LA Times Crossword Answers 15 May 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Joe Kidd
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Bad Penny

Themed answers contain the letter sequence CENT, although that sequence has been moved around:

  • 35D. With “a,” someone undesirable … and what’s found in the circled letters? : BAD PENNY
  • 17A. Purina product for a young tabby : KITTEN CHOW
  • 22A. Nickname for Coolidge : SILENT CAL
  • 51A. Toe-tapping number : DANCE TUNE
  • 57A. Riviera gambling destination : MONTE CARLO

Bill’s time: 4m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Lymph __ : NODE

Lymph is a fluid that exists alongside blood in the body that is transported through lymph vessels. One of the functions of the system is to pick up bacteria in the body, transporting them to lymph nodes where they are destroyed by lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Lymph can also carry metastatic cancer cells, which can lodge in lymph nodes making lymph nodes a common site where tumors may be found growing.

9. Catch some rays? : FISH

Rays are fish with flattened bodies that have gill slits on their underside. There are many, many species of ray, including stingrays and skates. Rays are close relatives of sharks, with both being cartilaginous fish, as opposed to bony fish.

13. Universal blood type, for short : O-NEG

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

15. First bet in a summer World Series : ANTE

The World Series of Poker is an annual event held in Las Vegas. The winner of each event is given a much-coveted World Series of Poker bracelet.

17. Purina product for a young tabby : KITTEN CHOW

Ralston Purina was founded in 1894 as Purina Mills, and originally supplied feed for farm animals. Most of Purina’s brand names include the word “Chow”, e.g. Purina Dog Chow, Purina Horse Chow and Purina Pig Chow. There’s even a Purina Monkey Chow.

19. Actress Hagen : UTA

Uta Hagen was a German-born American actress. Hagen married Jose Ferrer in 1938, but they were divorced ten years later after it was revealed that she was having a long-running affair with Paul Robeson. Her association with Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, earned her a spot on the Hollywood Blacklist during the McCarthy Era. This forced her away from film, but towards a successful stage career in New York City.

21. Boca __, Florida : RATON

The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

22. Nickname for Coolidge : SILENT CAL

President Calvin Coolidge, the only US President to have been born on July 4th, was known as a man of few words. It was while he was serving as Vice-President to in the administration of Warren G. Harding, that Coolidge earned the nickname “Silent Cal”. There are a couple of anecdotes about Coolidge that illustrate his renowned reticence. The first involves a lady sitting beside the president at dinner one evening who remarked to him, “Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.” His famous reply was, “You lose.” A second tale recalls the comment made by poet Dorothy Parker in 1933 when she heard that Coolidge had just died. She inquired archly, and perhaps a little coldly, “How could they tell?”

27. Popeye’s energy source : SPINACH

The cartoon character Popeye is very fond of spinach, eating cans of the vegetable through his pipe and garnering great strength from it.

28. Syst. for the hearing-impaired : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

30. Sci-fi writer Bradbury : RAY

Author Ray Bradbury was best known for his speculative fiction works, including “Fahrenheit 451”, “The Martian Chronicles” and “The Illustrated Man”. Bradbury earned his first payment as a writer when he was just 14 years old. That was when he was hired by comedian George Burns to write for the “Burns and Allen” show.

32. Grand Canyon State sch. : ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

The Grand Canyon is in Arizona. The canyon continues to be carved out of layers of rock by the Colorado River. It is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep.

33. Theater level : LOGE

In most theaters and stadia today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.

34. __ Dhabi: Persian Gulf port : ABU

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

The Persian Gulf is in effect an inland sea although it technically is an offshoot of the Indian Ocean. The outlet from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean is one of the most famous maritime “choke points” in the world, and is known as the Strait of Hormuz. About 20% of the world’s supply of petroleum passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

39. Nutritious berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

41. Toy dog, briefly : POM

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

44. Tokyo’s former name : EDO

“Edo” is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo Castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

55. Mai __: tiki drinks : TAIS

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

A tiki torch is a bamboo torch that’s very commonly used in Tiki culture. Tiki culture is a relatively modern invention dating from the 20th century, and is the experience created in Polynesian-style restaurants. The word “Tiki” is borrowed from Polynesia.

56. Burgundy on screen : RON

Ron Burgundy is the title character in the movie “Anchorman” series of films. Burgundy is a news anchor played by comedian Will Ferrell. Apparently Burgundy loves a glass of scotch, poetry, and his dog Baxter.

57. Riviera gambling destination : MONTE CARLO

Monte Carlo is an administrative area in the Principality of Monaco that covers just under a quarter of a square mile. The area is known in particular as the location of the famous Monte Carlo Casino. “Monte Carlo” translates as “Mount Charles”, and was named in 1866 for Charles III of Monaco who was ruling the principality at the time.

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

59. Group activity at a Jewish wedding : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

60. Mystical old letter : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

63. Ocular woe : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

Down

3. Alaska’s __ National Park : DENALI

Denali means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language, and is now the name used for Mount McKinley. Denali’s summit stands at 20,237 feet, making it the highest mountain peak in North America. I was surprised to learn that there is a Denali State Park, as well as the Denali National Park. The two are located adjacent to each other (which makes sense!). The State Park is undeveloped for all practical purposes, with just a few campgrounds and trailheads.

9. Britannica fodder : FACTS

The “Encyclopædia Britannica” is the oldest English-language encyclopedia that is still being published. The final print edition was issued in 2010, a set of 32 volumes. The focus in recent years moved away from print and is on the online version of the encyclopedia.

10. How people react to slasher films : IN HORROR

Or, they avoid them …

11. Prehistoric period : STONE AGE

Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:

  • The Stone Age
  • The Bronze Age
  • The Iron Age

The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

23. Boredom : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a word that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

24. Cut with a surgical beam : LASE

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

34. Pantomimed : ACTED OUT

Our word “pantomime” comes from the Greek word “pantomimos” meaning “actor”. The literal translation of the Greek is “imitator of all”, from “panto-” (all) and “mimos” (imitator). We use the term today to describe communication by means of facial expression and physical gestures. On the other side of the Atlantic, pantomimes (often “pantos”) are also very popular Christmas entertainments based on nursery tales like “Mother Goose”, “Aladdin” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Great, great stuff …

35. With “a,” someone undesirable … and what’s found in the circled letters? : BAD PENNY

The phrase “a bad penny always turns up” might be restated in modern parlance as “what goes around comes around”. The essence of the idiom dates back centuries. The idea is that someone who creates a bad (counterfeit) penny will find himself or herself being cheated with the same coin before long.

The official name of our smallest denomination coin is “cent”, and our use of the word “penny” is just a colloquialism derived from the British coin of the same name. In the UK, the plural of penny is “pence”, whereas we have “pennies” in our pockets.

37. Apple with earbuds : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

39. “Into Thin __”: Jon Krakauer book : AIR

“Into Thin Air” is a 1997 book by Jon Krakauer in which he gives a firsthand account of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. That disaster was centered on a rogue storm that enveloped the summit of the mountain and led to the death of eight climbers. The book was adapted into an intense 1997 TV movie of the same name.

42. Corrida cheers : OLES

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, or literally “race of bulls”.

44. Actress Sommer : ELKE

Elke Sommer is a German-born actress who was at the height of her success on the silver screen in the sixties. Sommer won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer Actress for her role opposite Paul Newman in 1964’s “The Prize”. She also sings and has released several albums. Now Sommer focuses on painting, producing artwork that is strongly influenced by the work of Marc Chagall.

45. Bump’s place, idiomatically : ON A LOG

Someone who is idle, inactive might be said to be “like a bump on a log”.

46. Liechtenstein locale : EUROPE

Liechtenstein is a tiny European country with an area of just over 61 square miles, located in the Alps between Switzerland and Austria. It is one of only two doubly-landlocked nations in the world, the other being Uzbekistan. Liechtenstein has the highest gross domestic product per person in the world. The country is a winter sports haven attracting lots of visitors, and is also a tax haven with a strong financial center. There are actually more registered companies in Liechtenstein than there are citizens!

50. Makeup maven Lauder : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

I’ve always loved the word “maven”, which is another word for an expert. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” meaning someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

52. Sunlit lobbies : ATRIA

In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

54. Gulf War weapon : SCUD

Scud missiles were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Soviets called them R-11 missiles at first, with later versions known as R-17 and R-300 Elbrus. The name “Scud” was actually the name NATO used for the missile, a name created by Western intelligence officers. Ballistic missiles haven’t been used a lot in actual warfare, the exception being the German V-2 rocket attacks on England during WWII. After the V-2, the second most-used ballistic missile in warfare is the Scud, which featured in a number of conflicts:

  • used by Egypt against Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973
  • used by the USSR in Afghanistan
  • used by Libya against a US Coast Guard station in the Mediterranean in 1986
  • used by Iranians and Iraqis in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88
  • used by Iraq in the Gulf War of 1990-91

Many of us tend to use “Operation Desert Storm” as the overall name for the conflict more correctly called the Persian Gulf War. Operation Desert Storm was in fact just the air and land battle that took place between January 17th and April 11th 1991. The buildup of forces was called Operation Desert Shield, and the withdrawal of forces after the liberation of Kuwait was known as Operation Desert Farewell.

57. Dash of flavor? : MRS

Mrs. Dash is a brand name of seasoning mixes. Just before the product first went to market in 1981, brand owner B&G Foods also considered the name “Mrs. Pinch”.

58. “Wheel of Fortune” purchase : AN I

Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since the game show first aired in 1975.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Lymph __ : NODE
5. Offended smack : SLAP
9. Catch some rays? : FISH
13. Universal blood type, for short : O-NEG
14. Cursed : SWORE
15. First bet in a summer World Series : ANTE
16. Sharp tooth : FANG
17. Purina product for a young tabby : KITTEN CHOW
19. Actress Hagen : UTA
20. Comes down with : GETS
21. Boca __, Florida : RATON
22. Nickname for Coolidge : SILENT CAL
25. Looks embarrassed : IS RED
27. Popeye’s energy source : SPINACH
28. Syst. for the hearing-impaired : ASL
30. Sci-fi writer Bradbury : RAY
31. Extreme degree : NTH
32. Grand Canyon State sch. : ASU
33. Theater level : LOGE
34. __ Dhabi: Persian Gulf port : ABU
36. Fragrant evergreens : PINES
38. More than pique : IRE
39. Nutritious berry : ACAI
40. Fitting : APT
41. Toy dog, briefly : POM
43. “__ be an honor” : IT’D
44. Tokyo’s former name : EDO
45. Most obsequious : OILIEST
49. Force back : REPEL
51. Toe-tapping number : DANCE TUNE
53. Classroom fixtures : DESKS
55. Mai __: tiki drinks : TAIS
56. Burgundy on screen : RON
57. Riviera gambling destination : MONTE CARLO
59. Group activity at a Jewish wedding : HORA
60. Mystical old letter : RUNE
61. Bargaining group : UNION
62. Still unfilled, as a position : OPEN
63. Ocular woe : STYE
64. TV screen meas. : DIAG
65. Sassy : PERT

Down

1. Easy to prepare, in adspeak : NO FUSS
2. How bettors may act : ON A TIP
3. Alaska’s __ National Park : DENALI
4. Breakfast staple : EGG
5. Light activator : SWITCH
6. Heaps of, informally : LOTSA
7. Sculpture, paintings, etc. : ART
8. Look closely (at) : PEER
9. Britannica fodder : FACTS
10. How people react to slasher films : IN HORROR
11. Prehistoric period : STONE AGE
12. Chop with an axe : HEW
14. Book of drawing paper : SKETCH PAD
18. Clipper’s target : NAIL
20. Annoying flying insect : GNAT
23. Boredom : ENNUI
24. Cut with a surgical beam : LASE
26. Easter coloring : DYE
29. “Sneaking” feeling : SUSPICION
32. Annoying crawling insect : ANT
33. Word after time or term : LIMIT
34. Pantomimed : ACTED OUT
35. With “a,” someone undesirable … and what’s found in the circled letters? : BAD PENNY
37. Apple with earbuds : IPOD
39. “Into Thin __”: Jon Krakauer book : AIR
42. Corrida cheers : OLES
44. Actress Sommer : ELKE
45. Bump’s place, idiomatically : ON A LOG
46. Liechtenstein locale : EUROPE
47. Nighttime noisemaker : SNORER
48. Lodger : TENANT
50. Makeup maven Lauder : ESTEE
52. Sunlit lobbies : ATRIA
54. Gulf War weapon : SCUD
57. Dash of flavor? : MRS
58. “Wheel of Fortune” purchase : AN I
59. Make like a bunny : HOP

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