LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Crackers Animals

Themed answers are common words that have been split in two and reinterpreted as varying types of creatures:

  • 17A. Alien reptile in “Avatar”? : NA’VI GATOR (looks like “navigator”)
  • 42A. Pest that’s gotten into the cheese? : BRIE FLY (looks like “briefly”)
  • 68A. Long-eared mascot of an L.A. newspaper? : TIMES HARE (looks like “timeshare”)
  • 11D. Tiny insect that casts spells? : COVEN ANT (looks like “covenant”)
  • 41D. One of a group of feline predators? : GANG LION (looks like “ganglion”)

Bill’s time: 12m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Amendment dealing with states’ rights : TENTH

The Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution deals with the relationship between the federal government and the states of the union. The gist of the amendment, as I understand it, is that the federal government possesses only those powers specifically called out in the Constitution, and all remaining powers belong to the state or to the people.

9. Longtime Wall Street name : SACHS

The investment banking firm of Goldman Sachs was founded in New York in 1869 by Marcus Goldman. Samuel Sachs joined the firm in 1882, the same year that he married Louisa Goldman, Marcus’s daughter. The name “Goldman Sachs” was adopted by the firm in 1885. Goldman Sachs made out like bandits during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08 as the company actually short-sold subprime mortgage bonds. As the price of the bonds nose-dived, Goldman Sachs made huge profits.

14. Spanish month : ENERO

In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

15. Draft pick : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

16. Outfielder Mike who finished first (twice) or second (three times) in 2012-2016 A.L. MVP voting : TROUT

Mike Trout plays baseball for the Los Angeles Angels. Trout’s nickname is “the Millville Meteor”, as he grew up in Millville, New Jersey.

17. Alien reptile in “Avatar”? : NA’VI GATOR (looks like “navigator”)

In James Cameron’s epic “Avatar”, the “blue people” are the Na’vi, the indigenous species that lives on the lush moon called Pandora. The main Na’vi character featuring in the film is the female Neytiri. According to Cameron, Neytiri was inspired by the Raquel Welch character in the movie “Fantastic Voyage” and the comic book character Vampirella.

19. Snake, e.g. : RIVER

The Snake River in the US northwest is the largest tributary of the Columbia River. The Snake River carved out the magnificent Hells Canyon, which is North America’s deepest river gorge.

20. Racks up : AMASSES

The verb “to rack up”, meaning “to accumulate”, first appeared in print in 1943, in “Billboard”. It’s likely that the term comes from the system of scoring points in pool halls.

24. “Bad Moon Rising” band, initially : CCR

Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) was a rock band from San Francisco that played in a Southern rock style, with hits such as “Proud Mary”, “Bad Moon Rising”, “Down on the Corner” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain”.

“Bad Moon Rising” is a song recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Written by band member John Fogerty, the song was inspired by the composer watching the hurricane scene in the movie “The Devil and Daniel Webster”.

34. TV schedule abbr. : TBA

Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

42. Pest that’s gotten into the cheese? : BRIE FLY (looks like “briefly”)

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert.

44. Castilian kin : TIO

In Spanish, a “tio” (uncle) is the “hermano del padre o de la madre” (brother of the father or the mother).

The Kingdom of Castile was one seven medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. The name comes from the large number of castles that were built across the kingdom.

45. GP gp. : AMA

American Medical Association (AMA)

46. Mex. miss : SRTA

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

49. Brass component : ZINC

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Compare this with bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Brass and bronze are often mistaken for each other.

53. Slate et al., for short : E-MAGS

“Slate” is an online magazine that was founded in 1996. “Slate” was originally owned by Microsoft and was part of the MSN online offering. The magazine has been available for free since 1999 (it is ad-supported) and has been owned by the Washington Post Company since 2004.

57. Merchant ship flotilla : ARGOSY

A large merchant ship might be referred to as an “argosy”, especially if it carries a rich cargo. The term comes from the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, which lies on the Adriatic coast. Once called Ragusa (“Arragosa” in English), the city was the departure point for ships laden with goods imported into 16th-century Britain.

62. Sprite flavor : LEMON

Sprite is Coca-Cola’s answer to the very successful soft drink called 7 Up. Sprite was introduced in 1961, and Coca-Cola used its muscle to topple 7 Up from its dominant position in the market. Sprite has been the number-one selling lemon-lime soda since 1978.

66. North African site of a 1943 conference : CAIRO

The Cairo Conference was a 1943 meeting held between the leaders of the US, the UK and the Republic of China, i.e. Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek. Held at a residence belonging to the US Ambassador to Egypt, the conference was intended to coordinate strategy against Japan during WWII, and to discuss the makeup of post-war Asia. Roosevelt and Churchill moved on to Tehran, Iran for the Tehran Conference with Joseph Stalin that was held two days later.

68. Long-eared mascot of an L.A. newspaper? : TIMES HARE (looks like “timeshare”)

The “Los Angeles Times” newspaper started out life in 1881 as the “Los Angeles Daily Times”. The paper has a turbulent history, especially in the early 1900s when management and unions were at loggerheads. In 1910, two union members bombed the “Los Angeles Times” building causing a fire that killed 21 newspaper employees.

Hares belong to the genus Lepus, and young hares under one-year-old are called leverets.

71. “We’ve exceeded seating capacity” sign : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

73. Chief Justice after Marshall : TANEY

Roger B. Taney was Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court from 1836 until 1864 (when he passed away). Taney’s most notable decision was in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, in which he delivered the majority opinion that African Americans could not be considered citizens of the US. Taney was the second-longest serving Chief Justice (Chief Justice John Marshall served for 34 years, from 1801 to 1835).

John Marshall was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835. Just before joining the court, Marshall served as secretary of state in the administration of President John Adams. On the bench for over 34 years, Marshall is the longest-serving chief justice in the nation’s history.

74. It’s big in London : BEN

Big Ben is the name commonly used for the large bell in the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster (aka the Houses of Parliament). Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of the nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who oversaw the bell’s installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day Benjamin Caunt. Big Ben fell silent in 2017 to make way four years of maintenance and repair work to the clock’s mechanism and the tower.

Down

3. Area 51 locale : NEVADA

The famed Area 51 is a remote base in the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range. There’s no question that Area 51 is an unusual base in that frontline operational units are not deployed there. It seems that it is used for developing and testing new and classified weapons facilities for the US Military and other US agencies like the CIA. The government did not even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 1995, and this official position fueled a theory that the base is home to UFOs that landed on Earth.

6. Lawn gnomes, e.g. : KITSCH

“Kitsch” is a German word, and is an adjective that means “gaudy, trash”.

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable. We now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

7. Snapchat had one in Mar. 2017 : IPO

Snapchat is a messaging system that allows users to send photos and video clips to a limited list of recipients. The photos and clips, called “snaps”, can be viewed for only a few seconds before they are deleted from the recipient’s device, and from the Snapchat servers.

8. Poi source : TARO

I am a big fan of starch (being an Irishman I love potatoes). That said, I think that poi tastes horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant by cooking the corm in water and mashing it until the desired consistency is achieved.

9. Antibiotic target : STREP

Streptococcus bacteria multiply and divide along a single axis so that they form linked chains. That behavior gives the genus of bacteria its name, as “streptos” is Greek for “easily twisted, like a chain”. I had to battle with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) twice in the past few years and it was not at all pleasant, I must say. Another species of streptococcus is responsible for that terrible “flesh-eating” infection that makes the news from time to time.

11. Tiny insect that casts spells? : COVEN ANT (looks like “covenant”)

“Coven” is an old Scottish word meaning simply “gathering”. The first known application of the word to witchcraft came during the trial of a Scotswoman in 1662 accused of being a witch. At that time, “coven” came to mean a group of 13 witches.

13. Orch. section : STR

A orchestra (orch.) has a string (str.) section.

18. Old nuclear agcy. : AEC

The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was set up right after WWII in 1946, with the aim of promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy. Establishing the AEC was a significant move made by President Truman, as it passed control of atomic energy from the military to the civilian sector. The AEC continued to operate until 1974 when its functions were divided up into two new agencies: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Energy Research and Development Administration (NRDA). The NRDA was merged with the Federal Energy Administration in 1977 to form the Department of Energy.

25. Promising : ROSEATE

Something roseate is rose-colored, as in the idiomatic phrase “rose-colored glasses”. It is from this phrase that we get the usage of “roseate” to refer to someone who is optimistic, perhaps overly so.

27. Wells race : ELOI

In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

32. Brownie, in folklore : ELF

A brownie is an elfin figure in Scottish and English folklore. Brownies are purported to live in houses, helping with work around the house, but only at night when they can’t be seen. Believers might leave small items of food for the brownies, to encourage them to help out.

35. Dry gulch : ARROYO

An arroyo is a small stream, or more often, a dry riverbed.

37. Rubber in a boot? : TYRE

Here’s another example of terms that change as we cross the Atlantic Ocean. When talking about tires (“tyres” in Britain and Ireland), a defect can cause a “flat” (“puncture” in Britain and Ireland).

In North America we use the word “trunk” for the storage space in the back of a vehicle as that space is reminiscent of the large travelling chest called a “trunk”. Such trunks used to be lashed onto the back of automobiles before storage was integrated. On the other side of the Atlantic, a trunk is known as a “boot”. The original boot was a built-in storage compartment on a horse-drawn carriage on which a coachman would sit.

39. __ Strip : GAZA

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

40. “The Kite Runner” boy : AMIR

“The Kite Runner” was the first novel by Khaled Hosseini, published in 2003. The very successful book became an equally successful film released in 2007. “The Kite Runner” tells the story of a young boy called Amir growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hosseini is a medical doctor, but after the success of “The Kite Runner” he gave up his practice and is now a fulltime write. His second book “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is also a great success.

41. One of a group of feline predators? : GANG LION (looks like “ganglion”)

A ganglion is a cluster of nerve cells in the body external to the brain or spinal cord.

52. Mark of “NCIS” : HARMON

Actor Mark Harmon is best known today for playing the lead in the drama show “NCIS”. Harmon played a similar character for several episodes on “The West Wing”. Mark is the son of a football star Tom Harmon, and was the brother-in-law of rock and roll star Ricky Nelson and automotive executive John DeLorean (through his sisters). Harmon has been married since 1987 to actress Pam Dawber, who played the female title role on “Mork & Mindy”.

54. Do the Wright thing? : AVIATE

The Wright Flyer was the first heavier-than-air powered aircraft. It was used by the Wright Brothers to make the series of famous flights in 1903 at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina. As a result, the Wright Flyer appears on North Carolina’s state quarter. The same plane also appears on Ohio’s state quarter, as the brothers developed and built the Wright Flyer in Dayton, Ohio.

58. Idaho’s __ Mountains : SMOKY

Idaho’s Smoky Mountains are part of the Rockies. The Smoky Mountains were named for the many forest fires that broke out in the range over the years.

60. Fluke-to-be : ROE

A fluke is a type of flatfish, one often referred to as a “summer flounder”.

63. Black-box analyzers: Abbr. : NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for the investigation of major accidents involving transportation. Included in this broad definition is the transportation of fluids in pipelines. The organization is independent in that it has no ties to other government agencies or departments so that its investigations can be viewed as “impartial”. The NTSB also earns a little money for the US as it hires out its investigation teams to countries who don’t have the necessary resources available on their own soil.

In the aviation industry, a black box is an audio or data recorder installed in an aircraft as an aid in the event that an accident investigation is necessary. The “black” box is actually bright orange, so that it is easier to find after an accident.

65. Camp Pendleton letters : USMC

Camp Pendleton is a large Marine Corps base located on the Southern California coast in San Diego County. The base was opened during WWII, in 1942, and was named for Marine Corps Major General Joseph Henry Pendleton, who passed away that same year after 40 years of service.

66. K.C. hours : CST

Central Standard Time (CST)

The Kansas City (KC) metropolitan area straddles the stateline between Kansas and Missouri. The metropolitan area includes several cities, with the largest being (in order):

  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Independence, Missouri

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Amendment dealing with states’ rights : TENTH
6. Hobby shop buy : KIT
9. Longtime Wall Street name : SACHS
14. Spanish month : ENERO
15. Draft pick : IPA
16. Outfielder Mike who finished first (twice) or second (three times) in 2012-2016 A.L. MVP voting : TROUT
17. Alien reptile in “Avatar”? : NAVI GATOR (looks like “navigator”)
19. Snake, e.g. : RIVER
20. Racks up : AMASSES
21. Corpulent : OBESE
23. Connecting point : NODE
24. “Bad Moon Rising” band, initially : CCR
26. First of a series : OPENER
29. Small amount : TRACE
31. Worked the soil : HOED
33. Shopper stopper? : SALE
34. TV schedule abbr. : TBA
36. Buttonhole, say : SLIT
38. Affirmative action : NOD
39. Bit of horseplay : GAG
42. Pest that’s gotten into the cheese? : BRIE FLY (looks like “briefly”)
44. Castilian kin : TIO
45. GP gp. : AMA
46. Mex. miss : SRTA
47. Jr. and sr. : YRS
49. Brass component : ZINC
51. Bit of swearing : OATH
53. Slate et al., for short : E-MAGS
57. Merchant ship flotilla : ARGOSY
59. Ring bearer : EAR
61. Baker : OVEN
62. Sprite flavor : LEMON
64. Stage bit : ROUTINE
66. North African site of a 1943 conference : CAIRO
68. Long-eared mascot of an L.A. newspaper? : TIMES HARE (looks like “timeshare”)
70. Stun : SHOCK
71. “We’ve exceeded seating capacity” sign : SRO
72. Gauge : METER
73. Chief Justice after Marshall : TANEY
74. It’s big in London : BEN
75. Salad green : CRESS

Down

1. Letter? : TENANT
2. Captivate : ENAMOR
3. Area 51 locale : NEVADA
4. Cut into three equal parts : TRISECT
5. Keeps to oneself : HOGS
6. Lawn gnomes, e.g. : KITSCH
7. Snapchat had one in Mar. 2017 : IPO
8. Poi source : TARO
9. Antibiotic target : STREP
10. Crops up : ARISES
11. Tiny insect that casts spells? : COVEN ANT (looks like “covenant”)
12. Peach, e.g. : HUE
13. Orch. section : STR
18. Old nuclear agcy. : AEC
22. __ harm : BODILY
25. Promising : ROSEATE
27. Wells race : ELOI
28. Make over : REDO
30. Drops off : EBBS
32. Brownie, in folklore : ELF
35. Dry gulch : ARROYO
37. Rubber in a boot? : TYRE
39. __ Strip : GAZA
40. “The Kite Runner” boy : AMIR
41. One of a group of feline predators? : GANG LION (looks like “ganglion”)
43. “Give __ rest!” : IT A
48. Overwhelm : SMOTHER
50. Strong-arm : COERCE
52. Mark of “NCIS” : HARMON
54. Do the Wright thing? : AVIATE
55. Types : GENRES
56. Nasty smiles : SNEERS
58. Idaho’s __ Mountains : SMOKY
60. Fluke-to-be : ROE
63. Black-box analyzers: Abbr. : NTSB
65. Camp Pendleton letters : USMC
66. K.C. hours : CST
67. “Caught you!” : AHA!
69. Rage : IRE

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17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 2018, Friday”

  1. Was not sure that I had 73 across until I came here just now. I kept thinking that Smoky could not be correct for the Idaho mountain range.

    1. IMHO, this is a progression of the word,’to let’ … thus to rent or lease.
      Thus, a Lettee would be one who lets, or leases , or rents … or the Leasor … thus the owner. or his agent.
      A Letter, would be one who is using the rental property, like a leasee or renter, or a tenant.

      Thus, more like a mortgagor ( owner) and the mortgagee ( the bank).
      Hope this helps.
      For what its worth, I was also not familiar with this term …

  2. My usual 35 min. My unusual no errors on a NYT and LAT Friday puzzles. Something to keep bringing you back.
    Had armada for argosy but worked it out

  3. LAT: 24 minutes, no errors. Started off I thought very easy in upper left (NW) corner, but turned into a clever little puzzle. Really enjoyed it.

  4. Not doing today’s puzzle until tomorrow on the plane. I’m taking my annual trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic tomorrow, and I’m saving the puzzle for the flight(s). 3.5 hours Las Vegas-Atlanta then 3.5 hours Atlanta-Punta Cana with 3 hours in Atlanta’s airport. Yuck. Love being there, but getting there…not so much. Returning next Saturday night. I may post if I get to a puzzle or two while there. We’ll see.

    Dave – have fun in England…..finally.

    Best –

  5. I am aware of a letter, Carrie wrote some weeks ago, about the plural groups of strange and exotic animal group (‘like a covey of pheasants etc.)
    Yesterday, I came across this web site that Carrie may or may not have read. The article on groups of various animals and birds, is well written. It may be interesting for some of you others, as well.

    Enjoy.

    Personally, I would be just as happy with a stirfry of shrimp, a soup of turtles and a steaming of crablegs …..

  6. I had a generally tough time with today’s puzzle – and it is with great difficulty I managed to complete it at all. The puns were difficult, but delightful to behold, and some of the answers were a mystery, even after they had been solved…

    I finally figured out ‘letter’ as one who is taking advantage of the “letting” … and the word Roseate – though I am familiar with a red facial disfigurement called rosacea ( a form of acne type serious skin problem – ) ..
    I have also seen a ganglion cyst, a relatively benign growth on wrists and / or fingers. Of course, that meaning was irrelevant to the crossword clue … For a moment, I was confused between a ganglion and an ant lion, which is a voracious tiny ant predator.

    Not familiar with Na’vi gators since I’ve never watched Avatar, despite many opportunities to do so.

    Have a nice day, folks and a great weekend.
    Be safe in your various travels.

  7. Made most of the mistakes that everyone else did. I did get the theme clues, strangely enough. What I didn’t get was ELOI. The Time Machine, book and movie, were among my favorites in my sci-fi period. The 1960 movie with Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux was outstanding. The Big Bang Theory once featured Leonard purchasing the machine from the movie. Just didn’t get the pun.

  8. Had a very easy time with this Friday; took 24 minutes with no errors, although I took a lot of double takes.

    Needed a lot of crosses and didn’t know TANEY, NAVIGATOR or ARGOSY. Also, I always have trouble with the SACHS spelling – Saks… Thanks for the TENANT explanation, which now makes sense. Still, the puzzle just kinda filled itself in, with lots of familiar crosswordese.

  9. Hi gang!! 🙃
    No errors!! I’m surprised I finished this. Most of the puzzle went smoothly but I got REALLY stuck on that West coast: couldn’t come up with GAZA for what seemed like forever, and didn’t know AMIR even tho I’m sure he’s shown up in other puzzles. 😞 Also, for the group of felines I initially put CAT-EGORY, and I thought myself pretty clever til it became clear that I WASN’T!!
    Vidwan, thanks for that link! I like your suggestions too…😊
    Jeff, have fun and travel safely!
    Be well ~~🦉

  10. Back from a great two-week trip to Norway and beginning the process of getting caught up with all the puzzles that I missed while I was gone …

    LAT: 11:56, no errors. WSJ: 20:31, no errors; it’s much too late to submit an answer for the meta, but I may think about it a bit tomorrow, anyway. Tim Croce: 1:18:30, no errors; typical (great) puzzle from him.

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