LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Jun 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Catch Prize for Solving?

Themed answers are common phrases in which a word ending in “-SH” has been changed to a word ending in “-TCH”:

  • 17A. Surveillance camera? : WATCHING MACHINE (from “washing machine”)
  • 31A. Interconnected irrigation channels? : DITCH NETWORK (from “Dish Network”)
  • 39A. Member of Cassidy’s baseball team? : BUTCH LEAGUER (from “bush leaguer”)
  • 56A. Obsessively uniform French fries? : MATCHED POTATOES (from “mashed potatoes”)

Bill’s time: 8m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Leaps in tutus : JETES

A jeté is a leap in ballet, with the term “jeté” coming from the French word “jeter” meaning “to throw”. A “jeté en avant” is a “leap to the front”, towards the audience. A “grand jeté” is a long horizontal jump, a split in the air, leaping from one foot to the other.

The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

11. “Major Barbara” monogram : GBS

George Bernard Shaw (GBS) was a very successful Irish playwright. Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. He won his Oscar for adapting his own play “Pygmalion” for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaptation of “Pygmalion” that goes by the title “My Fair Lady”.

“Major Barbara” is a 1905 play by Irish author George Bernard Shaw. The title character is Barbara Undershaft, a major in the Salvation Army who spends a great deal of her time helping the poor. Barbara takes offense when her father donates money to the Salvation Army, money that he earned selling munitions.

14. Dress style : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares toward the hem.

16. Roger’s relative? : AYE

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

26. Fine art and antiques, say : ASSETS

Our word “asset”, meaning “owned item of value”, is actually an artificial singular that arose in the 1800s from the collective noun “assets”. “Assets” came from Anglo-French ”assetz”, with both terms originally used as adverbs meaning “sufficient estate to cover liabilities”.

27. Desires more from Us? : RENEWS

“Us Weekly” is a celebrity gossip magazine that was first published in 1977 as “Us”. Originally issued every two weeks, “Us” became a monthly magazine in 1991, and moved to a weekly format in 2000.

28. Slithery danger : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

30. Holmes and Watson, e.g. : DUO

In the marvelous Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes’ sidekick Dr. Watson is referred to only by his family name, except for two occasions when it is revealed that his first name is John. However, in a third and final mention, Dr. Watson is called “James” by his wife, perhaps indicating a lapse in memory on the part of the author.

31. Interconnected irrigation channels? : DITCH NETWORK (from “Dish Network”)

Dish Network was the brand name used by is a satellite communication company EchoStar for it consumer-oriented service. EchoStar spun off Dish Network as a separate entity in 2008, although the two independent companies continue to work closely together.

37. Actor Stephen : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

39. Member of Cassidy’s baseball team? : BUTCH LEAGUER (from “bush leaguer”)

The Old West train and bank robber Robert Parker was better known by the name Butch Cassidy. His partner in crime Harry Longabaugh was known as the Sundance Kid. Famously, the exploits of Butch and Sundance were reenacted in the marvelous 1969 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

52. Org. offering puppy love? : ASPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

53. Tenerife, por ejemplo : ISLA

In Spanish, Tenerife “por ejemplo” (for example), is an “isla” (island).

Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands located off the coast of Morocco in North Africa. Part of Spain, Tenerife is the nation’s most populous island, home to almost 900,000 people. It also receives about five million visitors annually, making it one of the most important tourist destinations in the world.

55. Nutritional fig. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

56. Obsessively uniform French fries? : MATCHED POTATOES (from “mashed potatoes”)

French fries are called “chips” back in Ireland where I grew up. And what we call “chips” in the US are known as “crisps” in Britain and Ireland. In France, French fries are known as “pommes frites”.

60. Gardner on screen : AVA

Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.

61. Ahi et al. : TUNAS

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

63. “Think you I am no stronger than my __”: Portia : SEX

William Shakespeare features a character named “Portia” in two of his plays. The most famous is Portia, the heroine of “The Merchant of Venice”. The lesser known is Portia, the wife of Brutus in “Julius Caesar”.

Here are some lines spoken by Portia to her husband Brutus, in William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”:

I grant I am a woman, but withal
A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife.
I grant I am a woman, but withal
A woman well-reputed, Cato’s daughter.
Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
Being so fathered and so husbanded?

64. Part of a caddie’s burden : IRONS

“Caddie” is a Scottish word, as one might expect given the history of the game of golf. “Caddie” is a local word derived from the French “cadet”, meaning a younger son or brother, and also a student officer in the military.

Down

1. Bazaar figure : HAWKER

The verb “to hawk” has a Germanic origin, and comes from the Low German word “hoken” meaning “to peddle”. A hawker is actually slightly different from a peddler by definition, as a hawker is a peddler that uses a horse and cart, or a van nowadays perhaps, to sell his or her wares.

Our word “bazaar”, meaning “market”, comes from the Persian “bazar”, which means the same thing.

2. “Primary Colors” screenwriter May : ELAINE

Elaine May is a film director, screenwriter and comedian who is best known for the comedy double act she had in the late fifties with Mike Nichols. Nichols and May routines were hilarious sketches or skits, sometimes with substantial amounts of improvisation. The comedy team split up after only four years in 1961, when they were at the pinnacle of their fame. May went into film directing, with mixed success. May wrote and directed “Ishtar” in 1987 starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman. “Ishtar” is often cited as the epitome of a box office failure. May never directed another film, but continued writing. She wrote the script adaptation for the wonderful 1996 film “The Birdcage”.

“Primary Colors” is a 1998 film that is based on then Governor Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. The movie is based on a book by Joe Klein, a journalist who covered the Clinton campaign for the magazine “Newsweek”. The Bill Clinton-like character is named Governor Jack Stanton, and is played by John Travolta. Emma Thompson plays Jack Stanton’s wife Susan. I haven’t seen this one, but I think I’d like to …

4. Business end? : INC

A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

5. Bk. after Ezra : NEH

In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Ezra was originally combined with the Book of Nehemiah, with the two being separated in the early days of the Christian Era.

6. Two-faced god : JANUS

Janus was a Roman god usually depicted with two heads, one looking to the past and the other to the future. As such, as a god Janus is often associated with time. The Romans named the month of Ianuarius (our “January”) after Janus.

8. Barnyard males : TOMS

A male turkey is called a “tom”, taking its name from a “tomcat”. The inference is that like a tomcat, the male turkey is relatively wild and undomesticated, sexually promiscuous and frequently gets into fights. A female turkey is called a “hen”.

9. Diamond stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

18. Clarifying words : ID EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

24. “M*A*S*H” figure : MEDIC

“M*A*S*H” has only three stars (three asterisks, that is). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

26. Dian Fossey subject : APE

Dian Fossey carried out her famous study of gorilla populations in the mountain forests of Rwanda. Sadly, Fossey was found dead in her cabin in Rwanda in 1986, murdered in her bedroom, her skull split open by a machete. The crime was never solved.

33. Occasionally newsworthy comment : TWEET

I have never tweeted in my life, and have no plans to do so (but one should never say “never”). Twitter is a microblogging service that limits any post sent to just 140 characters. In a sense, it is similar to this blog. Here I send out a post once a day containing information that I think might be useful to folks (thank you for reading!). I don’t think I could send out much of interest using just 140 characters.

35. Crash insurance? : AUTOSAVE

Autosave: a setting that I definitely use when writing up these posts …

36. Short-lived 1760s levy : STAMP TAX

A “stamp act” is a law requiring that taxes be paid when certain documents are “stamped” to make them legal. Such taxes are known as “stamp duty”. The infamous Stamp Act of 1765 was a tax imposed by Britain on the American colonies. The colonies famously rejected the Act declaring “No Taxation without Representation”, and the disagreement became a significant factor in the decision to declare independence.

39. Commonwealth off Florida : BAHAMAS

The Bahamas is a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, lying in the same island chain as Cuba and Hispaniola. The Bahamas was a British colony for many years but became independent in 1973, although it retains membership in the British Commonwealth.

A commonwealth is a nation or state that is founded on laws laid down for the common good of all the commonwealth’s citizens. Examples would be the Commonwealth of Australia and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

40. Big name in chips : LAY

Lay’s potato chips were introduced in 1938 by Herman W. Lay. Lay started selling his chips out the trunk of his car, travelling all over the US. In those days the chips were pretty much handmade, but Lay put an end to that in 1942. He invented the first continuous potato processor in 1948, and chips started to take over the world!

41. WWII peril : U-BOAT

The term “U-boat” comes from the German “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). U-boats were primarily used in WWII to enforce a blockade against enemy commercial shipping, with a main objective being to cut off the supplies being transported to Britain from the British colonies and the US. The epic fight for control of the supply routes became known as the Battle of the Atlantic.

46. Gung-ho : ARDENT

“Kung ho” is a Chinese expression meaning “work together, cooperate”. The anglicized version “gung-ho” was adopted by a Major Evans Carlson as an expression of combined spirit for his 2nd Marine Raider Battalion during WWII. From there the term spread throughout the Marine Corps and back to America where it persists to this day.

49. Global sports org. concerned with wickets : ICC

International Cricket Council (ICC)

In the sport of cricket, the two sets of stumps at either end of the pitch are known as wickets. Bowlers try to bowl the ball into the wicket, which the batsmens defend.

50. “Chicago Hope” Emmy winner : LAHTI

Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austen on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.

“Chicago Hope” is a medical drama TV show that originally ran from 1994 to 2000. The title refers to a fictional private charity hospital in the Windy City, where the show is set.

51. Give short shrift to, with “over” : GLOSS

The Old English term “scrift” was used to describe confession to a priest followed by penance and absolution. The term “short shrift” developed from “scrift”, and was a brief period given to a condemned criminal to confess his sins before execution. We now use “short shrift” to mean “little or no consideration”.

57. NATO HQ locale : EUR

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an international military alliance that was established in 1949. NATO headquarters was initially set up in London, moved to Paris and in 1952, and then to Brussels 1967.

59. Half of sei : TRE

In Italian, “due” (two) times “tre” (three) is “sei” (six).

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Trap : HEM IN
6. Leaps in tutus : JETES
11. “Major Barbara” monogram : GBS
14. Dress style : A-LINE
15. Think the world of : ADORE
16. Roger’s relative? : AYE
17. Surveillance camera? : WATCHING MACHINE (from “washing machine”)
20. Set of pieces : KIT
21. They’re for members only : DUES
22. When the break rm. gets busy, perhaps : TEN AM
23. Opposite sides : ENEMIES
26. Fine art and antiques, say : ASSETS
27. Desires more from Us? : RENEWS
28. Slithery danger : ASP
30. Holmes and Watson, e.g. : DUO
31. Interconnected irrigation channels? : DITCH NETWORK (from “Dish Network”)
35. Garage sale term : AS IS
37. Actor Stephen : REA
38. Lose impact : WANE
39. Member of Cassidy’s baseball team? : BUTCH LEAGUER (from “bush leaguer”)
42. One-time connection : … AT A …
43. Put in : ADD
44. Signal on the road : BEEP AT
48. Religious discourse : HOMILY
51. Had it up to here : GOT SORE
52. Org. offering puppy love? : ASPCA
53. Tenerife, por ejemplo : ISLA
55. Nutritional fig. : RDA
56. Obsessively uniform French fries? : MATCHED POTATOES (from “mashed potatoes”)
60. Gardner on screen : AVA
61. Ahi et al. : TUNAS
62. Take a little off : PRUNE
63. “Think you I am no stronger than my __”: Portia : SEX
64. Part of a caddie’s burden : IRONS
65. Unwelcome company : PESTS

Down

1. Bazaar figure : HAWKER
2. “Primary Colors” screenwriter May : ELAINE
3. Bit of winter wear : MITTEN
4. Business end? : INC
5. Bk. after Ezra : NEH
6. Two-faced god : JANUS
7. Verge : EDGE
8. Barnyard males : TOMS
9. Diamond stat : ERA
10. Groups breaking away : SECTS
11. Began to overtake : GAINED ON
12. Inherently : BY NATURE
13. “Nothing wrong that I can find” : SEEMS OK
18. Clarifying words : ID EST
19. 8-Down, for instance : HES
24. “M*A*S*H” figure : MEDIC
25. “Would that it were true!” : I WISH!
26. Dian Fossey subject : APE
28. Down the road : AHEAD
29. Complication : SNAG
32. Street __ : CRED
33. Occasionally newsworthy comment : TWEET
34. Bazaar array : WARES
35. Crash insurance? : AUTOSAVE
36. Short-lived 1760s levy : STAMP TAX
39. Commonwealth off Florida : BAHAMAS
40. Big name in chips : LAY
41. WWII peril : U-BOAT
45. Like much sandstone : POROUS
46. Gung-ho : ARDENT
47. Toys with : TEASES
49. Global sports org. concerned with wickets : ICC
50. “Chicago Hope” Emmy winner : LAHTI
51. Give short shrift to, with “over” : GLOSS
53. Access-providing fig. : ID NO
54. Go across : SPAN
57. NATO HQ locale : EUR
58. Handy program : APP
59. Half of sei : TRE

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