LA Times Crossword Answers 22 Nov 2017, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Johanna Fenimore
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Yecch!

Each of today’s themed answers starts with an observation that might elicit the exclamation “YECCH!”

  • 67A. Reaction to the starts of the five longest puzzle answers : YECCH!
  • 18A. Last one in, so they say : ROTTEN EGG
  • 29A. Bad thing to end on : SOUR NOTE
  • 34A. Serious carelessness, in tort law : GROSS NEGLIGENCE
  • 43A. Place at the very bottom : RANK LAST
  • 55A. Trait of one given to obscenities : FOUL MOUTH

Bill’s time: 6m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Minty Derby drink : JULEP

The mint julep is a bourbon-based cocktail that is associated with the American South, and with the Kentucky Derby in particular. If you’d like to make yourself a mint julep, one recipe is:

  • 3 oz of Bourbon
  • 4-6 sprigs of mint
  • granulated sugar to taste

The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875, and is a race modeled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, the Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses, and so the Derby is nicknamed “Run for the Roses”. The race is held on the first Saturday in May each year, and is limited to 3-year-old horses.

11. ABC show for early risers, briefly : GMA

“Good Morning America” (GMA) is ABC’s morning show, and has been since 1975. There was even a spinoff show called “Good Afternoon America”, although that only lasted for a few months in 2012.

14. “Ditto,” more formally : AS AM I

“Ditto” was originally used in Italian (from Tuscan dialect) to avoid repetition of the names of months in a series of dates. So, “ditto” is just another wonderful import from that lovely land …

16. Conniving “2001” computer : HAL

In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

17. Copperfield’s field : MAGIC

“David Copperfield” is the stage name used by illusionist David Kotkin. Copperfield is incredibly successful as a magician. He has grossed over $3 billion in ticket sales in his career, which is more than any other solo entertainer in any field. Copperfield actually owns his own chain of islands in the Bahamas.

20. Complain : KVETCH

The word “kvetch” comes to us from Yiddish, with “kvetshn” meaning “to complain” or “squeeze”.

34. Serious carelessness, in tort law : GROSS NEGLIGENCE

The word “tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

41. Westminster landmark : ABBEY

The correct name for the Gothic church we know as Westminster Abbey is the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster. The Abbey is a favored location for coronations and royal weddings and burials. The last royal wedding in the Abbey was the marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011.

47. Letter-shaped shoe fastener : T-STRAP

A t-strap is a t-shaped strap that is part of many women’s shoes. The strap is in two parts, with one part going across the ankle, and the other lying along the length of the foot on top.

51. “Tickle Me” toy : ELMO

The toy called Tickle Me Elmo was a sensational fad in the late nineties, with stores raising prices dramatically above the recommended retail price to take advantage of demand. Reportedly, prices as high as $1500 were paid at the height of the craze. The toy’s manufacturer, Tyco, originally planned to market the “tickle” toy as Tickle Me Tasmanian Devil (after the “Looney Tunes” character), but then went with “Elmo” after they bought the rights to use “Sesame Street” names.

62. Dawn goddess : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora.

63. Naturally lit lobbies : ATRIA

In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

65. Apt. divisions : RMS

An apartment (apt.) contains several rooms (rms.)

66. Oyster bead : PEARL

Pearls form in oysters because of a reaction that is similar to an immune system response in higher animals. The pearl is formed as the oysters lays down successive layers of calcium carbonate around some microscopic foreign body that has penetrated the shell.

67. Reaction to the starts of the five longest puzzle answers : YECCH!

Down

2. Mex. neighbor : USA

The border between the US and Mexico is just under 2,000 miles in length, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. It is the most frequently crossed border in the world, with about one million legal crossings taking place each day.

4. Old U.K. record label : EMI

EMI was a British music company, with the initialism standing for Electric and Musical Industries.

8. Campus cadets’ org. : ROTC

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

9. Bk. before Job : ESTH

Esther was a Jewish queen, wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus, and the heroine of the Book of Esther in the Bible. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t mention the word “God”.

It is believed that the Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible.

10. Summer on the Seine : ETE

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. The Seine empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

11. “In the __”: Elvis hit : GHETTO

When Elvis Presley recorded his hit “In the Ghetto” in 1969, it was considered somewhat controversial. It tells the story of a young boy from a Chicago ghetto who gets into fights, buys a gun, steals a car and is eventually shot and killed. Compared to today’s gangster rap lyrics, I’d say pretty that’s pretty mild stuff …

13. Climate Reality Project chairman : AL GORE

The Climate Reality Project is an organization founded by Al Gore in 2011. Perhaps adding to the gravitas of the group, the Project’s board of directors includes Theodore Roosevelt IV, great grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt.

19. Indian flatbread : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

21. Bible transl., e.g. : VER

In 1604, King James I of England convened a conference at Hampton Court in order produce a new translation of the Bible, as the Puritan sect within the church had problems with prior versions. 47 scholars made new translations for the New Testament from Greek and from the Old Testament from Hebrew. The result is the King James Authorized Version.

23. Party loot : SWAG

“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. Swag is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events. That said, there’s an urban myth that the promotional “swag” is an acronym standing for “stuff we all get”.

25. Guthrie of folk : ARLO

Singer Arlo Guthrie is known for his protest songs, just like his father Woody Guthrie. The younger Guthrie only ever had one song in the top 40: a cover version of “City of New Orleans”. He has lived for years in the town of Washington, just outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 1976 song “Massachusetts” has been the official folk song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1981.

26. __ Piggy : MISS

The Muppet named Miss Piggy has a pretentious air, and so refers to herself as “moi”. In 1998, Miss Piggy even released her own perfume called “Moi”.

29. “Full House” actor : SAGET

Bob Saget is a real enigma to me. He made a name for himself playing very sugary roles in TV shows like “Full House” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, and yet in the world of stand-up comedy he is known for very blue and raunchy routines.

35. Polio vaccine pioneer : SALK

Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher, famous for developing the first safe polio vaccine. In the fifties, especially after the 1952 epidemic, polio was the biggest health fear in the US because it killed thousands, left even more with disabilities and most of the victims were children. The situation was dire and the authorities immediately quarantined the family of any polio victim, and that quarantine was so strict that in many cases the families were not even permitted to attend the funeral of a family member who died from the disease.

36. Kevin Durant’s org. : NBA

Kevin Durant is a professional basketball player who started his career in the NBA with the Seattle Supersonics, and relocated with the team to Oklahoma City where they became the Thunder. You might come across Durant on the big screen as well, as he starred in the children’s film “Thunderstruck” in 2012.

37. CPR specialists : EMTS

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

38. Geek : NERD

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. We use the term today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

40. Award for athletes : 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.

43. Sailor’s jacket : REEFER

A reefer jacket is a nautical garment. It is a type of pea jacket that is worn only by officers and chief petty officers as it has gold buttons and sometimes epaulettes.

A pea coat (also “pea jacket”) is a heavy woolen outer jacket originally associated with sailors. Nowadays anyone wears them (they’re very comfortable and warm). The female equivalent of a pea coat is often called a Jackie O jacket, after Jackie Onassis.

45. Half a rhyming “easy to do” phrase : NO MUSS …

A “muss” is state of disorder, and a term that probably evolved from “mess”. The phrase “no muss, no fuss” means “no bother, no mess made, no excessive hustle and bustle”.

46. Menthol cigarette brand : KOOL

Kools cigarettes were introduced in 1933, and are still around today. The brand is marketed as being “smooth”, as the ingredient menthol numbs the mouth and dulls the taste of the tobacco.

48. Highfalutin : SNOOTY

Snoot is a variant of “snout” and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is “snooty”, or snouty, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

The term “highfalutin” dates back to the mid-1800s. some suggest that it may be a mutation from “high flying”, as “highfalutin” means “haughty” or “pretentious”.

50. 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby : RAHAL

Bobby Rahal is an auto racing driver and team owner. Rahal won the 1986 Indianapolis 500 as a driver, and won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as a team owner (the driver was Buddy Rice).

52. Table d’__: fixed menu : HOTE

On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice. “Table d’hôte” translates as “table of the host”.

56. “The Amazing Race” prop : MAP

I am not a huge fan of reality television, but I do watch “The Amazing Race” (usually while writing posts for this blog on my laptop!). I love to travel, and enjoy seeing the teams traverse the globe. The show’s host is Phil Keoghan. From his accent, I always thought that Keoghan was from the Boston area. He’s actually from New Zealand! Shows you how much I know about American accents …

58. LPGA golfer Michelle : WIE

Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. Wie began playing golf at the age of four and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday …

59. Japanese tech company : NEC

“NEC” is the name that the Nippon Electric Company chose for itself outside of Japan after a rebranding exercise in 1983.

61. [Facepalm] : D’OH!

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Minty Derby drink : JULEP
6. Shopping extravaganza : SPREE
11. ABC show for early risers, briefly : GMA
14. “Ditto,” more formally : AS AM I
15. “Can’t win ’em all” : I LOST
16. Conniving “2001” computer : HAL
17. Copperfield’s field : MAGIC
18. Last one in, so they say : ROTTEN EGG
20. Complain : KVETCH
22. __ extra cost : AT NO
23. Banged shut : SLAMMED
27. Cover the spread? : CATER
28. More unsure : WARIER
29. Bad thing to end on : SOUR NOTE
32. Feels lousy : AILS
33. Casual “You game?” : WANNA?
34. Serious carelessness, in tort law : GROSS NEGLIGENCE
41. Westminster landmark : ABBEY
42. Indifferent responses : MEHS
43. Place at the very bottom : RANK LAST
47. Letter-shaped shoe fastener : T-STRAP
49. Tablet download : E-BOOK
50. Becomes depleted : RUNS DRY
51. “Tickle Me” toy : ELMO
52. Tries one’s hand (at) : HAS A GO
55. Trait of one given to obscenities : FOUL MOUTH
57. Held the deed to : OWNED
62. Dawn goddess : EOS
63. Naturally lit lobbies : ATRIA
64. Connect with : TIE TO
65. Apt. divisions : RMS
66. Oyster bead : PEARL
67. Reaction to the starts of the five longest puzzle answers : YECCH!

Down

1. Traffic snarl : JAM
2. Mex. neighbor : USA
3. Fall behind : LAG
4. Old U.K. record label : EMI
5. Hand raiser’s cry : PICK ME!
6. Fathered : SIRED
7. Devious scheme : PLOT
8. Campus cadets’ org. : ROTC
9. Bk. before Job : ESTH
10. Summer on the Seine : ETE
11. “In the __”: Elvis hit : GHETTO
12. Refrigerator art holder : MAGNET
13. Climate Reality Project chairman : AL GORE
19. Indian flatbread : NAAN
21. Bible transl., e.g. : VER
23. Party loot : SWAG
24. Den : LAIR
25. Guthrie of folk : ARLO
26. __ Piggy : MISS
27. Rock climber’s handhold : CRAG
29. “Full House” actor : SAGET
30. Like a child without siblings : ONLY
31. Start of a cycle? : UNI-
33. Woven traps : WEBS
35. Polio vaccine pioneer : SALK
36. Kevin Durant’s org. : NBA
37. CPR specialists : EMTS
38. Geek : NERD
39. Sear : CHAR
40. Award for athletes : ESPY
43. Sailor’s jacket : REEFER
44. Flowering : ABLOOM
45. Half a rhyming “easy to do” phrase : NO MUSS …
46. Menthol cigarette brand : KOOL
47. Harbor helper : TUG
48. Highfalutin : SNOOTY
50. 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby : RAHAL
52. Table d’__: fixed menu : HOTE
53. Mystical glow : AURA
54. Cookbook verb : STIR
56. “The Amazing Race” prop : MAP
58. LPGA golfer Michelle : WIE
59. Japanese tech company : NEC
60. And more: Abbr. : ETC
61. [Facepalm] : D’OH!

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