LA Times Crossword 5 Oct 18, Friday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Rising Sea Levels

Themed answers are across-answers that come in pairs that spell out the name of a sea. The second element of the pair “RISES” above the LEVEL of the first element, is seen in the grid in the row above the first:

  • 42A. Result of polar ice melt graphically shown by the second part of six two-part puzzle answers : RISING SEA LEVELS
  • 25A. Univ. aides (1) : TAS …
  • 20A. “Wow!” (2) : … MAN! (giving “Tasman Sea”)
  • 28A. Damage (1) : MAR …
  • 22A. Actress Kate (2) : … MARA (giving “Sea of Marmara”)
  • 30A. Helpless? (1) : SOLO …
  • 24A. Cal. column (2) : … MON (giving “Solomon Sea”)
  • 58A. Happy hour spot (1) : BAR …
  • 54A. Sinusitis docs (2) : … ENTS (giving “Barents Sea”)
  • 61A. Many an Omani (1) : ARAB …
  • 56A. Author Fleming (2) : … IAN (giving “Arabian Sea”)
  • 63A. Remaining loan amt. (1) : BAL …
  • 57A. Sign of nerves, maybe (2) : … TIC (giving “Baltic Sea”)

Bill’s time: 8m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8. Pretty companion? : … PLEASE

More puzzles like this, pretty please …

14. Windows alternative : UNIX

Unix is a computer operating system that was developed at Bell Labs in 1969. The initial name for the project was Uniplexed Information and Computing Service (Unics), and this evolved over time into “Unix”.

16. Dragster’s wheels : HOT ROD

A hot rod is an American car that has been modified for speed by installing a larger than normal engine. A street rod is generally a more comfortable type of hot rod, with the emphasis less on the engine and more on custom paint jobs and interiors. By definition, a street rod must be based on an automobile design that originated prior to 1949.

Back in the 18th century “drag” was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was “dragged” along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted “drag” as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to “drag racing”. A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

17. Wedding ring? : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

18. Class-conscious org.? : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

25. Univ. aides (1) : TAS …

20. “Wow!” (2) : … MAN! (giving “Tasman Sea”)

Teaching assistant (TA)

The Tasman Sea lies between Australia and New Zealand. It is named for the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who was the first European to reach New Zealand. Locally, the Tasman Sea is often referred to as “the Ditch”, an so one “crosses the Ditch” to get from Australia to New Zealand.

28. Damage (1) : MAR …

22. Actress Kate (2) : … MARA (giving “Sea of Marmara”)

The Sea of Marmara is an inland sea in Turkey that lies between the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea. Vessels can navigate from the Black Sea into the Aegean Sea via two straits, one at either end of the Sea of Marmara. The Bosphorus connects to the Black Sea, and the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea.

30. Helpless? (1) : SOLO …

24. Cal. column (2) : … MON (giving “Solomon Sea”)

The Solomon Sea lies within the Pacific Ocean, between Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. One of the sad facts about the Solomon Sea is that it was the site of many major battles during WWII.

32. Infamous Amin : IDI

Idi Amin ruled Uganda as a dictator from 1971 until 1979. Amin started his professional career as a cook in the Colonial British Army. Amin seized power from President Milton Obote in a 1971 coup d’état. The former cook eventually gave himself the title “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”.

33. Constriction of the eye’s pupil : MIOSIS

An unnatural constriction of the pupil of an eye is called miosis. Unnatural dilation is known as mydriasis.

35. Apple’s apple, e.g. : LOGO

The logo of Apple, the computer company, is a silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it. The company’s original logo featured a picture of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree.

39. Hail, to Hadrian : AVE

The Roman Emperor Hadrian is best remembered today for building Hadrian’s Wall, a barrier marking the northern limit of Roman Britain. Construction of the stone wall started in AD 122, and the end result was the most fortified border in the whole of the Roman Empire. Much of Hadrian’s Wall can still be seen today, and I’ve had the privilege of walking along part of it when visiting Northern England.

48. Deep blue : ANIL

“Anil” is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name of the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue. The main coloring agent in indigo dye is a crystalline powder called indigotin.

51. Parlor furniture item : SETTEE

“Settee” is another word for “couch”. The term come from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

53. Hot time in Haiti : ETE

In French, “été” (summer) is “la saison chaude” (the warm season).

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

58. Happy hour spot (1) : BAR …

54. Sinusitis docs (2) : … ENTS (giving “Barents Sea”)

Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)

The suffix “-itis” is used to denote inflammation, as in laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), otitis (inflammation of the ear), tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).

In his native Dutch, the explorer William Barents was known as “Willem Barentsz”. Barents made three main voyages of exploration in his lifetime, all of them searching for the Northeast Passage, the route from the Atlantic into the Pacific along the Arctic coast. Barents was not successful in finding the route, but made notable discoveries including Bear Island and Spitsbergen. What is now called the Barents Sea is part of the Arctic Ocean north of Norway and Russia.

61. Many an Omani (1) : ARAB …

56. Author Fleming (2) : … IAN (giving “Arabian Sea”)

The Arabian Peninsula is shaped like a boot, with the Sultanate of Oman occupying the toe of that boot.

Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

The Arabian Sea is an arm of the Indian Ocean that lies off the south coasts of Oman, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran, and is bounded in the west by Somalia, and in the east by India.

63. Remaining loan amt. (1) : BAL …

57. Sign of nerves, maybe (2) : … TIC (giving “Baltic Sea”)

Balance (bal.)

The Baltic is a sea in northern Europe that is much less saline than the oceans. The lower amount of salt in the Baltic partially explains why almost half of the sea freezes over during the winter. In fact, the Baltic has been known to completely freeze over several times over the past few centuries.

73. A through E, at times : WIDTHS

Those would be shoe widths.

76. Snares with a loop : LASSOS

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

77. Med. show locales : ERS

Emergency room (ER)

Down

2. Dedicatee of Lennon’s “Woman” : ONO

“Woman” is a lovely song written by John Lennon that was recorded in 1980. The song was released in 1981, just a month or so after Lennon was murdered outside his New York apartment building. Lennon wrote the song as an ode to his wife Yoko Ono, and to women in general. He also stated that “Woman” was a grown-up version of “Girl”, a song that he wrote for the Beatles in 1965.

3. McCartney’s title : SIR

The ex-Beatles bass player’s full name is Sir James Paul McCartney. “Paul” was knighted for his services to music in 1997. The Rolling Stones lead singer’s full name is Sir Michael Philip Jagger. “Mick” was knighted for his services to popular music in 2003.

5. Applying a temporary tattoo : HENNAING

Henna has been used for centuries as a dye, for leather and wool as wells as hair and skin. In modern days, henna is often used for temporary tattoos.

7. Scotch serving : DRAM

I think that the dram is a confusing unit of measurement. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

We use the spelling “whiskey” for American and Irish versions of the drink, and “whisky” for Scotch, the Scottish version.

8. Seven Wonders lighthouse : PHAROS

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built in the 3rd century BCE, the structure survived for centuries, until finally succumbing to an earthquake in 1323. The lighthouse was built on small island in the Nile Delta called Pharos, and so the lighthouse is sometimes referred to as “Pharos of Alexandria”. It was about 400-450 feet in height, and the light was produced by a furnace at the top of the tower.

The full list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is:

  • the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt
  • the Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece
  • the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  • the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  • the Colossus of Rhodes
  • the Lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt

11. Jack-in-the-pulpit family : ARUM

Jack-in-the-pulpit is a perennial plant native to eastern North America. It’s a nasty plant though and contains oxalic acid, a compound that can be very painful if ingested and that can even cause death if taken in sufficient quantities.

13. First place? : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

21. Mideast capital : AMMAN

Amman is the capital city of Jordan, and is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Amman has been occupied by a number of different civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks who called it “Philadelphia”, a name retained by the Romans when they occupied the city just after 100 AD.

23. Faulkner’s “__ Lay Dying” : AS I

“As I Lay Dying” is a novel by William Faulkner first published in 1930. The book has an unusual structure, with stream of consciousness writing throughout. There is one whole chapter that I’d like to quote here:

My mother is a fish.

That’s a five-word chapter …

25. Pageant toppers : TIARAS

The oldest beauty pageant still operating in the US is the Miss America contest. The Miss America beauty pageant started out as a marketing ploy in the early twenties to attract tourists to the Atlantic City boardwalk after Labor Day. Today, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. Before those limits were introduced, Marian Bergeron won the 1933 title at only 15 years of age.

27. Daybreak? : SIESTA

We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, and imported the word into English from Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at the sixth hour after dawn.

29. Agile deer : ROES

Roe deer are found mainly in Europe. They would be the deer shown on television and in movies when Robin Hood was out hunting in Sherwood Forest.

31. Norse patron : OLAV

Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated, as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or “Olaf the Fat”) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of “Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae”, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

37. Trattoria desserts : GELATI

Gelato (plural “gelati”) is the Italian version of American ice cream, differing in that it has a lower butterfat content than its US counterpart.

38. With no guarantee of payment : ON SPEC

Something that is created on spec is a done so without having a specific buyer or consumer in mind. Many crosswords are constructed on spec, and then submitted to the likes of the “New York Times” or “Los Angeles Times” in the hope of publication.

46. Barack’s 2010 High Court appointee : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

52. That, in Tijuana : ESA

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

55. Snack chip : NACHO

The dish known as “nachos” was supposedly created by the maître d’ at a restaurant called the Victory Club in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The maître d’’s name was Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya.

59. Samoa’s capital : APIA

Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.

66. Sci-fi staples : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

70. Copacabana city : RIO

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.

Copacabana is a neighborhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro that is home to a famous (and much-used) beach. The neighborhood is named for a chapel there, dedicated to the Virgen de Copacabana (Our Lady of Copacabana). The Virgen de Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia, with the original Copacabana being a Bolivian town located on the southeastern shore of Lake Titicaca.

71. Commonly torn ligament, briefly : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Take to the cleaners : HOSE
5. Lay low : HID
8. Pretty companion? : … PLEASE
14. Windows alternative : UNIX
15. Drop the ball : ERR
16. Dragster’s wheels : HOT ROD
17. Wedding ring? : HORA
18. Class-conscious org.? : NEA
19. Charge : ACCUSE
20. “Wow!” (2) : … MAN! (giving “Tasman Sea”)
22. Actress Kate (2) : … MARA (giving “Sea of Marmara”)
24. Cal. column (2) : … MON (giving “Solomon Sea”)
25. Univ. aides (1) : TAS …
28. Damage (1) : MAR …
30. Helpless? (1) : SOLO …
32. Infamous Amin : IDI
33. Constriction of the eye’s pupil : MIOSIS
35. Apple’s apple, e.g. : LOGO
39. Hail, to Hadrian : AVE
40. All over again : ANEW
41. “I’ll second that” : AMEN
42. Result of polar ice melt graphically shown by the second part of six two-part puzzle answers : RISING SEA LEVELS
47. Isn’t idle : ACTS
48. Deep blue : ANIL
49. Track meet segment : LAP
50. Authenticity emblem : SEAL
51. Parlor furniture item : SETTEE
53. Hot time in Haiti : ETE
54. Sinusitis docs (2) : … ENTS (giving “Barents Sea”)
56. Author Fleming (2) : … IAN (giving “Arabian Sea”)
57. Sign of nerves, maybe (2) : … TIC (giving “Baltic Sea”)
58. Happy hour spot (1) : BAR …
61. Many an Omani (1) : ARAB …
63. Remaining loan amt. (1) : BAL …
65. Individually : APIECE
67. Dug, with “up” : ATE …
69. Big times : ERAS
73. A through E, at times : WIDTHS
74. Sprout : LAD
75. Courteous : NICE
76. Snares with a loop : LASSOS
77. Med. show locales : ERS
78. Serve sparingly, with “out” : DOLE

Down

1. “Say what?” : HUH?
2. Dedicatee of Lennon’s “Woman” : ONO
3. McCartney’s title : SIR
4. Checkup : EXAM
5. Applying a temporary tattoo : HENNAING
6. Boiling state : IRE
7. Scotch serving : DRAM
8. Seven Wonders lighthouse : PHAROS
9. One from town : LOCAL
10. “Yada yada yada” letters : ETC
11. Jack-in-the-pulpit family : ARUM
12. Fair : SO-SO
13. First place? : EDEN
21. Mideast capital : AMMAN
23. Faulkner’s “__ Lay Dying” : AS I
25. Pageant toppers : TIARAS
26. It may be unsolicited : ADVICE
27. Daybreak? : SIESTA
29. Agile deer : ROES
31. Norse patron : OLAV
34. Hard work : SWEAT
36. Fare filled and folded : OMELET
37. Trattoria desserts : GELATI
38. With no guarantee of payment : ON SPEC
43. Cartography dot : ISLE
44. Against : ANTI
45. Reluctant risers : LIE-ABEDS
46. Barack’s 2010 High Court appointee : ELENA
51. Emphasize : STRESS
52. That, in Tijuana : ESA
55. Snack chip : NACHO
58. Much more than a sniffle : BAWL
59. Samoa’s capital : APIA
60. Purges (of) : RIDS
62. One may be stored in a barn : BALE
64. Advance : LEND
66. Sci-fi staples : ETS
68. Blacken, in a way : TAR
70. Copacabana city : RIO
71. Commonly torn ligament, briefly : ACL
72. Note : SEE

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26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Oct 18, Friday”

  1. LAT: 26:41, no errors. WSJ: 14:32, no errors. Newsday: 19:50, no errors. Probably won’t bother with any of the metas this week, simply because I’m so tired/behind from being sick.

  2. I appreciate all the work you do to create notes that you write. I enjoy reading your notes. I also enjoy your personal comments, such as telling us that you’ve walked along Hadrian’s Wall. Your comments make the puzzle a personal shared experience above and beyond filling in the blanks. Plus, I learn alot!

    1. @Tom … The past tense of “lie” is “lay”: I lie down, I lay down, I have lain down. So, I lie low (I hide), I lay low (I hid), I have lain low (I have hidden).

    2. Actually, it’s right. The common expression of “lay low,” in the present tense, is grammatically incorrect. Properly, it would be “lie low.” Since “lay” is the past tense of “lie,” the past-tense answer of HID is correct. This puzzle invites other criticism, though: Besides the obscure theme answers in general (BARENTS, MARMARA), some of the clues are kinda lame (“Agile deer,” for example … as goofy as “Furry bears.”)

      1. I think the clue “Agile deer” was specifically meant to suggest the roe deer, a small European species described as being “very quick and graceful” (and, for me at least, it succeeded).

  3. 15:50. Never really looked for the theme. I think we had the same confusion about “lie”, “lay”, “lain” a few weeks ago. It still makes me dizzy. “Lay” is one of the most pliable words in our language. It has 5 separate entries in Webster’s. Surprisingly (to me anyway) the first definition of “lay” is to beat or strike down something with force. I guess that’s where we get the expression “to lay into someone”. I wouldn’t have guessed that was the number 1 definition. Sounds like a good bar bet…

    Best –

  4. LAT: 11:49, with a one-square error: I had filled in “TAN” instead of “TAR” for 68D, giving me “ENS” for 77A, and I knew there was something wrong with that, but it was past my bedtime and I was too tired/lazy/stupid to fix it. Newsday: 9:03, no errors. WSJ: 18:07, no errors; no idea yet about the meta.

    Sadly, I have now finished all the puzzles on Paolo Pasco’s web site (and he hasn’t posted any new ones since September 2, so college must be eating into his construction time). However, the last one of his that I did was a collaboration with Erik Agard and it’s quite a remarkable construction; I finished it without any errors, but it took me almost an hour and I had to dig deeply into my small store of contemporary lingo. I may begin the puzzles on Agard’s web site, but I need a little time off … the youngsters make my head hurt … 😜.

  5. (My apologies if this is a duplicate post: the web site ate my first attempt.)

    LAT: 11:49, with a one-square error; I had put in “TAN” for 68D, giving me “ENS” for 77A; it was past my bedtime and I was too tired/lazy/dumb to correct it.

    Newsday: 9:03, no errors.

    WSJ: 18:07, no errors; no idea yet about the meta.

  6. (Again, my apologies if this turns out to be a duplicate post.)

    Sadly, I have now done all of the puzzles on Paolo Pasco’s web site. I finished with one that he did in collaboration with Erik Agard and mentioned on his post for December 17, 2017 – a very difficult puzzle that took me almost an hour to finish and required me to delve deeply into my small stock of contemporary lingo. I will put a link to it in a separate post, as I think the spam filter here may not like it when there are too many links in a single post.

  7. (Again, apologies …)

    The difficult/marvelous puzzle that I mentioned above may be found using this link.

    I may begin working on Erik Agard’s puzzles, but there seem to be a lot of them and I need a bit of a break, as these youngster’s puzzles make my head hurt … :-). To get to Agard’s puzzles, go to Pasco’s web site and use the link provided there. (I’d put the link here but, again, that might trigger a spam filter on this site.)

    1. I know the feeling…too many puzzles, too little time. 😛 I haven’t gotten to look at Aagard’s site all that much (which is why it’s not listed on mine). Maybe sometime soon.

  8. 18 minutes, 3 seconds, no errors. Center bottom was really tough. Had to clear it out two or three times to get it to work.

    REALLY DUMB theme, though. I’m sure the constructor thinks it’s oh, so clever, but… to me, it’s a waste of time to try and figure it out. I’d expect this kind of skullduggery on the NY Times grid.

  9. I thought the theme was cute. DNF this one but was happy with what I got done for a Friday puzzle. I figured out 42A but then had to mark up the grid for the clues that ended in (1) and (2) to figure out what that was all about. (Paper and pen solver). That helped me get 5 of the 6 Seas. Could not get Solomon Sea because of too many blanks and a wrong fill for 11D. Knew Barents Sea from a past puzzle and Marmara from a visit to Istanbul long ago.

  10. Too tough for me today; had about 12 errors after working for an hour. Just got annoyed and quit with all the weird things going on.

    Had rHodeS instead of PHAROS and LIEABoutS instead of LIEABEDS, which I’ve never heard of. Never heard of Kate Mara. At least I got the theme and most of the seas, even if I couldn’t see how to read them, although I did try.

  11. Salve y’all!✌

    One error: I didn’t know MIOSIS/PHAROS and I guessed an A instead of the S. Other than that, I found the puzzle fairly easy for a Friday. I only spent a minute trying to figure out the theme, but it seemed convoluted. I just solved it as a themeless. 🙃

    APIA! I enjoyed Bill’s write-up there😀 APIA is already funny to me: we had it in a puzzle several months ago. I made a mental note to remember it for future puzzles but ALL I remembered TODAY was WHERE it had appeared in that previous grid!!! NW corner — 4 down, I believe. I didn’t remember the actual name! Had to get it via crosses today. My mental notes aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on….!!! (joke c. 2018 by Carrie😀😀😀)

    Be well ~~🍀

  12. Worst crossword puzzle I’ve ever done and I’ve done a lot I was in some kind of alternate reality not difficult ridiculous

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