LA Times Crossword Answers 26 Dec 2017, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Parikshit S. Bhat
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Turncoat

Each of today’s themed answers contain the letter string COAT. That string gets turned about, reordered, as we progress down the grid:

  • 55A. Traitor, and a literal hint to this puzzle’s circles : TURNCOAT
  • 18A. Jamaican term for hot chocolate : COCOA TEA
  • 22A. Greek salad ingredient : GOAT CHEESE
  • 34A. Car accessory that may be faux leather : SEAT COVER
  • 50A. Glowing barbecue lump : RED-HOT COAL

Bill’s time: 4m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Champagne cocktail : MIMOSA

Where I come from, the cocktail known in North America as a mimosa is called a buck’s fizz, with the latter named for Buck’s Club in London where it was introduced in 1921. The mimosa came along a few years later, apparently first being served in the Paris Ritz. If you want to make a mimosa, it’s a 50-50 mix of champagne and orange juice, and it is very tasty …

7. Wrist-to-elbow bone : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

11. Young newt : EFT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

17. Dogs from Japan : AKITAS

The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, the Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

18. Jamaican term for hot chocolate : COCOA TEA

The beverages hot cocoa and hot chocolate differ from each other in that the latter contains cocoa butter, whereas the former does not.

21. Stormy weather sound : THUNDER

The word “thunder” precedes the word “lightning” in the phrase “thunder and lightning”. However, thunder comes after lighting in reality, at least to the observer. The observer sees the flash of lightning and then seconds later hears the crash of thunder. That’s because light travels faster than sound.

22. Greek salad ingredient : GOAT CHEESE

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

26. Board game cubes : DICE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

30. __ majesty: high treason : LESE

“Lese majesty” is the crime of offending the dignity of the “majesty” or sovereign, or the state. The term “lèse-majesté” is from French Law, and comes from the law of Ancient Rome. In Latin “laesa maiestas” means “injured majesty”. The term has no relevance in the United States, but the law is occasionally cited in other countries, including many in Europe.

32. Letter before omega : PSI

Psi is the 23rd letter in the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe when in uppercase. The lowercase omega looks like a Latin W. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron, meaning “little O” (O-micron).

33. Leftover food bits : ORTS

Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

38. Actor Brad : PITT

Brad Pitt’s first major role was the cowboy hitchhiker in the 1991’s “Thelma and Louise”. Pitt’s life offscreen garners as much attention as his work onscreen, it seems. The tabloids revel in the series of high-profile relationships in which he has been involved. He was engaged to Gwyneth Paltrow for a while, married to Jennifer Aniston and then to Angelina Jolie.

40. __ kwon do : TAE

Tae kwon do is the national sport of Korea. “Tae” means “to strike or break with foot”; “kwon” means “to strike or break with fist”; “do” means “way” or “art”. Along with judo, tae kwon do is one of only two martial arts included in the Olympic Games.

41. Start of a magical chant : ABRA-

The incantation “abracadabra” has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in Ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. “Abracadabra” is Aramaic, and roughly translates as “I will create as I speak”.

48. Tyrannosaurus __ : REX

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T. rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

49. Norwegian patron saint : OLAF

Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or Olaf the Fat) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

55. Traitor, and a literal hint to this puzzle’s circles : TURNCOAT

A turncoat is a traitor. The concept behind the term is that a traitor might “turn” his or her “coat” inside-out, to hide a badge or uniform that identifies loyalty or fealty.

57. Ex-Soviet leader Brezhnev : LEONID

Leonid Brezhnev was the Soviet leader from 1964 until his death in 1982. Under Brezhnev, Soviet spending on the military grew to about 12.5% of the nation’s Gross National Product. This level of spending, without effective economic reform, led to the USSR’s “Era of Stagnation” that started in the mid-seventies. His large major political decision was to invade Afghanistan, a move that placed further strain on the fragile Soviet economy.

59. Hoppy beer, for short : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

62. Cleopatra killer : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

64. Balance sheet items : ASSETS

The balance sheet of a company is a snapshot (single point in time) view of a company’s financial position. The balance sheet lists all the company’s liabilities, all of its assets, and all of its ownership equity. The assets of a company, less its liabilities equals the ownership equity. The term “balance” is used because assets always balance out with the sum of liabilities and shareholder equity.

Down

1. Management deg. : MBA

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

3. Rum cocktails : MAI TAIS

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

7. Mixed martial arts org. : UFC

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a largest promoter in the world of mixed martial arts competitions. I think the idea is that competitors fight each other in various disciplines to see who is the “best of the best” …

8. “Tao Te Ching” philosopher : LAO TSE

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

10. Baseball’s Felipe or Moises : ALOU

Moises Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his father Felipe and his uncles Matty and Jesús.

19. Republic between Spain and France : ANDORRA

Andorra is a small principality nestled in the Pyrénées between France and Spain. Andorra is a very prosperous country, mainly due to its status as a tax haven and thriving tourist industry. We used help out the tourist industry there in the winters, enjoying a couple of skiing holidays there. Happy memories …

23. Air filter acronym : HEPA

Air filters can be specified as HEPA, with the acronym standing for “high-efficiency particulate absorption”. To be given the name “HEPA”, the filter must remove 99.7% of particles with a size of 0.3 microns or larger.

29. Poet for whom the Edgar Awards are named : POE

The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (the Edgars) are presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America.

31. Miami Sound Machine singer Gloria : ESTEFAN

Miami Sound Machine was a band that was founded as the Miami Latin Boys in 1975. Gloria García (now “Estefan”) joined as a vocalist in 1977, by which time the band had changed its name to Miami Sound Machine. A further name change came in 1987, to Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine.

35. Scheduled leaving hr. : ETD

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

37. White House no : VETO

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

42. Chocolate treat : BROWNIE

Apparently, the first brownies were created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The recipe was developed by a pastry chef at the city’s Palmer House Hotel. The idea was to produce a cake-like dessert that was small enough and dainty enough to be eaten by ladies as part of a boxed lunch.

44. Rock singer Rose : AXL

Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band Guns N’ Roses.

45. “The Merchant of Venice” heiress : PORTIA

In William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”, Portia is the formidable heroine who takes on the guise of a male lawyer and calls herself “Balthasar”. Portia does this to save the life of Antonio, the play’s title character. Portia makes a famous speech that gives us the oft-quoted phrase, “the quality of mercy” …

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes…

46. Opening word for Ali Baba : SESAME

In the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the title character is a poor woodcutter who discovers the magic words “open sesame”, which open the thieves’ den.

51. Codgers : COOTS

Geezer, codger and coot are all not-so-nice terms for an old man.

56. Danson of “The Good Place” : TED

The actor Ted Danson is noted for in particular for three successful roles that he has played on television. He played Sam Malone on the sitcom “Cheers”, and the title role on the sitcom “Becker”. Danson is currently leading the cast on the drama series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Danson has been married to the lovely actress Mary Steenburgen since 1995.

57. Anaheim MLB team, in crawl lines : LAA

The Anaheim Angels are today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LAA). The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

58. Souse’s woe : DTS

The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called delirium tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is “trembling madness”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Champagne cocktail : MIMOSA
7. Wrist-to-elbow bone : ULNA
11. Young newt : EFT
14. Prepared (oneself), as for a shock : BRACED
15. Be unsuccessful : FAIL
16. The “A” in 59-Across : ALE
17. Dogs from Japan : AKITAS
18. Jamaican term for hot chocolate : COCOA TEA
20. Suffix with hip or tip : -STER
21. Stormy weather sound : THUNDER
22. Greek salad ingredient : GOAT CHEESE
26. Board game cubes : DICE
27. French friend : AMI
28. “__-ho!”: “Everybody lift together!” : HEAVE
29. Scrutinized, with “over” : PORED
30. __ majesty: high treason : LESE
32. Letter before omega : PSI
33. Leftover food bits : ORTS
34. Car accessory that may be faux leather : SEAT COVER
38. Actor Brad : PITT
40. __ kwon do : TAE
41. Start of a magical chant : ABRA-
45. Longed (for) : PINED
46. Minor fight : SET-TO
48. Tyrannosaurus __ : REX
49. Norwegian patron saint : OLAF
50. Glowing barbecue lump : RED-HOT COAL
52. Records again : RETAPES
54. Wolf’s cry : HOWL
55. Traitor, and a literal hint to this puzzle’s circles : TURNCOAT
57. Ex-Soviet leader Brezhnev : LEONID
59. Hoppy beer, for short : IPA
60. Use a stopwatch for : TIME
61. Painter or sculptor : ARTIST
62. Cleopatra killer : ASP
63. Winter coaster : SLED
64. Balance sheet items : ASSETS

Down

1. Management deg. : MBA
2. Annoying : IRKSOME
3. Rum cocktails : MAI TAIS
4. Two foursomes : OCTET
5. Look online : SEARCH
6. App interruptions : ADS
7. Mixed martial arts org. : UFC
8. “Tao Te Ching” philosopher : LAO TSE
9. Specialized market segment : NICHE
10. Baseball’s Felipe or Moises : ALOU
11. Humbly accept blame : EAT DIRT
12. Swindles : FLEECES
13. Got emotional, with “up” : TEARED
19. Republic between Spain and France : ANDORRA
22. __ pal : GAL
23. Air filter acronym : HEPA
24. Sunrise direction : EAST
25. Kicked out : EVICTED
29. Poet for whom the Edgar Awards are named : POE
31. Miami Sound Machine singer Gloria : ESTEFAN
35. Scheduled leaving hr. : ETD
36. Pledge : OATH
37. White House no : VETO
38. Multi-car collisions : PILEUPS
39. Ensnared : IN A TRAP
42. Chocolate treat : BROWNIE
43. Practical thinker : REALIST
44. Rock singer Rose : AXL
45. “The Merchant of Venice” heiress : PORTIA
46. Opening word for Ali Baba : SESAME
47. Unlisted stuff : OTHERS
50. Lubricate again : REOIL
51. Codgers : COOTS
53. Cuts for agts. : PCTS
56. Danson of “The Good Place” : TED
57. Anaheim MLB team, in crawl lines : LAA
58. Souse’s woe : DTS

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