LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Aug 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Chuck Deodene
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Puzzling Ames

Themed answers comprise two words, and come from common phrases from which a leading letter G has been dropped from the second word:

  • 18A. Passion for quilt filling? : BATTING LOVE (from “batting glove”)
  • 24A. Contest among bank customers? : SAVING RACE (from “saving grace”)
  • 38A. Segment of a clogging contest? : STOMPING ROUND (from “stomping ground”)
  • 51A. Airline passenger’s arrival malady? : LANDING EAR (from “landing gear”)
  • 59A. Female observer? : LOOKING LASS (from “looking glass”)

Bill’s time: 8m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Staples buys : PCS

Staples is an office supply chain store based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Some of the company’s stores have a Staples EasyTech department that provides computer repair and upgrade services.

9. Author Stieg Larsson, for one : SWEDE

Stieg Larsson was a Swedish journalist and writer. Indeed, one of the main characters in his “Millennium” series of novels is a journalist as well. The first two titles in the series are “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Girl Who Played with Fire”. The last of the three titles in the Millennium series is “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”, which was the most-sold book in the US in 2010. All of the books in the series were published after Larsson’s death. He passed away from a heart attack while climbing several flights of stairs, when he was just 50 years old.

16. Big name in seating : EAMES

Charles and Ray Eames were a husband-wife team of furniture designers. One of the more famous of their designs is the Eames lounge chair that comes with an ottoman. This trendy piece of furniture featured in a late episode of the television show “Frasier”. In the show, Frasier’s Dad remarks that the Eames chair is so comfortable that he might have gotten rid of his tatty old recliner a long time ago.

18. Passion for quilt filling? : BATTING LOVE (from “batting glove”)

Batting (also “batt”) is a layer of fabric used for stuffing furniture and mattresses. The term “batting” comes from the idea of a “beaten” fabric.

23. 1945 summit site : YALTA

Yalta is a resort city on the Black Sea on the Crimean Peninsula. The Crimea is very much in the news in recent years as ownership of the territory is in dispute between Russia and the Ukraine. Yalta was also in the news at the end of WWII, as it was the site of the 1945 Yalta Conference between the leaders of the three main Allies.

27. __ Road Ensemble, group initiated by Yo-Yo Ma : SILK

Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist who was born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.

Silkroad is an arts organization that was founded in 1998 by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. A very visible arm of Silkroad is the Silk Road Ensemble, which is a collective of about 60 artists who cooperate to produce festivals all over the world, as well as music CDs that feature instruments used in the Silk Road region.

The Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

29. Portaged craft : CANOE

Portage is the carrying of a boat or its cargo over land, perhaps to circumvent an obstacle.

30. Needing no Rx : OTC

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).

33. “The buck stops here” president : TRUMAN

The phrase “passing the buck” supposedly comes from poker. The marker that indicates whose turn it is to deal is called the buck, and it is passed from player to player. Over time, the phrase came to mean the passing of responsibility (or usually blame). President Harry S. Truman popularized the derivative phrase “the buck stops here” by placing a sign bearing those words on his desk in the Oval Office. President Truman had received the sign as a gift from a prison warden who was also an enthusiastic poker player.

41. Jokhang Temple city : LHASA

Jokhang is considered by most Tibetans to be the most sacred temple in the whole of Tibet. Located in Lhasa, it was founded in the 7th century. The name “Jokhang” is translated today as “House of Buddha”.

42. Words spoken with one’s hand raised : A TOAST!

The tradition of “toasting” someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

43. Corp. bailed out in 2008 : AIG

“AIG” is an initialism used by the American International Group, a giant insurance corporation. After repeated bailouts by American taxpayers starting in 2008, the company made some serious PR blunders by spending large amounts of money on executive entertainment and middle management rewards. These included a $444,000 California retreat, an $86,000 hunting trip in England, and a $343,000 getaway to a luxury resort in Phoenix. Poor judgment, I’d say …

49. Swatting target : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

57. Yield from una mina : ORO

In Spanish, one might find “oro” (gold) in “una mina” (a mine”).

62. __ jump : SKI

The winter sport of ski jumping originated in Norway. The first recorded, measured ski jump was by Norwegian-Danish military officer Olaf Rye. He launched himself a distance of 9.5 metres in front of fellow soldiers in 1809. There is now an offshoot of ski jumping known as ski flying, which involves the use of larger hills. Ski flyers have made jumps in excess of 250 meters.

64. Pulitzer poet Conrad __ : AIKEN

Conrad Aiken was a novelist and poet. Aiken won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1930 for his “Selected Poems”, and was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 1950.

66. Aboveboard : LEGIT

Something described as aboveboard is legitimate, without tricks. The term originated in card games, where a sneaky move under the table (“board”) might involve a switching of cards.

68. Ajar, in verse : OPE

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

Down

2. Former French president : CHIRAC

Jacques Chirac served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He also served twice as Prime Minister of France, and as the Mayor of Paris.

5. Pitcher’s surprise : CHANGEUP

A changeup is a baseball pitch that is thrown so that it looks like a fastball, but actually arrives at the plate more slowly.

6. Kitchen brand : OSTER

The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women’s hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed to “Osterizer” and was a big hit. Oster was bought up by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

7. Mufti issuance : FATWA

In the Muslim tradition, a fatwā is a religious opinion issued by an Islamic scholar (a “mufti”) on a matter of Islamic law. There is a common misconception that a fatwā is a death sentence imposed on a person, and although such a drastic directive is a possible component of the opinion, it is a very rare occurrence.

8. “Here’s the scoop” letters : FYI

For your information (FYI)

9. Tokyo-based game company : SEGA

Sega is a Japanese video game company headquartered in Tokyo. Sega actually started out 1940 in the US as Standard Games and was located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The owners moved the operation to Tokyo in 1951 and renamed the company to Service Games. The name “Sega” is a combination of the first two letters of the words “Se-rvice” and “Ga-mes”.

11. Email adornment : EMOTICON

An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face: 🙂

19. Siberian freeze-out? : NYET

The English word “no” translates into Russian as “nyet” and into German as “nein”.

Siberia is a vast area in Northern Asia. The region’s industrial development started with the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway from 1891 to 1916, which linked Siberia to Russia in the west.

21. Mottled equines : PINTOS

A pinto is a horse with patchy markings of white mixed with another color. “Pinto” means “painted” in American Spanish.

26. Crichton novel set in Africa : CONGO

“Congo” is a 1980 novel by Michael Crichton. It’s all about searching for diamonds in the dense rainforest of Congo. The novel was turned into a movie in 1995. I hear that the book is a lot better than the film …

28. Longboat in Florida, e.g. : KEY

Longboat Key is a barrier island and town along the central west coast of Florida. Longboat is considered to be part of the Sarasota metropolitan area.

34. Mazda two-seater : MIATA

The Mazda MX-5 is sold as the Miata in North America, and as the Roadster in Japan. I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan. The name “Miata” comes from an Old High German word meaning “reward”.

35. Hexapod worker : ANT

An insect is a six-legged arthropod, i.e. a hexapod.

38. Tibia : SHINBONE

The tibia is the shin bone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

40. Ham’s creation : RADIO SET

Amateur radio enthusiasts were first called “ham operators” by professional telegraph operators, and the term was intended to be insulting. It came from the similar term “ham actor”, describing a person who is less than effective on the stage. But amateur operators eventually embraced the moniker, and so it stuck.

45. Author Robert __ Butler : OLEN

Robert Olen Butler is an American writer of fiction. He won a Pulitzer in 1995 for his collection of short stories called “A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain”. Each of the stories in the book tells of a different Vietnamese immigrant living in Louisiana.

50. Castmate of Doohan and Nimoy : TAKEI

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

In the “Star Trek” series on television and in the movies, the colorful character named Scotty was played by the Canadian actor James Doohan. Doohan joined the Royal Canadian Artillery at the start of WWII, and participated in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. After surviving the landing, that same day Doohan was shot by one of his own men in a tragic mishap. Doohan was hit six times, with a bullet to his chest stopped by a silver cigarette case he was carrying. One of Doohan’s fingers was shot off in the incident. He managed to conceal that injury during his acting career.

Leonard Nimoy played the logical Mr. Spock in the original “Star Trek” television series. Spock has to be the most popular character on the show, and he kept popping up in “Star Trek” spin offs. Nimoy first worked alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk) in an episode of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (I loved that show as a kid!), with Nimoy playing a bad guy and Shatner playing an U.N.C.L.E. recruit.

53. Male on a pond : DRAKE

A male duck is a drake, and a female duck is a hen. That said, a female is sometimes just referred to as a duck!

54. View from Schönburg Castle : RHINE

The river running through Europe that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German, “Rhin” in French and “Rijn” in Dutch.

The Schönburg is a castle located in the Upper MIddle Rhine Valley above the medieval town of Oberwesel. The castle is named for the Schönburg noble family, as the Dukes of Schönburg ruled over Oberwesel from the 12th century.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Staples buys : PCS
4. Pooh-pooh, with “at” : SCOFF
9. Author Stieg Larsson, for one : SWEDE
14. Deduction cry : AHA!
15. “While I’ve got your attention … ” : OH, SAY …
16. Big name in seating : EAMES
17. Zip on a field : NIL
18. Passion for quilt filling? : BATTING LOVE (from “batting glove”)
20. Fall cause : TRIP
22. Not heard before : NEW
23. 1945 summit site : YALTA
24. Contest among bank customers? : SAVING RACE (from “saving grace”)
27. __ Road Ensemble, group initiated by Yo-Yo Ma : SILK
29. Portaged craft : CANOE
30. Needing no Rx : OTC
32. Stick in a hall : CUE
33. “The buck stops here” president : TRUMAN
36. Baloney : HOOEY
38. Segment of a clogging contest? : STOMPING ROUND (from “stomping ground”)
41. Jokhang Temple city : LHASA
42. Words spoken with one’s hand raised : A TOAST!
43. Corp. bailed out in 2008 : AIG
44. Auction set : LOT
46. Made hands of : DEALT
49. Swatting target : GNAT
51. Airline passenger’s arrival malady? : LANDING EAR (from “landing gear”)
55. Grass unit : BLADE
57. Yield from una mina : ORO
58. Laser-cut, perhaps : ETCH
59. Female observer? : LOOKING LASS (from “looking glass”)
62. __ jump : SKI
63. Unexpressed : INNER
64. Pulitzer poet Conrad __ : AIKEN
65. Work hard (for) : GUN
66. Aboveboard : LEGIT
67. Handle : SEE TO
68. Ajar, in verse : OPE
Down
1. Suit part : PANTS
2. Former French president : CHIRAC
3. DNA sample source : SALIVA
4. Sound with tears : SOB
5. Pitcher’s surprise : CHANGEUP
6. Kitchen brand : OSTER
7. Mufti issuance : FATWA
8. “Here’s the scoop” letters : FYI
9. Tokyo-based game company : SEGA
10. They’re thin at budget motels : WALLS
11. Email adornment : EMOTICON
12. Weakened, as currency : DEVALUED
13. Legal add-on : -ESE
19. Siberian freeze-out? : NYET
21. Mottled equines : PINTOS
25. Routine : NORMAL
26. Crichton novel set in Africa : CONGO
28. Longboat in Florida, e.g. : KEY
31. Singled out : CHOSEN
34. Mazda two-seater : MIATA
35. Hexapod worker : ANT
37. Cause of a blinking “12:00” : OUTAGE
38. Tibia : SHINBONE
39. Emulate a little brother, maybe : TAG ALONG
40. Ham’s creation : RADIO SET
41. Tarry : LAG
45. Author Robert __ Butler : OLEN
47. Unhands : LETS GO
48. Affix to a corkboard : TACK UP
50. Castmate of Doohan and Nimoy : TAKEI
52. “Cross my heart!” : NO LIE!
53. Male on a pond : DRAKE
54. View from Schönburg Castle : RHINE
56. Gossip : DIRT
59. Diminutive, diminutively : LI’L
60. Main delivery : GAS
61. Cold-sounding product prefix : SNO-

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27 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Aug 2018, Friday”

    1. I also have no idea what landing ear is, however when the puzzle gets too
      cute, too cryptic or nonsensical I resort to making a word out of that segment that fits in up and down. Sometimes it works better than my comprehension of the clue.
      Eddie

      1. @Eddiefromoverlook … I think you’ve touched on an extremely important skill here. Too often, people think of crosswords as tests of vocabulary and/or general knowledge in a bewildering variety of areas. But knowledge gets you only so far; nobody knows all the obscure things that can come up in a crossword puzzle. At the point where your knowledge base runs out, you need to be able to take advantage of a certain playful approach: if it sounds plausible and it fits, it just might be the correct answer! … 😜

      2. This indeed touches on something. Most of us don’t “know” all these entries, and I wouldn’t believe anyone if they did say they “knew” all of these things. There’s other tricks and things one learns to employ to figure out what the answers are.

    2. As a plane lands, air pressure in the cabin increases, resulting in pressure on the outside of each eardrum (which you can usually relieve by swallowing, causing the Eustachian tube to open up, increasing the pressure in the inner ear, on the other side of the eardrum).

  1. LAT: 12:05, no errors. Newsday: 16:17, no errors (but a little harder than usual, as befits a Friday). WSJ: 14:11, no errors, meta solved and submitted; gonna be a lot of correct entries for this one. Croce later.

    I spent all day yesterday in RMNP and bagged many elk (including one big bull), a pair of moose (dating, I think 😜), a raft of noisy ravens, an assortment of other birds, many mosquitos, a lone vole, and a beautiful falls in a valley that I’d never hiked in before. A good day, but now I’m playing catch-up, so I’m glad the puzzles were relatively easy … 😜.

      1. @Anonymous … I used to be what is called, here in Colorado, a ”peakbagger”, meaning roughly “one who attempts to climb (bag) all the peaks on a list” (like “all the 14,000-foot peaks in the state” or “the highest hundred peaks in the state”). At 75, I’m not the climber I was, but I can still go out, hike a few miles, and enjoy what I see. And I’m afraid that “bag” has become such an entrenched part of my slang vocabulary that I sometimes use it as a synonym for “see” or “photograph” or “experience”.

        I’d be curious to know what it is about the term that you object to. Perhaps it has a meaning of which I am blissfully unaware.

        1. @Dave
          Almost all of the people that do crosswords have left-leaning political beliefs. This extends to beliefs about ecology, which makes many of them PETA sympathizers (or anti-hunting / anti-death of any animal by the hand of man). More properly, using the term “bag” means that you killed whatever it is you talked about, as in “I went hunting and bagged a buck.” Most won’t even say the first, and the idea of what is said is understood if you just say “I bagged a buck.”

          So to many, what you wrote could be construed as pretty gruesome.

          1. @Anonymous … I think I’m the one who should apologize. I grew up in Iowa, with the same understanding of the word “bagging” as you. I long ago adopted different meanings of the word, but I should have realized how it would be interpreted by many. So … sorry about that … my bad … 😳

            In other news … I just completed today’s Tim Croce puzzle: 1:25:16, no errors; a pretty rough outing, with much use of that weird skill set mentioned in a previous posting.

  2. It must be nice to consider that this was an easy puzzle. Bill took the longest
    time I have seen him take, over 8 minutes. I think this is still amazing. I hate to even report our results; my wife and I only got about 40% in like 90 minutes.
    The clues were either too hard or too cute and I could not find much help from my dictionary, even with some pretty intense digging. All I can say is that we tried hard, we look forward to Monday and we hope we didn’t slide too far down in the “Super Seniors’ Division”. Maybe it should be the “Stupid Seniors”.
    Sour grapes, I know, but still fun. We won’t stop.

  3. Hang in there John! The more you do these, the more you get some of the crazy cluing and double meanings. Glad you’re a good sport about this! I found the puzzle to be a fun one. And ‘landing ear” I believe is that some people get ear pain when the plane drops in altitude.

  4. Found this puzzle quite fun for a Fri. Struggled at first and had “dish” instead of “dirt”, so the SW took me a long time to fix. One of my best Fri. solves however.

    John: I agree with Heidi that you should hang in there. We are all at different levels on this blog, so there’s room for everyone. Plus look at all your new friends!

  5. Flunked this one.

    Like @Daigle, I look forward to Monday. Sometimes Sunday is actually easier, just bigger.

  6. 22:03. I leaned on the them a lot. I worked on this puzzle for 5 or 6 minutes and went nowhere. I then realized I was absolutely exhausted from a long but very productive week. I meant to close my eyes for a few minutes but fell asleep for about an hour. Newly refreshed, the puzzle finished itself quickly after that. Your state of mind plays a big part in performance of these puzzles.

    I’ve been on a couple of thousand flights in the last 20 years or so. I’ve found that swallowing helps when the ambient pressure decreases as in an ascent in an airplane. In a descent when the ambient pressure increases, your ears need to be “blown open” if they are hurting. This can be accomplished best (IMHO) by holding your nose and trying to blow out of them. Your ears will open up and equalize your inner ear to the now increased ambient pressure.

    For whatever reason, this seldom happens to me anymore. Maybe I blew my brains out years ago and never knew it. I usually only get LANDING EAR (is that really the word for it?) when I’m flying with a cold or something.

    Interesting posts today. Having been born in Missouri, my favorite quote from today was Dave’s ” I think I’m the one who should apologize. I grew up in Iowa”….albeit out of context, I found that word string amusing….

    All that said, I’m about to go BAG (see) some bourbon, and then BAG (shoot) it… 🙂

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … I bag your pardon!!! And what’s so funny about apologizing for growing up in Iowa, I ask you? … 😜

      Actually, I have a sister in Missouri, so I’ve visited there a few times now. Nice state … if you like that sort of thing … 😜 … but I couldn’t live in the Midwest now.

  7. I too, had a tough time with this puzzle – but finally completed almost all of it.
    Unlike John above, I keep no statistics , but I am always happy. I got all of the long answers, despite the fact that some of them probably made no sense.

    You’re right …. you should have a playful attitude …. it is not the end of the world if you cant solve the puzzle.

    Have a nice day, all.

  8. Jeff, I’m glad I read your comment – that made me feel so much better.

    I had got that same advice of equalizing the ear air pressure — from a seasoned pilot, years ago. I have always tried it out, and it works 50 percent of the time. !@#!! … and I can’t remember which 50 percent …

    I did have a landing ear, once, when I fell out of my chair onto the aisle, during a plane landing ….. and landed on my ……. ear. I also got a earful from the air hostess, on top of all that —– for not tying my seat properly.!!!
    (Believe it …or not ….)

  9. Nice fun Friday; took about 45 minutes with no errors, but with a lot of near misses.

    Had to change Sony to SEGA, ATteST to ATOAST and TACKon. Needed to use the theme to get a few answers, as well as a lot of crosses.

    I used to get Landing Ear, but I either get some gum or yawn and move my jaw around and it dissipates pretty quickly.

    Also, way to go John and wife! It’ll take a bit of time, but you’ll gradually pick up the crosswordese that’ll allow you to fill in a lot space right away. Then educated guesses will help fill in some more and pretty soon your going to be finishing the harder puzzles.

  10. Greetings, amigos!! 🙃
    No errors on a fun Friday, tho I did have several missteps. Like Kay, I had DISH before DIRT. Got the theme early on, but for some reason I initially put CHOMPING instead of STOMPING!!! 😀 Was I hungry at that moment or what?!

    Dave, I like your turn of phrase “raft of ravens,” and it got me wondering what a group of ravens is called! Googled it: its called an unkindness, a congress, or a conspiracy. !!! Love that! 😄 So, apparently that’s what you saw.

    My fave of such terms is a “murder of crows.”

    Here’s what I’m wondering, tho: What’s the name for these collective nouns, anyway?? A school of fish, a flock of sheep…. maybe I can get help from Google on that, too.

    Here’s a parliament of owls: 🦉🦉🦉🦉

    Be well ~~🐧🦅🦆

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