LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Apr 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Many a tax filer’s need: Abbr. : SSN

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

8. Half-Blood Prince of fiction : SNAPE

Severus Snape is a character in the Harry Potter novels, played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen.

16. Fifth canonical hour : NONES

In the Roman Catholic tradition, there is an official set of daily prayers known as the Liturgy of the Hours. The traditional list of prayers is:

  • Matins (during the night, or at midnight)
  • Lauds or Dawn Prayer (Dawn, or 3 a.m.)
  • Prime or Early Morning Prayer (First Hour, or 6 a.m.)
  • Terce or Mid-Morning Prayer (Third Hour, or 9 a.m.)
  • Sext or Midday Prayer (Sixth Hour, or 12 noon)
  • None or Mid-Afternoon Prayer (Ninth Hour, or 3 p.m.)
  • Vespers or Evening Prayer (“at the lighting of the lamps”, or 6 p.m.)
  • Compline or Night Prayer (before retiring, generally at 9 p.m.)

19. Clematis supports : TRELLISES

The genus of flowering plant known as clematis is in the buttercup family. The name of the genus comes from an Ancient Greek word for “a climbing plant”.

20. Roger who played the U.K. ambassador on “The West Wing” : REES

Roger Rees was a Welsh actor. Rees played the character Robin Colcord on “Cheers”, the posh love interest for Rebecca Howe played by Kirstie Alley. Rees also appeared periodically on “The West Wing” as the marvelously flamboyant and eccentric Lord John Marbury, the British Ambassador.

25. Pacific resort, popularly : CABO

Cabo San Lucas is a major tourist destination at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. “Cabo” is sometimes referred to as the “Fort Lauderdale of Mexico”.

28. Typographic measure : PICA

A pica is a unit of measure used in typography. One pica is equivalent to 1/6 of an inch. Also, each pica unit contains 12 points.

34. Endangered chimpanzees : BONOBOS

The bonobo used to be called the pygmy chimpanzee, and is a cousin of the common chimpanzee. The bonobo is an endangered species that is now found in the wild only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest species to humans genetically.

38. Rickman who played 8-Across : ALAN
(8. Half-Blood Prince of fiction : SNAPE)

Alan Rickman was a marvelous English actor, famous for playing bad guy Hans Gruber in the original “Die Hard” film, Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” series and my personal favorite, Eamon de Valera in “Michael Collins”. Sadly, Rickman passed away in January 2016, after which fans created a memorial under the “Platform 9¾” sign in London’s Kings Cross Railway Station, from where the Hogwarts Express is said to depart in the “Harry Potter” universe.

39. Letters at the top of a window : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in most Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

41. Grenoble green : VERT

Grenoble is a city at the foot of the French Alps. Grenoble hosted the 1968 Winter Olympic Games.

42. Many an Egyptian pharaoh : RAMSES

Ramesses (also “Ramses”) was the name taken by eleven of the Egyptian pharaohs. “Ramesses” translates as “Born of the sun-god Ra”.

44. Historic Italian family : ESTE

Este is a town in the Province of Padua in the north of Italy. The town gave its name to the House of Este, a European princely dynasty. Members of the House of Este were important patrons of the arts, especially during the Italian Renaissance. The House of Hanover, that ruled Britain from 1714 to 1901 when Queen Victoria died, was perhaps the most notable branch of the House of Este.

53. Bad salt container? : BRIG

A brig is a two-masted sailing vessel, with the name “brig” coming from the related vessel known as a brigantine. Brigs and brigantines are both two-masted, but there is a difference in the sails used. It was the use of retired brigs as prison ships that led to use of “brig” as the word for a jail or prison cell on a seagoing vessel.

“Sea dog” and “salt” are familiar terms for a sailor, especially one that has lots of experience.

56. Half a comedy duo : MEARA

Anne Meara married fellow comedic actor Jerry Stiller in 1954. The couple’s children are actors Ben and Amy Stiller. Meara co-starred with Carroll O’Connor and Martin Balsam in the eighties sitcom “Archie Bunker’s Place”, a spin-off from “All in the Family”.

57. Waze forerunner : ROAD ATLAS

Rand McNally is a company long associated with the city of Chicago. Its roots go back to 1856 when William Rand opened a printing shop in the city. Two years later he hired an Irish immigrant named Andrew McNally and the pair turned to printing tickets and timetables for the railroad industry. They diversified into “railroad guides” in 1870, including the first Rand McNally map in the December 1872 edition. When automobile travel started to become significant, Rand and McNally turned their attention to roads and they published their first road map in 1904, a map of New York City. Rand and McNally popularized the use of highway numbers, and indeed erected many roadside highway signs themselves, long before the state and federal authorities adopted the idea.

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

Down

1. Certain NCOs : SSGTS

Staff sergeant (SSgt)

2. English subdivision : SHIRE

The word “shire” comes from the Old English “scir” meaning “administrative district”. The term was replaced with county as far back as the 14th century, but the usage persists to this day, largely because some counties retain the use of “-shire” as a suffix (Yorkshire, Lancashire etc.).

4. How to get to Carnegie Hall, perhaps : HAIL A CAB

The prestigious Carnegie Hall in midtown Manhattan opened for business in 1891. The magnificent edifice was named after the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who provided the funds for construction.

5. Fifth-century Roman Empire enemy : ATTILA

In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.

6. Black and Red : SEAS

There are four seas named for colors in English:

  • the Yellow Sea
  • the Black Sea
  • the Red Sea
  • the White Sea.

7. Shoulder-length do : PAGEBOY

What we now know as the “pageboy” hairstyle was apparently one introduced and made famous by the fifties fetish model, Betty Page. Women’s magazines dissociated themselves from the connection with Ms. Page and sold the hairstyle to the public as one worn historically by English pageboys, hence the name. A pageboy hairstyle is sort of like a “long bob cut” I guess. But don’t listen to me; I get a “number one all over” at my local barber shop …

8. Like a comment that may elicit “Oh, snap!” : SNARKY

“Snark” is a term that was coined by Lewis Carroll in his fabulous 1876 nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”. Somehow, the term “snarky” came to mean “irritable, short-tempered” in the early 1900s, and from there “snark” became “sarcastic rhetoric” at the beginning of the 21st century.

10. Bow tie alternative : ANGEL HAIR

Capellini is a pasta that is like a thin spaghetti. An even thinner version of the pasta is known as “capelli d’angelo”, which translates as “angel hair”.

“Farfalle” is commonly referred to as “bow-tie pasta” because of its shape. The name comes from the Italian “farfalla” meaning “butterfly”.

11. Eeyore, for one : PESSIMIST

Eeyore is the donkey character in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”. Eeyore is very lovable, but has a gloomy and pessimistic outlook on life.

14. Brat’s place : DELI

A bratwurst (sometimes “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

15. Sub or Santa follower : ROSA

“Sub rosa” is a Latin term that translates literally as “under the rose”. The term is used to denote confidentiality, as the rose has been a symbol of secrecy since ancient times.

Santa Rosa is the largest city in California’s Wine Country, and the county seat of Sonoma County. The epicenter of the so-called 1906 San Francisco Earthquake was located near Santa Rosa. There was actually more damage in Santa Rosa, for the size of the city, than there was in San Francisco.

23. Nav. rank : CMDR

Commander (cmdr.)

24. TV Marine : PYLE

Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith and brought onto “The Andy Griffith Show” as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Famously, Nabors then got his own show called “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”

28. Focus of some climate change concerns : POLAR BEAR

Polar bears are close cousins of brown bears, and are thought to have evolved from a population of brown bears that became isolated during a period of glaciation. Most polar bears live north of the Arctic Circle, and live mainly on seals that they capture near to the edge of ice floes.

29. Female lover : INAMORATA

“Inamorata” is an Italian term that we’ve imported into English. It describes a female lover. An “innamorato” is a male lover.

32. “House” actor : EPPS

Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Forman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Forman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Gant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

34. Avon product? : BARD

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

37. Viking accessory : OVEN RACK

Viking Range is a manufacturer of kitchen appliances that was founded in 1987 and is based in Greenwood, Mississippi.

40. “Got it” on the radio : TEN-FOUR

There is a set of “ten-codes” that were developed in 1937 for the use of law enforcement departments. As of 2006, the US federal government is recommending that they be replaced by plain language due to a lack of standardization in ten-codes. Examples of ten-codes are:

  • 10-1 meaning “bad reception”
  • 10-4 meaning “understood”
  • 10-9 meaning “say again”
  • 10-33 meaning “emergency, all units stand by”

43. Ellery Queen and Raven awards, e.g. : EDGARS

The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (the Edgars) are presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America. There are several categories of awards. For example, the Ellery Queen Award honors “writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry”. The Raven Award is presented to non-writers, who contribute to the mystery genre.

The Ellery Queen series of detective novels was somewhat unique in that Ellery Queen was the hero of the tales, and was also the pen name of the author. Actually, the “author” was a pair of writers; two cousins from Brooklyn, New York.

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …

49. Resort near Snowbird : ALTA

Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird, located next to Alta, has been in operation since 1971.

52. Canvas primer : GESSO

“Gesso” is the Italian word for “chalk” and gives its name to the powdered calcium carbonate that is used as a primer coat under artistic panel paintings. The gesso is mixed with a glue and applied to wood so that it acts as an absorbent surface for paint.

55. Thames gallery : TATE

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

56. Eldest March sister : MEG

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of little women is Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy and the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Many a tax filer’s need: Abbr. : SSN
4. It’s a lock : HASP
8. Half-Blood Prince of fiction : SNAPE
13. Showed emotion : SHED A TEAR
16. Fifth canonical hour : NONES
17. Try : GIVE IT A GO
18. Rarely a problem for happy-go-lucky types : ANGST
19. Clematis supports : TRELLISES
20. Roger who played the U.K. ambassador on “The West Wing” : REES
21. Published in installments : SERIAL
22. Impressive dismount : BACKFLIP
25. Pacific resort, popularly : CABO
27. “Good heavens!” : MY OH MY!
28. Typographic measure : PICA
31. Had in view : EYED
33. Guard attachment? : -RAIL
34. Endangered chimpanzees : BONOBOS
36. Potential : PROMISE
38. Rickman who played 8-Across : ALAN
39. Letters at the top of a window : HTTP
41. Grenoble green : VERT
42. Many an Egyptian pharaoh : RAMSES
44. Historic Italian family : ESTE
46. Menu type : DROP-DOWN
48. Spaced : IN A FOG
53. Bad salt container? : BRIG
54. Medium access? : AFTERLIFE
56. Half a comedy duo : MEARA
57. Waze forerunner : ROAD ATLAS
58. One might be picky : EATER
59. “Okay, back to work” : DUTY CALLS
60. Reunion attendees : GRADS
61. Offend, in a way : REEK
62. Terse street sign : SLO

Down

1. Certain NCOs : SSGTS
2. English subdivision : SHIRE
3. When some things will change? : NEVER
4. How to get to Carnegie Hall, perhaps : HAIL A CAB
5. Fifth-century Roman Empire enemy : ATTILA
6. Black and Red : SEAS
7. Shoulder-length do : PAGEBOY
8. Like a comment that may elicit “Oh, snap!” : SNARKY
9. “I’m good, thanks” : NONE FOR ME
10. Bow tie alternative : ANGEL HAIR
11. Eeyore, for one : PESSIMIST
12. Contractor’s no. : EST
14. Brat’s place : DELI
15. Sub or Santa follower : ROSA
23. Nav. rank : CMDR
24. TV Marine : PYLE
26. With 51-Down, tops : BEST …
28. Focus of some climate change concerns : POLAR BEAR
29. Female lover : INAMORATA
30. Plotted together : CONSPIRED
32. “House” actor : EPPS
34. Avon product? : BARD
35. Extremely : OH SO
37. Viking accessory : OVEN RACK
40. “Got it” on the radio : TEN-FOUR
43. Ellery Queen and Raven awards, e.g. : EDGARS
45. Camp craft : TIE-DYE
47. District : WARD
49. Resort near Snowbird : ALTA
50. Gases (up) : FILLS
51. See 26-Down : … OF ALL
52. Canvas primer : GESSO
55. Thames gallery : TATE
56. Eldest March sister : MEG

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Apr 2018, Saturday”

  1. LAT (on paper!): 13:57, no errors. WSJ: 34:02, no errors; a bit harder than usual. Newsday: 1:03:50, tough, with a one-square error that I’m still kicking myself for (at the intersection of an oddly-spelled word, derived from Greek, that I’d not heard of, and an acronym that should have been obvious, but was clued just deviously enough to throw me off). In any case … it’s good to see another set of Saturday puzzles receding in my rear-view mirror … ?

  2. Good, hard Saturday puzzle. Finished after 90 minutes but almost gave up at the right bottom quadrant. A number of clues I had no idea how to answer. Guessed (educated?) a good bit.

  3. Well, so much for this puzzle! It totally beat me up both sides of my head. I’d say I DNF, but I never even got a good start. AND I had such a good time with Fridays. Alas.

  4. For whatever unknown reason I had almost no difficulty with this grid. I kept expecting run into a road block (which is typically what happens on Friday or Saturday – or both!), but it ever happened. Very strange.

    On to the 21X21 WSJ grid next.

  5. 37:14. Very hard one that required some educated guesses to finish. I vaguely remember from the 1970’s CB radio days that a 10-100 meant you were taking a restroom stop along the road….

    Well Mercury is in retrograde through tomorrow. That means we just survived a Friday the 13th in the middle of a Mercury retrograde. Anyone break a mirror as well yesterday?

    Best –

  6. A lot of strike overs on the WSJ, but finally it all came together just a minute ago. Very clever theme and I thought it was fun after I finally caught on to what Mr. Polin and Mr. Chen were looking for.

  7. Hey folks!! ?
    No errors. Seemed quite easy to me, but I guess it’s just the luck of the draw. ? I didn’t know SNAPE, having never read or seen any of the Harry Potters. The longish answers came pretty quickly to me. I guess Saturday the 14th is actually lucky?? ?
    Re: NONES — All those prayers!! I was raised Catholic, but we never said any prayers except Grace…. sometimes my grandfather’s version: “Good bread, good meat, good Lord let’s EAT!!” Some of you may know that one… ?
    On to Sunday!!
    Be well~~???

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