LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Feb 17, Wednesday










Constructed by: Ed Sessa

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Said Good-byes

The first words of today’s themed answers are TO FOUR WON SAIL, which sounds like “two-for-one-sale”. You can get “good buys” (sounds like “GOOD-BYES”) at a two-for-one sale:

  • 54A. Farewells … or, homophonically and read top to bottom, what the first words of the answers to starred clues represent? : GOOD-BYES (sounds like “good buys”)
  • 20A. *More than is wise : TO A FAULT
  • 26A. *Luxury resort chain : FOUR SEASONS
  • 36A. *Dominated the election : WON BY A LANDSLIDE
  • 44A. *Complete with ease : SAIL THROUGH

Bill’s time: 9m 52s!!

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Minimally : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

14. He sang about Alice : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

16. Bond’s first movie foe : DR NO

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. No and Fu Manchu.

18. Lavin of “Alice” : LINDA

Linda Lavin is a singer and actress who is probably best-known for her stage performances on Broadway, and for playing the title role in the seventies and eighties sitcom “Alice”.

The sitcom “Alice” is set in Mel’s Diner, which is supposedly frequented by locals and truckers on the outskirts of Phoenix. There is a real Mel’s Diner in Phoenix, and the restaurant’s sign is used in the opening credits. The real-world Mel’s was called “Chris’ Diner”, but the owner agreed to a temporary change in name for the purposes of the show. But, “Chris” never came back, and “Mel’s” is still serving customers today.

19. Water retainer : DIKE

A dike is an embankment usually made of earth and rock that is used to prevent floods.

22. River racers : SCULLS

A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”. And, a scull is also an oar mounted on the stern of a small boat. It’s all very confusing …

24. Rose of Guns N’ Roses : AXL

Guns N’ Roses is a hard rock band founded in 1985 that is still going strong. The group was pulled together by Axl Rose, the lead vocalist. The lead-guitar player back then was Tracii Guns, and it was the combination of Axl and Tracii’s “family” names that led to the band being called Guns N’ Roses.

26. *Luxury resort chain : FOUR SEASONS

The Four Seasons hotel chain is based in Toronto, and was founded in 1960 by Isadore Sharp. Today, Sharp only owns 5% of the company, having sold the balance in equal shares to Bill Gates and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia in 2007.

31. “__ to leap tall buildings … ” : ABLE

Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…It’s Superman!

32. “David Copperfield” villain : HEEP

Uriah Heep is a sniveling insincere character in the novel “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens. The character is such a “yes man” that today, if we know someone who behaves the same way, then we might call that person a “Uriah Heep”.

“David Copperfield” is the eighth novel penned by English author Charles Dickens, first published in serial form from 1848 to 1849. The novel is seen as a somewhat autobiographical work, with many characters and events mirrored in Dickens’ own life.

33. Cain, to Abel, informally : SIB

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

41. Teachers’ org. : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

42. Sufficient, to Shakespeare : ENOW

“Enow” is an archaic form of the word “enough”.

48. Descends, as a rock wall : RAPPELS

What we call “rappelling” in this country is known as “abseiling” in the rest of the world (from the German “abseilen” meaning “to rope down”).

52. Fluke-to-be : ROE

A fluke is a type of flatfish, one often referred to as a “summer flounder”.

54. Farewells … or, homophonically and read top to bottom, what the first words of the answers to starred clues represent? : GOOD-BYES (sounds like “good buys”)

Our salutation “good-bye” started out as a contraction of “God be with ye”, which was a more common phrase in the 14th century. The structure of the contraction was influenced by the existing phrases good day, good evening, etc.

59. Fly in the ointment : SNAG

Our expression “a fly in the ointment” is used when we come across some relatively minor snag that is a hindrance to completing something. We started using the expression in the 1700’s, and it refers to some lines in the Bible; Ecclesiastes 10:1:

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour

62. Tennis score : LOVE

In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

65. Big name in furniture : IKEA

The IKEA furniture stores use the colors blue and yellow for brand recognition. Blue and yellow are the national colors of Sweden, where IKEA was founded and is headquartered.

66. Clairvoyant : SEER

We’ve been using the term “clairvoyant” to describe a psychic since the nineteenth century. Prior to that, a clairvoyant was a clear-sighted person. The term comes from French, with “clair” meaning “clear” and “voyant” meaning “seeing”.

Down

1. With 1-Across, Whoppers and McRibs, e.g. : FAST …

If you were in Japan at the end of 2009 and went to Burger King, you might have ordered a Windows 7 Whopper, a promotion for the Windows 7 Operating System. The sandwich was 5 inches in height, and contained seven beef patties!

The McDonald’s McRib sandwich is based on a pork patty. There isn’t any pork rib in the patty though. It is primarily made up of pork shoulder meat reconstituted with tripe, heart and stomach tissue. Enjoy …

2. Embossed cookie : OREO

If you take a close look at the embossed design on the front and back of an Oreo cookie, you’ll spot the main elements of the Nabisco logo. Those elements are an oval with a cross on top, a cross with two bars. Usually the company name “Nabisco” is inside the oval, but for the cookie it’s the brand name “Oreo”. The current embossed design was introduced 1952.

3. Southwestern clay pot : OLLA

An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in Ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

4. Remove respectfully : DOFF

One doffs one’s hat, usually as a mark of respect. To doff is to take off, with “doff” being a contraction of “do off”. The opposite of “doff” is “don” meaning “to put on”.

6. Armpit : AXILLA

“Axilla” is the anatomical name for armpit, not to be confused with “maxilla”, the upper jawbone.

7. Squirt : RUNT

Back around 1500, a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s “runt” was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed. Ultimately “runt” came to mean the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

8. Teacher’s deg. : EDD

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

11. Composer’s embellishment : TRILL

In music a “trill” is the rapid alternation of two tones that are very close to each other to make a vibrato sound.

21. Toy inserts usually not included : AAS

Those would be AA batteries.

23. Crescent points : CUSPS

A “cusp” is a point, a pointed end of some structure. For example, the top of a cone is a cusp, as are the two pointed ends of a crescent.

25. Either “The Man Who Wasn’t There” director : COEN

“The Man Who Wasn’t There” is a 2001 film produced and directed by the Coen brothers that stars Billy Bob Thornton. This is a movie that was shot in color, but was released in black and white. That black and white enhances the neo-noir feel of the film.

26. Doe’s dear : FAWN

A fawn is a young deer, usually less than a year old.

27. Wind in a pit : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

28. Arm bone : ULNA

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

29. Bull Run soldier : REB

Manassas, Virginia was the site of two major battles during the Civil War: the First and Second Battles of Bull Run (also known as the Battles of Manassas). In the first battle, one of the southern brigades was led by Brigadier General Thomas Jackson. His brigade was well-trained and disciplined, so much so that as the Union troops made advances, a fellow-general encouraged his retreating men to hold their positions yelling “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer”. There are reports that the actual quote was less complimentary, but regardless, from that day on Jackson was known as “Stonewall”.

33. In __: as placed : SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

35. “Little Women” sister : BETH

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of little women is Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy and the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

38. Kind of geometry : ANALYTIC

Analytic geometry is the study of geometry using a coordinate system. When I was at school, we called it coordinate geometry. I used to like coordinate geometry …

39. “The Giver” novelist Lowry : LOIS

Lois Lowry is a writer of children’s fiction. Lowry doesn’t stick to “safe” material in her books, and has dealt with difficult subjects such as racism, murder and the Holocaust. Two of her books won the Newbery Medal: “Number the Stars” (1990) and “The Giver” (1993).

40. Thai language : LAO

Lao is the official language of Laos. Lao is also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, but there the language is known as Isan.

45. Entertainers on the road : TROUPE

“Troupe” is the French word for “company”.

49. Singer Lennox : ANNIE

Annie Lennox is a Scottish singer who rose to fame as half of the duo Eurythmics with David A. Stewart in the 1980s. Lennox went solo in 1992, and has been riding high ever since.

50. “Positive thinking” advocate : PEALE

Norman Vincent Peale was the author of the bestseller “The Power of Positive Thinking”. Peale was a Protestant preacher, and for decades was pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan in New York City. Peale also founded the nonprofit group that publishes “Guideposts” magazine.

55. Radar dot : BLIP

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

56. Team connection : YOKE

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

58. With 68-Across, “Milk” Oscar winner : SEAN …
(68A. See 58-Down : … PENN)

Actor Sean Penn is a two-time Oscar winner, for his roles in “Mystic River” released in 2003 and “Milk” released in 2008. Penn’s celebrity on screen is only matched with his fame off the screen. Apart from his “big name” marriages to singer Madonna and actress Robin Wright, Penn is also well known for political and social activism. He perhaps inherited some of his political views from his father, actor and director Leo Penn. As an actor, Leo refused to “name names” in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee and so was blacklisted in Hollywood and had to move into directing to put bread on the table. In later years as a director he gave his son Sean his first acting role, in a 1974 episode of “Little House on the Prairie”.

“Milk” is a 2008 biopic based on the life of activist and politician Harvey Milk, with Sean Penn playing the title role. In 1977, Milk became the first openly gay person to be elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Tragically, Milk was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone in 1978 by former city supervisor Dan White.

61. Letter after pi : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. See 1-Down : … FOOD

5. Risk taker : DARER

10. Minimally : A TAD

14. He sang about Alice : ARLO

15. Ooze with : EXUDE

16. Bond’s first movie foe : DR NO

17. Word with interest or service : SELF-

18. Lavin of “Alice” : LINDA

19. Water retainer : DIKE

20. *More than is wise : TO A FAULT

22. River racers : SCULLS

24. Rose of Guns N’ Roses : AXL

25. Poetic pair : COUPLET

26. *Luxury resort chain : FOUR SEASONS

31. “__ to leap tall buildings … ” : ABLE

32. “David Copperfield” villain : HEEP

33. Cain, to Abel, informally : SIB

36. *Dominated the election : WON BY A LANDSLIDE

41. Teachers’ org. : NEA

42. Sufficient, to Shakespeare : ENOW

43. Working hard : AT IT

44. *Complete with ease : SAIL THROUGH

48. Descends, as a rock wall : RAPPELS

52. Fluke-to-be : ROE

53. Worried : UNEASY

54. Farewells … or, homophonically and read top to bottom, what the first words of the answers to starred clues represent? : GOOD-BYES (sounds like “good buys”)

59. Fly in the ointment : SNAG

60. Fly-fishing catch : TROUT

62. Tennis score : LOVE

63. Floor piece : TILE

64. “Maybe, just maybe” : I HOPE

65. Big name in furniture : IKEA

66. Clairvoyant : SEER

67. Got by : COPED

68. See 58-Down : … PENN

Down

1. With 1-Across, Whoppers and McRibs, e.g. : FAST …

2. Embossed cookie : OREO

3. Southwestern clay pot : OLLA

4. Remove respectfully : DOFF

5. First-class : DELUXE

6. Armpit : AXILLA

7. Squirt : RUNT

8. Teacher’s deg. : EDD

9. Thought (out) : REASONED

10. Make sense : ADD UP

11. Composer’s embellishment : TRILL

12. Bracelet spot : ANKLE

13. Biblical verb : DOEST

21. Toy inserts usually not included : AAS

23. Crescent points : CUSPS

25. Either “The Man Who Wasn’t There” director : COEN

26. Doe’s dear : FAWN

27. Wind in a pit : OBOE

28. Arm bone : ULNA

29. Bull Run soldier : REB

30. Over-the-shoulder garb : SHAWL

33. In __: as placed : SITU

34. “Understood,” in hippie-speak : I DIG

35. “Little Women” sister : BETH

37. Verbal nods : YESES

38. Kind of geometry : ANALYTIC

39. “The Giver” novelist Lowry : LOIS

40. Thai language : LAO

45. Entertainers on the road : TROUPE

46. Partner of hollered : HOOTED

47. Wine choice : RED

48. Reddish-brown colors : RUSTS

49. Singer Lennox : ANNIE

50. “Positive thinking” advocate : PEALE

51. “Your table’s ready” signaler : PAGER

54. Sticky stuff : GOOP

55. Radar dot : BLIP

56. Team connection : YOKE

57. All tied up : EVEN

58. With 68-Across, “Milk” Oscar winner : SEAN …

61. Letter after pi : RHO

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Feb 17, Wednesday”

  1. More than I bargained for on a Wednesday morning. Wow. More Thursday or Friday-ish, but I very much enjoyed it. Finished with no errors, but my time was nothing to write home about. Ed Sessa did not disappoint; I always find his puzzles challenging. Didn’t get the theme until they were all filled in anyway.

    A 7 patty Whopper?? I just recently saw an ad for a pizza at KFC with a fried chicken crust. Any wonder there’s an obesity problem in this country?

    There was a team of scientists who developed radar in this country. I can proudly say one of those people was my great aunt (my father’s aunt). I heard she (they) were on the cover of Life magazine once, but I never saw the issue. She finished her career as a biomedical engineering researcher at Duke U. These were her accomplishments, not mine. Nevertheless, I feel a certain sense of pride from having a tiny percentage (one thirty-second or less??) of her DNA in me.

    A lot of people don’t realize the Fu Manchu stories were actually all about tobacco. The message – many men smoke, but Fu Manchu….

    I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for a few days so I’m allowed some grade school humor…

    Best –

  2. If I see “oboe” as an answer anytime again soon, I am going to be tempted to grab my epee and run it through, and escape by going asea.

  3. Had a go with the last 2 Saturday Newsday grids (the only 2 you can get from their site at the moment), as I mentioned yesterday. Did much better than the last time I tried them – from a (derisive) “Oh Please” to an (almost) fun challenge. Still DNFed them (mainly lack of knowledge I couldn’t reconcile), but almost got there without assistance on both of them:
    02/04: DNF after 192 minutes, 3 errors, 7 letters claimed total.
    02/11: DNF after 159 minutes, 5 errors, 12 letters claimed total.

    A general random thought that occurred out of all of this: I notice a factor of mental flexibility comes into play with grids, these grids especially highlighting it. Basically, being willing to consider all the possibilities, or even being able to see more than one possible answer. Sometimes I find it so easy to hang onto certain things in grids and so hard to give them up because they make so much sense, but aren’t necessarily right. I guess that’s a major weakness of mine when doing these – I can’t just extemporaneously come up with a large number of possibilities just by looking at clues. Not sure how to fix it, but hey…
    if I can think of these, I might have to try them a bit more than I do.

    @David
    I wonder how our Anon friend over on the NYT would respond to these.

  4. I think this is the first time I have ever finished the puzzle with a better time than Bill (about ten seconds)… although it took me another minute to figure out (to, too, two / four, for, fore / won, one / sail, sale). My guess is your exclamation marks (!!) indicate that this puzzle was a little harder than the average Wednesday puzzle? and that is was….

    1. Yes, Fred, I struggled with this Wednesday offering, which is a good thing! I like it when I have to look to the theme to help me finish filling in the grid. I like it even better when the theme isn’t obvious to me, and this one wasn’t. It took me a little while to work it out, hence the extra minutes, and the exclamation marks. 🙂

  5. @Glenn — I wish I knew which of the “anon” posters at the NYT blog you’re alluding to. The one I see most often is a real butt-head.

  6. @Anon @7:13
    I am going to be tempted to grab my epee and run it through, and escape by going asea. TOO FUNNY! Don’t forget to bring your OREOS for the trip. 🙂
    I got the long answers and the theme but ran the alphabet on
    E*U*E/A*ILLA and I guess I stopped too soon before I got to an “X”.
    Never heard of EDD or AXILLA.

  7. Psst, Bill, FYI, the post above me is a spam…………

    That done, I had a tough time with the puzzle, but seeing that our maestro Bill, had a tough time (huh ?) …… makes me feel much better. Mr. Sessa is always a very challenging constructor. I did have a good time with the puzzle, though.

    I am late today, …… there was 2 day old work, that just had to be done….. enough procastination, already ! ( note to self – )

    I looked up the OREO cookie design explanation, ….. on where else, but …….. Mental Floss, one of the smartest blogs ( other than this one, of course ! ) on the web. A big explanation awaits, and then, if you have more time to waste, ….. then why not click on the “deceptive picture” to find the heart among the snails, in the painting, on the side ads.

    Jeff, your great aunt worked on the radar ? I didn’t know the concept was thaat old. I thought it was developed during the WW II…
    Some men smoke, but Fu Manchu – I didn’t get the joke, at all, probably because I mispronounced the chinese / south american word(s). I had to Google that extensively – until it finally sank in. Meanwhile, I “learnt” another 100 sayings by Confusius….

    Have a nice day, all. and a good night.
    Where’s Carrie ? I miss her ‘end of the day’ quotes.

  8. Hi folks!
    Thanks Vidwan for thinking of me! Present and accounted for today!!! BTW did you find the joke? “Many men smoke, but few men chew [tobacco].” My mom used to quote my grandfather on that. Apparently, during the Depression, Grampy also liked to say “If we had ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs…”
    (I’ve decided to go back to my regular exclamation-mark overuse. It has proven TOO hard to lay off!!!!! My apologies!!)
    I found this puzzle to be a Wed-Thur tweener; maybe I got lucky with the clues. However, had NO IDEA what the theme was and didn’t try to understand it — too convoluted, IMO. I did struggle in Kansas: didn’t know ENOW, and at first I put WON *IN* A LANDSLIDE.
    Hey Glenn — Pookie alluded to this — do you ever think just in terms of one square (ie, one letter) rather than a word or phrase? That’s how I managed finally to have some success with Saturdays. The alphabet being finite, SOME ONE LETTER of 26 is going to go there, and we can eliminate many letters that don’t work alongside the one or ones we already have.
    Anyhoo… Good puzzle, except for the weird theme!!!!
    Sweet dreams~~™🍔🍟

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