LA Times Crossword Answers 18 Mar 16, Friday

Quicklink
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeffrey Wechsler
THEME: ZZ Adds … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with a ZZ added:

18A. Syncopated gaits? JAZZY WALKS (“jaywalks” + ZZ)
33A. Rube Goldberg machines, e.g.? DIZZY PROJECTS (“DIY projects” + ZZ)
36A. Impress around the green? CHIP AND DAZZLE (“Chip and Dale” + ZZ)
55A. Cocktail that never goes flat? SEMPER FIZZ (“semper fi” + ZZ)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Indian bigwig RAJA
“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

11. With 28-Across, was read the riot act GOT
(28. See 11-Across … AN EARFUL)
The Riot Act was a British law that was in force from 1715 to 1967. According to the Riot Act, government entities could declare any gathering of twelve or more people “unlawful”. Our expression “read the Riot Act” is derived from the requirement for the authorities to read out the Riot Act proclamation to an unlawful assembly before the Act could be enforced.

16. 55 million-member service org. AAA
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

18. Syncopated gaits? JAZZY WALKS (“jaywalks” + ZZ)
In the world of music, syncopation is the expected emphasis away from the normally accented beat, producing an “unexpected” rhythm, an “off-beat” rhythm. Syncopation is a characteristic of many genres of music, notably ragtime and jazz.

21. Broadway choreographer for “Chicago” FOSSE
Bob Fosse won more Tony Awards for choreography than anyone else, a grand total of eight (and another Tony for direction). Fosse also won an Oscar for Best Director for his 1972 movie “Cabaret”, even beating out the formidable Francis Ford Coppola who was nominated that same year for “The Godfather”.

The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …

22. Fr. address MLLE
“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish and “mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

23. Zulu or Kikuyu BANTU
There are hundreds of Bantu languages, mainly spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

32. Sack stuff GUNNY
A gunny sack is a crude bag made from hessian fabric. The term “gunny” ultimately comes from the tulu (an Indian language) word “goni” meaning “thread, fiber”. Gunny sacks were commonly used for carrying potatoes, and were sized to hold about 100 pounds.

33. Rube Goldberg machines, e.g.? DIZZY PROJECTS (“DIY projects” + ZZ)
Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist, engineer and inventor who became famous for designing overly-complicated gadgets to perform the simplest of tasks. Goldberg produced a famous series of cartoons depicting such designs. Such was the success of his work, the Merriam-Webster dictionary accepted the phrase “Rube Goldberg” as an adjective in 1931, an adjective meaning “accomplishing something simple through complicated means”.

35. Like tandoori cuisine ASIAN
A “tandoor” is a clay oven used several Asian cuisines, most notably perhaps in Indian cooking. Heat is generated by burning charcoal or wood in a fire that by tradition burns within the oven itself.

36. Impress around the green? CHIP AND DAZZLE (“Chip and Dale” + ZZ)
Chip ‘n’ Dale are two chipmunk characters created by Disney in 1943. The characters’ names are of course a pun on “Chippendale”, the family name of Thomas Chippendale the noted English furniture designer.

48. Gym dance in “West Side Story” MAMBO
The form of music and dance known as mambo developed in Cuba. “Mambo” means “conversation with the gods” in Kikongo, a language spoken by slaves taken to Cuba from Central Africa.

Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets (played by Richard Beymer) falls in love with Maria (played by Natalie Wood) from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona.

49. Genesis twin ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

50. Dumpster habitués FLIES
A “habitué” is someone who frequents a particular spot. “Habituer” is the French word for “to accustom”.

55. Cocktail that never goes flat? SEMPER FIZZ (“semper fi” + ZZ)
By definition, a cocktail known as a Fizz includes lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the Gin Fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water. There is also a variant known as a sloe gin fizz.

“Semper Fidelis” (often abbreviated to “semper fi”) is the motto of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). The phrase is Latin and means “Always Faithful”. The US Marine Corps isn’t the only military unit using “Semper Fidelis” as a motto. It’s also used by the Portuguese Marine Corps, the Republic of China Marine Corps and the Swiss Grenadiers.

58. Helpful, if impersonal, voice SIRI
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett recently revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

59. Nous minus moi? TOI
In French, one might say that “nous” (we) minus “moi” (me) is just “toi” (you).

61. “Game of Thrones” actor __ Glen IAIN
Iain Glen is the Scottish actor who plays Jorah Mormont on “Game of Thrones”.

62. F1 neighbor ESC
On many computer keyboards, the escape key (Esc) is located beside the first function key (F1).

63. Margaret Atwood’s homeland CANADA
The Canadian author Margaret Atwood is best known for her novels. Atwood also conceived the idea of the LongPen, remote robotic writing technology. The LongPen allows a user to write remotely in ink via the Internet. Atwood came up with the idea so that she could remotely attend book signings.

Down
2. Eighth-century pope ADRIAN I
Adrian I was pope for almost 24 years, from 772 to 795, which is one of the longest reigns in papal history.

3. 1956 literature Nobelist Juan Ramón __ JIMENEZ
Juan Ramón Jiménez was a poet from Spain who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1956. Ray Bradbury’s celebrated novel “Fahrenheit 451” starts with a quotation from Jiménez:
If they give you ruled paper, write the other way

4. Cadillac compact ATS
The Cadillac model known as the ATS is so called because it is an “A-Series Touring Sedan”.

5. King dog CUJO
“Cujo” is a Stephen King horror novel, which means that I have never read it (I don’t do horror). The character Cujo is a rabid St. Bernard dog which besieges a young couple for three days in their stalled car. King tells us that he lifted the dog’s name from real life, as Cujo was the nickname of Willie Wolfe, one of the men responsible for the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

6. Some, in Sevilla UNAS
The city of Seville (“Sevilla” in Spanish) is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Fidelio” by Beethoven and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”.

7. Neutral areas, briefly DMZS
A demilitarized zone (DMZ) is usually a border between two countries where military activity is banned according to some treaty between interested parties. The most famous DMZ today has to be the buffer zone between North and South Korea. The Korean DMZ snakes right across the Korean peninsula near the 38th parallel. The centerline of the DMZ is where the front was when the ceasefire came into effect in 1953 after the Korean War. According to the armistice signed, all troops had to move back 2,000 meters from the front line on both sides, creating the DMZ that is in place today. Paradoxically perhaps, the areas on either side of the DMZ form the most heavily militarized border in the world.

9. Name on an ice cream container EDY
Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dryer and Joseph Edy.

10. “Ben-Hur” author Wallace LEW
Lew Wallace was a general for the Union Army during the Civil War, and was also an author. He wrote a very successful and celebrated book called “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”, first published in 1880, which was made into a movie starring Charlton Heston.

12. Headliner in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show OAKLEY
Many regard Annie Oakley as the first American female superstar, given her celebrity as a sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. She toured with the show all over Europe, and performed her act for the likes of Queen Victoria of England and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Supposedly, using a .22 caliber rifle from 90 feet away, Oakley could split a playing card edge-on, and shoot five or six holes in the card before it hit the ground!

21. ” … a tale / … full of sound and __”: Macbeth FURY
There is a famous soliloquy in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, spoken by the title character. It is usually referred to as “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow”, from the second sentence:

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

24. Whirling toon TAZ
The “Looney Tunes” character known as the Tasmanian Devil, or “Taz”, first appeared on screens in 1964 but gained real popularity in the 1990s.

The carnivorous marsupial known as the Tasmanian devil is aptly named, in the sense that the only place the animal is found in the wild is on the island of Tasmania. The “little devils” are about the size of a small dog, and they have the strongest bite for their size of any known mammal.

26. Meeting staple AGENDA
“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

27. French noble DUC
“Duc” is French for “duke”.

30. __ Major URSA
The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

34. Ming dynasty art source JADE
Jade is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. Late in the Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

37. Excited HET UP
Someone who is “het up” is “worked up, angry”. “Het” is an archaic word meaning “heated”.

39. Date night destinations ATMS
I guess that those dates can cost some money …

40. Suffix with proto- -ZOA
The suffix “-zoa” is used for groups of animal organisms e.g. protozoa and metazoa. “Zoia” is the Greek for “animals, living beings”.

41. Lusaka native ZAMBIAN
The capital city of Zambia is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of the country. Lusaka grew from a village, the headman of which was named Lusaka.

42. Africa country whose official language is English LIBERIA
Liberia is a country in West Africa. The country was founded in 1847 by former American slaves who were repatriated to Africa. As a result, the Liberian flag resembles the US flag, and the country’s motto is “The love of liberty brought us here”.

44. Former Toyotas PASEOS
The Paseo is a compact car sold in the US by Toyota from 1991 to 1997. “Paseo” is Spanish for “walk, stroll”.

46. Beau __ GESTE
“Beau Geste” is a 1924 novel by the British writer P. C. Wren. The hero of the piece is Michael “Beau” Geste, an upper-class Englishman who joins the French Foreign Legion and embarks on a life of adventure and intrigue.

47. Trekkie, e.g., for short SF FAN
A “trekkie” is a fan of “Star Trek”.

51. Capital south of Quito LIMA
Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem.

The full name of the capital city of Ecuador is San Francisco de Quito. Quito is the second highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.

52. Sportswear brand IZOD
Jack Izod was a tailor of some repute over in England, producing shirts for King George V as well as other members of the Royal Family. As Izod was about to retire, he was approached for the use of his name by an American clothing manufacturer based in New York. The brand Izod of London was introduced to America in 1938.

53. Biblical scribe EZRA
Ezra the Scribe, also called Ezra the Priest, is the central character in the Book of Ezra in the Hebrew Bible.

56. 1957 Treaty of Rome org. EEC
The Treaty of Rome is the international agreement of 1957 that established the European Economic Community (EEC). The original signatory countries were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. The EEC was also called “the Common Market”. It was a NAFTA-like structure that was eventually absorbed into today’s European Union.

57. Genetic messenger RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Indian bigwig RAJA
5. Short club CUDGEL
11. With 28-Across, was read the riot act GOT …
14. Find the right words, say EDIT
15. With 54-Across, common dorm room phenomenon UNMADE
16. 55 million-member service org. AAA
17. Treaty subject ARMS
18. Syncopated gaits? JAZZY WALKS (“jaywalks” + ZZ)
20. Bit of duplicity LIE
21. Broadway choreographer for “Chicago” FOSSE
22. Fr. address MLLE
23. Zulu or Kikuyu BANTU
25. Called the tower RADIOED
28. See 11-Across … AN EARFUL
32. Sack stuff GUNNY
33. Rube Goldberg machines, e.g.? DIZZY PROJECTS (“DIY projects” + ZZ)
35. Like tandoori cuisine ASIAN
36. Impress around the green? CHIP AND DAZZLE (“Chip and Dale” + ZZ)
44. Annoyance PEEVE
45. Like some naval missiles SEA-TO-AIR
46. Holdup bands? GARTERS
48. Gym dance in “West Side Story” MAMBO
49. Genesis twin ESAU
50. Dumpster habitués FLIES
54. See 15-Across BED
55. Cocktail that never goes flat? SEMPER FIZZ (“semper fi” + ZZ)
58. Helpful, if impersonal, voice SIRI
59. Nous minus moi? TOI
60. Fill with passion ENAMOR
61. “Game of Thrones” actor __ Glen IAIN
62. F1 neighbor ESC
63. Margaret Atwood’s homeland CANADA
64. Hitch SNAG

Down
1. Desperately REAL BAD
2. Eighth-century pope ADRIAN I
3. 1956 literature Nobelist Juan Ramón __ JIMENEZ
4. Cadillac compact ATS
5. King dog CUJO
6. Some, in Sevilla UNAS
7. Neutral areas, briefly DMZS
8. Star attachment? -GAZER
9. Name on an ice cream container EDY
10. “Ben-Hur” author Wallace LEW
11. Dairy case choices GALLONS
12. Headliner in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show OAKLEY
13. Shocked, in a way TASED
19. Something made by millionaires? A MINT
21. ” … a tale / … full of sound and __”: Macbeth FURY
24. Whirling toon TAZ
26. Meeting staple AGENDA
27. French noble DUC
29. Bad news from the professor F PAPER
30. __ Major URSA
31. Butcher’s cuts LOINS
34. Ming dynasty art source JADE
36. Ming dynasty art source CERAMIC
37. Excited HET UP
38. “__ gotta run!” I’VE
39. Date night destinations ATMS
40. Suffix with proto- -ZOA
41. Lusaka native ZAMBIAN
42. Africa country whose official language is English LIBERIA
43. Whittling away, as support ERODING
44. Former Toyotas PASEOS
46. Beau __ GESTE
47. Trekkie, e.g., for short SF FAN
51. Capital south of Quito LIMA
52. Sportswear brand IZOD
53. Biblical scribe EZRA
56. 1957 Treaty of Rome org. EEC
57. Genetic messenger RNA
58. Member of the fam SIS

Return to top of page

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 18 Mar 16, Friday”

  1. OOOOooops, I'm in a time warp …. I just came here before going to sleep. Bill is really really efficient …. does he EVER sleep at all? I guess I'll just try this out early in the morning … today. Peace, all.

  2. 3 errors, 1 stupid, 1 stemming from my other lack of knowledge error. A little time consuming, but got it smoothly enough.

    In other news, got the Friday WSJ grid just about as smoothly, 2 errors, one out of protest. Still don't get meta puzzles at all, so haven't figured that part out yet.

  3. Not a fan of the theme, many obtuse clues. I just wasn't het up about this, I think maybe it was real bad.

  4. I think this is 2 Fridays in a row I've finished unaided. The NW was the last to fall. REAL BAD is real bad grammer, but unfortunately it is indeed an accurate depiction of its usage. I could do without anymore appearances of HET UP as well. The theme really helped. You could guess the Z's and then guess the phrase although DIY took me a while to get. I also had to stick with IAIN purely on faith, but it was correct.

    Interesting tidbit on the Riot Act. According to that definition, a kindergarten class could be considered a riot. Glad to see they got rid of it.

    I've flown into Quito airport more than once, but I'd rather not do it again. You come in over mountain tops and then drop like a stone to get to the runway, then you land at about 9000 feet. In windy conditions that can make it very difficult to control the descent and it can be very rocky on the way down. The cabin gets a little quiet when it's like that. The best thing to come out of that trip was getting to see the Galapagos islands off the coast. It's an amazing place.

    Best –

  5. SF Fan? A fan of San Francisco perhaps? I finished without any errors but feel that some of these "puns" were really a stretch (if not being made up without any regard to the pun part).

    See you all tomorrow.

  6. Good gravy, did this have a lot of groaner a on it!!! Waaaay to many to type about. But just zoinks!!! Even so, I can't believe it! I finished it with zero look-ups, even!!! Sheesh. Hope everyone else fared well. It's storming down here, but at least it's been Spring for weeks now. Enjoy your weekend!

    CJ

  7. Very difficult puzzle – well, you can't win them all.

    On the subject of 'Bantu', I remember Jack Diamond, in 'Guns, germs and steel', mentioned that Northern Bantu, a Khoisan relative, now an almost extinct language, was probably the first language in the world because it used a series of 'clicks' for communicating – much like our closest non-human relatives, the chimpanzees. !Kung ….. where ! means a 'click' is probably one of the earliest of the proto-languages or prototypes.

    English uses clicks, only rarely, as in tsk! tsk!…. still used in crossword puzzles :->)

    Willie D.,nice take on Santa Fe. Maybe the Santa ate or imbibed too much, and wasn't able to go back up the chimney – so he retired and moved to a warmer climate.

    BTW, on languages, some linguists believe that the earliest humans did indeed speak like Yoda (!) Most languages, nowadays, follow the SVO Subject-verb-object …. e.g., Bill ate a sandwich. But a few have OVS Object-verb-subject …. very few. However, VOS Verb-Object-Subject is very very rare ….. so they feel thats how the original language got started 50,000 years ago. From VOS you move to OVS and then onto SVO, but never the other way around, so sayeth them that know …..

    BTW, Re: Gunny Bag ….. the Tulu ( too-lu ) language, spoken in southern Karnataka ( especially the city of Mangalore) does not have a script. However, it is used extensively as a mercantile language, in business. So, apparently, the tulu people must be skillful businessmen ….

    have a nice weekend, all.

  8. I really, REALLY dislike puzzles like this – gave up after an hour of struggle. Seeing the answers made me MORE unsettled – didn't understand the answers, never heard of the words. Too many "cutesey" clues to meet the needs of a cheesey "theme" (which I really don't consider a theme). Example: SEMPERFIZZ – a silly slap at our Marine Corps. And, tell me how DIZZYPROJECTS fits the def OR the theme????

  9. The only good thing about this puzzle happened AFTER I flung it away half-finished. THEN, I came here and for some reason the first comment I saw was YOURS, Jeff! "Then what do the poor people of Santa Fe do with their fans?" !! Out of context, this struck me as funny! I expected to see a discussion about some new law banning fans in Santa Fe. Residents were forced to get rid of their electric fans and use energy-efficient air conditioners — HEY, THAT'S NOT FAR-FETCHED!!!
    Anyhow…. Clearly I've got nothing of substance to say about this grid…:-D
    Sweet dreams ~~™

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.