LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Jan 16, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Lampkin
THEME: Er, Becomes Or, We Hear … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase with an “er” sound switched to an “or” sound:

20A. Cuisine to swear by? THREE-CURSE MEAL (from “three-course meal”)
35A. Site of a mortician’s monopoly? ONE-HEARSE TOWN (from “one-horse town”)
55A. Ode to a Nightingale? OLD NURSE POETRY (from “Old Norse poetry”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Short one at the bar? ATT
Attorney (att.)

13. Landlocked African country CHAD
The landlocked African country called Chad takes its name from the second largest wetland on the continent, which is known as Lake Chad.

15. Thread bits LINT
“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

16. Running bowline, e.g. NOOSE
As an ex-sailor, I have a thing about knots, and the bowline … it’s one of my favorites. It’s the simple but effective loop knot, the one that’s made by “the frog coming out of the pond, going around the tree, and going back into the pond”. There is also a sliding version called a running bowline.

18. Mediterranean landmark ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-guage railway, and two ski resorts.

19. Dessert that just sounds wrong TORTE
A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

The word “tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. Tort law is generally about negligence, when the action of one party causes injury to another but that action falls outside of the scope of criminal law.

23. __ orange OSAGE
The Osage orange is also known as the horse apple, and is a deciduous tree native to North America. The wood of the tree was prized by Native Americans, particularly the Osage nation, who used it to make bows. The Osage Orange was also called “bois d’arc” (meaning “bow-wood”) by early French settlers, a reference to the local usage. This French name was corrupted into “bodark” and “bodarc”, another name for the same tree.

25. Downed a link, say ATE
Link sausages are so called as they can come in chains, with each sausage being a link in that chain.

28. Caught porgy and bass ANGLED
We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.

Fish belonging to the family Sparidae are called bream or porgies.

The freshwater and marine species of fish called bass resemble perch. The word “bass” comes from the Middle English “bars” meaning “perch”.

30. Ice __ AGE
Ice ages are periods in the Earth’s history when there are extensive ice sheets present in the northern and southern hemispheres. One might argue that we are still in an ice age that began 2.6 million years ago, as evidenced by the presence of ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica.

31. Feuding house of Verona CAPULET
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …

Verona is a city in northern Italy. Famously, William Shakespeare set three of his plays in Verona: “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” and “The Taming of the Shrew”.

35. Site of a mortician’s monopoly? ONE-HEARSE TOWN (from “one-horse town”)
We use the term “hearse” for a vehicle used to transport a dead body to the place of burial. The original meaning, still used sometimes today, is for a framework hanging over a coffin that holds candles.

40. Swift output POP SONG
Singer Taylor Swift had one of her first gigs at the US Open tennis tournament when she was in her early teens. There she sang the national anthem and received a lot of favorable attention for the performance.

41. Café freebie EAU
“Eau” is the French word for “water”; “mer” is the French word for “sea”.

49. Link for Ludwig UND
“Und” is the German for “and”.

54. Actress Graff ILENE
Ilene Graff is an American actress, probably best known for playing Marsha Owens, the wife of George in the TV series “Mr. Belvedere”.

55. Ode to a Nightingale? OLD NURSE POETRY (from “Old Norse poetry”)
The poet John Keats is famous for writing a whole series of beautiful odes. The most renowned are the so-called “1819 Odes”, a collection from the year 1819 that includes famous poems such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode to Psyche”.

Florence Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale worked as a nurse, tending wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. There she became known as “The Lady with the Lamp” as she routinely made her rounds during the night. Not long after returning to London, Nightingale set up the first secular nursing school in the world, at St. Thomas’ Hospital.

58. Shock source TASER
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym TASER stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

60. Quinoa alternative RICE
Quinoa is a grain crop that is more closely related to beetroots and spinach that it is to cereals and grasses. Quinoa is mainly cultivated for its edible seeds, which are high in protein. The seeds are also gluten free, which seems to be a big deal these days. I do like my quinoa …

63. New Yorker cartoonist Peter ARNO
Peter Arno was a cartoonist from New York who had his work published mainly in “The New Yorker” magazine from 1925 until he passed away in 1968. Arno’s real name was Curtis Arnoux Peters.

66. Linking device YOKE
A yoke is that wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

67. Med. care option HMO
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

Down
3. Green shelter? TAX HAVEN
“Green” is American slang for “money” and is a reference to the green color of the bills (along with black). Green was chosen for the back of US banknotes back during the Civil War, with black being the color on the front. It was felt that the color green was a symbol of stability. This led to the bills being nicknamed “greenbacks”. Ever since then, US banknotes have been printed in green and black, with black being the predominant color on the front, and green on the back.

4. “Hard __!”: captain’s command ALEE
“Alee” is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing “aweather”.

5. Baker’s neighbor in “Into the Woods” WITCH
“Into the Woods” is Stephen Sondheim musical that premiered in 1986. The storyline uses characters from several fairy tales, including “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel” and “Cinderella”. The borrowed characters are held together with an underlying original tale about a baker and his wife who long to have a child, but cannot due to a curse placed on them by a witch.

6. Jaded state ENNUI
“Ennui” is the French word for boredom, a word that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized and actually pronounce “correctly”.

Our term “jaded”, meaning tired and feeling a little “ho-hum”, comes from the noun “jade” which in the 14th century was an old, worn-out horse.

10. Cosmetics giant L’OREAL
L’Oréal is a French cosmetics company, the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world.

14. Gloomy air DIRGE
A “dirge” is a slow and mournful musical piece, like a funeral hymn.

21. Shocking swimmer EEL
Electrophorus electricus is the biological name for the electric eel. Despite its name, the electric “eel” isn’t an eel at all, but rather what is called a knifefish, a fish with an elongated body that is related to the catfish. The electric eel has three pairs of organs along its abdomen, each capable of generating an electric discharge. The shock can go as high as 500 volts with 1 ampere of current (that’s 500 watts), and that could perhaps kill a human.

27. Sovereign symbol SCEPTER
A scepter is a ceremonial staff, often held by a monarch.

29. Bygone muscle car GTO
The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.

32. Small juice sources? AAS
Those would be AA batteries.

34. Org. with subs USN
US Navy (USN)

36. Prefix for a lifesaving “Pen” EPI-
EpiPen is a brand name of epinephrine auto-injector. An EpiPen delivers a measured dose of epinephrine, usually for the treatment of an allergic reaction.

37. Mosquito Coast country HONDURAS
The Mosquito Coast was the name given to an area along the east coast of Central America, an area in present-day Honduras and Nicaragua. The name has nothing to with the insect, and instead is derived from the local Miskito people.

39. Concerned parent’s installation NANNY CAM
I think that it is legal to record video with a hidden camera, at least to monitor the behavior of a caregiver in your home. Apparently there is also a law that prohibits the recording of audio. So, “nanny cams” are sold without audio capability. But (disclaimer) that’s just what I read, so don’t take my word for it!

43. Mandated amounts QUOTAS
A “quota” is an allotment, a term originally used with reference to the number of soldiers of quantity of supplies required from a particular town or district.

47. Sales meeting metaphor PIE
A “pie chart” can also be referred to as a “circle graph”.

53. Spirit SPUNK
We’ve been using the word “spunk” to mean “pluck, courage” since the late 1700s. Prior to that it was a Scottish word meaning “spark” that we absorbed into English.

56. Emperor famous for playing an instrument that hadn’t been invented yet NERO
The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was of course Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home on hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

57. Wind in the reeds OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”. When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you’ll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

61. Ranch closing? -ERO
A ranchero is someone employed on a ranch, and is a word with Spanish roots.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Short one at the bar? ATT
4. Flabbergasts AWES
8. One taking up slack? IDLER
13. Landlocked African country CHAD
15. Thread bits LINT
16. Running bowline, e.g. NOOSE
17. Prepare to take off TAXI
18. Mediterranean landmark ETNA
19. Dessert that just sounds wrong TORTE
20. Cuisine to swear by? THREE-CURSE MEAL (from “three-course meal”)
23. __ orange OSAGE
24. Trail follower HIKER
25. Downed a link, say ATE
26. Traps for 15-Across NAVELS
28. Caught porgy and bass ANGLED
30. Ice __ AGE
31. Feuding house of Verona CAPULET
35. Site of a mortician’s monopoly? ONE-HEARSE TOWN (from “one-horse town”)
40. Swift output POP SONG
41. Café freebie EAU
43. Charmingly retro QUAINT
46. Rejects SPURNS
49. Link for Ludwig UND
50. Believes DEEMS
54. Actress Graff ILENE
55. Ode to a Nightingale? OLD NURSE POETRY (from “Old Norse poetry”)
58. Shock source TASER
59. Bit of concert memorabilia STUB
60. Quinoa alternative RICE
62. Latin stars ASTRA
63. New Yorker cartoonist Peter ARNO
64. Rent-__ A-CAR
65. Drives off SHOOS
66. Linking device YOKE
67. Med. care option HMO

Down
1. Fake it ACT
2. “We’re on!” THAT’S A GO!
3. Green shelter? TAX HAVEN
4. “Hard __!”: captain’s command ALEE
5. Baker’s neighbor in “Into the Woods” WITCH
6. Jaded state ENNUI
7. Barren STARK
8. Shopper’s mecca INTERNET
9. Dire destiny DOOM
10. Cosmetics giant L’OREAL
11. What you will ESTATE
12. Landed, with “in” REELED
14. Gloomy air DIRGE
21. Shocking swimmer EEL
22. Sailor’s ability SEA LEGS
23. __ roll ON A
27. Sovereign symbol SCEPTER
29. Bygone muscle car GTO
32. Small juice sources? AAS
33. Ace PRO
34. Org. with subs USN
36. Prefix for a lifesaving “Pen” EPI-
37. Mosquito Coast country HONDURAS
38. Reaction to suddenly becoming flush? WE’RE RICH!
39. Concerned parent’s installation NANNY CAM
42. Employment USE
43. Mandated amounts QUOTAS
44. Remove, as bindings UNLASH
45. Expands, as a deck ADDS TO
47. Sales meeting metaphor PIE
48. Conservative leader? ULTRA-
51. Outlet for one’s thoughts ESSAY
52. Densely populated area, briefly METRO
53. Spirit SPUNK
56. Emperor famous for playing an instrument that hadn’t been invented yet NERO
57. Wind in the reeds OBOE
61. Ranch closing? -ERO

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Jan 16, Friday”

  1. Just knocked down the WSJ grid for today and entered the contest, so I guess that's something for today. 🙂

  2. Tough Friday puzzle so it was definitely a Friday caliber grid. I had to make one lookup (Witch) to make the rest of the puzzle fall into place. Close but no cigar, but a very enjoyable puzzle indeed. More puns than I can even mention here, but POP SONG for "Swift output"(I don't follow Taylor Swift…at all), ESTATE for "What you will", and ATT for "Short one at the bar" were the most memorable for me.

    AAS for "Small juice sources" was in a class by itself. ULTRA-groan.

    Interestingly, I got 23A OSAGE and 26A NAVELS via crosses, and when I went to check them, I was confused thinking NAVELS was the answer to __ orange and OSAGE for traps for… Clever. Couldn't think of what an OSAGE trap was… doh.

    @Carrie
    Right around Christmas (New Years?) time, Willie mentioned that he was taking a break from crosswords for a while. He didn't mention why or for how long, but I suspect he'll be back soon. I believe he stuck his head in late a few days ago.

    I'm nursing (Norse-ing??) a nagging cold so I plan on being a bum this weekend. Sounds good to me.

    Best –

  3. While it probably means that tomorrow is going to kick my sorry behind from one end of the grid to the other I am proud to say that I finished this puzzle successfully, which for me means no help other than my (straining) brain trying to figure out some rather obscure clues.

    Hope you all have a good Friday and we shall see what tomorrow brings us.

  4. Tough puzzle, cute theme. This constructor, John Lampkin, is well known for his puns. I just marvel at Bill's solving ability and his times. I'm just glad I don't have to do this for a living.

    So, Bill, you were also a sailor ? – so ahoy, aweigh, alee and Aye, Aye must be second nature to you.

    I was curious about the Electric Eel, er, Knifefish . I wondered, how I had never got bit, er shocked, by any of them. Aside from the fact that I rarely go into the water, at all, and do not fish, I have also never heard of anyone else being shocked. In this manner, at least. No wonder, I live in the wrong continent – they are in S. America.

    According to the Wikipedia article;- Please Note, Bill, one 'electric eel', in the Tennessee Acquarium, has its own Twitter account. Maybe its time you also got one. Hint, hint, wink, wink. ( I don't have a Twitter account or a Facebook account ….)

    Also funny, please note, is the editor's comment to this piece of information, in the article ….. relevant ? / discuss !

    On a relevant note: Clue number One – 'Short one at the bar' = ATT. Does this mean, 'One at the bar' = Attorney, and 'short' = Abbreviation ? Please could someone suggest whether my line of thinking is correct ?

    Have a nice day, all, and a good weekend.

  5. Small juices sources = AAs

    At some local hospitals, Anesthesia Assistants are also called AAs. The job, which involves extensive medical training, phlebotomy, pricking with the needle, managing and maintaining an IV, airway etc., is a very responsible one. The profession, which requires a masters degree, in a 2 year course, pays just much as a Physician's Assistant – about $ 120,000 per year, as a median. The AA works strictly under control of the attending Anesthesiologist. It is equivalent to a nurse anesthetist.

    Helpers with sedation ? AAs

    Probably harder than a Friday clue. Is there something harder than a Friday ? Maybe, a NYT Friday.

  6. I thought that "short at the bar" = ATT must actually refer to AT&T, the telecom co. I have their cellphone service and one bar out of five is all that I usually see.

  7. Jammed up the puzzle thinking jam as the only freebie at a cafe, eau is trop francais and en France would not surement be free.

  8. I cannot believe I finished this puzzle without one Google look-up! It was very challenging and very clever. I especially liked 19 across.

  9. @Jeff re. Our Willie ~~thanks! I had forgotten that.
    For this puzzle I did what I often do on Fridays: I scan thru Bill's notes, then I turn to the blank grid and see if the clues jog my memory and try to figure which answers go where. It's still a brain exercise, right? WHO'S WITH ME??!
    Planning to take the same approach for Saturday…
    Be well~~™

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