LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Jan 2018, Monday

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

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Today’s Theme: PG-Rated

Themed answers are two-word phrases starting with the letters PG:

  • 41D. Like many animated films … and a hint to 21-, 31-, 41- and 52-Across : PG-RATED
  • 21A. Admit to wrongdoing in court : PLEAD GUILTY
  • 31A. Location-based smartphone game release of 2016 : POKEMON GO
  • 41A. Similar set of individuals : PEER GROUP
  • 52A. Inland sea between Iran and Saudi Arabia : PERSIAN GULF

Bill’s time: 5m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Green gem : JADE

Jade is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

5. Actress Greta : GARBO

Famously, Greta Garbo lived a life of seclusion in New York City after she retired from the entertainment business. Commentators often associated her need for privacy with a line she uttered in the great 1932 movie “Grand Hotel”. Her character Grusinskaya the Russian ballerina said, “I want to be alone (…) I just want to be alone”.

10. Ponzi scheme, for one : SCAM

Charles Ponzi was born in Luigi, Italy in 1882 and arrived in the US in 1903, flat broke having gambled away all his money on the voyage to Boston. Ponzi devised a scheme to buy what were known as “international reply coupons” through friends in Italy, which he had sent to him in the US so that he could redeem them on this side of the Atlantic. As the value in the US was greater than that in Italy, he could make a handsome profit. This was in itself an “illegal” transaction, buying an asset in one market at a low price, then immediately selling it in another market at a higher price. But it’s what he did next that became known as a Ponzi Scheme. He couldn’t redeem his coupons quickly enough due to red tape so he approached other investors, initially friends, and had them give him cash so that he could buy more coupons in Italy. He promised the investors he would double their money, which they did initially. Many people wanted to get in on the scheme seeing that Ponzi was able to make the new investors a profit and double the money of the original investors. Eventually, somebody did the math and word started to get out that the investment was risky, so the number of new investors started to fall. Without sufficient new investors Ponzi couldn’t double the money of his latest investors, and the whole scheme unraveled.

14. Boy in “The Kite Runner” : AMIR

“The Kite Runner” was the first novel by Khaled Hosseini, published in 2003. The very successful book became an equally successful film released in 2007. “The Kite Runner” tells the story of a young boy called Amir growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hosseini is a medical doctor, but after the success of “The Kite Runner” he gave up his practice and is now a fulltime write. His second book “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is also a great success.

16. When tripled, a 1970 WWII film : TORA

The predetermined code word to be used by the Japanese if they managed to achieve surprise in their attack on Pearl Harbor was “tiger”, or “tora” in Japanese. This gave the title to the excellent 1970 movie “Tora! Tora! Tora!”.

19. Reddish-brown horse : ROAN

A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

20. Israeli submachine gun : UZI

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

25. Spaniel’s welcome : ARF!

Spaniels are gun dogs or bird dogs, i.e. hunting dogs bred to find and retrieve game. The etymology of “spaniel” suggests that the breed is Spanish in origin, as the term came into English from the Old French “espaigneul” meaning “Spanish”.

26. Indian-born storekeeper on “The Simpsons” : APU

The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons” TV show. Apu is married to Manjula, and the couple have eight children. The convenience store owner doesn’t seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu’s undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students …

27. Bening of “American Beauty” : ANNETTE

The marvelous actress Annette Bening is from Topeka, Kansas. Bening has been married to actor Warren Beatty since 1992. The pair married about a year after starring together in the 1991 film “Bugsy”.

While I found the film “American Beauty” to be an enjoyable and interesting film (loved Annette Bening in it), I also found it very depressing. If you haven’t seen it, the main story is about a man having a midlife crisis (played by Kevin Spacey) and developing an infatuation for his teenage daughter’s flirtatious friend (played by Mena Suvari, and whom I guess is the “American Beauty”). It’s definitely worth watching, and received got huge accolades when released in 1999.

31. Location-based smartphone game release of 2016 : POKEMON GO

“Pokémon GO” is a reality-based video game in which players must locate, capture, battle and train virtual creatures known as Pokémon. The Pokémon are hidden in the real world, in the sense that they have to be located on an electronic device (like a smartphone) in “the real world”, for which a GPS location is needed. Players see the Pokémon overlaid on a view of the real world on their smart device.

35. Half a bray : -HAW

A bray is the sound a donkey. Hee-haw!

36. Radio knob : TUNER

Our noun “radio” entered the English language in the early 1900s. Prior to the coining of the noun, “radio” existed as a prefix, in such words as “radiophone” and “radiotelegraphy”. The prefix came from “radius”, the Latin for “beam”.

37. 1998 biopic about model Carangi : GIA

Gia Carangi was a fashion model, often described as the world’s first supermodel. Carangi was from Philadelphia, and had her first modelling jobs appearing in newspaper ads. She started to abuse heroin in 1980, at 20 years of age. She contracted AIDS, and died at 26 years old. Carangi was one of the first famous women to succumb to the disease, in 1986. HBO made a biopic about Carangi’s life called “Gia” in 1998. Angelina Jolie played the title role.

38. Travelocity ad figure : GNOME

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable so we now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

40. Ctrl-__-Delete: PC reboot combo : ALT

Ctrl-Alt-Delete is a keyboard command on IBM PC compatible systems used for a soft reboot, or more recently to bring up the task manager in the Windows operating system. Bill Gates tells us that the command was originally just a device to be used during development and was never meant to “go live”. He once said that “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” was a mistake, and that he would have preferred a dedicated key on the keyboard that carried out the same function.

52. Inland sea between Iran and Saudi Arabia : PERSIAN GULF

The Persian Gulf is in effect an inland sea although it technically is an offshoot of the Indian Ocean. The outlet from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean is one of the most famous maritime “choke points” in the world, known as the Strait of Hormuz. About 20% of the world’s supply of petroleum passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

57. Dockworkers’ gp. : ILA

International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA)

61. Arctic seabird : SKUA

Skuas are a group of about seven species of seabird. Some of these species are known as jaegers in the Americas. The skua takes its name from the island of Skúvoy in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. The name “jaeger” comes from the German word for “hunter”.

63. Bugs Bunny adversary Elmer : FUDD

Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous Looney Tunes cartoon characters, and is the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …

64. Smartphone message : TEXT

Short Message Service (SMS) is the name for the text messaging service that many of us still use on our cell phones to contact friends and family.

Down

1. Two-faced god : JANUS

Janus was a Roman god usually depicted with two heads, one looking to the past and the other to the future. As such, as a god Janus is often associated with time. The Romans named the month of Ianuarius (our “January”) after Janus.

5. Steel-gray metallic element : GALLIUM

Gallium is a soft metal that doesn’t occur in nature in metallic form, but rather as a salt in aluminum and zinc ores. If you take a little gallium metal and just rest it in your hand, the heat from your body is enough to make it melt! Gallium has been used in the semiconductor industry for decades. For example, gallium nitride is used in making blue light emitting diodes (LEDs), which are so important these days at Christmas!

6. Disney mermaid : ARIEL

In the 1989 Disney animated film “The Little Mermaid”, the title character is given the name “Ariel”. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that dates back to 1836, the Little Mermaid is given no name at all. There is a famous statue of the unnamed Little Mermaid sitting in Copenhagen Harbor, in Andersen’s homeland of Denmark.

7. Country star McEntire : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.

8. The __: Shakespeare : BARD

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

9. Pizza herb : OREGANO

Oregano is a perennial herb that is in the mint family. Also known as wild marjoram, oregano is very much associated with the cuisine of southern Italy. Oregano’s popularity surged in the US when soldiers returning from WWII in Europe brought with them an affinity for what they called “the pizza herb”.

24. Japanese alcoholic beverage : SAKE

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

27. Ice cream thickener : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

29. Pack (down) firmly : TAMP

“To tamp” means to pack down tightly by tapping. “Tamp” was originally used to specifically describe the action of packing down sand or dirt around an explosive prior to detonation.

31. Sheepdog from Hungary : PULI

The puli is a small herding dog that is noted for its coat with tight curls that resemble dreadlocks. Pulik (the plural of “puli”) originated in Hungary.

33. S-shaped molding : OGEE

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S). An ogee arch is composed of two ogees, with one being the mirror of the other and meeting at the arch’s apex.

34. Never, in Dortmund : NIE

Dortmund is a city in the western part of Germany. Dortmund has changed its image in recent decades as it is noted for devoting a lot of space to waterways, woodlands, parks and other green spaces. Historically the city was very industrial, with many steel mills and coal mines.

45. Law, in Lille : LOI

Lille is a large city in the very north of France sitting right on the border with Belgium. The name “Lille” is a derivation of the term “l’isle” meaning “the island”. The name “L’Isle” dates back to 1066, and is a reference to a castle that once stood on an island in the Deûle river that runs through the city. The city grew around the island and the castle.

48. Madame of physics : CURIE

Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in Physics in 1903, and in Chemistry in 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

49. Arouse, as interest : PIQUE

The words “whet” and “pique” can both be used in the sense of sharpening or awaking one’s interest or desire.

53. Actress Sommer : ELKE

Elke Sommer is a German-born actress who was at the height of her success on the silver screen in the sixties. Sommer won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer Actress for her role opposite Paul Newman in 1964’s “The Prize”. She also sings and has released several albums. Now Sommer focuses on painting, producing artwork that is strongly influenced by the work of Marc Chagall.

54. Gumbo thickener : ROUX

A roux is a mixture of wheat flour and clarified butter (or other fat) cooked together until it can be used as a thickening agent.

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

55. El __: weather phenomenon : NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

56. Wanders restlessly : GADS

“To gad about” is to move around with little purpose. The word “gad” comes from the Middle English “gadden” meaning “to hurry”.

60. Baby 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.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Green gem : JADE
5. Actress Greta : GARBO
10. Ponzi scheme, for one : SCAM
14. Boy in “The Kite Runner” : AMIR
15. Toward the back : AREAR
16. When tripled, a 1970 WWII film : TORA
17. Spanish “nothing” : NADA
18. Free, in France : LIBRE
19. Reddish-brown horse : ROAN
20. Israeli submachine gun : UZI
21. Admit to wrongdoing in court : PLEAD GUILTY
23. Embark from a dock : SET SAIL
25. Spaniel’s welcome : ARF!
26. Indian-born storekeeper on “The Simpsons” : APU
27. Bening of “American Beauty” : ANNETTE
31. Location-based smartphone game release of 2016 : POKEMON GO
35. Half a bray : -HAW
36. Radio knob : TUNER
37. 1998 biopic about model Carangi : GIA
38. Travelocity ad figure : GNOME
40. Ctrl-__-Delete: PC reboot combo : ALT
41. Similar set of individuals : PEER GROUP
43. Reveal : DIVULGE
46. Help : AID
47. Negative connection : NOR
48. Climbing plant : CREEPER
52. Inland sea between Iran and Saudi Arabia : PERSIAN GULF
57. Dockworkers’ gp. : ILA
58. Soothing plant extract : ALOE
59. Pageant headgear : TIARA
60. Prefix with lateral : EQUI-
61. Arctic seabird : SKUA
62. No __ sight : END IN
63. Bugs Bunny adversary Elmer : FUDD
64. Smartphone message : TEXT
65. Gave medicine to : DOSED
66. Golf ball supports : TEES

Down

1. Two-faced god : JANUS
2. Fill with wonder : AMAZE
3. Completed the task : DID IT
4. Significant period : ERA
5. Steel-gray metallic element : GALLIUM
6. Disney mermaid : ARIEL
7. Country star McEntire : REBA
8. The __: Shakespeare : BARD
9. Pizza herb : OREGANO
10. Conflict : STRIFE
11. Like much fall weather : COOL
12. “I smell __!” : A RAT
13. Lots of : MANY
21. Daily news source : PAPER
22. Coffee vessel : URN
24. Japanese alcoholic beverage : SAKE
27. Ice cream thickener : AGAR
28. Old-style you : THOU
29. Pack (down) firmly : TAMP
30. Sheep girl : EWE
31. Sheepdog from Hungary : PULI
32. Being aired : ON TV
33. S-shaped molding : OGEE
34. Never, in Dortmund : NIE
36. Little bit : TAD
38. Bereavement : GRIEF
39. Bump on a branch : NODE
41. Like many animated films … and a hint to 21-, 31-, 41- and 52-Across : PG-RATED
42. Floral wreath : GARLAND
44. Remove from office : UNSEAT
45. Law, in Lille : LOI
48. Madame of physics : CURIE
49. Arouse, as interest : PIQUE
50. Avoid capture by : ELUDE
51. Surprise attacks : RAIDS
52. Good old days : PAST
53. Actress Sommer : ELKE
54. Gumbo thickener : ROUX
55. El __: weather phenomenon : NINO
56. Wanders restlessly : GADS
60. Baby newt : EFT

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