LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Aug 2017, Friday










Constructed by: Roger & Kathy Wienberg

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Side Arm

Today’s themed answers are all in the down-direction. To read the complete answer, we have to use the letters ARM that are to one side of that answer in the grid:

  • 65A. Like some baseball pitches … and a hint to locating the second part of four three-part puzzle answers : SIDEARM
  • 8D. The Eagle, for one : LUN(AR M)ODULE
  • 15D. McDonald’s offering for tight budgets : DOLL(AR M)ENU
  • 35D. Post office standard : REGUL(AR M)AIL
  • 37D. Syrup source : SUG(AR M)APLE

Bill’s time: 8m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

17. Shutterbug : SHOOTER

A shutterbug is an enthusiastic amateur photographer, someone who likes to hear the click of that shutter, someone like me …

18. Fireplace fixture : ANDIRON

Andirons (also “firedogs”) are those horizontal bars on which you rest logs to burn in an open fireplace. They usually come in pairs and can be quite decorative, and are often made out of wrought iron.

19. Like a vertebral region : LUMBAR

The human spine comprises five regions of vertebrae, which are (starting at the neck):

  • Cervical (C1 – C7)
  • Thoracic (T1 – T12)
  • Lumbar (L1 – L5)
  • Sacral (S1 – S5)
  • Coccyx (also known as the tailbone)

22. Biblical songs : PSALMS

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

25. Splotchy garment : SMOCK

A smock is an outer garment that is often worn as protection for one’s clothing. Today, the term often applies to the protective garment worn by a painter.

28. Calendar abbr. : APR

The exact etymology of “April”, the fourth month of our year, seems to be uncertain. The ancient Romans called it “mensis Aprilis”, which roughly translated as “opening month. The suggestion is that April is the month in which fruits, flowers and animals “open” their life cycles.

35. U.K. fliers : RAF

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” has to be the Battle of Britain when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

47. Singer/songwriter Carly __ Jepsen : RAE

Carly Rae Jepsen is a singer/songwriter from Mission, British Columbia. Jepsen got her start on TV’s “Canadian Idol” when she placed third in the show’s fifth season.

52. Hook’s right hand : 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.

Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto. Barrie openly acknowledged that the Hook character was based on Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab from the novel “Moby Dick”.

57. Seven-piece Chinese puzzle : TANGRAM

A tangram is a flat puzzle consisting of seven different shapes that must be arranged to form specific shapes. The game was invented in China, and the name for the puzzle in Chinese translates as “seven boards of skill”. The seven shapes are called “tans” hence the “tangram” name used in English.

64. Shakespearean merchant : ANTONIO

In William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”, Portia is the formidable heroine who takes on the guise of a male lawyer and calls herself “Balthasar”. Portia does this to save the life of Antonio, the play’s title character. Portia makes a famous speech that gives us the oft-quoted phrase, “the quality of mercy” …

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes…

66. Unified whole : GESTALT

Gestalt is a German word meaning “shape”. The principles of gestaltism were developed in Germany in the early 1900s. One of the main tenets is that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”.

68. Upsilon preceder : TAU

Upsilon is the 20th letter in the Greek alphabet, and the character that gives rise to the letter Y that we use in English.

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.

Down

1. Dash or Doubtfire : MRS

Mrs. Dash is a brand name of seasoning mixes. Just before the product first went to market in 1981, brand owner B&G Foods also considered the name “Mrs. Pinch”.

The 1993 comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire” is based on a 1987 novel called “Madame Doubtfire” by Anne Fine. The movie is set and was filmed in San Francisco. The title role is played by Robin Williams, who spent most of the movie dressed as the female Mrs. Doubtfire. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the movie won the Oscar for Best Makeup.

3. Number missing, in a way, from “4 = 16” : TWO

42 = 16

4. Ryan’s daughter : TATUM

Tatum O’Neal is the youngest actress to win a “competitive” Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1974 when she was just 10 years old, for her role as Addie in “Paper Moon”. The youngest person to win an honorary Academy Award was Shirley Temple, who was only 5 years old when she was presented with an Oscar in 1934.

Actor Ryan O’Neal got his big break in the sixties on television. He appeared in the prime-time soap opera “Peyton Place”, opposite fellow newcomer Mia Farrow. Then in 1970 he landed a starring role in the hit movie “Love Story”, which established him in Hollywood. O’Neal was an amateur boxer before he turned to acting, and established a respectable record Golden Gloves competitions. These days, O’Neal has a recurring role on the TV show “Bones”, playing the title character’s father.

6. Energy food 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.

8. The Eagle, for one : LUN(AR M)ODULE

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

9. PC screen type : LCD

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

10. Lizard that can shed its tail : SKINK

Skinks are lizards with relatively small legs and without a pronounced neck. Most skink species have long tails that they can shed if it is grabbed by a predator. The tail can then be regenerated.

11. Pro’s opposite : TYRO

A tyro (also “tiro”) is a beginner or a novice. “Tyro” comes into English from Latin, in which “tiro” means “a recruit”.

12. Book after Joel : AMOS

Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible.

13. Actor Auberjonois : RENE

René Auberjonois is an American actor. Auberjonois’ most famous role on the big screen was Father Mulcahy in the movie “M*A*S*H”.

23. Athens rival : SPARTA

Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece that was famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.

27. “Downton Abbey” countess : CORA

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern. Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no son. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

37. Syrup source : SUG(AR M)APLE

The sugar maple is the state tree of New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. It is also the primary source of maple syrup.

42. Georgetown cager : HOYA

The athletic teams of Georgetown University are known as the Hoyas. The name is derived from “Hoya Saxa”, a traditional cheer yelled out at Georgetown games as far back as 1893. The term is a mixture of Greek and Latin, with the Greek word “hoya” meaning “such” or “what”, and “saxa” translating from Latin as “rocks” or “small stones”. The cheer is usually rendered in English as “what rocks!”.

46. Critter in the same family as chipmunks and squirrels : MARMOT

Marmots are large ground squirrels. Included in the genus is the famous groundhog, but not the prairie dog.

50. Like Miss Muffet’s fare : CURDY

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, the solid curds and the liquid whey. Then “along came a spider and sat down beside her”.

54. Tolkien race : ENTS

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”.

56. Tableland : MESA

“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide.

58. Genetic messenger : RNA

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

62. Top at the shore : BRA

The origin of the word “bikini”, a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

63. Outback runner : EMU

In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as the outback or the bush. That said, I think that the term “outback” can also be used for the more remote parts of the bush.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Welcome site : MAT

4. One may be nervous : TIC

7. Best of the best : ALL-STAR

14. It hasn’t been analyzed yet : RAW DATA

16. Lottery winner’s comment : LUCKY ME!

17. Shutterbug : SHOOTER

18. Fireplace fixture : ANDIRON

19. Like a vertebral region : LUMBAR

21. Meddle, with “around” : NOSE

22. Biblical songs : PSALMS

25. Splotchy garment : SMOCK

28. Calendar abbr. : APR

29. Blow : MISDO

30. Suffix with star or tsar : -DOM

33. Flimsy : LAME

35. U.K. fliers : RAF

36. Bearish? : URSINE

38. Twists : IRONIES

40. Couple in the news each December : CLAUSES

41. Like tennis rackets : STRUNG

42. Color property : HUE

43. They go with guys : GALS

44. Stable diet : HAY

45. Item from a mill? : RUMOR

47. Singer/songwriter Carly __ Jepsen : RAE

48. Secure, as a ship’s line : BELAY

49. Rascals : SCAMPS

52. Hook’s right hand : SMEE

55. Intensify : RAMP UP

57. Seven-piece Chinese puzzle : TANGRAM

60. Stud location : EARLOBE

64. Shakespearean merchant : ANTONIO

65. Like some baseball pitches … and a hint to locating the second part of four three-part puzzle answers : SIDEARM

66. Unified whole : GESTALT

67. To some degree : ANY

68. Upsilon preceder : TAU

Down

1. Dash or Doubtfire : MRS

2. Sound of relief : AAH!

3. Number missing, in a way, from “4 = 16” : TWO

4. Ryan’s daughter : TATUM

5. Chairperson’s list : ITEMS

6. Energy food component : CARB

7. Snooze buttons stop them : ALARMS

8. The Eagle, for one : LUN(AR M)ODULE

9. PC screen type : LCD

10. Lizard that can shed its tail : SKINK

11. Pro’s opposite : TYRO

12. Book after Joel : AMOS

13. Actor Auberjonois : RENE

15. McDonald’s offering for tight budgets : DOLL(AR M)ENU

20. “Dream on!” : AS IF!

22. Lacking color : PALISH

23. Athens rival : SPARTA

24. Weapons source : ARMORY

27. “Downton Abbey” countess : CORA

29. Uno __: Juan’s “one more” : MAS

30. Captivate : DISARM

31. A quarter mile, maybe : ONE LAP

32. Cans of worms : MESSES

35. Post office standard : REGUL(AR M)AIL

37. Syrup source : SUG(AR M)APLE

39. Memo opener : IN RE

40. Lowlife : CUR

42. Georgetown cager : HOYA

46. Critter in the same family as chipmunks and squirrels : MARMOT

48. Conceived : BEGOT

49. New World colonizer : SPAIN

50. Like Miss Muffet’s fare : CURDY

52. Guys-only : STAG

53. Locks in a barn : MANE

54. Tolkien race : ENTS

56. Tableland : MESA

58. Genetic messenger : RNA

61. Muffin choice : OAT

62. Top at the shore : BRA

63. Outback runner : EMU

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18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Aug 2017, Friday”

  1. Bill,
    Your puzzle and the one printed in my paper have some different numbers. For example, mine has 26D as the Downton Abbey clue giving the Cora answer. Yours listed it as 27D.

    All that probably does not matter, as I had a terrible time with this puzzle.
    Ken

    1. @Ken Mick
      I think the discrepancy is caused by the fact that I solve the puzzle online. I don’t think that the software used to prep the online version could cope with the “blank clues” necessitated by the theme.

      1. Bill,

        We’ve never seen a puzzle like this before and it gave us some fits trying to figure out the clues without numbers and how they figured into the shceme, but we did get them filled in. I then figured out what was what after I “got” the LUN and the odule below it was supposed to be LUNAR MODULE. The puzzle turned out to be fun.

        Also, the way all the clues and answers were explained is really neat and I’ve never seen that before, either. That was an educational opportunity for anyone who is looking to grow in knowledge. Thanks so much.

  2. 27:34, no errors. Believe it or not, I initially got hung up on 29A. I had all but the “D” and it certainly looked as if the answer had to be MISDO, but I wasted several minutes trying to see how that related to the clue “Blow”. Duh. And also, for some reason, I kept thinking the final theme answer started with 7D (ALARMS) instead of 8D (LUN). Geez. In short, my train of thought went right off the rails … and stayed there for quite some time.

    So, given that yesterday’s puzzle seemed to be such a big hit with everyone, it’ll be interesting to see what the consensus view of this one is … 😳😄😁

  3. I still found this quite difficult – but as Glenn mentions, understandable. Thats a Friday, for you.
    I always have difficulty differentiating between coccyx ( tail bone) and cochlea(r), inner ear bone. Very embarassing. Maybe my impaired hearing is to blame….

    I first thought APR was Annual Percentage Rate – a modified adjusted way of caculating percentages on loans, especially on short term loans, like on cars and moveable property etc., I was thinking on why that should apply for ALL calenders ?? Overthing, on my part.

    If Capn Hook’s right hand man was Smee, was his left hand ‘man’ Slag ? … considering it was a ( presumably – ) ‘iron’ hook. Atleast he had a decent elementary education, at Eton …

    Regarding, Gestalt – especially with regard to exams – I have always interpreted the word to mean, – experience with, or familiarity with. As in, a person who has the gestalt on, say, TOEFL ( Test of English, as a Foreign Language – ) will do much, much better than another who has no experience in, and is sitting for the test for the first time. In fact, that is where I came across the word for the first time. However, it is nice to know the fundamental meaning of that word.

    The vertical incom(ple)te answers were totally perplexing – but I can understand now, thanks to Bill’s blog. Alls well that ends well.

    Have a great weekend, all.

  4. One lousy letter away from redeeming myself from my abject failure of yesterday. And, to add insult to injury, I had the letter right, but made it wrong. It was the “g” in gal going across which for some idiotic reason I changed to pal and DNF!

    The WSJ grid was tough but fun and fair and I finally got it done without any final errors. Took a WAG on the meta, but really had no good, (or even remotely possible) if my answer is correct.

  5. This was a lot more fun than yesterdays. I had trouble with the mideast section & the vertical with no #’s. But not a total failure. I also didn’t get the theme, but hardly ever do.

  6. Fun puz. Made the same wrong turn as David K where LUNAR merges with ALARM, relied on Bill to make sense of it. It’s not uncommon for puzzles to contain words you don’t hear often (if ever). Today’s proof: MISDO. And CURDY?! Nuff said. @Bill. There you go again! The spinal column “comprises,” NOT the common but incorrect “is comprised of.” I say again: You da man.

  7. Horrible grid. Please no more of same. Clues make no sense. I had to rely on Bill to figure out. I had same problem with gals and lack of numbers sequence in grid. I will not be able to figure out another one.

    1. Hi Lynne. Which clues made no sense to you? Since this was a Friday grid the constructor normally makes the clues more opaque (even more so tomorrow) than the Monday through Thursday grids (except for yesterday, which was a real bear of a grid for whatever reason).

    2. Lynne, welcome! By all means, ask any questions you need to here. We were all new once (about 3 years ago for me), so there’s no problems. I don’t know how new you are to these, but like Tony explained, the LA Times puzzles (and most all others) start out easy on Monday and then get more difficult from there. It being Friday, it’ll generally be difficult, and Saturday/Sunday more. I know I definitely remember when I could barely do any of these, so if you want, you can always ask for questions and advice and what not.

      1. Hi Glenn,

        I cannot recall ever having seen a puzzle set up like this one’s was. I didn’t have much trouble doing the puzzle because my husband and I ganged up on you. I get to start off the puzzle, then holler for him to come help. LOL! For some reason, the LUNAR MODULE thing stood out for me, but the others weren’t so clear, which is what the challenge is, is it not? There were some cryptic answers in Thursday’s puzzle as well that took awhile to see what was inside the answer. Was that Bill’s puzzle as well?

  8. This thing looks like a rebus is sheep’s clothing. Boo!

    The online LAT version had nothing at 26D, which I now presume (after a quick google search) was a reference to a Nigerian actor Dele ODULE. So congrats to the LAT for a puzzle fail two days in a row. Maybe the Cardinals will let you pet the Rally Cat for good luck next time.

    Grid would be better if it included Shylock’s soliloquy from Merchant of Venice, since the constructor used CUR:

    “Dear sire, many a time and oft in the Rialto
    You have rated me for my moneys and my usances…

    You have called me a cur, and spat on my Jewish gabardine.”

  9. Hi gang! 🍻
    Better than yesterday’s, but that ain’t saying much. Theme just tried ​too hard!!!! Guess I wasn’t in the mood to wrestle with the whole no-numbers thing. Shoulda given more effort. Had to turn to Bill for the theme. Glad Saturday is THEMELESS!! 😁

    @Vivian, Bill doesn’t write the puzzles; he writes this blog about the puzzles, which, IMO, is much more entertaining!! Glad to see you here. 😊 Hello to Lynn too!

    I can live with never seeing MISDO in another grid….

    Be well~~™🐭🐰🐥

    1. Hello Carrie,

      Thanks for letting me know Bill writes the blog, but doesn’t write the puzzles. He seems like a good guy and I enjoyed reading his comments.

      There are some times that my husband and I want to hunt the puzzle-writers down. LOL!

      Thanks for your welcome.

      I don’t even know how long this blog has been here, but I’ve never seen it here before now.

      Vivian

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