LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Feb 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Loren Muse Smith & Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Themed answers start with words that point us towards a phrase that’s said many times on February 14th, i.e. WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE?:

  • 19A. Has no chance of working : WILL NEVER FLY
  • 23A. “This is a sure bet” : YOU CAN’T LOSE
  • 42A. “Hold on a sec” : BE RIGHT BACK
  • 48A. 2000s sitcom starring Jason Lee : MY NAME IS EARL
  • 20D. End of a question begun by part of 19-, 23-, 42- and 48-Across : … VALENTINE?

Bill’s time: 7m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4. Org. people line up for? : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

14. Tries to scam online : PHISHES

Phishing is the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PIN numbers etc.”

16. South Pacific region : OCEANIA

The part of the Pacific Ocean known as Oceania is roughly equivalent to the tropical islands of the South Pacific. Oceania can be divided into the regions of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

21. “__ Lisa” : MONA

“Mona Lisa” is a marvelous 1950 song that topped the charts for Nat King Cole for eight weeks. The song was written for the film “Captain Carey, U.S.A.” that was released that same year, and starred Alan Ladd. “Mona Lisa” won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

22. Golf’s “Big Easy” : ELS

Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. He is a former World No. 1 and has won four majors: the US Open (1994 & 1997) and the British Open (2002 & 2012).

28. “Halt and Catch Fire” network : AMC

“Halt and Catch Fire” is a TV drama set in the midst of the home computer revolution of the eighties and the explosive growth in use of the world Wide Web in the nineties. The title of the show is a computer engineering term. “Halt and Catch Fire” (HCF) is an idiomatic term describing a piece of code that causes a computer to crash, causes the central processing unit (CPU) to stop operating.

31. Writers Patchett and Brashares : ANNS

Ann Patchett is an author who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Patchett’s most famous work is probably her novel “Bel Canto”, published in 2001. In 2012, “Time” included her in the magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world.
Author Ann Brashares writes fiction aimed at young adults. She is best known for her series of novels “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. The first book in that series tells the story of four young girls with differing shapes and size who find a pair of jeans that fits all four of them perfectly.

32. Korea setting : EAST ASIA

Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

34. Rhodes of Rhodesia fame : CECIL

Cecil Rhodes (famous in America as the founder of the Rhodes Scholarship), was a very successful English businessman and South African politician. He founded the De Beers diamond mining company, and also founded the state of Rhodesia which was named after him. The British colony gained its independence over time in the latter half of the 20th century, and is known today as the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Rhodesian capital of Salisbury was renamed in 1982 to Harare, the current capital of Zimbabwe.

36. “__-Man”: superhero film : ANT

In the Marvel universe, the original Ant-Man was a scientist who used a drug to change his size, becoming small in scale while increasing his strength. The character features in “Ant-Man”, a 2015 superhero film with Paul Rudd in the title role.

37. Longtime SeaWorld star : SHAMU

Shamu was the name of the third orca (aka “killer whale”) ever to be featured in a public exhibition. Shamu starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971, her name lived on as the name “Shamu” is still used by SeaWorld for its killer whale shows. That original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go of the leg of one of her trainers.
SeaWorld was started in San Diego in 1964. The original plan was build an underwater restaurant with a marine life show. Eventually the founders dropped the idea of the eating establishment and just went with a theme park. SeaWorld has been mired in controversy since the 2013 release of the documentary “Blackfish”, which tells of the involvement of a particular orca (killer whale) in the death of two SeaWorld employees and one SeaWorld visitor.

40. Indigo plant : ANIL

“Anil” is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name for the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue. The main coloring agent in indigo dye is a crystalline powder called indigotin.

41. Rubble-making stuff : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

48. 2000s sitcom starring Jason Lee : MY NAME IS EARL

“My Name Is Earl” is a sitcom that ran from 2005 to 2009 starring Jason Lee as title character Earl Hickey. Hickey is a penny-ante thief who discovers the concept of karma when he is hit by a car, causing him to lose a $100,000-winning lottery ticket.

60. Many promos : ADS

If you’d allow me to be selfish in my comments for a second, why don’t we use the suffix “-ize” for the word “advertise”? I spent years after arriving in America training myself to use “-ize” instead of “-ise”, and then tripped over “advertise” so many, many times …

Down

1. Manhunt letters : APB

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

4. Title role for Geena : THELMA

“Thelma & Louise” is a thought-provoking movie, and one that is very entertaining. It was directed by Ridley Scott in 1991, and stars two fabulous leads in Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. You’ll also spot Brad Pitt onscreen in his first significant movie role.
As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

10. Store collections : MALLS

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

11. The Beach Boys’ “God __ Knows” : ONLY

“God Only Knows” is a 1966 hit song recorded by the Beach Boys. It raised a few eyebrows back then, no one had really ever used the word “God” in a pop song title.

13. Fidget spinners, apparently : FAD

A fidget spinner is toy that supposedly can be used for stress relief. Sales of fidget spinners really took off in 2017, although versions of the toy existed back in the early nineties.

15. Kate McKinnon is in its ensemble, briefly : SNL

Comedian and impressionist Kate McKinnon’s career took off when when she became a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 2013. Famously, McKinnon portrayed in Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. She also co-starred in the 2016 reboot of the movie “Ghostbusters”, playing Dr. Jillian Holtzmann.

20. End of a question begun by part of 19-, 23-, 42- and 48-Across : … VALENTINE?

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s’ day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

23. Regatta entry : YACHT

The word “regatta” is Venetian dialect and was originally used to describe boat races among the gondoliers of Venice on the Grand Canal back in the mid-1600s.

26. Several CBS dramas : CSIS

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to have finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

28. Yoga pose : ASANA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

30. Sink sealant : CAULK

The term “caulk” comes from old Norman French “cauquer”, and described the action of filling gaps with lime. “Caulk” has the same root as our word “chalk”.

33. Captain described as a “grand, ungodly, god-like man” : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

35. Beirut natives : LEBANESE

Beirut is the capital city of Lebanon. After WWI, Lebanon was placed under administrative control of the French and Beirut flourished as a financial center in the Middle East and as a major world tourist destination. The city was devastated in the Lebanese Civil War that raged from 1975 to 1990, but reconstruction has restored the city to much of its former glory, making it a major cultural center once again.

39. Winged steed of myth : PEGASUS

Pegasus is a white, winged stallion of Greek mythology. Pegasus was sired by Poseidon and foaled by Medusa.

43. Performer with many fans? : GEISHA

The Japanese term “geisha” best translates as “artist” or “performing artist”.

44. Secured, as a gate : HASPED

The “hasp” of a lock might refer to more than one thing. The u-shape loop protruding from a padlock is often called a “lock hasp”, for example.

45. Tire features : TREADS

A retread tire is one that has been recycled, possibly more than once. The tread of the old tire is buffed away, and and new rubber tread is applied to the “bare” tire using some special process that seems to work really well (except for truck tires, in my humble opinion!). Retreads are a lot cheaper, and obviously are relatively friendly to the environment.

50. Uru. neighbor : ARG

Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and geographically is the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.
The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, which reflects the nation’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second-smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …

53. Pub letters : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

56. Bank acct. info : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Drive-thru device : ATM
4. Org. people line up for? : TSA
7. Sell under false pretenses : PALM OFF
14. Tries to scam online : PHISHES
16. South Pacific region : OCEANIA
17. Good thing to break gently : BAD NEWS
18. Bought time : STALLED
19. Has no chance of working : WILL NEVER FLY
21. “__ Lisa” : MONA
22. Golf’s “Big Easy” : ELS
23. “This is a sure bet” : YOU CAN’T LOSE
28. “Halt and Catch Fire” network : AMC
31. Writers Patchett and Brashares : ANNS
32. Korea setting : EAST ASIA
34. Rhodes of Rhodesia fame : CECIL
36. “__-Man”: superhero film : ANT
37. Longtime SeaWorld star : SHAMU
38. Four-legged collar wearer : HOUSE PET
40. Indigo plant : ANIL
41. Rubble-making stuff : TNT
42. “Hold on a sec” : BE RIGHT BACK
46. Storybook crone : HAG
47. Close at hand : NEAR
48. 2000s sitcom starring Jason Lee : MY NAME IS EARL
53. “God willing!” : I HOPE SO!
55. “We’ve heard enough” : SPARE US
57. Accumulates : PILES UP
58. Cautious bettors : HEDGERS
59. Mailer’s need : ADDRESS
60. Many promos : ADS
61. Spot for family game night : DEN

Down

1. Manhunt letters : APB
2. Winter warm spell : THAW
3. Skirt style : MIDI
4. Title role for Geena : THELMA
5. Attached, as a button : SEWN ON
6. Give the go-ahead : ASSENT
7. Something struck by a model? : POSE
8. One in a cast : ACTRESS
9. Circulars : LEAFLETS
10. Store collections : MALLS
11. The Beach Boys’ “God __ Knows” : ONLY
12. Quaint “For shame!” : FIE!
13. Fidget spinners, apparently : FAD
15. Kate McKinnon is in its ensemble, briefly : SNL
20. End of a question begun by part of 19-, 23-, 42- and 48-Across : … VALENTINE?
23. Regatta entry : YACHT
24. Diamond situation after a leadoff double : ONE ON
25. Full-length, as a film : UNCUT
26. Several CBS dramas : CSIS
27. Bread grain : OAT
28. Yoga pose : ASANA
29. Make like : MIMIC
30. Sink sealant : CAULK
33. Captain described as a “grand, ungodly, god-like man” : AHAB
35. Beirut natives : LEBANESE
36. Bubbly prefix : AER-
39. Winged steed of myth : PEGASUS
43. Performer with many fans? : GEISHA
44. Secured, as a gate : HASPED
45. Tire features : TREADS
46. Bouncing off the walls : HYPER
48. Shape : MOLD
49. Hairdressing challenges : MOPS
50. Uru. neighbor : ARG
51. Swamp thing : REED
52. Angler’s fly, e.g. : LURE
53. Pub letters : IPA
54. Squirreled away : HID
56. Bank acct. info : SSN

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