LA Times Crossword Answers 15 May 17, Monday










Constructed by: Mark McClain

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Home Opener

Each of today’s themed answers comprises two words, both of which are often see OPENED by the word HOME:

  • 60A. Game one for season ticket holders … or, literally, what each word in the answers to starred clues can have : HOME OPENER
  • 17A. *Handyman’s forte : REPAIR WORK (giving “home repair” & “homework”)
  • 22A. *Sports industry mogul : TEAM OWNER (giving “home team” & “homeowner”)
  • 37A. *Frolic unrestrained : RUN FREE (giving “home run” & “home free”)
  • 50A. *Where the biggest headlines are : FRONT PAGE (giving “home front” & “home page”)

Bill’s time: 5m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Heroic exploit : GEST

Our word “gest” meaning a great deed or an exploit has been around since about 1300, and comes from the Old French word “geste” meaning the same thing. These days “geste” can also mean “gesture”.

9. Donald Duck, to his nephews : UNCA

Donald Duck’s nephews are identical triplets called Huey, Dewey and Louie, and they first appeared on the screen in 1938. Once in awhile due to errors in production, a fourth duck can be seen in the background. This little “mistake” is affectionately called “Phooey Duck” by folks in the industry.

13. Prefix for an intoxicating weed : LOCO

“Locoweed” is the familiar name given to several plants that produce a toxin known as swainsonine. Locoweeds tend to be quite palatable to livestock, even though it is poisonous to the animal. As such, ingestion of locoweed is the most widespread poisonous plant problem in the nation.

14. “Republic” philosopher : PLATO

The greatest work of the Greek philosopher Plato is said by most to be his treatise called “The Republic”. The work takes the form of a Socratic dialogue, meaning that it features Plato’s teacher, Socrates, in dialogue with others discussing the subject matter. Much of the text deals with justice and various forms of government.

16. Part of NYSE: Abbr. : EXCH

The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement. Today, the NYSE is located in National Historic Landmark building with the address 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

20. __ about: circa : ON OR

“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

22. *Sports industry mogul : TEAM OWNER

A “mogul” is a person with power. The term comes from the Mughal emperors of India and South Asia.

25. Youthful bar patrons are usually asked for them : IDS

I’m so old. I’ve never been asked for ID in a bar. That wasn’t done when I was young …

29. Whence chocolate : CACAO

The flowers of the cacao tree grow in clusters directly on the trunk, and on older branches. The pollinated flowers turn into ovoid cacao pods, each of which contain 20-60 seeds or beans. The seeds are used as the main ingredient in chocolate.

40. Mandela’s land: Abbr. : RSA

The Republic of South Africa (RSA)

As a young man, Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela was eventually arrested and admitted to charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964. He remained behind bars for 27 years, mainly in the infamous prison on Robben Island. As the years progressed, Mandela became a symbol of the fight against apartheid. He was released in 1990, and immediately declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s white minority population. Mandela was elected president of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) in 1994, an office that he held until 1999. Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.

41. Old Italian coin : LIRA

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

43. Jazz singer James : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

44. Arthritis detectors : X-RAYS

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. There are many types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis results in a breakdown of joint cartilage and bone, usually due to injury or inherited factors. Rheumatoid arthritis results in swollen and painful joints and is an autoimmune disorder, a condition arising from an abnormal immune response. The term “arthritis” ultimately comes from “arthron”, the Greek word for “joint”.

48. Soul automaker : KIA

The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

49. Phys. or entom. : SCI

Entomology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects. The etymology(!) of “entomology” is the Greek “entomon” (meaning “insect”) and “logia” (meaning “study of”). In turn, the Greek word “entomos” for insect is literal translation into Greek of “having a notch or cut”, in deference to the observation by Aristotle that insects have segmented bodies.

58. Gambling city near Tahoe : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

Lake Tahoe (often referred to simply as “Tahoe”) is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

63. Algerian seaport : ORAN

Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

66. “… why __ thou forsaken me?”: Matthew : HAST

According to both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark in the Christian Bible, Jesus uttered the words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” while hanging on the cross. This phrase is the only one that appears in more than one of the four gospels.

Down

2. 51-Down’s “Chicago” role : ROXIE
(51D. “Chicago” co-star Zellweger : RENEE)

The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …

3. Capital of Ghana : ACCRA

Accra sits on Ghana’s coast and is a major seaport as well as the country’s capital city. The name “Accra” comes from a local word “Nkran” meaning “ants”, a name chosen because of the large number of anthills found in the area when the city was founded.

4. Czech Republic region : BOHEMIA

The region known as Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.

5. Mercury Seven astronaut John : GLENN

John Glenn was a Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and US Senator. As an astronaut, Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, in 1962. He later became the oldest person to fly in space, in 1998 at the age of 77.

The Mercury Seven were the original NASA astronauts. Several members of the 7-man team actually flew on all the major NASA programs: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and the Space Shuttle. The seven astronauts were:

  • Alan Shepherd
  • Gus Grissom
  • John Glenn
  • Scott Carpenter
  • Wally Schirra
  • Gordon Cooper
  • Deke Slayton

6. How “The Raven” poet signed some of his letters : EA POE

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …

7. Drummer Ringo : STARR

Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles (replacing drummer Pete Best), Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

10. Colorful aquarium fish : NEON TETRA

The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

30. Tibet’s continent : ASIA

Tibet is a plateau region that is part of China, and is located northeast of the Himalayas. Tibet declared its independence from China in 1913, but fell back under Chinese control after the Invasion of Tibet in 1951. The Tibetan leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled the country during the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion. Since then, he has led the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India.

31. “Holiday Inn” holiday : CHRISTMAS

The 1942 classic movie “Holiday Inn” stars Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, and is noted for the song “White Christmas”. And yes, the movie is the inspiration for the name of the Holiday Inn chain of hotels.

32. Tolkien tree creature : ENT

Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

38. Driver’s one-eighty : UEY

Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn, make a 180.

45. Hawks and eagles : RAPTORS

“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.

47. Stitch’s movie pal : LILO

“Lilo & Stitch” was released by Disney in 2002. Compared to other Disney feature-length cartoons, “Lilo & Stitch” was relatively cheaply produced, using the voices of lesser-known actors. One interesting change had to take place in the storyline during production, when Lilo was meant to fly a Jumbo Jet through downtown Honolulu in one sequence. This was replaced with a sequence using a spaceship instead, as the producers were sensitive to public sentiment after the September 11 attacks.

48. Big name in packaged soup : KNORR

When I was growing up in Ireland, we never saw Campbell’s soup on the shelves. It was basically all Knorr products, and dehydrated soup from a packet at that. How times have changed. Knorr is a German brand, now owned by the Anglo-Dutch Company Unilever.

51. “Chicago” co-star Zellweger : RENEE

Renée Zellweger’s big break came in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”. A few years later, Zellweger followed that up with a string of successes in “Bridget Jones Diary” (2001), “Chicago” (2002) and “Cold Mountain” (2003). My wife and I love watching her play Bridget Jones, and as someone coming from the British Isles, I have to say that Zellweger does a remarkable job with the accent. She worked hard to perfect that accent, and of course she had a voice coach. She also went “undercover” and worked as a temp in an office for three weeks fine-tuning her skills.

52. Shaq of the NBA : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality show: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

53. Golf great with an “army” : ARNIE

Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

54. Mild Dutch cheese : GOUDA

Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, given it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

55. Ford flop : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel, son of Henry Ford. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

57. Romance novelist Roberts : NORA

Nora Roberts is a very successful author who has written over 165 romance novels. Roberts writes under a number of pen names: J.D. Robb, Jill March and Sarah Hardesty.

61. Adobe file format : PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Beach sidler : CRAB

5. Heroic exploit : GEST

9. Donald Duck, to his nephews : UNCA

13. Prefix for an intoxicating weed : LOCO

14. “Republic” philosopher : PLATO

15. Modernists, informally : NEOS

16. Part of NYSE: Abbr. : EXCH

17. *Handyman’s forte : REPAIR WORK

19. Rich person’s suffix : -AIRE

20. __ about: circa : ON OR

21. Sty calls : OINKS

22. *Sports industry mogul : TEAM OWNER

24. Kitchen invader : ANT

25. Youthful bar patrons are usually asked for them : IDS

26. Cows’ milk glands : UDDERS

29. Whence chocolate : CACAO

32. Has lunch, say : EATS

35. Organ knob : STOP

36. Gray hue : ASH

37. *Frolic unrestrained : RUN FREE

40. Mandela’s land: Abbr. : RSA

41. Old Italian coin : LIRA

43. Jazz singer James : ETTA

44. Arthritis detectors : X-RAYS

46. For the most part : MAINLY

48. Soul automaker : KIA

49. Phys. or entom. : SCI

50. *Where the biggest headlines are : FRONT PAGE

56. “__ we meet again” : UNTIL

58. Gambling city near Tahoe : RENO

59. Trampled (on) : TROD

60. Game one for season ticket holders … or, literally, what each word in the answers to starred clues can have : HOME OPENER

62. Responsibility : ONUS

63. Algerian seaport : ORAN

64. Bleak, in verse : DREAR

65. Take the bus : RIDE

66. “… why __ thou forsaken me?”: Matthew : HAST

67. Experience, as emotions : FEEL

68. Ball-balancing circus animal : SEAL

Down

1. Soccer shoe’s turf grabber : CLEAT

2. 51-Down’s “Chicago” role : ROXIE

3. Capital of Ghana : ACCRA

4. Czech Republic region : BOHEMIA

5. Mercury Seven astronaut John : GLENN

6. How “The Raven” poet signed some of his letters : EA POE

7. Drummer Ringo : STARR

8. You, in French : TOI

9. Kicks back : UNWINDS

10. Colorful aquarium fish : NEON TETRA

11. Wine stopper : CORK

12. Questions : ASKS

14. Ship fronts : PROWS

18. “__ trip!”: “Let’s travel!” : ROAD

23. Smell : ODOR

26. Take advantage of : USE

27. Optimistic : ROSY

28. Restful resorts : SPAS

29. Not windy : CALM

30. Tibet’s continent : ASIA

31. “Holiday Inn” holiday : CHRISTMAS

32. Tolkien tree creature : ENT

33. Back at sea? : AFT

34. __-la-la : TRA

38. Driver’s one-eighty : UEY

39. Leave the stage : EXIT

42. Really old : ANCIENT

45. Hawks and eagles : RAPTORS

47. Stitch’s movie pal : LILO

48. Big name in packaged soup : KNORR

50. French brother : FRERE

51. “Chicago” co-star Zellweger : RENEE

52. Shaq of the NBA : O’NEAL

53. Golf great with an “army” : ARNIE

54. Mild Dutch cheese : GOUDA

55. Ford flop : EDSEL

56. “Here comes trouble!” : UH-OH!

57. Romance novelist Roberts : NORA

61. Adobe file format : PDF

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7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 15 May 17, Monday”

  1. 4:57, no errors. Woke up too early. Staggered downstairs to check the WSJ meta answer from Friday. Got it (except for a hyphen – but maybe that’s okay). Decided to do this puzzle. Easy one. (Or maybe I should do more of them in my sleep … 😁.) Back to bed now …

  2. Easy Monday, but I still had to think in order to finish the NW. It seems like every puzzle I do these days, I struggle with the NW corner. I’m starting to think I have a mental block about it.

    Did not understand why CHRISTMAS specifically applied to Holiday Inn. Interesting as I did not know of the movie nor of its influence on the Holiday Inn name. I once had an acquaintance who did business with the Wilson family who started Holiday Inn. I asked what they were worth and my acquaintance, after a moment of thought, replied “Well – less than a billion dollars.” My response was “wow – me too!!….” I suspect they were a bit closer to a billion than I, but it paved the way for my joke anyway. This was years ago so they may very well be over a billion by now….

    @Glenn
    Just to clarify – yes you can print out the NYT subscription puzzles. I do it often – especially for the Thursday puzzles which can have all kinds of rebuses etc. You can print out past ones as well, but I don’t know how far back. I never checked.

    @Carrie
    I used to get to LA frequently, but I have not been there since 2010 although I’ve been in the SF area a few times since then. I need to get back someday to visit. I lived there briefly (Huntington Beach) between college and grad school. It occured to me the teak sealer I use may or may not be legal in California. CA has stricter V.O.C. (volatile organic compounds) regulations than other states. Maybe I can smuggle it in and sell on the black market… Hmmm.

    Best –

  3. Jeff, talking about banned chemicals, I’ve heard of some canisters of Freon XX that go for over $ 800 for a 8 oz. can. ( The penalties must also be just as severe …. )
    As for VOC’s , I am surprised CA has not banned gasoline fuel – the Benzene(s) in it are highly volatile and definitely carcinogenic ……

    I had a good time with the puzzle, and thanks to Argyle and Bill, the theme was also discovered.

    I spent an hour reading about the intoxicating weed, and found ….. I have the Datura plant growing right in my back yard. That is one variety of the various loco weed – and the worst thing is – I planted the damn thing and even paid for the seeds !!!! . Thankfully. no cows/bulls/steer/goats/sheep/bears in the vicinity …. or even cats/dogs/kids or other critters (in my yard – ).
    I hope the deer/squirrels/racoons and other varmints like moles/voles/skunks and cousins know whats not good for them….

    ID’ing at a bar – I was asked for my drivers license at a legal Mjuana shop in Denver, last year. They even photocopied it – I told them I strolled in there , by mistake ….. Thats my story.

    Regarding Gouda cheese, originally made in the Neth., I bet the EU rules prohibit any Gouda cheese made anywhere but in the Neth., from being sold anywhere in the EU zone. Thats the EU rules on all cheeses…

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. Had to Google (on a Monday) for BOHEMIA and ACCRA. I can’t seem to keep the later in my head. Why do I know NORA Roberts. I guess cuz it’s in crosswords.

  5. Hi folks!!
    Very easy Monday, tho I almost spelled it CLETE!!! Is that a name?
    Jeff! Smuggle it in and I’ll buy it! Will you accept Oreos as payment? 😊
    Re: IDs: I’m proud to say that *I* was carded just a few years ago, when I was FIFTY-THREE!! Thank you, guy at 7-11!
    As for Holiday Inn, I was thrown off at first, seeing CHRISTMAS start to appear, when, as I remember, the movie featured several holidays. They hosted people year-round, tho I guess Christmas was the biggie.
    Bill, thanks for another great write up!! Here’s to ya! 🍻
    Sweet dreams~~™🐧

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