LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Apr 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Evan Mahnken
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Inner Circle

Themed answers each include an INNER CIRCLE, i.e. the hidden word “ORB”:

  • 59A. Small, influential group … and a hint to the word hidden in each answer to a starred clue : INNER CIRCLE
  • 18A. *Sci-fi energy ray that grabs ships : TRACTOR BEAM
  • 3D. *Sci-fi classic featuring Robby the Robot : FORBIDDEN PLANET
  • 8D. *Vessels pulling water-skiers : MOTORBOATS
  • 11D. *Sign outside a new store : OPEN FOR BUSINESS
  • 28D. *Unable to tell red from green, say : COLOR-BLIND

Bill’s time: 5m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11. Canada’s most populous prov. : ONT

The Canadian province of Ontario takes its name from the Great Lake. In turn, Lake Ontario’s name is thought to be derived from “Ontari:io”, a Huron word meaning “great lake”. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital of Ottawa as well as Toronto, Canada’s most populous city (and the capital of the province).

14. Corporate VIP : CEO

Chief executive officer (CEO)

15. Pudding choice : TAPIOCA

The cassava plant is a woody shrub native to South America grown largely for its carbohydrate-rich tubers. In fact, the cassava is the third largest food source of carbohydrates (for humans) in the world. Ordinarily, that carbohydrate is extracted from the plant and dried as flour, and is known as tapioca.

16. Canada’s least populous prov. : PEI

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a maritime Canadian province. The island at the center of the province was named for Prince Edward, the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria.

20. Set of guidelines, as for grading papers : RUBRIC

In Medieval illuminated manuscripts, sections of text that are highlighted in red ink are known as rubrics. Often a rubric would be seen at the top of a page, and we tend to use the term “rubric” for a title or a name. “Rubric” comes from the Latin “rubrica”, the red ocher used in making the red pigment used in ink. “Rubric” has evolved to mean an authoritative rule or direction.

27. __ Moines : DES

The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French “Riviere des Moines” meaning “River of the Monks”. It looks like there isn’t any “monkish” connection to the city’s name per se. “Des Moines” was just the name given by French traders who corrupted “Moingona”, the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others do contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

28. Hailed car : CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

30. Sign before Virgo : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

35. Tattle : RAT

Something described as tattletale is revealing, it gives away a secret. The term is a combination of “tattle” and “tale”, and is probably patterned on the similar word “telltale”. “To tattle” means “to tell secrets”, and the noun “tattletale” applies to someone who tells secrets and informs.

38. “Joltin'” DiMaggio : JOE

Joe DiMaggio was born not too far from here, in Martinez, California, the son of Italian immigrants. The family moved to San Francisco when Joltin’ Joe was just a baby. Joe’s Dad was a fisherman, and it was his hope that all his sons would follow him into his trade. But Joe always felt sick at the smell of fish, so fishing’s loss was baseball’s gain.

41. Columnist Landers : ANN

“Ask Ann Landers” was an advice column written by Eppie Lederer from 1955 to 2002. Eppie was the twin sister to Pauline Phillips, the person behind “Dear Abby”. Eppie took over the “Ask Ann Landers” column from Ruth Crowley who started it in 1943.

43. Salt Lake City athlete : UTE

The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

46. In medias __ : RES

“In media res” is a Latin phrase that translates as “into the middle of things”. We use “in media res” to describe a literary technique in which a story starts at some point other than the beginning of the plot.

47. “Big Brother” channel : CBS

The “Big Brother” television franchise started out in 1999 in the Netherlands. The term “Big Brother” comes from George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.

49. Soda can feature : PULL TAB

The term “pop top” refers to a whole family of designs for opening the top of a soda can. The oldest method is the “pull tab” or “ring pull”, invented in Canada in 1956. The design was long-lived, but it had its problems, so the world heaved a sigh of relief with the invention of the stay-on-tab in 1975. The new design led to less injuries and eliminated all those used pull tabs that littered the streets.

55. Word of lament for “poor Yorick” : ALAS

In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, there is a scene when Prince Hamlet holds in his hand the skull of the deceased court jester Yorick. Hamlet starts into a famous monologue at this point:

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is …

The opening line is often misquoted as “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well.”

58. The “U” in “MVEMJSUN” : URANUS

There are several mnemonics used to remember the planets and the order in which they are found in the Solar System. One example is “My Very Easy Method Just Shows Us Nine Planets”, but that doesn’t really work since Pluto was relegated from “planethood”. The most oft-quoted mnemonic for the eight planets is “My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos”. Given the relegation of Pluto, I kind of like “Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nature”.

62. Suffix with ranch : -ERO

A ranchero is someone who owns, operates or is employed on a ranch, and is a word with Spanish roots.

63. “Norma __”: Sally Field film : RAE

“Norma Rae” is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called “Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance”.

Actress Sally Field first came to the public’s attention in the sixties with title roles in the TV shows “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun”. She has two Best Actress Oscars: one for “Norma Rae” (1979) and one for “Places in the Heart” (1984).

64. Witty remarks : BON MOTS

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

65. ID on a W-9 form : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

IRS form W-9 is a Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. The W-9 is filled out by employees and used by employers for payroll purposes. The form is not submitted to the IRS.

66. Concorde, e.g., briefly : SST

The most famous Supersonic Transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that’s no longer flying. Concorde had that famous “droop nose”. The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.

67. Martyred bishop of Paris : ST DENIS

Not only is Saint Denis (also “Denys”) the patron saint of France, but he is also the patron saint of Paris. Denis was the first Bishop of Paris, in the 3rd century AD, and was martyred by having his head chopped off. The legend surrounding this event is that the executed Denis picked up his head and walked for six miles, delivering a sermon the whole way.

Down

1. Taiwanese laptops : ACERS

Computer manufacturer Acer has a line of ultra-portable laptops that are remarkably thin, which are sold under the “Swift” label.

3. *Sci-fi classic featuring Robby the Robot : FORBIDDEN PLANET

“Forbidden Planet” is a 1956 sci-fi movie starring Walter Pidgeon that bears some resemblance to William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”. “Forbidden Planet” is notable for several reasons, including the fact that it was the first film showing humans traveling in a starship, and the the first set entirely on another planet. It was also the first film to feature a robot that had a personality. That’s Robby the Robot.

4. Top stories : ATTICS

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

5. Durable wood : LARCH

Lumber from the larch is valued because it is resistant to rot. The wood is particularly efficacious in boatbuilding and for exterior cladding of buildings. A more prosaic application is for fence posts that are placed in the ground.

6. Mental health org. : APA

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

8. *Vessels pulling water-skiers : MOTORBOATS

The sport of water-skiing dates back to 1922, when it was invented by one Ralph Samuelson on Lake Pepin, located on the Mississippi River near Saint Paul in Minnesota.

10. Patriotic women’s org. : DAR

In order to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), an applicant has to prove that she is a descendant of someone closely associated with, and supportive of, the American Revolution. The DAR maintains an online database of Revolutionary War patriots. The database is searchable, and is known as the Patriot Index.

19. Diminish : BATE

To bate is to restrain, as in “with bated breath” meaning “with restrained breath”. The term can also mean to lessen, and is a shortening of “abate”.

21. Numbered rd. : RTE

Route (rte.)

26. Auto pioneer : OLDS

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the founder of the Oldsmobile and REO brands. Olds introduced the first modern “stationary” assembly line (Henry Ford’s famous innovation was the “moving” assembly line).

28. *Unable to tell red from green, say : COLOR-BLIND

The most common cause of color blindness is inherited, and is a defect found on the X chromosome. As females have two X chromosomes, a defect gene is usually compensated by the non-defective on the other X chromosome. As males only have one X chromosome, inherited color blindness is far more prevalent in men than women.

31. “How to Get Away With Murder” actress __ Naomi King : AJA

Aja Naomi King is an actress from Southern California who plays Michaela Pratt on the legal drama “How to Get Away with Murder”.

33. French “his” : SES

“Ses” is the French word for “his”, “her” or “its”, when referring to a group of items.

34. Tokyo, once : EDO

“Edo” is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo Castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

36. Word after op or pop : ART

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

An artistic work in the pop art style includes images taken from popular culture, perhaps from the news or an advertisement. The pop art movement started in the mid-fifties in Britain and emerged in the late-fifties in the US. One of the more famous pop artists was American Andy Warhol.

39. “Hud” director Martin : RITT

Martin Ritt is best remembered as a television and movie director. During the bad old days of the “Red Scare”, Ritt was working in television until he found himself on a blacklist for supposed support of Communist causes. He turned to the theater for work until the Red Scare had run its course, and then moved into the world of film. Some of his best known movies are “Hud”, “The Great White Hope” and “Norma Rae”.

I don’t like many westerns, to be honest, but the 1963 movie “Hud” is a classic. It stars Paul Newman and Patricia Neal and is an adaptation of a novel by Larry McMurtry called “Horseman, Pass By”. Patricia Neal’s role in the film was relatively small, yet her performance was enough to earn her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

50. Radii neighbors : ULNAS

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

51. Fancy neckwear : ASCOT

An Ascot is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

60. NFL playmakers : RBS

In football, running backs (RBs) and wide receivers (WRs) often score touchdowns (TDs).

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sound from Rover : ARF!
4. Quite anxious : ALARMED
11. Canada’s most populous prov. : ONT
14. Corporate VIP : CEO
15. Pudding choice : TAPIOCA
16. Canada’s least populous prov. : PEI
17. Mess up : ERR
18. *Sci-fi energy ray that grabs ships : TRACTOR BEAM
20. Set of guidelines, as for grading papers : RUBRIC
22. Big stretch of time : EON
23. Pay to play : ANTE
24. Tattle : SNITCH
25. Cheer on : ROOT FOR
27. __ Moines : DES
28. Hailed car : CAB
30. Sign before Virgo : LEO
31. “Then what happened?” : AND?
33. Sang 29-Down : SOLOED
35. Tattle : RAT
38. “Joltin'” DiMaggio : JOE
39. Puts in new film : RELOADS
40. “Dawg!” : BRO!
41. Columnist Landers : ANN
42. Sees right through : IS ONTO
43. Salt Lake City athlete : UTE
44. Family cat, e.g. : PET
46. In medias __ : RES
47. “Big Brother” channel : CBS
49. Soda can feature : PULL TAB
52. Yacht spot : MARINA
55. Word of lament for “poor Yorick” : ALAS
56. __-pitch softball : SLO
58. The “U” in “MVEMJSUN” : URANUS
59. Small, influential group … and a hint to the word hidden in each answer to a starred clue : INNER CIRCLE
62. Suffix with ranch : -ERO
63. “Norma __”: Sally Field film : RAE
64. Witty remarks : BON MOTS
65. ID on a W-9 form : SSN
66. Concorde, e.g., briefly : SST
67. Martyred bishop of Paris : ST DENIS
68. “Ha! Told ya!” : SEE?!

Down

1. Taiwanese laptops : ACERS
2. Syndicated sitcom, say : RERUN
3. *Sci-fi classic featuring Robby the Robot : FORBIDDEN PLANET
4. Top stories : ATTICS
5. Durable wood : LARCH
6. Mental health org. : APA
7. Beans go-with : RICE
8. *Vessels pulling water-skiers : MOTORBOATS
9. Budget, in product names : ECONO
10. Patriotic women’s org. : DAR
11. *Sign outside a new store : OPEN FOR BUSINESS
12. “That’s awesome!” : NEATO!
13. Sometimes egg-shaped kitchen gadget : TIMER
19. Diminish : BATE
21. Numbered rd. : RTE
26. Auto pioneer : OLDS
28. *Unable to tell red from green, say : COLOR-BLIND
29. Without company : ALONE
31. “How to Get Away With Murder” actress __ Naomi King : AJA
32. “Smoking or __?” : NON
33. French “his” : SES
34. Tokyo, once : EDO
36. Word after op or pop : ART
37. Foot part : TOE
39. “Hud” director Martin : RITT
45. Ultimatum word : ELSE
47. Tender touch : CARESS
48. Sports __ : BRA
49. Socks from the dryer, hopefully : PAIRS
50. Radii neighbors : ULNAS
51. Fancy neckwear : ASCOT
52. Vitamin prefix : MULTI-
53. Rehab center staffer : NURSE
54. Synchronously : AS ONE
57. “It’s her __”: relationship ultimatum : OR ME
60. NFL playmakers : RBS
61. Cheat : CON

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