LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Jul 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Kyle Dolan
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Shiloh’s parents, familiarly : BRANGELINA

“Brangelina” is a portmanteau used for the super-couple pairing of actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Other supercouples are/were:

  • Tomkat – Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
  • Grant ‘n’ Hurley – Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley
  • Posh and Becks – Victoria and David Beckham
  • Bennifer – Ben Affleck and Jennifer

17. 2005 Cusack/Thornton thriller/comedy, with “The” : ICE HARVEST

“The Ice Harvest” is a 2005 action comedy based on the 2000 novel of the same name by Scott Phillips. Starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton, the films main claim to fame seems to be that, in 2006, is became the last Focus Features movie to be released as a VHS tape.

18. Caramel-filled candy : ROLO

Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

19. Puckish group?: Abbr. : NHL

The National Hockey League (NHL) was formed in 1917 in Montreal as a successor to the defunct National Hockey Association (NHA) that had been founded in 1909. Today, the NHL comprises 31 teams; 24 in the US and 7 in Canada.

20. The Righteous Brothers’ “Ebb Tide” wasn’t one : DUET

Two of the biggest hits for the musical due billed as the Righteous Brothers were “Unchained Melody” and “Ebb Tide”. The vocals on both songs were performed solo, by the duo’s tenor Bobby Hatfield. Baritone Bill Medley performed lead vocals on the hit “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”.

25. English house symbolized by a red rose : LANCASTER

The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought for the throne of England between the rival Houses of Lancaster (with a symbol of a red rose) and York (with a symbol of a white rose). Ultimately the Lancastrians emerged victorious after Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Henry was crowned King Henry VII, and so began the Tudor dynasty. Henry Tudor united the rival houses by marrying his cousin Elizabeth of York. Henry VII had a relatively long reign of 23 years that lasted until his death, after which his son succeeded to the throne as Henry VIII, continuing the relatively short-lived Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII ruled from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry VIII was the last male to lead the the House of Tudor, as his daughter Queen Elizabeth I died without issue. When Elizabeth died, the Scottish King James VI succeeded to the throne as James I of England and Ireland. James I was the first English monarch of the House of Stuart.

27. Julia of film : RAUL

Raúl Juliá was a Hollywood actor from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Julia had a very distinguished career, but is perhaps best known for portraying Gomez Addams in the two film adaptations of “The Addams Family”.

29. The Jungfrau, e.g. : ALP

The Jungfrau is a peak in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. “Jungfrau” translates from German as “maiden” or “virgin”.

34. “Smooth Operator” singer : SADE

The singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although she was born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

38. Besmirches : TARS

“Besmirch” is a derivative of “smirch”, with both words meaning to “make dirty”. In particular, to besmirch is to sully someone’s reputation.

39. Asian language : LAO

Lao is the official language of Laos. Lao is also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, but there the language is known as Isan.

41. Type of port : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

42. Thrust producer : FIN

I suppose that could be a swimfin, perhaps worn by a SCUBA diver on his or her feet.

43. Some code taps : DITS

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

44. Shell-shaped dessert brand : CHOCO TACO

A Choco Taco is an elaborate ice cream dessert that was created in the eighties by the Jack and Jill Ice Cream Company in Philadelphia.

47. A bit less than a quart : FIFTH

A fifth is an American unit of volume used for liquor. It used to be equal to one fifth of a US gallon. Since the seventies, we’ve been using a “metric fifth” that is equal to 750 mL, the standard size for wine bottles around the world.

51. Stoolie : CANARY

Stoolies, also called “canaries”, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. Originally a stoolie was a decoy for the police, rather than an informer, hence the name.

52. Ancient Cuzco resident : INCA

Cusco (also “Cuzco”) is a city in the southeast of Peru. Historically, Cusco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

55. Shel Silverstein poem “Hug __” : O’WAR

Here is a poem by Shel Silverstein from his 1974 children’s poetry collection:

I will not play at tug o’ war.
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “The Giving Tree”, which was first published in 1964. “The Giving Tree” tells of a young boy who has a special relationship with a tree in a forest. The message of the book seems to be that the tree provides the little boy with everything he needs.

59. Bob Dylan’s musical tribute to his wife : SARA

Bob Dylan’s 1976 song “Sara” is a tribute to his then-wife Sara Dylan née Noznisky. In the song, Bob describes Sara as a “radiant jewel, mystical wife”. Sadly, the couple divorced the following year.

60. Company with Wienermobiles : OSCAR MAYER

The Oscar Mayer brand of meats was named for a German immigrant named Oscar F. Mayer who sold German sausages in the Chicago area in the late 1800s. The Oscar Mayer company has a famous vehicle called the Wienermobile that it has used in promotions for over 70 years.

Down

1. Obligatory poker bet : BLIND

In some variants of poker, a forced bet is made by one or two players sitting to the left of the dealer. These bets are known as “blinds”, and are used instead of antes to ensure that there is some money in the pot. The player to the immediate left of the dealer posts the “small blind” (usually half the minimum bet), and the next player to the left posts the “big blind” (usually the minimum bet).

2. Tamiflu manufacturer : ROCHE

The giant pharmaceutical and medical diagnostics company Hoffmann-La Roche is based in Basel, Switzerland. The company was founded back in 1896 by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, and initially produced vitamins.

3. Boston-D.C. service : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, getting up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

5. Feigned enthusiastic greeting : GLAD HAND

“To glad hand”, meaning “to extend a welcome” has been around as an expression since the end of the 1800s, although it was used less cynically back then. Then along came politicians …

6. Brown family shade : ECRU

The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

7. Apollo 13 astronaut : LOVELL

Jim Lovell is a retired astronaut who commanded the famous Apollo 13 mission that almost ended in disaster with three crew members lost in space. Lovell wrote an account of the dramatic mission in a book called “Lost Moon”. “Lost Moon” was the basis of the excellent movie “Apollo 13” in which Tom Hanks portrayed Lovell.

8. Ellington’s “__ Song Go Out of My Heart” : I LET A

“I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart” was a hit for Duke Ellington back in 1938.

Duke Ellington was a bandleader and composer believed by many to have elevated jazz to the same level as other respected genres of music. Ellington tended not to use the word “jazz” to describe his compositions, preferring the term “American Music”.

9. Crossword clue features: Abbr. : NOS

Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of what we now known as a crossword puzzle. Wynne was born in Liverpool, England and emigrated to the US when he was 19-years-old. He worked as a journalist and was living in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1913 when he introduced a “Word-Cross Puzzle” in his page of puzzles written for the “New York World”. The first book of crossword puzzles was published by Shuster & Shuster, in 1924. The collection of puzzles was a huge hit, and crosswords were elevated to the level of “a craze” in 1924 and 1925.

10. Constitution’s ratification section : ARTICLE VII

Article VII of the US Constitution deals with its ratification. Article VII called for nine states to ratify the wording of the Constitution before it would take effect.

11. Root in perfumery : ORRIS

Orris root is a basic ingredient in many perfumes, providing a so-called “base note”. It is also an ingredient in some brands of gin.

22. Easy mark : SAP

“Sap” is slang for “fool, someone easily scammed”. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words derive from “sapwood”, which is the softwood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

26. 29-member org. : NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

28. Dalmatian, say, to a Brit : UTILITY DOG

The American Kennel Club places the Dalmatian breed in the non-sporting group. The Kennel Club of the UK places the Dalmatian in the utility group.

The Dalmatian breed of dog originated in Dalmatia, in the Republic of Croatia. Here in the US, Dalmatians are known as “firehouse dogs”. This association dates back to the use of Dalmatians in firehouses to guard the valuable horses that pulled the fire engines.

32. Rich pasta dish : CARBONARA

A carbonara pasta dish includes a sauce made with eggs, cheese, bacon and black pepper. Apparently, the name of the dish is derived from “carbonaro”, the Italian for “charcoal burner”. One suggestion is that it was first made for Italian charcoal workers in the mid-1900s.

34. GDR spy group : STASI

The Ministry for State Security in East Germany was commonly referred to as the Stasi. “Stasi” is an abbreviation for “Staatssicherheit”, which translates as “State Security”.

The former East Germany was known officially as the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR).

35. Applies plaster to : STUCCOS

Stucco is a decorative coating that is applied to walls and ceilings. “Stucco” is the Italian name for the material, and a word that we imported into English.

36. Darling pooch : NANA

In J.M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Peter takes Wendy Darling and her two brothers on adventures on the island of Neverland. Back in the real world, the Darling children are taken care of by a nanny, a Newfoundland dog called Nana. It is Nana who takes Peter Pan’s shadow away from him as he tries to escape from the Darling house one night.

37. Formicaria : ANT FARMS

“Formicary” is another name for “ant nest”, and comes from the Latin “formica” meaning “ant”. The phrase “ant colony” describes the ants living in an ant nest. A formicarium is similar to an aquarium, and used to house an ant colony perhaps for study. The phrase “ant farm” is usually reserved for ant nests built by an ant colony in a formicarium.

43. Prima __ : DONNAS

The Italian operatic term “prima donna” is used for the lead female singer in an opera company. “Prima donna” translates from Italian as “first lady”. The lead male singer is known as the “primo uomo”. The term “prima donna assoluta” is reserved for a prima donna who is generally accepted as being an outstanding performer. We tend to use “prima donna” for a female performer who has an inflated ego.

45. Longtime name in baseball broadcasting : CARAY

The announcer Harry Caray was famous for exclaiming “Holy cow!” during baseball games, and used the same phrase for the title of his autobiography.

46. Half of diez : CINCO

In Spanish, “cinco” (five) times “dos” (two) is “diez” (ten).

48. Ice cream alternative, familiarly : FROYO

Frozen yogurt (froyo)

50. Any of the 25-Across kings : HENRY
(25A. English house symbolized by a red rose : LANCASTER)

There were three Lancastrian kings of England: Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI.

53. Dead __: very likely thing, to a Brit : CERT

In Britain and Ireland, the phrase “dead cert” is used commonly for something that is almost certain to happen, with “cert” being short for “certainty”.

58. Noir weapon : GAT

“Gat” is a slang term for a gun that is derived from the Gatling gun, the precursor to the modern machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Shiloh’s parents, familiarly : BRANGELINA
11. With 15-Across, kind of vehicle : OFF-
14. Regional charm : LOCAL COLOR
15. See 11-Across : ROAD
17. 2005 Cusack/Thornton thriller/comedy, with “The” : ICE HARVEST
18. Caramel-filled candy : ROLO
19. Puckish group?: Abbr. : NHL
20. The Righteous Brothers’ “Ebb Tide” wasn’t one : DUET
21. “Really?” : IS IT SO?
23. Demise : DEATH
25. English house symbolized by a red rose : LANCASTER
27. Julia of film : RAUL
29. The Jungfrau, e.g. : ALP
30. Cocktail salt site : RIM
31. Not abundant : SCANT
33. Put away : ATE
34. “Smooth Operator” singer : SADE
35. Great reception : STANDING OVATION
38. Besmirches : TARS
39. Asian language : LAO
40. As a whole : IN ALL
41. Type of port : USB
42. Thrust producer : FIN
43. Some code taps : DITS
44. Shell-shaped dessert brand : CHOCO TACO
47. A bit less than a quart : FIFTH
51. Stoolie : CANARY
52. Ancient Cuzco resident : INCA
54. Sushi topper : ROE
55. Shel Silverstein poem “Hug __” : O’WAR
56. Ball attire : DINNER GOWN
59. Bob Dylan’s musical tribute to his wife : SARA
60. Company with Wienermobiles : OSCAR MAYER
61. “Woo-hoo!” : YAY!
62. Chilling account : GHOST STORY

Down

1. Obligatory poker bet : BLIND
2. Tamiflu manufacturer : ROCHE
3. Boston-D.C. service : ACELA
4. “Sorry” : NAH
5. Feigned enthusiastic greeting : GLAD HAND
6. Brown family shade : ECRU
7. Apollo 13 astronaut : LOVELL
8. Ellington’s “__ Song Go Out of My Heart” : I LET A
9. Crossword clue features: Abbr. : NOS
10. Constitution’s ratification section : ARTICLE VII
11. Root in perfumery : ORRIS
12. Track through the woods : FOOT TRAIL
13. Its worship is often forbidden : FALSE IDOL
16. Uniformed greeters : DOORMEN
22. Easy mark : SAP
24. Prefix with gender : TRANS-
26. 29-member org. : NATO
28. Dalmatian, say, to a Brit : UTILITY DOG
31. Store safely : STASH AWAY
32. Rich pasta dish : CARBONARA
33. Long __ : AGO
34. GDR spy group : STASI
35. Applies plaster to : STUCCOS
36. Darling pooch : NANA
37. Formicaria : ANT FARMS
42. Supporting : FOR
43. Prima __ : DONNAS
45. Longtime name in baseball broadcasting : CARAY
46. Half of diez : CINCO
48. Ice cream alternative, familiarly : FROYO
49. Lookout position : TOWER
50. Any of the 25-Across kings : HENRY
53. Dead __: very likely thing, to a Brit : CERT
57. Sorta relative : -ISH
58. Noir weapon : GAT

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Jul 2018, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 24 minutes, no errors. Fun. WSJ: 18:59, no errors. Even more fun when they fall that quick (for me). In fact, don’t think I’ve had a 21×21 fall that quickly before. As a note on the WSJ meta, I thought of a cleverer answer which seems to fit the puzzle a whole lot more than the one I had before, sooo… We’ll see if they agree with me come Monday or not. 😛

  2. LAT: Little less than an hour and quite a tussle, especially the SW corner. Ended up with just one letter wrong: spelled “carbonara” as carbonera; this made Silverstein’s poem as “Hug Ower,” not Owar–not a terrible mistake.

  3. LAT: 16:08, no errors. WSJ: 23:56, no errors. Newsday: 53:39, no errors; the completed grid is sitting in front of me, looking pretty easy (after the fact), but doing it was a major undertaking that I was tempted to give up on a time or two (or three), so I’m glad it’s behind me. (I did all three of these puzzles last night after struggling with the Tim Croce from yesterday, so I was a little shell-shocked going in, and more so coming out.) And, speaking of shell-shocked, my heart aches for those poor kids (not to mention their “rescuers”) in that cave in Thailand, to the point that I’m afraid to check this morning’s news. An event from my childhood makes the situation even more difficult for me … 😳

  4. Hi folks!! 🦉
    DNF without peeking at Bill’s for about a fourth of the puzzle. Just started off slowly, and I blanked on some that I should have known, like CARAY, which is crazy cuz it sounds like MY name and I’m a big baseball fan!! Also couldn’t get BRANGELINA…another I should have managed. 😮
    Dave, I too am feeling for those kids. Sounds like you had a similar experience as they… ? By now you know that the rescue is underway. Apparently the first divers will rescue the strongest kid first. Maybe the logic behind that is that they need to save who they can. It will take several days… hoping for good news.
    Be well ~~🌺🌻🥀

    1. @Carrie … When I was a stupid kid of about eight (is that redundant?), I impulsively crawled through a culvert under the road in front of our farmhouse without realizing that the far end of the thing was silted up. I came very close to getting stuck, unable to move in either direction, and the result was a lifelong case of claustrophobia. Even now, almost 70 years later, the memory is almost overwhelming. (Later in life, I conquered a case of acrophobia by getting into climbing in a big way, but I’ve been unable to face dealing with the other problem at all.)

      I’m not sure I understand the logic behind bringing out the strongest kids first. (I just want to hear that everybody is out and safe …)

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