LA Times Crossword Answers 14 May 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Double-Duty Answers

Several across-answers serve double-duty today, being used as part of two-word answers to pairs of clues:

  • 14A. With 15-Across, station with a hook and ladder : FIRE(house)
  • 15A. With 16-Across, indoor chores : HOUSE(work)
  • 16A. With 28-Across, tireless sort : WORK(horse)
  • 28A. With 31-Across, big biting insect : HORSE (fly)
  • 31A. With 32-Across, sticky strip : FLY(paper)
  • 32A. With 40-Across, bills to pay with : PAPER (money)
  • 40A. With 42-Across, financier : MONEY (man)
  • 42A. With 43-Across, strength needed for a team job : MAN(power)
  • 43A. With 61-Across, turn off, as a computer : POWER (down)
  • 61A. With 62-Across, Australia : DOWN (Under)
  • 62A. With 63-Across, attempt : UNDER(take)
  • 63A. With 14-Across, become ignited : TAKE (fire)

Bill’s time: 5m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Big name in PCs : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

5. Play idly, as a guitar : THRUM

To thrum is to strum a stringed instrument in an idle and monotonous way. The term “thrum” has been around a long time, since the 1590s.

14. With 15-Across, station with a hook and ladder : FIRE(house)

A hook-and-ladder truck is a specialized fire-fighting vehicle comprising a turntable ladder mounted in a semi-trailer. Such a truck is a extremely maneuverable, with drivers in both front and back, with separate steering wheels controlling front and rear wheels.

17. Particle for Fermi : ATOM

Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy. Fermi moved to the US just before WWII, largely to escape the anti-Semitic feelings that were developing in Italy under Mussolini. Fermi traveled from Rome to Stockholm in 1938 to receive that year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Instead of returning to Italy, Fermi and his family traveled on to New York City, where they applied for permanent residency. It was Fermi’s work at the University of Chicago that led to the construction of the world’s first nuclear reactor. Fermi died at 53 years of age from stomach cancer . Cancer was a prevalent cause of death among the team working on that first nuclear pile.

18. Out-of-use anesthetic : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

19. Blunted blade : EPEE

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

22. “The Quiet American” novelist Graham __ : GREENE

Graham Greene was a writer and playwright from England. Greene wrote some of my favorite novels, including “Brighton Rock”, “The End of the Affair”, “The Confidential Agent”, “The Quiet American” and “Our Man in Havana”. Greene’s books often feature espionage in exotic locales. Greene himself worked for MI6, the UK’s foreign intelligence agency. In fact, Greene’s MI6 supervisor was Kim Philby, the famed Soviet spy who penetrated high into British intelligence.

“The Quiet American” is a 1955 Graham Greene novel depicting the transition of French and British colonialism with American influence in Southeast Asia. The book was adapted for the big screen twice, once in 1958 with Audie Murphy leading the cast, and again in 2002 with Michael Caine taking top billing.

28. With 31-Across, big biting insect : HORSE(-fly)

Horse-flies are biting insects. It’s only the females that bite, doing so to extract protein from blood to support egg production.

37. Big cheese : EXEC

The phrase “the big cheese” doesn’t have its roots in the word “cheese” at all. The original phrase was “the real cheese” meaning “the real thing”, and was used way back in late 1800s. “Chiz” is a Persian and Hindi word meaning “thing”, and it’s not hard to see how the expression “the real chiz” morphed into “the real cheese”. In early-20th century America, instead of a “real cheese”, the most influential person in a group was labeled as “the big cheese”.

39. Azerbaijan’s capital : BAKU

Baku is the capital city of Azerbaijan and sits on the Caspian Sea. It’s thought that the name “Baku” comes from the Persian “Bad-kube” meaning “wind-pounded city”.

Azerbaijan is a former Soviet Republic lying on the Caspian Sea just northeast of Iran. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established in 1918 and became the Muslim world’s first democratic and secular state. It didn’t last long though, as two years later it was absorbed into the Soviet Union.

44. Censor’s target : SMUT

“Smut” means “dirt, smudge” and more recently “pornographic material”. The term comes from the Yiddish “schmutz”, which is a slang word used in English for dirt, as in “dirt on one’s face”.

The original censor was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

46. Friend of Frodo : SAM

Samwise Gamgee is the sidekick to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. “Sam” is portrayed by American actor Sean Astin in the Peter Jackson big screen adaptations of the novels.

Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. Frodo is a Hobbit, and is charged with the quest of destroying Sauron’s Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo is portrayed by American actor Elijah Wood in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of the novels.

47. Elk relative : RED DEER

The elk (also known as “wapiti”) is the one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

51. Dungarees : DENIMS

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

“Dungarees” is an alternative name for overalls. Dungaree was a cheap and poorly woven fabric used by the lower classes. Dungaree originated in the port city of Dongri near Mumbai, India, hence the name.

57. Galway Bay’s __ Islands : ARAN

The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay in the west of Ireland. They are beautiful and desolate places, and one of the few places in Ireland where the main language spoken is Irish, as opposed to English. If you’ve seen the television comedy “Father Ted”, you’ll be familiar with the landscape, as many of the external shots are from Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands.

58. New Orleans NFLer : SAINT

The New Orleans Saints football team takes its name from the jazz song “When the Saints Go Marching In”, a tune that is very much associated with the city. The team was founded in 1967, on November 1st, which is All Saints’ Day in the Roman Catholic tradition.

61. With 62-Across, Australia : DOWN (Under)

The nation and continent of Australia takes its name from the Latin “Terra Australis” meaning “South Land”. The term “Terra Australis Incognita” (unknown land to the south) dates back to ancient Rome, when it described a land of legend.

65. Wordsworth words : POESY

“Poesy” is an alternative name for poetry, and is often used to mean the “art of poetry”.

The great English poet William Wordsworth is intrinsically linked with the Lake District in the north of England, where he lived from much of his life. The Lake District is a beautiful part of the country, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere a couple of times, where Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy …

66. Fed. power dept. : ENER

The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features a lightning bolt and symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

Down

3. Like jagged edges : EROSE

An edge that is erose is irregularly notched or indented.

4. Wax nostalgic : REMINISCE

The verb “wax”, in phrases like “wax lyrical” and “wax poetic”, means “to grow”. “To wax” is the opposite of “to wane”, which means “to decrease”. We are probably most familiar with “waxing and waning” with reference to the phases of the moon.

5. Angle symbols : THETAS

The Greek letter theta is commonly used in geometry to represent the angle between two lines (say at a corner of a triangle).

6. Marriott or Hyatt : HOTEL

Marriott Hotels developed their initial properties in the fifties. The first to open was the Quality Inn near Washington DC, which was the first purpose-built airport hotel in the country.

The Hyatt hotel chain takes its name from the first hotel in the group, i.e. Hyatt House at Los Angeles International Airport that was purchased in 1957. Among other things, Hyatt is famous for designing the world’s first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

7. German industrial region : RUHR

The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.

9. Traffic slowdown spots : MERGES

The “zipper merge” or “late merge” is encouraged by most traffic authorities when two lanes of traffic are merging into one. The alternative “early merge”, where cars move out of the lane that is closing before reaching the merge point, tends to be discouraged. The favored technique is to use both lanes until the merge point, and then alternate (zipper) from each lane through the merge itself. That said, one should always obey whatever instructions are given by the traffic authorities at the scene. And I know, I know … a lot of people think it rude to merge late …

10. Coarse cloth : TWEED

Tweed is a rough woolen fabric very much associated with Scotland in the UK, and County Donegal in Ireland. The cloth was originally called “tweel”, the Scots word for “twill”. Apparently a London merchant misinterpreted some handwriting in the early 1800s and assumed the fabric was called “tweed”, a reference to the Scottish River Tweed, and the name stuck …

12. Cara of “Fame” : IRENE

Irene Cara (as well as acting in “Fame”) sang the theme songs to the hit movies “Fame” and “Flashdance”.

“Fame” is a 1980 musical film that follows students at New York’s High School of Performing Arts. Irene Cara sings the hugely successful theme song “Fame”, and stars as one of the students. Cara had in fact attended the High School of Performing Arts in real life. The movie “Fame” was so successful that it led to a spinoff TV series, stage shows and a 2009 remake.

13. Trapshooting : SKEET

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

21. Triangle ratio : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

23. Farrier’s abrasive tool : RASP

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

25. Elder statesman : DOYEN

A doyen (feminine form “doyenne”) is the senior member of a group or class. The term is Middle French in origin, in which language it meant “commander of ten”.

27. Sound from the fold : BLEAT

The term “fold” describes an enclosure for sheep, and is an alternative name for a “flock”.

29. Kitchenware brand : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average kitchen too. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

30. Stimpy’s sidekick : REN

“The Ren & Stimpy Show” is an animated television show created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi, and which ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

31. Thigh bone : FEMUR

The thigh bone, the femur, is the longest and strongest bone in the human body.

36. Capek’s robot play : RUR

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

41. 1914 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.

47. Aptly named novelist : READE

Charles Reade was an English author who came to public attention with a two-act comedy play called “Masks and Faces”. Reade turned the play into a prose story in 1852 that he called “Peg Woffington”. Reade also wrote a historical novel called “The Cloister and the Hearth” about a married man who becomes a Dominican friar on hearing that his wife has died. Years later he discovers that his wife is in fact still living and a struggle develops between the man’s obligation to family and his obligation to the Roman Catholic Church.

48. Swashbuckling Flynn : ERROL

Actor Errol Flynn was born 1909 in Tasmania, Australia where he was raised. In his twenties, Flynn lived in the UK where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film “In the Wake of the Bounty” and then appeared in a British film “Murder at Monte Carlo”. It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. Flynn’s non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

A swashbuckler is a flashy swordsman. The term probably derives somehow from “swash” meaning “fall of a blow”, and “buckler” meaning “small round shield”.

50. “Death, be not proud” poet : DONNE

John Donne was one of England’s most celebrated poets, and was active at the start of the 17th century. He spent much of his life in poverty and even spent a short time in prison for having married his wife without procuring the appropriate permissions. After his release, his wife bore him 12 children in 16 years, passing away a few days after the twelfth child was born.

I don’t know about here in America, but at school in Ireland we all had to learn John Donne’s “Holy Sonnet X”, also known as “Death Be Not Proud”. Apparently, there has been quite a debate about the poem’s opening line. The original text is written as “Death be not proud”. Editors often write this as “Death, be not proud”. The latter implies that the author is addressing Death, and not just talking about death.

51. Uses the good china : DINES

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

52. Disney’s Chinese warrior : MULAN

“Mulan” is a 1998 animated feature film made by Walt Disney studios. The film is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a woman who takes the place of her father in the army and serves with distinction for twelve years without reward. Disney’s lead character was given the name Fa Mulan. Donny Osmond provided the singing voice for one of the lead characters, after which his sons remarked that he had finally made it in show business as he was in a Disney film.

56. Tarot reader : SEER

Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Big name in PCs : ACER
5. Play idly, as a guitar : THRUM
10. Not that : THIS
14. With 15-Across, station with a hook and ladder : FIRE(house)
15. With 16-Across, indoor chores : HOUSE(work)
16. With 28-Across, tireless sort : WORK(horse)
17. Particle for Fermi : ATOM
18. Out-of-use anesthetic : ETHER
19. Blunted blade : EPEE
20. One fighting back : RESISTER
22. “The Quiet American” novelist Graham __ : GREENE
24. First stage of grief : DENIAL
25. Firmly resolved (against) : DEAD SET
26. Election winners : INS
27. Company head : BOSS
28. With 31-Across, big biting insect : HORSE(-fly)
31. With 32-Across, sticky strip : FLY(paper)
32. With 40-Across, bills to pay with : PAPER (money)
37. Big cheese : EXEC
38. Wide shoe size : EEE
39. Azerbaijan’s capital : BAKU
40. With 42-Across, financier : MONEY (man)
42. With 43-Across, strength needed for a team job : MAN(power)
43. With 61-Across, turn off, as a computer : POWER (down)
44. Censor’s target : SMUT
46. Friend of Frodo : SAM
47. Elk relative : RED DEER
51. Dungarees : DENIMS
54. Mistakes : ERRORS
55. Hand-tightened fasteners : WING NUTS
57. Galway Bay’s __ Islands : ARAN
58. New Orleans NFLer : SAINT
60. Lotion additive : ALOE
61. With 62-Across, Australia : DOWN (Under)
62. With 63-Across, attempt : UNDER(take)
63. With 14-Across, become ignited : TAKE (fire)
64. “Do it, or __!” : ELSE
65. Wordsworth words : POESY
66. Fed. power dept. : ENER

Down

1. A long way off : AFAR
2. Credited in a footnote : CITED
3. Like jagged edges : EROSE
4. Wax nostalgic : REMINISCE
5. Angle symbols : THETAS
6. Marriott or Hyatt : HOTEL
7. German industrial region : RUHR
8. Apply : USE
9. Traffic slowdown spots : MERGES
10. Coarse cloth : TWEED
11. Aspirations : HOPES
12. Cara of “Fame” : IRENE
13. Trapshooting : SKEET
21. Triangle ratio : SINE
23. Farrier’s abrasive tool : RASP
25. Elder statesman : DOYEN
27. Sound from the fold : BLEAT
28. Sewn edge : HEM
29. Kitchenware brand : OXO
30. Stimpy’s sidekick : REN
31. Thigh bone : FEMUR
33. Loathe : ABOMINATE
34. Cat foot : PAW
35. Just get (by) : EKE
36. Capek’s robot play : RUR
41. 1914 battle river : YSER
43. Hunger twinge : PANG
45. Really botch : MESS UP
46. “Who goes there?” guard : SENTRY
47. Aptly named novelist : READE
48. Swashbuckling Flynn : ERROL
49. Tied chess games : DRAWS
50. “Death, be not proud” poet : DONNE
51. Uses the good china : DINES
52. Disney’s Chinese warrior : MULAN
53. Feed, as a fire : STOKE
55. Like a 10-lane highway : WIDE
56. Tarot reader : SEER
59. Chilean year : ANO

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16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 14 May 2018, Monday”

  1. LAT: 7:55, no errors. Several missteps, including DELL before ACER and STRUM before THRUM. Newsday: 5:46, no errors. WSJ: 8:18, no errors.

    Struck out on Friday’s WSJ meta. In DONATELLO, I saw Camille DONAT and William TELL and went with the wrong one, so the first letters of the first names of the athletes spelled out C-BALL-B and I tried to make something out of that. Then, I couldn’t come up with the right set of “game” names: Did I want “Racing”, “Driving”, or “Auto racing”? I didn’t think of “Ice hockey” as opposed to “Hockey”. And finally, I thought I was going to see the desired sport name spelled out, instead of a player of that sport. Oh, well, live and learn … sometimes … ?

    Running late this morning, as I stayed up late last night to watch the most incredible 40-minute display of cloud-to-cloud lightning I have ever seen. Actually rather frightening … ?

    1. BEQ: 31:14, no errors. Time includes two or three head-scratching sessions. Pretty thoughtful, with some unusually deceptive cluing, so I agree with BEQ’s rating of this one: it was hard.

      1. New Yorker #3: 20:08, no errors. Easier than the first two, with only a couple of unfamiliar references.

    2. I went with Christian Tello because I thought it went better with the other names. Couldn’t come up with anything either. Never thought to use Ice Hockey or Auto Racing. Grrr!

      1. I have to wonder how many of the red herrings in the metas are planned by the constructor: I really got hung up on the first letters of the middle four names spelling out BALL. In any case, throwing a 15th-century Swiss legend in with five more or less contemporary athletes has to be viewed as some kind of major crime … ?.

  2. LAT: 10 minutes (written), no errors.

    WSJ: 5:46, no errors. You can watch me do it if you want – probably the last one I’ll just do randomly. Oh yeah, got the meta right. Haven’t won a mug yet after 3 years of doing this, probably won’t now. But we’ll see…

    BEQ: 34 minutes (written), no errors. Stiff but a bit fun that I could actually manage it.

    New Yorker: DNF after 45 minutes (written), 3 errors. Much harder than last week and not sure if this is hardest of the 3 so far, but pretty close to it.

    1. @Glenn … Kudos for solving the meta. Good work! And I hope you’re aware that, if you win the mug, I shall be insanely jealous … ?

  3. Heidi, what are you talking about? Had nothing to do with todays LAT crossword puzzle, does it? Unless I’m missing something.

    1. Hi anonymous: Heidi was talking about the Wall St Journal puzzle that Dave commented on above. Some people here discuss puzzles in addition to the LAT (with the blogger’s permission) because there aren’t really any good sites to discuss them on.

  4. Besides Dell before ACER, and stRUM before THRUM, I had Terry before TWEED, ant before FLY and dEfendER before RESISTER.
    Actually, never heard of ACER or BAKU.

    Tricky Monday, but worth the effort. No Googling.

  5. I had a good time with this puzzle … really enjoyed it. The theme which was cross linked throughout was indeed very clever.

    Have a nice day, all.

  6. 13 hours, 28 minutes to complete this one. I started it this morning but was interrupted by a call from my movers who had shown up at my house a little early. I’m just getting around to finishing this evening. I got a kick out of the theme. I don’t envy Bill for having to list all of those.

    I don’t recall hearing “EROSE” used before. If I understand the word correctly, one could perhaps say “I arose due to the erose of a rose”…

    Best –

  7. Hiya folks! ?
    No errors, but here’s what’s kinda funny: I’m innately lazy (not proud of it and try to fight it) but how lazy am I?? I’m SO lazy that I get IRRITATED when I see the occasional clue that requires you to look at ANOTHER clue to answer!! I’m like “Oh dang! ‘With 41 down….’ I gotta look at something ELSE to get this???!” ? So, at first I didn’t think I’d make it thru without complaining. Thankfully, it’s a Monday, so I didn’t suffer too much stress….?
    Be well ~~⚾️

    1. @Carrie … You’re not the only one who is irritated by those clues that make you look at other clues. I have the same reaction, particularly if I’m working online, when it takes more time to find the second clue … and then I have to remember which two clues are paired … and if there are multiple such pairs, it’s even worse! (It’s a pet peeve that I try to keep silent about, lest I go into a rant … oops … too late … ?.)

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