LA Times Crossword Answers 4 Nov 2017, Saturday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 26s (exactly the same as yesterday!)

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Blue Moon of ’60s-’70s baseball : ODOM

Blue Moon Odom’s real name was Johnny Lee Odom, and he was a pitcher for the Oakland Athletics. With the A’s, Odom won three consecutive World Series, from 1972 to 1974.

17. Seashore birds : ERNES

The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also called the white-tailed eagle, or the sea-eagle.

18. Oscar Wilde, e.g. : WIT

Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer who led a very public life in his adopted home of London. Although he was a prolific writer of many forms of literature, Wilde penned only one novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. He was perhaps more renowned in his own time as a dramatist. Several of his plays are performed regularly today, including “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, “An Ideal Husband” and “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Wilde’s last work was a poem titled “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”, which recounted his time in prison after being convicted of homosexual offences in 1895 and sentenced to two years’ hard labor. Oscar Wilde died in 1900 at the age of 46 in Paris, destitute.

20. Biscotti bits : ALMONDS

What we know in this country as “biscotti” are more properly called “biscotti di Prato”. A biscotto is a twice-baked, almond-flavored confection that originated in the Italian city of Prato. Modern versions of biscotti often contain anise or cinnamon in addition to the almond flavoring.

22. Lane of “Unfaithful” : DIANE

Diane Lane is an American film actress, who was born and raised in New York City. Not so long ago, I saw Lane with Richard Gere in “Nights in Rodanthe” (a movie that I recommend). My absolute favorite movie of hers is “Under the Tuscan Sun”, which is based on the memoir of the same name by Frances Mayes (a writer from San Francisco). It’s a lovely romantic story, not without humor, and set in the gorgeous Tuscan landscape.

“Unfaithful” is a 2002 drama film with leads played by Richard Gere and Diane Lane. The Hollywood movie is a remake of a French film called “La Femme infidèle” (“The Unfaithful Wife”).

29. Deli option : RYE

The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

35. Blanc, e.g. : MONT

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps. The name “Mont Blanc” translates from French into “white mountain”. The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

36. Online place for handmade goods : ETSY STORE

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

38. Vexes : GALLS

Today, we use the verb “to gall” to mean “to vex, irritate”. This is a figurative usage of the same verb that arose mid-1400s, when it meant “to make sore by chafing”. Back then, a gall was a sore on the skin caused by rubbing or chafing.

40. Koi __ : POND

Koi are also called Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

42. “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen : POMPEO

Actress Ellen Pompeo is perhaps best known for playing the title character in the TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy”. That gig has paid well. Pompeo was ranked third in the “Forbes” list of highest-paid TV actresses in 2017, with Sofia Vergara (from “Modern Family”) and Kaley Cuoco (from “The Big Bang Theory”) holding the first and second spots respectively.

The very successful hospital drama “Grey’s Anatomy” has been on television since 2005. The title is a reference to the show’s central character, Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo), as well as a reference to the classic human anatomy textbook commonly called “Gray’s Anatomy”.

44. Running legend : OWENS

Jesse Owens is famous for winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, much to the chagrin of Adolph Hitler. Jesse’s real name was James Cleveland Owens, and he went by “JC” as a child. However, his Alabama accent was misconstrued at school when his family moved to Cleveland, so teachers and classmates called him “Jesse” instead of “JC”, and the name stuck.

46. Rabbit danglers : DEWLAPS

A dewlap is a flap of skin that hangs below the neck of some creatures. Dewlaps are found on anything from dogs to iguanas.

48. 2015 World Golf Award winner for Golf Course Designer of the Year : ELS

Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. He is a former World No. 1 and has won four majors: the US Open (1994 & 1997) and the British Open (2002 & 2012).

53. Crowdfunding website : INDIEGOGO

Indiegogo is a crowdfunding website with a company headquarters in San Francisco. ONline crowdfunding really started in the late nineties, and Indiegogo was founded 2008.

Crowdsourcing is mainly an online phenomenon, and is the solicitation of perhaps services, ideas or content from a large group of people. “Crowdsourcing” is a portmanteau of “crowd” and “outsourcing”. An example of crowdsourcing is crowdfunding, where an individual solicits many small contributions from a large number of people to fund a project.

56. Focus quartet : TIRES

The Ford Focus compact automobile was introduced in 1998 as a replacement for the very successful Ford Escort.

57. Disorderly places : RAT’S NESTS

Queen of France Marie Antoinette is credited with popularizing the elaborate hairstyle known as the pouf. The hair was styled using a pomade made from wholesome ingredients such as beef marrow and bear grease. Because of the complexity of the hairstyle, ladies wore it for a week or two, during which time the animal fat would become rancid. It was reported that vermin would be attracted to the hair while sleeping, which apparently led to the phrase “her hair is a rat’s nest”.

58. “Vous __ ici” : ETES

“Vous êtes ici” are important words to know when navigating your way around Paris. They mean “You are here”, and you’ll often see them on maps in the street.

59. Bar item : SHOT GLASS

A shot glass is a small glass used to measure or hold liquor. There is no standard size for a shot in most parts of North America, but it is generally 1.25 to 1.5 fluid ounces. A smaller, 1 fl. oz. shot is called a “pony shot” or “short shot”.

Down

1. Eurasian duck : SMEW

The smew is a beautiful-looking species of duck found right across northern Europe and Asia. The smew requires trees to complete its breeding cycle as it nests in tree holes, such as old woodpecker nests.

2. Star followers : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, magi is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

4. Gray : REB

During the Civil War, a soldier in the Confederate army was often referred to as a “reb” or a “gray”.

5. Sprint competitor : T-MOBILE

T-Mobile is a German telecommunications company, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. Deutsche Telekom has used the “T” prefix for a number of its services, including T-Com, T-Online and T-Home.

The company that we know today as Sprint has a history that is linked with the Southern Pacific railroad company. Southern Pacific developed a microwave communication system for its internal use across its network using rights-of-way associated with the company’s extensive railway lines. In the early seventies, the company laid huge lengths of fiber optic cable in those rights-of-way, alongside the tracks, primarily for internal use. The railroad sold excess fiber capacity to private companies, allowing those companies to operate long distance telephone service outside of AT&T, which at that time had a long-distance monopoly. Southern Pacific took advantage of changing FCC regulations and started offering voice service directly to consumers. That service was offered under the name SPRINT, an acronym that stood for Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Networking Telephony. Very interesting …

7. Can’t stop eating, as snack food : ODS ON

Overdose (OD)

9. Animated queen of Arendelle : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle.

10. Laura’s classic cry on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” : OH ROB!

“The Dick Van Dyke Show” is a sitcom that ran from 1961 to 1966 starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as Rob and Laura Petrie. This classic show was created by the great Carl Reiner, who also had a supporting role on screen.

13. Private dining rooms? : MESS TENTS

“Mess” first came into English about 1300, when it described the list of food needed for a meal. The term comes from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything, from the concept of “mixed food”. The original usage, in the sense of a food for a meal, surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

15. Playing speeds : TEMPOS

The tempo of a piece of music is usually designated with an Italian word on the score. For example, “grave” is slow and solemn, “andante” is at a walking pace, and “allegro” is fast, quickly and brightly.

22. Like late twilight : DUSKY

Twilight is the light experienced when the sun is below the horizon, both in the morning and the evening. The prefix “twi-” seems to come from the sense of “half”, and in “half light”. There appears to be no connection to the word “twice”, despite twilight occurring twice each day.

23. Facebook co-founder Saverin : EDUARDO

Eduardo Saverin is one of the founders of Facebook, and someone who worked alongside Mark Zuckerberg while the pair were studying at Harvard. As was emphasized in the 2010 film “The Social Network”, Zuckerberg treated Saverin pretty badly, diluting his partner’s holding in the company. Facebook settled a resulting lawsuit with Saverin, so he still did okay financially, but lost out on the really big bucks. Savarin is from São Paulo, Brazil and became a US citizen in 1998. After his controversial exit from Facebook, Savarin moved to Singapore. He renounced his US citizenship in 2011, in a move viewed by many as a tactic designed to avoid payment of an estimated $700 million in capital gains taxes.

26. Program that holds you up? : RANSOMWARE

Ransomware is a piece of software used to extort money from computer users ranging from individuals to complete enterprises. The ransomware usually encrypts the victim’s data, and presents a message demanding a payment in exchange for the key needed to decrypt the data. On famous example is the WannaCry ransomware attack that was launched in May of 2017. Almost a quarter of a million computers were affected in over 150 countries. Actual ransom payments made by victims (to bitcoin accounts) amounted to over $130,000. The attackers have never been brought to justice.

28. Palindromic supermodel : EMME

Emme is the highest paid plus-size model in the world. Emme’s real name is Melissa Aronson, and she was born in New York City and raised in Saudi Arabia.

31. Grunt : PEON

A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

32. Mosque leaders : IMAMS

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

38. Root widely used in traditional Chinese medicine : GINSENG

The word “ginseng” comes from a Chinese term meaning “man root”. The term is used as the root of ginseng is forked and is said to resemble the legs of a man.

43. Barre bends : PLIES

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

A “barre” is a handrail used by ballet dancers for warm-up exercises and to provide support when practicing certain moves.

49. Player who failed to lead the league in all three seasons in which he hit 60+ home runs : SOSA

Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. It features remotely controlled utilities : SMART HOME
10. Blue Moon of ’60s-’70s baseball : ODOM
14. One who fits perfectly : MALE MODEL
15. Your, of yore : THINE
16. Consequences of compliments : EGO BOOSTS
17. Seashore birds : ERNES
18. Oscar Wilde, e.g. : WIT
19. Bud : BRO
20. Biscotti bits : ALMONDS
22. Lane of “Unfaithful” : DIANE
24. Sunny : UPBEAT
25. Without question : TRULY
27. Expo display : DEMO
29. Deli option : RYE
30. Action film scene : CHASE
31. Works out : PUMPS IRON
33. Hair piece : HANK
34. Lines at department stores : SEAMS
35. Blanc, e.g. : MONT
36. Online place for handmade goods : ETSY STORE
38. Vexes : GALLS
39. Bustle : ADO
40. Koi __ : POND
41. In a romantic fashion, lighting-wise : DIMLY
42. “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen : POMPEO
44. Running legend : OWENS
46. Rabbit danglers : DEWLAPS
48. 2015 World Golf Award winner for Golf Course Designer of the Year : ELS
49. Ended a standing ovation : SAT
52. Light __ : AS AIR
53. Crowdfunding website : INDIEGOGO
56. Focus quartet : TIRES
57. Disorderly places : RAT’S NESTS
58. “Vous __ ici” : ETES
59. Bar item : SHOT GLASS

Down

1. Eurasian duck : SMEW
2. Star followers : MAGI
3. Loads : A LOT
4. Gray : REB
5. Sprint competitor : T-MOBILE
6. “Woo-hoo!” : HOORAY!
7. Can’t stop eating, as snack food : ODS ON
8. Bumped into : MET
9. Animated queen of Arendelle : ELSA
10. Laura’s classic cry on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” : OH ROB!
11. Restaurant freebie : DINNER ROLL
12. Sale limit : ONE DAY ONLY
13. Private dining rooms? : MESS TENTS
15. Playing speeds : TEMPOS
21. Sweetener units : LUMPS
22. Like late twilight : DUSKY
23. Facebook co-founder Saverin : EDUARDO
25. “I’ve had enough!” : THAT DOES IT!
26. Program that holds you up? : RANSOMWARE
28. Palindromic supermodel : EMME
30. Easy-to-please companion : CHEAP DATE
31. Grunt : PEON
32. Mosque leaders : IMAMS
34. Condescend : STOOP
37. Sticks a fork in : SPEARS
38. Root widely used in traditional Chinese medicine : GINSENG
41. Remove from an exchange : DELIST
43. Barre bends : PLIES
45. United with : WED TO
47. Formal addressees : SIRS
49. Player who failed to lead the league in all three seasons in which he hit 60+ home runs : SOSA
50. CIA operatives : AGTS
51. Scrap : TOSS
54. Casual denial : NAH
55. Holder of locks : GEL

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