LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Apr 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Lila Cherry
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Intersecting 4-Letter Words

The four circled letters in the grid are the points of intersection of pairs of 4-letter words. We are instructed to connect each pair of 4-letter words with “AS A”, creating four similes:

  • 16A. Tipsy : HIGH
  • 11D. 2000s best-seller involving flying toys, with “The” : … KITE RUNNER
  • … giving “HIGH AS A KITE
  • 2D. Thoughtful : DEEP
  • 17A. Rich : WELL-HEELED
  • … giving “DEEP AS A WELL
  • 63D. Priceless? : FREE
  • 66A. Object of Puddy Tat’s pursuit : TWEETY BIRD
  • … giving “FREE AS A BIRD
  • 68A. Skinny : THIN
  • 29D. Protective bar on a flat roof : SAFETY RAIL
  • … giving “THIN AS A RAIL

Bill’s time: 5m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Romantic kissing at the mall and such, briefly : PDAS

Public display of affection (PDA)

5. Skier’s challenge : MOGUL

Moguls are the series of bumps in the surface of snow that arise naturally as a succession of skiers make turns on a slope.

10. Ref’s decisions : TKOS

Technical knockout (TKO)

14. Finnish architect Saarinen : EERO

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect who was renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

16. Tipsy : HIGH

The term “tipsy” comes from the verb “to tip” meaning “to overturn, knock over”, and has been meaning “drunk” since the late 1500s.

19. To be, in Bordeaux : ETRE

Bordeaux is perhaps the wine-production capital of the world. Wine has been produced in the area since the eighth century. Bordeaux has an administrative history too. During WWII, the French government relocated from Paris to the port city of Bordeaux when it became clear that Paris was soon to fall to the Germans. After the Germans took France, the capital was famously moved to Vichy.

20. English china : SPODE

Spode is a brand of pottery made in Stoke-on-Trent in the north of England. The company was founded by Josiah Spode in 1770. Spode is noted for its fine bone china, and indeed Josiah Spode came up with the first successful formulation for bone china. Bone china is so called because one of the main components is bone ash derived from animal bones.

21. With 61-Across, seriously overweight fictional sleuth : NERO …
(61A. See 21-Across : … WOLFE)

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

34. Lisbon hello : OLA

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Lisbon is the westernmost capital city in Europe, and indeed is the westernmost large city on the continent. It is also the oldest city in Western Europe and was founded hundreds of years before London, Paris and Rome.

35. Shankar’s instrument : SITAR

The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. It is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

46. Indian breads : NAANS

In an Indian restaurant, naan bread is very popular. Roti is the unleavened cousin to naan.

51. Prayerful chants : MANTRAS

A mantra is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.

57. “Cosmos” author Sagan : CARL

“Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” is a 2014 science documentary TV show presented by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. The series is a follow-on to the famous 1980 show “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” that was presented by Carl Sagan.

59. Chief Asgard god : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. He is usually depicted as having one eye, reflecting the story of how he gave one of his eyes in exchange for wisdom.

Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds of Norse religions. It is where the Norse gods live, and is also home to Valhalla, the enormous hall ruled over by the god Odin.

65. Healthful berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

66. Object of the puddy tat’s pursuit : TWEETY BIRD

“I tawt I taw a puddy tat!” is a famous line uttered by Tweety Bird, the yellow canary in the “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons who is constantly stalked by various cats.

69. Dominican Republic neighbor : HAITI

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

72. Max of Dadaism : ERNST

Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, and a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914” a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.

Down

1. Benches flanking church aisles : PEWS

A pew is a bench in a church, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

3. Guthrie at Woodstock : ARLO

Singer Arlo Guthrie is known for his protest songs, just like his father Woody Guthrie. The younger Guthrie only ever had one song in the top 40: a cover version of “City of New Orleans”. He has lived for years in the town of Washington, just outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 1976 song “Massachusetts” has been the official folk song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1981.

5. Homer’s bartender : MOE

The regulars on “The Simpsons” hang out at Moe’s Tavern, which is named for and run by Moe Szyslak. The most popular beer at Moe’s is Duff Beer. The name “Duff” is a reference to the real-life Duffy’s Tavern that used to be East 13th Street in Eugene, Oregon. “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening used to frequent Duffy’s regularly, and Moe’s looks very much like Duffy’s in terms of decor and floor plan.

6. Pizza maker : OVEN

Pizza was invented in Naples, where it has a long tradition that goes back to Ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today, on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

7. Ancient Greek physician : GALEN

Galen of Pergamum was a physician of Ancient Rome (of Greek ethnicity). Galen mainly worked on monkeys, dissecting their bodies to learn about physiology, as it was not permitted to dissect human bodies in his day.

8. In __: not yet born : UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. The Latin word was derived from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

10. 1993 film with an instrument in its title : THE PIANO

“The Piano” is a 1993 film set and filmed in New Zealand starring Harvey Keitel, Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin. The movie tells the story of a mute piano player and her daughter, and her efforts to regain her piano after it is sold. Holly Hunter managed to get three screen credits in “The Piano”. She was credited for her acting role, for playing her own piano pieces in the film, and for being the sign-language coach for young Anna Paquin.

11. 2000s best-seller involving flying toys, with “The” : … KITE RUNNER

“The Kite Runner” was the first novel by Khaled Hosseini, published in 2003. The very successful book became an equally successful film released in 2007. “The Kite Runner” tells the story of a young boy called Amir growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hosseini is a medical doctor, but after the success of “The Kite Runner” he gave up his practice and is now a fulltime write. His second book “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is also a great success.

12. Fairy tale meanie : OGRE

An ogre is a monster of mythology and folktales that has the appearance of a man, and which eats human beings. The term “ogre” comes to us via French from the name of the Etruscan god Orcus, who feasted on the flesh of humans.

18. Evil spells : HEXES

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

24. Guitarist Clapton : ERIC

Can you believe that the great Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974, Clapton released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic “I Shot the Sheriff” and ended up selling more copies of that song than Bob Marley did himself. Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: once as a member of the Yardbirds, once as a member of the supergroup Cream, and once as a solo artist.

26. Muhammad in a ring : ALI

Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later.

27. Hebrew scroll : TORAH

The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching”, I am told.

28. Samuel on the Supreme Court : ALITO

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

30. X-Men co-creator Lee : STAN

Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he has a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

X-Men is a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains that X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellen.

32. Mythical lion’s home : NEMEA

“The Twelve Labors of Hercules” is actually a Greek myth, although Hercules is the Roman name for the hero that the Greeks called Heracles. The first of these labors was to slay the Nemean Lion, a monster that lived in a cave near Nemea. Hercules had a tough job as the lion’s golden fur was impenetrable to normal weapons. One version of the story is that Hercules killed the lion by shooting an arrow into its mouth. Another version says that Hercules stunned the monster with a club and then strangled him with his bare hands.

36. Words that connect each pair of four-letter words intersecting at a circle : … AS A …

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

37. Unit at Staples : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

Staples is an office supply chain store based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Some of the company’s stores have a Staples EasyTech department that provides computer repair and upgrade services.

42. Stocking tear : SNAG

A snag is a pull or a tear in a fabric. A snag, particularly in stockings, might lead to a run. And on the other side of the Atlantic, a “run” is called a “ladder”.

57. Suffragist Carrie : CATT

Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. Catt was also very close to Susan B. Anthony and succeeded Anthony as head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

60. Brooklyn NBA team : NETS

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets were the New Jersey Nets until 2012, and were based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

62. Old Italian cash : LIRE

The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

64. Cheese from the Netherlands : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

67. Tiny songbird : TIT

The birds known as chickadees or titmice in North America, are usually called simply “tits” in the rest of the English-speaking world.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Romantic kissing at the mall and such, briefly : PDAS
5. Skier’s challenge : MOGUL
10. Ref’s decisions : TKOS
14. Finnish architect Saarinen : EERO
15. Egg-shaped : OVATE
16. Tipsy : HIGH
17. Rich : WELL-HEELED
19. To be, in Bordeaux : ETRE
20. English china : SPODE
21. With 61-Across, seriously overweight fictional sleuth : NERO …
22. Chick’s cry : PEEP
23. Tree-toppling tool : AXE
25. “That’s cheating!” : NO FAIR!
27. Wine evaluators : TASTERS
31. Get in your face about : FLAUNT
34. Lisbon hello : OLA
35. Shankar’s instrument : SITAR
38. Personal, as thoughts : INNER
39. Break in relations : RIFT
41. Lawyer’s backlog : CASES
43. “I’m paying for the drinks” : ON ME
44. Dined at home : ATE IN
46. Indian breads : NAANS
48. “A mouse!” : EEK!
49. Sound equipment that may pick up a private remark : HOT MIC
51. Prayerful chants : MANTRAS
53. Scold loudly : YELL AT
56. Sticky stuff : GOO
57. “Cosmos” author Sagan : CARL
59. Chief Asgard god : ODIN
61. See 21-Across : … WOLFE
65. Healthful berry : ACAI
66. Object of the puddy tat’s pursuit : TWEETY BIRD
68. Skinny : THIN
69. Dominican Republic neighbor : HAITI
70. Triangle calculation : AREA
71. Prefix with -pathic : TELE-
72. Max of Dadaism : ERNST
73. Consider : DEEM

Down

1. Benches flanking church aisles : PEWS
2. Thoughtful : DEEP
3. Guthrie at Woodstock : ARLO
4. Went for in an auction : SOLD AT
5. Homer’s bartender : MOE
6. Pizza maker : OVEN
7. Ancient Greek physician : GALEN
8. In __: not yet born : UTERO
9. Batted first : LED OFF
10. 1993 film with an instrument in its title : THE PIANO
11. 2000s best-seller involving flying toys, with “The” : … KITE RUNNER
12. Fairy tale meanie : OGRE
13. Herding dog name : SHEP
18. Evil spells : HEXES
24. Guitarist Clapton : ERIC
26. Muhammad in a ring : ALI
27. Hebrew scroll : TORAH
28. Samuel on the Supreme Court : ALITO
29. Protective bar on a flat roof : SAFETY RAIL
30. X-Men co-creator Lee : STAN
32. Mythical lion’s home : NEMEA
33. Arduous journeys : TREKS
36. Words that connect each pair of four-letter words intersecting at a circle : … AS A …
37. Unit at Staples : REAM
40. Facebook feature : TIMELINE
42. Stocking tear : SNAG
45. Zip, in soccer : NIL
47. Wintry and white : SNOWY
50. Provide apparel for : CLOTHE
52. “Tough!” : TOO BAD!
54. No-holds-barred commercial competition : AD WAR
55. Advertising link : TIE-IN
57. Suffragist Carrie : CATT
58. Tooth pain : ACHE
60. Brooklyn NBA team : NETS
62. Old Italian cash : LIRE
63. Priceless? : FREE
64. Cheese from the Netherlands : EDAM
67. Tiny songbird : TIT

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