LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Dec 2017, Saturday

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Constructed by: Peter Wentz
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11. Once-a-week mantra : TGIF

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

A mantra is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.

15. Early second-millennium style : ROMANESQUE

Romanesque architecture is a style that was a precursor to Gothic architecture, and had its heyday in medieval Europe. Romanesque buildings are often quite massive, have thick walls, round arches and large towers. When compared to the ornate Gothic style, Romanesque is seen to be relatively simple and plain. A classic example of the style would the Tower of London, especially the White Tower that sits at the center of the structure.

16. Modern-day carpe diem : YOLO

You only live once (YOLO)

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of Ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

17. ’80s scandal : IRAN-CONTRA

The Iran-Contra affair (also called “Irangate”) came to light in 1986. The “Iran” part of the scandal was the sale of arms to Iran by the Reagan administration, initially to facilitate the release of US hostages. This was done in secret largely because there was ostensibly a US arms embargo in place against Iran. The “Contra” part of the scandal arose when the man in charge of the operation, Oliver North, took funds from the arms sales and funneled the cash to the Contra militants who were fighting to topple the government in Nicaragua.

18. Pro shop purchase : POLO

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

26. Some retirement purchases : RVS

One using a “recreational vehicle” (RV) might be called an “RVer”.

27. Pinkberry competitor : TCBY

TCBY is a chain of stores selling frozen yogurt that was founded in 1981 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The acronym TCBY originally stood for “This Can’t Be Yogurt”, but this had to be changed due to a lawsuit being pressed by a competitor called “I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt”. These days TCBY stands for “The Country’s Best Yogurt”.

Pinkberry is a chain of frozen dessert outlets that is based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Pinkberry’s desserts were originally marketed as frozen yogurt, but that description didn’t fit with criteria laid down by the State of California. After a hiatus of a few years, apparently the “yogurt” moniker is in use again.

33. Eastern way : TAO

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

36. Anka hit with a Spanish influence : ESO BESO

“Eso Beso” is Spanish for “That Kiss”, and is the name of a 1962 hit song recorded by Canadian-born singer Paul Anka.

47. Fig. at the state’s courtroom table : ASST DA

Assistant District Attorney (Asst. DA, ADA)

51. “Odyssey” fruit : LOTUS

The lotus-eaters were a race of people who featured in Greek mythology. The lotus flowers and fruits that were consumed were supposedly narcotic and addictive, and so the lotus-eaters enjoyed a life largely asleep in peaceful apathy.

58. Hazzard County deputy : ENOS

Enos Strate (played by Sonny Shroyer) was the small-town deputy in the television sitcom “The Dukes of Hazzard”, and the success of his character merited a follow-on show. The spinoff “Enos” only ran for 18 episodes though.

Down

2. Large mass : HORDE

A “horde” is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” that means “camp, army”.

5. Business issue : INC

“Inc.” is a business magazine that specializes in articles about growing companies. “Inc.” publishes a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country each year, calling it the “Inc. 500”. The “Inc 5000” is an expanded list also published by the magazine.

6. Natural history museum objects : GEODES

A geode is a rock in which there is a cavity that is lined or filled with crystal formations.

7. “Ohio” group, initially : CSNY

The supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. The band can grow to “CSNY” when the trio is joined by Neil Young. Fans have been known to call the act “C, S, N and sometimes Y”, a play on the expression that names all the vowels, “A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y”.

“Ohio” is a protest song written by Neil Young soon after the shootings of unarmed students at Kent State University by members of the Ohio National Guard. The song was recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY) in 1970, just a few weeks after the terrible event.

9. Double-stuffed holiday dish : TURDUCKEN

Turducken is a dish that is sometimes served at Thanksgiving. It is a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck stuffed into a deboned turkey. You can also try a gooducken, which is a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a goose.

11. Generally unstressed : TYPE B

The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so called “stress junkies”, whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.

21. Big name in aluminum history : REYNOLDS

Reynolds Metals is the leading manufacturer of aluminum foil in North America. The consumer brand of foil is sold as Reynolds Wrap. The technology behind Reynolds Wrap was apparently developed for packaging tobacco.

25. MLB stats : RBIS

Run batted in (RBI)

29. FedExCup seeker : PRO GOLFER

The FedExCup is a championship trophy that has been awarded since 2007 to golfers on the PGA Tour. Players win points throughout the season, with those earning the most points entering into playoff tournaments at the end of the season.

30. Subject of the biography “Stormy Weather” : LENA HORNE

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

48. Western Wyoming county : TETON

Teton County, Wyoming is home to the Grand Teton National Park and the town of Jackson Hole. Teton has the distinction of having the second highest personal per capita income of any county in the US ($94,672 in 2010), second only to New York County ($111,386 in 2010).

49. Revolutionary diplomat Silas : DEANE

Silas Deane was a member of the Continental Congress. When Deane was dispatched to Paris by the Congress, he became America’s first foreign diplomat. His amazing story is told in Joel Richard Paul’s book called “Unlikely Allies”.

57. Banded Wonderland wear : HAT

I think the reference is to the banded hat worn by the Mad Hatter in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, the Mad Hatter makes his first appearance in a chapter called “A Mad Tea-Party”. This event is usually described as “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”, even though the Mad Hatter was just a guest. The host was the March Hare. In fact, the phrase “Mad Hatter” doesn’t appear anywhere in Lewis Carroll’s novel, although the character, the Hatter (and sometimes “Hatta”), is described as mad.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Overwhelming place for many country folk : THE BIG CITY
11. Once-a-week mantra : TGIF
15. Early second-millennium style : ROMANESQUE
16. Modern-day carpe diem : YOLO
17. ’80s scandal : IRAN-CONTRA
18. Pro shop purchase : POLO
19. Remove fluff from, perhaps : EDIT
20. Blond, in many cases : DYED
21. Moved to another table : RESAT
22. Dispatch to the cutting room floor : DELETE
24. Easy money, in theory : SURE BETS
26. Some retirement purchases : RVS
27. Pinkberry competitor : TCBY
28. Hardened, as concrete : SET
29. Layers : PLIES
32. Make a mild romantic overture to : ASK IN
33. Eastern way : TAO
34. Causes to be : RENDERS
36. Anka hit with a Spanish influence : ESO BESO
38. Iron-__ : ONS
39. Era, perhaps : REIGN
41. Place for a pin : LAPEL
42. Opening : GAP
43. Facts and figures : INFO
44. Physical pros : MDS
45. “Right, understood” : OH, I GET IT
47. Fig. at the state’s courtroom table : ASST DA
51. “Odyssey” fruit : LOTUS
52. They have small roles : COGS
54. Unlike narrators, usually : SEEN
55. Duty-__ : FREE
56. Could conceivably get : HAS A SHOT AT
58. Hazzard County deputy : ENOS
59. “Is it safe to talk?” : ARE WE ALONE?
60. Calls the game : REFS
61. Plot markers : HEADSTONES

Down

1. Strained, e.g. : TRIED
2. Large mass : HORDE
3. Modern box filler : EMAIL
4. Went back and forth : BANTERED
5. Business issue : INC
6. Natural history museum objects : GEODES
7. “Ohio” group, initially : CSNY
8. Educational placement aids : IQ TESTS
9. Double-stuffed holiday dish : TURDUCKEN
10. Pro’s call : YEA!
11. Generally unstressed : TYPE B
12. Stiff-legged stride : GOOSE STEP
13. Twitchy : ILL AT EASE
14. Chair accessory : FOOTSTOOL
21. Big name in aluminum history : REYNOLDS
23. Pilot’s ideal outcome? : TV SERIES
25. MLB stats : RBIS
29. FedExCup seeker : PRO GOLFER
30. Subject of the biography “Stormy Weather” : LENA HORNE
31. Notwithstanding : IN SPITE OF
32. “Big deal” : AS IF I CARE
35. Let out for a time : RENT
37. Jazz club highlight : BASS SOLO
40. Sail : GO TO SEA
44. Ordinary people : MASSES
46. One may be educated : GUESS
48. Western Wyoming county : TETON
49. Revolutionary diplomat Silas : DEANE
50. Opening stakes : ANTES
53. “Oh mah __!” : GAWD
56. “Unlikely!” : HAH!
57. Banded Wonderland wear : HAT

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