LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Nov 2017, Thursday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Zip File

Each of today’s themed answers often precede the word ZIP:

  • 58A. Compressed data … and what the ends of the answers to starred clues form? : ZIP FILE
  • 16A. *Passionate kiss : LIP-LOCK (giving “ziplock”)
  • 22A. *Net profit or loss : BOTTOM LINE (giving “zip line”)
  • 34A. *Take for a spin : TEST DRIVE (giving “ZIP drive”)
  • 47A. *Password, essentially : SECRET CODE (giving “zip code”)

Bill’s time: 7m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. ADHD treatment : RITALIN

Ritalin is a trade name for the drug methylphenidate that is used for treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Methylphenidate has a similar structure and similar properties to the drug cocaine, although it is less potent.

The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

16. *Passionate kiss : LIP-LOCK (giving “ziplock”)

I guess “ziplock” is the generic adjective used to describe resealable zipper storage bags. The Ziploc brand storage devices were developed by Dow and introduced in 1968.

18. Actress Davis : GEENA

As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

20. Large body of eau : MER

In French, a “mer” (sea) is large body of “eau” (water).

25. Cardiff natives : WELSH

Cardiff, located on the country’s south coast, has been the capital of Wales since 1955. “Cardiff” is an anglicized form of “Caerdydd”, the city’s name in Welsh.

27. “Luck __ Lady”: “Guys and Dolls” song : BE A

“Luck Be a Lady” is a song written by Frank Loesser for his Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls” that premiered in 1950. Some years later, “Luck Be a Lady” became a signature song for Frank Sinatra.

“Guys and Dolls” is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. It was first produced on Broadway, in 1950, and ran for 1200 performances. The show was based on a book written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, which book was inspired by the short stories :The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure” by Damon Runyon. “Guys and Dolls” was chosen as winner of a Pulitzer in 1951, but the award was cancelled as Abe Burrows was having problems with the House Un-American Activities Committee at the time.

28. “As I Lay Dying” father : ANSE

“As I Lay Dying” is a novel by William Faulkner first published in 1930. The book has an unusual structure, with stream of consciousness writing throughout. There is one whole chapter that I’d like to quote here:

My mother is a fish.

That’s a five-word chapter …

30. Pelvic bones : ILIA

The sacrum and the two ilia are three bones in the human pelvis.

32. Marsh grasses : SEDGES

Sedges are a family of plants that resemble grasses and rushes. Sedges are more properly called Cyperaceae.

34. *Take for a spin : TEST DRIVE (giving “Zip drive”)

Zip drives were hugely popular in the late nineties. Made by Iomega, Zip drives and their portable Zip disks were used the same way as standard 3.5-inch floppy drives and disks. But, Zip disks had a much, much higher storage capacity.

43. Actor LaBeouf : SHIA

Shia LaBeouf is an actor who started out in the Disney television series “Even Stevens”. Adult audiences might be more familiar with his leading role in the 2003 film “Holes”.

44. Eye of el tigre : OJO

“Ojo” is Spanish for “eye”.

45. Many spam messages : SCAMS

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

47. *Password, essentially : SECRET CODE (giving “ZIP code”)

ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

51. Equipment not used in “Unplugged” albums : AMPS

The term “unplugged” is commonly used for music played on acoustic instruments that is usually played on amplified instruments, often electric guitars.

52. Metal precioso de El Dorado : ORO

In Spanish, “oro” (gold) is a “metal precioso” (precious metal).

The original El Dorado was a Muisca chief who was covered with gold dust in a tribal ritual and then dove into Lake Guatavita in present-day Colombia. Later, “El Dorado” was adopted as the name for a mythical “Lost City of Gold” that became a quest from many Spanish Conquistadors who explored the Americas.

54. Key letter : KAPPA

Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

58. Compressed data … and what the ends of the answers to starred clues form? : ZIP FILE

A .ZIP file is one that has been compressed. The ZIP file format was co-developed and introduced by programmer Phil Katz in 1989.

60. Oberon’s queen : TITANIA

Oberon and Titania are the King and Queen of the fairies in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Down

1. Schubert’s “The __ King” : ERL

“Der Erlkönig” (“The Erl King”) is a poem by the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The poem tells of the death of child attacked by the Erl King, a supernatural being. The Austrian composer Franz Schubert made a musical adaptation of Goethe’s poem, using the same title.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was an Austrian composer who was particularly noted for his large portfolio of lieder (songs). Schubert is also famous for his “Unfinished Symphony”. Schubert’s “Symphony No. 7” was left as a draft after he passed away, and as such was “unfinished”. However, it was more complete than his “Symphony No. 8”, which is the one we know as “The Unfinished”.

4. Gracie and Woody : ALLENS

George Burns was the stage name of comedian and actor Nathan Birnbaum. Famously, Burns was married to Gracie Allen, who initially acted as “straight man” in their double act. The duo found that they got more laughs with Gracie acting as “Dumb Dora”, an arrangement that Burns and Allen stuck to for decades.

Allan Stewart Konigsberg changed his legal name to “Heywood Allen” when he was 17 years old, and soon after started to call himself “Woody Allen”, the name with which he achieved celebrity. Allen won four Academy Awards, three for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Director. He has more Oscar nominations as a screenwriter than any other writer, but he spurns the Awards ceremony and only attended it once in all his years in the movie business. He broke tradition by turning up at the 2002 ceremony, unannounced, to beg producers to continue filming in his beloved New York City despite the fears created by the 9/11 attacks.

5. Like Crayola’s Laser Lemon or Shocking Pink : NEON

In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, held the “Crayola Color Census 2000” in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

6. 1983 Mr. T comedy : DC CAB

“D.C. Cab” is a comedy movie released in 1983 starring Mr. T. I don’t hear many good things about the film, although there is a special appearance by Irene Cara of “Fame” fame …

7. Wall St. purchase : STK

Stock (stk.)

8. Game with cards : BINGO

Our modern bingo is a derivative of an Italian lottery game called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” that became popular in the 16th-century.

13. Menu heading : ENTREES

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found it very confusing to order meals when I first came to America!

15. Ranchero’s rope : RIATA

A riata is a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for lasso.

A “ranchero” is someone who owns, operates or is employed on a ranch, and is a word with Spanish roots.

21. Run a tab, say : OWE

When we run a “tab” at a bar say, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

23. End piece? : OBIT

“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

24. Work on the docks : LADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

31. D-Day transport : LST

“LST” stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs are the large vessels used mainly in WWII that have doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles can roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.

33. December has two big ones : EVES

They would be Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

35. Cross : ROOD

A rood is a crucifix that specifically symbolizes the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

37. “__ our letters do not well agree”: Brutus : THEREIN

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in Ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

38. Stuffing in stuffed shells : RICOTTA

Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from the milk of a sheep or a cow. Ricotta is actually produced from the whey of the milk, the liquid left after the curds have been separated out (curds are used to make “traditional” cheese). The whey is heated again so that the remaining protein, above and beyond that in the curd already removed, precipitates out making ricotta cheese. The word “ricotta” literally means “recooked”, which makes sense to me now …

40. Anne Rice character : VAMPIRE

Anne Rice is an American author of erotic and Gothic novels. Rice was born Howard Allen O’Brien (no wonder she changed her name!). Her famous series of novels “The Vampire Chronicles” centers on her character Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman who was turned into a vampire in the 18th century. One of the stories, “Interview with the Vampire”, was adapted for the big screen in 1994 and features Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and others in a star-studded cast. Not my kind of movie though, as I don’t do vampires …

41. Destroys, as a 40-Down : IMPALES
(40D. Anne Rice character : VAMPIRE)

Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defined where in the body should be staked. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

42. Aesop’s “The __ in the Lion’s Skin” : ASS

Aesop used the ass in at least four of his fables:

  • The Ass and his Masters
  • The Ass and the Pig
  • The Ass Carrying an Image
  • The Ass in the Lion’s Skin

44. Florida horse-breeding city : OCALA

The city of Ocala was founded near a historic village with the same name. In the local Timucua language “Ocala” means “Big Hammock”.

48. Ritzy Twin Cities suburb : EDINA

Edina, Minnesota lies just southwest of Minneapolis. The town takes its name from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. The name was suggested by a Scottish mill owner at the time the new village was founded in 1888.

55. Stained glass setting : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

58. ’70s-’80s Pakistani leader : ZIA

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was the President of Pakistan from 1978 until he died in 1988. Zia died in a plane crash along with US Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Lewis Raphel and several other VIPs. The official Pakistani investigation into the cause of the crash concluded that the plane was likely brought down by sabotage. The official US investigation concluded that the crash was an accident.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. They’re often run on weekends : ERRANDS
8. Stump : BAFFLE
14. Keep in office : REELECT
15. ADHD treatment : RITALIN
16. *Passionate kiss : LIP-LOCK (giving “ziplock”)
17. Ballpark : INEXACT
18. Actress Davis : GEENA
19. Long narrative : SAGA
20. Large body of eau : MER
21. Put __ act : ON AN
22. *Net profit or loss : BOTTOM LINE (giving “zip line”)
25. Cardiff natives : WELSH
27. “Luck __ Lady”: “Guys and Dolls” song : BE A
28. “As I Lay Dying” father : ANSE
29. Newsroom VIPs : EDS
30. Pelvic bones : ILIA
32. Marsh grasses : SEDGES
34. *Take for a spin : TEST DRIVE (giving “ZIP drive”)
36. Relaxing : AT REST
39. Time long past : YORE
40. Flight connection word : VIA
43. Actor LaBeouf : SHIA
44. Eye of el tigre : OJO
45. Many spam messages : SCAMS
47. *Password, essentially : SECRET CODE (giving “zip code”)
51. Equipment not used in “Unplugged” albums : AMPS
52. Metal precioso de El Dorado : ORO
53. Uninspiring : DRAB
54. Key letter : KAPPA
56. Result of a hung jury, often : RETRIAL
58. Compressed data … and what the ends of the answers to starred clues form? : ZIP FILE
60. Oberon’s queen : TITANIA
61. Underwriter : INSURER
62. Be short with : SNAP AT
63. Untouched by time : AGELESS

Down

1. Schubert’s “The __ King” : ERL
2. Ruled : REIGNED
3. Strikes down : REPEALS
4. Gracie and Woody : ALLENS
5. Like Crayola’s Laser Lemon or Shocking Pink : NEON
6. 1983 Mr. T comedy : DC CAB
7. Wall St. purchase : STK
8. Game with cards : BINGO
9. Starting squad : A-TEAM
10. Business card number : FAX
11. On fire : FLAMING
12. Driving need : LICENSE
13. Menu heading : ENTREES
15. Ranchero’s rope : RIATA
19. Reliable income source : STEADY JOB
21. Run a tab, say : OWE
23. End piece? : OBIT
24. Work on the docks : LADE
26. Scurries : HIES
31. D-Day transport : LST
32. Title of honor : SIR
33. December has two big ones : EVES
34. Hint of remorse : TEAR
35. Cross : ROOD
36. Puts in order : ASSORTS
37. “__ our letters do not well agree”: Brutus : THEREIN
38. Stuffing in stuffed shells : RICOTTA
40. Anne Rice character : VAMPIRE
41. Destroys, as a 40-Down : IMPALES
42. Aesop’s “The __ in the Lion’s Skin” : ASS
44. Florida horse-breeding city : OCALA
46. Detergent measure : CAPFUL
48. Ritzy Twin Cities suburb : EDINA
49. Characteristic : TRAIT
50. Just making, with “out” : EKING
55. Stained glass setting : APSE
57. Knock : RAP
58. ’70s-’80s Pakistani leader : ZIA
59. Critical care ctrs. : ERS

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Nov 2017, Thursday”

  1. LAT: 21 minutes, 1 dumb error (actually had it right and changed it!). CHE: 12 minutes, no errors (agreed with Dave, this one was a softball compared to what this puzzle usually is). BEQ is the only other grid to come today, I think.

  2. LAT: 10:02, no errors. Newsday: 9:30, no errors. Haven’t checked for a BEQ, as I have a turkey to get in the oven and I haven’t started yet!

    @Glenn … Thanks again for clearing up my issue with downloading Matt Jones puzzles. As I said in a late post yesterday, I was editing a URL you provided to try to get to PUZ files for his November puzzles, but I was using Tuesday dates instead of Thursday dates! (So I’ve got several of his puzzles now, but I haven’t had time to try any.)

  3. Newsday: 10 minutes, 1 error. BEQ: 27 minutes, 1 error (dumb but sorta defensible for me too). Definitely a “Medium” this time and something the curmudgeon on the NYT blog probably could handle (noticed he said he didn’t like BEQ when I checked my NYT Wed yesterday).

    @Dave
    Good you figured it out. I notice a lot of the older puzzles got removed, but I’ll have to check and see which ones are themeless and make a list. The thing with the Jones puzzles is that the difficulty varies so widely it’s hard to know what you’re going to get from time to time.

  4. Turkey’s in the oven (along with a whole extra casserole of dressing, because the instructions on the package were off base), giblets are simmering but not ready to turn into gravy, and it’s too early to start the potatoes or whip the whipping cream for the pumpkin pie my SO is bringing, so I did the BEQ. It took me 25:17, with no errors, but I spent some of the time trying to make sense out of the theme (and still didn’t understand it until five or ten minutes after I was done). And, Glenn, you’re right that the resident malcontent on the NYT blog wouldn’t have liked it much (even though, to be honest, I think he has mellowed a little recently).

  5. 17:11 no errors but a few missteps to overcome. I had lithium before RITALIN (I can never keep that stuff straight). Lithium is used to treat something; I just don’t remember what.

    Yesterday for a few seconds I couldn’t remember the word “Alzheimers”. There must be a word for that…..

    Happy Thanksgiving to all –

    Best –

  6. Lithium, among other meds, is also used to treat bipolar disease, when conventional therapy is not working effectively.

    Librium, which is a brand name, and contains no Lithium, is a benzo-diazepine, actually a Chlor-diaz-epoxide, is used to treat anxiety, as a sedative and for alchohol withdrawal symptoms.

    The quirk about not remembering the name,’Alzheimer’, …. could be called a iatro-memo-lapsy — a self loss of memory (hopefullly temporary), of a name for a memory loss syndrome … just kidding.

    A challenging puzzle, which had me tied in knots, but I finally waded all the way through. I finished with some relief.

    Surprised that Oberon is a king ( a male – ) as Merle Oberon was the acting name, of an Anglo-indian actress, (1911 – 1979), whose real name was Estelle Merle OBrien Thompson. She was married four times, the first one was Alexander Korda, the britsh-hungarian movie director.

    Just finished a lovely Thanksgiving lunch, with a veritable United Nations full of guests. One of the students was from Eritrea, which I must now map out to see where it is.

    Have a great day, and a great weekend all.

  7. I found this puzzle very satisfyimg as perpendiculars helped me in solving what I didn’t know, including theme.

    @Vidwan – I remember the beautiful Merle Oberon,especially in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Also, on the male vs. female, Merle Haggard is a guy!

  8. Fairly straightforward Thursday; took about 25 minutes on a full stomach and a little too much wine. 1 error at SNiPAT, which I forgot to change after Ravioli turned into Ricotta.

    I too wanted Lithium, since riata is sometimes liana, but then Fax would have been FhX. I also wanted “Luck Is A Lady”, so I had to change that as well.

    I saw the Scarlet Pimpernel somewhat recently and remember Merle Oberon as very beautiful.

    I’m thankful today that my 1. FC Koeln won (1 -0) against a fairly good team – Arsenal – in the Euro League. Too bad they can’t buy a win in the Bundesliga.

  9. Hi gang! 😊
    No errors—
    Hey Jeff! Your comment reminds me: there’s actually a book called “Alzheimer’s for Dummies.” Isn’t that terrible??! I believe there’s also an “Autism for Dummies.” Talk about questionable taste!
    Had a nice Thanksgiving midday feast with a couple of friends. Very low-key. 😊 I’m old….
    Dirk, nice win for your team. BTW — was it you who mentioned that the warriors are in first place? Perhaps I should follow them. Lakers aren’t doing well, and I’m always at sea during the baseball off-season.
    Be well~~™🐔

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