LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Jun 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Roger & Kathy Wienberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Late Shift

Themed answers each include the string of letters LATE, although the order of the letters SHIFTS as we progress down the grid. The order SHIFTS by one letter each time, i.e. LATE-ATEL-TELA-ELAT:

  • 61. Employee hours suggested by this puzzle’s circles : LATE SHIFT
  • 17. Fidgety : ILL AT EASE
  • 25. “Is that it?” : WHAT ELSE?
  • 35. T.S. Eliot poem, with “The” : WASTE LAND
  • 52. Behold in amazement : MARVEL AT

Bill’s time: 6m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Gumbo vegetable : OKRA

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

14. Like every U.S. president : MALE

One day …

19. Gymnast Simone who won four golds in Rio : BILES

Simone Biles holds the record for the most gold medals won by an American gymnast in a single Olympic Games. She achieved the feat at the 2016 games held in Rio.

21. The “I” of “The King and I” : ANNA

“The King and I” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a book by Margaret Landon called “Anna and the King of Siam” first published in 1944. Landon’s book is based on a true story, told in the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Leonowens was the governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s, and she also taught the king’s wives.

22. Masters : MAVENS

I’ve always loved the term “maven”, which is another word for an expert. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” meaning someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

23. Characteristic of the villain in “The Fugitive” : ONE ARM

If you recall the beginning of each episode of “The Fugitive” television series, there was a narration that summarized the background to the show. It started off “The Fugitive, a QM Production — starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble: an innocent victim of blind justice, falsely convicted for the murder of his wife …” Those words were read by actor William Conrad, who made a name for himself in his detective series playing the portly “Cannon”.

27. All-in-one printer feature : SCANNER

An all-in-one printer is a multifunctional computer peripheral that typically incorporates a photocopier, printer and scanner.

29. Actor Wallach : ELI

Eli Wallach appeared consistently and made great performances on the big and small screens since the 1950s. Wallach’s most famous role was probably as “the Ugly” in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. More recently he gave a very strong performance in 2006’s “The Holiday”. Sadly, Wallach passed away in June 2014, at the age of 98.

32. Muse of poetry : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

34. Navig. technology : GPS

The modern Global Positioning System (GPS) system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

35. T.S. Eliot poem, with “The” : WASTE LAND

T. S. Eliot wrote his poem called “The Waste Land” in 1922. “The Waste Land” opens with the famous line, “April is the cruellest month …”

47. Classical lead-in : NEO-

Neoclassicism is a movement in the field of music, art or perhaps architecture, one that draws on the classical art of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome.

55. Pluto’s largest moon : CHARON

The dwarf planet Pluto has five moons, that we know of. The first of these, Charon, was discovered as recently as 1978. The five moons are named Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra.

60. Metaphor for a gambling debacle : SHIRT

“Debacle” means “disaster”, and is a French word with the same meaning. In French, the term originally was used for the breaking up of ice on a river.

64. Ancient Dead Sea region : EDOM

Edom is an ancient Iron Age kingdom located in the south of modern-day Jordan. The area is known for its red-colored sandstone, which gave the kingdom its name. According to the Bible, the Edomites were the descendants of Esau. “Edom” translates from Hebrew as “red”, and was the name given to Esau when he ate the “red pottage”.

The Middle East’s Dead Sea lies more than 1,400 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point on the Earth’s landmass. It is also one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salt content that is almost ten times that of most oceans.

65. Slurpee, basically : ICEE

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

67. TV warrior princess : XENA

The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

Down

2. Window topper : VALANCE

A window valance is a window treatment, one that we call a “pelmet” back in Ireland. A valance is hung on a rod and covers the uppermost part of the window.

4. Thompson of “Switched at Birth” : LEA

Lea Thompson is well known as the star of “Caroline in the City“, the TV show from the nineties. The Thompson performance that I most remember is playing Marty McFly’s mother in the “Back to the Future” trilogy.

“Switched at Birth” is a TV drama about two teenage girls who were switched at birth, and grew up on different sides of the tracks in Kansas City.

6. Genghis __ : KHAN

Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire who was destined to be the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world. He first built his empire by uniting nomadic tribes of northeast Asia, but once Genghis Khan had consolidated his position, he initiated Mongol invasions throughout Eurasia. At its height, the Mongol Empire stretched from the River Danube to the Sea of Japan.

9. Liquid poured in honor of a deity : LIBATION

Back in the 14th century, libation was the pouring of wine in the honor of a god. The term “libation” comes from the Latin word “libare”, which basically means the same thing. Nowadays we tend to use “libation” as a somewhat ornate word for a drink.

11. Holiday fireplace item : YULE LOG

A Yule log is a large log made from a very hard wood that is burned as part of the Christmas celebration. There is also a cake called a Yule log that is served at Christmas, especially in French-speaking parts of the world. The cake is made from sponge that is rolled up to resemble a wooden Yule log.

13. Potatoes often used for fries : RUSSETS

The full name of the potato that we commonly refer to as a “russet” is a “russet Burbank”. The russet is probably a mutation of the Burbank potato. One Luther Burbank developed the Burbank potato as a disease-resistant Irish potato, and gave the strain its name. The russet Burbank is a relatively large potato. As such, it is the favored potato for restaurant chains like McDonald’s as it can produce long French fries.

18. Alpine lake : TARN

A tarn is a mountain lake that has been formed by glacial excavation.

22. Island near Sicily : MALTA

The island state of Malta is relatively small (122 square miles), but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

In the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, the “boot” is the mainland of Italy, and the the ball being kicked by the boot is the island of Sicily.

28. Light-sensitive eye part : RETINA

The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, and is the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cell in the retina that are sensitive to light, one called rods and the other cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.

33. Great American Ball Park player : RED

Great American Ball Park is named after Great American Insurance Group. It seems a pity to me that the name was chosen for a sponsor, as it is such a grand name for a field dedicated to America’s pastime. Oh, and it is home to the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.

44. Colonnaded entryway : PORTICO

“Portico” is an Italian word that describes a porch or roofed walkway leading to the entrance of a building.

A colonnade is a long sequence of columns that are equally spaced, and often support some type of roof. A colonnade surrounding a porch at an entranceway is known as a portico. A colonnade surrounding a courtyard or the perimeter of a building is known as a peristyle.

45. Reviewed for typos : PROOFED

So badly needed on this blog, so very badly …

46. State assemblies : SENATES

Our word “senate” comes from the Latin for such a body: “senatus”. In turn, “senatus” is derived from “senex” meaning “old man”, reflecting the original Roman Senate’s makeup as a “council of elders”.

50. Skin malady : ECZEMA

Eczema is a form of dermatitis. The term “eczema” comes from the Greek for “to boil over”.

51. “__ So Unusual”: Cyndi Lauper’s debut studio album : SHE’S

If you’ve ever heard Cyndi Lauper speaking, you’d know that she was from Queens, New York. She is the daughter of divorced parents, and strongly influenced by a supportive mother. Lauper was always a free spirit, and even as young teen in the mid-sixties she dyed her hair different colors and wore outlandish fashions. She was a young woman who wanted to “find herself”, and to that end she once spent two weeks alone in the woods up in Canada, well, just with her dog.

“She’s So Unusual” is a very successful 1983 album by Cyndi Lauper. The list of singles released from the album include “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, “Time after Time” and “All Through the Night”. That’s a string of hits …

58. Scads : A TON

The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear. That said, “scads” was used to mean “dollars” back in the mid-1800s.

61. Supervillain Luthor : LEX

Lex Luthor is the arch-nemesis of Superman in comics. Luthor has been portrayed in a number of guises in the comic world as well in movies and on the small screen. For example, he appeared as Atom Man in the 1950 film series “Atom Man vs. Superman”, and was played by actor Lyle Talbot, opposite Kirk Alyn’s Superman.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Not quite round : OVAL
5. Gumbo vegetable : OKRA
9. Ply : LAYER
14. Like every U.S. president : MALE
15. “Coulda been a lot worse!” : PHEW!
16. Romantic text : I LUV U
17. Fidgety : ILL AT EASE
19. Gymnast Simone who won four golds in Rio : BILES
20. Carefree : GAY
21. The “I” of “The King and I” : ANNA
22. Masters : MAVENS
23. Characteristic of the villain in “The Fugitive” : ONE ARM
25. “Is that it?” : WHAT ELSE?
27. All-in-one printer feature : SCANNER
29. Actor Wallach : ELI
30. Unconscious : OUT
31. “__ goes nothing!” : HERE
32. Muse of poetry : ERATO
34. Navig. technology : GPS
35. T.S. Eliot poem, with “The” : WASTE LAND
39. Sprite : ELF
42. Admonish : CHIDE
43. They’re on the phone : APPS
47. Classical lead-in : NEO-
48. Recycle bin item : CAN
49. Work on, as a vintage auto : RESTORE
52. Behold in amazement : MARVEL AT
55. Pluto’s largest moon : CHARON
56. Trip up : ASCENT
57. Use a wrecking ball on : RAZE
59. Ode title words : TO A …
60. Metaphor for a gambling debacle : SHIRT
61. Employee hours suggested by this puzzle’s circles : LATE SHIFT
63. Smell or taste : SENSE
64. Ancient Dead Sea region : EDOM
65. Slurpee, basically : ICEE
66. Tidied, as a lawn : EDGED
67. TV warrior princess : XENA
68. Sci-fi escape ships : PODS

Down

1. “Heavens!” : OMIGOSH!
2. Window topper : VALANCE
3. Twelve-month : ALL-YEAR
4. Thompson of “Switched at Birth” : LEA
5. Gift box direction : OPEN ME
6. Genghis __ : KHAN
7. Watched again : RESAW
8. Astound : AWE
9. Liquid poured in honor of a deity : LIBATION
10. Animated : ALIVE
11. Holiday fireplace item : YULE LOG
12. Ties, as a score : EVENS UP
13. Potatoes often used for fries : RUSSETS
18. Alpine lake : TARN
22. Island near Sicily : MALTA
24. Yet again : ANEW
26. Physician, hopefully : HEALER
28. Light-sensitive eye part : RETINA
33. Great American Ball Park player : RED
36. Like some French vowels : ACCENTED
37. Commandment verb : SHALT
38. Spreadsheet input : DATA
39. As a group : EN MASSE
40. On a tether : LEASHED
41. Compelling : FORCING
44. Colonnaded entryway : PORTICO
45. Reviewed for typos : PROOFED
46. State assemblies : SENATES
50. Skin malady : ECZEMA
51. “__ So Unusual”: Cyndi Lauper’s debut studio album : SHE’S
53. Poet’s creation : VERSE
54. Word with secret or school : TRADE …
58. Scads : A TON
61. Supervillain Luthor : LEX
62. In the know : HIP

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Jun 2018, Wednesday”

  1. LAT: 9:27, no errors. Newsday: 5:04, no errors. WSJ: 9:25, no errors. NYT: 10:48, no errors. (NYT blog for Wednesday is not up yet.)

    1. @Dave Kennison
      Apologies for the tardy post on the NYTCrossword.com blog. I had it written, but failed to schedule it correctly. Let’s blame jet lag. But, thanks for pointing it out, Dave. That helped me a lot, because I had no idea it hadn’t appeared on schedule.

      1. @Bill … Glad to be of help (and no apologies needed). As for jet lag, I may have a bit of that myself come Friday, as I’m joining you in Europe. (I’ll keep an eye out for you! 😜)

  2. LAT: 9:29, no errors. WSJ: 9:29, no errors. (Hey, would you look at that? Dave was within 2 seconds, too.)

    @Carrie
    I don’t say anything like that because I know I have no reason to, especially as days like today remind me. Besides, if I did consistently beat Bill, I wouldn’t say anything anyway.

  3. 14:10, virtually identical to my NYT time of 14:14. Btw – that blog is now posted for today. Didn’t know VALANCE nor TARN.

    I also didn’t know a LIBATION is a drink dedicated to a God. I never realized how religious I am. I’ve probably had enough tequila to qualify as a saint, I’d say….

    @Carrie –
    You’re getting into languages I’ve never heard of although I did recognize “Irish” in that one as well. I think it’s usually called Gaelic, but I’ll let it slide this time and give you credit for a two for one there.

    Best –

  4. I had a good time with this puzzle – a little challenging, but doable. I got the theme after the last answer. Very cute.

    I thought Libation was from Liberation. I know it is used as a fancy word for a drink, nowadays. I’ve heard of Tarn before, probably some novels about Switzerland etc. My wife made some valances for the windows in our bedroom, but they were taken off after some years, to be dry cleaned, and were temporarily stored under our bed …. where they still reside to this very day …… ( we don’t have visitors in our bedroom, except for the ladybugs and wasps that creep up the air registers … ).

    Carrie, nice attempt at incorporating other languages …. I did not relize that the excersize could be so difficult. Hindi is a dimunitive for hindustani – when hindustan was the general area of India —- centuries before, and not as the land of the hindus. I did not know, that hindi can be written in several scripts – not only devanagiri ( ‘God’s town’ ) …. but also in scripts , one of which was where the entire paragraph or sentence was written out as one word…. ( to save space).

    Also there is a script, which was a secret code, known only among businessmen, when letters were rarely sealed, and open to inspection, and mailed in uniface. You had to be literally born in a mercantile family, to have known of this script, as it was not taught in schools. Truly coded words and languages have been invented since time immemorial.

    Since I generally dont watch sports or the Olympics – I am shocked to learn of gymnasts and swimmers who have individually won four, five golds, …. and even more multiple gold and other medals in one Olympics !! Simone Biles, being todays learning moment. It seems so unfair …. that there are dozens of countries who have never won a medal in multiple Olympics …..

    have a nice day, folks.

  5. Pretty easy Wednesday; took about 20 minutes with no errors. Spent a couple of minutes on “Trip up” and “Compelling” for some reason.

    @Carrie – Oh well, que sera sera. Mexico had a perfect plan and executed it to perfection, so I wish them well. The only good thing is that most of the favorites are also doing just so so, so far.

    @Bill – Oh, on yesterday or Monday, the guy from “Route 66” and “Dragnet” passed away in 2015. Martin Milner, great actor!

    Off to bed early, for one of the Summer markets.

  6. Hiya folks!!🙃

    No errors…but I didn’t even “see” I LUV U till I came here!! Just thought maybe “iluvu” was an arcane poetry term or something….😃

    The last time I climbed on a stepladder to hang drapes, I lost my VALANCE….. !!! 😊😊😊

    Hey Jeff! I guess I know of some obscure languages because I’ve taught ESL for many years and have run into them. Glad to speak Spanish, as that is the most common — tho I have had many students from Guatemala, which has 22 indigenous languages. Those would, for the most part, be quite hard to hide in a phrase….but i may try.

    Dirk!! I’m sorry your team lost that game, but it was awesome for us Mexico fans!! And how about that Icelandic side??

    Happy summer everyone ☀️
    Be well ~~🌺🌻🌷

  7. @Carrie … Re “lost my valance”: Ouch! … (and I mean that in the best possible way) … 😜 …

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