LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Mar 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Bill Zagozewski
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Spring Ahead

The word SPRING is often seen AHEAD of the last word in each of today’s themed answers:

  • 56A. Make an annual clock adjustment … and what the end of 20-, 36- and 42-Across may literally have : SPRING AHEAD
  • 20A. Have things finally go one’s way : CATCH A BREAK (giving “spring break”)
  • 36A. Mosquito-borne disease : YELLOW FEVER (giving “spring fever”)
  • 42A. Engage in hard-nosed negotiations : PLAY CHICKEN (giving “spring chicken”)

Bill’s time: 6m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Lobster serving : CLAW

A male lobster is called a cock, and a female a hen. A lobster weighing less than a pound is called a chicken.

16. Main artery : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

17. Snapchat co-founder Spiegel : EVAN

Evan Spiegel is the CEO of Snapchat, a social media company that he co-founded with two colleagues while they were students at Stanford. Spiegel has done quite well for himself since founding Snapchat. Back in 2015, he was named the world’s youngest billionaire by “Forbes”, at 24 years of age.

Snapchat is a messaging system that allows users to send photos and video clips to a limited list of recipients. The photos and clips, called “snaps”, can be viewed for only a few seconds before they are deleted from the recipient’s device, and from the Snapchat servers.

18. Cyberzine : E-MAG

Online magazines are variously referred to as webzines, e-zines, cyberzines, hyperzines or maybe e-magazines.

19. Parakeets’ quarters : CAGES

Parakeets are a group of bird species that are small parrots. The most common type of parakeet that we see in pet stores is the budgerigar.

25. Intl. news broadcaster : VOA

The US began shortwave propaganda broadcasts in early 1942, just after America entered WWII. The first broadcast to Germany was introduced by the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and opened with the words:

Today, and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war. The news may be good or bad for us — We will always tell you the truth.

That first broadcast was called “Stimmen aus Amerika” (“Voices from America”), and gave the fledgling broadcasting operation its name. VOA is still going strong today, and was a station that I used to listen to as a teenager back in Ireland in the early seventies …

35. Harry’s pal Weasley : RON

Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are the principal characters in the “Harry Potter” series of fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling.

36. Mosquito-borne disease : YELLOW FEVER (giving “spring fever”)

Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by female mosquitoes. There are about 30,000 deaths each year from yellow fever, with almost all of those deaths occurring in Africa.

38. Penne __ vodka : ALLA

Penne alla vodka is a pasta dish with a sauce made of vodka, cream, tomatoes, onions and sausage or bacon.

40. Singer Damone : VIC

Vic Damone is a singer from Brooklyn, New York. As a young man, Damone started taking voice lessons, inspired by his favorite singer Frank Sinatra. Decades later, Sinatra said that Damone had “the best pipes in the business”.

41. Trig ratio : SINE

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. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

49. New York Giants legend with 511 career home runs : MEL OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

56. Make an annual clock adjustment … and what the end of 20-, 36- and 42-Across may literally have : SPRING AHEAD

On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (“spring forward”), and backwards in the fall (“fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight.

62. Georgia state fruit : PEACH

The US state of Georgia has two nicknames: the Peach State, and the Empire State of the South.

65. Gold rush animal : MULE

A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.

66. “Orange” tea grade : PEKOE

A pekoe (or more commonly “orange pekoe”) is a medium-grade black tea. There is no orange flavor in an orange pekoe tea. The “orange” name most likely derived from the name of the trading company that brought the tea to Europe from Asia.

67. Kind of pittance? : MERE

A pittance is a small amount, often referring to a living allowance or remuneration. The term came into English from Old French, and is basically an amount given out of “pity”.

68. The “A” of NEA : ARTS

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark. I wonder how long that will last though …

70. New England NFLers : PATS

The New England Patriots football team was founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots. The “Patriots” name was selected from suggestions made by football fans in Boston. The team played at several different stadiums in the Boston area for just over ten years, before moving to their current home base in Foxborough, Massachusetts. At the time of the move, the “Boston” name was dropped and changed to “New England”.

71. Barnes & Noble reader : NOOK

The Barnes & Noble electronic-book reader is called the Nook. The reader’s name is intended to evoke the usage of “nook” as a familiar place to sit and read quietly.

Down

2. Old Chevy : NOVA

The Chevrolet Nova was produced by General Motors from 1962 to 1979, and from 1985 to 1988. I owned one of those 1985-1988 Novas many years ago. Those latter models were actually Toyota Sprinters that were assembled just down the road here in Fremont, California in a GM/Toyota joint venture.

7. Bygone apple spray : ALAR

The chemical name for Alar, a plant growth regulator and color enhancer, is daminozide. Alar was primarily used on apples but was withdrawn from the market when it was linked to cancer.

10. Extended pd. away from work : LOA

Leave of absence (LOA)

11. Golden Fleece ship : ARGO

The Golden Fleece was the fleece of a winged ram made from pure gold that was held by King Aeëtes in Colchis, a kingdom on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. The fleece is central to the tale of Jason and the Argonauts, who set out on a quest to steal the fleece by order of King Pelias.

13. Soviet news agency : TASS

The news agency TASS had the full name Telegraph Association of the Soviet Union (Telegrafnoe Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza). When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1992, the Moscow-based agency’s name was changed to ITAR -TASS, with ITAR standing for “Information Telegraph Agency of Russia”. The “ITAR” was officially dropped in 2014, perhaps as a nod to the tremendous brand recognition of “TASS”.

26. Drinks in schooners : ALES

A schooner is a glass of varying capacity, depending on where its used. Over in Britain, a schooner is a large sherry glass. The smaller sherry glass is known as as a clipper, with both names apparently referring to the size of of shops that brought sherry over from Spain. Here in the US, a schooner is usually a beer glass that’s rounded, with a short stem. The size can be anything from 18 oz. to 32 oz.

27. Maria von __, family singers’ matriarch : TRAPP

The von Trapps portrayed in the musical “The Sound of Music” were a real family, as is well known. In the musical and film, the eldest daughter is “Liesl”, although in real life her name was Agathe. Agathe came with her family to the US in 1938, and operated a private kindergarten in Baltimore, Maryland for 35 years. Agathe passed away in 2010.

28. Rich boy in “Nancy” comics : ROLLO

“Nancy” is a comic strip that was originally called “Fritzi Ritz” when it first appeared in 1938. Nancy Ritz is a mischievous young girl, and Rollo is a friendly rich kid.

30. Author Hoffman : ALICE

Alice Hoffman is a novelist who is best known perhaps for her 1995 book “Practical Magic”, which was adapted into a fun 1998 movie of the same name starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.

32. French dispatch boat : AVISO

A dispatch boat is a military vessel designed to carry dispatches to and from ships. In the French navy, a dispatch boat is called an aviso. Nowadays of course, the need for dispatch boats has disappeared, but avisos still exist and are a class of combat vessel usually used in the defense of a coast against encroachment by enemies.

33. Guiding principle : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

37. Heinz varieties count, to Caesar? : LVII

LVII is 57 in Roman numerals.

The HJ Heinz Company is an American concern that is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1869 by Henry John Heinz. It was Heinz himself who came up with the marketing slogan of “57 Varieties”. The “57” really doesn’t have any relevance to the range of products available as Heinz chose the “5” because it was his lucky number, and the “7” because it was his wife’s lucky number.

44. URL letters : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in most Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

45. Political fugitives : EMIGRES

An “émigré” is an emigrant. The term is French in origin, and particularly applies to someone who is a political refugee from his or her native land.

50. __ Brothers: defunct financial firm : LEHMAN

Lehman Brothers was one of the global financial services companies at the center of the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008, which was the largest bankruptcy filing in American history.

55. Drink with sushi : SAKE

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

59. Currency named for a continent : EURO

The euro sign (€) looks like a letter C, but with two horizontal lines drawn across the middle. Inspiration for the design comes from the Greek letter epsilon.

60. Choir voice : ALTO

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

63. Runner Sebastian : COE

Sebastian Coe is a retired middle distance runner from the UK who won four Olympic medals including golds in the 1500m in 1980 and 1984. After retiring from athletics, Coe went into politics and served as a Member of Parliament from 1992 to 1997. In the year 2000, he was made a Life Peer, and so Coe now sits in the House of Lords. Lord Coe headed up London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Easy thing to do : SNAP
5. Lobster serving : CLAW
9. Great time : BLAST
14. Skin opening : PORE
15. Tra-__: refrain syllables : LA-LA
16. Main artery : AORTA
17. Snapchat co-founder Spiegel : EVAN
18. Cyberzine : E-MAG
19. Parakeets’ quarters : CAGES
20. Have things finally go one’s way : CATCH A BREAK (giving “spring break”)
23. Photo __: media events : OPS
24. Charged particles : IONS
25. Intl. news broadcaster : VOA
27. Singer’s quavers : TRILLS
30. Recently : AS OF LATE
35. Harry’s pal Weasley : RON
36. Mosquito-borne disease : YELLOW FEVER (giving “spring fever”)
38. Penne __ vodka : ALLA
40. Singer Damone : VIC
41. Trig ratio : SINE
42. Engage in hard-nosed negotiations : PLAY CHICKEN (giving “spring chicken”)
47. “Just a __!” : SEC
48. Dress-for-success accessory : POWER TIE
49. New York Giants legend with 511 career home runs : MEL OTT
51. Used a bench : SAT
52. Location : SITE
53. Sponsors’ spots : ADS
56. Make an annual clock adjustment … and what the end of 20-, 36- and 42-Across may literally have : SPRING AHEAD
62. Georgia state fruit : PEACH
64. Smell : ODOR
65. Gold rush animal : MULE
66. “Orange” tea grade : PEKOE
67. Kind of pittance? : MERE
68. The “A” of NEA : ARTS
69. Drive too fast : SPEED
70. New England NFLers : PATS
71. Barnes & Noble reader : NOOK

Down

1. Job detail, for short : SPEC
2. Old Chevy : NOVA
3. “I smell __!” : A RAT
4. Crossword solver’s choice : PENCIL
5. Remove dirt from : CLEANSE
6. Petting zoo youngsters : LAMBS
7. Bygone apple spray : ALAR
8. Regular pay : WAGE
9. “Not so close!” : BACK OFF!
10. Extended pd. away from work : LOA
11. Golden Fleece ship : ARGO
12. How-to instruction : STEP
13. Soviet news agency : TASS
21. Sanctified : HOLY
22. Declare emphatically : AVOW
26. Drinks in schooners : ALES
27. Maria von __, family singers’ matriarch : TRAPP
28. Rich boy in “Nancy” comics : ROLLO
29. Groom’s new relative : IN-LAW
30. Author Hoffman : ALICE
31. Foot cover : SOCK
32. French dispatch boat : AVISO
33. Guiding principle : TENET
34. Standing tall : ERECT
37. Heinz varieties count, to Caesar? : LVII
39. Those in favor : AYES
43. Failed suddenly, as a laptop : CRASHED
44. URL letters : HTTP
45. Political fugitives : EMIGRES
46. __ profit: make money : NET A
50. __ Brothers: defunct financial firm : LEHMAN
52. Equine outburst : SNORT
53. iPhone downloads : APPS
54. __-sea diver : DEEP
55. Drink with sushi : SAKE
57. Frolic in a lively way : ROMP
58. Thinking output : IDEA
59. Currency named for a continent : EURO
60. Choir voice : ALTO
61. Student’s workplace : DESK
63. Runner Sebastian : COE

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