LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Jan 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Priscilla Clark & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Ins-ense

Themed answers sound like common phrases. An “ense” sound has been changed to the similar-sounding “-ins” sound:

  • 17A. Instruction for dolphin riders? : STRADDLE THE FINS (sounds like “straddle the fence”)
  • 22A. Flashy genetic enhancements? : DNA SEQUINS (sounds like “DNA sequence”)
  • 34A. Groaners in a routine? : SINS OF HUMOR (sounds like “sense of humor”)
  • 50A. Time capsules? : FUTURE TINS (sounds like “future tense”)
  • 57A. Use second fiddles in a pinch? : RESORT TO VIOLINS (sounds like “resort to violence”)

Bill’s time: 15m 27s!

Bill’s errors: 2

  • ALLOPATH (alsopath!)
  • TILSIT (Tissit)

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Compass output : ARCS

We use the term “compass” to describe both a drawing tool/mathematical instrument, and a mariner’s directional tool. The name was applied first to the drawing tool, back in the 1300s. The usage extended to the navigational tool a century later. That extension of usage is probably because a directional compass is circular and has a needle or point, and so resembles the mathematical instrument.

5. Gershwin title color : BLUE

“Rhapsody in Blue” is one of the most popular works by the great George Gershwin. The piece has a famous clarinet glissando at its opening, but is a work for solo piano and orchestra. Gershwin himself played the piano at its premiere in 1924. We can’t be certain how that original “Rhapsody” sounded as Gershwin improvised some of what he was playing, and didn’t write out the piano part until after the first performance.

9. Presidential daughter Reagan : PATTI

Patti Davis nee Reagan is the daughter of President Ronald Reagan and his second wife Nancy Davis Reagan. Patti opted to use her mother’s name in order to develop her career, independent of her father’s political success. Indeed, Patti caused some conflict within her family by very publicly adopting political positions that differed from her father’s. She caused further conflict when she posed nude for “Playboy” in 1994.

14. Bird’s-nest, e.g. : SOUP

An edible bird’s nest is the key ingredient in the Chinese delicacy bird’s nest soup. Edible bird’s nests are pricey, fetching about $2,500 per kilogram.

15. Ounce : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”.

16. Zac of “Baywatch” : EFRON

Zac Efron is an actor from San Luis Obispo, California. Apparently Efron is a heartthrob to “tweenyboppers”. His big break was in the Disney hit movie “High School Musical”.

“Baywatch” is a 2017 comedy film that is based on the TV series of the same name that famously starred David Hasselhoff. The movie stars Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.

17. Instruction for dolphin riders? : STRADDLE THE FINS (sounds like “straddle the fence”)

Bottlenose dolphins have a very large brain to body mass ratio, second only to humans among mammals in general. Along with the brain-size comes high intelligence. Many dolphins have been trained to carry out military tasks. And then there is their acting ability, as exemplified by “Flipper”.

20. Reader with reprints : UTNE

The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The “Utne Reader” was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

22. Flashy genetic enhancements? : DNA SEQUINS (sounds like “DNA sequence”)

Nucleobases are molecules that form the backbone of DNA and RNA chains. It is the sequence of these bases in the DNA chain that makes up the so-called “genetic code”. In DNA, the four bases are adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T) and cytosine (C). The same bases are found in RNA, except that thymine is replaced by uracil (U). In DNA, the nucleobases exist in “base pairs”.

26. Oscar role for Forest : IDI

“The Last King of Scotland” is a 2006 film adaptation of a 1998 novel of the same name by Giles Foden. The story tells of a Scottish doctor (played by James McAvoy) who was employed by Idi Amin (played by Forest Whitaker). The title of the piece comes from the fact that Idi Amin offered his services as King of Scotland, should he ever be needed.

27. Piña colada liquor : RUM

“Piña colada” is a Spanish term which translates into “strained pineapple”. The Piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

28. Like “black diamond” slopes : STEEP

In North America, ski runs are given a standardized rating in terms of skiing difficulty. The ratings are:

  • Green circles: easy to ski, often termed “bunny slopes”.
  • Blue squares: medium difficulty
  • Black diamond: steep and challenging terrain
  • Double black diamond: experts only (I’ve never braved one!)

31. New England cape : ANN

Cape Ann is located 30 miles north of Boston and is on the northernmost edge of Massachusetts Bay. The Cape was first mapped by the explorer John Smith. Early in his adventurous life Smith had been captured and enslaved by the Ottoman Empire. His “owner” in his days of slavery was a woman called Tragabigzanda, and apparently the slave and owner fell in love. Smith originally called Cape Tragabigzanda in her memory, but King Charles I changed the name to Cape Ann in honor of his own mother, Anne of Denmark.

33. __ generis : SUI

“Sui generis” is a Latin expression meaning “of its own kind”. The term can be used in a number of fields, and in philosophy it refers to an idea which cannot be included in a wider concept, and idea of its own kind.

38. “I’m such a moron!” : D’OH!

The unsavory term “moron” was formerly used by the medical community to describe someone with a degree of mental retardation. The term comes from the Greek “moros” meaning “foolish, dull”. Back in the early 1900s, IQ tests were used to classify those suffering from mental retardation into categories:

  • “idiot” … IQ of 0-20
  • “imbecile” … IQ of 21-50
  • “moron” …IQ of 51-70

39. Car nut : LUG

A lug nut is a nut on which one side is tapered. Lug nuts are used to secure wheels to a vehicle.

40. Campbell of “House of Cards” : NEVE

Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break in movies came with the “Scream” horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies. Nor have I seen the TV series “Party of Five” which launched the acting careers of both Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the nineties.

The hit TV show “House of Cards” is a political drama that highlights ruthless manipulation within the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. The show is an adaptation of a BBC miniseries of the same name, which in turn is based on a novel by Michael Dobbs.

48. “Amscray!” : GIT!

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ixnay” (ix-n-ay), and for “scram” is “amscray” (am-scr-ay).

54. Alternative medicine practitioner’s term for a mainstream doctor : ALLOPATH

Some proponents of alternative medicine use the word “allopathy” to refer to traditional medicine. The term was probably absorbed from German, in which language “allopathisch” was coined by homeopath Samuel Hahnemann in 1810. The prefix “allo-” usually translates as “other”, from the Greek “allos” meaning ‘different, other”.

64. Pioneer of song who “crossed the wide mountains with her lover Ike” : BETSY

“Sweet Betsy from Pike” is an American ballad that dates back to the California Gold Rush. It tells of “Sweet Betsy” and her lover “Ike” who move from Pike County (probably in Missouri) to California. It has been suggested that early versions of the song actually refer to Ike’s rifle, as “Betsy” was a nickname for a rifle back then.

65. Risqué : RACY

“Risqué” is a French word, the past participle of the verb “to risk”. So in English we use “risqué” to mean “racy”, but in French it means “risky”.

66. APB quarry : PERP

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

Down

1. Jenny’s offspring : ASS

A female donkey is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes a “jackass”.

2. Capitol sight : ROTUNDA

In architecture, “rotunda” is a name given to a building with a circular ground plan. Often the building has a dome, but that isn’t a strict requirement for a “rotunda”. The term can also refer to a round room within a building. The most famous example in this country is the Rotunda in the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

6. Online chuckle : LOL

Apparently, the text-speak “LOLZ” is the plural form of LOL (laugh out loud).

7. Female marsupials have two : UTERI

Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. Better-known marsupials are kangaroos, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils. As you can perhaps tell from this list, most marsupials are native to the Southern Hemisphere.

11. Ed’s wife on “The Honeymooners” : TRIXIE

In “The Honeymooners”, Jackie Gleason’s character (Ralph Kramden) was married to Alice Kramden who was played originally by Pert Kelton, but ultimately by Audrey Meadows. Art Carney’s character (Ed Norton) was married to Thelma “Trixie” Norton, played originally by Elaine Stritch, and then by Joyce Randolph.

18. Lots of bucks : DEER

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

32. Org. in a 1966 merger agreement : NFL

The National Football League (NFL) was founded in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the current name being adopted into 1923. The NFL merged with the American Football League (AFL) in 1970.

35. Third of a kid’s poem trio : NOD

“Wynken, Blynken and Nod” is a children’s poem written by Eugene Field, first published in 1889. The original title of the work was “Dutch Lullaby”.

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

36. TV streaming option : 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.

37. “Game of Thrones” evilness : REGICIDE

Regicide is the crime of assassinating a monarch. The term comes from the Latin “rex” (genitive “regis”) meaning “king”.

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that is adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually filmed in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland. I recently binge-watched the show’s first seven seasons, and enjoyed it. There’s no doubt that the production value of “Game of Thrones” is remarkable, but to be honest, I never became riveted by the storyline …

41. Wine label info : VINTNER

A vintner is a person selling or making wine. The term comes from “vinum”, which is Latin for “wine”.

42. “Hitchhiker’s Guide” beings, for short : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

The English writer and dramatist Douglas Adams is best known for “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” started out life as a comedy series on BBC radio in 1978, but it certainly had legs. It was adapted into stage shows, five books, a television series, computer game and a 2005 film.

43. Many a hieroglyphic insect : SCARAB

Scarabs were amulets in ancient Egypt. Scarabs were modelled on the dung beetle, as it was viewed as a symbol of the cycle of life.

The prefix “hiero-” comes from the Greek word “hieros” meaning sacred or holy. The classic use of the prefix is in the term “hieroglyphics” (meaning “sacred carving”), the writing system that uses symbols and pictures.

45. Semihard Swiss cheese : TILSIT

Tilsit cheese was created in the mid-1800s by Prussian-Swiss settlers around the town of Tilsit in former East Prussia. Tilsit is now the city of Sovetsk in Russia.

52. Birch of “American Beauty” : THORA

Thora Birch is an actress from Los Angeles. Birch is probably best known for her breakthrough role in the 1999 movie “American Beauty” in which she was the insecure daughter of a married couple played by Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.

53. Showy bulb : TULIP

We usually associate the cultivation of tulips with the Netherlands, but they were first grown commercially in the Ottoman Empire. The name “tulip” ultimately derives from the Ottoman Turkish word “tulbend” which means “muslin, gauze”.

58. Ford’s Crown __ : VIC

The Crown Victoria is full-sized sedan car that was manufactured by Ford from 1991 to 2011. One of the most famous versions of the Crown Vic is the Police Interceptor that Ford introduced in 1998.

59. Like comets : ICY

Comets and asteroids are similar, both being relatively small celestial bodies orbiting the sun. Comets differ from asteroids in that they have a coma or tail, especially when they are close enough to the sun. The coma and tail are temporary fuzzy atmospheres that develop due to the presence of solar radiation. Comets are sometimes referred to as “dirty snowballs”, a reference to their composition: rock, dust, water ice and frozen gases.

60. Easy mark : SAP

“Sap” is slang for a fool, someone easily scammed. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain, when it was short for in “saphead” and “sapskull”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Compass output : ARCS
5. Gershwin title color : BLUE
9. Presidential daughter Reagan : PATTI
14. Bird’s-nest, e.g. : SOUP
15. Ounce : IOTA
16. Zac of “Baywatch” : EFRON
17. Instruction for dolphin riders? : STRADDLE THE FINS (sounds like “straddle the fence”)
20. Reader with reprints : UTNE
21. Flight attendant’s indication : REAR EXIT
22. Flashy genetic enhancements? : DNA SEQUINS (sounds like “DNA sequence”)
25. Ticket : CITE
26. Oscar role for Forest : IDI
27. Piña colada liquor : RUM
28. Like “black diamond” slopes : STEEP
29. Hot-dog it? : PANT
31. New England cape : ANN
33. __ generis : SUI
34. Groaners in a routine? : SINS OF HUMOR (sounds like “sense of humor”)
38. “I’m such a moron!” : D’OH!
39. Car nut : LUG
40. Campbell of “House of Cards” : NEVE
43. Filled entirely : SATED
46. What bills may become : LAW
48. “Amscray!” : GIT!
49. Pace often rapid : CLIP
50. Time capsules? : FUTURE TINS (sounds like “future tense”)
54. Alternative medicine practitioner’s term for a mainstream doctor : ALLOPATH
56. One might have tears in it : DUCT
57. Use second fiddles in a pinch? : RESORT TO VIOLINS (sounds like “resort to violence”)
61. Quick : AGILE
62. Name of kings in Denmark, Norway and Sweden : ERIC
63. Light bulb, metaphorically : IDEA
64. Pioneer of song who “crossed the wide mountains with her lover Ike” : BETSY
65. Risqué : RACY
66. APB quarry : PERP

Down

1. Jenny’s offspring : ASS
2. Capitol sight : ROTUNDA
3. Disastrous end : CURTAINS
4. Extends over : SPANS
5. Compete for the job : BID
6. Online chuckle : LOL
7. Female marsupials have two : UTERI
8. Taken back, as words : EATEN
9. Equal : PEER
10. Love : AFFECTION
11. Ed’s wife on “The Honeymooners” : TRIXIE
12. Ad time : TONITE
13. Shoe part : INSTEP
18. Lots of bucks : DEER
19. Is afflicted with : HAS
22. Depression : DIP
23. Put down : QUASH
24. “Did you really think I’d go for that?” : UM, NO
28. Largest number in many a column : SUM
30. Homes for creatures of the not-so-deep : TIDE POOLS
32. Org. in a 1966 merger agreement : NFL
33. Raw, brown or white stuff : SUGAR
35. Third of a kid’s poem trio : NOD
36. TV streaming option : HULU
37. “Game of Thrones” evilness : REGICIDE
41. Wine label info : VINTNER
42. “Hitchhiker’s Guide” beings, for short : ETS
43. Many a hieroglyphic insect : SCARAB
44. Claim : ALLEGE
45. Semihard Swiss cheese : TILSIT
47. Declaration at a group wedding : WE DO
50. Target of budget trimming : FAT
51. Complete : UTTER
52. Birch of “American Beauty” : THORA
53. Showy bulb : TULIP
55. Hunted one : PREY
58. Ford’s Crown __ : VIC
59. Like comets : ICY
60. Easy mark : SAP

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Jan 2018, Friday”

  1. 33:41, no errors…..sort of… Very hard but very entertaining. Had the same error as Bill (always a badge of honor) ALsOPATH, but when I didn’t get the finished banner I changed it to L. So no errors after an error….Thankfully I have loose standards.

    I had more missteps than I could put in one post here – e.g. I had Cape “cod” rather than ANN and that lead to “c’mon” rather than UM NO. COD and C’MON both make sense!! I could list about a dozen of those. My guess is that Jeff Chen did most of the cluing. This puzzle has his evil finger prints all over it. Truth be told he’s one of my favorite setters for this very reason. His NYT themeless puzzles tend to be brutal.

    Dirk/Carrie – I was born and raised a Cardinal fan. My entire family to this day schedules St. Louis visits and family reunions around Cardinal games so there’s no getting out of that. I’m a diehard Cardinal fan for life. It will be tough to leave the Astros, though. I watched them go from 111 losses to winning the whole thing this year.

    But mark your calendars. August 20-22 the Cardinals are at Dodger Stadium. I haven’t been to that stadium since 1992 so I’ll absolutely be in LA for that series.

    Best –

    1. You’ll be back to watching the Astros lose 100+ again soon enough just like what’s awaiting most teams that couldn’t pay and keep their good players. Unfortunately with the economics of baseball, certain teams happen to form another “minor leagues” in comparison to other teams for that very reason. Which makes it very hard for me to take baseball very seriously until they institute hard salary caps and really put all teams on a fair level.

  2. LAT: 19:38, no errors. Like Jeff, I made a remarkable number of missteps.

    Newsday: 15:02, no errors. A bit harder than usual, I thought.

    WSJ: 11:05, no errors that I know of. The meta is not speaking to me.

    New water heater is in and working fine. Back is giving me fits, so I am unable to sit down. Muscle relaxants would help, but they turn me into a zombie. I know, I know … TMI … ? …

    1. So I decided to lie down and, before drifting off to sleep, I took another look at the WSJ meta, figured out (what I think is) the answer, and sent it in. A bit obscure, but not nearly as bad as last week’s. On to today’s Tim Croce puzzle … ?

  3. I had a very tough time with this puzzle, and took a loong time. My God, there be geniuses ! I didn’t even know the first names, have never played or seen Game of Thrones … and every clue was an original punny misdirection. I’m glad this comes only once a week.

    Jeff, Allopathic was one word I knew, because one of my cousins was an Ayurvedic doctor Ob/Gyn, in Mumbai, India, but she practiced Allopathic medicine, as well … don’t ask me why, …. or how.
    In India, there is
    Allopathic ( western medicine ),
    Ayurvedic medicine ( ancient indian style medicine – ) ,
    Unani medicine (Persian= Arabic, muslim style – ironically, Yunani or Unani means ‘Greek” !! )
    Traditional Chinese medicine
    Traditional African folk medicine,
    and Homeopathic ( a la Hahnemann, little sugar-of-milk pills, plus minerals – ).
    Ironically, the Hahnemann Hospital of Philadelphia practises strictly allopathic medicine.
    And ofcourse, there are acupunturists, chiropractors and osteopaths … all different variations of medicine.

    Have a nice day, folks … there is a big storm brewing on the No East Ohio coasts.

  4. Dave Kennison, I am really sorry to hear of yur back problems. If it is the pain, I would have recommended my eld daughter, a pain expert – but you probably already have one nearby. I know, opioids and such medications are very addictive and long term very dangerous – I know from a friend’s experience.
    I wonder if Acupunture could help – and I trust you have already consulted an orthopedic surgeon. I know there are electric pain stimulators that can give relief. Best of luck.

    Bill, REGARDING TULIPS … from the turkisn word ‘tulbend’ …. I had a feeling that this was a persian word … and sure enough the word tulbend, as a muslin cloth, comes from persian ‘dolband’ ( as in ‘bund’) which is a word for a turban – hence the material for a turban or a muslin … A cloth to close or hold the ‘dol’ more likely the head or skull.

    In Urdu and Hindi, ‘bund’ means to close, to end, to stifle. to choke. to hold etc., thus cummerbund or kamarband is a cloth which works like a belt for the kamar – the waist …. thus a waistband. Thus a dolband or a tulbend ( depending on pronounciation – ) would be some sort of a belt … or a turban.

  5. Too tough for me today; had to cheat to get ROTUNDA and CURTAINS, although I had ASS, SPANS, DIP, STRA…, DNA…, DEER and PANT. Also had SItSOFHUMOR for some reason. Also, took about an hour.

    While getting the rest, I had TRIsha before TRIXIE, until CITE and STEEP became obvious.

    @Jeff – I knew you were a St. Louis fan, I was thinking of the adopted team, given that Las Vegas doesn’t have a team like Houston did. I was just rooting for LA in the Series, but I’m strictly an SF fan. They’re fourth or fifth, in having to pay a luxury tax, and I expect the Giants to make a good run this year.

    Well, onto Saturday…

  6. Aloha kids!! ?
    No errors on a tough Friday. Made it thru with a WAG on TILSIT. ? I completely forgot PATTI Davis! I remembered only Ron Jr and Maureen.
    Recently got HULU. Currently almost done with the final season of “Community”.…. anyone? I’ve got to determine what to binge on next — it WON’T be Game of Thrones.
    Dave! Take care of your back– hope you’re better soon. ?
    JEFF, I also love the Cards, just cuz of their wonderful history and standout players. I believe I’ve mentioned this here before: The Cards and the Dodgers are almost TIED after facing each other for what, 120 years??!! A few years ago the Cards led the Dodgers, 1,026 to 1,025. THIS IS WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL!!! ⚾ Wonder what the score is now?! ?
    And, stay in my Airbnb when you’re here! I’m quite convenient to the stadium.
    Be well~~™?

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