LA Times Crossword Answers 18 Apr 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Agnes Davidson & C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Collector’s Items

Themed answers each end with an ITEM that is often COLLECTED:

  • 37A. Things gathered by aficionados … or what the ends of 16-, 24-, 49- and 59-Across can be? : COLLECTOR’S ITEMS
  • 16A. What constant stress does, healthwise : TAKES A TOLL
  • 24A. Old West folklore cowboy : PECOS BILL
  • 49A. Very expensive : BIG-TICKET
  • 59A. Taunts on the field : TALKS TRASH

Bill’s time: 6m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. __ Romeo: Italian car : ALFA

The “Alfa” in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, one standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

5. Machu Picchu people : INCAS

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

10. __ Plaines : DES

Des Plaines, Illinois is a suburb of Chicago that is located next to O’Hare International Airport. The city is named for the Des Plaines river that runs through the suburb.

13. Copier room quantity : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

15. With 27-Down, Captain Picard : JEAN
(27D. See 15-Across : -LUC)

When Gene Roddenberry was creating the “Star Trek” spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I think he chose a quite magnificent name for the new starship captain. “Jean-Luc Picard” is imitative of one or both of the twin-brother Swiss scientists Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard. The role of Picard was played by the wonderful Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart.

18. Disney woman loosely based on Andersen’s Snow Queen : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

“The Snow Queen” is a fairy tale penned by Hans Christian Andersen that was first published in 1945. It is believed that Andersen was in love with famed Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, who treated him as a friend but did not consider him romantically. The story is that Andersen was inspired to write about the icy-hearted Snow Queen after Lind rejected his advances.

24. Old West folklore cowboy : PECOS BILL

Pecos Bill has become a character in tall tales of the Old West after having been introduced in 1917 by author Edward O’Reilly. Legend has it that Bill was travelling in a covered wagon from Texas with his family when he fell out unnoticed by the party. He was lost near the Pecos River, hence his name. He was found and raised by a pack of coyotes, but years later was recovered by his real brother. Pecos Bill grew up to be a cowboy and married a woman called Slue-Foot Sue who he met riding a giant catfish down the Rio Grande.

26. FedEx alternative : US MAIL

The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

28. Arsenal inventory : AMMO

The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

Our word “arsenal” comes from the Italian “arzenale”, a work adapted from the Arabic for “workshop”. There was a large wharf in Venice called the Arzenale that became associated with the storage of weapons and ammunition, and this led to our contemporary usage of “arsenal”.

30. Japanese rolls : SUSHI

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If we want raw fish by itself, then we have to order “sashimi”.

37. Things gathered by aficionados … or what the ends of 16-, 24-, 49- and 59-Across can be? : COLLECTOR’S ITEMS

An aficionado is an enthusiast. Imported from Spanish, “aficionado” was originally used in English to describe a devotee of bullfighting.

41. Patella’s place : KNEE

The patella is the kneecap. “Patella” is the Latin name for the bone, and is a diminutive form of “patina”, the word for “pan”. The idea is that the kneecap is pan-shaped.

43. Video game letters : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

44. N.Y. Cosmos org. : NASL

The North American Soccer League (NASL) was formed in 1968 with a merger of two competing leagues. The NASL operated until 1984. A new soccer league with the same name has been operating since April 2011.

The New York Cosmos are a Brooklyn-based soccer team that joined the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 2013. The current Cosmos team takes its name from the original NY Cosmos founded in 1970 that folded in 1985. Apparently, the “Cosmos” name was chosen with reference to monker of the NY Mets baseball team. The concept was that the baseball team was “metropolitan”, and the new soccer team was to be “cosmopolitan”.

47. Wee bit : SMIDGE

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

54. Indian __ : OCEAN

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world’s oceans, and accounts for almost 20% of the Earth’s surface. The ocean itself was named for the country of India, which forms much of its northern boundary.

58. Muscat money : RIAL

“Rial” is the name of the currency of Oman (as well as Yemen, Iran, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

Muscat is the capital of Oman, and lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

65. Citrus hybrid : UGLI

The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine that was first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruits unsightly wrinkled rind.

66. Brooklyn __, N.Y. : HTS

The part of the borough of Brooklyn known as Brooklyn Heights was the first commuter town for New York, blossoming when the a steam ferry service started to run between the Heights and Wall Street in the early 19th-century.

67. Medicinal plant : SENNA

Sennas are plants in the legume family. Historically, the pods and leaves of the senna plant have been used as a laxative.

Down

1. Co-star of Jackie on “The Honeymooners” : ART

Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are two characters in “The Honeymooners”, played by Jackie Gleason and Art Carney. Kramden is a bus driver, and Norton works with the New York City sewer department.

2. __ & Perrins steak sauce : LEA

Worcestershire sauce is a variant of a fermented fish sauce that has been around since the days of the Roman Empire. The modern sauce was developed and marketed by Messrs. Lea and Perrins in the city of Worcester, then in the county of Worcestershire, hence the name. We vegans aren’t supposed to touch it, as it contains anchovies! Oh, and “Worcestershire” is pronounced “wooster-sheer” …

4. Bedelia of kiddie lit : AMELIA

The “Amelia Bedelia” series of children’s books was written by Peggy Parish until she passed away in 1988. Her nephew, Herman Parish took over and has been writing them since 1995. The Amelia character is based on a maid in Cameroon where Parish had lived during her formative years.

5. Apple choice : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

7. 20 fins : C-NOTE

Benjamin Franklin is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill (also called a “C-spot, C-note”), and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous error in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV”. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”, which has been the convention for clock faces for centuries.

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

8. Braves, on sports news crawls : ATL

The Atlanta Braves are the only team to have won baseball’s World Series in three different home cities. They won as the Boston Braves in 1914, the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

10. Indian city on the Yamuna River : DELHI

New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

The Yamuna in northern India is a tributary of the River Ganges. 70% of the water supplied to the city of Delhi comes from the Yamuna. The Taj Mahal in Agra is located on the river’s banks.

11. Studio support : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

15. Water-propelled craft : JET BOAT

Jet boats are boats propelled by a jet of water ejected from the rear of the vessel, unlike other powerboats that use external propellers. A jet boat’s engine sucks in water at the front of the vessel using a high-powered pump, and expels that water at the rear of the vessel to create thrust. The first jet boats were developed in the 1950s in New Zealand to navigate shallow bodies of water. Traditional boats had problems with propellers striking rocks just below the surface.

17. “Truman” actor : SINISE

Actor Gary Sinise was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the 1994 film “Forrest Gump”. Sinise then played the lead in television’s “CSI: NY” starting in 2004. Sinise was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bush for his work helping Iraqi school children as well as his work with the USO.

“Truman” is a 1995 HBO film starring Gary Sinise as president Harry S. Truman. The movie is based on a 1992 biography by David McCullough. I haven’t seen this one, and have just put it on my list …

22. General Motors brand : BUICK

David Dunbar Buick was an inventor working in Detroit, Michigan who founded the Buick Motor Company in 1903. Buick sold his interest in Buick Motors just three years later. He passed away in 1929, practically penniless. Still, over 30 million vehicles have been built that bore the Buick name.

23. __ Martin: British car : ASTON

Aston Martin is a British car manufacturer that was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin. The Aston part of the company name comes from Aston Hill, a famous site for hill-climbing cars that is nearby the original factory. Aston Martin cars are much loved by the British entertainment industry. James Bond was given one in “Goldfinger”, and Michael Caine drove one in the 1969 version of “The Italian Job”. Also, Roger Moore’s character drove a yellow Aston Martin in the seventies television show “The Persuaders!”.

25. Tahrir Square city : CAIRO

Tahrir Square is a major location in Cairo, Egypt. The name “Tahrir” translates to “Liberation” in English. The square was a focal point in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution staged against former president Hosni Mubarak.

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

32. Mason’s tray : HOD

A hod is a 3-sided box on the the end of a long handle used for carrying bricks (and sometimes mortar) at a construction site, usually up and down ladders.

35. Luxury timepiece : OMEGA

Omega is a manufacturer of high-end watches based in Switzerland. An Omega watch was the first portable timepiece to make it to the moon.

36. City on the Ruhr : ESSEN

Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany. The city experienced major population growth in the mid-1800s that was driven by the iron works established by the Krupp family.

38. Soup legumes : LENTILS

Plants called legumes are notable in that they work symbiotically with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, microorganisms found in the root nodules that convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium ions. As nitrogen is an essential component of proteins, legumes are exceptionally rich sources of plant protein. Examples of legumes are peas, beans, lentils and peanuts.

39. Most Soc. Sec. recipients : SRS

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

46. Lawn care giant : SCOTTS

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially dols seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955.

49. Canoe wood : BIRCH

The bark of birch trees (known as “birchbark”) is a useful material that has been used since prehistoric times as a building, crafting and writing material. Birchbark is readily cut, bent and sewn and resembles cardboard, although unlike cardboard, it is also water-resistant. Birchbark was a popular material with Native Americans, used for making canoes, wigwams, scrolls and maps.

50. Nincompoop : IDIOT

The word “nincompoop”, meaning a fool, seems to have been around for quite a while. It has been used since the 1670s, but no one appears to know its origins.

51. Kids on a farm? : GOATS

Male goats are called “bucks” or “billies”, although castrated males are known as “wethers”. Female goats are called “does” or “nannies”, and young goats are referred to as “kids”.

52. First name in daytime TV : ELLEN

Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian in a scene with her therapist, who was played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

53. Arcade coin : TOKEN

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

57. Mount of Greek myth : OSSA

Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mount Pelion in the south, and the famed Mount Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

60. “__ You Lonesome Tonight?” : ARE

“Are You Lonesome Tonight?” is a song that was written back in 1926 by Roy Turk and Lou Hardman. The most famous version of the song was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1960, a month after he finished his two-year stint in the US Army.

61. Camera type, for short : SLR

Single lens reflex (SLR)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. __ Romeo: Italian car : ALFA
5. Machu Picchu people : INCAS
10. __ Plaines : DES
13. Copier room quantity : REAM
14. Spanish peak : MONTE
15. With 27-Down, Captain Picard : JEAN
16. What constant stress does, healthwise : TAKES A TOLL
18. Disney woman loosely based on Andersen’s Snow Queen : ELSA
19. Draw out : ELICIT
20. Flustered state : DITHER
22. Bathroom fixture : BASIN
24. Old West folklore cowboy : PECOS BILL
26. FedEx alternative : US MAIL
28. Arsenal inventory : AMMO
29. “What was __ was saying?” : IT I
30. Japanese rolls : SUSHI
33. Dip __ in: test : A TOE
37. Things gathered by aficionados … or what the ends of 16-, 24-, 49- and 59-Across can be? : COLLECTOR’S ITEMS
41. Patella’s place : KNEE
42. Decorate : ADORN
43. Video game letters : NES
44. N.Y. Cosmos org. : NASL
47. Wee bit : SMIDGE
49. Very expensive : BIG-TICKET
54. Indian __ : OCEAN
55. Enthusiastic reply to “Who knows the answer?” : I DO! I DO!
56. More lax : LOOSER
58. Muscat money : RIAL
59. Taunts on the field : TALKS TRASH
63. Barracks beds : COTS
64. Forest fixtures : TREES
65. Citrus hybrid : UGLI
66. Brooklyn __, N.Y. : HTS
67. Medicinal plant : SENNA
68. Techie, often : NERD

Down

1. Co-star of Jackie on “The Honeymooners” : ART
2. __ & Perrins steak sauce : LEA
3. Happy face that’s put on : FAKE SMILE
4. Bedelia of kiddie lit : AMELIA
5. Apple choice : IMAC
6. “Reward” for poor service : NO TIP
7. 20 fins : C-NOTE
8. Braves, on sports news crawls : ATL
9. Once in a long while : SELDOM
10. Indian city on the Yamuna River : DELHI
11. Studio support : EASEL
12. Doghouse “Don’t come any closer!” : SNARL!
15. Water-propelled craft : JETBOAT
17. “Truman” actor : SINISE
21. Belief ending : -ISM
22. General Motors brand : BUICK
23. __ Martin: British car : ASTON
25. Tahrir Square city : CAIRO
27. See 15-Across : -LUC
31. Follow furtively : STALK
32. Mason’s tray : HOD
34. Youngster’s time of life : TENDER AGE
35. Luxury timepiece : OMEGA
36. City on the Ruhr : ESSEN
38. Soup legumes : LENTILS
39. Most Soc. Sec. recipients : SRS
40. Secret to the max : INMOST
45. Give a leg up : AID
46. Lawn care giant : SCOTTS
48. Post-winter river thaw : ICE RUN
49. Canoe wood : BIRCH
50. Nincompoop : IDIOT
51. Kids on a farm? : GOATS
52. First name in daytime TV : ELLEN
53. Arcade coin : TOKEN
57. Mount of Greek myth : OSSA
60. “__ You Lonesome Tonight?” : ARE
61. Camera type, for short : SLR
62. Put in a secret place : HID

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