LA Times Crossword Answers 1 Mar 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Changed Man

Themed answers are the names of famous MEN, and include the hidden letter sequence “MAN”. The order of that sequence has been CHANGED:

  • 62A. Whole new person who can literally be found in the answers to starred clues : CHANGED MAN
  • 17A. *Man Booker Prize winner for the “Life of Pi” : YANN MARTEL
  • 27A. *Star of ’70s TV’s “Good Times” : JOHN AMOS
  • 47A. *Actor in two “Jurassic Park” films : SAM NEILL
  • 11D. *Gomer Pyle portrayer : JIM NABORS
  • 34D. *”Atonement” novelist : IAN MCEWAN

Bill’s time: 9m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Tell target : APPLE

Supposedly, William Tell came from Uri, a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Altdorf is the capital of Uri and is the city where William Tell shot the apple off his son’s head using a crossbow, at least according to legend. There is a bronze statue of Tell that was erected in the city’s marketplace in 1895 to memorialize the event.

10. Letting in some air : AJAR

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

14. Dakota natives : SIOUX

The Sioux are a group of Native American peoples who are also known as the Dakota. There are three divisions of Sioux, based on language: the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota.

15. Lyft alternative : TAXI

We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

Lyft is a ridesharing service that is based in San Francisco, as is Lyft’s biggest competitor: Uber.

16. Record, in a way : TIVO

TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful Digital Video Recorder (DVR).

17. *Man Booker Prize winner for “Life of Pi” : YANN MARTEL

Yann Martel is a Canadian author who was actually born in Spain. His most famous work is the 2001 novel “Life of Pi”, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2002. Spanish-Canadian’s first language is French, but he writes in English.

The literary fiction award that we tend to call “the Booker Prize” was inaugurated in 1969 as the Booker-McConnell Prize, and was named for the UK food wholesaler that was the original sponsor. The British investment company Man Group took over sponsorship in 2002, so that the official name of the award is now the Man Booker Prize.

23. Lean-__: sheds : TOS

By definition, a lean-to is a building in which the rafters lean against the wall of another building. A lean-to shelter has a similar appearance, although it is free-standing. The shelter has a single-pitched roof and only three walls.

26. “Letters From Iwo __”: Eastwood film : JIMA

“Flags of Our Fathers” is a 2006 war film directed by Clint Eastwood, based on a 2000 book of the same name by James Bradley. “Flags of Our Fathers” was a somewhat unique film, as it was filmed within a few months of a “paired” movie “Letters from Iwo Jima”, also directed by Eastwood. “Flags of Our Fathers” told the story of the WWII Battle of Iwo Jima from the American perspective, and “Letters from Iwo Jima” told the same story from the Japanese standpoint.

The actor and director Clint Eastwood is a native of San Francisco, California. As many of us perhaps remember, Eastwood’s big break was playing the supporting role of Rowdy Yates in the TV show “Rawhide” in the late fifties and early sixties. He then became the face of the spaghetti western genre of movie in the sixties, most notably in the classic “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. In later years Eastwood has branched out into directing and producing with remarkable success. And of course in the late eighties he also served as mayor of his hometown, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

27. *Star of ’70s TV’s “Good Times” : JOHN AMOS

John Amos is an actor best known for playing James Evans Sr. on the television show “Good Times”. He also played Admiral Fitzwallace on “The West Wing”, and Special Forces Major Grant in “Die Hard 2”. Also, Evans is a former professional football player.

“Good Times” is a sitcom that is a spinoff of “Maude”, with “Maude” being a spinoff of “All in the Family”. “Good Times” had its original run in the seventies.

32. Less ingenuous : SLIER

Here are a couple of words, the spelling of which I find easy to confound. Someone who is “ingenious” is clever and inventive, exhibits “ingenuity”. Someone who is “ingenuous” is innocent and unsuspecting, like an “ingenue”.

35. __ window : BAY

A bay window is a window that projects outside, beyond the wall. The resulting space inside the wall forms a “bay” inside a room.

37. Scuttlebutt : HEARSAY

Hearsay is information that one person has about some event, without that person actually seeing the event firsthand. For example, I am typing up this blog on my laptop, so now you can tell others that I typed this blog on my laptop. However, if you do tell that to others, it is hearsay, because you didn’t actually see me do the typing. Maybe I lied … maybe I used my desktop!

Just as modern day office workers gather around the water cooler to gossip, on board a ship back in the early 1800s the sailors would gather around the water barrel on the deck to shoot the breeze. That water barrel was called a “scuttlebutt”, from “scuttle” (opening in a ship’s deck) and “butt” (barrel). Quite interesting …

40. Souvenir shop display : T-SHIRTS

A souvenir is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported the word from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.

45. Watering hole : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

46. Brimless hat : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

47. *Actor in two “Jurassic Park” films : SAM NEILL

Sam Neill is a very talented actor from New Zealand. I really enjoyed Neill in a 1983 television miniseries called “Reilly, Ace of Spies”, about a British spy operation during WWI. He is perhaps better-known for his roles in the movies “Omen III”, “Dead Calm”, “Jurassic Park” and “The Hunt for Red October”.

“Jurassic Park” is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. Apparently, that’s a clever idea, but not very practical …

56. Eurasian plains : STEPPES

A steppe is a grassland that is devoid of trees, apart from those growing near rivers and lakes. The term “steppe” is Russian in origin, and is used to describe the geographical feature that extends across Eurasia. In South Africa, the same feature is called a “veld”, and in North America it is called a “prairie”.

59. ADHD medication : RITALIN

Ritalin is a trade name for the drug methylphenidate that is used for treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Methylphenidate has a similar structure and similar properties to the drug cocaine, although it is less potent.

The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

61. Fuzzy fruit or fuzzy bird : KIWI

What we call kiwifruit today used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit” (often shortened to “kiwi”).

The kiwi is an unusual bird in that it has a highly developed sense of smell and is the only one of our feathered friends with nostrils located at the tip of its long beak.

64. OPEC member : IRAN

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrest control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

65. 2-point G, e.g. : TILE

The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

66. Dreadlocks wearer : RASTA

Dreadlocks are matted coils of hair nowadays usually formed intentionally, although if one lets hair grow out without grooming then it naturally forms twisted and matted dreadlocks. The hairstyle is associated with the Rastafarian movement in which “dread” is a very positive term meaning “fear of the Lord”.

67. Island goose : NENE

The bird called a “nene” is a native of Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

69. Sp. titles : SRTAS

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

Down

2. Composer John Cage’s “Suite for Toy __” : PIANO

“Suite for Toy Piano” is a 1948 work by American avant-garde composer John Cage. It wouldn’t be a favorite of mine …

John Cage was a classical composer from Los Angeles. One of Cage’s most famous works is his 1952 composition “4’33”. The musicians “playing” this piece just sit there for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, with the audience just taking in the ambient sounds present. Not my cup of tea …

3. Cold cream name : POND’S

When Pond’s Cream was formulated in 1846 by Theron T. Pond, it was marketed as a medicine. The original product was a healing tea extracted from witch hazel that was effective in treating small cuts and other ailments.

4. Organ with alveoli : LUNG

The alveoli are the air sacs in the lungs, and as such are the basic units of respiration. They are hollow cavities around which the alveolar membranes perform the gas-exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. That gas exchange surface is about 800 sq. ft. in the average human.

5. Richard M. Daley and Ed Koch : EX-MAYORS

Richard J. Daley was the Mayor of Chicago for 21 years (1955-1976), making him the longest-serving mayor for the city in history. His son, Richard M. Daley, was mayor from 1989 to 2011, and was the city’s second-longest serving mayor.

Ed Koch was a Democratic Representative in the US Congress from 1969-73, and then Mayor of New York City from 1978-89. From 1997 to 1999 Koch was a “judge” on the TV show “The People’s Court”. And in 2004, he collaborated with his sister Pat Koch, and wrote a children’s book called “Eddie, Harold’s Little Brother”, a tale about Ed’s own childhood experiences.

7. Put down a hero : EAT

“Hero” is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

9. Party poopers : KILLJOYS

The word “killjoy”, meaning someone who spoils the pleasure of others, dates back to the 18th century. Back then, the term was just one of a series of “kill” words, e.g. kill-courtesy (a boor), kill-cow (a big man, bully), kill-hog (a butcher, and which evolved into the name “Kellogg”).

11. *Gomer Pyle portrayer : JIM NABORS

Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith and brought onto “The Andy Griffith Show” as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Famously, Nabors then got his own show called “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”

12. Driving company that sounds more like a flying company : AVIS

Rental car company Avis used the tagline “We Try Harder” for five decades, starting in the early 1960s. The slogan had its roots in a 1962 ad campaign in which the company made brilliant use of its position behind market leader Hertz. The first rendition of the new tagline was “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder. Or else”. Within a year, Avis turned its first profit in over a decade, and within three years, increased the company’s market share from 29% to 36%.

13. “Thy love did read by __, that could not spell”: “Romeo and Juliet” : ROTE

In William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Friar Laurence addresses Romeo with the lines “Oh, she knew well / Thy love did read by rote, that could not spell.” The friar is making fun of Romeo for reciting meaningless love poetry to Rosaline, Lord Capulet’s niece and the young lady whom Romeo supposedly loves. Friar Laurence is noting the emptiness of Romeo’s words now that he has fallen for the fair Juliet.

18. Eastern nurse : AMAH

“Amah” is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture and yet the term actually comes from the Portuguese “ama” meaning “nurse”. Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an amah.

22. Frozen Wasser : EIS

In German, “Eis” (ice) is frozen “Wasser” (water).

27. __ chicken: Jamaican dish : JERK

Jerk chicken is a Jamaican dish in which the meat is prepared with a hot spice mixture that is used as a marinade or a dry rub. There is a suggestion that the term “jerk” comes from the Quechuan word “ch’arki” meaning “dried, salted meat”. The same Quechuan word is the root of our term “jerky” meaning “lean, dried meat”.

30. Start to trust? : ANTI-

Antitrust laws are those that protect market competition and regulate against anti-competitive activities by individuals and companies.

32. Worn out : SHOT

We’ve been using the adjective “shot” to mean “worn out, ruined” since the 1830s. The term is simply a figurative use of the past-participle of the verb “to shoot”, i.e. “wounded or killed by a bullet”.

33. “The Last Jedi” general : LEIA

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a 2017 movie from the “Star Wars” film franchise, and the second installment of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. The title character is Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. Ah, but is Luke in fact the “last Jedi”?

34. *”Atonement” novelist : IAN MCEWAN

Ian McEwan is an English novelist with a track record of writing well-received novels. His most famous work of recent years I would say is “Atonement” which has benefited from the success of a fabulous movie adaptation released in 2007.

36. First antibacterial soap : DIAL

Dial was the first antibacterial soap introduced in the US. It was given the name “Dial” as it was touted as offering “round-the-clock” protection against any odors caused by perspiration.

38. Confucian text, with “The” : ANALECTS

The sayings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (anglicized from “K’ung Fu-Tse”) are collected in a work called “The Analects” or “Linyu”. It wasn’t Confucius who wrote down his thoughts though, but rather his pupils, some 40 or so years after his death in 479 BC.

39. November tuber : YAM

Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the the world than they are in this country, and are especially common in Africa.

41. Oater belt attachments : HOLSTERS

The term “oater” that is used for a Western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

44. Economic fig. : GNP

A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

53. Slasher film setting: Abbr. : ELM ST

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher-horror film that was released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” or “horror”, I was surprised to learn that Johnny Depp was in the movie, making his feature film debut.

54. Western prop : RIATA

A riata is a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for lasso.

55. Actresses Gunn and Kendrick : ANNAS

Anna Gunn is an actress from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is best known for playing Skyler White on the TV show “Breaking Bad”.

Anna Kendrick is a marvelous actress whose big break came when she played the sidekick to George Clooney’s character in the very interesting 2009 film “Up in the Air”. Kendrick can sing as well as act, and played a student a cappella singer in the 2012 movie “Pitch Perfect”.

56. Hide : SKIN

Both the verb “to hide” (to conceal) and the noun “hide” (skin), derive from the Old English “hyd” meaning “hide, skin”. The idea is that “to hide” something is similar to covering it with a skin.

58. Armada unit : SHIP

The most famous armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in order to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. It failed in its mission, partly due to bad weather encountered en route. Ironically, the English mounted a similar naval attack against Spain the following year, and it failed as well.

60. Purim month : ADAR

Nisan is the first month in the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar, the month in which Passover falls. Adar is the last month in the same calendar, and is the month that includes the holiday of Purim.

Purim is a festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther.

63. Full Sail Amber __ : ALE

Full Sail is a craft brewery in Hood River, Oregon that was founded in 1987.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Tell target : APPLE
6. Look for : SEEK
10. Letting in some air : AJAR
14. Dakota natives : SIOUX
15. Lyft alternative : TAXI
16. Record, in a way : TIVO
17. *Man Booker Prize winner for “Life of Pi” : YANN MARTEL
19. Put out : EMIT
20. When the fewest pieces are on the chess board : ENDGAME
21. Detoxification diet : CLEANSE
23. Lean-__: sheds : TOS
24. [Boring!] : YAWN!
26. “Letters From Iwo __”: Eastwood film : JIMA
27. *Star of ’70s TV’s “Good Times” : JOHN AMOS
29. “Thwack!” : BAM!
32. Less ingenuous : SLIER
35. __ window : BAY
36. Through : DONE
37. Scuttlebutt : HEARSAY
40. Souvenir shop display : T-SHIRTS
42. Farm sound : OINK!
43. Farm animal : NAG
45. Watering hole : OASIS
46. Brimless hat : TAM
47. *Actor in two “Jurassic Park” films : SAM NEILL
50. Steamboat fuel : COAL
52. Inflates, as expenses : PADS
53. Significant time : ERA
56. Eurasian plains : STEPPES
59. ADHD medication : RITALIN
61. Fuzzy fruit or fuzzy bird : KIWI
62. Whole new person who can literally be found in the answers to starred clues : CHANGED MAN
64. OPEC member : IRAN
65. 2-point G, e.g. : TILE
66. Dreadlocks wearer : RASTA
67. Island goose : NENE
68. Zipped : SPED
69. Sp. titles : SRTAS

Down

1. Up to now : AS YET
2. Composer John Cage’s “Suite for Toy __” : PIANO
3. Cold cream name : POND’S
4. Organ with alveoli : LUNG
5. Richard M. Daley and Ed Koch : EX-MAYORS
6. Scattered : STREWN
7. Put down a hero : EAT
8. Corp. head : EXEC
9. Party poopers : KILLJOYS
10. Elite squad : A-TEAM
11. *Gomer Pyle portrayer : JIM NABORS
12. Driving company that sounds more like a flying company : AVIS
13. “Thy love did read by __, that could not spell”: “Romeo and Juliet” : ROTE
18. Eastern nurse : AMAH
22. Frozen Wasser : EIS
25. Capture : NAB
27. __ chicken: Jamaican dish : JERK
28. Floor covering : MAT
30. Start to trust? : ANTI-
31. Fool (with) : MESS
32. Worn out : SHOT
33. “The Last Jedi” general : LEIA
34. *”Atonement” novelist : IAN MCEWAN
36. First antibacterial soap : DIAL
38. Confucian text, with “The” : ANALECTS
39. November tuber : YAM
41. Oater belt attachments : HOLSTERS
44. Economic fig. : GNP
47. Plant juice : SAP
48. Made : EARNED
49. “With ya so far” : I DIG
51. State one’s views : OPINE
53. Slasher film setting: Abbr. : ELM ST
54. Western prop : RIATA
55. Actresses Gunn and Kendrick : ANNAS
56. Hide : SKIN
57. Wear out : TIRE
58. Armada unit : SHIP
60. Purim month : ADAR
63. Full Sail Amber __ : ALE

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