LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Nov 2017, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jerry Edelstein
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Shuffles and Cuts the Deck

Each of today’s themed answers includes the letters DECK, but they have been SHUFFLED, moved around. Also, the space in each 2-word answer CUTS the SHUFFLED DECK:

  • 18A. With 57-Across, what a 37-Across does; also, as the circles show, what each answer containing them does : SHUFFLES AND …
  • 57A. See 18-Across : … CUTS THE DECK
  • 24A. Item that isn’t on its regular hook : MISPLACED KEY
  • 37A. Casino employee : BLACKJACK DEALER
  • 48A. Prepared goodies for the fundraiser : BAKED COOKIES

Bill’s time: 5m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “Rhoda” production co. : MTM

MTM Enterprises was a television production company founded in 1969 by Mary Tyler Moore, originally to produce the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The company subsequently produced the likes of “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Rhoda”, “WKRP in Cincinnati”, “Hill Street Blues” and “St. Elsewhere”. That’s a lot of great television …

The seventies sitcom “Rhoda” starring Valerie Harper was a spinoff of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The eighth episode of the show was an hour-long special in which Rhoda married her fiance Joe (played by David Groh). At the time of airing it was the second-most watched television episode in history, second only to the 1953 birth of Little Ricky on “I Love Lucy”.

4. It may follow cries of “Bravo!” : ENCORE!

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

To express appreciation for a male performer at an operatic performance, traditionally one calls out “bravo!”. Appreciation for a female performer is shown by using “brava!”, and for more than one performer by using “bravi!”

14. Longtime coach Parseghian of Notre Dame : ARA

Ara Parseghian coached the Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, a period known as “The Era of Ara”.

15. Chestnut horse : SORREL

The sorrel color of horse is a copper-red, although the term is often used these days to describe any horse with chestnut coloring.

20. Alamo competitor : AVIS

Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

The third largest car rental company over recent years is Alamo, a relative newcomer that was founded in 1974. Alamo made inroads (pun!) into the market by popularizing the idea of “unlimited mileage”.

22. DDE’s overseas command : ETO

General Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII.

23. Racers in some Wii games : KARTS

“Mario Kart” is a go-kart racing video game series from Nintendo.

35. Journalist Curry : ANN

The television journalist Ann Curry is perhaps best known for the time she spent as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. NBC executives asked Curry to resign from the “Today” show because ratings were low. I just read online that Curry was also pushed out because of the way she insisted on dressing and because she refused to dye her gray hair. I hope that isn’t true …

36. Warsaw native : POLE

Warsaw is the capital of Poland. The city’s name translates into English as “belonging to Warsz”. Legend has it that Warsz was a fisherman who fell in love with a mermaid called Sawa. It’s a nice story, but actually Warsz was a nobleman from the 12th or 13th century who owned a local village.

37. Casino employee : BLACKJACK DEALER

The card game known as “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

42. Tolkien forest shepherd : ENT

Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

43. In __: unborn : UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. The Latin word was derived from the Greek “hystera” also meaning womb, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

45. “The A-Team” actor : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard (as “Hannibal” Smith), ably assisted by Mr. T (as “B.A.” Baracus) and Robert Vaughn (as Hunt Stockwell).

46. The “A” in James A. Garfield : ABRAM

James Abram Garfield, the 20th President, was assassinated in office. He was shot twice, and one bullet could not be found (it was lodged in his spine). The inventor Alexander Graham Bell developed a metal detector in an attempt to locate the bullet, but apparently he was unsuccessful because of interference from the metal bed frame on which the president lay. Garfield died two months after being shot.

55. Former transp. regulator : ICC

The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was set up in 1887 to regulate the railroads and later the trucking industry. The ICC was abolished in 1995 and its functions were absorbed by the Surface Transportation Board.

61. Keogh plan rel. : IRA

Keogh plans are retirement plans used by self-employed individuals and small businesses. The plans are named for Democratic member of the US House Eugene James Keogh who sponsored the bill that introduced such plans.

63. Paradise : UTOPIA

The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More for his book “Utopia” published in 1516 describing an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

64. Third-qtr. ender : SEP

The month of September is the ninth month in our year, although the name “September” comes from the Latin word “septum” meaning “seventh”. September was the seventh month in the Roman calendar until the year 46 BC when Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar. The Julian system moved the start of the year from March 1st to January 1st, and shifted September to the ninth month. The Gregorian calendar that we use today was introduced in 1582.

65. Actress Russo : RENE

The very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to high school (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as Rene Russo is one of my favorite actresses …

67. Goal line crossings: Abbr. : TDS

Touchdown (TD)

Down

1. Start of a famous palindrome : MADAM …

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

2. Eternal City fountain : TREVI

The Trevi Fountain (“Fontana di Trevi”) is a huge fountain in Rome, the largest constructed in the Baroque style. The tradition is that if one throws a coin in the fountain then one is guaranteed a return visit to the city. Tourists throw in an amazing 3,000 euros (over $4,000) every day. The money is collected and is used to stock a supermarket for the needy of the city.

The Italian capital of Rome is known as “The Eternal City”, a name given by ancient Roman poets and writers.

12. Bloke : GENT

“Bloke” is British slang for a fellow. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

21. The State of the Union, for one : SPEECH

The US President’s State of the Union (SOTU) address is requirement called out in Article II of the Constitution. George Washington gave the first address before a joint session of Congress in 1790. Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of making a personal address by sending Congress a written document that was then read out by a clerk. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson re-established the custom of delivering the message personally, there have been occasions since then when a written address has had to suffice, the last occasion being in 1981 when Jimmy Carter was in office.

25. Onionlike veggie : LEEK

The leek is a vegetable closely related to the onion and the garlic. It is also a national emblem of Wales (along with the daffodil), although I don’t think we know for sure how this came to be. One story is that the Welsh were ordered to wear leeks in their helmets to identify themselves in a battle against the Saxons. Apparently, the battle took place in a field of leeks.

30. One drawn to controversy : POLEMICIST

“Polemic” can also be spelled as “polemical”. Either way, the term describes something controversial. The word came into English from the Greek “polemos” meaning “war”.

31. Oriole or Jay : ALER

American League (AL)

32. MapMyWalk starting point : ZERO

MapMyWalk is smartphone app that does what it says on the box: maps your walk. Hit the start button when you start your walk, and the stop button at the end of the walk. You then have the option of saving a map of your walk, which you can share with others. One of the benefits of MapMyWalk is that if you are in an unfamiliar location, you can check maps showing walks that others have taken and shared, along with notes they might have made about elevation, distance, degree of difficulty, etc.

33. “Waterloo” band : ABBA

“Waterloo” is the song that effectively launched the astounding career of Swedish band ABBA. They performed “Waterloo” in 1974 as the Swedish entry in the annual Eurovision Song Contest, and walked away with the competition (I remember it well!). The contest has been running since 1956, and “Waterloo” was chosen (in 2005) as the best song in the competition’s history.

36. Former New York governor George : PATAKI

George Pataki is a member of the Republican Party who served as Governor of New York from 1995 to 2006. I happen to know that Pataki’s maternal grandmother is from a village close to where I lived in Ireland. When Pataki was first running for Governor, I met someone in Ireland who was researching Pataki’s Irish roots for him. My guess is that the Irish vote is important in New York State …

38. Weightlifting move : JERK

There are two weightlifting events in the Olympics. One is the “snatch” in which the competitor lifts the barbell from the platform over his or head in one continuous movement. The “clean and jerk” is a two-part lift. The “clean” brings the barbell off the platform mainly using the knees. The “jerk” brings the barbell over the head to complete the lift.

40. German capital : EURO

One of the currencies replaced by the euro was Germany’s Deutsche Mark (known as the “deutschmark” in English).

47. Italian lawn bowling : BOCCIE

The Italian bowling game of “bocce” (often anglicized as “bocci” or “boccie”) is based on a game played in Ancient Rome. “Bocce” is the plural of the Italian word “boccia” meaning “bowl”.

50. Like some seals : EARED

There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).

53. Beast of burden : MULE

A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.

54. Thames academy : ETON

The world-famous Eton College is located just outside London. It lies between the River Thames, and the Jubilee River. The Jubilee is a 7-mile stretch of man-made waterway that was built in the late 1990s to take overflow from the Thames and reduce flooding around the nearby towns.

59. LAX announcement : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

60. __ Kan pet food : KAL

Kal Kan is a brand of pet food that has been marketed since 1936, but is now sold exclusively in Walmart stores.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “Rhoda” production co. : MTM
4. It may follow cries of “Bravo!” : ENCORE!
10. Brink : EDGE
14. Longtime coach Parseghian of Notre Dame : ARA
15. Chestnut horse : SORREL
16. Witnessed : SEEN
17. B.A. or B.S. : DEG
18. With 57-Across, what a 37-Across does; also, as the circles show, what each answer containing them does : SHUFFLES AND …
20. Alamo competitor : AVIS
22. DDE’s overseas command : ETO
23. Racers in some Wii games : KARTS
24. Item that isn’t on its regular hook : MISPLACED KEY
28. Gear components : TEETH
29. Assist : AID
30. Peace, to Pedro : PAZ
33. Say yes : AGREE
35. Journalist Curry : ANN
36. Warsaw native : POLE
37. Casino employee : BLACKJACK DEALER
41. The two : BOTH
42. Tolkien forest shepherd : ENT
43. In __: unborn : UTERO
44. Stun : AWE
45. “The A-Team” actor : MR T
46. The “A” in James A. Garfield : ABRAM
48. Prepared goodies for the fundraiser : BAKED COOKIES
52. Blotch : SMEAR
55. Former transp. regulator : ICC
56. Confident words : I CAN
57. See 18-Across : … CUTS THE DECK
61. Keogh plan rel. : IRA
62. Many : A LOT
63. Paradise : UTOPIA
64. Third-qtr. ender : SEP
65. Actress Russo : RENE
66. Fireplace shelf : MANTEL
67. Goal line crossings: Abbr. : TDS

Down

1. Start of a famous palindrome : MADAM …
2. Eternal City fountain : TREVI
3. Legal administrator : MAGISTRATE
4. Difficult curve : ESS
5. Tenant’s winter complaint : NO HEAT
6. Source of support : CRUTCH
7. “Friend __?”: sentry’s query : OR FOE
8. Slo-mo reviewer : REF
9. Pipe shape : ELL
10. Composed piece : ESSAY
11. Expensive : DEAR
12. Bloke : GENT
13. Fades to black : ENDS
19. __ out a win : EKED
21. The State of the Union, for one : SPEECH
25. Onionlike veggie : LEEK
26. Moist and chilly : DANK
27. Nice : KIND
30. One drawn to controversy : POLEMICIST
31. Oriole or Jay : ALER
32. MapMyWalk starting point : ZERO
33. “Waterloo” band : ABBA
34. Healthy look : GLOW
35. Pretend : ACT
36. Former New York governor George : PATAKI
38. Weightlifting move : JERK
39. Start a pot : ANTE
40. German capital : EURO
45. Retail outlet : MART
46. Say yes : ACCEPT
47. Italian lawn bowling : BOCCIE
48. Keep moist, in a way : BASTE
49. “What I __ My Summer Vacation”: school essay : DID ON
50. Like some seals : EARED
51. Spells, as of cold weather : SNAPS
52. Emotional mark : SCAR
53. Beast of burden : MULE
54. Thames academy : ETON
58. Run smoothly : HUM
59. LAX announcement : ETA
60. __ Kan pet food : KAL

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Nov 2017, Wednesday”

  1. Made a silly mistake today. Overall a pretty easy puzzle.

    I never heard the reasons why Ann Curry was asked to leave but I sure hope they weren’t for the reasons Bill mentioned. She was always one of my favorites on the Today Show, though I wasn’t a daily viewer.

    @Carrie – I’m right there with you in loving both Top Chef and Project Runway. I love the drama but feel like both are so subjective that it’s hard to always agree with the judges (mostly speaking to PR).

    Hope y’all have a great day!

    -Megan

  2. LAT: 7:18, no errors; felt like a Monday puzzle. And, I had the same thought about the spelling “boccie”, but various online dictionaries give it as an alternate spelling (along with “bocci”, which looks even more wrong to me).

    Today’s Newsday: 7:36, no errors. Today’s WSJ: 11:58, no errors. Yesterday’s Croce: 30-40 minutes, no errors, surprisingly easy. This week’s CHE: 12:56, no errors; also very easy.

    One more comment about sudokus/kenkens: There is no math involved in doing sudokus: any set of nine distinct symbols could be used in place of 1-9, like A-I, or alpha-iota, or aleph-teth (or perhaps nine of Carrie’s favorite emojis 😜 ). Kenkens, of course, do require math.

    I will try to find time to post my sudoku solver and perhaps my kenken programs over on that WordPress site that I created.

  3. Pretty challenging puzzle – as expected for a Wednesday. I struggled a little bit, before I got to the end of the solution. But, enjoyable, never the less. I am reaching my limit. Never thought about or figured out the central theme.

    Regarding Ann Curry – a ‘minority’ in the social and public media ….. as a member of a ‘minority’ race myself, I am aware, that although it is always a ‘breakthrough’ when a person of color, rises to the top, of visibility, on the national TV …. it is often problematic when they are fired or relieved ! There are offered, a thousand plausible reasons, as to why it happened. And the public media often jumps in, with both feet. The falling ratings, would have been a good enough reason, to replace her …. after all, that is the name of the game. high ratings and big money. To ascribe other irrelevant reasons, however is more titillating. I personally liked Ann Curry, but …. thats the way the cookie crumbles.

    Regarding, Ken-ken and sudoku … I am terrified of getting into other mind games especially math oriented, that may take even more of my valuable time. For our resident geniuses – and I mean this with reverence (!) … to make a computer program to solve a math problem(s) seems to be like using heavy artillery instead of a snipers rifle… Just my two bits worth.

    I did not know Valerie Harper (Rhoda) was not jewish … her accent and mannerisms had me totally fooled … and she is a great actress. I live in a majority jewish community, and have long since realized that there is no jewish stereotype … like any other racial or for that matter, religious stereotype … thats only for jokes and stand up commedians.

    On Mules and Hinnys … a horse has 64 chromosomes, a donkey 62 and a Mule or Hinny , 63 … which is an odd number and cannot form even pairs, hence sterile. Both donkeys and mules, may not be as fast as purebred horses, but are stronger ( yes ! ), more stamina and more muscled, and live longer ~ 25% more, about ~ 27 years. They are also supposedly, more manageable, and less high strung.

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. 13:29. I hesitated to put that spelling of BOCCIE as well, but in the end I figured it was an alternate spelling…which I guess it is.

    Regarding Vidwan’s observation – To me the fact that Dave can write a program to solve them suggests that once you discover the way to solve them, they become formulaic solves and therefore they aren’t really puzzles anymore. However, I used the example of a chess program. Chess has hard and distinct rules, but the game is so complex and you play an actual opponent that there is nothing formulaic about the game of chess.

    I guess my point is I am trying to see if kenkens are worth the effort. If you can see a formulaic way to solve all of them, and they all become mindless solves – then they aren’t worth it. But I’m getting the idea that’s not the case – especially if one of them is considered one of the 1000 hardest puzzles of all time.

    Which brings me to the question of the limitations Dave’s program has. Does it solve all of them, just certain ones?

    Sorry for getting off on the kenken tangent, but for now the little things are becoming addictive. Thankfully, there are no kenken pits in Las Vegas…at least that I am aware of…

    Speaking of which, I’m heading back to Houston in a few days to deal with my house again. I’m hoping the emotions have settled down for now. I still can’t physically walk into the house without having a visceral reaction to the entire ordeal.

    Best –

    1. I’m with a group at lunch, so I can’t weigh in at length, but … what I said was that I have a program that will solve any sudoku (and it does it in a fraction of a second). I think I can write a program that will do the same for kenkens, but I have not written it yet and it is possible that I am mistaken. That said, it can easily be shown that a very short, simple program can be written to do the job for either group of puzzles, as long as you are willing to wait for eons for it to finish. That does not mean that the puzzles are easy for humans to solve. More later …

      1. The short, simple program of which I spoke above would simply run through all possible Latin squares of a specified size (a program I wrote some time ago), checking each one for compliance with the constraints imposed by a particular sudoku or kenken. Of course, the running time of such a program would prevent it from finishing before our sun goes nova … 😳

        So one has to write a much more clever program … and therein lies the rub … 😜

    2. >I guess my point is I am trying to see if kenkens are worth the effort. If you can see a formulaic way to solve all of them, and they all become mindless solves – then they aren’t worth it.

      It depends on whether you feel it to be mentally worth it. Most things that have any kind of logical sense will have a path whereby a computer program could solve it in some way (logical path or brute force) – even crossword puzzles. (Yes, there’s “mindless” little tricks for crossword puzzles too.)

      Word search is a great example. A program to create one given a word list was far more interesting than the solver, which was basically searching a table of characters different directions. Now given that a word search is simple brute force search minus a few little tweaks, it becomes a “mindless solve”, but numerous people get into doing them to the point that I find word search books I can buy easier than I do crossword books. So it’s much more the joy the solver gets in handling it than it does any kind of “mindful” action in solving it.

      I didn’t mention it before, but I’ve done several word-based solvers as well (word scrambles, how many different words can you find in?) and for the computer it boils down to giving it “knowledge” (i.e. a good word list), and then a logical path in order to uncover the solution. This is true for most other puzzles and games. If you have enough know-how and time, one can always create a good solver or player that’s often unbeatable.

  5. When the hubby says,’Whatever you say, my dear’.

    … you know he’s talking about some high maintenance outlet or outlay. Lol.

    Whats a deer called, with all four legs cut off ?

    Still deer … or still dear ? Oh dear.

  6. Pretty easy Wednesday – much easier than yesterday for me; took about 14 minutes with no errors.

    Besides the Daily Jumble, Sudoku and KenKen, I also do the other crossword in our little paper every day, before tackling the LA crossword. Well, except Sunday when I skip the LA. With the Jumble you have two 5! and two 6! anagrams to decipher. I’m thinking of writing a program (in C) that mimics my mental process to solve those, but I’ll still do them on my own. I agree the Sudoku is formulaic, but it is fun to solve a moderately difficult one. The KenKen is a blast. We get a 6X6 with 4 gimmes in our little daily and I was immediately hooked. On Sundays I’ve gone to kenkenpuzzle.com and solved a hard 6X6, then 7X7 and on occasion the 9X9, but some of those are kind of a bear. Even a 6X6 with only +/- would be incredibly difficult.

    @Dave I hope your Sudoku program is at least written in Fortran IV.

    re Bocce I checked the OnlineDictionary.com and they list Boccie, Bocci, Bocce and even Boccia – all coming from Bocce (It) for bowl or Boccia (It) plural for balls.

  7. Hi all​!! 🐥
    Wow! I forgot to add my name yesterday– it feels strange to be “anonymous”, since I’m so used to announcing my presence quite clearly….😁
    Almost had one missed letter here, but no errors in the end. Natick for me at ICC/BOCCIE but I correctly guessed a C.
    Anyone want to hear my President Garfield story again? 😮 After he was shot, the doctor who cared for him had the first name of Doctor. Doctor Doctor Bliss!! Why does that factoid always make me smile?? 😊
    Megan! Glad you also like those shows! Totally agree, especially on Project Runway. I’ve leaped out of my seat at some of the judges’ calls. “WHAAT??? YOU LIKE THAT HORRIBLE RAG??!”
    Be well~~™🌈

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