LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Aug 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Life Partner

Themed answers end with a word that often follows, PARTNERS with, “LIFE”:

  • 57A. Significant other, often, and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : LIFE PARTNER
  • 17A. *Program for an idle monitor : SCREENSAVER (giving “lifesaver”)
  • 22A. *Rustic : COUNTRY STYLE (giving “lifestyle”)
  • 37A. *Distinctive Jay Leno facial feature : JAWLINE (giving “lifeline”)
  • 47A. *Squeaky-clean : SPICK AND SPAN (giving “life span”)

Bill’s time: 4m 11s!!

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Awesome, in show biz : BOFFO

“Boffo” is show biz slang for “very successful”, and is a term that dates back to the early sixties.

6. Dorian Gray creator Oscar : WILDE

Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer who led a very public life in his adopted home of London. Although he was a prolific writer of many forms of literature, Wilde penned only one novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. He was perhaps more renowned in his own time as a dramatist. Several of his plays are performed regularly today, including “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, “An Ideal Husband” and “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Wilde’s last work was a poem titled “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”, which recounted his time in prison after being convicted of homosexual offences in 1895 and sentenced to two years’ hard labor. Oscar Wilde died in 1900 at the age of 46 in Paris, destitute.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a novel by Oscar Wilde, in fact Wilde’s only novel. In the story, the title character is a young man appearing in a painting. Jokingly, Dorian sells his soul to the devil so that the painting would age rather than him.

14. Toothbrush brand : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

15. Upscale Honda : ACURA

Acura is the luxury brand of the Honda Motor Company. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

16. “__ been thinking” : I’VE

So have I ….

20. Chad neighbor : CAMEROON

The Republic of Cameroon is on the west coast of Africa. One of Cameroon’s claims to fame is having a great national soccer team, one that often seems to do well in the FIFA World Cup.

The landlocked African country called Chad takes its name from the second largest wetland on the continent, which is known as Lake Chad.

26. Female foxes : VIXENS

Male foxes are usually called dogs, and sometimes tods or reynards. Females are vixens, and young foxes are cubs, pups or kits.

31. Buffalo NHLer : SABRE

The Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League in the 1970-71 season. The team took the name “Sabres” following a fan contest.

33. Michael of “SNL” : CHE

Michael Che is a standup comedian from New York City. Che had worked as a writer for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), and then started to appear in front of SNL cameras in September 1914. One of his roles was co-anchor for the “Weekend Update” segment of the show.

36. Supermarket initials : IGA

“IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, which is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

37. *Distinctive Jay Leno facial feature : JAWLINE (giving “lifeline”)

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

39. “2001” computer : HAL

In the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Dr. David Bowman (“Dave”) goes up against the spacecraft computer known as “HAL”.

41. Olympian Bolt : USAIN

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

42. Quarters for lions : DENS

We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.

43. Large, at Starbucks : VENTI

Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:

  • Demi … 3 fl oz
  • Short … 8 fl oz
  • Tall … 12 fl oz
  • Grande … 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
  • Venti … 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
  • Trenta … 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

45. Tiny bit : SMIDGE

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

47. *Squeaky-clean : SPICK AND SPAN (giving “life span”)

Something described as spick-and-span is either brand new or spotlessly clean. Our contemporary adjective was written as “spick-and-span-new” in the 16th century. The latter term could be rewritten as “new as recently made spike (nail) and chip (of wood)”.

56. Mai __ : TAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

60. Game with Skip cards : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the “shedding” family of card games, in that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

61. Eisenhower opponent Stevenson : 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!”

62. Playful swimming mammal : OTTER

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

63. Bic, for one : PEN

Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

64. Mild Dutch cheese : GOUDA

Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, which gives it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

Down

1. Pear from France : BOSC

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear grown in the northwest of the United States. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck. I always seem to use the potato as my point of reference. How Irish am I …?

2. Killer whale : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

5. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” king : OBERON

Oberon and Titania are the King and Queen of the fairies in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of William Shakespeare’s comedies. An interesting characteristic of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is that it features a play-within-a-play. The cast of characters includes an troupe of six actors called the Mechanicals who perform a play called “Pyramus and Thisbe”.

8. Candy heart verb : LUV

The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.

9. Dr. of rap : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

13. Pasta in vodka sauce : PENNE

Penne alla vodka is a pasta dish with a sauce made of vodka, cream, tomatoes, onions and sausage or bacon.

18. Entre __: between us : NOUS

In French, something might perhaps be discussed “entre deux” (between two) or “entre nous” (between us).

23. Bird associated with spring : ROBIN

The American robin has a reddish-orange breast. This coloring gave the bird its name, due to the similarity to the European robin. The two species are not in fact related, with the American robin being a thrush, and its European cousin an Old World flycatcher. It is the American robin that famously lays light-blue eggs.

25. __-Ball: arcade game : SKEE

Skee-Ball is that arcade game where you roll balls up a ramp trying to “bounce” it into rings for varying numbers of points. The game was first introduced in Philadelphia, in 1909.

26. Sports ball brand : VOIT

Voit is a sporting goods company that was founded by William J. Voit in 1922. Voit invented the first all-rubber inflatable ball, in the late twenties.

27. “Othello” villain : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

28. Superman super power : X-RAY VISION

Although Superman’s ability to see through objects is termed “x-ray vision”, the phenomenon as described cannot involve just the use of x-rays. The issue is that Superman can perceive color while using his superpower, and that’s not possible with x-rays.

31. Suitor : SWAIN

A swain is a country lad, or a beau. Back in the 12th century, a swain was a young man who attended a knight.

32. __ Baba : ALI

In the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the title character is a poor woodcutter who discovers the magic words “open sesame”, which open the thieves’ den.

38. “The Thin Man” dog : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

45. Humane org. : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

46. Bone tissue : MARROW

One of the main roles of bone marrow is the production of red blood cells, although this process is limited to the heads of the long bones in the body. Marrow also produces the lymphocytes that support the body’s immune system.

50. Photo finish : SEPIA

Sepia is that rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish. Sepia ink was commonly used for writing and drawing as far back as Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

54. Miffed, with “off” : TEED

To miff is to put out, to tee off, and is verb that has been around since the early 1600s. Interestingly, in 1824 Sir Walter Scott described the word “miffed” as “a women’s phrase”. That should get him a slap, I’d say …

59. Illness with its own season : FLU

Influenza (flu) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Awesome, in show biz : BOFFO
6. Dorian Gray creator Oscar : WILDE
11. Splash gently, as waves : LAP
14. Toothbrush brand : ORAL-B
15. Upscale Honda : ACURA
16. “__ been thinking” : I’VE
17. *Program for an idle monitor : SCREENSAVER (giving “lifesaver”)
19. Unfavorable critique : PAN
20. Chad neighbor : CAMEROON
21. Clarifying words : AS IN
22. *Rustic : COUNTRY STYLE (giving “lifestyle”)
26. Female foxes : VIXENS
29. Like wine casks : OAKEN
30. Rowing needs : OARS
31. Buffalo NHLer : SABRE
33. Michael of “SNL” : CHE
36. Supermarket initials : IGA
37. *Distinctive Jay Leno facial feature : JAWLINE (giving “lifeline”)
39. “2001” computer : HAL
40. Playpen item : TOY
41. Olympian Bolt : USAIN
42. Quarters for lions : DENS
43. Large, at Starbucks : VENTI
45. Tiny bit : SMIDGE
47. *Squeaky-clean : SPICK AND SPAN (giving “life span”)
51. In addition : ALSO
52. Act out, as a Civil War battle : RECREATE
56. Mai __ : TAI
57. Significant other, often, and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : LIFE PARTNER
60. Game with Skip cards : UNO
61. Eisenhower opponent Stevenson : ADLAI
62. Playful swimming mammal : OTTER
63. Bic, for one : PEN
64. Mild Dutch cheese : GOUDA
65. Gardener’s concerns : WEEDS

Down

1. Pear from France : BOSC
2. Killer whale : ORCA
3. Word before hand or land : FARM …
4. Pulls a scam on : FLEECES
5. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” king : OBERON
6. Aired, as a TV program : WAS ON
7. “__ help it” : I CAN’T
8. Candy heart verb : LUV
9. Dr. of rap : DRE
10. Has an __ to the ground : EAR
11. Mouthed the words : LIP-SYNCHED
12. Benefit : AVAIL
13. Pasta in vodka sauce : PENNE
18. Entre __: between us : NOUS
21. Snacked : ATE
23. Bird associated with spring : ROBIN
24. Knitter’s ball : YARN
25. __-Ball: arcade game : SKEE
26. Sports ball brand : VOIT
27. “Othello” villain : IAGO
28. Superman super power : X-RAY VISION
31. Suitor : SWAIN
32. __ Baba : ALI
34. Dangle : HANG
35. “Anything __?”: “Is there more?” : ELSE
37. Trash : JUNK
38. “The Thin Man” dog : ASTA
42. Breakfast nook, e.g. : DINETTE
44. Prefix with friendly : ECO-
45. Humane org. : SPCA
46. Bone tissue : MARROW
47. Suddenly took notice : SAT UP
48. Vehicle that taxis : PLANE
49. Not look forward to at all : DREAD
50. Photo finish : SEPIA
53. Pay to play : ANTE
54. Miffed, with “off” : TEED
55. Drops the ball : ERRS
57. Fall behind : LAG
58. Wedding vow words : I DO
59. Illness with its own season : FLU

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