LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Jan 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Startup Business

Themed answers START with a type of BUSINESS:

  • 61A. Fledgling enterprise … and what the first word of the answers to starred clues can literally do : STARTUP BUSINESS
  • 17A. *Crimes of violence, e.g. : SERIOUS OFFENSES (giving “serious business”)
  • 23A. *Jungle gym : MONKEY BARS (giving “monkey business”)
  • 37A. *Not-so-humorous humerus spot : FUNNY BONE (giving “funny business”)
  • 54A. *Young boy’s role model : BIG BROTHER (giving “big business”)

Bill’s time: 6m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Groups of orcas : PODS

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

5. Quaint “Holy moly!” : EGAD!

The mild expletive “Holy moly!” is a euphemism for “Holy Moses!”

9. Teases : JIVES

“To jive” is a slang verb meaning “to tease”.

14. Scott Turow memoir : ONE L

Scott Turow is an author and lawyer from Chicago. Turow has had several bestselling novels including “Presumed Innocent”, “The Burden of Proof” and “Reversible Errors”, all three of which were made into films. He also wrote the autobiographical book “One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School”.

15. Stubborn critter : MULE

A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.

16. Calendario page : ENERO

In Spanish, we start the “año” (year) in “enero” (January) as noted on a “calendario” (calendar).

22. “Singin’ in the Rain” dance style : TAP

The song “Singin’ In the Rain” by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown was first published in 1929, hence predating the 1952 film of the same name by over two decades.

23. *Jungle gym : MONKEY BARS (giving “monkey business”)

The Junglegym was invented in Chicago in 1920, although today we use the generic term “jungle gym”. I hear that monkey bars are a specific type of jungle gym, one consisting primarily of vertical steps and a horizontal ladder from which the “little monkey” can swing from rung to rung.

26. Operatic princess : AIDA

“Aida” is a famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is actually based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course complications arise!

27. Mo. with no holidays : AUG

As the first Emperor of Rome, Octavian was given the name Caesar Augustus. The month of August, originally called “Sextilis” in Latin, was renamed in honor of Augustus.

August has no holidays? Well, the first Friday of every August is International Beer Day!

28. Patriotic org. since 1890 : DAR

In order to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), an applicant has to prove that she is a descendant of someone closely associated with, and supportive of, the American Revolution. The DAR maintains an online database of Revolutionary War patriots. The database is searchable, and is known as the Patriot Index.

31. Fraction of a min. : NSEC

“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns” (as opposed to “nsec”) and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

36. Golden __: seniors : AGERS

A golden ager is a senior citizen.

37. *Not-so-humorous humerus spot : FUNNY BONE (giving “funny business”)

The ulnar nerve runs alongside the ulna (one of the bones in the lower arm). The ulnar nerve is the largest unprotected (not surrounded by muscle or bone) nerve in the human body. The nerve can be touched under the skin at the outside of the elbow. Striking the nerve at this point causes and an electric-type shock, known as hitting one’s “funny bone” or “crazy bone”.

The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm.

48. Lightweight straw hat : PANAMA

Panama hats are traditional headgear from Ecuador, and have never been made in Panama. The “panama” moniker came about as many of the hats were shipped to the Isthmus of Panama for transportation by sea to the rest of the world. Authentic panama hats are made from the leaves of a palm-like plant known locally as the jipijapa palm.

50. Swiffer product : MOP

Swiffer is a brand of cleaning products introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1999. The mainstays of the Swiffer cleaning system are the Swiffer WetJet mop and the Swiffer Sweeper.

53. Departure notice? : OBIT

“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

58. Game with matchsticks : NIM

Nim is an ancient entertainment, a simple mathematical game of strategy. Nim involves removing items from distinct piles (say matchsticks). Each player must remove at least one item per turn, and the last person to remove an item is the loser.

59. “Catch a Falling Star” singer Perry : COMO

Perry Como is still my mother’s favorite singer. Como was born about 20 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Famously, his first career was barbering. He learned the trade from a local hairdresser and soon had his own shop in a Greek coffee house, at the age of 14!

The first Gold Record awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was in 1958, to Perry Como for his 1957 hit “Catch a Falling Star”. However, the concept of a “gold record” came from the RCA Victor record label. The company presented a solid gold recording of “Chattanooga Choo Choo” to Glenn Miller during a radio broadcast in 1942, in honor of sales of the recording exceeding one million copies.

60. Verdi opera “__ Miller” : LUISA

“Luisa Miller” is an 1849 opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a play by Friedrich von Schiller titled “Intrigue and Love”. The title character is a retired soldier’s daughter who falls in love with the son of a nobleman.

61. Fledgling enterprise … and what the first word of the answers to starred clues can literally do : STARTUP BUSINESS

A young bird is said to have fledged when its wing muscles and feathers have developed enough for it to fly. The term “fledgling” is used for a bird that has fledged, but is still reliant on a parent for food and protection. The verb “to fledge” means “to acquire feathers”. We use the term “fledgling” more generally to describe any person who is inexperienced.

66. The life of Riley : EASE

The phrase “life of Riley” dates back to at least 1919. It may have originated in a song from the 1880s about a man named O’Riley and how he became rich and lived an easy life.

67. Folk singer Burl : IVES

As well as being an actor, Burl Ives was a folk singer, which was his original calling. In Hollywood he had a distressing experience with the House Unamerican Activities Committee and avoided being blacklisted by cooperating to some level with McCarthy and his team. This cooperation created a rift between him and Pete Seeger in particular, a fellow singer whom he “discussed” with the committee.

68. Snorkeling spots : REEFS

Our word “snorkel” comes from German navy slang “Schnorchel” meaning “nose, snout”. The German slang was applied to an airshaft used for submarines, due to its resemblance to a nose, in that air passed through it and it made a “snoring” sound. “Schnorchel” comes from “Schnarchen”, the German for “snore”.

Down

1. One who “rings twice,” in an old film : POSTMAN

“The Postman Always Rings Twice” is a crime novel by James M. Cain that was first published in 1934. The title is puzzling to say the least, because in the story there is no postman, and no one ringing any doorbells. The novel has been adapted for the big screen four times, has been adapted as a play, and there is even an opera! The most famous film version is from 1946 and stars Lana Turner and John Garfield. I haven’t read the book, but that 1946 movie is fabulous …

5. Avian Aussie : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

6. Astronaut Grissom : GUS

Gus Grissom was the second American to fly in space, and the first astronaut at NASA to make two space flights. Sadly, Grissom was one of the three astronauts who died in that terrible launch pad fire in 1967.

7. “Welcome to Oahu!” : ALOHA!

Oahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that “O’ahu” is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

11. Slight trace : VESTIGE

We use the word “vestige” for a trace, mark or sign. The term comes from the Latin “vestigium” that also means trace, as well as footprint.

13. Steel wool scrubbers : SOS PADS

S.O.S is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

30. English golfer Poulter : IAN

Ian Poulter is a golfer from England who for a while was ranked number five in the world. Poulter might be described as a colorful and perhaps controversial character. Perhaps that’s why he has millions of followers on Twitter, the most of anyone on the PGA Tour besides Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

34. Damascus is its cap. : SYR

Damascus is the second largest city in Syria (after Aleppo), and is the country’s capital. Damascus has the distinction of being the oldest, continuously-inhabited city in the world, having been settled in the 2nd millennium BC. Also, it has the nickname “City of Jasmine”.

35. Weapon in a 1952 test : H-BOMB

The first successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb (H-bomb) was in a test codenamed “Ivy Mike”. The test was conducted by the US on an atoll in the Pacific Ocean named Enewetak.

There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. Uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. These devices are called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy.

38. Einstein’s birth city : ULM

Ulm is in the south of Germany and sits on the River Danube. Ulm is famous as home to the tallest church in the world, Ulm Minster, a Gothic building with a steeple that is 530 feet tall, with 768 steps to climb. Ulm is also the birthplace of Albert Einstein, and is where the entire Austrian army surrendered to Napoleon after the Battle of Ulm in 1805.

40. One buying time, perhaps : SPONSOR

That would be advertising time.

41. Regular patron : HABITUE

A “habitué” is someone who frequents a particular spot. “Habituer” is the French word for “to accustom”.

46. Acted desperately on “Jeopardy!,” perhaps : GUESSED

The TV show “Jeopardy!” first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek has been host since 1984.

49. “__ Ben Adhem” : ABOU

Abou Ben Adhem, also known as Ibrahim Bin Adham, was an Arab Muslim saint. He was made famous in the western world with the publication in 1838 of the poem “Abou Ben Adhem” that was composed by the English poet James Henry Leigh Hunt.

51. __ sci : POLI

Political science (poli sci)

55. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame architect : IM PEI

I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.

57. Roman garment of yore : TUNIC

In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

62. Whistler between baskets : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Groups of orcas : PODS
5. Quaint “Holy moly!” : EGAD!
9. Teases : JIVES
14. Scott Turow memoir : ONE L
15. Stubborn critter : MULE
16. Calendario page : ENERO
17. *Crimes of violence, e.g. : SERIOUS OFFENSES (giving “serious business”)
20. School sport, or its setting : TRACK
21. Inheritance recipient : HEIR
22. “Singin’ in the Rain” dance style : TAP
23. *Jungle gym : MONKEY BARS (giving “monkey business”)
26. Operatic princess : AIDA
27. Mo. with no holidays : AUG
28. Patriotic org. since 1890 : DAR
29. Lightly colored : TINGED
31. Fraction of a min. : NSEC
33. Go quickly : RUSH
36. Golden __: seniors : AGERS
37. *Not-so-humorous humerus spot : FUNNY BONE (giving “funny business”)
40. Formal will? : SHALL
43. Trampled (on) : TROD
44. Doesn’t keep up : LAGS
48. Lightweight straw hat : PANAMA
50. Swiffer product : MOP
52. Divide before the deal : CUT
53. Departure notice? : OBIT
54. *Young boy’s role model : BIG BROTHER (giving “big business”)
58. Game with matchsticks : NIM
59. “Catch a Falling Star” singer Perry : COMO
60. Verdi opera “__ Miller” : LUISA
61. Fledgling enterprise … and what the first word of the answers to starred clues can literally do : STARTUP BUSINESS
65. __ limits: extremes : OUTER
66. The life of Riley : EASE
67. Folk singer Burl : IVES
68. Snorkeling spots : REEFS
69. Inventor’s spark : IDEA
70. Formally surrender : CEDE

Down

1. One who “rings twice,” in an old film : POSTMAN
2. Burdensome : ONEROUS
3. Drive up the wall : DERANGE
4. Smooth-talking : SLICK
5. Avian Aussie : EMU
6. Astronaut Grissom : GUS
7. “Welcome to Oahu!” : ALOHA!
8. Schedule for later : DEFER
9. Boo and hiss : JEER
10. Stopover with a “keeper” : INN
11. Slight trace : VESTIGE
12. Barnes & Noble Nook, for one : E-READER
13. Steel wool scrubbers : SOS PADS
18. Gave one’s blessing to : OKED
19. It may be pumped in victory : FIST
24. Knitting need : YARN
25. Full force : BRUNT
26. Well-behaved tot : ANGEL
30. English golfer Poulter : IAN
32. Key equivalent to B : C-FLAT
34. Damascus is its cap. : SYR
35. Weapon in a 1952 test : H-BOMB
38. Einstein’s birth city : ULM
39. Baking-soda-in-the-fridge target : ODOR
40. One buying time, perhaps : SPONSOR
41. Regular patron : HABITUE
42. Bring to life, as cartoons : ANIMATE
45. Accomplish : ACHIEVE
46. Acted desperately on “Jeopardy!,” perhaps : GUESSED
47. German street : STRASSE
49. “__ Ben Adhem” : ABOU
51. __ sci : POLI
55. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame architect : IM PEI
56. Spoil : GO BAD
57. Roman garment of yore : TUNIC
59. NBA big men: Abbr. : CTRS
62. Whistler between baskets : REF
63. Take advantage of : USE
64. Beach house view : SEA

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