LA Times Crossword Answers 10 May 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): A Business Journey

Themed answers take us on a business journey as we progress down the grid:

  • 17A. Start of a business journey : ENTRY LEVEL
  • 24A. Way to get from 17- to 39-Across : CORPORATE LADDER
  • 39A. Pinnacle of the journey : EXECUTIVE OFFICE
  • 52A. Way to get from 39- to 63-Across : GOLDEN PARACHUTE
  • 63A. End of the journey : RETIREMENT

Bill’s time: 7m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Wedge-shaped bones : SACRA

The human spine comprises five regions of vertebrae, which are (starting at the neck):

  • Cervical (C1 – C7)
  • Thoracic (T1 – T12)
  • Lumbar (L1 – L5)
  • Sacral (S1 – S5)
  • Coccyx (also known as the tailbone)

10. Elite Eight org. : NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910. The NCAA has been headquartered in Indianapolis since 1999.

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

14. Bygone depilatory brand : NEET

The hair removal product “Neet” was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as “Immac”. Today it is sold under the name “Veet”.

15. Cantilevered window : ORIEL

An oriel window is a bay window that projects from a wall, but does not reach all the way to the ground.

16. Panhandler’s income : ALMS

“To panhandle” is “to beg”. The term has been in use since the very early 1900s and probably comes from the sticking out of one’s hand and arm, like the handle of a pan.

19. Watery defense, perhaps : MOAT

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or a an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

21. First name in bike stunts : EVEL

Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

23. Phased-out Secret Service weapon : UZI

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

29. Doce meses : ANO

In Spanish, there are “doce meses” (twelve months) in an “año” (year).

32. Seasonal song ender : SYNE

The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

44. Three Gorges project : DAM

The Three Gorges region along the Yangtze River in China is known for its spectacular scenery. The area is attracting a lot of attention in recent years because of a recently completed hydroelectric dam that is changing the ecology and appearance of the land both upriver and downriver. The dam itself is the biggest electricity-generating plant in the world, with a total capacity of 22.5 GW.

46. Former autocrat : TSAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

47. Stat for Miguel Cabrera : RBI

Miguel “Miggy” Cabrera is a Major League Baseball (MLB) player from Venezuela. Miggy’s MLB career started with the Florida Marlins in 2003, and continued with the Detroit Tigers in 2008.

49. Menu phrase : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated in “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

51. Letter before omega : PSI

Psi is the 23rd letter in the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

52. Way to get from 39- to 63-Across : GOLDEN PARACHUTE

A “golden parachute” or “golden handshake” is an agreement between a company and a key employee defining a severance package, often one that is specifically triggered in the event of a merger or takeover. The term “golden parachute” was coined in 1961 to describe the employment contract given by TWA to CEO Charles C. Tillinghast. Tillinghast was appointed by TWA’s creditors as part of move to wrest control of the company from the hands of Howard Hughes. The CEO was able to negotiate the golden parachute given the uncertainty of TWA’s future.

58. Bygone greeting : AVE

“Ave” is a Latin word meaning “hail” as in “Ave Maria”, which translates as “Hail Mary”. “Ave” can also be used to mean “goodbye”.

60. Witty remark : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

69. Food poisoning cause : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

72. Summer Triangle star : DENEB

Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation called Cygnus, the Swan. The name “Deneb” comes from the Arabic word “dhaneb” meaning “tail”, as it lies at the tail of the swan.

The Summer Triangle is the name given to a pattern of stars seen in the northern hemisphere. It is so named as it sits almost directly overhead at midnight in most northern latitudes. The points of the triangle are the bright stars Altair, Deneb and Vega.

73. WWI battle river : YSER

The Yser is a river that originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a “race to the sea”. But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was “stabilized”. As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

Down

1. Top 40 title for Metallica or U2 : ONE

Metallica is a heavy metal band from Los Angeles that formed in 1981. Not my thing …

Irish singer Bono is a Dubliner who was born Paul David Hewson. As a youth, Hewson was given the nickname “Bono Vox” by a friend, a Latin expression meaning “good voice”, and so the singer has been known as Bono since the late seventies. His band’s first name was “Feedback”, later changed to “The Hype”. The band members searched for yet another name and chose U2 from a list of six names suggested by a friend. They picked U2 because it was the name they disliked least …

4. Las Vegas feature : STRIP

The stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard on which most of the big casinos are concentrated is referred to as the “Las Vegas Strip”. The Strip was named for LA’s Sunset Strip by former Los Angeles law enforcement officer Guy McAfee. McAfee was a notoriously corrupt head of the LAPD vice squad in 1920s and 1930s who ran several brothels and gambling saloons. McAfee moved to Las Vegas in 1939 where he opened several casinos, including the Golden Nugget.

5. Peruvian currency : SOL

The Nuevo Sol has been the currency of Peru since the 1980s.

7. Catlike carnivore : CIVET

The civet is a spotted cat that is native to Africa and Asia. There is a type of coffee that is highly prized in Vietnam and the Philippines that is made from coffee beans that have been eaten by civets, partially digested and then harvested from the civet’s feces. This civet coffee can cost about $100 a cup, if you want to try some …

8. “Deathtrap” actor : REEVE

The actor Christopher Reeve was most associated with his portrayal of Superman in the late seventies and early eighties. Reeve became paralyzed from the neck down when he fell from a horse in a jumping event in 1995. He passed away in 2004.

“Deathtrap” is a 1978 play by Ira Levin that is a favorite of local theater groups (I’ve seen it a couple of times around here). It was also was a successful 1982 movie, starring Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve and Dyan Cannon.

9. Gene variant : ALLELE

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

10. ’60s hot spot : ‘NAM

By some definitions, the official involvement of Americans in the Vietnam War started in 1955. At that time, President Eisenhower deployed a Military Assistance Advisory Group to assist in the training of the South Vietnamese Army. American involvement in the conflict officially ended in 1973 with the signing of an agreement that came out of the Paris Peace Accords.

11. Data storage medium : CLOUD

In the world of computing, when one operates “in the cloud”, one’s files and key applications are not stored on one’s own computer, but rather are residing “in the cloud”, on a computer somewhere out on the Internet. I do 90% of my computing in the cloud. That way I don’t have to worry about backing up files, and I can operate from any computer if I have to …

25. Figurine material : ONYX

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

26. Mesmerized : RAPT

Franz Mesmer was a German physician, and the person who coined the phrase “animal magnetism”. Back then the term described a purported magnetic field that resided in the bodies of animate beings. Mesmer also lent his name to our term “mesmerize”.

27. Wing it : AD LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

28. Dutch earthenware city : DELFT

Delft is a city in the Netherlands located between Rotterdam and the Hague. Delft is noted for its pottery and was also home to one of my favorite painters, Johannes Vermeer.

36. Big name in whisky : DEWAR

Dewar’s is a blended Scotch whisky introduced in 1846 by John Dewar. Dewar’s White Label is the company’s most popular Scotch, first created in 1899, with a taste that is described as “heather and honey”. Dewar’s also make some single malts, under the labels Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21. Today, Dewar’s is owned by Bacardi.

40. Darker-than-ocher pigment : UMBER

Umber is an earthy, brown shade, and originally described a pigment made from earth found in Umbria, the region in central Italy. In its natural form, the pigment is referred to as “raw umber”. The heated form of the pigment has a more intense color and is known as “burnt umber”.

Ocher is a light, yellowy-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

41. Cantina cooker : OLLA

An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in Ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

43. Pelee Island’s lake : ERIE

Pelee Island in Lake Erie is the southernmost populated point in the whole of Canada.

50. Top of the heap : ACME

The acme is the highest point. The term comes from the Greek word “akme” that has the same meaning.

52. Triangular part of a house : GABLE

The gable is a the triangular portion of the wall on a building that is defined by the intersection of the two slopes of the roof.

54. Sierra __ : LEONE

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that lies on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were granted British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

56. Playwright Chekhov : ANTON

Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

62. Understanding : KEN

“Ken” is a noun meaning “understanding, perception”. One might say, for example, “half the clues in Saturday’s crossword are beyond my ken, beyond my understanding”.

64. Seine site : ILE

There are two famous “îles” (islands) in the middle of the River Seine in Paris, one being the Île de la Cité, and the other Île Saint-Louis. Île de la Cité is the most renowned of the two, as it is home to the cathedral of Notre Dame.

65. Corduroy feature : RIB

There’s a myth that the name of textile known as “corduroy” comes from the French “corde du roi” (the cord of the king). It’s more likely that “corduroy” comes from a melding of “cord” and “duroy” (a coarse fabric that used to be made in England).

66. “Dream on, laddie” : NAE

“Nae” is the Scottish vernacular for “no”.

67. Original Dungeons & Dragons co. : TSR

Dungeons & Dragons is a complex role-playing game (RPG) introduced in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). Dungeons & Dragons was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my youngest son …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Bookie’s concern : ODDS
5. Wedge-shaped bones : SACRA
10. Elite Eight org. : NCAA
14. Bygone depilatory brand : NEET
15. Cantilevered window : ORIEL
16. Panhandler’s income : ALMS
17. Start of a business journey : ENTRY LEVEL
19. Watery defense, perhaps : MOAT
20. Hustle : HIE
21. First name in bike stunts : EVEL
23. Phased-out Secret Service weapon : UZI
24. Way to get from 17- to 39-Across : CORPORATE LADDER
29. Doce meses : ANO
30. Roll of bills : WAD
31. Woolly mammal : EWE
32. Seasonal song ender : SYNE
34. Proceed tediously : PLOD
37. Like pals who go way back : OLD
39. Pinnacle of the journey : EXECUTIVE OFFICE
44. Three Gorges project : DAM
45. Wail : BAWL
46. Former autocrat : TSAR
47. Stat for Miguel Cabrera : RBI
49. Menu phrase : A LA
51. Letter before omega : PSI
52. Way to get from 39- to 63-Across : GOLDEN PARACHUTE
58. Bygone greeting : AVE
59. Site with digging : RUIN
60. Witty remark : MOT
61. Word with work or play : BOOK
63. End of the journey : RETIREMENT
68. Field of work : LINE
69. Food poisoning cause : E COLI
70. Times past : ERAS
71. Place of bliss : EDEN
72. Summer Triangle star : DENEB
73. WWI battle river : YSER

Down

1. Top 40 title for Metallica or U2 : ONE
2. Resting place : DEN
3. Overthrew : DETHRONED
4. Las Vegas feature : STRIP
5. Peruvian currency : SOL
6. Occur : ARE
7. Catlike carnivore : CIVET
8. “Deathtrap” actor : REEVE
9. Gene variant : ALLELE
10. ’60s hot spot : ‘NAM
11. Data storage medium : CLOUD
12. Render speechless : AMAZE
13. On the move : ASTIR
18. Cry of pain : YEOW!
22. __ gravity : LAW OF
24. Wholesale quantity : CASE
25. Figurine material : ONYX
26. Mesmerized : RAPT
27. Wing it : AD LIB
28. Dutch earthenware city : DELFT
33. High-tech greeting : E-CARD
35. Fertility clinic specimens : OVA
36. Big name in whisky : DEWAR
38. Naysayers : DISPUTERS
40. Darker-than-ocher pigment : UMBER
41. Cantina cooker : OLLA
42. Threw : CAST
43. Pelee Island’s lake : ERIE
48. Toughened : INURED
50. Top of the heap : ACME
52. Triangular part of a house : GABLE
53. Roundish : OVOID
54. Sierra __ : LEONE
55. Pizza slice, say : PIECE
56. Playwright Chekhov : ANTON
57. Comfortably familiar : HOMEY
62. Understanding : KEN
64. Seine site : ILE
65. Corduroy feature : RIB
66. “Dream on, laddie” : NAE
67. Original Dungeons & Dragons co. : TSR

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