LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Dec 2017, Saturday

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Constructed by: D. Scott Nichols & C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Beach pretender : HODAD

“Hodad” is a slang term that dates from the fifties, It is used to describe someone who hangs out at the beach, but someone who isn’t a surfer. Hodads were mainly into cars and music.

15. [Yawn] : I NEED A NAP

I really, really do …

16. Many a Studio Ghibli film : ANIME

Studio Ghibli is an animation film studio based in Tokyo. The name “Ghibli” was chosen as it is the name of a hot desert wind that occurs in Libya. The idea is that Studio Ghibli, when founded in 1985, would “blow a new wind through the anime industry”.

17. Fund for incidentals : PETTY CASH

The word “petty”, meaning “small-minded”, comes from the French word for small, “petit”. When “petty” first came into English it wasn’t used disparagingly, and was used more literally giving us terms like “petty officer” and “petty cash”. The word “petty” evolved into a prefix “petti-” with the meaning of “small”, as in the word “petticoat”.

18. Character who dances on the beach at Stavros : ZORBA

“Zorba the Greek” the film, and “Zorba” the musical, are adaptations of the 1952 novel “Zorba the Greek” by Nikos Kazantzakis. The 1964 film version stars Anthony Quinn in the title role, and Alan Bates. The movie is set and was filmed on location on the island of Crete, the home of author Kazantzakis.

Stavros is a coastal village on the Greek island of Crete. The village was used as a location for the 1964 movie “Zorba the Greek”. Indeed, the beach named Stavros was the setting for the famous “Zorba’s dance” scene.

22. Talbot Jr. or Sr. on “Rectify” : TED

“Rectify” is TV drama series about a man who is released based from prison based on DNA evidence after spending almost twenty years on death row.

27. Poet Thomas : DYLAN

Dylan Thomas is perhaps the most famous Welsh poet and writer. His most famous poems are “Do not go gentle in that good night” and “And death shall have no dominion”. He also wrote a famous radio drama called “Under Milk Wood” that was first broadcast in in 1954, and that was eventually adapted for the stage and the big screen. My favorite Dylan Thomas work is “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” that was also written originally for the radio, before being published as a work of prose.

29. “Baby Blues” baby : WREN

“Baby Blues” is a comic strip that was launched in 1990 by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott. Initially, the strip told the story of married couple Darryl and Wanda MacPherson, along with their baby Zoe. The family now includes middle child Hammie and youngest child Wren.

30. Maranjab Desert country : IRAN

The Maranjab Desert is located about 40 miles from the Iranian city of Kashan. By all accounts, the Maranjab is a beautiful spot and is a popular destination for tourists.

33. Repertoire : ARSENAL

Our word “arsenal” comes from the Italian “arzenale”, a work adapted from the Arabic for “workshop”. There was a large wharf in Venice called the Arzenale that became associated with the storage of weapons and ammunition, and this led to our contemporary usage of “arsenal”.

35. Skeleton’s place? : CLOSET

The idiom “skeleton in the closet” means “secret to hide”. On the other side of the Atlantic, the concept is more likely to be expressed as “skeleton in the cupboard”.

43. Kate of “House of Cards” : MARA

Kate Mara is the actress who plays a female lead in the US TV series “House of Cards”. Kate is the sister of fellow actress Rooney Mara who played the lead in the American version of the film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

The hit TV show “House of Cards” is a political drama starring Kevin Spacey that highlights ruthless manipulation within the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. The show is an adaptation of a BBC miniseries of the same name, which in turn is based on a novel by Michael Dobbs. My wife and I have seen both versions of the show but disagree on which is the best. I favor the US version …

45. Grouses : CARPS

The word “carp” used to mean simply “talk” back in the 13th century, with its roots in the Old Norwegian “karpa” meaning “to brag”. A century later the Latin word “carpere” meaning “to slander” influenced the use of “carp” so that it came to mean “find fault with”.

It isn’t really clear where we get our verb “to grouse” from (meaning “to complain”). The term was first used as slang in the British Army in the 1880s.

50. Better : AMEND

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

52. Tar on the ocean : SALT

A jack tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

56. West of Tinseltown : MAE

Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the “sexy” side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. One of the first plays in which West starred on Broadway was called “Sex”, a work she penned herself. The show was a sell-out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of “corrupting the morals of youth”. She started in movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really she was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.

“Tinseltown” is a nickname for Hollywood.

57. Country album? : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas”.

59. History buff’s artifacts : AMERICANA

An ana (plural “anas”) is a collection, perhaps of literature, that represents the character of a particular place or a person. “Ana” can be used as a noun or as a suffix (e.g. “Americana”).

61. Tearful queen : NIOBE

In Greek mythology, Niobe fled to Mount Sipylus when her children were killed. There, she was turned into stone and wept for eternity. There is indeed a Niobe’s Rock on Mount Sipylus (in modern-day Turkey) that resembles a female face, and so is known as “The Weeping Rock”.

Down

5. Dessert company founded in 1928 : EDY’S

Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

8. It runs in the shower : MASCARA

Variants of mascara have been around a long time, and certainly there was a similar substance in use in Ancient Egypt. “Mascara” is a Spanish word meaning “stain, mask”.

9. Short-lived things : EPHEMERA

“Ephemera” was originally a medical term, used to describe a fever that only lasted a day. The use of the term was expanded in the 17th century to include insects that were short-lived, and by end of the 18th century ephemera were any things of transitory existence.

11. Noted resident of The Dakota in Manhattan : ONO

The Dakota is an apartment building in New York City that overlooks Central Park. Built in the 1880s, the prestigious property is perhaps most famous as the home of former Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono. Lennon was murdered outside the Dakota in 1980 by Mark David Chapman. The impressive list of former residents includes Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland, Rudolf Nureyev and Boris Karloff.

24. South Seas cover-ups : SARONGS

“Sarong” is the Malay word for “sheath”, and a sarong was originally the garment worn by Malay men and women around their waists. The Malay sarong is actually a tube of fabric, about a yard wide and two-and-a-half yards long. Many variations of the sarong are worn all over South Asia and the Pacific Islands. I had occasion to wear one in Hawaii many years ago, and found it very … freeing!

26. They’re beaten at parties : PINATAS

Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

34. Church of country : ERIC

Eric Church is a country singer/songwriter from Granite Falls, North Carolina. Church’s second album is titled “Carolina”.

35. Allergy sufferer’s choice : CLARITIN

Claritin is a Bayer brand name for the drug loratadine, which is used to treat allergies.

36. Legendary court figure : LANCELOT

Sir Lancelot is one of the knights in the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table. Lancelot is the most trusted of Arthur’s knights when it comes to battle, but off the field he has a poorer reputation. Famously, Lancelot had an affair with Guinevere, Arthur’s wife.

42. Caribbean city with cocotaxis : HAVANA

In Cuba, small, rickshaw-type cabs are known as “cocotaxis”. They are three-wheeled vehicles powered by a two-stroke engine. The driver sits in the front, and there is room for 2-3 passengers in the seat behind. A cocotaxi’s body is usually quite round, and is made from yellow-colored fiberglass. The vehicle’s name comes from its shape, resembling a “coca” meaning “coconut”.

44. German chancellor Merkel : ANGELA

The formidable politician Angela Merkel was first elected Chancellor of Germany, the country’s head of state, in 2005. She is the first female German Chancellor. When she chaired the G8 in 2007 she became only the second woman to do so, after the UK’s Margaret Thatcher. Merkel grew up in East Germany under Communist rule.

46. City west of Baghdad : RAMADI

Ramadi is a city in central Iraq that is located less than a hundred miles west of Baghdad.

47. Mercury, e.g. : PLANET

Mercury is the smallest of the planets in our solar system, and is the nearest to the Sun. Mercury orbits the sun relatively rapidly compared to the other planets, and this fact may have led to it being given the name “Mercury”, the Roman deity who was the speedy messenger to the gods.

51. Teammate of Mariano for 19 years : DEREK

Derek Jeter played his entire professional baseball career with the New York Yankees, and was the team’s captain. Jeter is the all-time career leader for the Yankees in hits, games played, stolen bases and at bats. He is also the all-time leader in hits by a shortstop in the whole of professional baseball. Jeter’s performances in the postseason earned him the nicknames “Captain Clutch” and “Mr. November”. Jeter retired from the game in 2014.

Mariano Rivera is a professional baseball pitcher from Panama City. Rivera played for the New York Yankees from 1995 until his retirement at the end of the 2013 season. Rivera holds the league record for the most career saves (at 652).

55. Small change : DIME

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

58. #16, familiarly : ABE

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the US. There are several stories told about how he earned the nickname “Honest Abe”. One story dates back to early in his career as a lawyer. Lincoln accidentally overcharged a client and then walked miles in order to right the wrong as soon as possible.

60. Booking agent? : COP

“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”, and is still a slang term meaning “to get hold of, steal”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Stay in the big house : SERVE TIME
10. Beach pretender : HODAD
15. [Yawn] : I NEED A NAP
16. Many a Studio Ghibli film : ANIME
17. Fund for incidentals : PETTY CASH
18. Character who dances on the beach at Stavros : ZORBA
19. Supporting : PRO
20. Evil skill : SORCERY
22. Talbot Jr. or Sr. on “Rectify” : TED
23. Obstacles on the set : EGOS
25. Confident response to “Your opponent is ready” : SO AM I
26. Funeral rite heap : PYRE
27. Poet Thomas : DYLAN
29. “Baby Blues” baby : WREN
30. Maranjab Desert country : IRAN
31. Empty out badly? : ROB
33. Repertoire : ARSENAL
35. Skeleton’s place? : CLOSET
38. Do maintenance on, as a putting green : AERATE
39. Card carrier : LANYARD
41. Convene : SIT
42. Chill (with) : HANG
43. Kate of “House of Cards” : MARA
45. Grouses : CARPS
49. Welding sparks : ARCS
50. Better : AMEND
52. Tar on the ocean : SALT
53. Compete : VIE
54. Like free-range chickens : UNCAGED
56. West of Tinseltown : MAE
57. Country album? : ATLAS
59. History buff’s artifacts : AMERICANA
61. Tearful queen : NIOBE
62. Big brother, often : ROLE MODEL
63. First chips : ANTES
64. Chaotic places : SNAKE PITS

Down

1. Nursed : SIPPED
2. Zip : ENERGY
3. Overhaul the plant : RETOOL
4. Old hand : VET
5. Dessert company founded in 1928 : EDY’S
6. Shells from stands : TACOS
7. Sequentially : IN A ROW
8. It runs in the shower : MASCARA
9. Short-lived things : EPHEMERA
10. Indistinct : HAZY
11. Noted resident of The Dakota in Manhattan : ONO
12. Singer? : DIRTY RAT
13. Pale order : AMBER ALE
14. Tone down : DEADEN
21. Washes out : RINSES
24. South Seas cover-ups : SARONGS
26. They’re beaten at parties : PINATAS
28. Intrusive : NOSY
32. Tough guy’s exhortation : BE A MAN!
34. Church of country : ERIC
35. Allergy sufferer’s choice : CLARITIN
36. Legendary court figure : LANCELOT
37. Mine carriers : TRAM-CARS
40. “As if!” : DREAM ON!
42. Caribbean city with cocotaxis : HAVANA
44. German chancellor Merkel : ANGELA
46. City west of Baghdad : RAMADI
47. Mercury, e.g. : PLANET
48. Bargains beyond belief : STEALS
51. Teammate of Mariano for 19 years : DEREK
54. Exploits : USES
55. Small change : DIME
58. #16, familiarly : ABE
60. Booking agent? : COP

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