LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Jun 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: Clive Probert
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): (G)Loss Over the First Letter

Themed answers are common phrases starting with GL-, but the first letter has been dropped:

  • 20A. Girl skipping school? : LASS CUTTING (from “glass cutting”)
  • 27A. Reason your ears are burning? : LOBAL WARMING (from “global warming”)
  • 46A. Farm sound after sunset? : LOW IN THE DARK (from “glow in the dark”)
  • 54A. Knight game impact? : LANCING BLOW (from “glancing blow”)

Bill’s time: 10m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Marner of fiction : SILAS

“Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe” is a novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1861. There’s an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role, with Patsy Kensit playing Eppie, the young orphaned child that Marner takes under his wing.

10. Santa Monica attraction : PIER

Santa Monica, California lies on Santa Monica Bay and is in Los Angeles County. The city is home to the world-famous Santa Monica Pier, which opened in 1909.

14. Funny Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns, under the title “At Wit’s End”, describing her home life in suburbia.

16. “Young Frankenstein” Fräulein : INGA

I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

18. Siamese fighting fish : BETTA

The betta is a small freshwater fish. It is quite colorful, and so is a popular fish for an aquarium. Bettas are aggressive little creatures, and are commonly called Siamese fighting fish. Apparently, housing two males in a relatively small aquarium will result in the death of one.

19. New Mexico resort : TAOS

Taos Ski Valley is a resort village in New Mexico, founded in 1955. About twelve families live there, making up thirty or so households and a population of about 60 people. It is said to very much resemble a Swiss village, and even includes an elected village council.

23. Plate duster : UMP

That would be baseball.

25. “The Prisoner of __”: 1937 Fairbanks film : ZENDA

The 1937 film “The Prisoner of Zenda” is based on a novel of the same name written by Anthony Hope that was first published in 1894. Apparently, the movie was a difficult shoot for director John Cromwell. He had trouble with Ronald Colman who really didn’t know his lines well. Also, co-stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and David Niven were always out on the town and turning up for work “under the weather”.

27. Reason your ears are burning? : LOBAL WARMING (from “global warming”)

We talk so often about global warming these days but there is another fascinating phenomenon that is related, and known as “global dimming”. Global dimming is the reduction in the amount of heat that radiates daily from the planet due to the insulating effect of pollution and vapor trails (contrails) from aircraft that are present in the atmosphere. The effect has been touted as a theory for decades but dramatic empirical data became available in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Planes were grounded and the skies over America were clear for three days. There was a stark change in the temperature range measured across the US for these three days, demonstrating the impact that air travel has on our climate.

35. __ juice : MOO

“Moo juice” is a slang term meaning “milk”.

36. Second-largest bone in the body : TIBIA

The tibia is the shin bone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

38. Note from one who’s shy : IOU

To be shy is to be short, lacking. This use of “shy” originated as gambling slang meaning “owe money to the pot”.

39. __ Cruces : LAS

Las Cruces (Spanish for “the crosses”) is the second largest city in the state of New Mexico, and is the home of New Mexico State University.

40. Low joint : ANKLE

The ankle joint proper is the hinge joint connecting the ends of the tibia and fibula in the leg with the top of the talus in the foot.

43. ID with two hyphens : SSN

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. Since 2011 SSNs are assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

50. Saudi money : RIYAL

The Saudi riyal is currency of Saudi Arabia, and the Qatari riyal is the currency of Qatar.

59. Early automaker : OLDS

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the founder of the Oldsmobile and REO brands. Olds introduced the first modern “stationary” assembly line (Henry Ford’s famous innovation was the “moving” assembly line). As a result, it can be argued that the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced, low-priced automobile, rather than the Ford’s Model T.

62. Kitchen floor covering, to a Brit : LINO

Lino (short for “linoleum”) was originally made by coating canvas with solidified linseed oil. The product’s inventor, Englishman Frederick Walton, give it the name “linoleum” from “linum” and “oleum”, the Latin for “linen” and “oil”.

65. __ Eats: food delivery app : UBER

Uber Eats is a food-delivery platform offered by ride-sharing service Uber. For a delivery fee of a few bucks, users can order food from local restaurants using an app. That food might delivered by car, bike or foot, depending on the city and courier.

66. African antelope : ORYX

The oryx is a large antelope species, mainly found in Africa but also in the Arabian Peninsula. One species was introduced by man into the White Sands Missile Range. As a result, the oryx is now considered an invasive species in the neighboring White Sands National Monument.

68. Word on an Irish stamp : EIRE

“Éire”, is the Irish word for “Ireland”. The related “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.

Down

1. “Tainted Love” band Soft __ : CELL

Soft Cell are duo from England whose music falls into the “synthpop/technopop” genre, music from the eighties that features the synthesizer as a predominant instrument. Soft Cell’s biggest hit by far is a great song called “Tainted Love”, which they released in 1981.

2. Measurements made by planimeters : AREAS

A planimeter is a desktop instrument used to measure the area of two-dimensional shapes. Users trace the outline of the shape using one end of the instrument, and the planimeter does the rest.

4. Loafer adornments : TASSELS

The loafer slip-on shoe dates back to 1939. “Loafer” was originally a brand name introduced by the Fortnum and Mason’s store in London. The derivative term “penny loafer” arose in the late fifties or early sixties, although the exact etymology seems unclear.

5. Many a commuter’s community : SUBURB

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

7. Senate majority leader after Dole : LOTT

Trent Lott is a political figure who first went to Washington to work as an administrative assistant to Representative William M. Colmer, from Mississippi. After four years working for Colmer, Lott ran for the House seat that Colmer was to leave vacant on his retirement. Colmer endorsed Lott in that election, even though Colmer was a Democrat and Lott ran as a Republican. Lott won the race very handily, launching a 35-year career representing his home state of Mississippi in both the House and the Senate. Lott eventually ran into trouble for remarks he made that were interpreted as being racially motivated, and ended up resigning in 2007.

Despite all Bob Dole’s success in the world of politics, he is remembered by many as the VP candidate who lost to Walter Mondale (and Jimmy Carter) and the presidential candidate who lost to incumbent Bill Clinton. The man is a true war hero. He joined up in 1942 and fought with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division in Italy. In 1945 he was hit by machine gun fire in his right arm and back Dole was so badly injured that his comrades could only dose him up with morphine, write “M” on his forehead with his own blood (so that another, fatal dose of morphine would not be administered) and continue fighting the battle. Dole had to wait nine hours to be evacuated from the battlefield, and wait another three years before being discharged from hospital back in the States.

8. Some choristers : ALTI

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

9. Poetry unit : STANZA

“Stanza” is an Italian word meaning “verse of a poem”.

21. Company VIPs : CEOS

Chief executive officer (CEO)

22. Fröbe who played Goldfinger : GERT

Gert Fröbe was a German actor best known, to us in the English-speaking world, as the man who played Auric Goldfinger in the Bond film “Goldfinger”. Fröbe had been a member of the Nazi Party before WWII and as a result of this, “Goldfinger” was banned in Israel for a while. But then the family of two German Jews came forward and explained that Fröbe had helped with their escape during the war by hiding them from the Gestapo. They formally thanked the actor, and the film was released.

“Goldfinger” is the Ian Fleming’s seventh James Bond novel, and was first published in 1959. Fleming was in the habit of naming his characters after people in the real world. The novel’s colorful antagonist Auric Goldfinger was named after Hungarian-born British architect Ernő Goldfinger.

26. Feature of a two-ltr. monogram : NMI

No middle initial (NMI)

28. Pennsylvania sect : AMISH

The Amish are members of a group of Christian churches, and a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

32. Severely damaged Asian sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

42. Env. fattener : ENCL

An envelope (env.) might contain an enclosure (encl.).

44. Puritan : PRIG

“Puritan” was a pejorative term used in the 1560s to describe a Protestant extremist who was not satisfied with the extent of the reformation of the Church of England. The Puritans advocated further reforms, believing that the Church of England still harbored a lot of corruption. Facing staunch resistance to their ideals in Britain, many of the Puritans emigrated, the first wave to the Netherlands, with later emigrants moving to New England.

47. To wit : THAT IS

The verb “to wit” means “to know”. The verb really isn’t used anymore except in the phrase “to wit” meaning “that is to say, namely”.

48. California governor after Gray : ARNOLD

The body-builder, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Graz in Austria, the son of the local police chief. Schwarzenegger’s family name translates into the more prosaic “black plough man”. In his bodybuilding days, he was often referred to as the Austrian Oak. When he was Governor of California he was called “the Governator”, a play on his role in the “The Terminator” series of movies.

Gray Davis was the Democratic Governor of California from 1999 until he was recalled (kicked out of office) in 2003, and Arnold Schwarzenegger took over. Davis was basically removed from office by a voting population upset at an increased tax burden.

51. Defensive line? : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.

52. Hermit : LONER

The Greek word for “uninhabited” is “eremos”, which is the root for “eremia” meaning both “desert” and “solitude”. The Greek word eremites then means “a person of the desert”. This was absorbed into Latin as “ermita”, meaning someone who lived in solitude or in an uninhabited area. We use “eremite” to mean the same thing, although the derivative term “hermit” is more common.

53. 2018 Ron Howard film subtitled “A Star Wars Story” : SOLO

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is a 2018 installment in the “Star Wars” anthology series of films. This one tells the story of a young Han Solo and his young (190-year-old) sidekick Chewbacca. Solo, famously played by Harrison Ford in the original movies, is portrayed by American actor Alden Ehrenreich.

Ron Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show”. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “The Da Vinci Code” and “A Beautiful Mind”, the latter earning Howard a Best Director Oscar.

55. Faux pas : NO-NO

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

56. Bird crop : CRAW

“Craw” is another name for “crop”, a portion of the alimentary tract of some animals, including birds. The crop is used for the storage of food prior to digestion. It allows the animal to eat large amounts and then digest that food with efficiency over an extended period. The expression “to stick in one’s craw” is used one when one cannot accept something, cannot “swallow” it.

60. Kenny G’s horn : SAX

Saxophonist Kenny G’s full name is Kenneth Bruce Gorelick. Kenny’s “G” might also stand for “golfer”, as in 2006 he was ranked by “Golf Digest” magazine as the number-one golfer working in the field of music.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Throw out a line : CAST
5. Marner of fiction : SILAS
10. Santa Monica attraction : PIER
14. Funny Bombeck : ERMA
15. Letter-shaped fastener : U-BOLT
16. “Young Frankenstein” Fräulein : INGA
17. Meadows : LEAS
18. Siamese fighting fish : BETTA
19. New Mexico resort : TAOS
20. Girl skipping school? : LASS CUTTING (from “glass cutting”)
23. Plate duster : UMP
24. Transparent : SHEER
25. “The Prisoner of __”: 1937 Fairbanks film : ZENDA
27. Reason your ears are burning? : LOBAL WARMING (from “global warming”)
32. Collect over time : AMASS
35. __ juice : MOO
36. Second-largest bone in the body : TIBIA
37. Ticket word : ROW
38. Note from one who’s shy : IOU
39. __ Cruces : LAS
40. Low joint : ANKLE
43. ID with two hyphens : SSN
44. “Totally had you going there!” : PSYCH!
46. Farm sound after sunset? : LOW IN THE DARK (from “glow in the dark”)
49. Backyard game for two : CATCH
50. Saudi money : RIYAL
53. Prefix with pass : SUR-
54. Knight game impact? : LANCING BLOW (from “glancing blow”)
59. Early automaker : OLDS
61. Trunk : TORSO
62. Kitchen floor covering, to a Brit : LINO
63. Singer’s syllables : LA LA
64. Considering everything : IN ALL
65. __ Eats: food delivery app : UBER
66. African antelope : ORYX
67. Propagated : SOWED
68. Word on an Irish stamp : EIRE

Down

1. “Tainted Love” band Soft __ : CELL
2. Measurements made by planimeters : AREAS
3. Tennis shot : SMASH
4. Loafer adornments : TASSELS
5. Many a commuter’s community : SUBURB
6. Sarcastic comment : I BET!
7. Senate majority leader after Dole : LOTT
8. Some choristers : ALTI
9. Poetry unit : STANZA
10. Racetrack stop : PIT
11. Lower than low? : INAUDIBLY
12. Swellhead : EGOMANIAC
13. Speak harshly : RASP
21. Company VIPs : CEOS
22. Fröbe who played Goldfinger : GERT
26. Feature of a two-ltr. monogram : NMI
28. Pennsylvania sect : AMISH
29. Relaxed : LOOSE
30. Wired, with “up” : WOUND
31. Big cut : GASH
32. Severely damaged Asian sea : ARAL
33. Like a birder’s field glass : MONOCULAR
34. With very little grace : AWKWARDLY
41. Burning : LIT
42. Env. fattener : ENCL
44. Puritan : PRIG
45. Landscape artist’s shade : SKY BLUE
47. To wit : THAT IS
48. California governor after Gray : ARNOLD
51. Defensive line? : ALIBI
52. Hermit : LONER
53. 2018 Ron Howard film subtitled “A Star Wars Story” : SOLO
55. Faux pas : NO-NO
56. Bird crop : CRAW
57. Cruise stopover : ISLE
58. Became frayed, say : WORE
60. Kenny G’s horn : SAX

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