LA Times Crossword Answers 1 May 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Victor Barocas
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Swiss Army … Knife

Themed answers are tools included in most SWISS ARMY KNIVES:

  • 58A. With 60-Across, contraption that usually includes the answers to the starred clues : SWISS ARMY …
  • 60A. See 58-Across : … KNIFE
  • 18A. *Tuna eater’s tool, maybe : CAN OPENER
  • 24A. *Eyebrow-plucking tool : TWEEZERS
  • 36A. *Shape of rotini pasta : CORKSCREW
  • 41A. *Cocktail frank stabber : TOOTHPICK
  • 48A. *Loser to rock, beater of paper : SCISSORS

Bill’s time: 5m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Goldman’s partner : SACHS

The investment banking firm of Goldman Sachs was founded in New York in 1869 by Marcus Goldman. Samuel Sachs joined the firm in 1882, the same year that he married Louisa Goldman, Marcus’s daughter. The name “Goldman Sachs” was adopted by the firm in 1885. Goldman Sachs made out like bandits during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08 as the company actually short-sold subprime mortgage bonds. As the price of the bonds nose-dived, Goldman Sachs made huge profits.

6. Socially awkward sort : DORK

I consider “dork” to be pretty offensive slang. It originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

14. Voyager 1, e.g. : PROBE

NASA’s Voyager program launched two unmanned probes to explore the outer limits of our solar system. The probes were launched on different dates in 1977, with each date chosen to take advantage of particular alignments of the planets. The two probes are still active to some extent, and will be so for at least another decade. Voyager 1 is now the farthest man-made object from the Earth. In fact, Voyager 1 left our solar system in 2012, making it the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space. Cool …

15. Like James Bond antagonists : EVIL

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

16. With 11-Down, 2016 almost-Oscar-winning movie : LA LA …
(11D. See 16-Across : … LAND )

“La La Land” is a 2016 romantic musical film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and actress who fall in love in “La La Land” (Los Angeles, i.e. “LA”). The film was written and directed by Damien Chazelle, who had found success two years earlier with the musical drama “Whiplash”. “La La Land” won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes and tied the record number of Oscar nominations at fourteen, winning six.

The announcement of the winner for Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards went pretty badly. Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced “La La Land” as the winner, and two minutes into the acceptance speeches it was revealed that the actual winner was “Moonlight”. One of the accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers took a lot of flak after the error was revealed. He handed the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty, who accompanied Faye Dunaway onto the stage for the announcement. Just before handing over the envelope, the accountant tweeted out a snapshot of Emma Stone, winner of the Best Actress award. The suggestion is that he was distracted. Social media strikes again …

17. Screen legend Flynn : ERROL

Actor Errol Flynn was born 1909 in Tasmania, Australia where he was raised. In his twenties, Flynn lived in the UK where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film “In the Wake of the Bounty” and then appeared in a British film “Murder at Monte Carlo”. It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. Flynn’s non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

21. Boxing ref’s decision : TKO

Technical knockout (TKO)

34. Michaelmas daisy : ASTER

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

Michaelmas is the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, a day in the Western Christian calendar. Michaelmas is September 29th every year, and is associated with the beginning of fall.

36. *Shape of rotini pasta : CORKSCREW

Rotini is a corkscrew-shaped pasta that is often used in pasta salads. Even though “rotini” sounds like it comes from a word meaning “twist, rotate”, the word “rotini” doesn’t exist in Italian other than as the name for the pasta.

38. Trendy : CHIC

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

40. Émile who wrote “J’Accuse…!” : ZOLA

The most famous work by French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to French president Félix Faure. The letter was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down and let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.

41. *Cocktail frank stabber : TOOTHPICK

The frankfurter sausage that is typically used in a North American hot dog get its name from Frankfurter Würstchen. The latter is a German sausage that is prepared by boiling in water, just like a hot dog frank.

43. “Miracle on 34th Street” store : MACY’S

The original Macy’s store was opened by Rowland Hussey Macy in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1851. This store, and several others that Macy opened, all failed. Macy picked himself up though, and started over again in New York City. Those early New York stores all focused on the sale of dry goods, but added departments quickly as the clientele grew. The Macy’s “star” logo has been around since the company was first established. Macy chose the star because it mimicked the star tattoo that he got as a teenager when he was working on a whaling ship out of Nantucket.

“Miracle on 34th Street” is a classic Christmas film from 1947 starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and a very young Natalie Wood. If I might ruin the end of the story for you, Santa Claus does exist ‘cause the US Post Office says so …

44. Thor, to Odin : SON

In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.

46. Grand Marquis, for short : MERC

The Mercury Grand Marquis was the premium model produced by Ford using the Mercury label. The first Grand Marquis rolled off the production line in 1983, and the last in January 2011, when the Mercury brand was retired.

48. *Loser to rock, beater of paper : SCISSORS

Rock-paper-scissors is a hand game played by two people, at least here in North America. Back in Ireland we called the game “scissors-paper-stone”, and another name encountered around the English-speaking world is “roshambo”. The game is often used as a way to choose between two options or two people.

56. Dorm mgrs. : RAS

RAs are resident assistants or resident advisers, the peer leaders found in residence halls, particularly on a college campus.

57. “Ben-Hur” author Wallace : LEW

Lew Wallace was a general for the Union Army during the Civil War, and was also an author. He wrote a very successful and celebrated book called “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”, first published in 1880, which was made into a 1959 movie starring Charlton Heston.

58. With 60-Across, contraption that usually includes the answers to the starred clues : SWISS ARMY …

60. See 58-Across : … KNIFE

Swiss Army knives are multi-tools made by the Swiss company Victorinox. The device was first produced in 1891 when Victorinox’s predecessor company was awarded the contract to supply the knife to the Swiss Army. The name “Swiss Army knife” was actually an American invention as it was the term used by American GIs during and after WWII as an alternative to pronouncing the more difficult German “Schweizer Offiziersmesser” (Swiss Officer Knife).

62. Pub size : PINT

A US pint is made from 16 fluid ounces, and an imperial pint is 20 fluid ounces. The term “pint” comes into English via Old French, ultimately from the Latin “picta” meaning “painted”. The name arose from a line painted on the side of a beer glass, marking a full measure of ale.

63. “The World According to __” : GARP

John Irving’s 1978 novel “The World According to Garp” is somewhat biographical. In fact, Irving’s mother found parts of the novel difficult to read, recognizing elements of herself in Garp’s mother Jenny Fields.

64. Concave navel : INNIE

The navel is basically a scar left behind when the umbilical cord is removed from a newborn baby. One interesting use of the umbilicus (navel, belly button) is to differentiate between identical twins, especially when they are very young.

Down

4. “Game of Thrones” network : HBO

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that is adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually filmed in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland. I recently binge-watched the show’s first seven seasons, and enjoyed it. There’s no doubt that the production value of “Game of Thrones” is remarkable, but to be honest, I never became riveted by the storyline …

5. Soda water : SELTZER

The term “seltzer” comes from the village of Selters in Germany. Selters has natural springs of carbonated mineral water that is bottled and sold as Selters water. In English-speaking countries, the name has morphed into “Seltzer” water.

9. Yukon gold rush region : KLONDIKE

The Klondike is a region in Canada’s Yukon territory that is perhaps most famous for the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890s. About 100,000 prospectors migrated to the area, with many coming from Seattle and San Francisco. While a few prospectors did make their fortunes, the vast majority of prospectors endured the long trak and harsh conditions in vain.

12. Protected at sea : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

19. Banana leftovers : PEELS

The banana is actually a berry, botanically speaking. And, they don’t really grow on trees. The “trunk” of the banana plant is in fact a pseudostem. The pseudostem is a false stem comprising rolled bases of leaves, and it can grow to 2 or 3 meters tall.

22. Royal Botanic Gardens locale : KEW

Kew Gardens is a beautiful location in southwest London that was formerly known as the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew Gardens has the world’s largest collection of living plants.

26. Wall-mounted light fixtures : SCONCES

A sconce is a light fixture that today uses electric bulbs, but in the past used candles and torches. The defining feature of a sconce is that it is supported by a wall and does not have a base that stands on the ground. Usually the light is indirect, projected upwards towards the ceiling.

30. Ural River city : ORSK

The city of Orsk is located about 60 miles southeast of the southern tip of the Ural Mountains in Russia. The city lies on the Ural River, which forms the boundary between Europe and Asia. As a result, Orsk can be considered as lying in two continents. Orsk also lies where the Or River joins the Ural, and so the Or gives the city its name.

31. Hybrid green veggie with small florets : BROCCOLINI

Broccolini is a green vegetable that is a hybrid of broccoli and gai lan (also known as “Chinese broccoli”). The hybrid was developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Salinas, California for the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan.

33. “__ the night before … ” : ‘TWAS

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line “‘Twas the night before Christmas”. Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr. a poet from Upstate New York.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash …

36. Finish the top of, as a room : CEIL

“To ceil” is such a lovely verb, one that has come to mean “to furnish with a ceiling”. It’s a verb that dates back to Middle English, and in a broader sense means to cover the inner surfaces of a room with a paneling.

39. Era that began with Sputnik : SPACE AGE

The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

46. Actress Farrow : MIA

Mia Farrow is an energetic, award-winning actress who really hasn’t looked back in her career since her first leading role, in “Rosemary’s Baby” back in 1968. Her on-screen celebrity is matched by the interest created by her personal life. Her first husband was Frank Sinatra, a wedding in 1966 that received a lot of attention partly due to the couple’s age difference (she was 21, he was 50). Her second husband was almost as famous, the magnificent musician André Previn. Farrow then moved in with Woody Allen, a relationship that famously fell apart when Farrow discovered that Allen was having a sexual relationship with Soon-Yi, one of her adopted daughters from the marriage with André Previn.

47. In need of air freshener : MUSTY

Something described as “musty” has as stale or moldy odor. The term derives from an obsolete word “moisty”, as in “moist”.

50. Int.-reducing mortgages : REFIS

Refinance (refi)

52. Egyptian snakes : ASPS

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in Ancient Egypt.

53. Foolish one : TWIT

“Twit” is a word not used very often here in America. It’s a slang term that was quite common in England where it was used for “someone foolish and idiotic”.

54. Funny Fey : TINA

Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).

55. “The Destroyer” of Marvel Comics : DRAX

Drax the Destroyer is a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. Drax’s body contains the spirit of human Arthur Douglas, whose family was killed by the supervillain Thanos. Drax made appearances on the big screen in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” series of films, in which he was portrayed by professional wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista.

59. Med. scan : MRI

MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the image produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Goldman’s partner : SACHS
6. Socially awkward sort : DORK
10. Potter’s material : CLAY
14. Voyager 1, e.g. : PROBE
15. Like James Bond antagonists : EVIL
16. With 11-Down, 2016 almost-Oscar-winning movie : LA LA …
17. Screen legend Flynn : ERROL
18. *Tuna eater’s tool, maybe : CAN OPENER
20. Neither’s partner : NOR
21. Boxing ref’s decision : TKO
23. Worked, as dough : KNEADED
24. *Eyebrow-plucking tool : TWEEZERS
27. Family room : DEN
28. Captain’s group : CREW
29. Spring shape : COIL
31. Lottery ticket purchase, essentially : BET
34. Michaelmas daisy : ASTER
36. *Shape of rotini pasta : CORKSCREW
38. Trendy : CHIC
39. Sixth __: intuition : SENSE
40. Émile who wrote “J’Accuse…!” : ZOLA
41. *Cocktail frank stabber : TOOTHPICK
43. “Miracle on 34th Street” store : MACY’S
44. Thor, to Odin : SON
45. Its football team has played Harvard 134 times : YALE
46. Grand Marquis, for short : MERC
47. 2100, to Augustus : MMC
48. *Loser to rock, beater of paper : SCISSORS
52. Adjusted (to) : ATTUNED
56. Dorm mgrs. : RAS
57. “Ben-Hur” author Wallace : LEW
58. With 60-Across, contraption that usually includes the answers to the starred clues : SWISS ARMY …
60. See 58-Across : … KNIFE
62. Pub size : PINT
63. “The World According to __” : GARP
64. Concave navel : INNIE
65. Not leave : STAY
66. Leave : EXIT
67. Surprising plot development : TWIST

Down

1. Used up : SPENT
2. Cursor shape : ARROW
3. Proofer’s change : CORRECTION
4. “Game of Thrones” network : HBO
5. Soda water : SELTZER
6. Interior designer’s concern : DECOR
7. Eggs, to a biologist : OVA
8. Hockey venue : RINK
9. Yukon gold rush region : KLONDIKE
10. Wash the dirt off : CLEAN
11. See 16-Across : … LAND
12. Protected at sea : ALEE
13. Three feet : YARD
19. Banana leftovers : PEELS
22. Royal Botanic Gardens locale : KEW
25. Build : ERECT
26. Wall-mounted light fixtures : SCONCES
30. Ural River city : ORSK
31. Hybrid green veggie with small florets : BROCCOLINI
32. Slippery : EELY
33. “__ the night before … ” : ‘TWAS
34. Play divisions : ACTS
35. “Go away!” : SHOO!
36. Finish the top of, as a room : CEIL
37. Business magnates : CZARS
39. Era that began with Sputnik : SPACE AGE
42. Church songs : HYMNS
43. Soldier’s cooking supplies : MESS KIT
46. Actress Farrow : MIA
47. In need of air freshener : MUSTY
49. Burial chamber : CRYPT
50. Int.-reducing mortgages : REFIS
51. Like sugar : SWEET
52. Egyptian snakes : ASPS
53. Foolish one : TWIT
54. Funny Fey : TINA
55. “The Destroyer” of Marvel Comics : DRAX
59. Med. scan : MRI
61. Opposite of SSE : NNW

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