LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Apr 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Pathfinders

We can FIND “PA” and “TH” in our themed answers. Each comprises two words, the first starting with the letters PA- and the second with TH-:

  • 61A. Explorers … and ones who can determine what the answers to starred clues have in common? : PATHFINDERS
  • 17A. *Look for a specific passage in, as a book : PAGE THROUGH
  • 26A. *About 22% of an average 18-hole golf course : PAR THREES
  • 37A. *Point where it starts to hurt : PAIN THRESHOLD
  • 51A. *Like baklava layers : PAPER THIN

Bill’s time: 6m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Space station wear : G-SUITS

A G-suit is needed when astronauts and aviators are subject to high accelerations. Such acceleration can cause blood to pool in the lower part of the body, reducing the supply to the brain and possibly leading to a blackout. A G-suit is basically a special pair of tight-fitting pants that are fitted with inflatable bladders. The bladders inflate during high accelerations, tightening around the legs and abdomen, reducing the amount of blood pooling. So, a “G-suit” is more correctly referred to as an “anti-G suit”.

7. “Walk Like __”: Four Seasons hit : A MAN

“Walk Like a Man”, released in 1963, was the third number 1 hit for the Four Seasons. Apparently, the song was recorded in a studio while there was a fire blazing in the floor above. Bob Crewe, the record producer, insisted that the group keep on recording while smoke and water was seeping into the studio. Crewe blocked the door, forcing firemen to use axes to break it down so they could get everyone to safety.

Frankie Valli is a great singer, best known for fronting the Four Seasons in the sixties. Valli had an incredible number of hits, with and without the Four Seasons. The extensive list includes, “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “Rag Doll”, “My Eyes Adored You” and “Grease”.

19. It’s near the midpoint of the Miss. River : STL

The city of St. Louis, Missouri was settled by French explorers in 1763. Sitting on the Mississippi River, it grew into a very busy port. By the 1850s, it was the second busiest port in the country, with only New York moving more freight. St. Louis was named for Louis IX of France. Louis was canonized in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII, and was the only French king to be declared a saint.

The vast Mississippi drainage basin covers much of the US, and even extends into Canada. As such, the river’s watershed at least part of 31 US states and two Canadian provinces. The Ojibwe name for the river is “Misi-ziibi”, meaning “Great River”, which French settlers rendered as “Messipi”, and which eventually evolved into our “Mississippi”.

20. Rap sheet data : CRIMES

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”, “bad rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

21. Place Sundance liked to see : ETTA

Etta Place is the schoolteacher character played by the lovely Katharine Ross in the 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

26. *About 22% of an average 18-hole golf course : PAR THREES

If you say so …

30. Key : ISLET

A “key” (also “cay”) is a low offshore island, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

31. Salt formula : NACL

Sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) is an ionic compound. It comprises a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na) ions in between the chlorides.

43. Corn syrup brand : KARO

Karo is a brand of corn syrup, an industrially manufactured sweetener derived from corn. The brand was introduced in 1902 by the Corn Products Refining Company.

49. Largest cat in the genus Leopardus : OCELOT

The ocelot is a wildcat found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far north as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn’t look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he carried around everywhere with him.

51. *Like baklava layers : PAPER THIN

Baklava is a very sweet and rich (and delicious) dessert pastry made from layers of filo dough filled with nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup. The name “baklava” comes from the Ottoman Turkish name for the pastry.

57. Musical meter maid : RITA

“Lovely Rita” is a Beatles song on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. When the album was released in 1967, the term “meter maid” wasn’t used in the UK, although it was a slang term used in the US. The song helped spread the usage of “meter maid” all around the English-speaking world. Apparently the inspiration for the song was McCartney getting a parking ticket one day outside the Abbey Road Studios. He accepted the ticket with good grace, from a warden named Meta Davis. McCartney felt that Meta “looked like a Rita”, so that was the name she was given in the song.

67. Tête output : IDEE

In French, one’s “tête” (head) might produce an “idée” (idea).

68. Canadian dollar coin : LOONIE

The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

69. Buddhist school : ZEN

Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

71. Con target : STOOGE

We use the term “stooge” these days to for an unwitting victim, or perhaps the straight man in a comedy duo. The first “stooges” were simply stage assistants, back in the early 1900s.

Down

1. Macroeconomics abbr. : GDP

A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

Macroeconomics is the study of economies as a whole, rather than individual markets. Microeconomics is focused on the actions of individual entities like companies or individuals, and how these actions impact specific markets.

2. Bering, for one : SEA

The Bering Sea in the very north of the Pacific Ocean is named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering who was the first European to systematically explore the area in 1728. Many believe that the first humans arrived in the Americas from Asia when the waters of the Bering Sea were lower during the last ice age, over what is known as the Bering land bridge.

3. Footwear brand : UGG

Uggs are sheepskin boots that were first produced in Australia and New Zealand. The original Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. “Ugg” is a generic term Down Under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

6. Very, to Schumann : SEHR

If you ever get the chance to see it, I highly recommend the movie 1947 “Song of Love”, a biopic about the lives of Robert Schumann and his extraordinary wife Clara Wieck. Schumann is played by Paul Henreid (of “Casablanca” fame) and Clara is played wonderfully by Katherine Hepburn. Clara was a concert pianist, and as Katherine Hepburn was an accomplished pianist herself, you see Hepburn actually playing some challenging pieces herself at the keyboard (although the soundtrack does feature a professional player).

8. Catcher Joe with a trio of consecutive Gold Glove Awards (2008-10) : MAUER

Joe Mauer is a professional baseball player from St. Paul, Minnesota who started playing for the Minnesota Twins in 2004. Mauer is famous for wearing long sideburns, it says here …

The Gold Glove is an annual award given by Major League Baseball to the player judged to be the best in each fielding position in a season. The award was instituted in 1957 by the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings.

11. Heineken brand : AMSTEL

Amstel is a Dutch brewery that was founded in 1870 in Amsterdam. The brewery takes its name from the Amstel river that runs through the city.

Heineken Lager Beer is named for Gerard Adriaan Heineken, the brewer who founded the brewery in the Netherlands in 1873. The label on a bottle of Heineken beer includes a red star logo. The red star was a symbol used by European brewers in the Middle Ages. During the Cold War, the red star came to have a negative connotation, an association with communism. So for several years, Heineken used a white star with a red outline as a logo.

12. Parlor piece : SETTEE

“Settee” is another word for a couch. The term come from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

21. LPN workplaces : ERS

Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

22. __ for gold : PAN

When prospectors pan for gold, they do so by mixing soil and water in a pan. Because gold is very dense, gravel and soil can be washed over the side of the pan leaving the heavy precious metal at the bottom. The gold has been “panned out”, and so we often use “pan out” figuratively to mean “turn out, succeed”.

24. Fem. advocacy group : YWCA

The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) was founded in the mid-1800s about 50 years after the YMCA, although the two organizations have always been independent of each other. Having said that, some YWCA and YMCA organizations have amalgamated at the local level and often share facilities. The YWCA is quite the organization, and is the largest women’s group in the whole world.

25. City WSW of Bogotá : CALI

In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia (after Bogotá and Medellin). Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Colombia. Apparently, Cali is a destination for “medical tourists”. The city’s surgeons have a reputation for being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks head there looking for a “cheap” nose job. Cali has also been historically associated with the illegal drug trade and money laundering.

Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. Noted for having many libraries and universities, Bogotá is sometimes referred to as “The Athens of South America”.

33. 2008 biopic starring Benicio del Toro : CHE

Benicio Del Toro is an actor from Puerto Rico. He is an Academy Award winner, for the role he played in “Traffic”, released in 2000. He also played the title role in the 2008 movie “Che”.

“Che” is a 2008 film about the life of the revolutionary hero Che Guevara. Starring Benicio del Toro in the title role, the movie is in two parts. The first part is called “The Argentine” and deals with the part Guevara played in the Cuban Revolution. Part two is called “Guerrilla” and covers Guevara’s attempt to foment revolution in Bolivia.

35. Arthur with two Emmys and a Tony : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

44. Legendary Giant : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

45. Quick squirt : SPRITZ

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.

46. __ d’hôtel : MAITRE

The full title of a “maître d’” is “maître d’hôtel”, which means “master of the hotel”.

48. Mauna __ : KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

50. “All the Light We __ See”: 2015 Pulitzer novel : CANNOT

American author Anthony Doerr won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his 2014 novel “All the Light We Cannot See”. The book is all about a blind French girl and a German boy who meet in occupied France during WWII.

55. Bad check letters : NSF

Not sufficient funds (NSF)

62. __-wop : DOO

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.

63. Roxy Music co-founder : ENO

Roxy Music is a British band formed by Bryan Ferry, who also served as the lead singer. One of the group’s more famous former band members was Brian Eno, someone who turns up in crosswords far too often …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Space station wear : G-SUITS
7. “Walk Like __”: Four Seasons hit : A MAN
11. Sharp-tack link : AS A
14. Stage of intensity : DEGREE
15. Pitch a fit : RANT
16. Happened upon : MET
17. *Look for a specific passage in, as a book : PAGE THROUGH
19. It’s near the midpoint of the Miss. River : STL
20. Rap sheet data : CRIMES
21. Place Sundance liked to see : ETTA
22. “Gotcha!” : PSYCH!
26. *About 22% of an average 18-hole golf course : PAR THREES
28. Every time : ALWAYS
30. Key : ISLET
31. Salt formula : NACL
32. Sprain application : ICE BAG
37. *Point where it starts to hurt : PAIN THRESHOLD
42. Watch creepily : LEER AT
43. Corn syrup brand : KARO
45. Chimney plumes : SMOKE
49. Largest cat in the genus Leopardus : OCELOT
51. *Like baklava layers : PAPER THIN
56. Change as needed : ADAPT
57. Musical meter maid : RITA
58. Exposes, in a way : RATS ON
60. Gender-neutral possessive : ITS
61. Explorers … and ones who can determine what the answers to starred clues have in common? : PATHFINDERS
66. Numeric prefix : TRI-
67. Tête output : IDEE
68. Canadian dollar coin : LOONIE
69. Buddhist school : ZEN
70. Give up : CEDE
71. Con target : STOOGE

Down

1. Macroeconomics abbr. : GDP
2. Bering, for one : SEA
3. Footwear brand : UGG
4. Wrath : IRE
5. Easily peeved : TETCHY
6. Very, to Schumann : SEHR
7. Candle emanation : AROMA
8. Catcher Joe with a trio of consecutive Gold Glove Awards (2008-10) : MAUER
9. Fretful feeling : ANGST
10. Indefinite ordinal : NTH
11. Heineken brand : AMSTEL
12. Parlor piece : SETTEE
13. Finally : AT LAST
18. Material flaw : RIP
21. LPN workplaces : ERS
22. __ for gold : PAN
23. Open-handed hit : SLAP
24. Fem. advocacy group : YWCA
25. City WSW of Bogotá : CALI
27. Expensive : HIGH
29. Where it’s at : SITE
33. 2008 biopic starring Benicio del Toro : CHE
34. Blow it : ERR
35. Arthur with two Emmys and a Tony : BEA
36. Concerning : AS TO
38. Met or Nat : NLER
39. Signed off on : OK’ED
40. Refrain syllables : LA-LA
41. Stop talking about : DROP
44. Legendary Giant : OTT
45. Quick squirt : SPRITZ
46. __ d’hôtel : MAITRE
47. Decides to join : OPTS IN
48. Mauna __ : KEA
50. “All the Light We __ See”: 2015 Pulitzer novel : CANNOT
52. Woodworking, e.g. : TRADE
53. Despised : HATED
54. “With this ring, __ … ” : I THEE
55. Bad check letters : NSF
59. Lubricates : OILS
61. Photo : PIC
62. __-wop : DOO
63. Roxy Music co-founder : ENO
64. Fix badly? : RIG
65. Observe : SEE

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