LA Times Crossword Answers 18 Jul 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Parallel Parks

Themed answers are all PARALLEL to each other in the down-direction, and each is the name of a PARK:

  • 54A. Completes a road test maneuver … or the answers to starred clues, as arranged : PARALLEL PARKS
  • 1D. *It may be political : SCIENCE (PARK)
  • 6D. *Period in the Age of Reptiles : JURASSIC (PARK)
  • 11D. *New Orleans time zone : CENTRAL (PARK)
  • 13D. *Deep __ : SOUTH (PARK)
  • 15D. *Main idea : THEME (PARK)

Bill’s time: 8m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Moo __ pork : SHU

Moo shu pork (also “mu shu pork”) is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg. In North America, the dish is served with tortilla-like wrappers that are sometimes referred to as “moo shu pancakes”.

4. Low-level employment : 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.

9. Starz competitor : TMC

The Movie Channel is owned by Showtime, which in turn is subsidiary of CBS. The channel’s name is often abbreviated to “TMC”, although this is informal usage.

The Starz premium cable channel is owned by the same company that owns the Encore cable channel. Starz was launched in 1994 and mainly shows movies.

12. Police : COPS

“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”, and is still a slang term meaning “to get hold of, steal”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

14. Sweet text : I LUV U

The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.

19. “__, Brute?” : ET TU

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (meaning “And you, Brutus?”). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

20. Some ski lifts : T-BARS

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

21. “It is the __, and Juliet is the sun”: Romeo : EAST

There’s a famous couplet in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” spoken by Romeo as he spots Juliet above him at a window or on a balcony:

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

Romeo continues with:

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

I reckon Romeo is smitten …

24. Former JFK lander : SST

Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at La Guardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

25. “Burnt” pigment : UMBER

Umber is an earthy, brown shade, and originally described a pigment made from earth found in Umbria, the region in central Italy. In its natural form, the pigment is referred to as “raw umber”. The heated form of the pigment has a more intense color and is known as “burnt umber”.

26. Comic strip woman who married Irving : CATHY

“Cathy” is a comic strip drawn by Cathy Guisewite. The strip was largely based on Guisewite’s own life experiences. For decades, cartoon Cathy was a single woman dealing with food, love, family and work. Cathy married her longtime boyfriend Irving in 2005, and the strip ended its run in 2010 with the revelation that Cathy was expecting a baby girl.

27. Baja bear : OSO

Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

33. Au pair’s subj. : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

40. Vistula River city : KRAKOW

Kraków is the second largest city in Poland, and was a capital for many centuries. The Archbishop of Kraków was Karol Wojtyla, one of the most famous people to have lived in the city. In 1978 Archbishop Wojtyla was installed as Pope John Paul II. Kraków was also where the bagel was invented, in the 16th century.

The Vistula and is the longest river in Poland, at over 1,000 km in length. It passes through all three of the best-known Polish cities, i.e. Kraków, Warsaw and Gdańsk.

46. Chef’s hat : TOQUE

A toque was a brimless style of hat that was very fashionable in Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries. Nowadays we associate toques with chefs, as it is the name given to a chef’s hat (called a “toque blanche” in French, a “white hat”). A chef’s toque is quite interesting. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats, often said to signify the number of ways that an egg can be cooked.

53. Medieval weapons : MACES

A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence. It is a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.

61. __ II razor : TRAC

Gillette introduced the Trac II in 1971. The Trac II was the world’s first twin-blade razor.

64. Tax form IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

65. Pipsqueak : TWERP

“Twerp” and “pipsqueak” are both terms used for someone who is insignificant and contemptible.

66. Omar of “House” : EPPS

Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Forman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Forman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Gant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

Down

2. Starbucks purchases : HOT TEAS

Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in Herman Melville’s book “Moby Dick”.

3. Lake Placid, vis-à-vis New York City : UPSTATE

Beautiful Lake Placid in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State borders the village of Lake Placid, which famously was host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Here in the US, the most memorable event of the 1980 Winter Games was the “Miracle on Ice”, in which an amateur US hockey team beat what was in effect a professional USSR team, and then went on to win gold. A lesser known fact from the 1980 Games is that the Lake Placid Middle/High School served as a private bar for the Olympics. It is the only high school in the US to have been issued a license to serve alcohol.

4. Jazz vibraphonist Jackson : MILT

Milt Jackson was a jazz vibraphonist. A vibraphone is a similar to a xylophone, but it has aluminum instead of wooden bars. Vibraphones are most commonly seen as part of jazz ensembles. Milt Jackson started his career as part of the band playing with Dizzy Gillespie.

5. Spritzer mixer : CLUB SODA

A “spritz” is a squirt, a brief spray of liquid. The term ultimately comes from German, possibly via Yiddish, in which language “spritzen” means “to squirt, spout”. A “spritzer” is a glass of wine with a “spritz” of carbonated water, and is a drink we’ve been enjoying since the early sixties.

6. *Period in the Age of Reptiles : JURASSIC

The Jurassic geologic period lasted from about 200 to 145 million years ago, following the Triassic and followed by the Cretaceous. Limestone strata from the period were first identified in the Jura Mountains in the Western Alps. It is this mountain range that gives us the name “Jurassic”.

The Mesozoic Era is also known as “the Age of the Dinosaurs” and “the Age of Reptiles”. 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.

10. Common paella ingredients : MUSSELS

Paella is sometime referred to as the Spanish national dish, but not by Spaniards. In Spain, paella is regarded as a typical regional dish from Valencia.

11. *New Orleans time zone : CENTRAL

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), LA.

23. Skinny toon Olive : OYL

“Thimble Theater” was the precursor comic strip to the famous “Popeye” drawn by E. C. Segar. Before Popeye came into the story, the brother and sister characters Castor Oyl and Olive Oyl were the protagonists. And then along comes a sailor …

25. Mysterious craft : UFO

Unidentified flying object (UFO)

36. Craftsmen paid by the barrel? : COOPERS

A cooper is a craftsman who makes wooden vessels, such as barrels. The term “cooper” ultimately derives from the Latin “cupa” meaning “barrel”.

37. Atlantis dweller of comics : AQUAMAN

Aquaman is a comic book superhero who first appeared in 1941. Aquaman was inspired by a character in a Russian science-fiction novel called Amphibian Man.

38. Protocols : RUBRICS

In Medieval illuminated manuscripts, sections of text that are highlighted in red ink are known as rubrics. Often a rubric would be seen at the top of a page, and we tend to use the term “rubric” for a title or a name. “Rubric” comes from the Latin “rubrica”, the red ocher used in making the red pigment used in ink. “Rubric” has evolved to mean an authoritative rule or direction.

39. Greek cheese : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

41. Tomato variety : ROMA

The Roma tomato isn’t considered an heirloom variety, but it is very popular with home gardeners, especially those gardeners that don’t have a lot of space. It is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.

42. Greed : AVARICE

Our word “avarice”, meaning a desire for wealth, ultimately derives from the Latin word for crave, “avere”.

44. Ragtime dance : ONE-STEP

Ragtime music was at the height of it popularity in the early 1900s. It takes its name from its characteristic “ragged” rhythms. The most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin, who had a big hit with his “Maple Leaf Rag” when it was published in 1899. He followed that up with a string of hits, including the “Pine Apple Rag” (sic). Ragtime fell out of favor about 1917 when the public turned to jazz. It had a resurgence in the forties when jazz musicians started to include ragtime tunes in their repertoires. But it was the 1973 movie “The Sting” that brought the true revival, as the hit soundtrack included numerous ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin, including the celebrated “The Entertainer” originally published in 1902.

45. Director Craven : 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.

47. Uncultivated, as farmland : FALLOW

Farmers use the technique of crop rotation in order to avoid one crop depleting the same set of nutrients from the soil in one particular field. In addition to rotating crops, farmers will usually let a field lie fallow for one season, i.e. leave it unplanted in order to give the soil time to recover.

49. Richard of “Law & Order: SVU” : BELZER

Richard Belzer started his entertainment career as a stand-up comedian. Today, Belzer is perhaps best-known for playing John Munch on the police drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, a role that he had for 23 years. Belzer is a first cousin of fellow actor Henry Winkler.

55. Pride parade letters : LGBT

The first gay pride parades were held all on the same weekend in 1970, in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

60. CIA predecessor : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Moo __ pork : SHU
4. Low-level employment : MCJOB
9. Starz competitor : TMC
12. Police : COPS
14. Sweet text : I LUV U
15. “No argument” : TRUE
16. “Don’t make __ hard!” : IT SO
17. Drew (in) : LURED
18. Backwoods possessive : HISN
19. “__, Brute?” : ET TU
20. Some ski lifts : T-BARS
21. “It is the __, and Juliet is the sun”: Romeo : EAST
22. “How cool!” : NEATO!
24. Former JFK lander : SST
25. “Burnt” pigment : UMBER
26. Comic strip woman who married Irving : CATHY
27. Baja bear : OSO
28. Mac : FELLA
29. Language suffix : -ESE
30. Prefaced : LED INTO
33. Au pair’s subj. : ESL
34. Many Olympic events : RACES
35. Wolfs (down) : SCARFS
40. Vistula River city : KRAKOW
46. Chef’s hat : TOQUE
47. Little untruth : FIB
50. Ewe-ish? : OVINE
51. Uncertainty : DOUBT
52. Master : ACE
53. Medieval weapons : MACES
54. Completes a road test maneuver … or the answers to starred clues, as arranged : PARALLEL PARKS
57. Game before the finals : SEMI
58. Doughnut finish : GLAZE
59. Analogy words : IS TO
61. __ II razor : TRAC
62. One wearing gloves to work : BOXER
63. Poolroom array : CUES
64. Tax form IDs : SSNS
65. Pipsqueak : TWERP
66. Omar of “House” : EPPS

Down

1. *It may be political : SCIENCE
2. Starbucks purchases : HOT TEAS
3. Lake Placid, vis-à-vis New York City : UPSTATE
4. Jazz vibraphonist Jackson : MILT
5. Spritzer mixer : CLUB SODA
6. *Period in the Age of Reptiles : JURASSIC
7. Intimation : OVERTONE
8. Blossoms-to-be : BUDS
9. Subject to court judgment : TRIABLE
10. Common paella ingredients : MUSSELS
11. *New Orleans time zone : CENTRAL
13. *Deep __ : SOUTH
15. *Main idea : THEME
23. Skinny toon Olive : OYL
25. Mysterious craft : UFO
31. Stammering sounds : ERS
32. Disapproving sound : TSK!
35. Criterion: Abbr. : STD
36. Craftsmen paid by the barrel? : COOPERS
37. Atlantis dweller of comics : AQUAMAN
38. Protocols : RUBRICS
39. Greek cheese : FETA
41. Tomato variety : ROMA
42. Greed : AVARICE
43. Creates, as a fuss : KICKS UP
44. Ragtime dance : ONE-STEP
45. Director Craven : WES
47. Uncultivated, as farmland : FALLOW
48. Mountaineer’s aid : ICE AXE
49. Richard of “Law & Order: SVU” : BELZER
55. Pride parade letters : LGBT
56. Heist puller : PERP
57. City map parts: Abbr. : STS
60. CIA predecessor : OSS

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