LA Times Crossword Answers 30 May 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Extra Measures

Themed answers include letters at either end that have been circled in the grid. Those letters spell out the names of units of MEASUREMENT:

  • 59A. Radical solutions … and what this puzzle’s circles literally represent : EXTREME MEASURES
  • 16A. Latter Day Saints’ sacred text : THE BOOK OF MORMON (giving “TON”)
  • 26A. Occupy oneself with trivial tasks : PUTTER AROUND (giving “POUND”)
  • 45A. Like a budget with more expenses than income : OUT OF BALANCE (giving “OUNCE”)

Bill’s time: 6m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Stitchless? : NUDE

Nude, not wearing a stitch.

9. Right-leaning print: Abbr. : ITAL

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

13. Tan shade : ECRU

The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

16. Latter Day Saints’ sacred text : THE BOOK OF MORMON (giving “TON”)

The Book of Mormon is a sacred text that was first published in 1830 by founder of the Latter Day Saint movement Joseph Smith. According to the book’s text, the Book of Mormon is a translation made by Smith of a collection of ancient writings engraved on golden plates and buried in a hill in present-day New York State, near where Smith himself was born.

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton or sometimes a “long ton”. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a “short ton”. To further complicate matters, there is also a “metric ton” or “tonne”, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

19. Pirate’s milieu : SEA

We use the French term “milieu” (plural “milieux”) to mean “environment, surroundings”. In French, “milieu” is the word for “middle”.

21. The bubbles in bubble tea, usually : TAPIOCA

The cassava plant is a woody shrub native to South America grown largely for its carbohydrate-rich tubers. In fact, the cassava is the third largest food source of carbohydrates (for humans) in the world. Ordinarily, that carbohydrate is extracted from the plant and dried as flour, and is known as tapioca.

Bubble tea, sometimes called Boba tea, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan. The “bubbles” are chewy tapioca balls that are usually added to the drink.

22. Youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate __ Yousafzai : MALALA

“I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” is a memoir co-written by Malala Yousafzai and British journalist Christina Lamb. The title tells the essence of her Malala’s story. She started a blog when she was 11 or 12, outlining her life in northwest Pakistan under occupation by the Taliban. As the Pakistani military regained control of the area, Malala’s story was told in a documentary and she was frequently giving interviews. One day a gunman came looking for her, and found her on a school bus. He shot Malala three times, with one bullet going into her forehead. She survived, and was taken to England to recuperate. She was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at the age of 17, making her the youngest ever Nobel laureate.

25. Architect Saarinen : EERO

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect who was renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

26. Occupy oneself with trivial tasks : PUTTER AROUND (giving “POUND”)

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a libra. That libra connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” though comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”.

35. Beverage with a “Real Facts” Web page : SNAPPLE

Originally “Snapple” was name of just one type of juice made by a company called Unadulterated Food Products. The drink’s name was a contraction of “snappy apple”. The company’s name was changed to the Snapple Beverage Corporation in the early 1980s. Snapple was sold in 1994, and is now a brand name owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

39. Curious box opener : PANDORA

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. She was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

41. Meat in a typical Denver omelet : HAM

A Western omelet (also “omelette”) is also known as a Southwest omelet or a Denver omelet. The usual ingredients include diced ham, onions and green bell peppers.

42. Succotash bean : LIMA

The main ingredients in succotash are corn and lima beans, although in parts of the South, succotash can be made with any collection of vegetables prepared with lima beans and topped with butter.

44. Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN

Erin Andrews is a sports reporter. I don’t watch much in the line of sports but I do know Ms. Andrews for her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. She did quite well and made it to the final of the show. And now, she is the show’s co-host alongside Tom Bergeron.

45. Like a budget with more expenses than income : OUT OF BALANCE (giving “OUNCE”)

Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

51. Bright blue shade : COBALT

Cobalt blue is a pigment, a pigment with a lighter shade than Prussian blue. Cobalt blue is made from cobalt oxide and alumina, and is used as a coloring agent in ceramics, jewelry and paint. Even “transparent” glass usually contains a little cobalt blue, giving a slight blue tint.

52. Bygone heating fuel : COAL GAS

Coal gas is the gas produced when coal is heated in the absence of air. Coal gas was the major fuel piped into US homes in the 1940s and 1950s, prior to the introduction of natural gas.

55. Wall St. maneuver : LBO

A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a transaction in which an investor acquires a controlling volume of stock in a company, but buys that stock with borrowed funds (hence “leveraged”). Often the assets of the acquired company are used as collateral for the borrowed money. There is a special form of LBO known as a management buyout (MBO) in which the company’s own management team purchase the controlling interest.

New York’s famous Wall Street was originally named by the Dutch “de Waalstraat”.

62. “In __ of flowers … ” : LIEU

As one might imagine perhaps, “in lieu” came into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum” that also means “place”. So, “in lieu” translates as “in place of”.

64. Disk slapped by Ducks : PUCK

A slap shot in ice hockey involves slapping the ice just behind the puck with the stick, causing the stick to bend and store up extra energy. When the stick finally hits the puck, all that extra energy is released along with the energy from the swing resulting in the hardest shot in hockey.

The Walt Disney Company founded the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim hockey team in 1993, with the franchise’s name being a nod to the 1992 Disney movie called “The Mighty Ducks”. The name was changed to the Anaheim Ducks when Disney sold the team before the 2006-2007 season.

65. Croat neighbor : SERB

Serbia is a landlocked country in southeast Europe. After WWII, Serbia became one of several states making up the nation called Yugoslavia. Serbia became independent again in 2006 as Yugoslavia broke up after the declaration of independence by Montenegro.

The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Croatia became a member of NATO in 2009, and a member of the European Union in 2013.

66. Boy, in Bilbao : NINO

Bilbao is a city in the Basque region of northern Spain. One of the most famous buildings in the city is the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a spectacular structure standing on the banks of the Nervión river in the downtown area.

Down

2. Tylenol target : ACHE

Tylenol is pain relieving drug with the active ingredient acetaminophen (which is known as paracetamol outside of the US).

5. Electricity pioneer Tesla : NIKOLA

Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. Tesla’s work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

6. Kid-friendly card game : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the “shedding” family of card games, in that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

8. “At Wit’s End” columnist Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns, under the title “At Wit’s End”, describing her home life in suburbia.

10. Divided island north of Australia : TIMOR

Timor is an island in Maritime Southeast Asia. The island is politically divided into West Timor, belonging to Indonesia, and the independent state of East Timor. The name “Timor” comes from a Malay word for “east”, and is used as Timor lies at the eastern end of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

11. BP merger partner : AMOCO

“Amoco” is an abbreviation for “American Oil Company”, an oil company that merged with BP in 1998. Amoco was the first oil company to introduce gasoline tanker trucks and drive-through filling stations. I wonder did they know what they were starting …?

BP is an oil and gas company headquartered in London, UK. BP started out as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1909 with the remit of exploiting oil discovered in Iran. The company name was changed to British Petroleum in 1954, and today the name used is simply “BP”.

12. Actress Olin : LENA

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.

14. Canine neighbor : MOLAR

Molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

The canine teeth of a mammal are also called the eyeteeth or cuspids. The name “canine” is used because these particular teeth are very prominent in dogs. The prefix “eye-” is used because in humans the eyeteeth are located in the upper jaw, directly below the eyes.

18. Premiere, datewise : OPEN ON

Our word “premiere” is used for the first performance of a play, for example. The term comes from the French “premier” meaning “first”, and entered English in the late 19th century. We use the feminine form of “premier” because it is a shortening of the phrase “première représentation” meaning “first performance”.

23. At the pinnacle of : ATOP

A pinnacle is a highest point. The term “pinnacle” comes from the Latin “pinna” meaning “peak, point”. “Pinna” also gives us our term “pin”.

26. Like five-star hotels : POSH

No one really knows the etymology of the word “posh”. The popular myth that “posh” is actually an acronym standing for “port out, starboard home” is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The myth is that wealthy British passengers travelling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.

27. Radius neighbor : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

28. “Alley __” : OOP

“Alley Oop” is a comic strip that ran for four decades starting in 1932. “Alley Oop” was drawn by V. T. Hamlin. The title character lived in the prehistoric kingdom of Moo, although for much of the strip’s life, Alley Oop had access to a time machine. Alley Oop also had a girlfriend called Ooola. I had assumed that Ooola’s name was a play on “hula hoop”, but that wasn’t invented until the 1950s (a kind blog reader informs me) …

29. Thurman of “Kill Bill” : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (I haven’t seen it, as I really don’t do Tarantino). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

32. Springsteen’s first Top 40 hit : BORN TO RUN

“Born to Run” is a 1975 Bruce Springsteen song that was the title track of an album of the same name. Springsteen wrote the song, but he wasn’t actually the first to record it. Allan Clarke of the Hollies had that honor, but the release of the Clarke version was delayed until Springsteen’s hit the record shelves. “Born to Run” became Springsteen’s first US Top 40 hit.

33. Red explorer? : ERIC

According to Icelandic tradition, Erik the Red was the man responsible for founding the first Norse settlement in Greenland. Erik had a famous son: the explorer Leif Ericson.

34. Victor Borge, by birth : DANE

Victor Borge was such a talented entertainer. He was nicknamed “The Great Dane” as well as “The Clown Prince of Denmark”. Borge was a trained concert pianist, but soon discovered that the addition of a stand up comedy routine to his musical presentations brought him a lot of work. He toured Europe in the 1930s, and found himself in trouble for telling anti-Nazi jokes, so when Germany occupied Denmark during WWII Borge escaped to America.

37. Short stories? : LIT

Literature (lit.)

38. Broody rock genre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

43. Pro Bowl team, briefly : AFC

American Football Conference (AFC)

The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl is the NFL’s all-star game, and is played towards the end of the season around the time of the Super Bowl. The rules for the Pro Bowl differ from normal NFL games, in order to make the game safer. Apparently, NFL owners don’t want their players getting injured when they’re not playing for their own team.

46. Ravel classic used in the film “10” : BOLERO

Maurice Ravel’s “Boléro” is a remarkable piece of music that has a very insistent theme that just builds and builds, with instruments being added to the mix as the piece develops. Famously, “Boléro” played a significant role in the 1979 film “10” starring Bo Derek, Dudley Moore and Julie Andrews. Not a bad movie …

“10” is a fun romantic comedy released in 1979 starring Dudley Moore, Bo Derek and Julie Andrews. Famously, the movie made stars of Moore and Derek, as well as popularizing Maurice Ravel’s marvelous piece of music called “Boléro”.

47. Palestinian leader Mahmoud : ABBAS

Mahmoud Abbas took over as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2004 after the death of Yasser Arafat. Abbas is also the President of the Palestinian National Authority, a position equivalent to “head of state”.

48. Thailand neighbor : LAOS

The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country’s name is “Meuang Lao”. The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.

49. “Chicago” showgirl : ROXIE

The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …

52. Roger Rabbit frames : CELS

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is a clever 1988 film featuring cartoon characters that interact directly with human beings. The most memorable cartoon characters have to be goofy Roger Rabbit, and vampish Jessica Rabbit. The film is based on a novel written by Gary K. Wolf called “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?” There is a prequel floating around that has never been produced, which is titled “Who Discovered Roger Rabbit”.

60. 60 secs. : MIN

We use base-10, the decimal system for our numbers. Base-60, the sexagesimal system, was used by the ancient Babylonians. This ancient usage gives rise to our 60 seconds in a minute, and 360 (6 x 60) degrees in a circle.

61. AP competitor : UPI

Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a fraction of that workforce.

The Associated Press (AP) is a news agency based in New York City. AP is a non-profit cooperative that was set up by five New York newspapers in 1846 to share the cost of transmitting news. Nowadays, AP recoups most of its cost by selling news stories and related materials to newspapers all around the world, mostly outside of the US.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Young chaps : LADS
5. Stitchless? : NUDE
9. Right-leaning print: Abbr. : ITAL
13. Tan shade : ECRU
14. One picking a rock : MINER
15. It may fly by : TIME
16. Latter Day Saints’ sacred text : THE BOOK OF MORMON (giving “TON”)
19. Pirate’s milieu : SEA
20. Mop & __: floor cleaner : GLO
21. The bubbles in bubble tea, usually : TAPIOCA
22. Youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate __ Yousafzai : MALALA
25. Architect Saarinen : EERO
26. Occupy oneself with trivial tasks : PUTTER AROUND (giving “POUND”)
30. Butter substitute : OLEO
31. How, to José : COMO
32. Retirement place : BED
35. Beverage with a “Real Facts” Web page : SNAPPLE
39. Curious box opener : PANDORA
41. Meat in a typical Denver omelet : HAM
42. Succotash bean : LIMA
44. Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN
45. Like a budget with more expenses than income : OUT OF BALANCE (giving “OUNCE”)
49. Jockey strap : REIN
51. Bright blue shade : COBALT
52. Bygone heating fuel : COAL GAS
55. Wall St. maneuver : LBO
56. Select, with “for” : OPT
59. Radical solutions … and what this puzzle’s circles literally represent : EXTREME MEASURES
62. “In __ of flowers … ” : LIEU
63. Mideast dignitaries : EMIRS
64. Disk slapped by Ducks : PUCK
65. Croat neighbor : SERB
66. Boy, in Bilbao : NINO
67. Tattoo parlor supplies : INKS

Down

1. “Why don’t we?!” : LET’S!
2. Tylenol target : ACHE
3. Superstar lineup : DREAM TEAM
4. Pinch hitter, say : SUB
5. Electricity pioneer Tesla : NIKOLA
6. Kid-friendly card game : UNO
7. Nimble : DEFT
8. “At Wit’s End” columnist Bombeck : ERMA
9. “Did my best” : I TRIED
10. Divided island north of Australia : TIMOR
11. BP merger partner : AMOCO
12. Actress Olin : LENA
14. Canine neighbor : MOLAR
17. Eye wolfishly : OGLE
18. Premiere, datewise : OPEN ON
23. At the pinnacle of : ATOP
24. Semicircle, e.g. : ARC
26. Like five-star hotels : POSH
27. Radius neighbor : ULNA
28. “Alley __” : OOP
29. Thurman of “Kill Bill” : UMA
32. Springsteen’s first Top 40 hit : BORN TO RUN
33. Red explorer? : ERIC
34. Victor Borge, by birth : DANE
36. Fall precipitously : PLUNGE
37. Short stories? : LIT
38. Broody rock genre : EMO
40. “Sold!” : DEAL!
43. Pro Bowl team, briefly : AFC
45. Massage option : OIL RUB
46. Ravel classic used in the film “10” : BOLERO
47. Palestinian leader Mahmoud : ABBAS
48. Thailand neighbor : LAOS
49. “Chicago” showgirl : ROXIE
50. Diner patron : EATER
52. Roger Rabbit frames : CELS
53. “I totally agree!” : AMEN
54. Rig on the road : SEMI
57. Quick kiss : PECK
58. Disapproving sounds : TSKS
60. 60 secs. : MIN
61. AP competitor : UPI

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