LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Daniel Nierenberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Oceanic ecosystem : MARINE BIOME

I tend to think of “biome” as another word for “ecosystem”.

12. Common intruders : ADS

Sorry …

15. Mexican sugar substitute : AGAVE NECTAR

Agave nectar (also “agave syrup”) is sweeter than honey, but is much more fluid. The nectar’s sweetness comes from its high fructose content. A lot of agave nectar comes from the blue agave, the same species that is used to make tequila.

16. Home Depot purchase : SAW

The Home Depot is the largest home improvement retail chain in the US, ahead of Lowe’s. Home Depot opened their first two stores in 1979. The average store size if just over 100,000 square feet. The largest Home Depot outlet is in Union, New Jersey, and it is 225,000 square feet in size. That’s a lot of nuts and bolts …

17. Black-necked flier : CANADA GOOSE

The Canada goose has quite a distinctive coloring, with a black head and neck broken up by a white “chinstrap”. They thrive in parks that are frequented by humans, and are so successful that they are considered pests by some.

18. Knoxville energy agcy. : TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has to be one of America’s great success stories when it comes to economic development. Created in 1933, the TVA spearheaded economic development in the Tennessee Valley at the height of the Great Depression. Central to the success was the federally-funded construction of flood-control and electricity-generation facilities.

19. Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN

Erin Andrews is a sports reporter. I don’t watch much in the line of sports but I do know Ms. Andrews for her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. She did quite well and made it to the final of the show. She started working as the show’s co-host alongside Tom Bergeron in 2014.

20. Bradlee in “The Post” : BEN

Ben Bradlee served as executive editor for “The Washington Post” from 1968 until 1991. Famously, Bradlee was at the helm of the paper when the Pentagon Papers were published, and when reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein investigated the Watergate scandal. His son, Ben Bradlee Jr., was the editor in charge of the Spotlight team at the “Boston Globe” when they broke the story of the Catholic Church covering up sexual abuse of children by priests. Ben senior was played by actor Jason Robards in the film “All the President’s Men”, and by Tom Hanks in “The Post”. Ben Jr. was played by John Slattery in the movie “Spotlight”.

21. 2013 Culinary Hall of Fame inductee : EMERIL

Emeril Lagasse is an American chef who was born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved notoriety as executive chef in Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences. Lagasse started using his famous “Bam!” catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.

23. Key used in shortcuts : ALT

The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.

25. Downer at a party? : DEBBIE

“Debbie Downer” is a slang phrase describing someone who knows how to bring down the mood. There was a character on “Saturday Night Live” with the name Debbie Downer played by comic actress Rachel Dratch.

29. Waterside accommodations : BOATEL

A “boatel” is a “boat hotel”. The term can be used to describe a hotel on land close to water that caters mainly for guests arriving on boats. A boatel can also be a ship that has been converted to function as a hotel.

31. Lindy relative : JITTERBUG

The energetic dance known as the jitterbug was popularized in the 1930s by Cab Calloway. Calloway released “Call of the Jitter Bug” in 1934, and appeared in a 1935 musical short titled “Cab Calloway’s Jitterbug Party”.

If you’d like to be a jitter bug,
First thing you must do is get a jug,
Put whiskey, wine and gin within,
And shake it all up and then begin.
Grab a cup and start to toss,
You are drinking jitter sauce!
Don’t you worry, you just mug,
And then you’ll be a jitter bug!

The Lindy hop (sometimes just “lindy”) is a swing dance that evolved in Harlem in the twenties and was especially popular during the swing Era of the thirties and forties. Allegedly, the dance is named for aviator Charles Lindbergh. Lucky Lindy “hopped” the Atlantic in 1927, making the first nonstop solo flight from the US to Europe.

34. Deuterium discoverer Harold : UREY

Harold Urey won the 1934 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the hydrogen isotope deuterium. Urey also speculated that the Earth’s early atmosphere might have consisted of ammonia, methane and hydrogen. One of Urey’s students conducted the Miller-Urey experiment, which showed that such a mixture of gases can produce amino acids if exposed to electric sparks and water. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and are sometimes referred to as the building blocks of life.

There are three naturally occurring isotopes of hydrogen. The most common isotope is what we ordinarily refer to as hydrogen, and it has no neutrons. This particular isotope is sometimes called “protium”. The isotope with one neutron is called “deuterium”. When paired with two atoms of oxygen, deuterium forms “heavy water”. The hydrogen isotope with two neutrons is called “tritium”. Tritium is radioactive, with a half-life of 12.3 years.

35. They usually have spines : CACTI

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

36. Ornate metalware : TOLE

Tole is metalware that has been lacquered or enameled, and usually painted or gilded. “Tôle” is the French word for “sheet metal”.

42. “Thunderball” setting : BAHAMAS

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, and used to be called Charles Town. Located on the island of New Providence, the original settlement was burnt to the ground by the Spanish in 1684. It was rebuilt and named Nassau in honor of King William III of England (“William of Orange”), a Dutchman from the House of Orange-Nassau. Nassau is a favored location for the James Bond series of movies. The city and surroundings feature in “Thunderball”, “Never Say Never Again”, “Casino Royale” and “For Your Eyes Only”. Bond portrayer Sean Connery has lived for many years at Lyford Cay, which is just a 30-min drive from the center of Nassau.

“Thunderball” is a 1961 novel, and one of Ian Fleming’s “James Bond” series. “Thunderball” was twice adapted for the big screen, with Sean Connery playing Bond on both occasions. Connery was 35 years old for the first film, which had the same name as the novel. The second film was title “Never Say Never Again”, and featuring a more mature Bond, as Connery was 52 years old. The second movie was not part of the iconic Eon Productions series on Bond films. Instead, it was an independent production made possible because one of the writers of the “Thunderball” script had retained filming rights of the novel.

46. Tagged, perhaps : OUT

That would be baseball.

52. Skeet participant : TRAP SHOOTER

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

56. Italian cooking staple : TOMATO PUREE

A purée is a food that has been made smooth by straining or blending. “Purée” is a French term, which I believe is now used to mean “pea soup” (more completely written as “purée de pois”). The French verb “purer” means “to strain, clean”, from the Latin “purare” meaning “to purify, clean”.

57. Tolkien creature : ENT

Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

58. Mall attraction : ANCHOR STORE

Because anchors are in such high demand …

Down

1. Medieval weapon : MACE

A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence. It is a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.

2. Seaweed product : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

3. Indian palace resident : RANI

A ranee (also “rani”) is an Indian queen or princess, and the female equivalent of a raja.

4. One of the Karamazovs : IVAN

“The Brothers Karamazov” was the last novel completed by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, as the author died just four months after it was published.

5. “Deliverance” co-star of Jon, Burt and Ronny : NED

Actor Ned Beatty is possible best remembered for the rather disturbing “squeal like a pig” scene in the movie “Deliverance”. Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

“Deliverance” is a 1972 film based on a 1970 novel of the same name. It’s all about four guys from the city who get themselves into all kinds of trouble on a canoe trip in a remote part of Georgia. The four city boys were played by Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, with Beatty and Cox making their film debuts. Famously, the soundtrack features the marvelous instrumental “Dueling Banjos”, although in the movie it was actually “dueling guitar and banjo”.

9. Plains tribe : OTO

The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

10. Classy wheels : MASERATI

Maserati is a manufacturer of luxury cars in Italy. The company was founded in Bologna in 1914 by five brothers: Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati. The company uses a trident logo that is based on the trident depicted in the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna.

11. Religious recluse : EREMITE

The Greek word for “uninhabited” is “eremos”, which is the root for “eremia” meaning both “desert” and “solitude”. The Greek word eremites then means “a person of the desert”. This was absorbed into Latin as “ermita”, meaning someone who lived in solitude or in an uninhabited area. We use “eremite” to mean the same thing, although the derivative term “hermit” is more common.

12. Vehicle for some spiritual experiences : ASTRAL BODY

An astral projection is an out-of-body experience. It is often associated with incidents of near-death and describes the phenomenon of the astral body leaving the physical body and travelling around the astral plane.

13. Boat-lifting device : DAVIT

A davit is a crane-like structure used to raise and lower things on and off a ship, like perhaps a lifeboat. The crane was originally known as a “david”, and was so called as it was customary to apply given names to useful devices. Other examples would be jack, jenny and jimmy.

14. Depressed area : SWALE

A swale is a narrow tract of low-lying land that is usually wet or marshy. A swale can be naturally occurring or man-made. One might create a swale to help manage drainage of adjacent land.

24. Mrs. __, head of the kitchen in “Beauty and the Beast” : POTTS

Disney’s 2017 romantic fantasy film “Beauty and the Beast” is based on the animated movie the same studio released in 1991. In turn, 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast” was an adaptation of the 18th-century version of the fairy tale “La Belle et la Bête” written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens play the title roles in the 2017 film, with both performances garnering critical acclaim.

26. Marseilles money : EURO

Marseille (often written “Marseilles” in English) is the second largest city in France, after Paris. Marseille is also the largest commercial port in the country. I used to live nearby, and can attest that Marseille and environs is a great place to visit …

27. Erratic driver’s comeuppance, perhaps : BREATH TEST

What we know today as the breathalyzer was introduced in 1931 as a device called the “drunkometer”.

28. Pungent spice : BAY LEAF

The seasoning known as bay leaf is the aromatic leaf of the bay laurel tree or shrub. Fresh bay leaves aren’t very flavorful and need to be dried and aged a few weeks before use in the kitchen.

29. __ tendinitis: arm muscle ailment : BICEP

The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

The suffix “-itis” is used to denote inflammation, as in laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), otitis (inflammation of the ear), tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).

31. Two-faced deity : JANUS

Janus was a Roman god usually depicted with two heads, one looking to the past and the other to the future. As such, as a god Janus is often associated with time. The Romans named the month of Ianuarius (our “January”) after Janus.

32. 1997 film character getting a lot of buzz? : ULEE

“Ulee’s Gold” is a highly respected film from 1997 in which Peter Fonda plays the title role of Ulee. Ulee’s “gold” is the honey that Ulee produces. It is a favorite role for Peter Fonda and he has shared that playing Ulee brought to mind his father Henry Fonda, who himself kept a couple of hives. So if you see Peter Fonda in “Ulee’s Gold” you’re witnessing some characteristics that Peter saw in his father.

33. Heroic adventure : GEST

Our word “gest”, meaning a great deed or exploit, has been around since about 1300. The term comes from the Old French word “geste” meaning the same thing. These days “geste” can also mean “gesture”.

35. 1931 Oscar-winning Western based on an Edna Ferber novel : CIMARRON

“Cimarron” is a 1929 novel by Edna Ferber, adapted into a film of the same name two years later. The novel is all about the Oklahoma Land Rush. Unsettled land back then was known as Cimarron Territory, a familiar name used by settlers, giving the title to the novel. There is a 1931 film adaptation that won three of that season’s Oscars, including the award for Outstanding Production.

38. “Raging Bull” boxer : LAMOTTA

I just do not like boxing, nor movies about boxing, but I certainly accept that “Raging Bull” is true cinema classic. It is a biopic released in 1980, with Robert De Niro starring as Jake LaMotta, and ably directed by Martin Scorsese. Famously, De Niro gained about 70 pounds in weight to lay LaMotta in his early years, showing true dedication to his craft.

39. “Wolf” channel : CNN

Wolf Blitzer is the son of Jewish refugees from Poland. He was born in Augsburg in Germany and was given the name “Wolf” in honor of his maternal grandfather. Wolf came with his family to live in the US, and he was raised in Buffalo, New York.

41. Mailer, for one : AUTHOR

Norman Mailer was a writer from Long Branch, New Jersey. Mailer’s work was much acclaimed and he won two Pulitzer Prizes and one National Book Award. One of his most famous novels is “The Naked and the Dead” published in 1948, a story based on Mailer’s experiences in the Philippines with the 112th Cavalry Regiment during WWII.

43. Packer quarterback Rodgers : AARON

Aaron Rodgers signed with the Green Bay Packers as quarterback in 2005. Aaron has a younger brother Jordan who played football with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

44. Feature of Sousa’s music : GUSTO

“Gusto” is an Italian word meaning “taste”. We use it in English in the phrase “with gusto” meaning “with great enjoyment”.

John Philip Sousa was a composer and conductor from Washington, D.C. Sousa was well known for his patriotic marches and earned himself the nickname “The American March King”. He served as a member of the US Marine Band from 1868 to 1875, and after leaving the Marines learned to conduct and compose. One of the Sousa compositions that is well-known around the world is called “The Liberty Bell”, a tune used as the musical theme for BBC Television’s “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Sousa also wrote “Semper Fidelis”, which is the official march of the US Marine Corps.

46. Deep-water fish : OPAH

“Opah” is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I’ve seen one in the Monterey Aquarium. It is one huge fish …

48. Catchall survey opción : OTRO

In Spanish, when answering a survey, one “opción” (option) might be “otro” (other).

53. “Preacher” network : AMC

AMC, formerly known as American Movie Classics, is one of my favorite television channels. Although the channel’s focus has shifted from airing classic movies to including other programming, there’s still a lot of quality output. AMC’s flagship shows are “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad”.

“Preacher” is a TV series based on a comic book superhero series of the same name. Doesn’t sound like my cup of tea …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Oceanic ecosystem : MARINE BIOME
12. Common intruders : ADS
15. Mexican sugar substitute : AGAVE NECTAR
16. Home Depot purchase : SAW
17. Black-necked flier : CANADA GOOSE
18. Knoxville energy agcy. : TVA
19. Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN
20. Bradlee in “The Post” : BEN
21. 2013 Culinary Hall of Fame inductee : EMERIL
23. Key used in shortcuts : ALT
24. Word of warning : PRIVATE
25. Downer at a party? : DEBBIE
29. Waterside accommodations : BOATEL
30. Not dense, in a way : RURAL
31. Lindy relative : JITTERBUG
34. Deuterium discoverer Harold : UREY
35. They usually have spines : CACTI
36. Ornate metalware : TOLE
37. Spots for sports stands : GOAL LINES
39. Forks over, formally : CEDES
40. Collaborate : TEAM UP
41. “Even so … ” : AND YET …
42. “Thunderball” setting : BAHAMAS
44. Try hard (for) : GUN
45. Had taken, as a portrait : SAT FOR
46. Tagged, perhaps : OUT
47. Territorial marking : POST
51. It may build up gradually : IRE
52. Skeet participant : TRAP SHOOTER
55. Styling creations : DOS
56. Italian cooking staple : TOMATO PUREE
57. Tolkien creature : ENT
58. Mall attraction : ANCHOR STORE

Down

1. Medieval weapon : MACE
2. Seaweed product : AGAR
3. Indian palace resident : RANI
4. One of the Karamazovs : IVAN
5. “Deliverance” co-star of Jon, Burt and Ronny : NED
6. Allow : ENABLE
7. Cause : BEGET
8. Small program opener : ICON
9. Plains tribe : OTO
10. Classy wheels : MASERATI
11. Religious recluse : EREMITE
12. Vehicle for some spiritual experiences : ASTRAL BODY
13. Boat-lifting device : DAVIT
14. Depressed area : SWALE
22. Turned inside out : EVERTED
23. Not feel well : AIL
24. Mrs. __, head of the kitchen in “Beauty and the Beast” : POTTS
25. Numb, in a way : DRUG
26. Marseilles money : EURO
27. Erratic driver’s comeuppance, perhaps : BREATH TEST
28. Pungent spice : BAY LEAF
29. __ tendinitis: arm muscle ailment : BICEP
31. Two-faced deity : JANUS
32. 1997 film character getting a lot of buzz? : ULEE
33. Heroic adventure : GEST
35. 1931 Oscar-winning Western based on an Edna Ferber novel : CIMARRON
38. “Raging Bull” boxer : LAMOTTA
39. “Wolf” channel : CNN
41. Mailer, for one : AUTHOR
42. Something in back of a hit? : B-SIDE
43. Packer quarterback Rodgers : AARON
44. Feature of Sousa’s music : GUSTO
46. Deep-water fish : OPAH
47. Sulk : POUT
48. Catchall survey opción : OTRO
49. Carnival draw : SEER
50. Street adornment : TREE
53. “Preacher” network : AMC
54. Black __ : OPS

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