LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Mar 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Skoczen
THEME: KP Duty … each of today’s themed answers comprises two words starting with the letters KP:

50D. Mil. grunt work, and a hint to the answers to starred clues KP DUTY

17A. *Freebie with fries KETCHUP PACK
38A. *Spicy Chinese dish with chicken and peanuts KUNG PAO
62A. *Of its species, only the emperor is larger KING PENGUIN
11D. *South Korean subcompact KIA PRIDE
37D. *Beer pong venue KEG PARTY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Tatum O’Neal played one in “The Bad News Bears” TOMBOY
Back in the 1550s “tomboy” was used to describe a male, a boy that was rude or boisterous. A few years later the term was being used for a bold or perhaps immodest girl. By 1600 a tomboy was being used to describe a girl who acts like a spirited boy, just as we’d say today.

Tatum O’Neal is the youngest actress to win a “competitive” Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1974 when she was just 10 years old, for her role as Addie in “Paper Moon”. The youngest person to win an honorary Academy Award was Shirley Temple, who was only 5 years old when she was presented with an Oscar in 1934.

“The Bad News Bears” is 1976 comedy film starring Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal. The movie is all about a Little League baseball team made up of misfits who are coached by an alcoholic former minor-league baseball player. The film was a big hit that spawned two sequels, “The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training” (1977) and “The Bad News Bears Go to Japan” (1978). There was also a television series and a 2005 remake that stars Billy Bob Thornton.

11. Keystone bumbler KOP
The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

17. *Freebie with fries KETCHUP PACK
The term “ketchup” may be of Chinese origin. One suggestion is that the name comes from “kôe-chiap”, meaning the brine of pickled fish. The name may also come from the Chinese “jyutping”, meaning “tomato sauce”.

19. Woodworking tool ADZ
An adze (also adz) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe’s blade is set in line with the shaft.

20. Kosher deli offering LATKE
A latke is a delicious potato pancake (I’m Irish … so anything made with potato is delicious!).

21. Sipped sherry, say HAD A NIP
Sherry is a fortified wine made using grapes from around the town of Jerez de la Frontera (formerly “Xerez” or “Xeres”) in the autonomous community of Andalusia in Spain. The word “sherry” is an anglicized form of the name “Jerez”.

25. How some Bibles present Jesus’ words IN RED
In a red-letter edition Bible, the words spoken by Jesus while on Earth are printed in red ink. The practice started in 1899 with the publication of a red-letter New Testament. The first red-letter Bible followed two years later.

30. Stool pigeon RATFINK
A “fink” is an informer, someone who rats out his cohorts.

Stoolies, also called canaries, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. Originally a stoolie was a decoy for the police, rather than an informer, hence the name.

32. Barrister’s topper WIG
In a common law jurisdiction with a split legal profession, such as England, lawyers can be either solicitors or barristers. Someone needing legal help will retain a solicitor for that purpose. If a court trial is required, then a barrister is retained to make representation before a judge and perhaps a jury. The barrister is the lawyer who wears the wig.

33. Playing card symbol PIP
A pip is a dot on a die or a domino, or a mark on a playing card.

34. Chief Valhalla god ODIN
In Norse mythology, Valhalla (“hall of the slain”) is a gigantic hall in the “world” of Asgard. Asgard and Valhalla are ruled by the god Odin, the chief Norse god.

38. *Spicy Chinese dish with chicken and peanuts KUNG PAO
Sichuan (also Szechuan) is a province in southwest China. Sichuan is noted for its cuisine, which is hot and spicy as it uses plenty of garlic, chili peppers and the Sichuan peppercorn. A famous Szechuan dish in the US is Kung Pao chicken or shrimp.

41. Big name in ice cream 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 Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

44. In medias __ RES
“In media res” is a Latin phrase that translates as “into the middle of things”. We use “in media res” to describe a literary technique in which a story starts at some point other than the beginning of the plot.

45. Dr. Mom’s forte TLC
Tender loving care (TLC)

47. Source of early clothing? FIG TREE
The third plant named in the Bible, after the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, was the fig tree. Adam and Eve used leaves from the fig tree to sew garments when they realized that they were naked.

53. Antique photo SEPIA
Sepia is that lovely rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish.The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

54. Heavy hauler DRAY
A dray is a side-less, 4-wheeled cart used for hauling goods.

60. Part of dpi PER
Dots per inch (DPI) is a term usually reserved for printing resolution, a measure of the density of individual ink dots that can be positioned on the printed surface. Screen resolution is measured in pixels per inch (PPI), a measure of how closely individual pixels can be placed in a digital display.

62. *Of its species, only the emperor is larger KING PENGUIN
Penguins are flightless aquatic birds found only in the Southern Hemisphere, mainly in Antarctica. The two largest species of penguin are called the emperor penguin and the king penguin.

64. 747, e.g. JET
Boeing’s 747 was the first jet to be called a “Jumbo”, as it was the first wide-body airliner. This means that the 747 was the first to have seating laid out with two aisles running the length of the plane. The plane also has three decks for part of its length, with the lower deck being used for cargo and galley space, and the upper deck for extra passenger seating. The Airbus A380 is called a “Superjumbo” as it has two full decks of passengers.

65. Cyberzine EMAG
An online magazine is referred to as a “cyberzine” or an “emag”.

66. Inner strength METTLE
“Mettle” is such a lovely word. It means courage and fortitude, or spirit. “Mettle” is simply a variant spelling of the word “metal”.

69. Verne __, Mini-Me portrayer in Austin Powers films TROYER
The actor Verne Troyer is best known for playing the character Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” series of films. Troyer suffers from a form of dwarfism, and at a height of only 2 ft 8 in is one of the shortest men in the world.

Down
1. Gertrude Stein confidante Alice B. __ TOKLAS
Alice B. Toklas was the confidante and lover of author Gertrude Stein, whom she met in Paris in 1907. The couple stayed together until Stein passed away in 1946. Famously, Toklas and Stein hosted gatherings that were attended by authors and writers who were to be extremely influential in the modernism movement. Among the list of regular attendees were Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis and Henri Matisse.

2. Like Chekhov’s “A Marriage Proposal” ONE-ACT
Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

4. Firewood-sizing tool BUCKSAW
A bucksaw is a saw with a C-shaped or H-shaped frame holding a removable blade. Sometimes referred to as a “bow saw”, a bucksaw can be used as a either a one-man or two-man saw.

5. Will-wisp link O’-THE
The terms “jack-o’-lantern” and “will-o’-the-wisp” are colloquial names for “ignis fatuus”. Ignis fatuus is an eerie light seen at night over bogs and marshes, caused by the spontaneous oxidation (burning) of phosphine and/or methane that emanates from the bog.

7. Political channel C-SPAN
C-SPAN is a privately-funded, nonprofit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings.

9. Conquistador’s chest ARCA
An arca (plural “arcae”) was a chest used for valuables in medieval Spain and Italy.

“Conquistador” is Spanish for “conqueror”.

13. Brick-shaped candy PEZ
PEZ is an Austrian brand name for a particular candy sold in a mechanical dispenser. Famously, PEZ dispensers have molded “heads”, and have become very collectible over the years. The list of heads includes historical figures like Betsy Ross and Paul Revere, characters from “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and even British royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (“William and Kate”). The name PEZ comes from the first, middle and last letters of “Pfefferminz”, the German word for “peppermint”.

18. Unit of loudness PHON
The “phon” is a unit used to indicate a person’s perception of the loudness of a sound, and is a subjective measure. The related “decibel” is a logarithmic unit measuring objective sound intensity.

26. Writer Bagnold ENID
Enid Bagnold was a British author and is best known for her 1935 novel “National Velvet”, which was of course adapted into a very successful film starring Elizabeth Taylor.

27. Seventh Ave. fashion initials DKNY
Donna Karan is an American fashion designer, creator of the Donna Karan New York (DKNY) clothing label. Karan was very much raised in the fashion industry, as her mother was a model and her stepfather a tailor.

29. Water__: oral irrigator -PIK
Waterpik is a brand name of oral irrigator, a device that uses a stream of water to remove food debris and dental plaque from the teeth. There are claims made that water irrigators are more effective than dental floss.

33. Family-friendly ratings PGS
The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

35. Big galoots OAFS
“Galoot” is an insulting term meaning an awkward or boorish man, an ape. “Galoot” comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

36. Grammy winner India.__ ARIE
India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson.

37. *Beer pong venue KEG PARTY
The game of beer pong is also known as “Beirut”. Beer pong reputedly originated as a drinking game in the fraternities of Dartmouth College in the fifties, when it was played with paddles and a ping pong net on a table. The origin of the “Beirut” name is less clear, but it probably was coined in while the Lebanese Civil War was raging in late seventies and the eighties.

39. “Ready for forty winks?” NEED A NAP?
Back in the early 1800s, folks took “nine winks” when getting a few minutes of sleep during the day. Dr. William Kitchiner extended this concept in his 1821 self-help book “The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life”. He suggested “A Forty Winks Nap”, which we seem to have been taking ever since. Mind you, I’m up to about eighty winks most days …

50. Mil. grunt work, and a hint to the answers to starred clues KP DUTY
KP is a US military slang term that stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.

51. French star ETOILE
“Étoile” is the French word for “star”.

55. Gibson’s “Lethal Weapon” role RIGGS
The “Lethal Weapon” series of film features Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the lead roles as Sergeants Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh. All four films in the series were directed by Richard Donner.

58. Stretch __ LIMO
The word “limousine” actually derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes anyway …

59. Cabinet dept. ENER
The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

60. Nightcap complement PJS
Our word “pajamas” (“PJs” for short) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is “pyjamas”.

61. Sushi fish EEL
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.

63. CPR pro EMT
An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Tatum O’Neal played one in “The Bad News Bears” TOMBOY
7. Burn a tad CHAR
11. Keystone bumbler KOP
14. Running by itself ON AUTO
15. Drought-ridden SERE
16. Suffix with infant -ILE
17. *Freebie with fries KETCHUP PACK
19. Woodworking tool ADZ
20. Kosher deli offering LATKE
21. Sipped sherry, say HAD A NIP
23. Nails, as a test ACES
24. Baptism receptacle FONT
25. How some Bibles present Jesus’ words IN RED
28. Secure with a seat belt STRAP IN
30. Stool pigeon RATFINK
32. Barrister’s topper WIG
33. Playing card symbol PIP
34. Chief Valhalla god ODIN
35. Whiskey barrel wood OAK
38. *Spicy Chinese dish with chicken and peanuts KUNG PAO
41. Big name in ice cream EDY
42. It may be gray AREA
44. In medias __ RES
45. Dr. Mom’s forte TLC
47. Source of early clothing? FIG TREE
49. With 56-Across, blamed for CHALKED …
53. Antique photo SEPIA
54. Heavy hauler DRAY
56. See 49-Across … UP TO
57. Recognition ACCLAIM
59. Fund ENDOW
60. Part of dpi PER
62. *Of its species, only the emperor is larger KING PENGUIN
64. 747, e.g. JET
65. Cyberzine EMAG
66. Inner strength METTLE
67. Wily SLY
68. Very best TOPS
69. Verne __, Mini-Me portrayer in Austin Powers films TROYER

Down
1. Gertrude Stein confidante Alice B. __ TOKLAS
2. Like Chekhov’s “A Marriage Proposal” ONE-ACT
3. “As a __ of fact …” MATTER
4. Firewood-sizing tool BUCKSAW
5. Will-wisp link O’-THE
6. Thou, now YOU
7. Political channel C-SPAN
8. Intellectually stimulating experience HEAD TRIP
9. Conquistador’s chest ARCA
10. Weave anew REKNIT
11. *South Korean subcompact KIA PRIDE
12. Antique OLD
13. Brick-shaped candy PEZ
18. Unit of loudness PHON
22. It may be supplied at a booth, briefly INFO
24. Work (out) FIGURE
26. Writer Bagnold ENID
27. Seventh Ave. fashion initials DKNY
29. Water__: oral irrigator -PIK
31. “So what?” feeling APATHY
33. Family-friendly ratings PGS
35. Big galoots OAFS
36. Grammy winner India.__ ARIE
37. *Beer pong venue KEG PARTY
39. “Ready for forty winks?” NEED A NAP?
40. Portuguese hi OLA
43. Symptom ending -ATIC
46. Held fast CLUNG TO
48. Dishonest activity RACKET
49. Kid’s summer spot CAMP
50. Mil. grunt work, and a hint to the answers to starred clues KP DUTY
51. French star ETOILE
52. Real drag DOWNER
55. Gibson’s “Lethal Weapon” role RIGGS
58. Stretch __ LIMO
59. Cabinet dept. ENER
60. Nightcap complement PJS
61. Sushi fish EEL
63. CPR pro EMT

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Mar 16, Wednesday”

  1. 5 errors on this one. More crossing errors (1D-20A, 9D-15A). NW corner was pretty hard in general without knowing one or both of those.

    Then, misread 32-A – oddly enough it happens to me every once in a while, but never this long. For some reason I kept reading "Barista's topper" and ended up keeping LID as an answer. Funny how these things go sometimes.

  2. Hmm, seemed more challenging than normal for Wednesday. Which is odd to me, since it's full of 3-letter words. PHON was a new one, so props for that. Water PIK…another words from the NYT earlier this week. More collusion, I contend. Grr.

  3. This seemed like a fair challenge, especially for a Wednesday. I had a lot of strike overs as my first instincts turned out to be wrong in too many cases. For instance 54 Across "Heavy hauler' had me putting in "Semi" which was not correct and I then had to figure out why the down answers weren't working. Same thing with 3 down that I thought was going to be "point" so when it was a letter short (Doh!) I scratched that out and finally came up with "matter" (as in "What's the matter with me that I don't count the letters to see if my idea fits or not!).

    Hope everyone has a good "hump day" and I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

  4. I had a fairly tough time with the puzzle. Took a lot of time, but less than yesterday. I'm going to stick to the subject matter today. I knew 'Toklas' because of one of Bill's earlier blogs… also I've read about their relationships, and the influence they had.

    From yesterday, I'm glad Sfingi, that you are alright. Driving a car requires utmost and constant concentration – and I never make or accept phone calls when I drive … (unless I'm driving the car with the bluetooth capability.)

    Thanks Bill, I'm going to watch the Bad news Bears.

    I much, much prefer the Taco Bell 'Fire' to any ketchup pack.

    The legal distinction between Solicitors and Barristers ( also, Pleaders ?) in the UK is slowly going away. This was just a ploy to increase jobs in the legal business. Also many solicitors are getting a chance to be QC – queen's counsel – long overdue.
    I too, had 'SEMI' before Dray finally appeared.

    I have read that a pilot on a 747 is like sitting 7 stories high – and he/she has to adjusted to taking off and landing the plane from that sort of height. Yikes.
    I must remember PHON the next time it appears in the crosswords.

    Finally, a moment of silence to remember the sad acts of terrorism in Brussels, yesterday.
    Have a nice day all, and may we here in the US, reamin safe.

  5. Had trouble translating the clues today.
    Wild guesses on FONT/PHON ENID/ODIN
    @Sfingi glad you are OK. Sorry about the Taurus wagon. Liked those.

  6. Complete hail mary guesses on the o in FONT/PHON as well as the R in SERE/ARCA, but I actually guessed correctly for once….or twice. Finished error free on what seemed more like a Thursday and a half puzzle. Theme helped a lot – all those Ks to begin answers.

    Liked the background on stool pidgeon. I guess I always assumed it was just a species of pidgeon…What??

    The cockpit on a 747 is closer to 3 stories up – about 8.7 meters high. The tail is 63 feet high which is probably closer to the 7 stories Vidwan alluded to. Surprisingly it's almost a square in that the length and wing span are almost identical – 240 feet…ish. A new 747 goes for a cool $350 million for those of you who are shopping for one.

    Best –

  7. @Jeff – If you did the WSJ today let me know what you thought? I had a devil of a time with it, but finally finished. It was the top of the N section that had me talking to myself for the longest time. I felt a real sense of accomplishment when that finally got solved!

  8. @Tony Michaels
    Not Jeff, but did the grid. Pretty interesting/challenging, mainly for the cluing itself (confusing to me at times), but kind of for the theme too (words linked with AND, where the second word has the first contained within it). Of course, interesting because it's a rare straight grid from Gaffney (he of the originator of the metas). But I ended up meeting my usual average for late week WSJ grids.

    Speaking of Gaffney, the one I happened to link when the Parker plagarism accusation was a thing, he did this. I'm not sure I buy all of it, but it's an interesting read nonetheless.

  9. And on the topic of difficulty in general (for me), just had a very smooth run with today's NYT grid (zero errors, probably about 20-30 minutes elapsed clock time on it). It's amazing how widely differing these grids are getting for me in terms of difficulty to complete them. I'm not sure if that's the experience others have in trying to learn, but I'm finding it interesting.

  10. Thanx everyone, wow.

    It's almost tomorrow, but I was at church!

    Didn't Google but had many questions after, esp. on downs – TROYER, ARCA, PHON, RIGGS, OLA, PRIDE – luckily Matt S. gave easy perpendiculars.

    What bothered me was equating knitting with weaving – It isn't just that you can carry knitting around, but knitting just grows, as weaving has a fixed warp and quite a bit of hardware. I've done both, even wove a coat, but pre-arthritis.

    Stay well, all.

  11. Hi all! Pretty easy grid for me today–a solid Wednesday, I thought. A few missteps, but that only builds our METTLE, amiright?
    I was so glad that the KING turned out to be a PENGUIN! I was afraid it would be PIRANHA or PANTHER, or some equally scary beast!! Penguins are so cute, and I wish I had the appropriate emoji to add here.
    See you mañana!
    Be well~~™

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