LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Jan 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Sandwich Wraps

Themed answers are WRAPPED around a type of SANDWICH (shown in circled letters):

  • 56A. Flatbread lunch items … and, as shown by circles, what 20-, 33- and 41-Across are? : SANDWICH WRAPS
  • 20A. Blindsided : CAUGHT UNAWARE (wrapping “TUNA”)
  • 33A. Pumpkin pie maker’s tool crossword maker’s tool : NUTMEG GRATER (wrapping “EGG”)
  • 41A. One of a global septet : NORTH AMERICA (wrapping “HAM”)

Bill’s time: 6m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Share-a-ride pickup hrs. : ETAS

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

5. Go wild with Wild Turkey, say : TOPE

“To tope” is to drink alcohol excessively and habitually.

Wild Turkey is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey that has been distilled in and around Lawrenceburg, Kentucky since 1869. Wild Turkey’s Master Distiller is Jimmy Russell, who is now the longest-serving master distiller in the whole world.

9. Golden Horde member : TATAR

Tatars are an ethnic group of people mainly residing in Russia (a population of about 5 1/2 million). One of the more famous people with a Tatar heritage was Hollywood actor Charles Bronson. Bronson’s real name was Charles Buchinsky.

The Golden Horde was a group of Mongols who ruled over what is now Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and the Caucasus, from the 1240s until 1502. It has been suggested that the name of the group derives from the yellow tents used by the rulers of the Golden Horde. And, the Golden Horde’s influence and rule led to the term “horde” entering the English language, via many languages spoken in Slavic Eastern Europe.

14. Pope __ VI (1963-’78) : PAUL

Pope Paul VI was head of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978. Pope Paul VI was born in the village of Concesio in Lombardy, Italy as Giovanni Battista Montini. The future pope’s mother was from a noble family, and his father was a member of the Italian parliament.

17. “The Simpsons” bus driver : OTTO

Otto Mann drives the school bus on the TV show “The Simpsons”. Otto is a Germanic character voiced by Harry Shearer, and his name is a play on “Ottoman Empire”. Whenever Bart sees him, he greets Otto with the words “Otto, man!”

19. Old-time actress Shearer : NORMA

Norma Shearer was a very popular actress, especially so in the thirties. She was noted for playing liberated women, so called “free souls”, and won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in “The Divorcee”. The more liberal roles disappeared for women after the introduction of the Hollywood Production Code that was adopted in the mid-thirties, and so Shearer found herself taking on more roles in historical dramas.

24. German city on the Danube : ULM

Ulm is a city in the south of Germany that 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.

32. Cultural funding gp. : NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark. I wonder how long that will last though …

33. Pumpkin pie maker’s tool : NUTMEG GRATER (wrapping “EGG”)

The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.

36. Beef inspection org. : USDA

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) classifies meat into eight different grades:

  • Prime
  • Choice
  • Select
  • Standard
  • Commercial
  • Utility
  • Cutter
  • Canner

39. 401(k) alternative, for short : IRA

A 401(k) account is similar to an IRA in that contributions can be made from a paycheck prior to the deduction of income taxes. A 401(k) differs from an IRA in that it is an employer-sponsored plan, with payments taken by the employer directly from an employee’s paycheck. Additionally, contributions can be fully or partially matched by an employer.

40. __ stick: incense : JOSS

A joss stick is a type of incense that is traditionally burned before religious images and shrines in many Asian cultures. The term “joss” comes into English via Portuguese from the Latin “deus” meaning “god”.

41. One of a global septet : NORTH AMERICA (wrapping “HAM”)

The seven continents, in order of size, are:

  1. Asia
  2. Africa
  3. North America
  4. South America
  5. Antarctica
  6. Europe
  7. Australia

47. College city on I-35 : AMES

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable milestones, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

52. Yom Kippur month : TISHRI

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people, and is also known as the Day of Atonement.

55. China’s Chou En-__ : LAI

Zhou Enlai (also “Chou En-Lai”) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

62. ’60s-’70s pitcher nicknamed Blue Moon : ODOM

Blue Moon Odom’s real name was Johnny Lee Odom, and he was a pitcher for the Oakland Athletics. With the A’s, Odom won three consecutive World Series, from 1972 to 1974.

64. Awards for Asimov et al. : HUGOS

The Hugo Awards are presented annually for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing. The awards are named for Hugo Gernsback, who founded the sci-fi magazine “Amazing Stories”.

Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”. Asimov wrote three autobiographies, the last of which was called “I, Asimov”, which was published in 1994, two years after his death.

Down

1. Geological timespans : EPOCHS

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

2. Woven Japanese mat : TATAMI

A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

6. Poppy drug : OPIUM

The opium poppy produces a latex that can be dried, producing the drug known as opium. The drug has been used since ancient times, and was usually absorbed by smoking it. The latex contains several alkaloids that have a profound effect on human metabolism, including morphine and codeine. Opium’s morphine is particularly significant for the illegal drug trade. The morphine can be extracted from the opium and converted to heroin.

7. Keystone State Ivy : PENN

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) was founded in 1740 by by Benjamin Franklin. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses. Penn’s sports teams are known as the Quakers, or sometimes the Red & Blue.

Visually, the thirteen original states formed an arch that stretched up much of the east coast of North America. One might imagine Pennsylvania as the keystone of that visual arch, which explains why Pennsylvania is often referred to as the Keystone State.

8. Scandinavian literary work : EDDA

The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century, in Iceland.

9. Brightly colored songbird : TANAGER

The scarlet tanager is a beautiful-looking bird in the cardinal family. It is truly scarlet in color, other than its wings and tail.

11. Attacked with gusto : TORE INTO

“Gusto” is an Italian word meaning “taste”. We use it in English in the phrase “with gusto” meaning “with great enjoyment”.

12. Limb with biceps and triceps : ARM

The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

13. “In Dreams” actor Stephen : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

“In Dreams” is a 1999 thriller film directed by the great Neil Jordan. The movie features Annette Bening as a suburban housewife who develops a psychic connection with a serial killer who murdered her own daughter. I haven’t seen this one …

21. Netflix competitor : HULU

Hulu is a video on demand service. Although competing directly with Netflix and Amazon Prime, Hulu’s primary focus is the streaming of television shows rather than movies.

29. Annoying bug : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

30. First known asteroid : CERES

Ceres is the smallest dwarf planet in our solar system. Ceres was discovered in 1801 and is the largest body in the asteroid belt, and is the only asteroid that is classified as a dwarf planet. For fifty years, Ceres was classified as the eighth planet circling our sun. The Dawn space probe launched by NASA entered Ceres orbit in March 2015, becoming the first mission to study a dwarf planet at close range.

31. Lab gel : 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.

34. Play charades, say : MIME

In the parlor game known as charades, players take turns in acting out words or phrases. “Charade” is a French word describing a literary puzzle that was popular in 18th-century France. In said game, the word or phrase was broken into its constituent syllables, with each syllable being described somewhat enigmatically. This puzzle evolved into “acted charades”, which we now refer to simply as “charades”.

35. Open just a crack : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

36. Ton, for one : UNIT

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton or sometimes a “long ton”. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a “short ton”. To further complicate matters, there is also a “metric ton” or “tonne”, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

37. Songs for one : SOLI

“Soli” (the plural of “solo”) are pieces of music performed by one artist, whereas “tutti” are pieces performed by all of the artists.

38. Equestrian event : DRESSAGE

The equestrian sport of dressage involves demonstration of how well as horse responds to training. “Dressage” is a French word meaning “training”.

44. Panama landform : ISTHMUS

The word “isthmus” (plural “isthmi”) comes the Greek word for “neck”. An isthmus is a narrow strip of land that usually connects two large land masses. The most notable examples of the formation are the Isthmus of Corinth in the Greek peninsula, and the Isthmus of Panama, connecting North and South America.

45. Grub : CHOW

“Chow” is a slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. “Chow” comes from the Chinese pidgin English “chow-chow” meaning “food”.

50. Elk : WAPITI

The elk (also known as “wapiti”) is the one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

51. Where much Bee Gees music was played : DISCOS

Discotheques first appeared during WWII in Occupied France. American-style music (like jazz and jitterbug dances) was banned by the Nazis, so French natives met in underground clubs that they called discotheques where records were often played on just a single turntable. After the war, these clubs came out into the open. One famous Paris discotheque was called “Whiskey a Gogo”. In that Paris disco, non-stop music was played using two turntables next to a dance-floor, and this concept spread around the world.

The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “The Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

53. Mayhem : HAVOC

Havoc is a great damage or destruction. The term comes from the Anglo-French phrase “crier havok”, which was an order given in the late 1500s to soldiers, instructing them to seize plunder.

61. Unilever soap brand : LUX

The British company Lever Brothers introduced a brand of household soap known as Sunlight in 1884. A flaked version of Sunlight was then introduced first in India, under the brand name “Lux”. The same name was used when the product was launched in the US in 1916. The flaked form of soap meant that much less lye was needed as an ingredient, making a “gentler” product. So, in the US, the original marketing hook was to use Lux for laundering a woman’s “delicates” without fear of lye yellowing the satins and silks.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Share-a-ride pickup hrs. : ETAS
5. Go wild with Wild Turkey, say : TOPE
9. Golden Horde member : TATAR
14. Pope __ VI (1963-’78) : PAUL
15. Copied : APED
16. Be nuts about : ADORE
17. “The Simpsons” bus driver : OTTO
18. Drink garnish : RIND
19. Old-time actress Shearer : NORMA
20. Blindsided : CAUGHT UNAWARE (wrapping “TUNA”)
23. “Let’s see … ” : HMM …
24. German city on the Danube : ULM
25. Set ablaze : IGNITE
28. The hit in the baseball mantra “A walk is as good as a hit” : SINGLE
30. Sugar source : CANE
32. Cultural funding gp. : NEA
33. Pumpkin pie maker’s tool : NUTMEG GRATER (wrapping “EGG”)
36. Beef inspection org. : USDA
39. 401(k) alternative, for short : IRA
40. __ stick: incense : JOSS
41. One of a global septet : NORTH AMERICA (wrapping “HAM”)
46. Suffix with percent : -ILE
47. College city on I-35 : AMES
48. Sharp : SHREWD
52. Yom Kippur month : TISHRI
54. “Who am __ judge?” : I TO
55. China’s Chou En-__ : LAI
56. Flatbread lunch items … and, as shown by circles, what 20-, 33- and 41-Across are? : SANDWICH WRAPS
60. Work really hard : SLAVE
62. ’60s-’70s pitcher nicknamed Blue Moon : ODOM
63. Huge : EPIC
64. Awards for Asimov et al. : HUGOS
65. Computer list : MENU
66. Concerning : AS TO
67. Suits : EXECS
68. Musically low : BASS
69. Floral neckwear : LEIS

Down

1. Geological timespans : EPOCHS
2. Woven Japanese mat : TATAMI
3. Colorful period : AUTUMN
4. Plod (through) : SLOG
5. Small pastry : TARTLET
6. Poppy drug : OPIUM
7. Keystone State Ivy : PENN
8. Scandinavian literary work : EDDA
9. Brightly colored songbird : TANAGER
10. Deck out : ADORN
11. Attacked with gusto : TORE INTO
12. Limb with biceps and triceps : ARM
13. “In Dreams” actor Stephen : REA
21. Netflix competitor : HULU
22. Flying aid : WING
26. Light shirts : TEES
27. All __: listening : EARS
29. Annoying bug : GNAT
30. First known asteroid : CERES
31. Lab gel : AGAR
34. Play charades, say : MIME
35. Open just a crack : AJAR
36. Ton, for one : UNIT
37. Songs for one : SOLI
38. Equestrian event : DRESSAGE
42. Equestrian equipment : HARNESS
43. In the center of : AMID
44. Panama landform : ISTHMUS
45. Grub : CHOW
49. Go by : ELAPSE
50. Elk : WAPITI
51. Where much Bee Gees music was played : DISCOS
53. Mayhem : HAVOC
54. Graphic symbols : ICONS
57. Berth before birth : WOMB
58. It can come to mind : IDEA
59. Concrete : REAL
60. Cow or sow : SHE
61. Unilever soap brand : LUX

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