LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Feb 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Border Lake

Each of today’s themed answers has a “BORDER LAKE”. Circled letters at either end (border) of the answer spell out the name of a famous lake. Also, all of lakes mentioned either straddle a border, or are located very near a border:

  • 61A. It may be a boundary between neighboring countries … or what each set of circles depicts? : BORDER LAKE
  • 17A. Cold dish topped with hard-boiled egg : CHEF’S SALAD (giving “Chad”)
  • 25A. Longtime Susan Lucci soap role : ERICA KANE (giving “Erie”)
  • 38A. It clicks on the dance floor : TAP SHOE (giving “Tahoe”)
  • 50A. Appear intermittently : COME AND GO (giving “Como”)

Bill’s time: 6m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Jazz singer Simone : NINA

“Nina Simone” was the stage name of Eunice Waymon. Simone was very much associated with jazz music, although she really wanted to be a classical musician early in her career. She was inspired by a love for the music of Bach.

5. Colorado ski resort : ASPEN

Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, Aspen was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays, it’s all about skiing and movie stars.

10. Apple computer with a Magic Keyboard : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

14. Ambulance-calling situation: Abbr. : EMER

Our word “ambulance” originated in the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning field hospital (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

16. Fizzy drink : COLA

The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Here in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

17. Cold dish topped with hard-boiled egg : CHEF’S SALAD (giving “Chad”)

It won’t do much good ordering a “chef’s salad” outside of North America. It’s a very American dish.

Lake Chad is a very large and shallow lake in Africa, one that changes size dramatically in a very short space of time. Lake Chad shrank by a massive 95% from 1963 to 1998, but has been recovering ever since. Parts of the lake lie within the four countries Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

20. Sent to the canvas : KO’D

Canvas is a heavy cloth that is traditionally woven from hemp, cotton or flax. The term “canvas” comes into English via Old French, and ultimately derives from the Greek “kannabis” meaning “hemp”. Yep … “canvas” and “cannabis” are etymological cousins.

21. Japanese beef city : KOBE

Kobe is a city on the island of Honshu in Japan. Here is North America, the city of Kobe is perhaps most famous for its beef. And yes, basketball star Kobe Bryant is named after that very same beef.

22. Wisdom tooth, e.g. : MOLAR

Molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

Wisdom teeth are an extra set of molars in the back of the jaws. There are usually four wisdom teeth, and they only occur in about 65% of the population.

25. Longtime Susan Lucci soap role : ERICA KANE (giving “Erie”)

Susan Lucci is perhaps the most famous actor associated with daytime soap operas, and was the highest paid actor in daytime television. Lucci was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series an incredible 21 times for her portrayal of Erica Kane, the vixen in “All My Children”.

Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Lake Erie straddles the border between the US and Canada, Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

38. It clicks on the dance floor : TAP SHOE (giving “Tahoe”)

Lake Tahoe (often referred to simply as “Tahoe”) is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and is located right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

41. Crown installer’s org. : ADA

American Dental Association (ADA)

47. Metal in steel : IRON

Steel is an alloy that is composed mainly of iron, with a small percentage of carbon.

50. Appear intermittently : COME AND GO (giving “Como”)

Lake Como is a glacial lake in Lombardy in Italy that is located just a few kilometres from the border with Switzerland. Lake Como has long been a retreat for the rich and famous. Lakeside homes there are owned by the likes of Madonna, George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Sylvester Stallone and Richard Branson.

56. Wonderland visitor : ALICE

The title character in Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is based on a child named Alice Liddell. Lewis Carroll (real name “Charles Lutwidge Dodgson”) met the Liddell family while he was photographing Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, after which he befriended the Liddells. Carroll told the three Liddell sisters (including Alice) a story about a little girl named Alice and her adventures, in order to entertain the children while on a boating trip on the River Isis in Oxford. He elaborated on the story for the girls on a subsequent boat trip, and agreed to write down the tale as the children loved it so much. Carroll’s writings became a full-fledged manuscript, including the author’s own illustrations. It was first published in 1865, three years after that boat trip.

59. Tiny insect egg : NIT

A nit is the egg of a louse.

Lice (singular “louse”) are small wingless insects of which there are thousands of species, three of which are human disease agents. The three kinds of lice affecting humans are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick …

60. Bread for a gyro : PITA

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).

66. Radar screen spot : BLIP

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

Down

1. Mandolin parts : NECKS

A mandolin is a stringed instrument in the lute family. There is also a mandola, a similar instrument that is a little larger. In fact, “mandolin” comes from the Italian for “little mandola”.

4. [I want a treat!] : ARF!

Woof …

6. Naval builder : SEABEE

The Seabees are members of the Construction Battalions (CB) of the US Navy, from which the name “Seabee” originates. There’s a great 1944 movie called “The Fighting Seabees” starring John Wayne that tells the story of the birth of the Seabees during WWII. The Seabees’ official motto is “Construimus. Batuimus”, Latin for “We build. We fight.” The group’s unofficial motto is “Can Do!”

8. Juan Perón’s wife : EVA

Eva Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón who was in office from 1946 to 1955. The Argentine First Lady was known affectionately by the people as “Evita”, the Spanish language diminutive of “Eva”. “Evita” is also the title of a tremendously successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that is based on the life of Eva Perón.

9. Homer Simpson’s friend Flanders : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

11. Greenbacks : MOOLA

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

12. Hunter Quatermain of “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” : ALLAN

H. Rider Haggard wrote a series of novels featuring his hero Allan Quatermain, starting with “King Solomon’s Mines” in 1885. Quatermain is a big game hunter living in South Africa who starts his adventures by leading an expedition to find an aristocrat’s brother who has been lost while searching for King Solomon’s Mines. The Allan Quatermain novels were incredibly popular during Haggard’s lifetime, largely because newspapers were full of stories of explorers uncovering ancient civilizations around the world at that time.

“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” is a 2003 superhero film inspired by a series of comic books of the same name by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. “The League” comprises a series of fictional characters created in various works, including

  • H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery)
  • Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer (Shane West)
  • Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend)
  • Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Moriarty (Richard Roxburgh) 

13. Close-knit group : CADRE

A cadre is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.

22. West of old films : MAE

Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the “sexy” side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. One of the first plays in which West starred on Broadway was called “Sex”, a work she penned herself. The show was a sell-out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of “corrupting the morals of youth”. She started in movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really she was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.

27. New Orleans cuisine : CREOLE

In the US, the term “Creole” is most usually a reference to the people descended from the colonial French and colonial Spanish people who settled in the Louisiana region before it became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

31. Back-tied sash : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

32. Co. for Web users : ISP

Internet service provider (ISP)

35. Police artist’s composite pic maker : IDENTI-KIT

A facial composite is a graphical representation of the face, usually of a suspect in a crime. Such composites used to be put together by trained artists, but then in the sixties interchangeable templates were developed to standardize and simplify the process. The kit of templates called “Identi-kit” was produced by Smith & Wesson.

36. Blackball : BAN

There is a traditional type of secret ballot in which a voter selects a white wall to indicate support and a black ball indicates opposition. This voting method led to the use of the term “blackball” to mean to shun or to vote against.

43. Like many metal toys : DIE-CAST

A metal toy is often die-cast, meaning that it is manufactured by forcing molten metal into the cavity of a mold. The mold is then cooled, the metal solidifies and takes on the shape defined by the mold.

46. __ Tomé : SAO

The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation off the west coast of Africa comprising mainly two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe. São Tomé and Príncipe is located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Gabon. It was colonized by Portugal after POrtuguese explorers discovered the islands in the 15th century. After gaining independence in 1975, São Tomé and Príncipe is now the smallest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.

48. Singer Carly __ Jepsen : RAE

Carly Rae Jepsen is a singer/songwriter from Mission, British Columbia. Jepsen got her start on TV’s “Canadian Idol” when she placed third in the show’s fifth season.

49. Rock band’s helper : ROADIE

A roadie is someone who loads, unloads and sets up equipment for musicians on tour, on the “road”.

51. Martini fruit : OLIVE

The term “martini” probably takes it name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

52. Tiny parasites : MITES

Mites are tiny arthropods in the arachnid (spider) class. Mites are (annoyingly!) very successful creatures that have adapted to all sorts of habitats. And being so small, they generally pass unnoticed. Ick …

55. Fitbit units : STEPS

Fitbits are wearable activity trackers that are mainly used to track the number of steps walked. Fitbit Inc. was founded in 2007 in San Francisco.

62. Prefix with meter : ODO-

An odometer measures distance traveled. “Odometer comes from the Greek “hodos” meaning “path” and “metron” meaning “measure”.

63. Prez whose library is in Austin : LBJ

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library is located beside the LBJ School of Public Affairs building of the University of Texas at Austin. The library opened in 1971 with a ceremony attended by President Johnson and President Nixon. To me, the library looks a bit like a bunker from the outside, but soon after after entering, visiting are presented with a very, very impressive grand staircase.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Jazz singer Simone : NINA
5. Colorado ski resort : ASPEN
10. Apple computer with a Magic Keyboard : IMAC
14. Ambulance-calling situation: Abbr. : EMER
15. Take off : LEAVE
16. Fizzy drink : COLA
17. Cold dish topped with hard-boiled egg : CHEF’S SALAD (giving “Chad”)
19. Grasp : HOLD
20. Sent to the canvas : KO’D
21. Japanese beef city : KOBE
22. Wisdom tooth, e.g. : MOLAR
23. Having many curves : SNAKY
25. Longtime Susan Lucci soap role : ERICA KANE (giving “Erie”)
28. Bully’s warning words : OR ELSE
30. A cat may climb one : TREE
31. Beginning : ORIGIN
32. Skater’s surface : ICE
33. Tiny amount : DRIB
37. Place for pillow talk : BED
38. It clicks on the dance floor : TAP SHOE (giving “Tahoe”)
41. Crown installer’s org. : ADA
42. Picked out of a lineup, briefly : IDED
44. Fizzy drink : POP
45. “Here’s the deal … ” : LISTEN …
47. Metal in steel : IRON
49. Hire, as a lawyer : RETAIN
50. Appear intermittently : COME AND GO (giving “Como”)
54. Nocturnal calls : HOOTS
56. Wonderland visitor : ALICE
57. Simplify : EASE
59. Tiny insect egg : NIT
60. Bread for a gyro : PITA
61. It may be a boundary between neighboring countries … or what each set of circles depicts? : BORDER LAKE
64. Nights before : EVES
65. Confess : ADMIT
66. Radar screen spot : BLIP
67. Take a break : REST
68. Medicinal amounts : DOSES
69. Flies on a fast plane : JETS

Down

1. Mandolin parts : NECKS
2. Bit of gratitude from an award recipient : I’M HONORED
3. Driver’s invitation : NEED A RIDE?
4. [I want a treat!] : ARF!
5. As well : ALSO
6. Naval builder : SEABEE
7. Not as tanned : PALER
8. Juan Perón’s wife : EVA
9. Homer Simpson’s friend Flanders : NED
10. “The pressure was too much for me” : I CHOKED
11. Greenbacks : MOOLA
12. Hunter Quatermain of “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” : ALLAN
13. Close-knit group : CADRE
18. Like greenhouses : SKYLIT
22. West of old films : MAE
24. Brewery container : KEG
26. Rash symptom : ITCH
27. New Orleans cuisine : CREOLE
29. Attach with a click : SNAP ON
31. Back-tied sash : OBI
32. Co. for Web users : ISP
34. Underlying reason : RATIONALE
35. Police artist’s composite pic maker : IDENTIKIT
36. Blackball : BAN
39. Duck’s habitat : POND
40. “Your choice” : EITHER
43. Like many metal toys : DIECAST
46. __ Tomé : SAO
48. Singer Carly __ Jepsen : RAE
49. Rock band’s helper : ROADIE
50. Zany adventure : CAPER
51. Martini fruit : OLIVE
52. Tiny parasites : MITES
53. Causes of illness : GERMS
55. Fitbit units : STEPS
58. Film backdrops : SETS
61. No longer edible : BAD
62. Prefix with meter : ODO-
63. Prez whose library is in Austin : LBJ

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