LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Feb 17, Tuesday










Constructed by: Mark McClain

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Boat Trailer

The TRAILING end (last word) of each of today’s themed answers is a type of BOAT:

  • 61A. Lakeside launching aid … and, literally, each set of circled letters : BOAT TRAILER
  • 17A. Crude early version of a work of art : ROUGH SKETCH (trailing “ketch”)
  • 30A. Computer programming glitch : ENDLESS LOOP (trailing “sloop”)
  • 46A. New York City zoo locale : CENTRAL PARK (trailing “ark”)

Bill’s time: 5m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Bindle-toting migrants : HOBOS

No one seems to know for sure how the term “hobo” originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that “hobo” comes from the first letters in the words “ho-meward bo-und”, but it doesn’t seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS’s “Car Talk” (a great source!), “hobo” comes from “hoe boy”. Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from “tramps” and “bums”, in that “bums” refused to work, “tramps” worked when they had to, while “hobos” traveled in search of work.

“Bindle” is the name given to that bag or sack that the stereotypical hobo carried on a stick over his shoulder. “Bindle” is possibly a corruption of “bundle”.

6. “Oliver!” no-goodnik : FAGIN

Fagin is the colorful antagonist in the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist”. Fagin leads a band of children who earn their keep by picking pockets and committing other petty crimes. Fagin’s most successful pickpocket is the Artful Dodger.

“Oliver!” is stage musical by Lionel Bart that is based on the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist”. “Oliver!” was adapted successfully for the big screen in 1968. The film version won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Carol Reed. Leading the movie’s cast are Mark Lester in the title role, Ron Moody as Fagin and Oliver Reed as Bill Sikes.

11. Bygone intl. carrier : TWA

Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan Am, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the initialism “TWA”) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

16. A, in Aachen : EIN

Aachen is a city in the very west of Germany, right on the border with Belgium and the Netherlands. In English, we quite often refer to this city by its French name, Aix-la-Chapelle.

17. Crude early version of a work of art : ROUGH SKETCH (trailing “ketch”)

A ketch is a sailboat with two masts. The most forward mast is the mainmast, and is the taller of the two. The smaller mast is further aft, and is known as the mizzen mast.

19. Bottom-row PC key : ALT

The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.

23. Financial claim : LIEN

A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

28. Pakistani language : 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.

29. “The Lord of the Rings” beast : ORC

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.

30. Computer programming glitch : ENDLESS LOOP (trailing “sloop”)

Sloops and cutters are sailboats, and each has just one mast. One major difference between the two types of vessel is that the mast on a cutter is set much further aft than the mast on a sloop.

33. What marathoners load up on : CARBS

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.

35. WWII conference site : YALTA

The Yalta Conference was a wartime meeting between WWII leaders Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Held in February of 1945, the conference is most remembered for decisions made on the post-war organization of Europe. To a large extent, the three leaders made decisions carving up political influence around the world, decisions that have profound implications to this day.

46. New York City zoo locale : CENTRAL PARK (trailing “ark”)

The Central Park Zoo is in Central Park in New York City. Founded in the 1860s, it was the first official zoo to open in the city.

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

52. Et __: and others : ALIA

Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

53. Harp constellation : LYRA

Lyra (Latin for “lyre, harp, lute”) is a constellation that includes the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The constellation Lyra is surrounded by the neighboring constellations of Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula and Cygnus.

54. Daly of “Cagney & Lacey” : TYNE

The actress Tyne Daly really came into the public eye playing Detective Lacey in “Cagney and Lacey”. From 1999 to 2005, Daly played the mother of the title character in the TV show “Judging Amy”.

55. Sun protection for kissers? : LIP BALM

“Kisser” and “yap” are slang terms for the mouth.

58. Former Russian ruler : 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.

67. When Macbeth kills Duncan : ACT II

In William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”, King Duncan is the good king of Scotland whom Macbeth murders in the pursuit of power.

68. French-speaking Caribbean country : HAITI

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

69. FDR successor : HST

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

70. 2000s TV series set in California : THE OC

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

Down

2. Good Grips kitchenware brand : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average kitchen too. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

3. A/C capacity meas. : BTU

In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water’s temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

5. Satirist Mort : SAHL

Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

10. Grape soda brand : NEHI

The brand of Nehi cola has a name that sounds like “knee-high”, a measure of a small stature. Back in the mid-1900’s the Chero-Cola company, which owned the brand, went for a slightly different twist on “knee-high” in advertising. The logo for Nehi was an image of a seated woman’s stockinged legs, with her skirt pulled up to her knees, to hint at “knee-high”.

22. New Orleans university : TULANE

Tulane University is a private research university in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tulane was founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana. The university was privatized with the aid of an endowment from philanthropist Paul Tulane in 1884, and as a result the school’s name was changed to Tulane University. The school’s sports teams use the name Tulane Green Wave, and the team mascot is Riptide the Pelican.

23. “Livin’ La Vida __”: Ricky Martin hit : LOCA

“Livin’ La Vida Loca” is a 1999 single recorded by Ricky Martin, the title of which translates as “living the crazy life”.

24. Baghdad’s land : IRAQ

According to the University of Baghdad, the name “Baghdad” dates way back, to the 18th-century BC (yes, BC!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as “old garden” (bagh) and “beloved” (dad).

25. Beige shade : ECRU

The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

Our word “beige” comes from the Old French “bege”, a term that applied to the natural color of wool and cotton that was not dyed.

30. To be, in Barcelona : ESTAR

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. Barcelona is the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast. It is also the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

34. Bill for drinks : BAR TAB

When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

37. “Hometown Proud” supermarket chain : IGA

IGA stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

40. Earl __ tea : GREY

The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

41. Pizza cooker : OVEN

Pizza was invented in Naples where it has a long tradition that goes back to Ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today, on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

42. Actor Chandler of “Bloodline” : KYLE

I know Kyle Chandler best from playing the lead in the excellent TV show “Friday Night Lights”. Chandler started playing the lead in another show in 2015: “Bloodline”, a Netflix original. Off the screen, Chandler serves his community as a volunteer firefighter.

44. CIA operative : SPY

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

46. Muslim bigwig : CALIPH

“Caliph” is an Arabic word meaning “successor”. In the Islamic tradition, a caliph is a leader who is deemed to be a successor of Muhammad.

49. Super cold : ARCTIC

Our word “Arctic” ultimately derives from the Greek “arktikos” meaning “of the bear”, a reference to the northerly constellation Ursa Major (the Bear).

50. Motorola phone : RAZR

The Droid Razr is a smartphone made by Motorola that was launched in 2011. The Droid Razr is one in a series of Razr phones that Motorola first introduced back in 2003. The Razr name was chosen in part because of the phone’s relatively thin form factor.

57. Ness, for one : LOCH

Loch Ness is one of the two most famous lakes in Scotland. Loch Ness is famous for its “monster”, and Loch Lomond is famous for the lovely song “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond”. Oh, ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road …

62. Padre’s brother : TIO

In Spanish, a “tio” (uncle) is the “hermano del padre o de la madre” (brother of the father or the mother).

64. Summer, in 68-Across : ETE

In French, the season of “été” (summer) starts in “juin” (June).

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Bindle-toting migrants : HOBOS

6. “Oliver!” no-goodnik : FAGIN

11. Bygone intl. carrier : TWA

14. Face in the crowd, in film : EXTRA

15. With no help : ALONE

16. A, in Aachen : EIN

17. Crude early version of a work of art : ROUGH SKETCH (trailing “ketch”)

19. Bottom-row PC key : ALT

20. Natural salve additive : ALOE

21. Slightly : A LITTLE

23. Financial claim : LIEN

26. Coin-in-a-fountain thought : WISH

28. Pakistani language : URDU

29. “The Lord of the Rings” beast : ORC

30. Computer programming glitch : ENDLESS LOOP (trailing “sloop”)

33. What marathoners load up on : CARBS

35. WWII conference site : YALTA

36. Like swimming competitions : AQUATIC

39. Getting by : DOING OK

43. Rants and raves : RAGES

45. Bold : NERVY

46. New York City zoo locale : CENTRAL PARK (trailing “ark”)

51. Slithery fish : EEL

52. Et __: and others : ALIA

53. Harp constellation : LYRA

54. Daly of “Cagney & Lacey” : TYNE

55. Sun protection for kissers? : LIP BALM

58. Former Russian ruler : CZAR

60. “__ no use!” : IT’S

61. Lakeside launching aid … and, literally, each set of circled letters : BOAT TRAILER

66. Pot pie veggie : PEA

67. When Macbeth kills Duncan : ACT II

68. French-speaking Caribbean country : HAITI

69. FDR successor : HST

70. 2000s TV series set in California : THE OC

71. Snooze : SLEEP

Down

1. Seagoing pronoun : HER

2. Good Grips kitchenware brand : OXO

3. A/C capacity meas. : BTU

4. Church instrument : ORGAN

5. Satirist Mort : SAHL

6. Secret agent’s passport, say : FAKE ID

7. Some craft beer : ALE

8. Advanced in one’s career : GOT AHEAD

9. At no addl. cost : INCL

10. Grape soda brand : NEHI

11. Italian playhouse : TEATRO

12. “I’m on it, boss” : WILL DO

13. Pre-poker deal demand : ANTE UP

18. Planted, as seed : SOWN

22. New Orleans university : TULANE

23. “Livin’ La Vida __”: Ricky Martin hit : LOCA

24. Baghdad’s land : IRAQ

25. Beige shade : ECRU

27. Crafty : SLY

30. To be, in Barcelona : ESTAR

31. __-mo replay : SLO

32. Perform miserably : STINK

34. Bill for drinks : BAR TAB

37. “Hometown Proud” supermarket chain : IGA

38. Roomie in prison : CELLMATE

40. Earl __ tea : GREY

41. Pizza cooker : OVEN

42. Actor Chandler of “Bloodline” : KYLE

44. CIA operative : SPY

46. Muslim bigwig : CALIPH

47. Upper crust groups : ELITES

48. Attacks, puppy-style : NIPS AT

49. Super cold : ARCTIC

50. Motorola phone : RAZR

54. __ by jury : TRIAL

56. Blind as __ : A BAT

57. Ness, for one : LOCH

59. Massage reactions : AAHS

62. Padre’s brother : TIO

63. Whopper : LIE

64. Summer, in 68-Across : ETE

65. Fabric mishap : RIP

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Feb 17, Tuesday”

  1. This was an easy puzzle, even easier than yesterday. From the discussions, yesterday, I had heard before of the fact that constructing a Monday or Tuesday puzzle is in fact, quite difficult, and Mr. Norris is always looking for constructors of that genre.

    Thank you Bill, for the lovely blog. And the difference between bums, tramps and hobos. I must really try and remember the difference. I was momentarily flustered by THEOC – which I assumed was correct. OC apparently refers to Orange County – to those of us who live far, far away.

    A fantastic Google Doodle, today, which is a terrible time wasting addictive game…. All to do with Valentines, and cakes.

    Regarding Tio’s, of various kinds …… in many indian languages, there is a separate word, for each of, the uncle (as) —– mother’s elder brother, younger brother, elder brother-in-law, younger brother-in-law and the other four equivalents from the father’s side. And eight more for the corresponding mother’s / father’s ….. ‘sister’ ranks. But, once you get them, down pat, no further explanation is ever required …. There are also words to describe the relationship between the father of a daughter, vis-a-vis the father of the daughter’s husband. A sort of (corresponding) co-father-in-law(s) status.

    Have a nice day, all.

  2. Another quickie today. The theme eluded me until the end. I thought I was being clever when I noticed “pools” spelled backwards in the theme (SLOOP), but my cleverness met a deadend with the other circled words.

    I highly recommend Bloodlines, a Netflix original. There are only 2 seasons so far, but it is very well done. It starts slowly, but it does build. Unfortunately, season 3 is supposed to be the final one as some tax law change in the state of Florida (where the story takes place) will make the cost of filming there prohibitive going forward….so they say.

    As to the cost of the Steinway collection mentioned yesterday – That $62,000 figure as well as the $80,000 for a new one are referring to concert grand pianos. They aren’t talking about the small upright in aunt Iola’s basement. So I think that $25 million figure is quite plausible.

    Also, I went back and checked (I had read a number of things that day) – the tidbit on Monday puzzles was actually from an interview with one of my favorite (and one of the toughest IMO) setters, Jeff Chen. He was relaying something Shortz had told him. Chen went on and said he does both the LA and NY Times puzzles daily. The most illuminating thing he said was that he struggles with the NYT Saturdays and occasionally the Fridays as well. Quite a revelation. It’s kind of like seeing how Alex Trebek would do as a contestent on Jeopardy – i.e. the answers aren’t so easy when you don’t know them ahead of time….

    One final note on that subject, a lot of setters seem to gravitate to the LAT and NYT puzzles. I know a few on this blog also do the WSJ puzzles, but they also mentioned how good the puzzles are in the Chronicle of Higher Education. I think that only comes out weekly so it could be something to look into.

    Best –

  3. @Vidwan
    I could have something to say regarding heterosexual men and purses, regarding Falwell’s determinations, but I won’t go there.

    @Carrie
    I think that’s where 3/4 of my errors are coming from, and probably all of my early week ones. When stuff gets easy for you, it gets easy to get careless. I notice most of my “good” errors are coming from late-week grids now.

    @Sfingi
    I remember IGAs from when I was a kid, but they all “converted” to something else over time. I don’t know if it was an ownership change or what. A lot of grocery stores have a company called American Wholesale Grocers behind them, which happens to possess the IGA brand name. I guess it’s either a shell company or a franchisor, from what little I looked at that site.

    @Jeff
    Most of the setters are just solvers like us – it’s a lot different when you have references and pattern matchers in front of you. I’m reminded of a comment Elizabeth Gorski made in one of the Wordplay extras to the effect of “can’t do ’em, might as well make ’em instead”. There’s a few notable exceptions, namely most of the editors and a small handful of the constructors whose names will jump out by studying top 25 finishers in the ACPT over the years.

    I haven’t tried CHE (I’ll have to see if I can without a lot of trouble – you know library computers), but have done most of the others that you can get without online subscriptions (namely grids done by some of the rock stars). I’d do as many as I could get my hands on if I had the time (stopped regular WSJ for that reason among a couple of others). Other than what you’ve mentioned, I’ve mentioned Universal, Newsday, and a few of the Sunday specials. All are most usually good if you’re okay with the level. I can offer more specific notes if people want to know, but just saying I’ve tried most of them at one time or another, unless it’s something I’m not aware of.

    The only other note I’ll make is that for most who have any degree of skill that the Saturday Newsday is definitely worth your time. More or less, it’s a grid that’s designed to be both *very hard*, but *very fair* as well (each one is tested a lot before publication for that). Usually when I see times, most who can do the Fri/Sat NYT well end up doubling or tripling their times on the Sat Newsday.

    @David
    CHE comes out on every Friday and is edited by Brad Wilber. I just downloaded a couple to try. (Puz links: 1, 2)

    1. @David
      Didn’t get to say this for edit time, but the Saturday Newsday would be something that would probably be of interest to you, especially.

  4. @Bill
    I linked to the Chronicle of Higher Education puzzles in response to Jeff’s mention, and I think that put my response into your spam folder. Could you check it please? Thanks.

    To add to a thought in that response, I haven’t tried the Sat Newsday for a few months. Might have to do that, too.

    1. You were right, Glenn. Your comment went into my “approval required” folder, possibly because it included more than one external link. All taken care of now!

  5. @Vidwan I wasted too much time on that Google game yesterday 🙂
    One letter off. Forgot how to spell FAGIN, so ended up with ENCL instead of INCL.
    Taught my youth singing class to do this song from Oliver!
    The singing of two different melodies at the same time isn’t easy, but they did a great job.
    BE BACK SOON

  6. @Bill
    Thank you for that, and everything else you do on this blog!

    @others
    CHE 02/10 – 1 error, 16 min ; 02/17 – 0 error, 18 minutes. Some of the things were new to me, so I had to work a little more circumspectly than I’m used to. But I’d say LAT Tue/Wed would be a good comparison for these, difficulty-wise. On to see how I do with Newsday Saturdays now (last time I tried those, I couldn’t do LAT Fri/Sat).

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