LA Times Crossword Answers 19 May 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Jeff Chen
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 20m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13. Country name on “The Woman in Me” : SHANIA

Shania Twain is a country and pop singer from Windsor, Ontario. Shania’s birth name was Eileen Edwards, and this changed to Eilleen Twain when her mother remarried. Twain changed her name to Shania in the early 1990s, around the same time that her musical career started to take off.

14. Cell package : DATA PLAN

That would be a cell phone data plan.

16. Art using locks : JIUJITSU

Jujitsu (also “jiujitsu”) is a group of martial arts associated with Japan. The name “jujitsu” comes from “ju” meaning “gentle” and “jitsu” meaning “technique”. The name was chosen to represent the principle of using the opponent’s force against himself, rather than relying on one’s own strength.

20. Bit of tintinnabulation : PEAL

Tintinnabulation is the ringing of bells. The term comes from the Latin word “tintinnare” meaning “to jingle”, which in turn is a kind of reduplication of the Latin verb “tinnire” meaning “to ring”.

21. NBA great __ Olajuwon : HAKEEM

Hakeem Olajuwon is a retired Nigerian American basketball player. Hakeem was born in Lagos in Nigeria, and came the US to play for the University of Houston. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 1984, ahead of the likes of Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan.

23. MIT mentors : RAS

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

A mentor is a wise counselor, and the person receiving the advice is the mentee. In Greek mythology, Mentor was a friend to Odysseus, the hero of Homer’s “Odyssey”.

24. Lilly of pharmaceuticals : ELI

Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state of Indiana. The founder Eli Lilly was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and a failed Mississippi plantation owner. Later in life he returned to his first profession and opened a pharmaceutical operation to manufacture drugs and sell them wholesale. Under Lilly’s early guidance, the company was the first to create gelatin capsules to hold medicines and the first to use fruit flavoring in liquid medicines.

28. Hard-boiled genre : FILM NOIR

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

30. Self-titled 2001 album : JLO

J.Lo is the nickname of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. “J.Lo” is also the title of her second studio album, one released in 2001.

36. Spree : JAG

The word “jag” is used to describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly involving alcohol, and has been in use since the 1800s.

38. Asian genre influenced by The Beatles : J-POP

“J-pop” is an abbreviation for “Japanese pop”, a genre of music that emerged in the nineties. Although J-pop is rooted in traditional Japanese music, it is heavily influenced by western bands from the sixties such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

41. Debt-laden Wall St. deal : LBO

A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a transaction in which an investor acquires a controlling volume of stock in a company, but buys that stock with borrowed funds (hence “leveraged”). Often the assets of the acquired company are used as collateral for the borrowed money. There is a special form of LBO known as a management buyout (MBO) in which the company’s own management team purchase the controlling interest.

42. Small Indian state : GOA

Goa is the smallest state in India, and is located in the southwest of the country. The Portuguese landed in Goa in the early 1500s, at first peacefully carrying out trade, but then took the area by force creating Portuguese India. Portugal held onto Portuguese India even after the British pulled out of India in 1947, until the Indian Army marched into the area in 1961.

46. Game with a 2210 A.D. edition : RISK

Risk is a fabulous board game, and one introduced in France in 1957. Risk was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

48. Et __ : ALIA

Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

49. Arcade giant : ATARI

At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

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.

50. Retirement obstacle : INSOMNIA

Our word “insomnia” ultimately comes from the Latin prefix “-in” meaning “not” and “somnus” meaning “sleep”.

53. Dessert analog to turducken : PIECAKEN

The dessert known as piecaken developed in recent years as a Thanksgiving treat. One recipe calls for three types of pie (pumpkin, apple and pecan) baked inside a cake.

Turducken is a dish that is sometimes served at Thanksgiving. It is a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck stuffed into a deboned turkey. You can also try a gooducken, which is a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a goose.

55. George Carlin was the first, briefly : SNL HOST

George Carlin was a stand-up comic famous for pushing the envelope of comedy in the broadcast media. Despite all the controversies surrounding his act, his passing in 2008 occasioned major tributes by networks and fellow entertainers alike.

The first seven hosts of “Saturday Night Live” (in 1975) were

  1. George Carlin
  2. Paul Simon
  3. Rob Reiner
  4. Candice Bergen
  5. Robert Klein
  6. Lily Tomlin
  7. Richard Pryor

Down

7. Manuscript with dense notes? : ETUDE

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

8. Part of a historic 19-Across name : TAJ
(19A. Grave : TOMB)

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

10. Corrida combatant : EL TORO

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, or literally “race of bulls”.

11. Eponymous explorer of Australia : TASMAN

Tasmania is the large island lying off the southeast coast of Australia. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to sail past the island, in 1642. Tasman named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land after the Governor of the Dutch East Indies, Anthony van Dieman. The name was officially changed to Tasmania, after the discoverer himself, in 1856. In Australia a more familiar name used is “Tassie”.

14. Nickname for tennis star/prankster Novak Djokovic : DJOKER

Novak Djokovic is a Serbian tennis player and former world No. 1 ranked player. Djokovic is quite the character on and off the court, earning him the nickname “Djoker”. He is also very popular on the talk-show circuit, all around the world. It helps that Djokovic is fluent in several languages.

18. Icon often pictured with wind-blown hair : FABIO

Fabio Lanzoni (usually called just “Fabio”) is an Italian fashion model and all-round celebrity. Fabio’s real claim to fame was his appearance on the cover of many, many romance novels in the eighties and nineties.

21. Chinese ethnic group : HMONG

The Hmong people are an ethnic group from the mountains of China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

22. Ringgit spenders : MALAYS

The ringgit is the currency of Malaysia. The term “ringgit” is an old Malay word for “jagged”, and is a reference to the serrated edges of the silver Spanish dollars that were used in Malaya in the 16th and 17th centuries. The ringgit is divided into 100 sen.

29. Magical power : MOJO

The word “mojo”, meaning “magical charm, magnetism”, is probably of Creole origin.

32. Post-fall cabal : JUNTA

A junta is a group of military officers that rule a country, usually after having seized power forcibly. “Junta” is a Spanish word meaning “council”.

A cabal is a small group of plotters acting in secret, perhaps scheming against a government or an individual.

34. Part of it was a 2016 campaign issue : US BORDER

The border between the US and Mexico is just under 2,000 miles in length, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. It is the most frequently crossed border in the world, with about one million legal crossings taking place each day.

35. Cheap smokes : STOGIES

A stogie (also “stogy”) is both a rough, heavy shoe and a long, cheap cigar. Both items were favored by the drivers of the covered wagons called Conestogas that wended their way across the Midwest in days gone by. The term “stogie” is derived from the name of the wagon, which itself is named after the area in which the wagons were built, i.e. Conestoga, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

37. Assange of WikiLeaks : JULIAN

Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks, the website that is notorious for publishing information that governments and individuals would rather remain secret. Assange is currently in England and lost an appeal to avoid extradition to Sweden to face charges of sexual assault. Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London seeking political asylum in 2012. He was granted that asylum and now lives at the embassy.

39. Scores, with “a” : PASSEL

A passel is a large group or quantity. “Passel” is a variant of the word “parcel”.

40. City where Jake Blues was in prison : JOLIET

Joliet is the fastest-growing city in the state of Illinois. It is located only 40 miles southwest of Chicago. The original village of “Juliet” was established in 1834, and this name was like a corruption of “Jolliet”, after the French Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet. Juliet was renamed to Joliet in 1845.

The Blues Brothers blues band was created in 1978 for a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. The original Blues Brothers were Dan Aykroyd (Elwood Blues) and John Belushi (“Joliet” Jake Blues).

42. Some movie set techs : GRIPS

On a film set, grips are lighting and rigging technicians who set up the infrastructure that supports lights, cameras etc. The key grip is the leader of the whole team. The first grips were technicians that worked in circuses in its early days. The name “grip” possibly comes from the bags called grips, in which the technicians carried their tools.

45. Hold-up man? : ATLAS

In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan who was tasked with holding up the celestial sphere on his shoulders. The Greeks observed the planets moving and the stars in fixed positions. They believed that the stars were on the surface of a single starry sphere, the celestial sphere that was supported by Atlas.

47. “Mayor” author : KOCH

“Mayor” is a 1984 autobiography by former New York City mayor Ed Koch.

Ed Koch was a Democratic Representative in the US Congress from 1969-73, and then Mayor of New York City from 1978-89. From 1997 to 1999 Koch was a “judge” on the TV show “The People’s Court”. And in 2004, he collaborated with his sister Pat Koch, and wrote a children’s book called “Eddie, Harold’s Little Brother”, a tale about Ed’s own childhood experiences.

51. Leader with a jacket named for him : MAO

What we call the Mao suit in the west is known as the Zhongshan suit in China. The style was introduced by Sun Yat-sen (also known as Sun Zhongshan) as the form of national dress after the founding of the Republic of China in 1912.

52. Elastic wood : ASH

The wood of the ash tree is a hardwood, although it is relatively elastic. Famously, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats. It is also the wood of choice for hurleys, the wooden sticks used in the Irish sport of hurling.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Begin another chapter, e.g. : WRITE
6. Gets high at a moment’s notice? : JET-SETS
13. Country name on “The Woman in Me” : SHANIA
14. Cell package : DATA PLAN
15. Suppressed guffaw : TITTER
16. Art using locks : JIUJITSU
17. Verbalize : UTTER
18. Double over? : FOLD
19. Grave : TOMB
20. Bit of tintinnabulation : PEAL
21. NBA great __ Olajuwon : HAKEEM
23. MIT mentors : RAS
24. Lilly of pharmaceuticals : ELI
25. Insert into an email, as a video : EMBED
26. Buckets : A TON
28. Hard-boiled genre : FILM NOIR
30. Self-titled 2001 album : JLO
31. Voter’s choices : YES OR NO
32. Worried about losing one’s place? : JEALOUS
36. Spree : JAG
37. Source of trial figures : JURY LIST
38. Asian genre influenced by The Beatles : J-POP
40. Throws out : JUNKS
41. Debt-laden Wall St. deal : LBO
42. Small Indian state : GOA
43. Hardware with elongated heads : T-BOLTS
45. Awestruck : AGOG
46. Game with a 2210 A.D. edition : RISK
48. Et __ : ALIA
49. Arcade giant : ATARI
50. Retirement obstacle : INSOMNIA
52. Hint at, with “to” : ALLUDE
53. Dessert analog to turducken : PIECAKEN
54. Puts on : STAGES
55. George Carlin was the first, briefly : SNL HOST
56. Firefighter, at times : HOSER

Down

1. Slight fiction : WHITE LIE
2. Faddish ’80s-’90s hairstyles : RATTAILS
3. Agents’ gathering : INTEL
4. Level with fans : TIER
5. __ trumpet : EAR
6. Given a sentence to complete : JAILED
7. Manuscript with dense notes? : ETUDE
8. Part of a historic 19-Across name : TAJ
9. Hot rod? : SPIT
10. Corrida combatant : EL TORO
11. Eponymous explorer of Australia : TASMAN
12. Intentionally overlooks : SNUBS
13. Make one’s eyes pop out : STUPEFY
14. Nickname for tennis star/prankster Novak Djokovic : DJOKER
18. Icon often pictured with wind-blown hair : FABIO
21. Chinese ethnic group : HMONG
22. Ringgit spenders : MALAYS
25. Unable to look away : ENRAPT
27. Passing charge : TOLL
29. Magical power : MOJO
30. Yanks : JERKS
32. Post-fall cabal : JUNTA
33. Pressure indicator : OIL GAUGE
34. Part of it was a 2016 campaign issue : US BORDER
35. Cheap smokes : STOGIES
37. Assange of WikiLeaks : JULIAN
38. Hum along, say : JOIN IN
39. Scores, with “a” : PASSEL
40. City where Jake Blues was in prison : JOLIET
42. Some movie set techs : GRIPS
44. Hold-up targets : BANKS
45. Hold-up man? : ATLAS
47. “Mayor” author : KOCH
49. One not often hitting the high note : ALTO
51. Leader with a jacket named for him : MAO
52. Elastic wood : ASH

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