LA Times Crossword Answers 24 May 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: David Poole
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Gamesmanship

Themed answers appear to be types of ship, but are clued with a different meaning:

  • 17A. High-end eye makeup? : LUXURY LINER
  • 27A. One sterilizing Ping-Pong equipment? : PADDLE STEAMER
  • 48A. Squad car for soprano Kathleen? : BATTLE CRUISER
  • 64A. Worthless stuff from Beijing? : CHINESE JUNK

Bill’s time: 4m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Outdated : PASSE

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”. We’ve imported the term into English, and use it in the same sense.

11. Streaming alternative : DVD

The abbreviation “DVD” doesn’t actually stand for anything these days, although it originally was short for Digital Video Disk. The use of the word “video” was dropped as DVDs are no longer limited to storing video content.

15. Hacienda material : ADOBE

The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word “adobe” dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original spelling is “dj-b-t”, and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

In Spanish, the term “hacienda” is often used for a large estate.

17. High-end eye makeup? : LUXURY LINER

The use of the word “line” with reference to transportation started in the 1780s, in the context of stagecoaches. Such transportation operated a string of stagecoaches between towns and cities along regular “lines”. The concept shifted to shipping “lines” operating ocean-going “liners” between ports.

19. Hollywood SFX : CGI

Computer-generated imagery (CGI)

The abbreviation “FX” stands for “effects” as in “special effects”. “Special effects” can also be shortened to “SFX”.

21. “Pomp and Circumstance” composer : ELGAR

Sir Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance Marches” is a work that takes its name from a line in William Shakespeare’s “Othello”.

Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, th’ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!

The most famous part of the whole work is the trio section of March No. 1, also known as “Land of Hope and Glory”. Here in the US, that trio section is often referred to simply as “Pomp and Circumstance”, or sometimes as “The Graduation March” as it is a staple at school graduations across the country.

23. First words of “Green Eggs and Ham” : I AM

Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

and ends with:

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am

27. One sterilizing Ping-Pong equipment? : PADDLE STEAMER

Ping-Pong is called table tennis in the UK, where the sport originated in the 1880s. Table tennis started as an after-dinner activity among the elite, and was called “wiff-waff”. To play the game, books were stacked in the center of a table as a “net”, two more books served as “”rackets” and the ball used was actually a golf ball. The game evolved over time with the rackets being upgraded to the lids of cigar boxes and the ball becoming a champagne cork (how snooty is that?). Eventually the game was produced commercially, and the sound of the ball hitting the racket was deemed to be a “ping” and a “pong”, giving the sport its alternative name. The name “Ping-Pong” was trademarked in Britain in 1901, and eventually sold to Parker Brothers in the US.

32. Supermarket chain with a mostly red oval logo : IGA

“IGA” stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

37. Adorkable one : NERD

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.

39. Emcee duty : INTRO

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

42. Flute or reed, on an organ : STOP

A stop is a component of a pipe organ that admits a flow of air to a specific set of organ pipes. The organ player can allow air to flow, or can “stop” it (hence the name “stop”). Stops are classified according to the group of pipes that are controlled, with stops often being named for the sounds imitated by those pipes. So, for example, there are flute stops, string stops and reed stops.

43. Tibetan legends : YETIS

The yeti, also known as “the abominable snowman”, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

47. Org. concerned with emissions : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

48. Squad car for soprano Kathleen? : BATTLE CRUISER

Kathleen Battle is an American operatic soprano who has a reputation as being a bit of a diva, in both senses of the word. She was dismissed from the Metropolitan Opera in 1994, following a string of incidents in which she was deemed to be difficult and demanding. After working with the singer later that same year, backstage workers with the San Francisco Opera were seen sporting t-shirts reading “I survived the Battle”.

52. Sign of fall : SCORPIO

Scorpio is a the eighth astrological sign of the Zodiac. Scorpios are pure perfection. Guess what my sign is …

54. Fish-eating eagle : ERN

The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also called the white-tailed eagle or the sea-eagle.

64. Worthless stuff from Beijing? : CHINESE JUNK

The city of Beijing in China was given its name in 1403, with “Beijing” chosen as it translates as “Northern Capital”. The name distinguished it from the city of Nanjing, which name translates as “Southern Capital”. Beijing was written in English as Peking for centuries.

A junk is a sailing boat often seen in Chinese waters today, and as far back as 200 BC. The English word “junk” is just a phonetic spelling of a Chinese word for “ship”, although it would more correctly be pronounced “joong”.

67. Skin dye used in some wedding celebrations : HENNA

Henna has been used for centuries as a dye, not just for leather and wool, but also for the hair and skin. In modern days, henna is also used for temporary tattoos.

69. Measures for long-distance runners: Abbr. : KMS

Kilometer (km)

70. Mystery award : EDGAR

The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (the Edgars) are presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America. There are several categories of awards. For example, the Ellery Queen Award honors “writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry”. The Raven Award is presented to non-writers, who contribute to the mystery genre.

Down

3. __-Coburg: former Bavarian duchy : SAXE

Saxony was the name given at different times in history to states along the Elbe river in central Europe. As the various states broke up, they spawned many duchies that retained the name “Saxe”. The most famous of these duchies was probably Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, two united duchies in Germany that ceased to exist after WWII. A notable branch of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha House is the British Royal Family, as Queen Victoria was married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. King George V of the United Kingdom changed the name of the family to the House of Windsor in a politically sensible move during WWI.

5. “If __ I loved her, all that love is gone”: Shakespeare : E’ER

In William Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Demetrius speaks to Lysander about his former love Hermia:

Lysander, keep thy Hermia. I will none.
If e’er I loved her, all that love is gone.
My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourned

6. __ of America : MALL

The Mall of America (MoA) is a huge shopping center located in a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. The MoA receives over 40 million visitors each year since opening in 1992, and that’s more visitors than any other shopping mall on the planet.

9. Gibraltar’s peninsula : IBERIA

The Iberian Peninsula in Europe is largely made up of Spain and Portugal. However, also included is the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrénées, a small part of the south of France, and the British Territory of Gibraltar. Iberia takes its name from the Ebro, the longest river in Spain, which the Romans named the “Iber”.

Gibraltar is a small British territory on the Mediterranean coast just south of Spain. The British gained control of the area, which is just 2.6 square miles, during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704. The ownership of Gibraltar is contested by the Spanish, but successive UK governments refuse to cede the territory as it is a major base for the Royal Navy. Gibraltar sits at the narrow entrance to the Mediterranean from the Atlantic.

10. Sun. delivery : SER

Our word “sermon” comes from the Latin “sermonem” meaning “discourse, talk”. The literal translation of “sermonem” is “a stringing together of words”, from the Latin “serere” meaning “to join”, as in the related word “series”.

13. Small amounts : DRIBS

A “drib” is a negligible amount, as in “dribs and drabs”. The term “drib” arose in Scotland in the 18th century, and might possibly come from the verb “to dribble”.

18. Aden native : YEMENI

Aden is a seaport in Yemen that is located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

26. Canadian VIPs : PMS

Prime Minister (PM)

27. Like some Christmas candles : PINY

“Piney” or “piny”, reminiscent of “pine”.

28. Tommie of the Amazin’ Mets : AGEE

Tommie Agee was a Major League Baseball player who played mainly with the Indians, White Sox and Mets. He was one of the “Amazin’ Mets”, and was famous for making two phenomenal catches in game three of the 1969 world series, potentially saving five runs. Agee was also the first Mets outfielder to win a Gold Glove, doing so in 1970.

29. They’re stuck in pubs : DARTBOARDS

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

30. RR depot : STN

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) stop.

Our term “depot”, meaning “station, warehouse”, comes from the French word “dépôt”. The French term translates into English as “deposit” or “place of deposit”.

31. IMDb search category : TITLE

The website called the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering question one has about movies and actors.

35. Bishop of Rome : POPE

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The term “pope” comes from the Latin “papa”, and ultimately from the Greek “pappas”, with both terms being a child’s word for “father”.

40. Mythical bird : ROC

The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, one reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.

41. Fiona, after Shrek’s kiss : OGRESS

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

44. Auto additive with a mostly red oval logo : STP

STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name “STP” is an initialism standing for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

46. __ La Table: Williams-Sonoma rival : SUR

Sur La Table is a chain of retail stores selling high-end kitchenware products. The company name translates from French as “on the table”. The first Sur La Table store opened in 1972 in Seattle’s celebrated Pike Place Market. Today, Sur La Table is the main competitor to Williams-Sonoma.

49. Gave religiously : TITHED

Traditionally, a tithe is a payment of one tenth of a person’s annual income and is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

52. Command to Fido : SPEAK!

“Fido”, the name for many a dog, is Latin for “I trust”.

53. GEICO submission : CLAIM

GEICO was founded in 1936 with a very specific mission, to provide auto insurance for employees of the federal government and their families, hence the name Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). GEICO is a private company, despite the word “government” in its name. The founders’ idea was to focus on government employees as they believed such a group represented a lower risk profile than the rest of the population. Nowadays any qualifying person can take out a policy with GEICO.

57. “Mom” co-star Faris : ANNA

“Mom” is a sitcom starring Anna Faris and the great Allison Janney that premiered in 2013. Famously, the show deals head on with the problems of alcoholism and drug abuse.

Comic actress Anna Faris broke through to the big time when she landed a leading role in the 2000 horror parody “Scary Movie”. She reprised that “Scary Movie” role in three sequels. TV audiences will likely recognize Faris as the main character in the sitcom “Mom”. Faris was married to fellow actor Chris Pratt from 2009 until 2018.

60. Wise adviser : GURU

“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

62. Inner Hebrides isle : SKYE

The Isle of Skye is off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. It is the second largest island in the country, and has been linked to the mainland by a road bridge since 1995. I’ve never been there, but I hear the views are spectacular.

64. “The Motorcycle Diaries” revolutionary : CHE

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

65. In-flight update : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Outdated : PASSE
6. Calf-length dresses : MIDIS
11. Streaming alternative : DVD
14. Let up : ABATE
15. Hacienda material : ADOBE
16. Crew’s control? : OAR
17. High-end eye makeup? : LUXURY LINER
19. Hollywood SFX : CGI
20. Part of a process : STEP
21. “Pomp and Circumstance” composer : ELGAR
22. Concert souvenir : STUB
23. First words of “Green Eggs and Ham” : I AM
25. Creeps : TIPTOES
27. One sterilizing Ping-Pong equipment? : PADDLE STEAMER
32. Supermarket chain with a mostly red oval logo : IGA
33. Con man? : ANTI
34. Switches : SWAPS
37. Adorkable one : NERD
39. Emcee duty : INTRO
42. Flute or reed, on an organ : STOP
43. Tibetan legends : YETIS
45. Fireside stack : LOGS
47. Org. concerned with emissions : EPA
48. Squad car for soprano Kathleen? : BATTLE CRUISER
52. Sign of fall : SCORPIO
54. Fish-eating eagle : ERN
55. Romp : PLAY
56. Old autocrats : TSARS
59. Historic times : AGES
63. Place for a bud : EAR
64. Worthless stuff from Beijing? : CHINESE JUNK
66. It may be financial or legal : AID
67. Skin dye used in some wedding celebrations : HENNA
68. Overdue : TARDY
69. Measures for long-distance runners: Abbr. : KMS
70. Mystery award : EDGAR
71. Entertain : AMUSE

Down

1. More than casual acquaintances : PALS
2. Touch on : ABUT
3. __-Coburg: former Bavarian duchy : SAXE
4. Idiotic : STUPID
5. “If __ I loved her, all that love is gone”: Shakespeare : E’ER
6. __ of America : MALL
7. “Got it, man” : I DIG
8. Give : DONATE
9. Gibraltar’s peninsula : IBERIA
10. Sun. delivery : SER
11. High degrees : DOCTORATES
12. Ill-defined : VAGUE
13. Small amounts : DRIBS
18. Aden native : YEMENI
22. Simmers : STEWS
24. Fashioned after : A LA
26. Canadian VIPs : PMS
27. Like some Christmas candles : PINY
28. Tommie of the Amazin’ Mets : AGEE
29. They’re stuck in pubs : DARTBOARDS
30. RR depot : STN
31. IMDb search category : TITLE
35. Bishop of Rome : POPE
36. Sail support : SPAR
38. Private account : DIARY
40. Mythical bird : ROC
41. Fiona, after Shrek’s kiss : OGRESS
44. Auto additive with a mostly red oval logo : STP
46. __ La Table: Williams-Sonoma rival : SUR
49. Gave religiously : TITHED
50. Dieting successfully : LOSING
51. Stuck : IN A JAM
52. Command to Fido : SPEAK!
53. GEICO submission : CLAIM
57. “Mom” co-star Faris : ANNA
58. Stern : REAR
60. Wise adviser : GURU
61. Objectives : ENDS
62. Inner Hebrides isle : SKYE
64. “The Motorcycle Diaries” revolutionary : CHE
65. In-flight update : ETA

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