LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Jul 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Price Breaks

Themed answers comprise the letters “PRICE”, with a BREAK somewhere inside so that the “PRICE” string is split between the starts and ends of the answers:

  • 60A. Good retail deals … and what the three other longest answers literally exhibit : PRICE BREAKS
  • 17A. Public relations arm : PRESS OFFICE
  • 11D. Steamed breakfast cereal : PUFFED RICE
  • 28D. Nectar that’s high in fiber : PRUNE JUICE

Bill’s time: 6m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Ancient Mexican : AZTEC

The Aztec people of Central America dominated the region in the 14th – 16th centuries. Two traits of the Aztec people are oft cited today. They built some magnificent pyramids, and they also engaged in human sacrifice. The two traits were linked in a way … for the consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, 84,400 prisoners were sacrificed over a period of four days.

6. Spirited horses : ARABS

The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

14. Ballerina Shearer : MOIRA

Moira Shearer was a ballet dancer and actress born Scotland. Shearer’s most famous film role was in 1948’s “The Red Shoes”, in which she played the lead character, a ballet dancer called Vicky Page. She was married to the respected English journalist and broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy.

15. ’80s-’90s TV legal drama : LA LAW

“L.A. Law” ran on NBC from 1986 to 1994, and was one of the network’s most successful drama series. It took over from the equally successful “Hill Street Blues” in the Thursday night 10 p.m. slot until, after a six-year run, it was itself replaced by yet another respected drama, “E.R.” The opening credits showed that famous California licence plate. The plate was on a Jaguar XJ for most of the series, but moved onto a Bentley towards the end of the run. For each series the registration sticker was updated, so no laws were being broken.

19. Hector, to Achilles : FOE

As described in Homer’s “Iliad”, Hector was a Trojan prince and a great fighter. Hector was slain during the Trojan War, as the Greeks lay siege to Troy. If we are to believe the 2004 film “Troy”, Hector actually died at the hands of Achilles, while fighting a duel. Homer’s “Iliad” is less specific about the circumstances of Hector’s death.

Achilles is a Greek mythological figure, and the main protagonist of Homer’s “Iliad”. When Achilles was born, his mother attempted to make him immortal by dipping him into the River Styx. As he was held by the heel as he was immersed, this became the only vulnerable point on his body. Years later he was killed when a poisoned arrow struck him in the heel. That arrow was shot by Paris.

20. First lady before Abigail : MARTHA

Rather then being called the “First Lady”, a term coined after she had passed away, Martha Washington was known in her lifetime as “Lady Washington”. Lady Washington was born Martha Dandridge, and was the oldest daughter of a Virginia planter. When she was 18 years old, Martha married Daniel Curtis, a wealthy planter who was 20 years her senior. Daniel died in 1757, leaving Martha a very wealthy widow. Two years later, when she was 27, she married 27-year-old George Washington. Martha had been living with Daniel on an estate known as “White House”, and indeed George and Martha married at “White House”.

23. Grandmaster’s game : CHESS

“Grandmaster” is a title held for life that is awarded by the World Chess Association (FIDE). The only FIDE title higher than Grandmaster is World Champion. Despite the masculine appearance of the title, it is awarded to both men and women.

25. Pearly whites : TEETH

Tooth enamel covers the crowns of our teeth. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It is composed of 96% crystalline calcium phosphate.

30. Booby or loon : BIRD

Boobies are seabirds. There is a suggestion that the name “booby” comes from the Spanish slang “bobo” meaning “stupid”. Boobies were said to be stupid as they were known to land on sailing ships and were easily captured and eaten.

The bird known as a loon here in North America is called a diver in the British Isles. The name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of swimming calmly and then suddenly diving below the surface to catch a fish. The name “loon” comes from an Old English word meaning “clumsy” and reflects the awkward gait of the bird when walking on land.

32. Smooth transition in conversation : SEGUE

A segue is a transition from one topic to the next. “Segue” is an Italian word that literally means “now follows”. It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break.

35. Video replay user : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

38. Acht und eins : NEUN

In German, “acht und eins” (eight and one) is “neun” (nine).

40. The Emerald Isle : EIRE

Ireland is often referred to as the “Emerald Isle” (and described as “green”) because of all that green grass that grows due to the seemingly non-stop rain.

43. Foil giant : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

48. Common movie theater name meaning “jewel” : BIJOU

The noun “bijou” (plural “bijoux”) is used for a small expensive trinket. “Bijou” is French for “jewel”.

50. Test versions : BETAS

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

52. Home for pet fish : AQUARIUM

“Aquarium” is a Latin word meaning “pertaining to water”, although in Latin the word only existed as a noun with the meaning “drinking place for cattle”. Before the use of the term “aquarium”, a fish tank was sometimes referred to as a marine vivarium.

59. Him, in Le Havre : LUI

Le Havre is a city on the mouth of the river Seine on the northwest coast of France. The city’s name translates as “the haven”.

62. [not my mistake] : SIC

[Sic] indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”. The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

63. Conger catcher : EELER

Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.

64. Venezuela-to-Chile range : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world, as it runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

66. Skin care name : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

67. Explosive tryout, briefly : N-TEST

Nuclear test (N-test)

Down

1. Alarm clock toggle : AM/PM

The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in Ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

2. Author __ Neale Hurston : ZORA

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. Like the author, the main character in the novel is an African American woman, a part played by Halle Berry in a television movie adaptation that first aired in 2005.

5. Good moneymaker : CASH COW

On a farm, a dairy cow can produce a steady supply of milk, with relatively little maintenance. In the world of business by analogy, a “cash cow” is an operation that delivers a steady stream of profits, with relatively little investment.

6. Furry sitcom ET : ALF

“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. The title character is a hand-puppet, and supposedly an alien named Gordon Shumway from the planet Melmac. The alien crash-landed into the house of amateur radio enthusiast Willie Tanner. Tanner renamed the intruder “ALF”, standing for “alien life form”.

8. Nom de plume : ALIAS

“Nom de plume” translates from French simply as “pen name”.

18. Honolulu’s island : OAHU

Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii, and the state capital. Located on the island of Oahu, the name “Honolulu” translates from Hawaiian as “place of shelter, calm port, sheltered bay”.

22. Anthem contraction : O’ER

The words “o’er the land of the free” come from the US national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

26. Sugar crop : CANE

When sugar cane is processed to extract sugar, it is crushed and mashed to produce a juice. The juice is boiled to make a sugary concentrate called cane syrup, from which sugar crystals are extracted. A second boiling of the leftover syrup produces second molasses, from which more sugar crystals can be extracted. A third boiling results in what is called blackstrap molasses.

27. Sandwich cookie : OREO

How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

28. Nectar that’s high in fiber : PRUNE JUICE

A prune is a dried plum. The name “prune” comes from the Latin “prunum”, the word for “plum”.

30. Hot dog holder : BUN

A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

33. Slalom shape : ESS

“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom

36. Cupid counterpart : EROS

Cupid was the god of love in Roman mythology. Cupid’s name comes from the Latin verb “cupere” meaning “to desire”. Cupid’s Latin name was Amor, and his Greek counterpart was Eros.

40. New Haven Ivy Leaguer : ELI

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

42. 7-Eleven frozen treat : SLURPEE

The first precursor to the 7-Eleven store opened in Dallas, Texas in 1927. The stores were so named (much later, in 1946) because they were open longer than other stores, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

45. Mauna __ : LOA

Mauna Loa on the “Big Island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

48. Modeling wood : BALSA

Balsa is a very fast growing tree that is native to parts of South America. Even though balsa wood is very soft, it is actually classified as a hardwood, the softest of all the hardwoods (go figure!). Balsa is light and strong, so is commonly used in making model airplanes. Amazingly, in WWII a full-size British plane, the de Havilland Mosquito, was built largely from balsa and plywood. No wonder they called it “The Wooden Wonder” and “The Timber Terror”.

51. Roast host : EMCEE

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

55. Pre-Easter fast : LENT

In Latin, the Christian season that is now called “Lent” was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.

56. Put in a hold : LADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Ancient Mexican : AZTEC
6. Spirited horses : ARABS
11. __-per-view : PAY
14. Ballerina Shearer : MOIRA
15. ’80s-’90s TV legal drama : LA LAW
16. Mod or nod suffix : -ULE
17. Public relations arm : PRESS OFFICE
19. Hector, to Achilles : FOE
20. First lady before Abigail : MARTHA
21. Send-ups : TAKEOFFS
23. Grandmaster’s game : CHESS
25. Pearly whites : TEETH
26. Abundant : COPIOUS
30. Booby or loon : BIRD
31. One-way marker : ARROW
32. Smooth transition in conversation : SEGUE
35. Video replay user : REF
38. Acht und eins : NEUN
39. Bricklayer : MASON
40. The Emerald Isle : EIRE
41. L-o-o-n-g time : EON
42. Authority : SAY-SO
43. Foil giant : ALCOA
44. Building additions : ELLS
46. Least becoming : UGLIEST
48. Common movie theater name meaning “jewel” : BIJOU
50. Test versions : BETAS
52. Home for pet fish : AQUARIUM
54. Arrive in a car : ROLL UP
59. Him, in Le Havre : LUI
60. Good retail deals … and what the three other longest answers literally exhibit : PRICE BREAKS
62. [not my mistake] : SIC
63. Conger catcher : EELER
64. Venezuela-to-Chile range : ANDES
65. Tucked away : ATE
66. Skin care name : ESTEE
67. Explosive tryout, briefly : N-TEST

Down

1. Alarm clock toggle : AM/PM
2. Author __ Neale Hurston : ZORA
3. Wedding cake section : TIER
4. Once, quaintly : ERST
5. Good moneymaker : CASH COW
6. Furry sitcom ET : ALF
7. River transports : RAFTS
8. Nom de plume : ALIAS
9. Give support to : BACK
10. Honeybunch : SWEETIE
11. Steamed breakfast cereal : PUFFED RICE
12. Up in the air : ALOFT
13. “What a pain!” : YEESH!
18. Honolulu’s island : OAHU
22. Anthem contraction : O’ER
24. Long exam answer : ESSAY
26. Sugar crop : CANE
27. Sandwich cookie : OREO
28. Nectar that’s high in fiber : PRUNE JUICE
29. Charged particle : ION
30. Hot dog holder : BUN
33. Slalom shape : ESS
34. Do dinner and a movie, say : GO OUT
36. Cupid counterpart : EROS
37. Notable achievement : FEAT
39. Pas’ partners : MAS
40. New Haven Ivy Leaguer : ELI
42. 7-Eleven frozen treat : SLURPEE
43. Loser : ALSO-RAN
45. Mauna __ : LOA
47. Apparel : GARB
48. Modeling wood : BALSA
49. Terse resignation : I QUIT!
50. Put together from the ground up : BUILT
51. Roast host : EMCEE
53. Riles up : IRES
55. Pre-Easter fast : LENT
56. Put in a hold : LADE
57. Luau strings : UKES
58. Library attention-getter : PSST!
61. Now or long lead-in : ERE …

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