LA Times Crossword Answers 4 May 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: David Alfred Bywaters
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Effrontery

Themed answers are common phrases that have a letter F (EF) placed in FRONT:

  • 59A. Boldness, and a hint to five long puzzle answers : EFFRONTERY (and EF “FRONTERY”)
  • 17A. Origami academy? : FOLD SCHOOL (from “old school”)
  • 23A. Exhaust from the carnival food tent? : FAIR POLLUTION (from “air pollution”)
  • 32A. Scary beach phenomenon? : FIN SIGHT (from “insight”)
  • 41A. Garment tailored to flatter your waist? : FLAB COAT (from “lab coat”)
  • 47A. Divisive politician? : FACTION FIGURE (from “action figure”)

Bill’s time: 7m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Like many superheroes : CAPED

Like the caped crusader, Crossword Man …

6. Paper items : NEWS

Even though the word “news” uses the initial letters from the directions north, east, west and south, it’s not an acronym. “News” actually comes from the singular “new”. Back in the 14th-century, “news” were “new things”.

10. Rock-blasting equipment : AMPS

That would be rock music blasting away.

14. Kind of acid used in food flavoring : AMINO

The amino acids glutamic acid and aspartame are used in the food industry. The sodium salt of glutamic acid is monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that imparts a savory taste. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener composed of aspartic acid and phenylaniline joined by a peptide bond.

15. Dos x dos x dos : OCHO

In Spanish, “dos” (two) raised to the power of three is “ocho” (eight).

16. Indian garb : SARI

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

17. Origami academy? : FOLD SCHOOL (from “old school”)

Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane. The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).

20. Victorian, e.g. : ERA

The Victorian era was a period in British history from 1837 to 1901, defined by the reign of Queen Victoria. Generally speaking, the Victorian era was a period of peace and prosperity for the UK.

22. Physicist who left Italy in 1938 to protect his Jewish wife : FERMI

Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy. Fermi moved to the US just before WWII, largely to escape the anti-Semitic feelings that were developing in Italy under Mussolini. Fermi traveled from Rome to Stockholm in 1938 to receive that year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Instead of returning to Italy, Fermi and his family traveled on to New York City, where they applied for permanent residency. It was Fermi’s work at the University of Chicago that led to the construction of the world’s first nuclear reactor. Fermi died at 53 years of age from stomach cancer . Cancer was a prevalent cause of death among the team working on that first nuclear pile.

40. Forest grazers : DOES

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

43. Growing things : FLORA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

44. Quotable boxer : ALI

Muhammad Ali first used his famous catchphrase “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” before his world title fight against Sonny Liston in 1964. Back then Ali still went by his birth name of Cassius Clay.

53. Filmmaker born Konigsberg : ALLEN

Allan Stewart Konigsberg changed his legal name to “Heywood Allen” when he was 17 years old, and soon after started to call himself “Woody Allen”, the name with which he achieved celebrity. Allen won four Academy Awards, three for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Director. He has more Oscar nominations as a screenwriter than any other writer, but he spurns the Awards ceremony and only attended it once in all his years in the movie business. He broke tradition by turning up at the 2002 ceremony, unannounced, to beg producers to continue filming in his beloved New York City despite the fears created by the 9/11 attacks.

54. Barbarian : OGRE

We use the word “barbarian” to describe a person lacking refinement and culture. The term comes from the Greek “barbaros”, which originally meant “non-citizen”. Over time, the Greek word came to be used pejoratively, applying to enemies of Athenians in particular.

55. Nickname derived from “Mortgage Association” : MAE

The Federal National Mortgage Association is commonly called “Fannie Mae”, a play on the initialism FNMA. Fannie Mae was founded in during the Great Depression as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Ginnie Mae is the familiar nickname for the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), a government-owned corporation created in 1968 with the objective of promoting home ownership. The “Ginnie Mae” nickname is derived from the GNMA abbreviation.

63. Hawaiian island : MAUI

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. It is sometimes called the “Valley Isle” as it is composed of two volcanoes to the northwest and southeast of the island, each with numerous beautiful valleys carved into them.

64. She turned Odysseus’ crew to swine : CIRCE

Circe is a minor goddess in Greek mythology, the goddess of magic. She was fond of transforming those who did not please her into animals by using magical potions.

65. Antoinette preposition : SANS

In French, “avec” (with) and “sans” (without) are opposites.

66. Highland hats : TAMS

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country not classified as the Lowlands(!). The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.

67. Toys on strings : YO-YOS

The first yo-yos date back to at least 500 BC. There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.

Down

1. Tea and cake purveyor : CAFE

Our words “provide” and “purvey” have similar meanings, and both derive from the Latin verb “providere” meaning “to supply”.

2. Deity with a bow : AMOR

Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic”, meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both Amor (meaning “love”) and Cupid (meaning “desire”).

3. Rice dish : PILAF

“Pilaf” is a Persian word, one that we use to describe rice that is browned in oil and then cooked in a seasoned broth.

5. Set of related documents : DOSSIER

A dossier is a collection of papers with information about a person or subject. “Dossier” is a French term meaning “bundle of papers”.

8. Journalist’s question : WHO?

The Five Ws (or “Five Ws and one H”) is a journalistic concept used for gathering information. For a story to be complete, six questions need to be answered:

  1. Who is it about?
  2. What happened?
  3. Where did it take place?
  4. When did it take place?
  5. Why did it happen?
  6. How did it happen?

9. Fa-la link : SOL

The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

10. Factory equipment, e.g. : ASSET

Our word “asset”, meaning “owned item of value”, is actually an artificial singular that arose in the 1800s from the collective noun “assets”. “Assets” came from Anglo-French ”assetz”, with both terms originally used as adverbs meaning “sufficient estate to cover liabilities”.

11. “The Piano” extra : MAORI

“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.

24. Bitter : ACERB

“Acerb” is a variant of “acerbic”, with both terms meaning “sour, bitter-tasting, acidic”.

25. Meat cut : LOIN

Loin is the tissue along the top of the ribs.

30. Talkative “Winnie the Pooh” character : OWL

Owl is one of the characters in A. A. Milne’s classic children’s tales featuring “Winnie-the-Pooh”. Owl is often depicted today as the archetypal “wise old owl”, but in the original books he tends not to exhibit very good judgment.

35. The Beatles’ “I Saw __ Standing There” : HER

“I Saw Her Standing There” is a Beatles song that was released in 1963 as the B-side to “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. Paul McCartney is the lead singer, and indeed was the primary composer of the song. That said, John Lennon performed a live version of the song in 1974 with the Elton John Band that was released as the B-side to Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom” single.

36. Org. using wands : TSA

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

42. Biblical brother : CAIN

As Cain was the first murderer according the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases, the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.

45. Fertile Crescent waterway : TIGRIS

The Fertile Crescent is a large swath of land in the Near East that includes the Nile Valley in the west and the land around the Tigris and Euphrates in the east.

51. End of a giant sequence : -FO-FUM

The line “fee-fi-fo-fum” (with various spellings) comes from the famous English fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Within the story, the giant at the top of the beanstalk utters a little poem when he detects the presence of Jack:

Fee-fi-fo-fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.

52. Nail-filing abrasive : EMERY

Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

56. With the bow, on a score : ARCO

“Arco” is a musical direction instructing a string player to return to normal bowing technique after a passage played using some other technique (perhaps pizzicato).

59. Life-saving pro : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

60. Airport org. : FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Like many superheroes : CAPED
6. Paper items : NEWS
10. Rock-blasting equipment : AMPS
14. Kind of acid used in food flavoring : AMINO
15. Dos x dos x dos : OCHO
16. Indian garb : SARI
17. Origami academy? : FOLD SCHOOL (from “old school”)
19. Chimney liner : SOOT
20. Victorian, e.g. : ERA
21. Erelong : SOON
22. Physicist who left Italy in 1938 to protect his Jewish wife : FERMI
23. Exhaust from the carnival food tent? : FAIR POLLUTION (from “air pollution”)
27. Hand over : CEDE
28. Small wake maker : OAR
29. Cowboy, at times : ROPER
32. Scary beach phenomenon? : FIN SIGHT (from “insight”)
37. Pitcher with no arms : EWER
38. Backbone : SPINE
40. Forest grazers : DOES
41. Garment tailored to flatter your waist? : FLAB COAT (from “lab coat”)
43. Growing things : FLORA
44. Quotable boxer : ALI
45. Story : TALE
47. Divisive politician? : FACTION FIGURE (from “action figure”)
53. Filmmaker born Konigsberg : ALLEN
54. Barbarian : OGRE
55. Nickname derived from “Mortgage Association” : MAE
58. Glasses, in adspeak : SPEX
59. Boldness, and a hint to five long puzzle answers : EFFRONTERY (and EF “FRONTERY”)
62. Yonder thing : THAT
63. Hawaiian island : MAUI
64. She turned Odysseus’ crew to swine : CIRCE
65. Antoinette preposition : SANS
66. Highland hats : TAMS
67. Toys on strings : YO-YOS

Down

1. Tea and cake purveyor : CAFE
2. Deity with a bow : AMOR
3. Rice dish : PILAF
4. Finish : END
5. Set of related documents : DOSSIER
6. Optimism opposite : NO HOPE
7. Prefix suggesting affordability : ECONO-
8. Journalist’s question : WHO?
9. Fa-la link : SOL
10. Factory equipment, e.g. : ASSET
11. “The Piano” extra : MAORI
12. Publicity video : PROMO
13. Peaceful protest : SIT-IN
18. Electrical supply : CORD
22. Symbols of wealth : FURS
24. Bitter : ACERB
25. Meat cut : LOIN
26. Exit __ : LANE
29. Penalty caller : REF
30. Talkative “Winnie the Pooh” character : OWL
31. Edible sphere : PEA
32. Able : FIT
33. Lazybones : IDLER
34. Unappealing viscous material : GOO
35. The Beatles’ “I Saw __ Standing There” : HER
36. Org. using wands : TSA
38. Aria, usually : SOLO
39. Royal annoyance? : PAIN
42. Biblical brother : CAIN
43. Orator’s skill : FLUENCY
45. Fertile Crescent waterway : TIGRIS
46. Farming prefix : AGRO-
47. Some protests : FASTS
48. Top dog : ALPHA
49. Unarmed, to a cop : CLEAN
50. Modern messages : TEXTS
51. End of a giant sequence : -FO-FUM
52. Nail-filing abrasive : EMERY
56. With the bow, on a score : ARCO
57. Watchers : EYES
59. Life-saving pro : EMT
60. Airport org. : FAA
61. Spanish uncle : TIO

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