LA Times Crossword 8 Nov 18, Thursday

Advertisement

Advertisement

Constructed by: Robert E. Lee Morris
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Role-Playing

Themed answers each include the letter-string ROLE. We are PLAYING with the order of those letters in each case:

  • 55A. Therapy technique … and a hint to what’s hidden in 17-, 24-, 34- and 45-Across? : ROLE-PLAYING
  • 17A. Cara cara or Washington fruit : NAVEL ORANGE
  • 24A. Where I-30 and I-40 meet : LITTLE ROCK
  • 34A. Traveler’s rest : MOTEL ROOM
  • 45A. Actor who appeared in nine films with Sydney Greenstreet : PETER LORRE

Bill’s time: 10m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Spinal segment : DISC

Our intervertebral discs are composed mainly of cartilage. They perform the crucial functions of separating the vertebrae while allowing slight movement, and also absorbing shock. A “slipped disc” isn’t really a disc that has “slipped”, but rather a disc that “bulges”. If that bulge causes pressure on the sciatic nerve then the painful condition known as sciatica can result.

10. What sit-ups strengthen : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack” in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

13. College World Series home : OMAHA

Back in 1947/48, the College World Series (CWS) was held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and then in 1949 in Wichita, Kansas. Since 1950, the CWS has been held every year in Omaha, Nebraska.

15. Offer one’s two cents : OPINE

“To put in one’s two cents” is to add one’s opinion. The American expression derives from the older English version, which is “to put in one’s two pennies’ worth”.

17. Cara cara or Washington fruit : NAVEL ORANGE

Navel oranges are the ones with the small second fruit that grows at the base, at the “navel”. The navel orange has been traced back to a single mutation that took place in an orange tree in Brazil many years ago. The mutation also rendered the fruit seedless and hence sterile, so it is propagated using grafts.

19. Poirot’s street : RUE

Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved characters. He is a wonderful Belgian private detective who plies his trade from his base in London. Poirot’s most famous case is the “Murder on the Orient Express”. First appearing in 1920’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, Poirot finally succumbs to a heart condition in the 1975 book “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”. Famously, Poirot is fond of using his “little grey cells”.

20. “Open: An Autobiography” subject : AGASSI

Retired tennis professional Andre Agassi has been married to fellow player Steffi Graf since 2001. Agassi wrote an autobiography called “Open”, published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi’s famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

21. Blintz topping : ROE

A blintz (also “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe. Unlike a crêpe though, a blintz may contain yeast.

22. Actress Meyer of “Saw” films : DINA

Dina Meyer started her acting career with a recurring role on the TV show “Beverly Hills, 90210”. She then landed the lead female role the 1995 movie “Johnny Mnemonic”.

The “Saw” franchise of movies is gruesome in the extreme. I’ve only seen a few minutes of “Saw” footage (accidentally). The storylines center on imprisoned victims who are faced with having to mutilate themselves in order to escape. Ugh …

24. Where I-30 and I-40 meet : LITTLE ROCK

The city of Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas, and is located in the center of the state. Early French travelers used a small rock formation on the Arkansas River as a landmark, a formation that they named “La Petite Roche” (The Little Rock) in 1722. “The Little Rock” actually lies across the river from a large bluff known as “Big Rock”, which was once the site of a rock quarry.

27. Tonsillitis-treating doc : ENT

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), tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).

28. IV units : CCS

Fluids in an intravenous drip (IV) might be measured in cubic centimeters (ccs).

29. Roman goddess of agriculture : CERES

In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest. Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.

30. __ Moines : DES

The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French “Riviere des Moines” meaning “River of the Monks”. It looks like there isn’t any “monkish” connection to the city’s name per se. “Des Moines” was just the name given by French traders who corrupted “Moingona”, the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others do contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

31. “Down Came a Blackbird” country singer McCann : LILA

Lila McCann is a country singer who released her first single “Down Came a Blackbird” when she was just 16 years old. The first song made it into the “Billboard” country charts, peaking at number 28.

42. Pool table slab : SLATE

A good pool table has a very flat surface, usually made from 2-3 ground slabs of slate sourced from quarries in Italy, Brazil or China.

43. Part of Q&A : AND

Question and answer (Q&A)

45. Actor who appeared in nine films with Sydney Greenstreet : PETER LORRE

The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. Lorre’s real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. Lorre found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.

Sydney Greenstreet was an English actor, one noted for his appearances in the movies “The Maltese Falcon” and “Casablanca” alongside Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre. Greenstreet was a portly gentleman and has been cited as partial inspiration for the Jabba the Hutt character in the “Star Wars” movie “Return of the Jedi”.

Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre appeared in 9 films together. Well, they actually appeared together in 10 if you count the 1942 movie “This is Our Life”, in which they were both uncredited extras.

  • The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • Background to Danger (1943)
  • Passage to Marseille (1944)
  • The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)
  • The Conspirators (1944)
  • Hollywood Canteen (1944)
  • Three Strangers (1946)
  • The Verdict (1946)
  • This is Our Life (1942)

49. Pierce player : ALDA

Hawkeye Pierce is the lead character in the “M*A*S*H” novel, movie and TV series. Hawkeye was originally portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the film, and then by Alan Alda in the television show. Pierce is the only character appearing in all 250 episodes of the groundbreaking TV series.

50. Crew pair : OARS

A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”. And, a scull is also an oar mounted on the stern of a small boat. It’s all very confusing …

52. Cubs pitcher Jon : LESTER

Jon Lester is pitcher for the Boston Red Sox who pitched a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals in 2008. Lester was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2006, and made a remarkable recovery from the resulting chemotherapy. He started and won the final game of the World Series at the end of the season following his treatments.

54. “Suits” TV network : USA

The USA Network cable television channel has been around since 1971. Back in 1971, it was called the Madison Square Garden Network, and became USA in 1979.

“Suits” is an entertaining, albeit formulaic, legal drama that is set in New York City. One of the main characters in the show Mike Ross, a brilliant law school dropout who poses as a law associate. Mike Ross’ love interest is paralegal Rachel Zane. Zane is played by actress Meghan Markle, who married the UK’s Prince Harry in 2018.

57. Liberal arts maj. : SOC

Sociology (soc.)

The term “liberal arts” dates back to classical antiquity. The liberal arts were those subjects deemed essential to master for a citizen to take active part in civil life. “Citizens” were “free people”, hence the use of the term “liberal arts”. The list of subjects studied in olden times were generally sevenfold: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy/astrology.

58. Battery terminal : ANODE

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

61. Parsonage : MANSE

A manse is a minister’s home in various Christian traditions. “Manse” derives from “mansus”, the Latin for “dwelling”. The term can also be used for any stately residence.

Down

3. Learned ones : SAVANTS

A savant is a learned person. The term “savant” can also be short for “idiot savant”, the outdated name for someone with a mental disability but who has above-normal capabilities in perhaps calculation or musical expression.

5. Country partly in the Arctic Circle: Abbr. : NOR

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. Norway is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

6. Tricky genre : OP ART

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

7. Annual North Dakota State Fair site : MINOT

The city of Minot, North Dakota grew out of a tent city that flourished in 1886 at the end of a railway line that was being constructed in 1886. The tent city marked the end of the line only temporarily, as work stopped there for the winter. By the end of that winter, the tent city was home to 5,000 residents. It had sprung up as if “by magic”, and became known as “Magic City”, a nickname that persists to this day.

8. Mike Trout, notably : ANGEL

Mike Trout debuted as a professional baseball player for Los Angeles Angels in 2011. Trout’s nickname is “the Millville Meteor”, as he grew up in Millville, New Jersey.

10. Like some knowledge : A PRIORI

In the world of philosophy, one can have “a priori” knowledge or “a posteriori” knowledge. A priori (“from the earlier”) knowledge is independent of experience, it is just known or assumed. For example, one might say that “all boys are males” is a priori knowledge. A posteriori knowledge relies on experience or some empirical evidence. For example, one might say that “boys are more likely to diagnosed with ADD” is a posteriori knowledge.

14. Gore and Michaels : ALS

Al Gore was born in Washington DC, and is the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the “tougher” option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

Al Michaels is a sportscaster who worked with NBC Sports for nearly 30 years. Michaels is probably best known for his work on “Monday Night Football” for nearly two decades starting in 1986.

18. Original Pennsylvania headquarters of Quaker State : OIL CITY

Pennsylvania’s Oil City was once a settlement known as Oil Creek Furnace. That settlement grew up around an iron foundry erected in 1824. The area’s fortunes originally depended on iron local iron deposits, but that started to change in 1859 with the drilling of the first successful oil well. Soon after, in 1862, the name “Oil City” was adopted. The city was destined to become the headquarters of several motor oil companies, including Pennzoil and Quaker State.

The name of the Quaker State oil company dates back to 1912. The Phinny Brothers Oil Company of Oil City, Pennsylvania started using the brand name “Quaker State” for the company’s products, adopting the nickname of the state of Pennsylvania.

Today “Quaker State” is an unofficial name for Pennsylvania, as it is more correctly known as the Keystone State, and has been so since 1802. However, in colonial times Pennsylvania was known officially as the Quaker Province, recognizing the beliefs and doctrine of the state’s founder, William Penn.

25. “__ of Dogs”: 2018 animated film : ISLE

“Isle of Dogs” is a 2018 animated and stop-action film by Wes Anderson. The movie has a science-fiction storyline, and is set in near-future Japan. All dogs are banished to Trash Island after an outbreak of dog flu threatens to cross into the human population. The voice cast of “Isle of Dogs” is very impressive, and includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Yoko Ono and many other A-list names.

28. Well-off, after “in” : CLOVER

To live in clover is to live the good life, to live luxuriously. The expression comes from cattle living the good life, living near a supply of clover, which apparently cows find to be particularly tasty.

33. Ithaca campus : CORNELL

Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

36. “The Hustler” actor (1961) : GLEASON

Jackie Gleason is an icon in the comedic acting world. His most famous role on the small screen was Ralph Kramden on “The Honeymooners”. On the big screen, two of his memorable roles were Minnesota Fats in 1961’s “The Hustler” and Sheriff Buford T. Justice in the “Smokey and the Bandit” films. Gleason was also noted for his interest in the paranormal. He built a house in the shape of a UFO that he called “The Mothership”. Gleason also claimed that President Nixon took him on a secret visit to Homestead AFB in Florida where he saw an alien spaceship and dead extraterrestrials!

“The Hustler” is a 1961 movie about the dark side of game of pool that is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Paul Newman stars as small-time hustler Fast Eddie Felson, and Jackie Gleason as legendary player Minnesota Fats. Famously, Newman reprised the role of Fast Eddie in the 1986 film “The Color of Money”, for which he won his a Best Actor Oscar.

37. Grind : RAT RACE

We use “rat race” figuratively to describe an endless, pointless pursuit. The term comes from the laboratory, where one might imagine rats racing around a maze in search of some cheese.

39. Soup cracker : SALTINE

F. L. Sommer & Company of St. Joseph, Missouri starting making wafer thin soda crackers in 1876. The crackers were later marketed as Saltines, due to the baking salt that was a key ingredient. The company subsequently lost trademark protection of the term “saltine”.

40. Ristorante request : AL DENTE

The Italian expression “al dente” literally means “to the tooth” or “to the bite” and is used to describe not only pasta, but also vegetables that are cooked so that they are tender and yet still crisp.

41. Riot squad’s supply : TEAR GAS

Technically speaking, tear gas is a lachrymatory agent. This means that it causes tearing (“lacrima” is Latin for “tear”).

46. Hotelier Helmsley : LEONA

Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” No wonder she was known as the Queen of Mean …

47. Sweater fabric : ORLON

Orlon is the brand name used by the DuPont Corporation for the acrylic fibers the company developed in 1941.

Until the early 1880s, the word “sweater” applied to clothing worn specifically for weight reduction by “sweating”.

48. Clarinetist’s supply : REEDS

The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn’t it? The name “clarinet” comes from the Italian word “clarino” meaning “trumpet”, with the “-et” suffix indicating “small”.

56. With 9-Down, river of the Carolinas : PEE …
(9D. See 56-Down : … DEE)

The Pee Dee River, which flows through North Carolina and South Carolina, takes its name from the Pee Dee tribe of Native Americans from the southeast of the United States.

Advertisement

[ad_below_googlies]

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Spinal segment : DISC
5. One without a permanent address : NOMAD
10. What sit-ups strengthen : ABS
13. College World Series home : OMAHA
15. Offer one’s two cents : OPINE
16. Burst : POP
17. Cara cara or Washington fruit : NAVEL ORANGE
19. Poirot’s street : RUE
20. “Open: An Autobiography” subject : AGASSI
21. Blintz topping : ROE
22. Actress Meyer of “Saw” films : DINA
23. Hue : TINT
24. Where I-30 and I-40 meet : LITTLE ROCK
27. Tonsillitis-treating doc : ENT
28. IV units : CCS
29. Roman goddess of agriculture : CERES
30. __ Moines : DES
31. “Down Came a Blackbird” country singer McCann : LILA
33. Committee leader : CHAIR
34. Traveler’s rest : MOTEL ROOM
36. Boat filler : GRAVY
38. Passed-down tales : LORE
39. Convened : SAT
42. Pool table slab : SLATE
43. Part of Q&A : AND
44. Pub potable : ALE
45. Actor who appeared in nine films with Sydney Greenstreet : PETER LORRE
49. Pierce player : ALDA
50. Crew pair : OARS
51. Poet’s preposition : ERE
52. Cubs pitcher Jon : LESTER
54. “Suits” TV network : USA
55. Therapy technique … and a hint to what’s hidden in 17-, 24-, 34- and 45-Across? : ROLE-PLAYING
57. Liberal arts maj. : SOC
58. Battery terminal : ANODE
59. Car opening? : RENT-A-
60. Compass pt. : ENE
61. Parsonage : MANSE
62. Light shirts : TEES

Down

1. Gave : DONATED
2. Picture : IMAGINE
3. Learned ones : SAVANTS
4. Trunk : CHEST
5. Country partly in the Arctic Circle: Abbr. : NOR
6. Tricky genre : OP ART
7. Annual North Dakota State Fair site : MINOT
8. Mike Trout, notably : ANGEL
9. See 56-Down : … DEE
10. Like some knowledge : A PRIORI
11. Bar employee : BOUNCER
12. Represents, with “for” : SPEAKS
14. Gore and Michaels : ALS
18. Original Pennsylvania headquarters of Quaker State : OIL CITY
22. Journal subject : DREAM
25. “__ of Dogs”: 2018 animated film : ISLE
26. Reverberated : ECHOED
28. Well-off, after “in” : CLOVER
32. Free Clear detergent maker : ALL
33. Ithaca campus : CORNELL
34. Partners : MATES
35. Laugh good and loud : ROAR
36. “The Hustler” actor (1961) : GLEASON
37. Grind : RAT RACE
39. Soup cracker : SALTINE
40. Ristorante request : AL DENTE
41. Riot squad’s supply : TEAR GAS
42. Partner, perhaps : SPOUSE
46. Hotelier Helmsley : LEONA
47. Sweater fabric : ORLON
48. Clarinetist’s supply : REEDS
49. So far : AS YET
53. Sound catcher : EAR
55. More than bump into : RAM
56. With 9-Down, river of the Carolinas : PEE …

Advertisement

[ad_below_clue_list]