LA Times Crossword Answers 13 May 17, Saturday










Constructed by: Roland Huget

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Old man, in Mannheim : ALTE

Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. The city is a little unusual in that it has streets and avenues laid out in a grid pattern, rather like an American city. For this reason, Mannheim has the nickname “die Quadratestadt” (city of the squares).

16. Oocyte producer : OVARY

An oocyte is an immature egg cell involved in reproduction.

The ovaries are the female reproductive organs. Most female vertebrates have two ovaries. However, only the left ovary develops in female birds, with the right remaining vestigial.

18. Name probably derived from scat singing : BEBOP

The jazz term “bebop” probably came from “Arriba! Arriba!”, words of encouragement from Latin American bandleaders to their musicians.

19. Like Orson, on a ’70s-’80s sitcom : ORKAN

“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

20. Band with a self-named 1978 debut album : TOTO

Toto is an American rock band dating back to 1977. As well as their famous “Rosanna”, they also sang another good tune called “Africa”.

22. “Lady Jane Grey” playwright : ROWE

Nicholas Rowe was an English playwright and poet who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1715. His last play was “The Tragedy of Lady Jane Grey”.

Lady Jane Grey was known as the “Nine Days’ Queen”. Lady Jane was the cousin of Edward VI and succeeded to the throne when the king named her his successor on his deathbed. Edward VI was the only son of Henry VIII. Henry’s eldest child Mary was the rightful heir to the throne and she deposed Lady Jane Grey in just a few days to become Queen Mary I (aka “Bloody Mary”). Lady Jane was imprisoned in the Tower of London and eventually beheaded.

23. Queen of Thorns portrayer on TV : RIGG

Diana Rigg is a marvelous actress from England who is best known for playing Emma Peel on the hit sixties show “The Avengers”. Rigg also won an Emmy for her performance in a 1997 television adaptation of “Rebecca”. In my humble opinion, she was also the best-ever Bond Girl (opposite George Lazenby, the worst-ever Bond Guy), in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” …

The Queen of Thorns is a character on “A Game of Thrones”.

25. Floaters in a Japanese ceremony : LANTERNS

“Tōrō nagashi” is a ceremony in Japan in which lighted paper lanterns are floated down a river. The ceremony is performed at the end of the Buddhist Bon Festival, with the intent of guiding departed souls into the spirit world. “Tōrō” is a Japanese word for “lantern”, and “nagashi” translates as “cruise, flow”.

29. Cassowary cousin : EMU

The cassowary is a large, flightless bird found mainly in New Guinea. One species of cassowary is the third tallest bird on the planet, second only to the ostrich and the emu.

31. Dog in the Reagan White House : REX

Rex was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owned by President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan while they lived in the White House. Rex was given by conservative commentator William F. Buckley, Jr. to Nancy Reagan as a Christmas gift. The dog was named for Rex Scouten, who was the White House Chief Usher at the time.

41. Sign of summer : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

44. 1942 Hayworth/Mature musical : MY GAL SAL

“My Gal Sal” is a song written by composer Paul Dresser. “My Gal Sal” is also the name of the movie recounting Dresser’s life made in 1942. It stars Victor Mature as Dresser, and Rita Hayworth as Sally “Sal” Elliott.

52. Overly precious, in Portsmouth : TWEE

In the UK, something “twee” is cutesy or overly nice. “Twee” came from “tweet”, which is the cutesy, baby-talk way of saying “sweet”.

Portsmouth in Hampshire is located on Portsea Island just off the south coast of England. Portsmouth is the only island city in the whole country and is a major naval port, home to the headquarters of the Royal Navy. If you visit the city, be sure to take a tour of HMS Victory, Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship.

57. Child with dishes : JULIA

Julia Child was an American chef who is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public. During WWII, Julia Child joined the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), the predecessor to the CIA. She worked for the OSS in Washington, Ceylon and China. While in the OSS, she met her husband Paul Child who was also an OSS employee. Paul joined the Foreign Service after the war, and it was his posting to France that created the opportunity for Julie to learn about French cuisine. If you haven’t seen it, I highly, highly recommend the movie “Julie & Julia”, one of the best films of 2009. Meryl Streep does a fabulous job playing the larger-than-life Julia Child.

59. Talus : ANKLEBONE

The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called the anklebone. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

61. Classic theater : ODEON

In Ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

63. __ Doon, Bay Area community named by a Scotsman : BONNY

Bonny Doon is a community in California, located just northwest of Santa Cruz. It was founded in the mid-1800s as a logging camp and was named by Scotsman John Burns in 1902 after a line in the Robert Burns song “The Banks O’ Doon”. The Doon is a Scottish river. You might be familiar with Bonny Doon wines. The Bonny Doon Vineyard is a very successful winery operating in the area.

65. Sugar source : BEET

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

Down

1. Clip contents : AMMO

The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

4. Zhou __ : ENLAI

Zhou Enlai (also “Chou En-Lai”) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

5. Start of a modern afterthought : BTW

By the way (BTW)

6. Chandon’s partner : MOET

Moët & Chandon is a French winery, one of the world’s largest producers of champagne. The company was founded by wine trader Claude Moët in 1743. The name was changed to Moët & Chandon in the 1830s when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon, an in-law to the Moët family, was given co-ownership. Moët & Chandon owns the famous Dom Pérignon brand name, honoring the Benedictine monk who did so much to improve the quality of champagne.

8. Beetle cousin : JETTA

The name Jetta is one in a series of names related to winds that has been used by Volkswagen. Jetta comes from the German for “jet stream””, and the model name Passat comes from the German for “trade wind”.

9. Short do : BOB

A “bob cut” is a short hairstyle in which the hair is cut straight around the head, at about the line of the jaw. Back in the 1570s a “bob” was the name given to a horse’s tail that was cut short, and about a century later it was being used to describe short hair on humans. The style became very popular with women in the early 1900s (as worn by actress Clara Bow, for example), with the fashion dying out in the thirties. The style reemerged in the sixties around the time the Beatles introduced their “mop tops”, with Vidal Sassoon leading the way in styling women’s hair in a bob cut again. Personally, I like it …

11. Drum with a fife : TABOR

A tabor is a portable snare drum that is played with one hand. The tabor is usually suspended by a strap from one arm, with the other hand free to beat the drum. It is often played as an accompaniment for a fife or other small flutes. The word “tabor” comes from “tabwrdd”, the Welsh word for “drum”.

15. Grab, as at a smorgasbord : TONG

A pair of tongs is a tool with a scissor-like hinge used to pick up things, like meat cooking on a barbecue grill or ice from an ice bucket. The verb “to tong” means “to handle with tongs”.

A smorgasbord is a buffet-style meal that originated in Sweden. “Smörgåsbord” is a Swedish word comprised of “smörgås” meaning “open-faced sandwich” and “bord” meaning “table”.

33. Sycophant’s specialty : ADULATION

A sycophant is a selfish person, one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

38. Suffix with Congo : -LESE

The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war’s fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.

44. Teen’s source of funds : MCJOB

“McJob” is a slang term for a low-paying position that offers little chance for advancement. The term of course comes from front-line jobs at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant.

46. Ancient Greek physician : GALEN

Galen of Pergamum was a physician of Ancient Rome (of Greek ethnicity). Galen mainly worked on monkeys, dissecting their bodies to learn about physiology, as it was not permitted to dissect human bodies in his day.

49. Help on the job? : 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.

50. Big shot : NABOB

A nabob is a person of wealth and prominence. “Nabob” comes from the title of a governor in India.

58. Partner of all : ANY

“Any and all”

60. D-Day craft : LST

LST stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were the large vessels used mainly in WWII that had doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles could roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Old man, in Mannheim : ALTE

5. Key with five sharps: Abbr. : B MAJ

9. Mess up : BOTCH

14. Unavoidable : MEANT TO BE

16. Oocyte producer : OVARY

17. Relaxed to the max : MELLOWEST

18. Name probably
derived from scat singing : BEBOP

19. Like Orson, on a ’70s-’80s sitcom : ORKAN

20. Band with a self-named 1978 debut album : TOTO

22. “Lady Jane Grey” playwright : ROWE

23. Queen of Thorns portrayer on TV : RIGG

25. Floaters in a Japanese ceremony : LANTERNS

27. Turkish title : AGA

29. Cassowary cousin : EMU

31. Dog in the Reagan White House : REX

32. Metaphor for high speed : PEDAL TO THE METAL

39. Sacrificed considerably : PAID A STEEP PRICE

40. Fixers : TROUBLESHOOTERS

41. Sign of summer : LEO

42. Leb. neighbor : ISR

43. Low mark : DEE

44. 1942 Hayworth/Mature musical : MY GAL SAL

48. Neutral shades : TANS

51. Surface application : COAT

52. Overly precious, in Portsmouth : TWEE

54. It makes everything taste better, they say : BACON

57. Child with dishes : JULIA

59. Talus : ANKLEBONE

61. Classic theater : ODEON

62. Glaze causes : ICE STORMS

63. __ Doon, Bay Area community named by a Scotsman : BONNY

64. One may be taken on the road : TEST

65. Sugar source : BEET

Down

1. Clip contents : AMMO

2. Lascivious look : LEER

3. Broadcast genre : TALK RADIO

4. Zhou __ : ENLAI

5. Start of a modern afterthought : BTW

6. Chandon’s partner : MOET

7. Awkward moment makeup : ABSOLUTE SILENCE

8. Beetle cousin : JETTA

9. Short do : BOB

10. Exhaust (oneself), as in a workout : OVEREXERT

11. Drum with a fife : TABOR

12. Symbol of sovereignty : CROWN

13. Strong pitches : HYPES

15. Grab, as at a smorgasbord : TONG

21. Restricted pending disciplinary action : ON REPORT

24. Takes a turn for the worse? : GETS LOST

26. Pace : TEMPO

27. Cal. entry : APPT

28. Driver’s choice : GEAR

30. Speck : MOTE

33. Sycophant’s specialty : ADULATION

34. Record trademark : LABEL

35. Sneaky chortles : HEHS

36. 50-50, say : TIED SCORE

37. Real estate buy : ACRE

38. Suffix with Congo : -LESE

44. Teen’s source of funds : MCJOB

45. “Really?” : YOU DO?

46. Ancient Greek physician : GALEN

47. Anticipate : AWAIT

49. Help on the job? : ABET

50. Big shot : NABOB

53. Scratches (out) : EKES

55. “Your money’s no good here” : ON ME

56. First flight launch site : NEST

58. Partner of all : ANY

60. D-Day craft : LST

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 13 May 17, Saturday”

  1. 10:56, no errors, no missteps.

    @Carrie … I do the Saturday Stumpers on paper and I think they are the most difficult crossword puzzles I do. Almost invariably, they initially seem impossible and I spend several minutes thinking I won’t even be able to start, let alone finish. Oddly enough, though, I do finish (so far, anyway!) and I seem to make fewer missteps than on other puzzles because, by the time I have the confidence to make an entry, it is only because I have repeatedly reviewed all the clues in a given section and slowly begun to see how to fill in the entire section. Since Glenn made me aware of their existence, I have attempted thirteen of them and, to my great astonishment, succeeded in doing every one (though not without some errors).

    @Glenn … yesterday, rather late, I posted a retraction of my somewhat negative comments about that NYT puzzle containing an embedded 4×4 “Sudoku”. As you pointed out, the embedded puzzle was completely analogous to a standard Sudoku, but based on powers of 2, rather than powers of 3. A marvelous creation!

    1. @Carrie … For comparison: I just did today’s WSJ 21×21 and it took me just over 30 minutes. Then, I did today’s Newsday 15×15 and it took me about an hour and a half (including some breaks, which I find to be a necessary part of solving the Saturday Stumpers).

      One other comment: What makes the SS’s difficult is mostly the cluing. A completed SS grid doesn’t seem all that different from a completed LAT or NYT grid. (It’s actual helpful to keep that in mind as you do one of them: you have to keep telling yourself that, no matter how deceptive a given clue might be, the desired answer probably isn’t all that weird.) They’re fun, but it may help to be a little masochistic … 😄.

  2. Looking at the blank grid I thought this was going to be a lot more difficult than it actually was. On to the WSJ 21X21 later if time permits.

  3. Crazy solve today. I felt a little like I went around the block to get next door, but I managed to finish.

    First I employed Tony’s patented hunt and peck method. After 20 minutes (of mostly staring) I had filled in the NE corner and not much else. Finally I got brave enough to fill in a few things I hoped were right, and then the long answers came rather quickly. Finally had to sit and stare at the NW for a while longer to finish. 50 minutes in all.

    I can trace my getting TWEE, ENLAI, GALEN, MCJOB, and TABOR directly to seeing them in other crosswords.

    Dave – I went back and read your NYT comments on the puzzles you missed while gone. Some amusing ones in there. I had no issues with the Sodoku puzzle; I was just happy I finished it.

    Looks like it’s a Jeff Chen Saturday over at the NYT. Yikes. 30 minute times for both Dave and Bill. I’ll be out staining/sealing my teak coffee table today (I don’t like them to go gray). Maybe I’ll attempt it while it’s drying.

    Tony I hope I don’t owe you a royalty for using your hunt and peck method today.

    Best –

    1. You already paid the royalty by acknowledging me as the source! I’ll be telling that story to my wife at dinner tonight as she rolls her eyes…(g)

  4. @Carrie
    They’re generally harder than the norm for both LAT and NYT (Fri/Sat). But usually to compare, the LAT Saturday is about equivalent to the Fri NYT, which is why I’m surprised you haven’t ventured into late week territory over there. Sat NYT is usually a little tougher than Sat LAT, but I (mostly) get through them unscathed.

    Anyway, Newsday publishes 7 days a week and you can find the last 14 days worth of puzzles here, all in PDF format (not sure they actually have a true online puzzle outlet). The other 6 puzzles are a step down from the LAT difficulty wise, which is why I was doing them regularly a couple of years ago late in the week when I couldn’t get past Wed without DNFing. (Odd now, I seek out hard stuff to do in the early week now, Sat Newsday along with other stuff including the CHE, since 5-10 minutes doesn’t normally fill up my daily crossword time per day if I’m not super-busy) Friday’s been mildly challenging for me at times (almost a Stumper Jr. some weeks), so I’ll get it sometimes, along with the Sunday 21×21 they post. But generally, the times I’ve been doing all those lately have been for speed runs to try and tighten up my writing and puzzle doing process (current record: 93 minutes on one week of puzzles not counting Saturday).

    @Dave
    Thanks for letting me know about your Sudoku comment. One thing I’ll say is that my weekends have been getting busier, so it’s been harder for me to finish out LAT/NYT before the end of Sunday. So the Sat Newsdays have been piling up. If you’re curious, I still have 04/08, 04/29, 05/06, and today’s still here to finish. And to expand on my comment about older stuff being tougher, I’ve read at times that people say the Saturday Stumpers Newsday published were much harder when they started than the ones they do today. So I half-wonder what those look like. Alas, they haven’t published any books of those old puzzles (if they did I’d probably buy one).

    Although, I have found cites or two of “hardest NYT puzzles ever published”, so I’d have wonder what those would look like to do if I ever got a subscription to get access to them. Probably the only realistic option as to compiling a “toughest of the tough” list.

    Anyway, have a good weekend, everybody! I’ll post on this one when I get it done (maybe tonight, or tomorrow).

  5. @Carrie –

    Just read your Kingfisher comment from last night. I haven’t had one or even seen one in ages. I don’t know if they’re still sold in those huge bottles anymore. I looked them up and I guess they’re owned by Heineken now. They do come in 330 ml bottles which is about the same as a 12 oz.

    Too bad. I like the philosophy that beer should only be sold in huge volumes….

    Best –

  6. 7 letters off on this (mainly upper right’s nest of Naticks) in (again) a shameful amount of time. And how is it ORKAN? On to see if I haven’t regressed severely on any of the other puzzles, I suppose. Starting with tomorrow’s LAT.

  7. Hiya gang!
    Success today, after a lot of detours. Took me forever to think of “makeup” as something other than what I put on my face, so I had ABSORBENT before ABSOLUTE. The NE gave me problems until I just guessed at OVARY.
    @Dave & Glenn, thanks so much for the input re. Saturday Stumper! Very helpful. I printed out today’s (5/13) and will attempt. Dave, I like your take on the nature of the cluing; thanks 😊
    I don’t do the NYT beyond Tuesday cuz I have to do it online, which I can barely tolerate. Wanted to try the SS cuz (I assumed) it’s themeless, as well as being super challenging. I prefer the themeless Saturday LAX cuz those late-week themed puzzles are SO convoluted!!!!!
    JEFF!! Did you already do your teak furniture? I’ve been told that you shouldn’t seal teak. Do you have a pressure washer? It’s amazing how much gray you can remove with a pressure washer! Let dry, then apply teak oil. Note that I’m always happy to tell people what to do….
    POOKIE! Congrats on a Saturday solve 😊😊😊! This was tough.
    Be well~~™🌷🌻🌸

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