LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Jan 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Fast Clips in Sport

Themed answers are phrases that might be used to mean “fast clip”. Themed clues refer to sporting events in which that “fast clip” might occur:

  • 21A. Fast clip around the racetrack : BLISTERING PACE
  • 40A. Fast clip from the pitcher’s mound : DIZZYING VELOCITY
  • 60A. Fast clip down the slopes : BREAKNECK SPEED

Bill’s time: 6m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Filet mignon source : LOIN

The filet mignon cut of beef is taken from muscle in the back of the cow. That muscle is no load-bearing and contains very little connective tissue, which makes it more tender as meat. The name “filet mignon” translates as “tender/delicate fillet”.

15. Actress Paquin of Netflix’s “Alias Grace” : ANNA

Anna Paquin is an actress from New Zealand who won an Oscar as an 11-year-old for her role in “The Piano”. In the HBO series “True Blood”, Paquin plays Sookie Stackhouse, a role for which she won a Golden Globe.

Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel “Alias Grace” is a fictionalized account of a real killing that took place in 1843 in Canada. In both novel and reality, two servants were convicted of the murder of their employer and his housekeeper. Atwood’s telling of the story explores the politics of the Irish in a British colony, and the status of women in society. The novel was adapted into a TV miniseries that first aired in 2017.

18. Team first managed by Casey Stengel : METS

Casey Stengel was a professional baseball player, playing from 1912-1925 and managing from 1934-1965. Stengel was born in Kansas City. He had German heritage, and so was called “Dutch” for much of his early life. As he acquired fame on the baseball field, Stengel was given the nickname “Casey”, largely because he came from Kansas City (“KC”) and also because of the popularity of the poem “Casey at the Bat”. He was a smart and erudite guy when it came to baseball, so sportswriters tended to call him “The Old Professor”.

19. Volcanic archipelago state : HAWAII

“Archipelago” is a name often used for a group or chain of islands. “Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. “Arcipelago” was the proper name for the Aegean Sea in Greek, a word that was eventually used for the Aegean Islands.

20. Eyelid bump : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

24. Internet subdivision : DOMAIN

A domain name is basically the address of a website on the Internet. For example, the addresses of my crossword blogs, the domain names, are LAXCrossword.com and NYTCrossword.com.

26. USPS assignment : RTE

The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

30. Flutist of Greek myth : PAN

In Greek mythology, Pan was a lecherous god, one who fell in love with Echo the mountain nymph. Echo refused Pan’s advances so that he became very angry. Pan’s anger created a “panic” (a word derived from the name “Pan”) and a group of shepherds were driven to kill Echo.

A flute is a woodwind instrument that doesn’t have a reed. Instead, sound is produced by blowing air across an opening. A flute player is often referred to as a flautist (sometimes “flutist”). Flutes have been around a long, long time. Primitive flutes found in modern-day Germany date back 43,000 to 35,000 years, which makes the flute the oldest known musical instrument.

33. Romanov rulers : TSARS

The House of Romanov was the second and last imperial dynasty to rule over Russia, after the Rurik dynasty. The reign of the Romanovs ended when Emperor Nicholas II abdicated following the February Revolution of 1917. Famously, Nicholas II and his immediate family were murdered soon after he stepped down, and other members of the Romanov Dynasty were sent into exile by the Bolsheviks.

35. Classic shoe polish brand : SHINOLA

Shinola was a brand of shoe polish that was on the market from 1877 until 1960. The brand name was acquired by Bedrock Manufacturing in 2011. We can’t get Shinola shoe polish anymore, but we can buy Shinola watches, bicycles and leather goods.

45. “Field of Dreams” setting : IOWA

“Field of Dreams” is a fantasy drama about baseball, released in 1989 and starring Kevin Costner. “Field of Dreams” was also the last film in which Burt Lancaster made an appearance. The baseball stadium that was built for the movie can be visited in Dubuque County, Iowa.

47. Take potshots : SNIPE

To snipe is to attack with snide criticism, especially from a safe distance. This usage of the term is an extension of the older meaning, to take a shot from a hidden position (as in “sniper”). Such a shot was originally taken when hunting the game birds called “snipes”.

When firing a gun, a “potshot” is a “shot” taken purely to get the prey into the “pot” for cooking. The term was coined in the 1830s, hence distinguishing between a shot taken for sport or marksmanship, and a shot taken as part of a hunt for game.

50. Poetry Muse : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry, and is often depicted playing a lyre.

55. Own, to Burns : HAE

Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

56. Craven of horror : WES

Wes Craven was a very successful film director and writer specializing in movies of the horror genre, which means that I don’t watch them! He was responsible for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the “Scream” films. Craven passed away in August 2015.

67. Evening get-together : SOIREE

“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a “soirée” is an “evening party”. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

68. One-named Deco artist : ERTE

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

72. Chinese toy : PEKE

The pekingese (“peke”) breed originated in China, as one might suspect from the name. Breeding practices have resulted in the the dog having many health problems, including breathing issues related to the “desirable” flat face. Standards have been changed in recent years, demanding an “evident muzzle” in an attempt to breed healthier “pekes”.

73. Comes down hard? : SLEETS

Apparently “sleet” is a term used to describe two different weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls.

Down

1. Greek letter whose lowercase indicates wavelength : LAMBDA

The Greek letter lambda is equivalent to the letter L in our modern Latin alphabet. The uppercase lambda resembles the caret character on a keyboard (over the number-6 key).

4. Bahamian capital : NASSAU

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, and used to be called Charles Town. Located on the island of New Providence, the original settlement was burnt to the ground by the Spanish in 1684. It was rebuilt and named Nassau in honor of King William III of England (“William of Orange”), a Dutchman from the House of Orange-Nassau. Nassau is a favored location for the James Bond series of movies. The city and surroundings feature in “Thunderball”, “Never Say Never Again”, “Casino Royale” and “For Your Eyes Only”. Bond portrayer Sean Connery has lived for many years at Lyford Cay, which is just a 30-min drive from the center of Nassau.

6. __-Pei: wrinkly dog : SHAR

The Shar-Pei breed of dog is that one with the wrinkly face and really dark tongue. The breed originated in China, with “Shar-Pei” being the British spelling of the Cantonese name.

7. Fuzzy fruit : KIWI

What we call kiwifruit today used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

8. “Ghostbusters” director Reitman : IVAN

Ivan Reitman is a film producer and director who was born in Slovakia, but who has lived in Canada since he was a small boy. Reitman is best known for producing and directing comedy movies. His long list of hits includes “Stripes”, “Ghostbusters”, “Kindergarten Cop” and “Dave”. Ivan’s son Jason Reitman is also a successful director, and was at the help for the films “Juno”, “Thank You for Smoking” and “Up in the Air”.

1984’s “Ghostbusters” really is an entertaining movie. It stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and was directed by Ivan Reitman (a trio that also worked together on 1981’s “Stripes”). The first draft of the screenplay was written by another star of the movie, Dan Aykroyd. Aykroyd originally envisioned “Ghostbusters” as a vehicle for himself and John Belushi, but sadly Belushi passed away before the project could be realized.

9. Secretariat utterance? : NEIGH

Racehorse Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, and set record times for each of the three races in the series (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes), records that stand to this day. Famously, there was a biopic released in 2010 called “Secretariat” that chronicled the horse’s life.

11. Anjou kin : BOSC

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear grown in the northwest of the United States. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck. I always seem to use the potato as my point of reference. How Irish am I …?

The Anjou pear is a cultivar of the European Pear. The Anjou pear is thought to have originated in Belgium or France (Anjou is a province in the Loire Valley of western France).

12. Intelligentsia : LITERATI

Literati are men and women of letters, learned people. The Latin “literatus” means “lettered”.

13. English cathedral town : ELY

Ely Cathedral is a famous and beautiful church in the city of Ely in the county of Cambridgeshire. There is a Gothic door on the north face of the cathedral that was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the man famous as the architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Christopher Wren had a personal link to the church, as his uncle was the Bishop of Ely.

22. A bit buzzed : TIPSY

The term “tipsy” comes from the verb “to tip” meaning “to overturn, knock over”, and has been meaning “drunk” since the late 1500s.

23. Aardvark snack : ANT

The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, a nocturnal burrowing animal, native to Africa. Even though it is sometimes called the African ant bear, the name “aardvark” is Afrikaans for “earth pig”. Aardvarks are noted, among other things, for their unique teeth. Their teeth have no enamel and wear away quite readily, but continuously regrow. The aardvark feeds mainly on ants and termites.

28. Best Game or Best Play : ESPY

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes. The ESPY Awards were inaugurated in 2004.

32. Super stars? : NOVAE

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

38. Newcastle Brown brew : ALE

Newcastle Brown Ale is an English beer that was launched in 1927. In the late nineties, it was the most-widely distributed beer in the UK. Its popularity has waned somewhat in its homeland, and now most sales of Newcastle Brown are in the US.

40. Wolfgang Puck creation : DISH

Wolfgang Puck is a celebrity chef from Austria. Puck is the man behind the famous pair of restaurants in Southern California called Spago.

41. New Rochelle college : IONA

Iona College is a Roman Catholic school run by Christian Brothers in New Rochelle, New York. The school’s sports teams are called the Iona Gaels, and the team mascot goes by the name Killian.

42. Twice-baked bread : ZWIEBACK

Zwieback is a bread made using eggs that is twice-baked. It is sliced after the first bake, so that the final product is composed of crisp, brittle slices. The name comes from the German for “twice” and “bake”.

44. “Awake and Sing!” playwright : ODETS

The first play that American playwright Clifford Odets had produced was “Waiting for Lefty”, in 1935. However, the first play he wrote was “Awake and Sing!”. The latter was produced soon after “Waiting for Lefty”, and is the play that many consider to be his masterpiece.

51. “Slumdog Millionaire” money : RUPEES

The rupee is a unit of currency used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. The term “rupee” comes from the Sanskrit word “rupya”, which once meant “stamped, impressed” and then “coin”.

The brilliant film “Slumdog Millionaire” is a screen adaptation of a 2005 novel by Indian author Vikas Swarup. A low-budget movie, it ended up winning eight Oscars in 2008. I reckon it turned a profit …

52. Brief summary : APERCU

An apercu is a first view, a glance. By extension, the term “apercu” can also be used for a detached view, an overview or a short synopsis. “Aperçu” is French for “perceived”.

57. Bridge seats : EASTS

The four people playing a game of bridge are positioned around a table at seats called north, east, south and west. Each player belongs to a pair, with north playing with south, and east playing with west.

58. Scandinavian toast : SKOAL

“Skoal” is a Swedish toast, with roots in the old Norse word “skaal” meaning “cup”.

59. Surfboard stabilizers : SKEGS

A skeg is an extension to the keel of a boat, and is located towards the stern. “Skeg” is also the name for the fin on the underside of a surfboard that is positioned towards the rear.

62. “Just do it” brand : NIKE

The Nike slogan “Just Do It” was created in an advertising meeting in 1988. Apparently the phrase was inspired by the last words of famed criminal Gary Gilmore. Gilmore faced execution by the state of Utah in 1977 and when asked if he had any last words he simply replied, “Let’s do it”. A few minutes later, Gilmore was executed by a firing squad.

63. Niagara Falls source : ERIE

The mighty Niagara River flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, and forms part of the border between the US and Canada. The river is only about 35 miles long, so some describe it as a “strait”. It has a drop in elevation of 325 feet along its length, with 165 feet of that drop taking place at Niagara Falls.

64. Penny : CENT

The official name of our smallest denomination coin is a “cent”, and our use of the word “penny” is just a colloquialism derived from the British coin of the same name. In the UK, the plural of penny is “pence”, whereas we have “pennies” in our pockets.

66. Choler : IRE

“Choler” is “anger, irritability”. Choler (also “cholera”) was one of the body’s four basic substances of medieval science, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:

  • Black bile (melancholia)
  • Yellow bile (cholera)
  • Phlegm (phlegma)
  • Blood (sanguis)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Filet mignon source : LOIN
5. __ price : ASKING
11. Ran together : BLED
15. Actress Paquin of Netflix’s “Alias Grace” : ANNA
16. Tremble : SHIVER
17. Slick : OILY
18. Team first managed by Casey Stengel : METS
19. Volcanic archipelago state : HAWAII
20. Eyelid bump : STYE
21. Fast clip around the racetrack : BLISTERING PACE
24. Internet subdivision : DOMAIN
25. Feathered layer : HEN
26. USPS assignment : RTE
29. Eagerly took in : ATE UP
30. Flutist of Greek myth : PAN
33. Romanov rulers : TSARS
35. Classic shoe polish brand : SHINOLA
39. Surmounting : ATOP
40. Fast clip from the pitcher’s mound : DIZZYING VELOCITY
45. “Field of Dreams” setting : IOWA
46. Lowered the grade of : DERATED
47. Take potshots : SNIPE
49. Simple survey answer : YES
50. Poetry Muse : ERATO
55. Own, to Burns : HAE
56. Craven of horror : WES
59. Mental haze : STUPOR
60. Fast clip down the slopes : BREAKNECK SPEED
65. “Toodles!” : CIAO!
67. Evening get-together : SOIREE
68. One-named Deco artist : ERTE
69. Curved paths : ARCS
70. There for the __: easy to get : TAKING
71. Plug-in vehicle, briefly : E-CAR
72. Chinese toy : PEKE
73. Comes down hard? : SLEETS
74. Dines : SUPS

Down

1. Greek letter whose lowercase indicates wavelength : LAMBDA
2. Developer’s unit : ONE LOT
3. Early enough : IN TIME
4. Bahamian capital : NASSAU
5. Pale as a ghost : ASHEN
6. __-Pei: wrinkly dog : SHAR
7. Fuzzy fruit : KIWI
8. “Ghostbusters” director Reitman : IVAN
9. Secretariat utterance? : NEIGH
10. Complaint : GRIPE
11. Anjou kin : BOSC
12. Intelligentsia : LITERATI
13. English cathedral town : ELY
14. Easter egg dip : DYE
22. A bit buzzed : TIPSY
23. Aardvark snack : ANT
27. Bouncy gait : TROT
28. Best Game or Best Play : ESPY
30. Christmas candle scent : PINE
31. Fit to be tied : ANGRY
32. Super stars? : NOVAE
34. Plant pouch : SAC
36. Put out of sight : HID
37. “I’m game” : LET’S
38. Newcastle Brown brew : ALE
40. Wolfgang Puck creation : DISH
41. New Rochelle college : IONA
42. Twice-baked bread : ZWIEBACK
43. Hit with a laser : ZAP
44. “Awake and Sing!” playwright : ODETS
48. Farm mom : EWE
51. “Slumdog Millionaire” money : RUPEES
52. Brief summary : APERCU
53. Line dance step : TOE-TAP
54. Military instructions : ORDERS
57. Bridge seats : EASTS
58. Scandinavian toast : SKOAL
59. Surfboard stabilizers : SKEGS
61. Got up : ROSE
62. “Just do it” brand : NIKE
63. Niagara Falls source : ERIE
64. Penny : CENT
65. Ballplayer’s hat : CAP
66. Choler : IRE

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