LA Times Crossword Answers 26 May 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Kyle Dolan
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. “The Screwtape Letters” author : LEWIS

Irishman C. S. Lewis moved to Britain after serving in the British Army in WWI. A man of many achievements, Lewis is perhaps best remembered for his series of novels for children called “The Chronicles of Narnia” (which includes “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). He also wrote the “The Four Loves”, a nonfiction work exploring the nature of love from a Christian perspective. Famously, Lewis died on November 22nd, 1963, the same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

“The Screwtape Letters” is a 1942 epistolary novel by Belfast-born novelist C. S. Lewis. The book is steeped in Christian imagery and takes the form of a devilish uncle (Screwtape) mentoring his nephew (Wormwood) on the ins and outs of temptation.

15. Nixon, in John Adams’ “Nixon in China” : OPERA ROLE

“Nixon in China” is an opera by John Adams, with a libretto by Alice Goodman. The piece was inspired by President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972.

John Adams is a composer now based in California. Adams gained prominence with his 1987 opera “Nixon in China”. His works are usually described as in the minimalist genre. I had the privilege of hearing a work of his called “Absolute Jest” not that long ago, in the presence of the composer.

19. Org. with a tepee-shaped logo : KOA

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.

22. Seekers of a better life, perhaps : EMIGRES

An “émigré” is an emigrant. The term is French in origin, and particularly applies to someone who is a political refugee from his or her native land.

25. 18th Dynasty Egyptian ruler, familiarly : TUT

“King Tut” is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamun’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

26. Japanese flier that sponsors an LPGA major tournament : ANA

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a Japanese airline, one that is now larger in size that the nation’s flag carrier Japan Airlines (JAL).

The ANA Inspiration is one of the five major championships of women’s professional golf. The tournament was co-founded in 1972 by entertainer Dinah Shore, and is still sometimes referred to as “the Dinah Shore”.

27. Scottish landscape feature : BRAE

“Brae” is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.

28. Director Wiseman : LEN

Len Wiseman is a movie director best known for the films “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007) and “Total Recall” (2012). Wiseman is married to English actress Kate Beckinsale.

29. Colorful gem : OPAL

An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence, known as “opalescence”.

34. “Broad City” co-star : ILANA GLAZER

Ilana Glazer is a comedian from Long Island, New York. Glazer is the co-creator of the Comedy Central sitcom “Broad City” along with comedian Abbi Jacobson.

35. Concert pieces : GRAND PIANOS

A grand piano is one with the frame supported horizontally on three legs. An upright piano has the frame and strings running vertically. Grand pianos come in many sizes. For example, the length of a concert grand is about 9 feet, a parlor grand is about 7 feet, and a baby grand is about 5 feet.

37. Horsefeathers : ROT

“Horsefeathers” is probably a euphemism for a similar word that’s a little more crude. The term is said to have been coined by cartoonist Billy DeBeck in 1928. DeBeck’s most famous strip is called “Barney Google”.

42. 2013 Spike Jonze film : HER

2003’s “Her” is a rather unusual film. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who develops a relationship with a computer operating system called “Samantha”, which is voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Spike Jonze is a movie director whose first feature film was “Being John Malkovich” (1999). Jonze also directed a couple of films for which he wrote the screenplays, namely “Where the Wild things Are” (2009) and “Her” (2013). Jonze also co-created the MTV show “Jackass”. Can’t stand that show, said he grumpily …

43. It often involves getting a card nowadays : CHECK-IN

That would a key card handed over at a hotel check-in.

48. Kaitlin’s “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” role : DEE

Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds is a character played by Kaitlin Olson on the sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is a long-running sitcom that premiered in 2005 and that is set in an Irish bar in South Philly. The show has a talented lineup of actors, but the big name in the cast is Danny DeVito.

49. Chicago-to-Lansing dir. : ENE

Lansing, Michigan is unique among US state capitals in that it is not a county seat, even though it is located in Ingham County. The Ingham County seat is Mason, Michigan.

50. Southernmost of the Inner Hebrides : ISLAY

Islay is the most southerly of the islands in the Inner Hebrides on the west coast of Scotland. There are about 30,000 people living on Islay, with about a quarter of that population speaking Scottish Gaelic.

54. Easily crumbled : MEALY

Something described as “mealy” resembles meal in texture, and so is granular in consistency.

56. Safe places : ASYLA

Asylum (plural “asyla”) is a Latin word meaning “sanctuary”.

Down

1. Age of Enlightenment thinker : LOCKE

John Locke was the English philosopher who postulated that the mind is a blank slate (or “tabula rasa”) when we are born, and that we fill that slate with our experiences and observations.

The Age of Enlightenment (also known as “the Age of Reason”) was an era bridging the 17th and 18th centuries in which rationalism and scientific method started to hold sway against ideas grounded in tradition and faith. Key figures in the Age of Enlightenment were the likes of John Locke, Isaac Newton and Voltaire.

2. Composure : APLOMB

“Aplomb” is such a lovely word, one meaning “confidence, assurance”. It is a French word that literally means “perpendicularity”, or “on the plumb line”. The idea is that someone with aplomb is poised, upright, balanced.

7. Things to learn, with “the” : ROPES

As one might expect perhaps, the phrase “learning the ropes” is nautical in origin. A new recruit on a sailing vessel would have to learn how to tie the appropriate knots and learn which rope controlled which sail or spar.

8. “A Clockwork Orange” antihero : ALEX

“A Clockwork Orange” is a novella by Anthony Burgess, first published in 1962. The story is about a young teenager named Alex, who leads a small gang on violent rampages each night. The story has been adapted for the big and small screens, most famously in a 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick. It’s way too violent for me …

9. Jazzman Montgomery : WES

Wes Montgomery was a jazz guitarist from Indianapolis.

12. Roll in a pantry : WAX PAPER

The word “pantry” dates back to 1300 when it came into English from the Old French “panetrie” meaning a “bread room”. Bread is “pain” in French, and “panis” in Latin.

13. Lesser Antilles lizards : IGUANAS

An iguana is a lizard, and as such is cold-blooded. There are times when pet iguanas need heat from an IR lamp to maintain body temperature.

The Antilles islands are divided into two main groups, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles includes the islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The Lesser Antilles are made up of the Leeward Islands, the Windward Islands and the Leeward Antilles, and lie just north of Venezuela.

14. Of a dividing membrane : SEPTAL

In the world of anatomy, a septum (plural “septa”) is a dividing wall within a chamber or other structure. For example, the interatrial septum separates the left and right atria of the heart, and the nasal septum separates the nostrils of the nose.

25. Model 3 automaker : TESLA

Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The company followed the sports car with a luxury sedan, the Model S. The Model S was the world’s best selling plug-in electric vehicle of 2015.

31. First name of two U.S. presidents : ANDREW

Like many of the earlier US presidents, Andrew Jackson was a career military man. Jackson distinguished himself as commander of American forces during the War of 1812, particularly in the defense of New Orleans. He had a reputation of being fair to his troops, but strict. It was during this time that he was described as “tough as old hickory”, giving rise to the nickname “Old Hickory” that stuck with him for life.

Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the US, the man who came to power after the assassination of President Lincoln. As well as being Lincoln’s successor, Johnson is remembered as the first sitting president to be impeached. Johnson fell foul of the so-called “Radical Republicans” due to his efforts to quickly incorporate the southern states back into the Union. His political opponents chose the Tenure of Office Act as their “weapon” for impeachment. The Act prevented a president from removing an appointee of a past-president without the consent of the Senate. Johnson had removed the sitting Secretary of War without consulting Congress creating the opportunity for an impeachment trial in Congress. He was acquitted though, as his opponents fell one vote shy of the majority needed. The impeachment of President Johnson was the only presidential impeachment until that of President Clinton in 1999.

33. Pungent gas : OZONE

Ozone gets its name from the Greek word “ozein” meaning “to smell”. It was given this name as ozone’s formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas’s distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation. A molecule of ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms, whereas a “normal” oxygen has just two atoms

35. Commencements : GENESES

“Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation” that was absorbed into Latin, and then into English. We use the Latin plural “geneses”.

42. 2003-’04 OutKast chart-topper : HEY YA!

“Hey Ya!” is a 2003 song hip hop duo Outkast. I took a look at the song’s official music video, as I read that it was inspired by the 1964 appearance of the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. I enjoyed the video, although I must admit that I watched it with the sound turned down …

44. Adele hit that won three Grammys : HELLO

“Hello” is a 2015 song by English singer Adele that won her three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance.

51. Airport near D.C. : BWI

There are three airports serving the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area:

  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

Of the three, BWI handles the most passengers.

52. Grad student jobs : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Tipping point : LAST STRAW
10. “The Screwtape Letters” author : LEWIS
15. Nixon, in John Adams’ “Nixon in China” : OPERA ROLE
16. Public perception : IMAGE
17. Smoking choices : CLAY PIPES
18. Confuse : MIX UP
19. Org. with a tepee-shaped logo : KOA
20. Cowboy handle : TEX
21. Keep things as they are : SIT PAT
22. Seekers of a better life, perhaps : EMIGRES
25. 18th Dynasty Egyptian ruler, familiarly : TUT
26. Japanese flier that sponsors an LPGA major tournament : ANA
27. Scottish landscape feature : BRAE
28. Director Wiseman : LEN
29. Colorful gem : OPAL
30. They often display two years : GRAVESTONES
34. “Broad City” co-star : ILANA GLAZER
35. Concert pieces : GRAND PIANOS
36. Cry for attention, maybe : MEOW!
37. Horsefeathers : ROT
38. Source of tweets : NEST
41. Wayfarer’s rest : INN
42. 2013 Spike Jonze film : HER
43. It often involves getting a card nowadays : CHECK-IN
46. Family tree entry : NEPHEW
48. Kaitlin’s “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” role : DEE
49. Chicago-to-Lansing dir. : ENE
50. Southernmost of the Inner Hebrides : ISLAY
51. Ringer’s workplace : BELL TOWER
54. Easily crumbled : MEALY
55. Leading by a lot : WELL AHEAD
56. Safe places : ASYLA
57. “What a terrible shame” : I’M SO SORRY

Down

1. Age of Enlightenment thinker : LOCKE
2. Composure : APLOMB
3. What’s inspired by the ocean? : SEA AIR
4. Whirl : TRY
5. Drain : SAP
6. Lacking originality : TRITE
7. Things to learn, with “the” : ROPES
8. “A Clockwork Orange” antihero : ALEX
9. Jazzman Montgomery : WES
10. Contain : LIMIT
11. Release : EMIT
12. Roll in a pantry : WAX PAPER
13. Lesser Antilles lizards : IGUANAS
14. Of a dividing membrane : SEPTAL
21. It might end at the sleeves : SUNTAN
23. Expression suppression : GAG LAW
24. Put on again : RERAN
25. Model 3 automaker : TESLA
28. For real : LEGIT
29. “Be right there!” : ONE SEC!
31. First name of two U.S. presidents : ANDREW
32. Mist : VAPOR
33. Pungent gas : OZONE
34. Part of a golfer’s skill set : IRON PLAY
35. Commencements : GENESES
36. Low points : MINIMA
39. One that might hold tips : SKEWER
40. Failure to make good notes? : TIN EAR
42. 2003-’04 OutKast chart-topper : HEY YA!
43. Barred rooms : CELLS
44. Adele hit that won three Grammys : HELLO
45. Like oversized glasses, to some : NERDY
47. Dining area : HALL
48. Think : DEEM
51. Airport near D.C. : BWI
52. Grad student jobs : TAS
53. “What have we here?!” : OHO?!

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 26 May 2018, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 55 minutes, DNF, 1 error at 34A-34D on a person I never heard of and a phrase that was both weird and never heard of. Got the rest of the grid once I got the I there. (I ended up spending most of that time trying to work out that particular corner) WSJ: 25:40, no errors. Pretty uneventful by and large.

  2. LAT: 40 minutes, but had “See ya” instead of “Hey ya” for the OutKast song. It made more sense, but of course I then missed Spike Jonze film and the Hebrides island. So three errors. Not too bad.

  3. LAT: 26:01, no errors; struggled with parts of it, especially the lower left. WSJ: 26:20, no errors; pretty much the usual slog. Newsday: 51:44, no errors; a rough outing that I was able to finish only by finally remembering the name of a singer that I didn’t know I knew. So … another Saturday recedes in the rear-view mirror! … (but I’m still working on a couple of Tim Croce non-crosswords) … 😜

  4. I don’t understand 30 across on 5/26 puzzle…. gravestones as answer to “they often display after 2 years.”

  5. 29:49 although my first glance through all the clues made me think I’d get nothing filled in. Then I guessed TEX, remembered ALEX and was off to the races. I got IRON PLAY mainly because neither “driving” nor “putting” fit.

    On JD’s recommendation, I watched the segment on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel about Will Shortz and crosswords in general. It was interesting, but I wanted it to go on longer. They showed snippets from this year’s tourney (no – I didn’t see Bill anywhere..) and debated whether doing crosswords constitutes a sport.

    Shortz comes across as perhaps a bit arrogant, but he sure has the skins to back it up. The guy has two passions – puzzles and ping pong – and he’s created quite a life dedicated to and profiting from both. How many of us can claim that?

    The other portion was focused on Erik Agard, who came across as…uhhh…interesting. He seems like quite the free spirit and a crossword savant if there ever was one. The guy finished the final puzzle to win the tourney in 4 minutes and change – one I’d probably never finish.

    Best –

  6. This dissolved into an inky mess…DNF…
    @Jeff

    Review and impressions of Shortz and Agard were spot on ol’ boy…

  7. Hey gang!! 🦆
    DNF. Had scattered success but overall this one was a bit beyond my pay grade. Some of the clues were so obtuse!! 😮
    I have an 8th grade private student Sunday, and APLOMB is on her vocabulary test. Don’t tell her!! 😁 Agree with Bill– it is a lovely word.
    Be well ~~🙃

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