LA Times Crossword Answers 13 Jan 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Alan DerKazarian
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 7m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Video file format : MPEG

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym “MPEG”.

5. Offenbach opera “Daphnis et __” : CHLOE

Jacques Offenbach’s operetta “Daphnis et Chloé” is an 1849 work based on the ancient Greek novel of the same name by Longus.

Jacques Offenbach was a French composer who was born in Germany. Even though he wrote over 100 operettas, Offenbach is perhaps best known for his unfinished opera “The Tales of Hoffman”.

10. Jerk’s concern : SODA

In the halcyon days of yore, a “soda jerk” was usually a young person whose main job was to serve ice cream sodas in a drugstore. The server would “jerk” the handle on the soda fountain to dispense the soda water, giving the job its distinctive name.

14. Former Sony brand : AIWA

Aiwa was a Japanese company that produced consumer electronics, mainly audio and video equipment. Sony bought Aiwa in 2002 and eventually discontinued the brand in 2006. The Aiwa trademark was acquired by a Chicago-based consumer electronics company in 2015.

15. Aggressive corporate tactics : RAIDS

The business strategy known as “corporate raiding” really is pretty ruthless and short sighted (excuse my being judgmental). The idea is to buy a large interest in a corporation, sometimes “stealthily”, by buying up a significant number of voting shares. Then, the raider uses the power of the voting rights to convince other voters to change the way the company is run, purely to increase the share price in the relatively short term. The changes often involve replacement of the management team, downsizing and even liquidation of the company, all for short term, personal gain. Corporate raider, Gordon Gekko said in the 1987 movie “Wall Street”, “greed is good”, but I wonder is he right?

16. Fast-food legend : KROC

The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success. He was played by Michael Keaton in the movie about Ray Kroc’s business life called “The Founder”.

17. Presently : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

18. Mail-order outlet for outdoorsy types : ORVIS

Orvis is a supplier of fishing gear and related products that was founded way back in 1856, by Charles F. Orvis of Manchester, Vermont. Apparently, the Orvis mail-order business is the oldest mail-order business in the whole country.

19. Harpsichordist Kipnis : IGOR

Igor Kipnis was a German-born American harpsichord and piano player. As a harpsichordist, Kipnis was famous for playing not just the classics from the 16th through 18th centuries, but also contemporary works and jazz pieces.

23. Math ratios : SINES

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle.

30. “The Yankee Doodle Boy” composer : COHAN

I suppose much of what many of us know about American entertainer George M. Cohan comes from the 1942 film about his life called “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, which stars Jimmy Cagney as Cohan. There is an 8-foot bronze statue of Cohan on Broadway in New York City that was erected in 1959 at the behest of the lyricist Oscar Hammerstein.

“The Yankee Doodle Boy” is a song from the musical “Little Johnny Jones” by George M. Cohan. It is a patriotic number, well known for it’s opening line “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy”. The musical tells the story of American jockey Johnny Jones who rides a horse called Yankee Doodle in the English Derby. Jimmy Cagney played Cohan in the 1942 biopic called “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, and gave a famous rendition of the song.

32. Big letters in toys : FAO

FAO Schwarz was perhaps the most famous, and certainly the oldest, toy store in the United States. The FAO Schwarz outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City closed in 2015. This store was famously used in several Hollywood movies. For example, it was home to the Walking Piano that Tom Hanks played in the movie “Big”.

33. CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony : ROMO

Tony Romo is a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Romo is also an avid amateur golfer and has even tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to qualify for the US Open golf championship.

45. 20-mile annual Boston-area fundraiser sponsored by Project Bread : WALK FOR HUNGER

Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger is an fundraising event that has been held annually in Boston since 1969. That makes it the oldest pledge walk in the nation. The goal of the event is to raise funds used for reducing the number of food insecure people in the state of Massachusetts.

49. “Macbeth” character : HAG

The witches in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” have some lovely lines as they boil up and evil brew and cast a spell:

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

50. Gay leader? : ENOLA

The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

61. Merci, across the border : DANKE

Once can say “thank you” with “merci” in French, with “gracias” in Spanish, and with “danke” in German.

62. Nigerian pop star : SADE

The singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although she was born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

64. Orson Scott Card protagonist __ Wiggin : ENDER

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.

65. Side for a dog : SLAW

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

Down

2. Fruit in un cóctel : PINA

In Spanish, “un cóctel” (a cocktail) might contain some “piña” (pineapple).

“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 …

3. Fuzzy Endor resident : EWOK

The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor in the “Star Wars” universe. First appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”, they’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

4. Hindu god with the head of an elephant : GANESHA

Ganesha is the Hindu deity who is usually depicted with the head of an elephant.

6. “Family Feud” host since 2010 : HARVEY

Steve Harvey is a comedian and TV personality who really started his successful career in 1990 when he landed the job of hosting “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” in 1990. He has hosted “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” on the radio since 2000, and “Family Feud” on television since 2010.

8. Valhalla VIP : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Valhalla (“hall of the slain”) is a gigantic hall in the “world” of Asgard. Asgard and Valhalla are ruled by the god Odin, the chief Norse god.

9. ExxonMobil trade name : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

10. Garb for schussing : SKI WEAR

A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, with no turns taken to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

21. Only NFC team that hasn’t played in a Super Bowl : LIONS

The Detroit Lions are the NFL team that plays home games at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The team was founded way back in 1929 as the Portsmouth Spartans from Portsmouth, Ohio. The Spartans joined the NFL during the Great Depression as other franchises collapsed. However, the Spartans couldn’t command a large enough gate in Portsmouth so the team was sold and relocated to Detroit in 1934.

22. Talks acronym : TED

The acronym “TED” stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”.

25. Area of expertise : WHEELHOUSE

The idiom “in one’s wheelhouse” means “within one’s area of expertise”. The idea is that someone in his or her element is like a captain in the wheelhouse, in command of a vessel.

26. Nasser’s org. : UAR

The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria made in 1958 and dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

27. Caviar : ROE

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

28. Key of Beethoven’s Ninth: Abbr. : D MIN

Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” is his wonderful “Choral” symphony. When it was composed in 1824 it was the first time that a major composer had used voices in a symphony. By the time of the Ninth’s premier, Beethoven was essentially deaf. He insisted on sharing the stage with the musical director (who was conducting), and was visibly counting out time but was off by quite a few measures. When the last notes were played there was enthusiastic applause, although Beethoven was still conducting. The lead contralto had to walk over to Beethoven, stop him, and turn him to the audience to receive his adulation.

29. Tie on the farm : YOKE

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

31. Not esta or esa : OTRA

In Spanish, the “otra” (other) is neither “esta” (this) nor “esa” (that).

36. “Foucault’s Pendulum” author : ECO

“Foucault’s Pendulum” is a 1988 Italian novel by Umberto Eco that was translated into English by William Weaver the following year. The title of the book refers to a large pendulum that was constructed by French physicist Léon Foucault to demonstrate the effect of the Earth’s rotation.

37. Crew member : TAR

A jack tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

38. Apollo 11 lander : EAGLE

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

46. NFL threes : FGS

Field goal (FG)

48. Word in Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy : NOBLER

There has been centuries of debate about how one interprets Hamlet’s soliloquy that begins “To be or not to be …”. My favorite opinion is that Hamlet is weighing up the pros and cons of suicide (“to not be”).

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles …

51. “My man!” : BRAH!

“Brah” is an alternative to “bro”, with both being slang for “brother”.

53. English : John :: Slavic : __ : IVAN

The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian”, into Russian as “Ivan”, into Italian as “Giovanni”, and into Irish as “Seán”.

54. Girasol, e.g. : OPAL

Girasol is a type of opal that exhibits a bluish glow when illuminated. The stone is also known as “water opal”, especially when sourced from Mexico.

55. Sci-fi character voiced by Frank Oz : YODA

Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the “Star Wars” series of films. Yoda’s voice is provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of “Muppets” fame.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Video file format : MPEG
5. Offenbach opera “Daphnis et __” : CHLOE
10. Jerk’s concern : SODA
14. Former Sony brand : AIWA
15. Aggressive corporate tactics : RAIDS
16. Fast-food legend : KROC
17. Presently : ANON
18. Mail-order outlet for outdoorsy types : ORVIS
19. Harpsichordist Kipnis : IGOR
20. ’60s counterculture slogan : MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR
23. Math ratios : SINES
24. Poetic night : E’EN
25. Cry of dominance : WHO’S YOUR DADDY?!
30. “The Yankee Doodle Boy” composer : COHAN
32. Big letters in toys : FAO
33. CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony : ROMO
34. Map abbr. : RTE
35. Loosed : SET FREE
39. Neat ending? : -NIK
40. After-lunch sandwich : OREO
42. Word with big or house : CAT
43. Together : AS ONE
45. 20-mile annual Boston-area fundraiser sponsored by Project Bread : WALK FOR HUNGER
49. “Macbeth” character : HAG
50. Gay leader? : ENOLA
51. Excuse for rowdy behavior : BOYS WILL BE BOYS
57. Defeat soundly : DRUB
58. Serve : AVAIL
59. Per : A POP
60. “No prob!” : EASY!
61. Merci, across the border : DANKE
62. Nigerian pop star : SADE
63. Cry of glee : WHEE!
64. Orson Scott Card protagonist __ Wiggin : ENDER
65. Side for a dog : SLAW

Down

1. Hat-tipper’s word : MA’AM
2. Fruit in un cóctel : PINA
3. Fuzzy Endor resident : EWOK
4. Hindu god with the head of an elephant : GANESHA
5. Sings smoothly : CROONS
6. “Family Feud” host since 2010 : HARVEY
7. Exists simply : LIVE OFF THE LAND
8. Valhalla VIP : ODIN
9. ExxonMobil trade name : ESSO
10. Garb for schussing : SKI WEAR
11. Transplant figure : ORGAN DONOR
12. Way out : DOOR
13. Spanning: Abbr. : ACR
21. Only NFC team that hasn’t played in a Super Bowl : LIONS
22. Talks acronym : TED
25. Area of expertise : WHEELHOUSE
26. Nasser’s org. : UAR
27. Caviar : ROE
28. Key of Beethoven’s Ninth: Abbr. : D MIN
29. Tie on the farm : YOKE
30. Talk big : CROW
31. Not esta or esa : OTRA
36. “Foucault’s Pendulum” author : ECO
37. Crew member : TAR
38. Apollo 11 lander : EAGLE
41. “See ya later” : OKAY BYE
44. Fish market offering : SEA BASS
46. NFL threes : FGS
47. Facebook reversal : UNLIKE
48. Word in Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy : NOBLER
51. “My man!” : BRAH!
52. Cross a stream, perhaps : WADE
53. English : John :: Slavic : __ : IVAN
54. Girasol, e.g. : OPAL
55. Sci-fi character voiced by Frank Oz : YODA
56. Expel strongly : SPEW
57. Green moisture : DEW

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 13 Jan 2018, Saturday”

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. I was just going to submit that observation. I thought I was losing my mind. For some reason, I pretty much breezed through this which is rare for me with a Saturday puzzle.

  1. This was a killer for me. And I DNF half of it. Also noticed that 57D was missing, but it didn’t really matter in my case. Glad that some were able to get though it. My skill level usually ends on Thurs. or Fri. Sat. are alway depressing. Oh, well, Sun. is almost here.

  2. 16:16, no errors. Remarkably fast Saturday by my standards. For whatever reason, the long answers came quickly to me and that obviously helped everything else. I suppose there was a lot of material in my WHEELHOUSE…

    I think I went on about this over at the NYT. The EAGLE almost missed its mark largely because the moon’s gravitational field was not understood at the time. It’s uneven due to differences in density of its make up in different regions. Back then, no one knew anything about it. No one knew why their calculations were off so often. They almost missed their target because of it. The EAGLE was descending faster/slower than anticipated at different points. Fascinating phenomenon and no minor feat that they actually hit the target. That’s why they wanted pilots to become astronauts at the outset…

    @Glenn
    From yesterday regarding MLB with no salary cap. I tend to agree with you about that. The NHL has a hard cap and the difference between the best and worst teams is the least of any major sport. The competitive balance in the NHL is great.

    However, since 2011 St. Louis, Kansas City and Houston have all won the World Series. All are considered “small market” teams from a revenue standpoint. It can still be done. Teams like the Dodgers can pay $100 million to players not even on the roster. Those small market teams have a much smaller margin of error indeed.

    I did last Sunday’s NYT David Steinberg monster last night before going out. I was absolutely exhausted after doing it. Impressive construction to say the least. I guess it will be in syndication tomorrow for anyone who wants to tackle it. I just remember feeling almost too tired to stand when I finally finished it. When I realized I had a Maker’s Mark on the rocks waiting for me, I found the strength to stand…. 🙂

    Best –

  3. I just noticed that the NYT and LAT both have the same constructor today. Is that coordination or coincidence? Hmmmm

    Bill took 38 minutes on the NYT today and 7 minutes on this puzzle. I suspect the NYT is a bear today….

    Best –

  4. LAT: 12:05, no errors. WSJ: 26:40, no errors. Friday’s Tim Croce: ~3 hours, no errors, with most of the time being spent in the upper left corner before going to sleep last night – but I also corrected a one-square error (an aspiring Natick) before declaring myself done this morning.

    @Ray … “Daphnis et Chloe” is way out of my wheelhouse, but a little Google research indicates that the one by Ravel was a ballet, while the one by Offenbach was an “operétte” ( French for “operetta”?), so the clue would appear to be defensible.

    @Vidwan and @Carrie … My back problem is an old familiar one. The current round is a side effect of earlier problems that made me use my treacherous “easy” chair for a while. Twenty years ago, a wonderful physical therapist worked out a set of exercises that keep my back fully functional … if I do them … but … they take twenty minutes out of my day and, as I’ve aged, they’ve become less necessary, so it’s become more tempting for me to skip them and use that twenty minutes for other things. And, periodically, I pay a price … ?

    @Glenn … Agree that this week’s meta is one of those that clicks into place the way a correct jigsaw puzzle piece does (once you find it).

    1. Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 41:15, no errors; and with three or four clues that I consider to be a bit “off” (not just deceptive, but bordering on actually wrong). (But … the puzzle was doable, so who am I to complain? ?)

  5. Really easy Saturday; took about 25-30 minutes, with one error. Had a Natick at the intersection of Ganesha and Cohan. I wavered between a and e for about a minute before deciding on the wrong letter.

    Did have to redo Self to SODA when most of the crosses made no sense, but that was it.

    This puzzle was a relief after the brutal Thursday and Friday ordeals.

  6. OkHi folks!!
    DANG!! One letter off!! Dirk, I had the same error as you. ?
    I’m quite vexed!! This thing wasn’t super easy for me, and I really thought I had it….Vexed emoji…?
    I got hung up in the NE — couldn’t grok that SODA clue for awhile, and I was also thrown by “Garb for schussing.” I thought of schussing a pillow or maybe a scarf, to give it the right look. Must be another word, which I can’t spell.
    Agreed! Salary caps for MLB!! It would also (I believe) lead to players staying with their teams longer. Before free agency, many a player would spend most of his career with one team. It was great for team strength and great for the fans too, IMHO.
    KAY! FWIW– it took me about a year to start “winning” on Saturdays. Now they’re my fave puzzles. I did two things: I stopped fearing the long answers– they’re usually easy. And, I started approaching the puzzles with the knowledge that each square has one of only 26 possible fills. Then you run through the alphabet. (In context, you can eliminate 70% of the letters right away.)
    Be well~~™?

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