LA Times Crossword Answers 8 May 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Twisting One’s Arm

Themed answers include three-letter sequences of circled letters. Those circled letters are “ARM” TWISTED around, rearranged:

  • 58A. Using coercion, as shown in this puzzle’s circles : TWISTING ONE’S ARM
  • 17A. “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” singer : BARBARA MANDRELL
  • 25A. David Bowie genre : GLAM ROCK
  • 32A. Bourbon-making process : SOUR MASH
  • 42A. Electromagnetic radiation particle : GAMMA RAY
  • 49A. Cost per night, in hotels : ROOM RATE

Bill’s time: 6m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. Pinza of “South Pacific” : EZIO

Ezio Pinza was an opera singer from Italy. Pinza performed for many years with the Metropolitan Opera in New York before retiring from the Met in 1948. He then launched a career on Broadway and in Hollywood.

The 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” is based on stories from the 1947 book “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener. “South Pacific” really is a classic show featuring some classic songs, like “Bali Ha’i”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”, “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Happy Talk”.

15. Verdi aria translating to “It was you” : ERI TU

Every crossword constructors’ favorite aria “Eri tu” is from Verdi’s opera “Un ballo in maschera” (“A Masked Ball”). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

16. Gem from Australia : OPAL

The largest opal ever found, and the most valuable, is the Olympic Australis. It was discovered in South Australia in 1956. That same year, the Summer Olympics were being held in Melbourne so the newly discovered stone was given the name “Olympic Australis”.

17. “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” singer : BARBARA MANDRELL

Barbara Mandrell is a country singer from Houston, Texas. She had a successful TV show in the 1980s on NBC called “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters”, which also featured Irlene and Louise Mandrell.

21. Good, in Grenoble : BON

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

25. David Bowie genre : GLAM ROCK

I remember the days of glam rock so well, as it was a hugely popular genre of music in the British Isles during the early seventies. Artistes wore the wildest of clothes, big hair, shiny outfits and really high platform boots. Names associated with glam rock are T. Rex, David Bowie, Roxy Music and the infamous Gary Glitter.

David Bowie was the stage name of English singer David Jones. Bowie adopted the alter ego Ziggy Stardust during his glam rock phase in the 1970s. Sadly, Bowie passed away from liver cancer in early 2016.

29. Israeli port : HAIFA

Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel and the largest city in the north of the country. Haifa is built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, and is a Mediterranean seaport.

32. Bourbon-making process : SOUR MASH

Sour mash is a whiskey that is distilled using mash from a previous batch to start fermentation. The sour mash process is analogous to the process used to make sourdough bread.

35. Charlemagne’s realm: Abbr. : HRE

Charlemagne was the first king to use the title “Holy Roman Emperor”, even though the Holy Roman Empire was not actually founded until over a century later when Otto I was crowned Emperor. Otto was the first of an unbroken line of Holy Roman Emperors who ruled Central Europe until 1806.

37. Part of EDT : EASTERN

Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

41. Juillet’s season : ETE

In French, “juillet” (July) is a month in the “été” (summer).

42. Electromagnetic radiation particle : GAMMA RAY

Gamma radiation was discovered by the French chemist Paul Villard, as he studied radiation coming from the chemical element radium. This radiation was called “gamma”, the third letter in the Greek alphabet, as alpha and beta particles had already been identified.

44. Online financial site : E*TRADE

E*Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E*Trade used to produce those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a webcam.

48. Cuba __: rum drink : LIBRE

The cocktail known as a Cuba libre is basically a rum and Coke, although the traditional recipe calls for some lime juice as well.

55. Cocktail party spread : PATE

Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made up of a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, which is made from the fattened livers of geese (“foie gras” means “fat liver” in French).

57. Extinct emu-like bird : MOA

Moa were flightless birds native to New Zealand that are now extinct. The fate of the Moa is a great example of the detrimental effect that humans can have on animal populations. The Maoris arrived in New Zealand about 1300 AD, upsetting the balance of the ecosystem. The Moa were hunted to extinction within 200 years, which had the knock-on effect of killing off the Haast’s Eagle, the Moa’s only predator prior to the arrival of man. Moa were huge creatures, measuring up to 12 feet tall with their necks stretched upwards.

63. Northern neighbor of Chile : PERU

Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.

64. “This I Promise You” band : NSYNC

NSYNC was a boy band from Orlando, Florida that was formed in 1995. The name of the group came from a comment by the mother of band member Justin Timberlake, who said the boys voices sounded “in sync”. But, it’s also true that the letters of the name NSYNC are the last letters of the given names of the five band members:

  • Justin Timberlake
  • Chris Kirkpatrick
  • Joey Fatone
  • Lance “Lansten” Bass
  • JC Chasez

66. Escalator part : STEP

Escalators have an advantage over elevators in that they can move larger numbers of people in the same time frame. They can also be placed in just about the same physical space that would be needed for a regular staircase. Patents for escalator-type devices were first filed in 1859, but the first working model wasn’t built until 1892 by one Jesse Reno. It was erected alongside a pier in Coney Island, New York, with the second escalator being placed at an entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. Soon after, the Otis elevator company purchased the necessary patents and went into the business.

67. Storied granter of wishes : GENIE

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

Down

1. Charlie Parker jazz genre : BEBOP

Charlie Parker was a Jazz saxophonist, who was often just called “Bird” or “Yardbird”. He was a leader in the development of the style of jazz called “bebop”, which gained popularity in the forties. Charlie Parker had a rough life outside of music. He was a heroin addict, and a heavy drinker. When he died, the coroner who performed his autopsy estimated his age as between 50 and 60 years old based on the appearance of his body and condition of his organs. He was actually 34-years-old when he died in a New York City hotel room in 1955.

2. Longtime Boston Symphony conductor : OZAWA

Seiji Ozawa is most famous for his work as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, although he is also the principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera. Ozawa is renowned for wearing a white turtleneck under his dress suit when he conducts, rather than the traditional starched shirt and white tie.

3. Brownies, e.g. : GIRLS

Brownies are a members of the Girl Guiding organization who are seven to ten years old. When the group was founded in 1914 by Lord Baden-Powell, they were known as Rosebuds. That name wasn’t popular with the membership and so was changed, taking inspiration from an 1870 story by Juliana Horatia Ewing called “The Brownies”.

5. Apache chief : GERONIMO

Cochise and Geronimo were perhaps the two most famous Apache leaders to resist intrusions by the European Americans in 1800s. Both lived lives full of conflict, but both also lived relatively long lives. Cochise eventually entered into a treaty putting an end to the fighting, and retired onto a new reservation. Cochise died of natural causes in 1874, at the age of 69. Geronimo surrendered, and spent years as a prisoner of war. He spent his last years as a celebrity, and even rode in the inaugural parade for President Theodore Roosevelt. Geronimo died of pneumonia in 1909 at the age of 79.

6. Algerian port : ORAN

Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

7. Matchstick-removing game : NIM

Nim is an ancient entertainment, a simple mathematical game of strategy. Nim involves removing items from distinct piles (say matchsticks). Each player must remove at least one item per turn, and the last person to remove an item is the loser.

12. Four qts. : GAL

The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.

The quart, the unit of volume, is so called because it is one quarter of a gallon.

19. Moore of “Ghost” : DEMI

Demi Moore was born Demetria Guynes and took the name Demi Moore when she married her first husband, Freddy Moore. Moore’s second husband was Bruce Willis. She changed her name to Demi Guynes Kutcher a few years after marrying her third husband, Ashton Kutcher. But, Kutcher and Moore split in 2013.

The fabulous film “Ghost” was the highest-grossing movie at the box office in 1990, bringing in over $500 million, despite only costing $21 million to make. Stars of the film are Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. You might want to check out the stage musical adaptation “Ghost The Musical”, which debuted in 2011 and is touring the UK and US.

24. Actress Elisabeth : SHUE

Elisabeth Shue has always been a favorite actress of mine. She has been in several popular films including “The Karate Kid”, “Cocktail”, two of the “Back to the Future” movies, “Leaving Las Vegas”, and my personal favorite “Adventures in Babysitting”. More recently, Shue had a recurring role on the TV crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”.

26. Irish actor Milo : O’SHEA

Milo O’Shea was a great Irish character actor from Dublin who has appeared in everything from “Romeo and Juliet” to “The West Wing”. O’Shea passed away in 2013, in New York City.

27. Spicy Indian dish : CURRY

Curry powder is a mixture of spices used in South Asian cuisine. The actual composition of curry powder varies depending on the cuisine. The term “curry” is an anglicization of the Tamil “kari” meaning “sauce”.

30. Vampire tooth : FANG

Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defined where in the body should be staked. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

32. __ voce: softly : SOTTO

“Sotto voce” literally means “under the voice” in Italian, and describes the deliberate lowering of one’s voice for emphasis.

33. Southern New Mexico county : OTERO

Otero County, New Mexico is home to a large part of the White Sands National Monument.

34. Prefix with sphere : HEMI-

Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”, all of which mean “half”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

39. French existential dramatist : SARTRE

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. Sartre also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. He was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. Sartre was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

40. “__ chic!” : TRES

“Très chic” is a French term meaning “very stylish”.

47. Enjoying the bistro, say : EATING

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

52. Muscat native : OMANI

Muscat is the capital of Oman, and lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

53. Strong point : FORTE

A person’s forte is his or her strength. The term “forte” came into English via French from the Latin “fortis” meaning strong.

56. Hägar’s daughter : HONI

“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

58. Adorns with Angel Soft, briefly : TPS

TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.

The pulp and paper company Georgia-Pacific sells toilet paper using the brand names Angel Soft, Quilted Northern and Soft n’ Gentle.

61. MD for women : GYN

Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Swampy spots : BOGS
5. Hopeless case : GONER
10. Zoo structure : CAGE
14. Pinza of “South Pacific” : EZIO
15. Verdi aria translating to “It was you” : ERI TU
16. Gem from Australia : OPAL
17. “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” singer : BARBARA MANDRELL
20. Flying nocturnal predator : OWL
21. Good, in Grenoble : BON
22. “Makes sense to me” : I SEE
23. Decide not to use : PASS ON
25. David Bowie genre : GLAM ROCK
29. Israeli port : HAIFA
31. Sneezer’s need : TISSUE
32. Bourbon-making process : SOUR MASH
35. Charlemagne’s realm: Abbr. : HRE
36. Pampered : DOTED ON
37. Part of EDT : EASTERN
41. Juillet’s season : ETE
42. Electromagnetic radiation particle : GAMMA RAY
44. Online financial site : E*TRADE
48. Cuba __: rum drink : LIBRE
49. Cost per night, in hotels : ROOM RATE
51. “The party’s been canceled” : IT’S OFF
55. Cocktail party spread : PATE
56. Seagoing pronoun : HER
57. Extinct emu-like bird : MOA
58. Using coercion, as shown in this puzzle’s circles : TWISTING ONE’S ARM
63. Northern neighbor of Chile : PERU
64. “This I Promise You” band : NSYNC
65. First chip in : ANTE
66. Escalator part : STEP
67. Storied granter of wishes : GENIE
68. Neither winning nor losing : TIED

Down

1. Charlie Parker jazz genre : BEBOP
2. Longtime Boston Symphony conductor : OZAWA
3. Brownies, e.g. : GIRLS
4. Weep loudly : SOB
5. Apache chief : GERONIMO
6. Algerian port : ORAN
7. Matchstick-removing game : NIM
8. Internet sales, collectively : E-TAIL
9. Rushes toward : RUNS AT
10. Apple pie-making gadgets : CORERS
11. Wild way to go : APE
12. Four qts. : GAL
13. Building add-on : ELL
18. On the ferry : ABOARD
19. Moore of “Ghost” : DEMI
24. Actress Elisabeth : SHUE
25. Grill fuel : GAS
26. Irish actor Milo : O’SHEA
27. Spicy Indian dish : CURRY
28. Excited about, with “on” : KEEN
30. Vampire tooth : FANG
32. __ voce: softly : SOTTO
33. Southern New Mexico county : OTERO
34. Prefix with sphere : HEMI-
36. Woodland grazer : DEER
38. Atmosphere, as of a restaurant : AMBIENCE
39. French existential dramatist : SARTRE
40. “__ chic!” : TRES
43. Many a microbrew : ALE
45. Excites : AMPS UP
46. “Doggone it!” : DRAT!
47. Enjoying the bistro, say : EATING
50. Needing a chill pill : TENSE
52. Muscat native : OMANI
53. Strong point : FORTE
54. Widely known : FAMED
56. Hägar’s daughter : HONI
58. Adorns with Angel Soft, briefly : TPS
59. Freshly painted : WET
60. Hothead’s emotion : IRE
61. MD for women : GYN
62. Took it easy : SAT

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