Act as lookout, say : ABET

62. Time long past : YORE

65. Orbiting research facility: Abbr. : ISS

67. “Fairest of creation,” in a Milton classic : EVE

Return to top of page

LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 2017, Thursday










Constructed by: Mark McClain

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: U to OU

Today’s themed answers are common phrases, but with a letter O changed to OU:

  • 20A. Computer accessory honored in verse? : MOUSE OF POETRY (from “muse of poetry”)
  • 28A. Olympic dominance by Team USA? : AMERICA’S COUP (from “America’s Cup”)
  • 45A. How some medieval knights described their relationships? : JOUST FRIENDS (from “just friends”)
  • 55A. Grammarian’s treatise? : THE NOUN’S STORY (from “The Nun’s Story”)
  • Bill’s time: 9m 25s

    Bill’s errors: 0




    Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    9. Chophouse order : FILET

    A fillet is a boneless cut of meat or fish. The term comes from the Old French “filet” meaning “small thread, filament”. Apparently we applied the term to food as the piece of fish or meat was tied up with string after it was boned. Here in the US, we tend to use the French spelling “filet”.

    14. Young Clark’s love : LANA

    Smallville, Kansas is the town on Earth in which Superman grew up (as Clark Kent). One of Clark’s best friends in Smallville, and the romantic interest of his youth, was Lana Lang.

    15. 90 degrees from norte : ESTE

    The cardinal directions in Spanish are “norte” (north), “este” (east), “sur” (south) and “oeste” (west).

    16. Century plant, e.g. : AGAVE

    “Century plant” and “American aloe” are common names for the flowering plant Agave americana. The century plant lives for maybe 10-30 years (not a hundred!). It flowers only once, towards the end of a long life. It dies after flowering.

    17. Hindustani tongue : URDU

    Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

    “Hindustan” is a historical name for the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent.

    19. Trick : COZEN

    “To cozen” is such a lovely verb! Meaning to cheat or hoodwink, it comes from the Middle English word “cosin” meaning fraud or trickery.

    20. Computer accessory honored in verse? : MOUSE OF POETRY (from “muse of poetry”)

    The first computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

    In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

    • Calliope (epic poetry)
    • Clio (history)
    • Erato (lyric poetry)
    • Euterpe (music)
    • Melpomene (tragedy)
    • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
    • Terpsichore (dance)
    • Thalia (comedy)
    • Urania (astronomy)

    Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

    • Mneme (memory)
    • Melete (meditation)
    • Aoede (song)

    23. Construction alloy : STEEL

    Steel is an alloy that is composed mainly of iron, with a small percentage of carbon.

    24. RSVP part : S’IL

    RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer please”.

    28. Olympic dominance by Team USA? : AMERICA’S COUP (from “America’s Cup”)

    A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.

    The America’s Cup is a trophy that has been awarded for yacht racing since 1851. It was first presented to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in England that was won by a schooner called “America”. The trophy was eventually renamed to “the America’s Cup” in honor of that first race winner.

    33. Virgin __ Records: British label : EMI

    Virgin EMI Records is a label that formed in 2013 with the merger of Mercury Records UK and Virgin Records. The list of artists recording with Virgin EMI includes Justin Bieber, Elton John, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, U2, Willie Nelson and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    37. Canadian coin since 1996 : TOONIE

    “Toonie” is the familiar name for a two-dollar coin in Canada. The toonie was introduced in 1996, and gets its familiar name from the one-dollar coin known as a “loonie”.

    The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

    43. Mine in Milan : MIO

    Milan is Italy’s second largest city, second only to Rome. Milan is a European fashion capital, the headquarters for the big Italian fashion houses of Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Prada and others. Mario Prada was even born in Milan, and helped establish the city’s reputation in the world of fashion.

    44. Conscription agcy. : SSS

    The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

    45. How some medieval knights described their relationships? : JOUST FRIENDS (from “just friends”)

    Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used the competition is called “tilting”. Jousting took place in a roped-off enclosure that was called the lists, or list field. In later medieval times, some castles and palaces had purpose-built “tiltyards” that were used for jousting. Do you remember where the Beach Volleyball events were held in the 2012 London Olympics? Well that was Horse Guards Parade, the former tiltyard for the Palace of Whitehall that was used in the time of King Henry VIII.

    49. “__ Fell”: Beatles : IF I

    “If I Fell” is one of my favorite ballads by the Beatles. It’s a John Lennon composition that was released in 1964 on the album “A Hard Day’s Night”, and was featured in the movie of the same name.

    50. Chicago’s __ Center : AON

    The Aon Center in Chicago is the third-tallest building in the city. There is also an Aon Center in Los Angeles that is the second-tallest building in that city.

    55. Grammarian’s treatise? : THE NOUN’S STORY (from “The Nun’s Story”)

    “The Nun’s Story” is a novel by Kathryn Hulme first published in 1956. The story is based on the experiences of Hulme’s friend, former nun and nurse Marie Louise Habets. Famously, “The Nun’s Story” was adapted into a film in 1959 with Audrey Hepburn in the title role.

    62. Watch part : STEM

    The stem of a watch is the shaft that projects from the body and which is used to wind the mechanism. Prior to the introduction of stem watches, the timepieces were wound up using a key.

    63. Potpourri quality : ODOR

    The French term “pot pourri” literally translates to “rotten pot”, but in France it used to mean “stew”. Over time, the term “potpourri” evolved in English usage to mean a “medley”, and eventually a mixture of dried flowers and spices.

    64. Did a gainer, say : DIVED

    A gainer is a dive in which the diver leaves the board while facing forward, but makes a backward somersault, entering the water feet first.

    65. Yokohama product : TIRE

    The Yokohama Rubber Company is a tire manufacturer based in Tokyo that was founded in 1917. The company was established back then as a joint venture between Yokohama Cable Manufacturing and B.F Goodrich, based in Akron, Ohio.

    66. Eric who founded an eclectic reader : UTNE

    The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The “Utne Reader” was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

    67. Autobahn autos : OPELS

    Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.

    69. The ten in “hang ten” : TOES

    “To hang ten” is a verb used in surfing. A surfer hangs ten when he or she is able to walk forward and hang ten toes over the nose of the board because the back of the board is covered by the wave being ridden.

    Down

    1. Frequents dive bars, say : SLUMS

    We’ve been using the word “dive” in American English for a run-down bar since the latter half of the 19th century. The term comes from the fact that disreputable taverns were usually located in basements, so one had to literally and figuratively dive into them.

    2. Deck with a Hanged Man : TAROT

    Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

    5. Certain auction offering : REPO

    Repossession (repo)

    10. “Young Frankenstein” helper : IGOR

    In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

    I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

    13. Coffee break time : TEN

    The coffee break that often takes place mid-morning in the US is equivalent to a similar routine in Britain known as “elevenses”, and “smoko” in Australia.

    21. “Slippery” tree : ELM

    The slippery elm is a species of elm native to North America that is also known as the Red Elm. The inner bark of the slippery elm can used in a medicinal tea. Elm bark tea is said to ease a sore throat or irritated stomach.

    27. Essays appearing daily : OP-EDS

    “Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

    29. “Get on Your Feet” singer : ESTEFAN

    Gloria Estefan is a Cuban American singer, born in Havana. Estefan fled Cuba along with her family after the Cuban Revolution, and ended up in Miami. Her father fought for the US military in Vietnam, and also took part in the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion. Years later, Estefan herself was approached by the CIA to work for the agency due to her skill with languages. She ended up doing quite well singing instead …

    “Get on Your Feet” is a song released by Gloria Estefan in 1989. The song’s title gave rise to the name “On Your Feet!” being used for the 2015 musical based on the lives and music of Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio.

    30. Anonymous ’70s litigant : ROE

    Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

    31. Song on the album “ABBA” : SOS

    The ABBA song “S.O.S.” was originally titled “Turn Me On”. In the movie “Mama Mia!”, “S.O.S.” is performed by Meryl Streep (brilliantly) and by Pierce Brosnan (terribly).

    33. The Oxford Dictionaries 2015 “Word” of the Year is one : EMOJI

    An emoji is a character found on many cell phones now that is much like an emoticon, but more elaborate.

    34. “__ Constant Sorrow”: folk classic : MAN OF

    “Man of Constant Sorrow” is a traditional American folk song that was first published in 1913 under the title “Farewell Song”. The title “Man of Constant Sorrow” dates back to a 1928 version. There was a revival in interest in the song after is was featured in the 2000 movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

    39. Wagner’s “__ Rheingold” : DAS

    “Das Rheingold” is an 1869 opera by Richard Wagner, the first of four works that comprise his famous “Ring Cycle”.

    Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” is more properly called “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (The Ring of Nibelung), and comprises four very, very long operas. The individual operas are:

    1. “Das Rheingold”
    2. “Die Walkure”
    3. “Siegfried”
    4. “Gotterdammerung”

    41. Gambling cube : DIE

    The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

    43. Trivial matter : MINUTIA

    Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

    47. Kicks off the field, briefly : DQS

    Disqualified (DQed)

    54. Lew in old movies : AYRES

    The Hollywood actor Lew Ayres got his big break in “All Quiet On the Western Front”. Famously, he also played Dr. Kildare in several movies. Ayres’ private life wasn’t too dull. He was married three times, Lola Lane and Ginger Rogers being wives one and two. Ayres was also the man for whom actress Jane Wyman left her husband Ronald Reagan, although the Ayres-Wyman relationship didn’t last very long.

    58. Soft ball : NERF

    Nerf is soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

    59. “Hook” pirate : SMEE

    In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

    “Hook” is a very enjoyable 1991 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel “Peter and Wendy”. Spielberg elicited great performances from a great cast in “Hook”. Included in the cast are Robin Williams as Peter, Dustin Hoffman as Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as Smee and Maggie Smith as a mature Wendy.

    Return to top of page

    Complete List of Clues and Answers

    Across

    1. Bowl over : STUN

    5. Hardly prudent : RASH

    9. Chophouse order : FILET

    14. Young Clark’s love : LANA

    15. 90 degrees from norte : ESTE

    16. Century plant, e.g. : AGAVE

    17. Hindustani tongue : URDU

    18. Boardwalk extension : PIER

    19. Trick : COZEN

    20. Computer accessory honored in verse? : MOUSE OF POETRY (from “muse of poetry”)

    23. Construction alloy : STEEL

    24. RSVP part : S’IL

    25. Bud : BRO

    28. Olympic dominance by Team USA? : AMERICA’S COUP (from “America’s Cup”)

    33. Virgin __ Records: British label : EMI

    36. Male delivery : SON

    37. Canadian coin since 1996 : TOONIE

    38. Landslide victory claim : MANDATE

    41. Stretch out : DISTEND

    42. Recorded : ON TAPE

    43. Mine in Milan : MIO

    44. Conscription agcy. : SSS

    45. How some medieval knights described their relationships? : JOUST FRIENDS (from “just friends”)

    49. “__ Fell”: Beatles : IF I

    50. Chicago’s __ Center : AON

    51. Post-lecture activity, briefly : Q AND A

    55. Grammarian’s treatise? : THE NOUN’S STORY (from “The Nun’s Story”)

    60. Strange : ALIEN

    62. Watch part : STEM

    63. Potpourri quality : ODOR

    64. Did a gainer, say : DIVED

    65. Yokohama product : TIRE

    66. Eric who founded an eclectic reader : UTNE

    67. Autobahn autos : OPELS

    68. Strongbox alternative : SAFE

    69. The ten in “hang ten” : TOES

    Down

    1. Frequents dive bars, say : SLUMS

    2. Deck with a Hanged Man : TAROT

    3. Inordinate : UNDUE

    4. Queasiness : NAUSEA

    5. Certain auction offering : REPO

    6. “Fat chance!” : AS IF!

    7. Intervenes : STEPS IN

    8. Stout-hearted : HEROIC

    9. It’s not debatable : FACT

    10. “Young Frankenstein” helper : IGOR

    11. Slugabed : LAZYBONES

    12. Christmas lead-in : EVE

    13. Coffee break time : TEN

    21. “Slippery” tree : ELM

    22. Joy : ELATION

    26. Place for digs : RUINS

    27. Essays appearing daily : OP-EDS

    29. “Get on Your Feet” singer : ESTEFAN

    30. Anonymous ’70s litigant : ROE

    31. Song on the album “ABBA” : SOS

    32. Bed at a base : COT

    33. The Oxford Dictionaries 2015 “Word” of the Year is one : EMOJI

    34. “__ Constant Sorrow”: folk classic : MAN OF

    35. Easy to figure out : INTUITIVE

    39. Wagner’s “__ Rheingold” : DAS

    40. Fitting : APT

    41. Gambling cube : DIE

    43. Trivial matter : MINUTIA

    46. Perches : ROOSTS

    47. Kicks off the field, briefly : DQS

    48. Skipped : SAT OUT

    52. Greet quietly : NOD TO

    53. Airborne intruder : DRONE

    54. Lew in old movies : AYRES

    56. Dog trainer’s word : HEEL

    57. Good things to make meet : ENDS

    58. Soft ball : NERF

    59. “Hook” pirate : SMEE

    60. Commotion : ADO

    61. Impertinence : LIP

    Return to top of page