LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Dec 2017, Thursday

Advertisement

[ad_above_grid]

Constructed by: Jason Mueller
Edited by: Rich Norris

Advertisement

Advertisement

Today’s Theme: Irish Folks?

Each of today’s themed answers sound like common words, but are written as in the format of many Irish names, i.e. O’Family. To make sense of the clue, we need to assume that the “O’” means “of”.

  • 17A. Author Gertrude’s Irish friend? : PAL O’STEIN (sounds like “Palestine”)
  • 59A. Irish physician? : MAN O’CURES (sounds like “manicure”)
  • 11D. Irish hotel that offers perfumed pillows? : INN O’SCENTS (sounds like “innocence”)
  • 31D. Change tossed into an Irish busker’s hat? : PAIR O’DIMES (sounds like “paradigms”)

Bill’s time: 6m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Sugar amt. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

5. Swimmer’s regimen : LAPS

Quite often, the terms “regime” and “regimen” seem to be used interchangeably. In contemporary usage though, “regime” is applied more generally, and “regimen” more specifically. A “regimen” is a systematic approach that one might apply to something, exercise or diet for example. The term “regime” can also be used in such contexts, but can have additional definitions, such as “government in power”. A form of government cannot be described as a “regimen”.

9. Margaret Atwood’s “__ Grace” : ALIAS

Canadian author Margaret Atwood is best known for her novels. However, Atwood also conceived the idea of the LongPen, a remote robotic writing technology. The LongPen allows a user to write remotely in ink via the Internet. Atwood came up with the idea so that she could remotely attend book signings.

Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel “Alias Grace” is a fictionalized account of a real killing that took place in 1843 in Canada. In both novel and reality, two servants were convicted of the murder of their employer and his housekeeper. Atwood’s telling of the story explores the politics of the Irish in a British colony, and the status of women in society.

16. Small drum or large antelope : BONGO

Bongo drums are Cuban percussion instruments consisting of a pair of drums, one larger than the other, The smaller drum is called the “hembra” (female) and the larger the “macho” (male).

The bongo is a large African antelope, one with very a very distinctive striped coat.

17. Author Gertrude’s Irish friend? : PAL O’STEIN (sounds like “Palestine”)

Gertrude Stein was a great American writer who spent most of her life in France. Gertrude Stein met Alice B. Toklas in Paris in 1907 and the two were life partners until Stein died in 1946. Cleverly, Stein published her own memoirs in 1933 but called the book “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas”. It was to become her best selling title.

21. Liquid-Plumr rival : DRANO

To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely-divided aluminum reacts with water creating tremendous heat so that that mixture boils and churns, then any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain almost always does the job …

23. Brewer’s kiln : OAST

An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an “oast house”. The term can also apply to a kiln used to dry tobacco.

26. Black Sea port : ODESSA

The city of Odessa (also “Odesa”) in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as “Odessa” and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

33. Old Toyota subcompact : TERCEL

The Tercel was the first front-wheel drive car made by Toyota, and what a success it was. It was manufactured under various guises from 1978 to 2000. The name “Tercel” comes from the Latin word for “one third”. The name was chosen as the Toyota Tercel is about one-third smaller that the Toyota Corolla.

37. Head lines, for short? : EEG

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

40. Latin word on a cornerstone : ANNO

Anno (plural “anni”) is the Latin for “year”.

41. Road goo : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

48. Air traffic control devices : RADARS

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

52. Herbal cough drop brand : RICOLA

Ricola is a Swiss brand of cough drops and breath mints.

57. Carved piece of jewelry : CAMEO

Cameo is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term “cameo” is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

62. Alaskan native : ALEUT

The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

64. “Let me know if you’re coming” letters : RSVP

RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer please”.

65. Mud nest builders : WASPS

While the wasp is considered to be a nuisance by many, the insect is very important to the agricultural industry. Wasps prey on many pest insects, while having very little impact on crops.

Down

1. Melody from a bugler : TAPS

“Taps” is played nightly by the US military, indicating “lights out”. It’s also known as “Butterfield’s Lullaby” as it is a variation of an older bugle call named the “Scott Tattoo”, arranged during the Civil War by the Union Army’s Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield. The tune is called “Taps”, from the notion of drum taps, as it was originally played on a drum, and only later on a bugle. The whole tune comprises just 24 notes, with there only being four different notes within the 24, i.e. “low G”, C, E and “high G”. Minimalism at its best …

2. Sour note from a bugler : BLAT

To blat is to cry, especially like a sheep. In other words, to “blat” is to “bleat”. The noun “blat” is often used for an overblown sound on a brass instrument.

3. Dover flatfish : SOLE

Dover sole is the name given to two different species of flatfish. The common sole found in the Atlantic is called “Dover sole” in Europe, taking its names from the fishing port of Dover on the English coast where a lot of the fish was landed. The second species found in the Pacific is known as “Dover sole” on the Pacific coast of America. The Pacific species is called “Dover sole” just because it resembles the European species.

4. Menial employee : PEON

A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

6. Bass, e.g. : ALE

The red triangle on the label of a bottle of Bass Ale was registered in 1875 and is UK Registered Trade Mark (TM) No: 00001, the first trademark issued in the world.

7. Pressure meas. : PSI

Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

12. Turkish title : AGA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

13. Tosspot : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

24. Wrap for leftovers : SARAN

What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name Saran is often used generically in the US, while Glad wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.

28. 1990s veep : AL GORE

Al Gore was born in Washington DC, the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the “tougher” option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

29. Share the marquee : COSTAR

A marquee is a large sign that is placed over the entrance to a theater. The marquee usually displays the names of the film or play currently showing, as well as the principal actors performing.

30. Capital ESE of Istanbul : ANKARA

Ankara is the second largest city in Turkey, after Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). After WWI, the Ottoman Empire had been defeated and the Allies occupied the Ottoman capital of Istanbul. The victors planned to break up most of Turkey, leaving native Turks just part of their country for their own. In the inevitable War of Independence that followed, the Turkish Nationalists used Ankara as their base. When the Nationalists emerged victorious, they declared Ankara the new capital of Turkey.

31. Change tossed into an Irish busker’s hat? : PAIR O’DIMES (sounds like “paradigms”)

A busker is a street performer, a person entertaining passersby for tips. Some very successful people have spend periods of their lives busking. George Michael used to busk near the London Underground. Rod Stewart performed in the streets of Paris and Barcelona, and was eventually deported from Spain for vagrancy.

We tend to use “paradigm” to mean the set of assumptions and practices that define some aspect of life. It can also simply mean something that serves as a model, pattern or example. “Paradigm” ultimately comes from the Greek word for “show side by side”.

36. “Arabian Nights” spirit : GENIE

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

The marvelous collection of folk tales from the Middle East called “One Thousand and One Nights” is sometimes known as “Arabian Nights” in the English-speaking world. The original collection of tales did not include the three with which we are most familiar in the West. European translators added some stories, including “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp”, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad”.

39. Behind the times : PASSE

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”.

40. Actor Butterfield of “Ender’s Game” : ASA

Asa Butterfield is a actor from London whose breakthrough came with the title role in the 2008 Holocaust movie “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”.

Orson Scott Card is a science fiction author (mainly). Card’s most famous work is his novel “Ender’s Game” first published in 1985. “Ender’s Game” was adapted into a movie and released in 2013, with a cast that includes Harrison Ford.

43. Cobwebby place : ATTIC

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

47. Polynesian garment : SARONG

“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!

53. HBO’s “__ Your Enthusiasm” : CURB

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” is an improv comedy show aired by HBO that was created and stars Larry David, the creator of “Seinfeld”. As an aside, Larry David sat a few feet from me at the next table in a Los Angeles restaurant a few years ago. I have such a huge claim to fame …

58. Menu phrase : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated in “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

60. Mil. mail drop : APO

Army post office (APO)

61. Haitian negative : NON

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

Advertisement

[ad_below_googlies]

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sugar amt. : TBSP
5. Swimmer’s regimen : LAPS
9. Margaret Atwood’s “__ Grace” : ALIAS
14. Cosmetic additive : ALOE
15. Alternatively : ELSE
16. Small drum or large antelope : BONGO
17. Author Gertrude’s Irish friend? : PAL O’STEIN (sounds like “Palestine”)
19. Prepared to tackle : RAN AT
20. Foul odor : STENCH
21. Liquid-Plumr rival : DRANO
23. Brewer’s kiln : OAST
26. Black Sea port : ODESSA
29. Like some time-release pills : CAPSULAR
33. Old Toyota subcompact : TERCEL
34. “Don’t interrupt!” studio sign : ON AIR
35. Inflexibility : RIGOR
37. Head lines, for short? : EEG
38. Fail to attend : SKIP
39. Checkout choice : PAPER
40. Latin word on a cornerstone : ANNO
41. Road goo : TAR
42. Church law : CANON
43. Buzzing : ASTIR
44. Pleasant emanations : AROMAS
46. Antipathy : DISTASTE
48. Air traffic control devices : RADARS
49. Assist, as a theater patron : SEAT
50. Puts a dent in one’s gas mileage : IDLES
52. Herbal cough drop brand : RICOLA
57. Carved piece of jewelry : CAMEO
59. Irish physician? : MAN O’CURES (sounds like “manicure”)
62. Alaskan native : ALEUT
63. Straddling : UPON
64. “Let me know if you’re coming” letters : RSVP
65. Mud nest builders : WASPS
66. Dinner summons at the manor house : GONG
67. Young fellows : BOYS

Down

1. Melody from a bugler : TAPS
2. Sour note from a bugler : BLAT
3. Dover flatfish : SOLE
4. Menial employee : PEON
5. Quite destructive : LETHAL
6. Bass, e.g. : ALE
7. Pressure meas. : PSI
8. Dispatch : SEND
9. Carpenter’s rasp, for one : ABRADER
10. Dealership vehicle : LOANER
11. Irish hotel that offers perfumed pillows? : INN O’SCENTS (sounds like “innocence”)
12. Turkish title : AGA
13. Tosspot : SOT
18. Search far and wide : SCOUR
22. Common pump part : ROTOR
24. Wrap for leftovers : SARAN
25. Photography gear : TRIPODS
27. “Already caught that movie” : SEEN IT
28. 1990s veep : AL GORE
29. Share the marquee : COSTAR
30. Capital ESE of Istanbul : ANKARA
31. Change tossed into an Irish busker’s hat? : PAIR O’DIMES (sounds like “paradigms”)
32. Sample some soup : SIP
36. “Arabian Nights” spirit : GENIE
39. Behind the times : PASSE
40. Actor Butterfield of “Ender’s Game” : ASA
42. Where lemons may be sold : CAR LOTS
43. Cobwebby place : ATTIC
45. Fictionalized : MADE-UP
47. Polynesian garment : SARONG
51. Self-righteous : SMUG
53. HBO’s “__ Your Enthusiasm” : CURB
54. Guesstimate phrase : OR SO
55. Tax : LEVY
56. Nile serpents : ASPS
57. Cornfield sound : CAW
58. Menu phrase : A LA
60. Mil. mail drop : APO
61. Haitian negative : NON

Advertisement

[ad_below_clue_list]