LA Times Crossword 18 Sep 18, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Reflections

Themed answers start with a string of three letters, and end with that same string of letters written in the opposite direction:

  • 20A. Horse sense : STREET SMARTS
  • 28A. Main attraction : DRAWING CARD
  • 36A. Test proctor’s reminder : TIME LIMIT
  • 49A. Hard-boiled genre : NOIR FICTION
  • 56A. Its measurements include liters and grams : METRIC SYSTEM

Bill’s time: 6m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Publisher Alfred : KNOPF

The publishing house Alfred A. Knopf was founded in 1915 and is based in New York City. Knopf places a distinctive emblem on the title page of the books that it publishes. That emblem is a borzoi dog shown in silhouette.

15. Overconfident racer of fable : HARE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

16. Hawaiian island : OAHU

Oahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that “O’ahu” is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

17. Hawaii or Alaska : STATE

Alaska became the 49th state to join the United States on January 3rd, 1959. Hawaii became the 50th state just a few months later, on August 21st.

18. Oil gp. that includes 57-Down : OPEC
(57D. Pakistan neighbor : IRAN)

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrest control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

The suffix “-stan” in many place names is Persian for “place of”. One example is “Pakistan”, the Place of the Pure. “Pakistan” is a relatively recent name, first coined in 1933. It comes from the abbreviation PAKSTAN, standing for Punjab – Afghan Province – Kashmir – Sindh – BaluchisTAN, all regions in the north of India. The “I” was added to Pakistan to make it easier to pronounce, and to fit the translation “Land of the Pure”.

25. Colonel Sanders facial feature : GOATEE

A goatee is a beard formed by hair on just a man’s chin. The name probably comes from the tuft of hair seen on an adult goat.

“Colonel” Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame has been portrayed in ads on television by several celebrities. The list includes Norm Macdonald, Jim Gaffigan, George Hamilton, Billy Zane, Rob Lowe, Ray Liotta and even Reba McEntire.

33. Letter flourish : SERIF

Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

34. “… good witch, __ bad witch?” : OR A

Early in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, asks Dorothy, “Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?”

36. Test proctor’s reminder : TIME LIMIT

A proctor is a supervisor, especially of an examination in a school, or perhaps of a dormitory. The word “proctor” originated in the late 1500s, a contraction of the word “procurator”, the name given to an official agent of a church.

40. Soap units : BARS

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

43. Gold in Granada : ORO

Granada is a city and province in Andalusia in the south of Spain. Granada should not to be confused with Grenada (note the different spelling), the island nation in the Caribbean that was invaded by the US in 1983.

44. Semiaquatic salamanders : NEWTS

Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians found in all across the northern hemisphere. They are the only vertebrate animals that can regenerate lost limbs.

48. The “A” in “IPA” : ALE

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.

49. Hard-boiled genre : NOIR FICTION

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”.

54. Duct opening? : OVI-

Oviducts are the non-mammalian equivalents of the Fallopian tubes. Eggs travel from the ovaries, along the oviduct (there are usually two oviducts, but sometimes only one) and are released into some other organ or anatomical structure depending on species.

62. Tax-sheltered plans: Abbr. : IRAS

Individual retirement account (IRA)

66. Scandinavian language : SAMI

Lapland is a geographic region in northern Scandinavia, largely found within the Arctic Circle. Parts of Lapland are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The people who are native to the region are called the Sami people. The Sami don’t like to be referred to as “Lapps” and they regard the term as insulting.

69. Organic compound : ENOL

An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, and so is part-alkene and part-alcohol. The term “enol”, therefore, is a portmanteau of “alkene” and “alcohol”.

70. Sch. district VIPs : SUPTS

Superintendent (supt.)

Down

4. Korda of ’80s-’90s tennis : PETR

Petr Korda is a retired tennis player from Prague in the Czech Republic. Korda fell foul of the sport’s governing body when he tested positive for steroids after a 1998 match at Wimbledon.

5. Library amenity : FREE WIFI

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

8. Utah city near Provo : OREM

Orem, Utah was originally known as “Sharon” (a Biblical name), then “Provo Bench”, and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called “Orem”. Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

10. Main blood vessel : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

11. Orchestra leader : MAESTRO

“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” (plural “maestri”) is the Italian word for “master, teacher”. The plural in English is usually “maestros”.

22. Word after fuel or fly : ROD

A common nuclear fuel is uranium dioxide (UO2). The UO2 comes in powder form and is compacted into pellets that are fired at high temperature producing ceramic pellets. The pellets are ground into a near-perfect cylindrical shape and are then stacked inside tubes made of zirconium alloy. These tubes are what we usually refer to as nuclear fuel rods.

26. Cup handle : EAR

The handle of a jug or jug might be referred to as its ear.

27. Season after printemps : ETE

In French, “printemps: (spring) is followed by “été” (summer).

29. Erma Bombeck’s “At __ End” : WITS

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns, under the title “At Wit’s End”, describing her home life in suburbia.

31. MLB’s D-backs : ARI

The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

35. Editorial “let it stand” : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

38. “__ tu”: Verdi aria : ERI

Every crossword constructors’ favorite aria “Eri tu” is from Verdi’s opera “Un ballo in maschera” (“A Masked Ball”). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

39. Cutting teeth : INCISORS

The incisors are the front teeth, of which humans have eight. The term “incisor” comes from the Latin “incidere” meaning “to cut”.

41. “Rope-a-dope” boxer : ALI

The Rumble in the Jungle was the celebrated 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight was set in Zaire because of financial arrangements between promoter Don King and Zaire’s President Mobutu Seko. Ali coined the term “Rope-a-dope” to describe his incredibly successful strategy in the contest. From the second round onwards, Ali adopted a protected stance on the ropes letting Foreman pound him with blows to the body and head, with Ali using his arms to dissipate the power of the punches. He kept this up until the eighth round, and then opened up and downed the exhausted Foreman with a left-right combination. I hate boxing but I have to say, that was an fascinating fight …

42. Paleo diet protein source : RED MEAT

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

47. __-cone: summer treat : SNO

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

49. Safety feature at a trapeze school : NET

The circus act known as the “trapeze” is so called because the shape defined by the crossbar, ropes and ceiling of the tent is a “trapezium”.

50. La Brea discovery : FOSSIL

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirsts. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

57. Pakistan neighbor : IRAN

There has been a lot of talk about a particular border wall in recent times, but one such barrier that doesn’t get a lot of news coverage in the US is the one being built by the Iranians along the Iran-Pakistan border. The so-called Iran-Pakistan Barrier will extend across 700 kilometers of the desert, and is ten-foot high and three-foot thick concrete wall.

58. “Duck Dynasty” attire, for short : CAMO

Our word “camouflage” (often abbreviated to “camo”) evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern painted on the hulls of ships.

“Duck Dynasty” is a reality television show on the A&E cable channel. The show is centered on the Robertson family from Monroe, Louisiana who made a lot of money selling products to duck hunters. Phil Robertson was in the news in 2013 for views he expressed on homeosexuality and other subjects in an interview with “GQ” magazine.

59. Pants, briefly : TROU

“Trou” is short for “trousers”.

“Trousers” are pants, the garment covering the lower body and each leg separately. Ultimately, the word “trousers” evolved from the Erse word “triubhas” that described close-fitting shorts. Back in the 1600s there was a colorful saying:

A jellous wife was like an Irish trouze, alwayes close to a mans tayle

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Publisher Alfred : KNOPF
6. Spur to action : PROD
10. Mus. key with three sharps : A MAJ
14. Lost cause : GONER
15. Overconfident racer of fable : HARE
16. Hawaiian island : OAHU
17. Hawaii or Alaska : STATE
18. Oil gp. that includes 57-Down : OPEC
19. Take a load off : REST
20. Horse sense : STREET SMARTS
23. Pool tool : CUE
24. Try to win : WOO
25. Colonel Sanders facial feature : GOATEE
28. Main attraction : DRAWING CARD
32. Lab maze navigator : RAT
33. Letter flourish : SERIF
34. “… good witch, __ bad witch?” : OR A
35. Angry or achy : SORE
36. Test proctor’s reminder : TIME LIMIT
40. Soap units : BARS
43. Gold in Granada : ORO
44. Semiaquatic salamanders : NEWTS
48. The “A” in “IPA” : ALE
49. Hard-boiled genre : NOIR FICTION
52. Like Easter eggs before the hunt : HIDDEN
54. Duct opening? : OVI-
55. Debate side : PRO
56. Its measurements include liters and grams : METRIC SYSTEM
60. Squared up : EVEN
62. Tax-sheltered plans: Abbr. : IRAS
63. More than suggest : ORDER
65. Partial view? : BIAS
66. Scandinavian language : SAMI
67. Circular : ROUND
68. Decrease : BATE
69. Organic compound : ENOL
70. Sch. district VIPs : SUPTS

Down

1. 56-Across wts. : KGS
2. On the fence : NOT SURE
3. Winning like crazy : ON A TEAR
4. Korda of ’80s-’90s tennis : PETR
5. Library amenity : FREE WIFI
6. Camera buff, for short : PHOTOG
7. Shoots the breeze : RAPS
8. Utah city near Provo : OREM
9. 10-point star polygon : DECAGRAM
10. Main blood vessel : AORTA
11. Orchestra leader : MAESTRO
12. Contented sighs : AHS
13. Stick (out) : JUT
21. Years and years : EON
22. Word after fuel or fly : ROD
23. LP successors : CDS
26. Cup handle : EAR
27. Season after printemps : ETE
29. Erma Bombeck’s “At __ End” : WITS
30. Décor choice : COLOR
31. MLB’s D-backs : ARI
35. Editorial “let it stand” : STET
37. Event often visible in the evening sky : MOONRISE
38. “__ tu”: Verdi aria : ERI
39. Cutting teeth : INCISORS
40. Derisive interjection : BAH!
41. “Rope-a-dope” boxer : ALI
42. Paleo diet protein source : RED MEAT
45. Took care of, as a spill : WIPED UP
46. Annoy persistently : TORMENT
47. __-cone: summer treat : SNO
49. Safety feature at a trapeze school : NET
50. La Brea discovery : FOSSIL
51. Wall-climbing plant : IVY
53. Slow on the uptake : DENSE
57. Pakistan neighbor : IRAN
58. “Duck Dynasty” attire, for short : CAMO
59. Pants, briefly : TROU
60. Flow back, as a tide : EBB
61. By way of : VIA
64. Ave. and st. : RDS

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