LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Aug 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Running Gag

Themed answers include the hidden word GAG. That GAG RUNS from left to right as we move down the grid:

  • 54A. Joke used repeatedly … and aptly found in 19-, 26-, 38-, 46- and 54-Across : RUNNING GAG
    • 19A. Kontinental Hockey League trophy named for an astronaut : GAGARIN CUP
    • 26A. Airport area with carousels : BAGGAGE CLAIM
    • 38A. Planning to wed : ENGAGED
    • 46A. One arranging gigs : BOOKING AGENT

    Bill’s time: 7m 29s

    Bill’s errors: 0

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    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    5. Body wrap spot : SPA

    The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

    13. Jaunty tune : LILT

    Our words “jaunty” and “genteel” are related in that they both derive from the French “gentil” meaning “nice, pleasing”. In modern usage, someone described as jaunty has a buoyant air. Someone described as genteel is refined in manner.

    14. Like a dotted note, in mus. : STAC

    Staccato is a musical direction signifying that notes should be played in a disconnected form. The opposite of staccato would be legato, indicating long and continuous notes played very smoothly.

    17. Ending with Wal : -MART

    Walmart (previously “Wal-Mart”) takes in more revenue than any other publicly traded company in the world. Over in my homeland, Walmart operates under the name Asda. Walmart’s worldwide headquarters are in Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Sam Walton’s original Five and Dime. You can actually go into the original store, as it is now the Walmart Visitor Center.

    18. High-calorie cake : TORTE

    A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

    19. Kontinental Hockey League trophy named for an astronaut : GAGARIN CUP

    The winners of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League playoffs are awarded the Gagarin Cup. Named for cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the trophy was first awarded in 2008.

    The Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space when his spacecraft Vostok I made a single orbit of the Earth in 1961. Sadly, Gagarin died only seven years later in a plane crash.

    22. Wrangler maker : JEEP

    Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler is a direct descendent of the military “Jeep” vehicle that was heavily relied on during WWII.

    23. Homer’s neighbor : NED

    Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

    26. Airport area with carousels : BAGGAGE CLAIM

    Apparently, the baggage carousel was developed by a French company. The first installation was in Paris Orly Airport in the 1950s.

    31. Pulitzer-winning author James : AGEE

    James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

    44. Part of pewter : TIN

    Pewter is a relatively soft alloy that is made up mostly of tin, with some copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.

    45. Olympian warmonger : ARES

    The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

    50. 1965 Yardbirds hit : I’M A MAN

    “I’m a Man” is a 1955 song written and recorded by Bo Diddley. The most famous cover version of the song was released in 1965 by English rock band the Yardbirds.

    The Yardbirds are a rock band that was very big in the sixties. They disbanded in 1968, but reformed in 1992 and are still going strong today. One of the groups most famous hits was “For Your Love”, and playing on the original recording of that song was band member Eric Clapton. Clapton left the Yardbirds soon afterwards, having gained his initial foothold in the world of rock music.

    52. Corrosive substance : LYE

    What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

    60. “The Kiss” sculptor : RODIN

    “The Kiss” is a beautiful sculpture created in 1889 by Auguste Rodin. I’ve had the privilege of standing beside a large, life-size marble version of the work on a few occasions in the Rodin Museum, my favorite of all museums in Paris. The Musée Rodin is very special in that the building and garden that hold all of the works were Rodin’s actual home and studio. Well worth a visit if you make it to Paris …

    62. Old Royale 8’s : REOS

    The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

    63. Jessica of “Dark Angel” : ALBA

    Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that, Alba acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child.

    “Dark Angel” is a sci-fi series that ran from 2000 to 2002, and gave the star Jessica Alba her big break as an actress. Alba plays a genetically-enhanced super-soldier in post-apocalyptic Seattle. The show is a creation of celebrated producer and director James Cameron.

    64. “Ready Player One” novelist Ernest : CLINE

    Writer Ernest Cline is best known for his science-fiction novels “Ready Player One” (2011) and “Armada” (2015). Cline also co-wrote the screenplay for a movie adaptation of “Ready Player One” that was directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 2018.

    67. Missouri River tributary : OSAGE

    Much of the Osage River in Missouri is now taken up by two large reservoirs created behind two dams that provide power for St. Louis and the surrounding area. The two reservoirs are the Truman Reservoir and the Lake of the Ozarks.

    69. Eye woe : STYE

    A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

    Down

    1. Paperless journal : BLOG

    Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more correctly it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

    2. “Radames’ Letter” musical : AIDA

    The rock musical “Aida” is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s original opera. It premiered in 1998 and is still performed today. Music is by Elton John and lyrics are by Tim Rice.

    5. Getz of jazz : STAN

    Stan Getz was a jazz saxophonist. Getz’s playing style earned him the nickname “The Sound”.

    6. Pique-nique place : PARC

    Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable potluck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

    7. Bona fide : ACTUAL

    “Bona fide(s)” translates from the Latin as “in good faith”, and is used to indicate honest intentions. It can also mean that something is authentic, like a piece of art that is represented in good faith as being genuine.

    8. One way to stand : PAT

    To stand pat is to resist change. The term comes from the game of poker, in which one stands pat if one keeps one’s hand as is, not drawing any extra cards.

    9. WWII flag-raising island : IWO JIMA

    Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

    The Pulitzer-winning photograph “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” was taken in 1945 by photographer Joe Rosenthal. The image was used for Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, DC that was dedicated in 1954.

    11. Big name in makeup : ESTEE

    Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

    12. Smith of Fox News : SHEP

    Shep Smith is a television journalist and host with Fox News. Smith has been hosting “Shepard Smith Reporting” on Fox since 2013.

    14. Wee bit : SMIDGEN

    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”.

    20. Stephen of “Counterpart” : REA

    Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

    “Counterpart” is a sci-fi TV show starring J. K. Simmons in a dual role, playing a character that exists in two parallel worlds. I haven’t seen this show yet, and it does look interesting …

    21. “Don’t text and drive” ad, e.g. : PSA

    Public service announcement (PSA)

    25. Mottled : PIED

    Something described as pied is patchy or blotchy in color, piebald. The term comes from the Middle English “pie”, an old name for the magpie, and is a reference to the bird’s black and white plumage.

    26. Enjoy the sun : BASK

    Our verb “to bask”, meaning “to expose one to pleasant warmth”, is derived from the gruesome, 14th-century term “basken”, meaning “to wallow in blood”. The contemporary usage apparently originated with Shakespeare, who employed “bask” with reference to sunshine in “As You Like It”.

    28. Heredity unit : GENE

    Genetic variation is a fundamental behind the process of natural selection. Genetic variation is the result of mutations occurring in genes. If a mutation results in an individual that is more fit for survival, then the principle of “survival of the fittest” makes is more likely that the individual will mate. The mutation can then be passed onto offspring.

    29. Albumen container : EGG

    “Albumen” is the technical name for egg white.

    30. Tropical raccoon relative : COATI

    A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

    35. Garden in a Sistine Chapel mural : EDEN

    The Sistine Chapel, in the Pope’s residence in Rome, takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV who was responsible for restoring the old Capella Magna in the 15th century. It was about a century later (1508-1512) that Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel under the patronage of Pope Julius II.

    38. Genesis kingdom : EDOM

    Edom was an ancient Iron Age kingdom located in the south of modern-day Jordan. The area is known for its red-colored sandstone, which gave the kingdom its name. According to the Bible, the Edomites were the descendants of Esau. “Edom” translates from Hebrew as “red”, and was the name given to Esau when he ate the “red pottage”.

    39. Gimlet liquor : GIN

    A gimlet is a relatively simple cocktail that is traditionally made using just gin and lime juice. The trend in more recent times is to replace the gin with vodka.

    40. World’s third-most spoken language : ENGLISH

    Here’s a list of the six most spoken languages in the world, in order:

    1. Chinese
    2. Spanish
    3. English
    4. Hindi
    5. Arabic
    6. Portuguese

    47. Dinghy implement : OAR

    Our word “dinghy” comes from the Hindi “dingi”, a word “small boat”.

    49. “We the Living” writer Rand : AYN

    “We the Living” is the first novel by the author Ayn Rand, and was published in 1936.

    51. __ blitz : MEDIA

    “Blitz”, as it is used in English, means a fast-moving and overwhelming attack. It is a shortened version of the German word “blitzkrieg”. The blitzkrieg was a tactic used by Germany running up to and during WWII. In the original German blitzkrieg, the army and air-force threw everything into a rapid penetration of enemy lines without stopping to reinforce its flanks. The word “blitz” means “lightning” (and “krieg” means “war”).

    53. West Coast gas brand : ARCO

    The company name “ARCO” stands for the Atlantic Richfield Company. One of ARCO’s claims to fame is that it is responsible for the nation’s largest Superfund site. Mining and smelting in the area around Butte, Montana polluted the region’s water and soil, and ARCO have agreed to pay $187 million to help clean up the area.

    55. Twice-monthly tide : NEAP

    Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

    59. Powerful wind : GALE

    A gale is a very strong wind, a wind that is defined by Beaufort wind scale as a wind with speeds from 50 to just over 100 kilometers per hour.

    61. Name change indicator : NEE

    “Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

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    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1. Game fish : BASS
    5. Body wrap spot : SPA
    8. Clams up, with “down” : PIPES
    13. Jaunty tune : LILT
    14. Like a dotted note, in mus. : STAC
    15. Overflowing (with) : AWASH
    16. Sign of spoilage : ODOR
    17. Ending with Wal : -MART
    18. High-calorie cake : TORTE
    19. Kontinental Hockey League trophy named for an astronaut : GAGARIN CUP
    22. Wrangler maker : JEEP
    23. Homer’s neighbor : NED
    24. Have grand plans : ASPIRE
    26. Airport area with carousels : BAGGAGE CLAIM
    31. Pulitzer-winning author James : AGEE
    32. One of a clashing pair, perhaps : EGO
    33. Gobbled up : EATEN
    37. Moral misstep : SIN
    38. Planning to wed : ENGAGED
    41. Glorifying homage : ODE
    42. Do a bakery job : KNEAD
    44. Part of pewter : TIN
    45. Olympian warmonger : ARES
    46. One arranging gigs : BOOKING AGENT
    50. 1965 Yardbirds hit : I’M A MAN
    52. Corrosive substance : LYE
    53. Fruity beverages : ADES
    54. Joke used repeatedly … and aptly found in 19-, 26-, 38-, 46- and 54-Across : RUNNING GAG
    60. “The Kiss” sculptor : RODIN
    62. Old Royale 8’s : REOS
    63. Jessica of “Dark Angel” : ALBA
    64. “Ready Player One” novelist Ernest : CLINE
    65. Eye protector : LASH
    66. Clout : PULL
    67. Missouri River tributary : OSAGE
    68. Seeker of intel : SPY
    69. Eye woe : STYE

    Down

    1. Paperless journal : BLOG
    2. “Radames’ Letter” musical : AIDA
    3. Trudge (through) : SLOG
    4. Off-the-wall : STRANGE
    5. Getz of jazz : STAN
    6. Pique-nique place : PARC
    7. Bona fide : ACTUAL
    8. One way to stand : PAT
    9. WWII flag-raising island : IWO JIMA
    10. Peeling gadget : PARER
    11. Big name in makeup : ESTEE
    12. Smith of Fox News : SHEP
    14. Wee bit : SMIDGEN
    20. Stephen of “Counterpart” : REA
    21. “Don’t text and drive” ad, e.g. : PSA
    25. Mottled : PIED
    26. Enjoy the sun : BASK
    27. Feudin’ with : AGIN
    28. Heredity unit : GENE
    29. Albumen container : EGG
    30. Tropical raccoon relative : COATI
    34. Zoomed : TORE
    35. Garden in a Sistine Chapel mural : EDEN
    36. Source of some tweets : NEST
    38. Genesis kingdom : EDOM
    39. Gimlet liquor : GIN
    40. World’s third-most spoken language : ENGLISH
    43. Belittling : ABASING
    45. Inevitable generational differences : AGE GAPS
    47. Dinghy implement : OAR
    48. Small knobs : KNURLS
    49. “We the Living” writer Rand : AYN
    50. Megastars : IDOLS
    51. __ blitz : MEDIA
    53. West Coast gas brand : ARCO
    55. Twice-monthly tide : NEAP
    56. Prone to prying : NOSY
    57. Market surplus : GLUT
    58. With skill : ABLY
    59. Powerful wind : GALE
    61. Name change indicator : NEE

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    19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Aug 2018, Wednesday”

    1. LAT: 7:59, 1 error after looking at 2 squares for about 2 minutes or so, and getting 1/2 on guessing. WSJ: 5:21, no errors. Surprising, in a way. Got the MMM meta right.

    2. The clue for 52 across on Wednesday Aug 8th is corrosive substance with lye being the answer. However lye is a caustic substance with a pH of 12-13 while corrosive substances are acids with a pH of 1- 2. Being a science teacher it bothers me that these two are mixed up. I have seen it more than once in crossword puzzles and it really should be correct.

      1. @Kathy …

        When I Google “define corrosive”, I am told that it is an adjective meaning “tending to cause corrosion” and the synonyms given for it are “caustic, corroding, erosive, abrasive, burning, [and] stinging”.

        Also, the MSDS Hyper Glossary tells me this:

        “A corrosive material is a highly reactive substance that causes obvious damage to living tissue. Corrosives act either directly, by chemically destroying the part (oxidation), or indirectly by causing inflammation.”

        and this:

        “Acids and bases are common corrosive materials. Corrosives such as these are also sometimes referred to as caustics.”

        and this:

        “Typical examples of acidic corrosives are hydrochloric (muriatic) acid and sulfuric acid. Typical examples of basic corrosives are sodium hydroxide and lye.”

        So it seems to me that the setters have reason to use the clue “Corrosive substance” in the way that they do.

    3. Googled for KNURLS. I knew KNURLS as the etching around knobs to allow for gripping, but learned this meaning.
      Had EDen before EDOM, but EDEN got its chance elsewhere in the grid.
      Got but did not know IM A MAN (husband knew it, as he knows all old rock), REOS, CLINE, or SHEP. Love that perpendiculars work most of the time.

      1. This is a dictionary definition of the past tense verb form of “tear” – or “tore”. – “to move powerfully or swiftly”. The car zoomed down the street. The car tore up the street.

    4. This was a fairly easy puzzle for a Wed. Only thing I missed was 19A. Never heard of Kontinental Hockey League. But the rest was a snap.

    5. About an hour; had 14 omissions and 4 errors for what we call a 91%
      success rate. We assume that the puzzle has 200 squares (183 today),
      so every 2 errors is 1%. We averaged 95% for the first three days of
      this week, good for two geezers. I am sure we would contend strongly
      in the Super Senior Division. Some of the clues were confusing, at the
      discretion of the author, and we just did not know enough of the words.
      Even Bill took longer than usual.

    6. I had a moderately tough time with this puzzle – but enjoyed every moment of it.

      The word Kontinental – gave me the inkling that the word was European or maybe, more likely, German, ….. then the only astronaut er, cosmonaut that I can remember is Yuri Gagarin… so I filled him in.

      I studied copious chemistry, in my path towards a degree in chemical engineering …. but I have always thought that caustic and corrosive are similar things er, synonyms. Probably, caustic is used more in relation to bases and alkalis …. but the effect is the same.

      Both of them, acids and bases will scar and burn fingers and faces etc. Acids act as “reducing agents – add a H+ ion or remove an oxygen ion” and bases act as oxidisers ( opposite action to reducers – ) but there are both strong acids and strong bases which can seriously damage skin and even certain metals and organic materials, like paper.

      Acids are somewhat sour to the taste …. eg vinegar- dilute acetic acid (5%) and bases are soapy and bitter ….. but don’t ever try this test, out at home — or, for that matter, anywhere else ….

      I was surprised to find that French is not among the 6 most spoken languages in the world. No wonder the french are so paranoid about their language being ‘forgotten’ in the modern world …. I can only conclude, in my naive thinking …
      that the French were, in the history past, not the more fertile or fecund or prolific population wise, …… or they were not as adept , or proficient, in warfare, thus their paucity of colonies, ….. ….. or not as productive in business that would have led to an expansion of their language in the economies of influence …..

      Anyway, I have ‘talked’ enough,
      Have a nice day, all.

    7. 13:23 with several missteps. Did not know KNURLS at all.
      @JBat –
      Astronaut is what we call “those guys” in English. The Russians refer to them as cosmonauts. Two words for the same thing.

      My ex-girlfriend was quite caustic, and she has a pH of around 7.4 – surprisingly similar to humans – if that helps… 🙂

      Best –

    8. Had to do this fairly easy puzzle online; took 16:47 with no errors. Had trouble with the NW corner in that I had pLOd instead of SLOG and couldn’t think of “game fish”, but finally sorted it out.

      On the rest, I had to wait for a few crosses, but nothing really problematic. Think I heard Chicago did a pretty good version of “I’m a Man” as well.

    9. Bill, I’m sorry but I have to correct something in your write-up about “I’m A Man.” The song referred to here has the same name as the earlier Bo Diddley hit but only has the title in common.
      The constructors also have errors here! The song is by The Spencer Davis Group, not the Yardbirds! Written and sung by a band member, the fabulous Steve Winwood, who was about 17 at the time. And, it was released in 1966, not 1965.
      Maybe the constructors were confused because Eric Clapton was a member of the Yardbirds and later formed Blind Faith along with Steve Winwood.
      Now I haven’t got time to comment on the actual puzzle!!😮
      Be well ~~☘

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