LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Oct 2017, Saturday










Constructed by: Alex Bajcz

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Chimpanzee relative : BONOBO

The Bonobo used to be called the Pygmy Chimpanzee, and is a cousin of the Common Chimpanzee. The Bonobo is an endangered species, found in the wild only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. Along with the Common Chimpanzee, the Bonobo is the closest species to humans genetically.

7. “Teen Wolf” airer : MTV

“Teen Wolf” is a 1985 comedy film starring Michael J. Fox in the title role, a high school student who transforms into a werewolf. There’s an MTV television series that’s loosely based on the movie. The show features Tyler Posey as the “teen wolf”. Neither movie nor TV show would be my cup of tea …

10. One on a sting operation? : WASP

While the wasp is considered to be a nuisance by many, the insect is very important to the agricultural industry. Wasps prey on many pest insects, while having very little impact on crops.

15. “Madam Secretary” star : TEA LEONI

Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role, Racine at first base). She also played the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni is now playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary”, a show that I really enjoy …

“Madam Secretary” is TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

19. Pronoun for Catherine de’ Medici : ESSA

Catherine de’ Medici was an Italian noblewoman who became Queen consort of France in 1547 as wife of King Henry II. Catherine was very fond of spinach, and so had it served at every meal. Catherine hailed from Florence, and to this day dishes that are made with spinach are referred to as “Florentine”, reflecting Catherine’s city of birth.

21. Mariner’s home : SEATTLE

The Washington city of Seattle was founded on a site that had been occupied by Native Americans for over 4,000 years before the first Europeans arrived in the area. The name “Seattle” was chosen in honor of Duwamish Chief Seattle who had a reputation for welcoming white settlers.

The Seattle Mariners are one of only two Major League teams never to have appeared in a World Series. The other is the Washington Nationals. The Mariners are owned by the Nintendo Corporation of America, making them one of three Major League teams owned by businesses. The other two are the Atlanta Braves (owned by Liberty Media) and the Toronto Blue Jays (owned by Rogers Communications).

22. Classic : QUINTESSENTIAL

In Ancient Greece, Aristotle believed that there was a fifth element, beyond the accepted four elements of earth, wind, fire and water. This fifth element he called aether, postulating it was the makeup of celestial bodies. In Middle French in the 14th century, the “fifth element” was called “quinte essence”, coming into English as “quintessence’ in the early 15th century. In the late 1500s, “quintessence” came to mean “purest essence” in a more general sense, with quintessential meaning “at it’s finest”.

27. Revolutionary icon : CHE

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

28. Mideast capital once called Philadelphia : AMMAN

Amman is the capital city of Jordan, and is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Amman has been occupied by a number of different civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks who called it Philadelphia, a name retained by the Romans when they occupied the city just after 100 AD.

29. Prima __ : FACIE

“Prima facie” is Latin for “first encounter” or “at first sight”. In the world of the law, a prima facie case is one in which the evidence is deemed to be sufficient for a judgment to be made unless the evidence is contested.

31. They might be set in windows: Abbr. : ACS

Air conditioner (AC)

41. House Lannister member on “Game of Thrones” : JAIME

Jaime Lannister is a character in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels by George R. R. Martin, and in the TV adaptation “Game of Thrones”. Lannister is played by Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on the TV show.

43. First period of the Mesozoic Era : TRIASSIC

The Triassic period lasted from about 250 to 200 million years ago. It was during the Triassic that dinosaurs first appeared. A major extinction event at the end of the Triassic that allowed dinosaurs to dominate the landscape throughout the subsequent Jurassic period.

The Mesozoic Era is also known as the Age of the Dinosaurs, as most dinosaurs developed during that time and the era ended with the extinction of all dinosaurs (except the avian species, which developed into our modern birds). The Mesozoic Era started with another cataclysmic event, the so called “Great Dying”, the largest mass extinction in the history of our planet. During the “Great Dying” over 90% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrate species died off.

45. Pass for now : TAKE A RAINCHECK

The use of rainchecks dates back to the 1880s, where they were tickets issued at rained-out baseball games that guaranteed free entry to a make-up game.

48. Script used by ancient Minoans : LINEAR A

There were two linear scripts used in ancient Crete. One is known as Linear A, and the other, imaginatively enough, is known as Linear B.

The Minoans were a Bronze Age people that lived on the island of Crete from about 270 to 1450 BCE. Evidence of the Minoan civilization was uncovered by the British archaeologist Arthur Evans at the beginning of the 20th century. Evans coined the term “Minoan” after King Minos of myth, who was said to have built a Labyrinth on the island that housed the Minotaur.

57. Automaker Bugatti : ETTORE

Italian Ettore Bugatti founded his company Automobiles E. Bugatti in 1909 in Alsace, then part of Germany. Bugatti cars were noted for the beauty of their design as well as their performance. Ettore came from an artistic family. His younger brother Rembrandt Bugatti was a noted sculptor.

58. Freezer brand : EDY’S

Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

59. Stereotypical corny joke teller : DAD

Yeah, that would be me.

A man walks into a bar and there is a bunch of meat hanging from the ceiling. The man asks the bartender what’s the deal with the meat and the bartender explains that if you jump and slap a piece of meat, you get to drink free for the night, but if you miss, you must buy drinks for everyone in the bar. The man responds, “Nah, the steaks are too high.”

60. Tin ear, to a pathologist : ASONIA

“Asonia” is tone deafness, and a medical term that I believe is pretty much obsolete these days. I managed to find a reference to it in the “Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology” published in 1901!

Down

1. Jamboree-on-the-Air org. : BSA

Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) is an annual meeting of Scouts and Guides from around the world that is held via Amateur Radio. With more than a million participants, JOTA is the largest Scouting event in the world.

A jamboree is a very large gathering of scouts from around the country, and sometimes from around the world. The exact etymology of “jamboree” is much debated, but it is likely to be a term coined by Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement. Baden-Powell lived in Africa for many years and so many think that the term is based on “jambo”, the Swahili word for “hello”.

4. With a hotel, avenue whose rent is $550 : ORIENTAL

That would be the game of Monopoly.

7. Some are named for presidents: Abbr. : MTS

The Presidential Range comprises the highest peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Most of the peaks are named for US Presidents including Washington, Eisenhower, Monroe, Jefferson, Adams, Quincy Adams and Madison.

9. Spanish autonomous community or its capital : VALENCIA

Valencia is one of the autonomous communities of Spain, and is located in the east of the country on the Mediterranean Coast. Its capital city is also called Valencia, and is the third-largest city in the nation, after Madrid and Barcelona.

10. Little white breed, affectionately : WESTIE

The West Highland White Terrier is a cute-looking, little white dog from Scotland. The “Westie” looks very much like a related breed, the little black Scottish Terrier. The two breeds can be seen sitting side-by-side on the famous label of Black & White Scotch whisky.

11. Vital circulation aid : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

12. Fisherman’s knot : SNELL

A snell is a length of thin line that connects a fishhook to heavier line. The knot that is typically used to fasten a hook to the snell is known as a snell knot.

13. Lead Clue weapon : PIPE

Clue is board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

16. Stereotypical doo-wop garb : LEATHER JACKETS

Doo-wop developed in the 1940s and can be described as a vocal-based R&B music. Even though the style has been around since the forties, the name doo-wop wasn’t introduced until the early sixties.

22. Outdoor lecture sites : QUADS

A university often features a central quadrangle (quad).

24. “Your noble son __”: Polonius : IS MAD

Polonius is an important character in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. Polonius is eventually killed by Hamlet, albeit in a case of mistaken identity. He has several memorable lines in the play that are oft-quoted today, including “To thine own self be true”, “Brevity is the soul of wit”, and “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”.

25. Issuer of three-part nos. : SSA

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

30. Comedian __ the Entertainer : CEDRIC

“Cedric the Entertainer” is the stage name of actor and comedian Cedric Kyles from Jefferson City, MIssouri. Cedric is known as a co-star of “The Steve Harvey Show” sitcom and as a comedian showcased in the Spike Lee film “The Original Kings of Comedy” released in 2000.

32. Lewis Black, e.g. : COMIC

Lewis Black is a standup comedian who is known for using an angry demeanor during his routines.

35. “American Pie” actress : TARA REID

Tara Reid is an actress known for roles she played on television and the big screen. My guess is her most remembered performances were in the “American Pie” series of movies in which she played Vicky. Sadly, Reid succumbed to the pressure to alter her looks with plastic surgery. In interviews, she has shared that her first experience under the knife “went wrong” leading to more surgeries in attempts to rectify the resulting deformity.

40. Zeta-theta go-between : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

42. ’50s-’60s country singer McDonald : SKEETS

Skeets McDonald was a rockabilly musician who was popular in the fifties and sixties. Born Enos McDonald in Greenway, Arkansas, he earned his nickname as a child, as he used call mosquitoes “skeets”.

47. Many a reggae artist : RASTA

I must admit that I don’t really know much about Rastafarianism. I do know that a “Rasta”, like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

51. Mosby on “How I Met Your Mother” : TED

“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

54. Ocean State sch. : URI

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as an agricultural school, back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus is located in the village of Kingston.

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, but is the second most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

55. Princess’ bane : PEA

“The Princess and the Pea” is a fairy tale from the pen of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The essence of the story is that a prince’s mother tests the royal blood of an apparent princess by placing a pea under a pile of mattresses on which the young girl sleeps. The girl complains of a restless night, demonstrating a physical sensitivity that can only be attributed to a princess. And they all live happily ever after …

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Chimpanzee relative : BONOBO

7. “Teen Wolf” airer : MTV

10. One on a sting operation? : WASP

14. You’ll need a lift to use one : SKI RUN

15. “Madam Secretary” star : TEA LEONI

17. Have grand ambitions : ASPIRE

18. Deal maker : SALES REP

19. Pronoun for Catherine de’ Medici : ESSA

21. Mariner’s home : SEATTLE

22. Classic : QUINTESSENTIAL

26. Peels off, perhaps : UNSTICKS

27. Revolutionary icon : CHE

28. Mideast capital once called Philadelphia : AMMAN

29. Prima __ : FACIE

31. They might be set in windows: Abbr. : ACS

34. Included in the game : DEALT TO

36. Canal treatment fluid : EAR DROP

38. Not irreg. : STD

39. Made waves, in a way : OARED

41. House Lannister member on “Game of Thrones” : JAIME

42. Basses’ sect. : STR

43. First period of the Mesozoic Era : TRIASSIC

45. Pass for now : TAKE A RAINCHECK

48. Script used by ancient Minoans : LINEAR A

49. Oft-layered item : CAKE

50. Share of ownership : INTEREST

52. Renew one’s strength : REST UP

56. Trial area : TEST SITE

57. Automaker Bugatti : ETTORE

58. Freezer brand : EDY’S

59. Stereotypical corny joke teller : DAD

60. Tin ear, to a pathologist : ASONIA

Down

1. Jamboree-on-the-Air org. : BSA

2. Accepts : OKS

3. Something in the air : NIP

4. With a hotel, avenue whose rent is $550 : ORIENTAL

5. Break down : BURST INTO TEARS

6. Request for a small delay : ONE SEC

7. Some are named for presidents: Abbr. : MTS

8. Flirt : TEASE

9. Spanish autonomous community or its capital : VALENCIA

10. Little white breed, affectionately : WESTIE

11. Vital circulation aid : AORTA

12. Fisherman’s knot : SNELL

13. Lead Clue weapon : PIPE

16. Stereotypical doo-wop garb : LEATHER JACKETS

20. Put on one’s wish list : ASK FOR

22. Outdoor lecture sites : QUADS

23. Like some unreasonable requests : UNMET

24. “Your noble son __”: Polonius : IS MAD

25. Issuer of three-part nos. : SSA

30. Comedian __ the Entertainer : CEDRIC

31. Surface : ARISE

32. Lewis Black, e.g. : COMIC

33. Barely a blip : SPECK

35. “American Pie” actress : TARA REID

37. Makes a break for : DASHES TO

40. Zeta-theta go-between : ETA

42. ’50s-’60s country singer McDonald : SKEETS

44. How land is measured : IN AREA

45. Like rakes : TINED

46. Pacing, maybe : ANTSY

47. Many a reggae artist : RASTA

48. Beer case word : LITE

51. Mosby on “How I Met Your Mother” : TED

53. Homework amount? : TON

54. Ocean State sch. : URI

55. Princess’ bane : PEA

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Oct 2017, Saturday”

  1. 48 minutes, 1 error (bad guess). 53-D has to be the weirdest clue I’ve seen in several months. And that’s saying something.

    64 minutes, 2 errors (couple of Natick crossings on 42-A, guessed wrong). Quite interesting that there’s no traditional theme entries in this one at all, but 21 separate Across clues relating to birds (7 distinct clue texts). Works well enough as a theme, I suppose, but can’t say I’ve ever seen it done before and half wonder if it has been.

    1. @Glenn … Your second paragraph above refers to today’s WSJ, yes? I also thought that the bird thing was unusual.

      I forgot to use the Washington Post site to do the LAT puzzle this morning, but it was early, so the LAT site worked okay. Am I right that the Sunday puzzle on the WP site is not same as the LAT puzzle?

      I printed a copy of the Saturday Stumper last night and spent twenty minutes on it, but made no progress at all (but that may be because I had just finished Tim Croce’s latest outing and was getting a little burnt out).

      1. @Dave
        Yes, it refers to today’s WSJ. Forgot to put that again.

        As for the Washington Post site, the Sunday LA Times puzzle is under the daily (same link). However, they also have a separate Sunday puzzle link where Evan Birnholz’s Sunday puzzles are posted (otherwise known as the guy that got hired when Merl Reagle passed). He generally does decent work with that puzzle and generally adds something interesting.

        I’ve looked at the Saturday Stumper myself for about that long, but as usual for many puzzles released on weekends, my skill level keeps me away from solving them in a decent way.

  2. 13:20, including the time required to find and fix one error: I had used STS (states) for 7D, giving me STV (duh) for 7A. When I got the silent treatment, I switched to MTS (mountains) and MTV (which I recognize, but I don’t do TV these days … 😄).

    @Tony … Last night, I posted a response to your query about last week’s WSJ meta (and commiserated about this week’s). I then spent another half hour on the latter before turning out the light and going to sleep. At 5:30 this morning, my eyes popped open and I had the answer! I can’t say too much about it except that Glenn and Megan are correct that it’s easy (after it stops being difficult … 😄).

    1. Hi Dave. I’ll find out next week why my brain couldn’t come up with the meta. Even I agree it looks easy and I understand the theme of the meta. I just can’t grok the damn answer. D’oh! (I’m smiling as I typed this).

      The LA Times was a fair challenge today. I finally got it to come out without any final errors but I wasn’t sure until I got to Bill’s blog (Thanks again for your selfless and tireless work here, Bill!) and found out that my final guess of Lineara for 48 Across was, in fact, correct. I also realized that I had put in “pcs” instead of “acs” for 31 Across and got that fixed in the nick of time before I would have come here to find out I had screwed the pooch.

      Next up the WSJ.

    2. This stuff has a way of being fascinating – how a puzzle can be so easy to certain groups, and yet so hard for other groups (I’m usually on the unhappy end of it). It may be a good topic for Monday, but it makes me half-curious as to why these things happen.

    1. Mom to son: “Why so glum?”
      Son to mom: “I’ve got a ton of homework to do!”

      Just a common turn of phrase I guess would be one way of putting it…

        1. Often, huge stretches and nonsense are specialties of crosswords, where it requires ESP instead of logic to solve them – especially the late week ones. Notably the LAT isn’t as bad as the NYT in that realm, but it gets there.

  3. @Glenn …

    OK. I’ll definitely have to switch to the Washington Post site. Among other things, it seems to show me the entire grid all at once, which the LAT site has never done. It also just occurred to me that my subscription to the Denver Post gets me free access to the online edition of the Washington Post. I just need to “activate” it … somehow … 😜

    The Saturday Stumper took me two and a half hours (but I was working with plants a good bit of that time, as well – I just needed to walk away from it a lot). As usual, the completed grid looks pretty ordinary; it’s the cluing that makes it such a tussle.

    So all my weekend puzzles are done. And I definitely need a break! (Even Sunday is feeling a bit threatening, and they’re usually just time-consuming, not tricky. But I should keep my mouth shut, shouldn’t I? … 😳😁).

    @Tony …

    I think I figured out why I had trouble with the meta, but I can’t talk about it until Monday … more then …

  4. Seems like I have a hard time getting into the Saturday puzzle on a regular basis, especially when there is no theme. Had to work on this one with the show errors option on. Boo.

    Ready for Monday’s puzzle and to see who got the meta. 🙂

    -Megan

  5. Hi folks! 😊
    Two errors, but I did well overall so I’m proud. 😁 For “Surface” I had TRITE…. couldn’t figure out ACS for anything, and I just put in a T. Misspelled TRIASSIC….Well now, here’s something interesting!! 😮 Just now when I started to type TRIASSIC my predictive text gave me​ the word!! On this tablet, THAT MEANS THAT AT SOME POINT IN THE RECENT PAST I MISSPELLED TRIASSIC!!! Ha ha…. Guess the takeaway for me is to REMEMBER THOSE PAST CROSSWORD SPELLING ERRORS!!
    LOL — feel like I’ve just been TOLD by my tablet!!
    Be well~~™⚾

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