LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Mar 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Alan Olschwang
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day, everyone!

Bill’s time: 14m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Surfers’ banes : WIPEOUTS

Today we tend to use the word “bane” to mean anathema, a source of persistent annoyance. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

9. Figures in Spanish skating : OCHOS

In Spanish, a skater might make figure “ochos” (eights) on the ice.

15. Concord, for one : GRAPE

Concord grapes are mostly used to make grape jelly, and are only occasionally used as table grapes or for making wine. The Concord cultivar was developed in the mid 1800s by Ephraim Wales Bull in Concord, Massachusetts, hence the name.

16. NBC slogan that covered “Hill Street Blues,” among others : MUST SEE TV

“Must See TV” is a slogan that was used by NBC primarily to promote its Thursday night lineup of prime-time shows. The slogan was introduced in the 1990s, and was dropped in the 2000s. The list of shows promoted as “Must See TV” included “Mad About You”, “Seinfeld”, “Frasier”, “L.A. Law”, “ER” and “Friends”.

18. Took on cargo : LADED

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

20. Some functionally limited applications : SHAREWARE

Shareware is software that is distributed for free, although there is usually a request to pay a non-compulsory license fee.

22. WWII camp : STALAG

“Stalag” was the term used for a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. “Stalag” is an abbreviation for “Stammlager”, which in turn is the short form of” Mannschaft Stamm und Straflager”, literally “crew master and prison camp”.

26. Feature of some lights : LESS TAR

The partially-combusted particulate matter that is produced as a cigarette burns forms a resinous material called “tar”. Cigarette tar is different than the tar used on roads, but is very toxic. Marijuana smoke produces a very similar tar to cigarette smoke, and is just as dangerous.

27. NL West team : 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.

28. Wee : SMA

The Scots dialect word sma’ means “small”. The word famously appears in the Robert Burns poem, “To a Mouse”. The pertinent lines read:

A daimen icker in a thrave
’S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

which “translates” to:

An occasional ear of corn out of twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I’ll be blest with the rest of the corn,
And never miss the ear you took!

29. Hose : PAIR OF STOCKINGS

The word “hose” meaning “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.

38. “Mom,” e.g. : SITUATION COMEDY

“Mom” is a sitcom starring Anna Faris and the great Allison Janney that premiered in 2013. Famously, the show deals with the problems of alcoholism and drug abuse head on.

40. Zebra kin : ASS

The name “zebra” comes from an old Portuguese word “zevra” meaning “wild ass”. Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.

41. “Blueberries for __”: kids’ book awarded a 1949 Caldecott Honor : SAL

“Blueberries for Sal” is a children’s storybook by Robert McCloskey that was published in 1948. It won the Caldecott Medal in 1949, recognizing “Blueberries for Sal” as the most distinguished picture for children released in the preceding year.

47. Has an online chat with : SKYPES

The main feature of the Skype application when introduced was that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called “Sky peer-to-peer” so the first commercial name for the application was “Skyper”. This had to be shortened to “Skype” because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

51. Like evil villains : REDUNDANT

The phrase “evil villains” is redundant in the sense that the word “evil” is unnecessary because by definition, villains are evil.

54. Skeletal start? : EXO-

An animal with an endoskeleton has a supporting skeleton inside its body. So, we humans have an endoskeleton. A turtle, on the other hand, has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton, its outer shell.

61. Popular Canadian beer : LAKEPORT

Lakeport Brewing is a brewery in Hamilton, Ontario that was founded in 1992. Lakeport has been known as a discount brewer since 2002, when it launched a campaign offering twenty-four beers for twenty-four dollars.

Down

1. Timid types : WIMPS

Our term “wimp”, describing a “timid person”, is probably an alteration of “whimper”, the sound that such an individual might make.

2. Arctic inhabitant : INUIT

The Inuit peoples live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

6. Gulf states fed. : UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

The Persian Gulf is in effect an inland sea although it technically is an offshoot of the Indian Ocean. The outlet from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean is one of the most famous maritime “choke points” in the world, and is known as the Strait of Hormuz. About 20% of the world’s supply of petroleum passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

7. Tijuana trio : TRES

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

8. Newborn mentioned in Genesis 4:25 : SETH

According to the Bible, Seth was the third son of Adam and Eve, coming after Cain and Abel. Seth is the only other child of Adam and Eve who is mentioned by name. According to the Book of Genesis, Seth was born after Cain had slain his brother Abel.

10. Crows’ crops : CRAWS

“Craw” is another name for the “crop”, a portion of the alimentary tract of some animals, including birds. The crop is used for the storage of food prior to digestion. It allows the animal to eat large amounts and then digest that food with efficiency over an extended period. The expression “to stick in one’s craw” is used one when one cannot accept something, cannot “swallow” it.

12. Work often with subtitles : OPERA

Conceptually, surtitles (also “supertitles”) at say an opera are like subtitles in a film. Translations of the libretto are projected above the stage for the benefit of the audience.

13. Where the same questions are asked annually : SEDER

The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. One of the traditions at the meal is that the youngest child at the table asks “The Four Questions”, all relating to why this night is different from all other nights in the year:

  • Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

17. 1989 Firth/Bening movie : VALMONT

“Valmont” is a 1989 film starring Colin Firth and Annette Bening that is based on the 1782 novel “Les Liaisons dangereuses”. It’s a sordid tale about a man attempting to corrupt a young girl, all for a bet.

23. “CSI: Miami” actress Eva : LARUE

Eva LaRue is a an actress from Long Beach, California. LaRue’s most famous roles were Dr. Maria Santos on the soap “All My Children” and Detective Natalia Boa Vista on “CSI: Miami”. LaRue has a famous third cousin, namely actress Jane Fonda.

29. Meas. checked at a garage : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

30. River to the Rhone : AIN

The Ain is a river in the east of France that gives its name to the Ain department. The Ain flows into the Rhône not too far from the city of Lyon.

31. Former comm. giant : ITT

International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) was formed in 1920 from the Puerto Rico Telephone Company. ITT divested its telecommunications business in 1986, today the company is known for its products in the field of water and fluids management, as well motion and flow control. Many of ITT’s products are sold into the aerospace market.

32. Shuteye sessions : SIESTAS

We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, and imported the word into English from Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at the sixth hour after dawn.

33. Brownie maker : KODAK

George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company, named after the Kodak camera that he had invented four years earlier. He came up with the name of Kodak after careful consideration. Firstly he was a big fan of the letter “K”, calling it “strong, incisive”. He also wanted a word that was short, easy to pronounce and difficult to mispronounce, and a word that was clearly unique with no prior associations. “Kodak” fit the bill.

Kodak introduced the Brownie camera in 1900, and hence ushered in the era of low-cost photography and snapshots. Brownies went on sale for the princely sum of one dollar. And yes, I had one …

35. “Great Public Schools for Every Student” org. : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

36. Whse. filler : GDS

A warehouse (whse.) is usually filled with goods (gds.).

43. Slow tempo : LENTO

A “lento” passage is a piece of music that has a slow tempo. “Lento” is Italian for “slow”.

48. Monterrey jack : PESOS

The coin called a peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

“Jack” is a slang term meaning “money”.

Monterrey is a Mexican city, the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon in the northeast of the country. Monterrey is the second largest city in Mexico in terms of area, but third largest in terms of population (the largest area city in the country is Mexico City, and the most populous are Mexico City and Guadalajara).

52. NCAA ‘Cane’s rival : ‘NOLE

Florida State University (FSU) is located in Tallahassee, the state capital of Florida. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Seminoles (sometimes “the ‘Noles”). The team name was chosen in 1947 by the students in a vote, and alludes to the Seminole people who originally lived in the state. Most of the Seminole now live in Oklahoma, after their forced relocation by the US government in the 1840s.

The Hurricanes (also “Canes”) are the athletics teams of the University of Miami. The school’s mascot is Sebastian the Ibis. “The Ibis” was chosen as the name of the school’s yearbook in 1926, and was adopted as the mascot decades later in the eighties. The ibis was selected by the Hurricanes as the bird is known for its bravery when a hurricane approaches.

59. “… thus wide I’ll __ my arms”: “Hamlet” : OPE

Here are some lines spoken by Laertes to Claudius:

To his good friends thus wide I’ll ope my arms
And, like the kind life-rendering pelican,
Repast them with my blood.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Surfers’ banes : WIPEOUTS
9. Figures in Spanish skating : OCHOS
14. Caught : IN A SNARE
15. Concord, for one : GRAPE
16. NBC slogan that covered “Hill Street Blues,” among others : MUST SEE TV
18. Took on cargo : LADED
19. Orchestra area : PIT
20. Some functionally limited applications : SHAREWARE
22. WWII camp : STALAG
26. Feature of some lights : LESS TAR
27. NL West team : ARI
28. Wee : SMA
29. Hose : PAIR OF STOCKINGS
38. “Mom,” e.g. : SITUATION COMEDY
39. Event on a fall highlight reel : INTERCEPTED PASS
40. Zebra kin : ASS
41. “Blueberries for __”: kids’ book awarded a 1949 Caldecott Honor : SAL
42. Newsletter editor’s filler : CLIP ART
47. Has an online chat with : SKYPES
51. Like evil villains : REDUNDANT
54. Skeletal start? : EXO-
55. Sluggish : INERT
56. One who’s not at all graceful : SORE LOSER
60. Put on : STAGE
61. Popular Canadian beer : LAKEPORT
62. Opposite ends : POLES
63. License requirements, perhaps : EYE TESTS

Down

1. Timid types : WIMPS
2. Arctic inhabitant : INUIT
3. Ristorante regular? : PASTA
4. World-record finish? : -EST
5. Switch statuses : ONS
6. Gulf states fed. : UAE
7. Tijuana trio : TRES
8. Newborn mentioned in Genesis 4:25 : SETH
9. Gives more than the once-over : OGLES
10. Crows’ crops : CRAWS
11. Attacked : HAD AT
12. Work often with subtitles : OPERA
13. Where the same questions are asked annually : SEDER
17. 1989 Firth/Bening movie : VALMONT
21. Log onto after a crash, say : RE-ACCESS
23. “CSI: Miami” actress Eva : LARUE
24. Like the arena after the home team’s winning goal : AROAR
25. Present with many options : GIFT CARD
28. Timetable listings : STOPS
29. Meas. checked at a garage : PSI
30. River to the Rhone : AIN
31. Former comm. giant : ITT
32. Shuteye sessions : SIESTAS
33. Brownie maker : KODAK
34. Suggest : IMPLY
35. “Great Public Schools for Every Student” org. : NEA
36. Whse. filler : GDS
37. __ admin : SYS
42. Like fresh lettuce : CRISP
43. Slow tempo : LENTO
44. As good as it gets : IDEAL
45. Completely cleanse : PURGE
46. Asks for a hand? : ANTES
48. Monterrey jack : PESOS
49. Apply : EXERT
50. Gets ready to file : SORTS
52. NCAA ‘Cane’s rival : ‘NOLE
53. Airplane platform? : TRAY
57. Supplement, with “out” : EKE
58. Give leave : LET
59. “… thus wide I’ll __ my arms”: “Hamlet” : OPE

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Mar 2018, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 16:38, no errors. Various missteps along the way. Finished with the “L” of “LAKEPORT” (something I’d never heard of) when I finally realized that it would give me “NOLES” (something I’d never heard of, but it made me think of “Seminoles”, which was vaguely familiar as a team name).

    WSJ: 25:50, no errors; okay theme, implemented well, but a rather tedious solve.

    Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 2:29:47 (including time away from the puzzle), no errors. For me, this one almost lived up to its name: at the one-hour mark, I had filled in less than 20% of it, so I put it aside while I did the WSJ. When I returned, large sections succumbed pretty quickly, but I still spent the final half-hour on just three squares.

    No further progress on Friday’s WSJ meta. Gotta remember that new mantra … ?

      1. @Dave –
        We don’t care about the meta. What about the coffee mug!!!???

        Still in Puerto Vallarta making sure the tequila is being made correctly. Much more testing to be done this evening…

        Happy St Pat’s Day all. I’m 3 days and 6 puzzles (NYT+LAT) behind. Will catch up someday.

  2. Tough puz, a few nice clues (Monterrey jack = PESOS / Present with many options = GIFTCARD), offset by vague or fairly desperate ones (Wee = SMA is the pits). As a clue for sitcom (spelled out, no less), “Mom” is pathetic. And Skype for online chat? Yeah, but c’mon … Weak cluing ultimately can keep an otherwise fine puzzle from being much fun, which ostensibly is what it’s all about.

    1. Agreed.

      Clues for “SMA” usually point out the Scottish connection.

      And “Mom” was a weird clue. I assume it refers to something I’d never heard of:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mom_(TV_series) ?

      Since I stopped turning on my TV quite a few years ago, most of what I know about what’s out there now comes from doing crossword puzzles.

      And I’ve Skyped a couple of times, but I try not to mention it in polite company … ?

      1. I think “wee” (As in a “wee dram”) was the hint at a Scottish connection to “sma” as far as I can tell.

        Lower right corner hung me up for awhile. I thought “airplane platform” was especially tricky. Finally got it to come out without any final errors. Now on to the WSJ 21X21.

  3. I watch “Mom” reruns every night on TV Land. Great sitcom. I loved that clue! Very challenging puzzle but I managed to complete it.

  4. No problem with the WSJ grid. In fact it was easier to some degree than the LAT’s today, even though it was longer obviously. (The don’t call me Captain Obvious for nothing!).

  5. Yikes!! This was HARD!!? DNF. I was completely thrown by “Mom”, having never heard of it, but maybe I’ll check it out since Lulu recommends it! ?
    A lot of too-tricky clues, IMO. “Feature of some lights” bugs me! Who refers to a cigarette as a “light”???!!!
    Jeff! Glad you checked in! You ain’t missing much Stateside… ?

    1. I gave up on this one early. The clues seemed too boring and obtuse. These people who polish one like this off in under half an hour blow my mind. They must be aliens.

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