LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Jul 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Neville Fogarty
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Oo! Oo!!

Themed answers each include two instances of the letter pairing OO:

  • 17A. 1970s-’80s fashion inspired by astronauts’ footwear : MOON BOOTS
  • 39A. “Was I premature?” : TOO SOON?
  • 62A. 1990s cartoon series featuring a classic 8-Down dog : GOOF TROOP
  • 11D. Teacher’s domain : SCHOOLROOM
  • 30D. Play some b-ball : SHOOT HOOPS

Bill’s time: 6m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. __ mater : ALMA

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in Ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

15. Wrinkly citrus fruit : UGLI

The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine that was first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruits unsightly wrinkled rind.

16. Neckwear named for a British racecourse : ASCOT

An Ascot is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

17. 1970s-’80s fashion inspired by astronauts’ footwear : MOON BOOTS

Italian designer Giancarlo Zanatta was inspired to create what became known as Moon Boots in 1969 after watching the moon landing, along with the rest of the world. Said boots became somewhat trendy in the 1980s. They’re still produced today, in Ukraine.

19. The “a” sound in “above” : SCHWA

A schwa is an unstressed and toneless vowel found in a number of languages including English. Examples from our language are the “a” in “about”, the “e” in “taken” and the “i” in pencil.

20. Like Frosted Flakes’ coating : SUGARY

Tony the Tiger has been the mascot of Frosted Flakes cereal since the product’s introduction in 1951. As Tony would say, “They’re Gr-r-reat!” Well, I thought they were when I was a lot younger …

28. Like easy, well-paying jobs : CUSHY

Our term “cushy”, meaning “easy and profitable”, is actually Anglo-Indian slang coming from the Hindi word “khush”, which translates as “pleasant, happy”.

31. Traditional 15th anniversary gift : CRYSTAL

Some traditional gifts for wedding anniversaries are:

  • 5th: wooden
  • 10th: tin
  • 15th: crystal
  • 20th: china
  • 25th: silver
  • 30th: pearl
  • 40th: ruby
  • 50th: gold
  • 60th: diamond

33. 1993 Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee Arthur : ASHE

Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979 Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

34. Vietnamese soup : PHO

Pho is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

35. Souped-up vehicle : HOT ROD

A hot rod is an American car that has been modified for speed by installing a larger than normal engine. A street rod is generally a more comfortable type of hot rod, with the emphasis less on the engine and more on custom paint jobs and interiors. By definition, a street rod must be based on an automobile design that originated prior to 1949.

To soup up an engine is to increase its horsepower. The verb probably derives from the older slang term “soup”, which was a narcotic illegally injected into racehorses to make them run faster.

38. __ Speedwagon : REO

REO Speedwagon is an American rock band that formed in 1967, and is still going strong. The band’s biggest hits are “Keep On Loving You” (1980) and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” (1985). The founding members chose the name for the REO Speed Wagon flatbed truck. Note that the band’s name is one word “Speedwagon”, whereas the vehicle’s name uses two words “Speed Wagon”.

41. Fútbol cheer : OLE!

“Fútbol” is the Spanish word for “football, soccer”.

48. Humped beast : CAMEL

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of a camel is the large deposit of fatty tissue on its back. The dromedary is the most common camel, and has two humps of fatty tissue on its back. The Bactrian camel has two humps, and makes up just 6% of the world’s camel population. Those fatty humps are useful if no food or water is available, as fat can be broken down into water and energy.

49. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” one-hit wonder : BAHA MEN

The Baha Men are so called because they hail from the Bahamas. Their big hit was “Who Let the Dogs Out?” That song once ranked third in a list of the world’s most annoying songs!

53. __ Grande : RIO

The Rio Grande (Spanish for “big river”) is a river forming part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Río Bravo or Río Bravo del Norte (Spanish for “furious river of the north”).

54. Colored eye part : IRIS

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

56. Citrus-flavored diet drink : FRESCA

Fresca is a Coca Cola product introduced in 1966 that is a little unusual in that it has no Pepsi Cola equivalent. It has always been marketed as a zero-calorie grapefruit drink, and so is artificially sweetened.

60. “__ have a clue” : I DON’T

Neither do I …

62. 1990s cartoon series featuring a classic 8-Down dog : GOOF TROOP

“Goof Troop” is a Disney cartoon show that aired in the early nineties. Featuring Goofy the dog, and Goofy’s son Max, the series spawned the animated movies “A Goofy Movie” (1995) and “An Extremely Goofy Movie” (2000).

64. Conical home : TEPEE

A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

67. Donkeys : ASSES

A female donkey/ass is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes a “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

68. Trebek of “Jeopardy!” : ALEX

Alex Trebek has been the host of “Jeopardy!” since the syndicated version of the game show launched in 1984. Trebek has missed just one episode since then, when he and host of “Wheel of Fortune” Pat Sajak swapped roles in 1997 as an April Fool’s joke.

Down

2. Moises of the 2007-’08 Mets : ALOU

Moisés Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his father Felipe and his uncles Matty and Jesús.

3. Urban pollution : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

4. Dashing style : PANACHE

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially in a hat.

5. Regatta markers : BUOYS

The word “regatta” is Venetian dialect and was originally used to describe boat races among the gondoliers of Venice on the Grand Canal back in the mid-1600s.

7. Glee club voice : ALTO

A glee club is a choir group, usually of males, that sings short songs known as “glees”. A glee is a song scored for three or more voices that is performed unaccompanied.

8. Mickey Mouse creator : DISNEY

Walt Disney’s iconic cartoon character Mickey Mouse, was introduced to the public in 1928 in the cartoon “Steamboat Willie”. Mickey was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978, making him the first cartoon character to be so honored. Walt Disney had some nice words to say in Disneyland in 1954:

I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.

18. Donkey’s cry : BRAY

A bray is the sound made by a donkey. Hee-haw!

22. Final result : UPSHOT

Back in the 1500s, the “up shot” was the final shot in an archery match. We now use the term “upshot” to describe the end result, the conclusion.

27. H.S. exam for college hopefuls : SAT

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

28. Fisherman’s soup fish : CARP

Carp are freshwater fish that are used as food around the world, although they aren’t very popular in North American kitchens. The ornamental fish that we know as goldfish and koi are all types of carp.

Fisherman’s soup is a spicy fish soup from Hungary that is flavored with a generous helping of paprika. Also called “halászlé” in Hungarian, the soup uses a mix of river fish, but often just carp.

30. Play some b-ball : SHOOT HOOPS

Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

32. Prickly flowers : ROSES

Believe it or not, roses don’t have any thorns. Thorns are derived from shoots, spines are derived from leaves, and prickles are derived from the epidermis. The rose’s defensive barbs are in fact prickles.

36. Shoppe sign adjective : OLDE

The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc. as in “Ye Olde Shoppe”.

37. “Let’s Make a __” : DEAL

The game show “Let’s Make a Deal” first aired way back in 1963. For many years the show was hosted by Monty Hall, from 1963 until 1986, and again briefly in 1991. In more recent years, Wayne Brady took over as host in 2009.

39. Home-wrecking insects : TERMITES

Termites are insects that are somewhat unique in that they can digest cellulose (as can ruminants such as cattle). Because of this diet, they cause a lot of trouble for human populations by feeding on wood in man-made structures.

45. City near Naples : SALERNO

Salerno is a port city on the southwest coast of Italy. In WWII, after the Italians negotiated a peace treaty with the Allies in 1943, the King of Italy relocated to Salerno from Rome. The new Italian government was set up in the city, and so for a few months, Salerno was the nation’s capital.

49. Big name in water filtration : BRITA

Brita is a German company that specializes in water filtration products. Brita products do a great job of filtering tap water, but they don’t “purify” it, they don’t remove microbes. That job is usually done by a municipality before the water gets to the faucet.

59. “Planet of the __” : APES

The whole “Planet of the Apes” franchise was based on a French novel by Pierre Boulle called “La Planète des singes”. The book was published in English as “Monkey Planet”, but was re-released as “Planet of the Apes” when Hollywood had made its choice for a movie title.

61. Born, in alumni newsletters : NEE

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Carpenter’s file : RASP
5. Necklace pellet : BEAD
9. Thorns in one’s side : PESTS
14. __ mater : ALMA
15. Wrinkly citrus fruit : UGLI
16. Neckwear named for a British racecourse : ASCOT
17. 1970s-’80s fashion inspired by astronauts’ footwear : MOON BOOTS
19. The “a” sound in “above” : SCHWA
20. Like Frosted Flakes’ coating : SUGARY
21. Responsibility : ONUS
23. “Above,” in verse : O’ER
24. DVD holder : CASE
26. Series installment : EPISODE
28. Like easy, well-paying jobs : CUSHY
31. Traditional 15th anniversary gift : CRYSTAL
33. 1993 Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee Arthur : ASHE
34. Vietnamese soup : PHO
35. Souped-up vehicle : HOT ROD
38. __ Speedwagon : REO
39. “Was I premature?” : TOO SOON?
41. Fútbol cheer : OLE!
42. NASA explorers : PROBES
44. “Dig in!” : EAT!
45. Coke or Pepsi : SODA
46. Most sour : TARTEST
48. Humped beast : CAMEL
49. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” one-hit wonder : BAHA MEN
51. Carry with effort : HAUL
53. __ Grande : RIO
54. Colored eye part : IRIS
56. Citrus-flavored diet drink : FRESCA
60. “__ have a clue” : I DON’T
62. 1990s cartoon series featuring a classic 8-Down dog : GOOF TROOP
64. Conical home : TEPEE
65. Short skirt : MINI
66. First blank on many forms : NAME
67. Donkeys : ASSES
68. Trebek of “Jeopardy!” : ALEX
69. Heavenly spheres : ORBS

Down

1. Ewes’ guys : RAMS
2. Moises of the 2007-’08 Mets : ALOU
3. Urban pollution : SMOG
4. Dashing style : PANACHE
5. Regatta markers : BUOYS
6. Sense of self : EGO
7. Glee club voice : ALTO
8. Mickey Mouse creator : DISNEY
9. “Tell your friends” : PASS IT ON
10. Corner PC key : ESC
11. Teacher’s domain : SCHOOLROOM
12. Hauled to the shop : TOWED
13. Look steadily (at) : STARE
18. Donkey’s cry : BRAY
22. Final result : UPSHOT
25. Rebound, like sound : ECHO
27. H.S. exam for college hopefuls : SAT
28. Fisherman’s soup fish : CARP
29. PC manual reader : USER
30. Play some b-ball : SHOOT HOOPS
32. Prickly flowers : ROSES
34. Dorm room decoration : POSTER
36. Shoppe sign adjective : OLDE
37. “Let’s Make a __” : DEAL
39. Home-wrecking insects : TERMITES
40. Witness’ promise : OATH
43. Sheep cry : BAA!
45. City near Naples : SALERNO
47. Real mystery : ENIGMA
48. Terse : CURT
49. Big name in water filtration : BRITA
50. Senate staffers : AIDES
52. Stick on, as a label : AFFIX
55. Gardener’s bagful : SOIL
57. Fly high : SOAR
58. Hair care tool : COMB
59. “Planet of the __” : APES
61. Born, in alumni newsletters : NEE
63. Single : ONE

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Jul 2018, Monday”

  1. LAT: 6:24, no errors. Newsday: 5:19, no errors. WSJ: 7:27, no errors (and I’m pleased to report that they got the same answer that I did for Friday’s meta 😜). New Yorker: 23:15, no errors; a relatively easy one. BEQ: ~35:00, no errors, but I had to make educated guesses to cope with a couple of serious personal Naticks and, as a result, I forgot to record my exact finish time.

  2. We enjoyed an easier one for this Monday; did it faster with no errors.
    I neither knew nor do I know PHO and SCHWA, but got them to fit and
    would like to know for future attempts, if someone wants to enlighten
    me via e-mail.

  3. 9:25. Glad to be doing a Monday puzzle this morning.

    Tired from reading the rants from yesterday. I’d give them a C+ at best. They’re long and whiny, sure, but they just don’t have the entertainment value of Allen Dickerson’s posts (NYT poster on Bill’s other blog).

    Best –

  4. LAT: 5:09, no errors. WSJ: 6:23, no errors. They agreed with me on the meta. 😉 New Yorker: 23 minutes, no errors. Felt a lot quicker than the time indicated. BEQ: 40 minutes, no errors. More of a struggle. Makes me wonder with all of these themeless puzzles why some of them seem so easy and some don’t. And why my times are pretty inflated for the time I felt pass working on them. Don’t know. Anyway, got a Sat NYT left to finish.

    @Jeff
    The rants were definitely… weird. And pretty off-base. While I was learning, I was tempted, but realized that if people could do them, I could do them too one day.

    @Dave
    I responded to Allen about his statement over Bill’s time on Sunday. Not sure if he’ll see it, like the last time. Anyway, as I said over there, I’m going to try making a PUZ of a Newsday Sunday and see what time I end up with in the near future just for fun. Of course, I tried the Monday puzzle on their online widget and got frustrated and quit for how tough it was to get working – especially since I couldn’t go as fast as I’m used to going.

    1. @Glenn … I wasn’t sure if Allen was expressing disbelief or awe regarding Bill’s solution times. One of my problems with his posts is his rather imprecise use of language: he will say, “This puzzle was completely impossible!”, totally ignoring the fact that half a dozen posters ahead of him said they solved it. Is he just indulging in hyperbole? Is he saying that the other posters are lying? Did he read their posts? Does he come to the blog to learn or only to complain? I really try to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I find it difficult.

      I’ll be interested in the results of your tests, but I don’t think my time on a puzzle I’d done before (or seen all the clues and an answer key for) would be meaningful; that crossword lizard brain Jeff talks about tends to kick in halfway through such a puzzle and start feeding me answers that it stored up. I think I’d have to wait quite a while (like, weeks) to clear its memory.

      As for yesterday’s rant(s): I found myself wondering if the guy was bombed out of his skull (to use an old, down-home, folksy kind of phrase 😜). Definitely on the edgy side (and, nevertheless, I’m feeling a little contrite that I let my inner snark out to the degree that I did in my response).

      1. > I don’t think my time on a puzzle I’d done before (or seen all the clues and an answer key for

        That’s why it’s probably going to be a week or more after I make it before I attempt it, to do other puzzles and give it some time so I hopefully forget it. Like I say, I think I get “poisoned” when I check my answers on DNFs, so filling in the rest isn’t exactly 100% me. After all, it’s hard to not glance at other parts of the answer key than the one I’ve filled in.

        I’ve always wondered paper solve time versus online time on the same puzzle (comparing apples to apples), but like you say it’s hard to wipe your memory from doing the puzzle the first time. Mainly though, I want to see how fast a Newsday goes if I actually do it electronically, because I do notice my written times are generally higher than my electronic ones (no way I’m doing this LAT in 5:09 written, maybe 8-9 minutes). Consequently since I only do Newsday grids written, they’re almost all slower than the LAT. That said, I’ll probably go ahead and make today’s puzzle too to give a 15×15 baseline of Newsday for myself.

  5. I had a good time with this puzzle – and really enjoyed it. I got the 00 theme early on, but no 007 ! Did not know about Moon Boot – but looks like the canadian Mukluk boots. …. except that mukluks have more fur on the mid shins.

    I was surprised that Cushy is from a hindi word Khushi – meaning ‘joy’ or happiness. Well, it stands to reason since the english colonials were in India for over 250 years, and many indians ( like me – ) consider english as our mother tongue …. it is only plausible and fair that they also borrowed a lot of hindi words into their vocabulary.

    I read, with interest, about Jeff’s dry cleaner’s memoir and her attitude towards life. Very inspiring. In real life , …. I also meet a clean head shaven 12 year old who comes in, to a medical facility, for some radiation therapy …. and her attitude and cheeerfulness must be seen and heard – to be believed.
    Her optimism and maturity is a pleasure to behold.
    Who said,” Any human being who goes through devastating and horrific life experiences …. always comes of it, ennobled.”

    Have a nice day, all.

  6. Hi every buddy!! ✌
    No errors on a fun and easy Monday. 🙄 Never heard of GOOF TROOP, and I was a little thrown by that SE section. Didn’t use the theme, just noticed a whole lotta Os.

    Jeff from yesterday: Thank you for sharing that — interesting!! A movie that is so intense is antiseptic to her! I’d like to see it again — it used to be on Netflix and may still be. I also want to meet your dry cleaner!! Amazing woman.

    As for yesterday’s tirades– irritating in the extreme! Dave, I liked your response. Sometimes circumstances call for a little snark, I think.

    Be well~~🥀🌻🌺

  7. Bill — I keep forgetting to mention this, from Thursday: Anthony Bourdain passed away very recently, on June 6. He committed suicide. Very sad; his shows were fascinating.

    1. @Carrie
      Thanks for catching that slip, Carrie. I was very aware of Mr. Bourdain’s sad passing, but failed to update my database of historical comments. I’ve done that now, and updated Thursday’s post, thanks to your help. We’ll blame the 1-2 pints of Guinness that I’ve been enjoying over the past few weeks while on vacation in the Auld Sod 🙂

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