LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Mar 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: Brian Thomas
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: H2O

Themed answers start with the letter H and end with the letter O, i.e. the answers go from H to O (which sounds like H2O).

  • 69A. Liquid whose chemical formula is a homophonic hint to the answers to starred clues : WATER (H2O sounds like “H to O”)
  • 18A. *Hobbyist’s broadcasting equipment : HAM RADIO
  • 27A. *Drama in the Nielsen top 10 four times during the ’70s : HAWAII FIVE-O
  • 47A. *Ball of fire : HUMAN DYNAMO
  • 60A. *”Oh boy, it’s starting!” : HERE WE GO!

Bill’s time: 8m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Vaccine pioneer Salk : JONAS

Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher who developed the first safe polio vaccine. In the fifties, especially after the 1952 epidemic, polio was the biggest health fear in the US because it killed thousands, left even more with disabilities and most of the victims were children. The situation was dire and the authorities immediately quarantined the family of any polio victim, and that quarantine was so strict that in many cases the families were not even permitted to attend the funeral of a family member who died from the disease.

13. “The Good Wife” wife : ALICIA

“The Good Wife” is a legal drama showing on CBS starring Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a litigator who returns to practicing the law after spending 13 years as a stay-at-home mom. I binge-watched the show some time back and found it to be well-written, with a great cast and great acting …

15. Irrawaddy River locale : ASIA

The Irrawaddy River is the largest waterway in Myanmar. The Irrawaddy has been of great importance to the country since the days when it was the British colony of Burma. The British developed an extensive network of irrigation canals fed by the river, and also used the Irrawaddy to transport goods from the north of the country to the Irrawaddy Delta that leads to the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. The Irrawaddy is sometimes referred to as “The Road to Mandalay”, after Rudyard Kipling’s poem.

17. Grilled sandwich : PANINI

In Italy, a sandwich made from sliced bread is called a “tramezzino”, while sandwiches made from non-sliced breads are called “panini” (singular “panino”). We’ve imported the term “panini” into English to mean a pressed and toasted sandwich.

18. *Hobbyist’s broadcasting equipment : HAM RADIO

Amateur radio enthusiasts were originally called “ham operators” by professional telegraph operators, and the term was intended to be insulting. It came from the similar term “ham actor”, describing a person who is less than effective on the stage. But amateur operators eventually embraced the moniker, and so it stuck.

24. Storied climber : JILL

The “Jack and Jill” nursery rhyme dates back at least to the 1700s:

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

27. *Drama in the Nielsen top 10 four times during the ’70s : HAWAII FIVE-O

The cop show “Hawaii Five-O” originally ran from 1968 until 1980, with Jack Lord and James MacArthur playing detectives Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. The famous theme music was composed by Morton Stevens. The show was rebooted as “Hawaii Five-0”, premiering in 2010, with Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan playing Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. Notice the important difference in the titles of the two versions of the show: the former uses a capital letter O, and the latter the numeral zero. Now that’s trivial …

Arthur Nielsen founded his Nielsen Media Research company to track brand advertising. He quickly moved into market analysis of radio audiences in the thirties, and today the company is famous for tracking television audiences. I remember watching the last episode of the TV series “Becker”, in which Ted Danson played a doctor. Given that the show had been ordered off the air due to declining viewership, there’s a great line in the last episode when Becker asks for the chart of a patient called “Nielsen”. He looks at the lab results and announces “I don’t know what everyone is talking about … these numbers aren’t so bad!” Great stuff …

35. Mets modifier of 1969 : AMAZIN’

The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962 as a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

36. Noggin : BEAN

Slang terms for “head” are “bean” and “noggin”.

37. Case in Lat. grammar : DAT

As we recall from English class, a noun is in the dative case when it refers to an object that is given “to” someone.

44. Mysterious girl on “Stranger Things” : ELEVEN

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror so haven’t seen it …

54. “__ Encounter”: SeaWorld show : ORCA

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.

56. Shakespearean “You as well?” : ET TU

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

66. Wind farm blades : ROTORS

A turbine is a machine uses the flow of a fluid (sometimes air) to create rotational work. Simple examples of turbines are windmills and waterwheels.

69. Liquid whose chemical formula is a homophonic hint to the answers to starred clues : WATER (H2O sounds like “H to O”)

A water molecule is composed of an oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms on roughly opposite sides (about a 150-degree angle). So, sometimes the molecule is represented by “HOH”, although more usually it’s “H2O”.

Down

1. Zinger : JAPE

“To jape” means “to joke or quip”. The exact origins of “jape” are unclear, but it does seem to come from Old French. In the mid-1600’s “to jape” was a slang term meaning “to have sex with”. No joke!

2. Body wash brand : OLAY

Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

3. Largest single-digit square : NINE

3 x 3 = 9

4. Genre incorporating elements of funk and hip-hop : ACID JAZZ

The musical genre known as “acid jazz” is also called “club jazz”. The genre originated in London clubs in the 1980s.

6. “LOL” : HA HA

Laugh out loud (LOL)

7. “Right away!” : ASAP!

As soon as possible (ASAP)

8. Dickens boy : TIM

“Tiny Tim” is the nickname of Timothy Cratchit, a character in the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol”. Tiny Tim is the son of Ebenezer Scrooge’s underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit, and is a sickly child. Famously, the child utters the words “God bless us, every one!” at Christmas dinner, which words are repeated by the author at the end of the story.

10. Coventry rider : LADY GODIVA

In the legend of Lady Godiva, a noblewoman rode naked through the streets of Coventry in England, basically as a dare from her husband in return for relieving the taxes of his tenants. Lady Godiva issued instructions that all the town’s inhabitants should stay indoors while she made her journey. However, a tailor in the town named Tom disobeyed the instructions by boring holes in the shutters on his windows, and “peeped”. As a result, Peeping Tom was struck blind, and the term “peeping Tom” has been in our language ever since.

11. Dog that licks Garfield : ODIE

Odie is Garfield’s best friend, and is a slobbery beagle. Both are characters in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.

19. MLB’s D-backs : ARI

The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

22. 2003 holiday film : ELF

“Elf” is a comedy movie that was released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role, with James Caan supporting and Ed Asner playing Santa Claus. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City.

25. IV lead? : III

In Roman numerals, the first ten integers are I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X.

26. Bouffant feature : TEASED HAIR

“Bouffant” is a French word meaning “puffed out” that we’ve imported into English. Apparently, the first use of “bouffant” with reference to a hairstyle dates back to 1955.

27. Flame-haired villain in Disney’s “Hercules” : HADES

“Hercules” is a 1997 Disney animated film about the Greek hero of mythology. In Greek mythology, the hero’s name is “Heracles”, but the movie went with the Roman version “Hercules”.

28. Mennonite sect : AMISH

The Amish are a group of Christian churches, and a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

The Mennonites are a group of religious sects that originated in the Friesland region of the Low Countries. The various denominations are named for Menno Simons who was a contemporary of the Protestant Reformers who followed Martin Luther.

29. Super Bowl gathering, e.g. : WATCH PARTY

Super Bowl I was played in January 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers emerged victorious in a game with a score of 35-10. That game was officially known as the AFL-NFL Championship Game, as the name “Super Bowl” wasn’t applied until two seasons later. That “first” Super Bowl is now known as Super Bowl III and was played between the New York Jets and the Baltimore Colts. The Jets came out on top.

30. Mediterranean vacation island : IBIZA

Ibiza is a Mediterranean island located almost 100 miles off the Spanish coast. It is a very popular tourist destination, largely for its legendary nightlife.

31. Zoo doc : VET

A veterinarian (vet) is a professional who treat animals for disease and injury. The word “veterinary” comes from the Latin “veterinae” meaning “working animals, beasts of burden”.

33. “The Hunger Games” land : PANEM

“Panem” is the name of the fictional nation in “The Hunger Games” series of novels. Panem is in North America, with a capital city located in the Rocky Mountains, and thirteen surrounding, outlying districts. The name “Panem” comes from the Latin for “bread”.

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, and the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

34. __ pad : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

41. Blood feud : VENDETTA

“Vendetta” is the Italian word for “blood feud”, and is especially associated with the island of Corsica.

43. List of notables : WHO’S WHO

Several publications use the phrase “Who’s Who” in the title. The oldest and best known is the British reference “Who’s Who” that has been listing prominent British people since 1849. There is a sister publication called “Who Was Who” that lists prominent people who have died since 1897.

45. Soap chemical : LYE

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

48. Defense advisory gp. : NSC

The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.

50. __ whiskey : RYE

For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

57. Budweiser Clydesdales’ pace : TROT

The Budweiser Clydesdales were first used in 1933, when they carried the first case of beer produced by the Anheuser Busch Brewery in a ceremonial trip through St. Louis to celebrate the end of prohibition. The team of horses was then transported by rail to New York City, where they were used to present two cases of Budweiser to Al Smith, a former governor of New York who vigorously opposed prohibition.

The American beer called Budweiser (often shortened to “Bud”) is named for the Czech town of Budweis (“České Budějovice” in Czech). The name is the subject of a dispute as here is an original Czech beer with a similar name, Budweiser Budvar. American Budweiser is sold in most European countries as “Bud”.

59. TASS country : USSR

“TASS” is the abbreviation used for the former news agency that had the full name Telegraph Association of the Soviet Union (Telegrafnoe Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza). When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, the Moscow-based agency’s scope changed along with its name. It is now known as the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS).

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Vaccine pioneer Salk : JONAS
6. Biblical verb : HATH
10. Sever, with “off” : LOP
13. “The Good Wife” wife : ALICIA
15. Irrawaddy River locale : ASIA
16. Hubbub : ADO
17. Grilled sandwich : PANINI
18. *Hobbyist’s broadcasting equipment : HAM RADIO
20. Checked out : EYED
21. Gather : REAP
23. Domestic sock eater? : DRYER
24. Storied climber : JILL
26. Little limb : TWIG
27. *Drama in the Nielsen top 10 four times during the ’70s : HAWAII FIVE-O
32. Special __ : OPS
35. Mets modifier of 1969 : AMAZIN’
36. Noggin : BEAN
37. Case in Lat. grammar : DAT
38. Twit : DITZ
39. Cuts and pastes, say : EDITS
41. Trellis climber : VINE
42. Corner PC key : ESC
43. Expert : WHIZ
44. Mysterious girl on “Stranger Things” : ELEVEN
46. “Zip it!” : SHH!
47. *Ball of fire : HUMAN DYNAMO
49. “No __!”: “Sure!” : PROB
51. Lose one’s coat : SHED
52. Moves to the melody : SWAYS
54. “__ Encounter”: SeaWorld show : ORCA
56. Shakespearean “You as well?” : ET TU
60. *”Oh boy, it’s starting!” : HERE WE GO!
62. First words : INTROS
64. Muffin grain : OAT
65. Believe : HOLD
66. Wind farm blades : ROTORS
67. Like some grins : WRY
68. People : ONES
69. Liquid whose chemical formula is a homophonic hint to the answers to starred clues : WATER (H2O sounds like “H to O”)

Down

1. Zinger : JAPE
2. Body wash brand : OLAY
3. Largest single-digit square : NINE
4. Genre incorporating elements of funk and hip-hop : ACID JAZZ
5. Transgression : SIN
6. “LOL” : HA HA
7. “Right away!” : ASAP!
8. Dickens boy : TIM
9. Taxing and successful : HARD WON
10. Coventry rider : LADY GODIVA
11. Dog that licks Garfield : ODIE
12. Low-quality : POOR
14. Where many missed connections occur : AIRLINE HUB
19. MLB’s D-backs : ARI
22. 2003 holiday film : ELF
25. IV lead? : III
26. Bouffant feature : TEASED HAIR
27. Flame-haired villain in Disney’s “Hercules” : HADES
28. Mennonite sect : AMISH
29. Super Bowl gathering, e.g. : WATCH PARTY
30. Mediterranean vacation island : IBIZA
31. Zoo doc : VET
33. “The Hunger Games” land : PANEM
34. __ pad : STENO
40. Barely lit : DIM
41. Blood feud : VENDETTA
43. List of notables : WHO’S WHO
45. Soap chemical : LYE
48. Defense advisory gp. : NSC
50. __ whiskey : RYE
52. Thing to put on : SHOW
53. Put on : WEAR
54. Look bad? : OGLE
55. Slender cylinders : RODS
57. Budweiser Clydesdales’ pace : TROT
58. Shredded : TORE
59. TASS country : USSR
61. Many years : EON
63. “Spring the trap!” : NOW!

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