LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Jun 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme : None

Bill’s time: 20m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Pitch sign : CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

5. Saturn, for one : GAS GIANT

The eight planets of our solar system can be sorted into two categories. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are “terrestrials” as they are largely composed of rock. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are “gas giants”, as they are largely composed of gaseous material. Uranus and Neptune can be called “ice giants”, a subcategory of gas giants. Ice giants have a lower mass than other gas giants, with very little hydrogen and helium in their atmospheres and a higher proportion of rock and ice.

Saturn is easily visible from Earth with the unaided eye, but we need some help to see the planet’s famous rings. Galileo was the first person to see Saturn’s rings, when he turned his primitive telescope towards the night sky in 1610. However, he misinterpreted what he was observing and assumed that the rings were in fact two smaller planets located at either side of the larger Saturn.

13. Super-fancy : LUXE

“Luxe” is another word for “luxury”. The term came into English via French from the Latin “luxus” meaning “luxury”.

15. Most eligible for service : ONE-A

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

16. Pluralis majestatis : THE ROYAL WE

The “royal we” is more correctly called the majestic plural (or “pluralis majestatis”), and is the use of a plural pronoun to describe a single person in a high office. I suppose the most often quoted phrase that uses the majestic plural is, “We are not amused”, often attributed to Queen Victoria. The editorial “we” is a similar concept, in which a newspaper editor or columnist refers to himself or herself when giving an opinion.

17. Bee’s home : SACRAMENTO

“The Sacramento Bee” was founded in 1857 under the name “The Daily Bee”. The front page features the Scoopy Bee mascot, a famous logo that created for the paper by Walt Disney in 1943.

19. Te __: iconic Chickasaw actress : ATA

Te Ata Fisher (usually known simply as “Te Ata”) was an actress from the Chickasaw Nation who was known for her one-woman shows featuring Native American songs and stories. Famously, Te Ata was a friend of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and represented Native Americans at many state dinners in the 1930s.

20. Layer of very large eggs : EMU

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs.

21. Grilled, in Mexican fare : ASADA

The name of the dish called “carne asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

22. Jefferson, for one : DEIST

Deism (from the Latin “deus” meaning god) is the belief that a supreme being created the universe, a belief based on observation and reason and without the need for faith. Further, a deist does not accept divine intervention and rather believes that the supreme being, having created the universe, leaves the world to it own devices.

President Thomas Jefferson’s views on religion evolved over time, but he was inclined towards deism for much of his adult life while following moral principles espoused in Christianity. He attended the Episcopal Church and raised his daughters in that tradition. Famously, Jefferson espoused the concept of “Separation of Church and State”.

28. Pixy __: candy : STIX

Pixy Stix is powdered candy that’s packaged in what looks like a straw. The “candy” was sold back in the thirties as a drink mix, but when kids were found to be eating the sweet & sour-tasting mix directly from packets, the producers began to packaging it as candy.

29. Modern navigation aid : URL

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

30. Some Spitzes, for short : POMS

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

Spitz-type dogs are those with long thick fur that is usually white. Most spitz-type dogs seem to have originated in the Arctic and/or East Asia. Examples of breed described as spitz-type are the Alaskan Malamute and the Canadian Eskimo Dog.

37. “Code Switch” airer : NPR

“Code Switch” is blog and associated podcast that was launched by NPR in 2013. The show explores the themes of race, ethnicity and culture. The linguistic term “code-switching” refers the practice of a speaker switching between languages while in the same conversation.

40. Fired at the table? : FLAMBE

Flambé is the French word for “flamed”, and was originally a term used to describe certain types of porcelain. The word “flambé” crept into cookery just after 1900.

42. Member of a Hindu trinity : SHIVA

The Hindu Trinity comprises Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also Siva) the destroyer or transformer.

43. Ones with wide spines : TOMES

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

46. Young partner : ERNST

Ernst & Young is one of the Big Four accountancy firms, alongside Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ernst & Young is headquartered in London. The company was founded in 1989 with the merger of Ernst & Whinney with Young & Co.

48. Image quality word : RES

Resolution (res.)

49. Long Reach Dusting System brand : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils and housewares is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average household tools. 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.

55. Chaps competitor : IZOD

Chaps is a brand of casual clothes owned by Ralph Lauren.

Jack Izod was a tailor of some repute over in England, producing shirts for King George V as well as other members of the Royal Family. As Izod was about to retire, he was approached for the use of his name by an American clothing manufacturer based in New York. The brand Izod of London was introduced to America in 1938.

56. Powerful slitherer : PINE SNAKE

The pine snake is a large, nonvenomous snake that is endemic to the southeast of the US. Outside of the US, there’s a population that has established itself on the western coast of the Netherland, apparently due to pet snakes that escaped or were released.

57. Red Lobster has one for kids : MENU

The first restaurant in the Red Lobster chain was opened in 1968 in Lakeland, Florida. Red Lobster offered its second “endless snow crab” promotion in 2003, which turned out to be a bit of a financial disaster. The wholesale price of crab legs was at a high, and the management team underestimated the appetite the customers had for crab. As a result, Red Lobster’s parent company had to book a $3 million dollar charge to earnings, and the president of the restaurant chain had to submit her resignation.

58. Wolverines rivals : SPARTANS

Michigan State University’s sports teams used be called the Aggies, as the school was founded as the State Agricultural College of Michigan. The team name was changed to the Spartans in 1925, reflecting the school’s shift in focus beyond agriculture-centered education. The school mascot Sparty hit the scene in 1989.

The Wolverines are the sports teams of the University of Michigan.

Down

1. Secrecy metaphors : CLOSETS

The idiom “skeleton in the closet” means “secret to hide”. On the other side of the Atlantic, the concept is more likely to be expressed as “skeleton in the cupboard”.

In Old French a “clos” was an enclosure, with the diminutive form “closet” describing a small enclosure or private room. Over time this evolved into our modern usage of “closet”, describing a cabinet or cupboard.

2. Green flitter : LUNA MOTH

The lime-green Luna Moth is one of the largest moths found in North America, growing to a wingspan of up to 4½ inches.

4. “The mind-killer,” in Frank Herbert’s “Dune” : FEAR

The less than successful 1984 movie “Dune” (directed by David Lynch) was an adaptation of the spectacularly successful 1965 novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert.

5. 1950 Pulitzer winner for the poetry collection “Annie Allen” : GWENDOLYN BROOKS

Gwendolyn Brooks was a poet from Chicago who was the first African American to win a Pulitzer. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 for her book of poetry titled “Annie Allen”.

6. Heart lines : AORTAS

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

8. LGBTQ part : GAY

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

9. “Barefoot Contessa” host Garten : INA

Ina Garten is an author as well as the host of the cooking show on the Food Network called “Barefoot Contessa”. Garten has no formal training as a chef, and indeed used to work as a nuclear policy analyst at the White House!

10. Dwight’s opponent : ADLAI

Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) in 1952 and again in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy (JFK) as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were “Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!” followed by “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”

11. Older efts : NEWTS

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

16. Symbols after many brand names : TMS

Trademark (TM)

22. Christian on a runway : DIOR

Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped re-establish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

25. Liz, to Richard, twice : EX-WIFE

The actor Richard Burton was born in South Wales, as Richard Jenkins. The actor took “Burton” as a stage name in honor of his schoolmaster and mentor Philip Burton. Famously, Burton was married to actress Liz Taylor (twice).

29. Minor in astronomy? : URSA

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

33. Shakespeare title starter : ALL’S …

“All’s Well That Ends Well” is a play by William Shakespeare, one with elements of both tragedy and comedy. As such, “All’s Well That Ends Well” is classified as one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays”, plays that cannot be neatly classified as either tragedy or comedy.

41. Certain Saudi : MECCAN

Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia. It was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

42. Stand-up comic Gilliam : STU

Stu Gilliam was an actor and comedian from Detroit who is perhaps best remembered as a stand-up work on television in the sixties and seventies.

43. Company that developed Bazooka Joe : TOPPS

The Bazooka brand of bubble gum was introduced by the Topps Company soon after the end of WWII. Bazooka have included comic strips in the wrappers for their gum since the early to mid-fifties. The hero of the strip is Bazooka Joe, a young man who wears an eyepatch.

44. Yellow perennial : OXLIP

The plant known as the oxlip is more properly called Primula elatior. The oxlip is often confused with its similar-looking cousin, the cowslip.

45. Chief Tui’s daughter, in a Disney film : MOANA

“Moana” is a 2016 animated feature film and the 56th animated Disney movie. The title character is the daughter of a Polynesian chief who heads off in search of the demigod Maui, hoping that he can save her people.

47. One day, in “The Martian” : SOL

A solar day on Mars is referred to as a “sol” by astronomers. One sol is equivalent to just under 24 hours 40 minutes here on Earth.

“The Martian” is an intriguing 2015 science fiction film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who is accidentally stranded on Mars. The movie is based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Andrew Weir. One thing that I liked about the film is that the science cited is fairly realistic. In fact, NASA collaborated with the filmmakers extensively from script development to principal casting.

50. Peak in Catania : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcano in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts.

Catania is the second largest city on the island of Sicily (after Palermo). Catania has a long and rich cultural history, and today is best known as a center for technology industries earning it the nickname of the “European Silicon Valley”.

51. Winter coat : RIME

Rime is that beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

54. “Was __ das?” : IST

“Was ist das?” is German for “What is that?”

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Pitch sign : CLEF
5. Saturn, for one : GAS GIANT
13. Super-fancy : LUXE
14. Slightly more than a one-man show : TWO-HANDER
15. Most eligible for service : ONE-A
16. Pluralis majestatis : THE ROYAL WE
17. Bee’s home : SACRAMENTO
19. Te __: iconic Chickasaw actress : ATA
20. Layer of very large eggs : EMU
21. Grilled, in Mexican fare : ASADA
22. Jefferson, for one : DEIST
24. Slangy “Absolutely!” : TOTES
26. Add : TOSS IN
28. Pixy __: candy : STIX
29. Modern navigation aid : URL
30. Some Spitzes, for short : POMS
32. Rhetorical question to one who’s too good to be true : HOW ARE YOU REAL?
36. Scandinavian name akin to Nicholas : NILS
37. “Code Switch” airer : NPR
38. “No more!” : STOP!
40. Fired at the table? : FLAMBE
42. Member of a Hindu trinity : SHIVA
43. Ones with wide spines : TOMES
46. Young partner : ERNST
48. Image quality word : RES
49. Long Reach Dusting System brand : OXO
50. Rainforest visitor : ECOTOURIST
52. Act naturally : PLAY IT COOL
55. Chaps competitor : IZOD
56. Powerful slitherer : PINE SNAKE
57. Red Lobster has one for kids : MENU
58. Wolverines rivals : SPARTANS
59. Meeting of two sides : EDGE

Down

1. Secrecy metaphors : CLOSETS
2. Green flitter : LUNA MOTH
3. How it’s done : EXECUTION
4. “The mind-killer,” in Frank Herbert’s “Dune” : FEAR
5. 1950 Pulitzer winner for the poetry collection “Annie Allen” : GWENDOLYN BROOKS
6. Heart lines : AORTAS
7. Order to go : SHOO!
8. LGBTQ part : GAY
9. “Barefoot Contessa” host Garten : INA
10. Dwight’s opponent : ADLAI
11. Older efts : NEWTS
12. Minister to : TREAT
14. __ arts : THEATRE
16. Symbols after many brand names : TMS
18. Remote fillers : AAS
22. Christian on a runway : DIOR
23. Interlace : ENMESH
25. Liz, to Richard, twice : EX-WIFE
27. Incite : SPUR
29. Minor in astronomy? : URSA
31. Sent up : SATIRIZED
33. Shakespeare title starter : ALL’S …
34. Like some summer shoes : OPEN-TOE
35. Many a Top-40 hit : LOVE SONG
39. Outstanding and then some : PAST DUE
41. Certain Saudi : MECCAN
42. Stand-up comic Gilliam : STU
43. Company that developed Bazooka Joe : TOPPS
44. Yellow perennial : OXLIP
45. Chief Tui’s daughter, in a Disney film : MOANA
47. One day, in “The Martian” : SOL
50. Peak in Catania : ETNA
51. Winter coat : RIME
53. Ending with law : -YER
54. “Was __ das?” : IST

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19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Jun 2018, Saturday”

    1. Newsday: DNF, 67 minutes, 8 errors. Mainly had to stop to check an entry in the lower left, but finished out from there. Amazing that I got far enough to talk about this one, though I think I probably could have not made half of those errors and maybe even getting stuck if I read the clues a little closer on some of my guesses that I usually have to make to do these puzzles for all the strange and nonsense material that goes into them. Been a while that I actually broke into one of these puzzles though, so this is notable for me.

  1. LAT: 14:15, no errors.

    WSJ: An interrupted solve. I “finished” it at 36:12, but was convinced that one square was in error, so I held off on checking it while I went off and did something else. When I came back to it, I saw what was wrong and corrected it, at which point the elapsed time was 43:38. (Unfortunately, I still had another stupid one-square error. So it goes … 😜)

    Newsday: 29:54, no errors. For me, the hardest thing about this one was simply getting to it, as the web site was malfunctioning in various ways. I tried three different browsers on two different platforms and was unable to download a PDF using any of them, but using Chrome on my iMac finally gave me access to the online solver, so I went ahead and did it that way. It took me 29:54, with no errors, and I thought it was quite a bit easier than the usual “Saturday Stumper”. (Curiously enough, I was then able to use Chrome to download PDFs of the puzzle in all three forms – blank, with my letters filled in, and with the official solution filled in – but Safari and Firefox were still not functional on the site.)

    The PDFs on the Newsday site are often screwed up in one way or another (actually, there have been problems for the last two or three days) and, sometimes, the problems get fixed overnight, but this is the first time I’ve been unable to even download a PDF. If I knew how to do it, I would send them a report about the problems I’ve had. (Of course, as the old saying goes, beggars can’t be choosers. 😜)

    1. I usually just use my PDF printer. It produces files of 20x the size, but at least I get to be able to look at the puzzles that way. Handy to have, anyhow.

    2. @Glenn …

      A PDF printer wouldn’t have helped me much. It took me many tries to get any kind of representation of the puzzle. Safari mostly gave me an error message saying, “Oops! Some kind of problem occurred. We’re working on it.” Once in a while, it would give me a link to the Saturday puzzle, but the link would be non-functional. Firefox behaved much the same. Chrome had the same problems at first; a couple of tries got me a functional link, but then I still couldn’t get to the PDF until after I caved in and did the puzzle online (which worked surprisingly well, by the way). I did some tests this morning and found that the last three days worth of Newsday PDFs still download with problems (mostly overprints in the clue lists, but sometimes with two or three clues moved to a second page). Curiously, though, the Chrome browser (which I have but rarely use) seems to do a better job (so perhaps I’ll just have to use it from now on).

      Also, a question: What things in the Stumper did you find “strange and nonsensical”? (I really didn’t see too much in it that I haven’t seen elsewhere.)

      1. @Dave
        FWIW, I got a solid print out of Firefox the second try (first being a “general error” that posted on the site proper, meaning the puzzle applet wouldn’t even load). That said, a lot of stuff is transitioning to HTML5 (which I think is what Newsday’s webapp needs), which means it’s a good idea to keep browsers updated. Chrome probably worked the best for you because the particular version you have is best suited for it.

        As for the “strange and nonsensical” comment, if anything it was just a lot of frustration over things I’ve been seeing in crosswords the last few days. Like “how is anyone supposed to know that?” (MATA fits in today’s Newsday for that), or my usual meaning of “nonsense”, something I see the answer to that doesn’t fit with the clue. If anything, the huge amount of guessing at what the constructor meant by a particular clue when I have a possible answer in hand is probably the biggest problem I had with this particular Newsday and in fact most late week puzzles.

  2. 27:08. Absolutely =TOTES? Really? As short for “totally”? I may go back, erase that and take a DNF rather than acknowledge it…

    Best –

    1. @Catherine
      My 24 yr old son gave me the T when I had the OTES. He was astounded I didn’t know the term. He says ‘Everyone’ uses it. I feel totes cool that I’m in the know now.
      Also, this is my first comment though I’ve really been enjoying reading the postings at this site for the past few months. Thanks all!

      1. Hi Katharine and welcome. The world always needs one more crossword obsessed person! And since that description fits all of us here we exist as a band of crossword compatriots with nary a troll in sight. A real pleasure AND rarity in the land of the world wide web these days.

  3. I wasn’t able to get into this today at all. And everyone talking about Totes made me crazy, but now I know what that means. (Hello, old person!!!) Hope tomorrow is at a level I can handle. You pros are awesome!

  4. LAT: very hard for me today. Took me well more than an hour. Guessed at more than a few. Didn’t know “totes,” or the Chickasaw actress, or the ’50 Pulitzer poet. In the end, though, I had every letter right–dumb luck.

  5. Hiya folks!!! 🐤
    No errors!! Always happy when I solve a Saturday. 🙄 I had big problems in the NW….Could NOT get CLEF or POSH!! Had to go back to it several times before I saw it…
    I also initially had SENTENCED for “sent up” instead of SATIRIZED!! Guess I’ve watched too much Law & Order over the years….🤔
    Is this Erik Agard the wunderkind who won the crossword tournament?
    I’m 60 and I know TOTES (and often use “adorbs,” for that matter) but I think it’s because I refuse to act my age….🙃
    Hi Katharine! Glad to hear from you!! 🙄
    @Dirk from Friday– indeed! We’ll see how our teams do!
    Be well ~~⚾️⚽️

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