LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Mar 16, Wednesday

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

CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Yes, yes, yes, yes! … each of today’s themed answer is a wordy way to say “yes”, and is clued appropriately for those words:

17A. Yes, to a cowboy? YOU BET YOUR BOOTS
27A. Yes, to an architect? SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN
43A. Yes, to a traffic court judge? SUITS ME JUST FINE
54A. Yes, to the Magic 8 Ball IT IS DECIDEDLY SO

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Vanna’s cohort PAT
Pat Sajak took over the hosting of “Wheel of Fortune” from Chuck Woolery back in 1983 and has been doing the job ever since. Sajak had a short run as a talk show host in 1989/1990 and used to sub quite often for Larry King and Regis Philbin.

Vanna White is the lady who turns the letters on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show. White is big into knitting and crochet, and has her own line of yarns called “Vanna’s Choice”.

“Cohort” can be used as a collective noun, meaning a group or company. The term can also apply to a company or associate. The term comes from the Latin “cohors”, which was an infantry company in the Roman army, one tenth of a legion.

4. Smidgens IOTAS
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

9. Thicket COPSE
A copse is a small stand of trees. The term “copse” originally applied to a small thicket that was specifically grown for cutting.

14. Boston Marathon mo. APR
The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, outside of the Olympic event. The first Boston Marathon was held way back in 1897 to celebrate Patriots’ Day, which commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the start of the American Revolution.

15. Meat and greet patio party? BAR-B-Q
It is believed that our word “barbecue” comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”. The word is sometimes abbreviated to “BBQ” or “Bar-B-Q”.

16. Skylit courtyards ATRIA
In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

21. Switz. neighbor AUS
The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country, “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

23. “M*A*S*H” Emmy winner for acting, writing and directing ALDA
Alan Alda has had a great television career, especially of course on “M*A*S*H”. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He won his most recent Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

24. German autos BMWS
The abbreviation BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

26. Women’s undergarment, briefly CAMI
A camisole (also “cami”) is a sleeveless undergarment worn by women that extends down to the waist. “Camisole” is a French word that we imported into English, which ultimately derives from the Latin “camisia” meaning “shirt, nightgown”.

32. Cracker with a scalloped edge RITZ
I’ve always liked Ritz crackers. They’ve been around since 1934 when they were introduced by Nabisco. The name Ritz was chosen because the marketing folks felt that the association with Ritz-Carlton would evoke images of wealth and the highlife.

34. Provides with a soundtrack DUBS
If voices needed to be altered on the soundtrack of a film, that means double the work as there needs to be a re-recording. “Dub” is short for “double”, and is a term we’ve been using since the late 1920s. The term has been extended to describe the adding of sound to an otherwise silent film or tape.

39. Shakespeare’s river AVON
There are actually four rivers called the Avon in England, but “Shakespeare’s Avon” lies mainly in Warwickshire. The name “Avon” comes from the Old English word for a river, “abona”. Stratford-upon-Avon was the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

40. Stockholm carrier SAS
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.

47. Author Rice ANNE
Anne Rice is an American author of erotic and Gothic novels. Rice was born Howard Allen O’Brien (no wonder she changed her name!). Her famous series of novels “The Vampire Chronicles” centers on her character Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman who was turned into a vampire in the 18th century. One of the stories, “Interview with the Vampire”, was adapted for the big screen in 1994 and features Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and others in a star-studded cast. Not my kind of movie though, as I don’t do vampires …

49. Medicine Hat’s prov. ALTA
Alberta (Alta.) is a big province, about the size of Texas. Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Princess Louise also donated her name to Lake Louise, the large glacial lake in the province, now within the bounds of Banff National Park.

Medicine Hat is a city in Alberta. Canada. Medicine Hat is known for its extensive natural gas fields. In fact, English writer Rudyard Kipling described the city as having “all hell for a basement”.

51. Org. for docs AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

52. Exited quickly, in slang BAILED
The phrase “to bail out” (sometimes just “to bail”) means to leave suddenly. We’ve been using the term since the early thirties, originating with airline pilots. To bail out is to make a parachute jump.

54. Yes, to the Magic 8 Ball IT IS DECIDEDLY SO
The Magic 8-Ball is a toy, supposedly a fortune-telling device, introduced by Mattel in 1946. There are 20 answers that the Magic 8-Ball can provide, including:

– Without a doubt
– Ask again later
– My sources say no
– Outlook not so good
– Signs point to yes
– It is decidedly so

58. “Divine Comedy” poet DANTE
Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is “Inferno”, which is the Italian word for “Hell”. In the poem, Dante is led on a journey by the poet Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell on which are written the famous words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

59. “Fun, Fun, Fun” car in 1960s hit T-BIRD
Ford manufactured the Thunderbird (T-Bird) from 1955 to 2005, originally as a two-seater sporty convertible. The T-Bird was introduced as a competitor to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette.

“Fun, Fun, Fun” is a 1964 song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the Beach Boys. The English rock band Status Quo released a great cover version of “Fun, Fun, Fun” in 1996, which featured the Beach Boys on backup vocals.

60. Make faces for the camera MUG
The verb “to mug” means to make an exaggerated facial expression. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are the made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions. “Mug” can also be a noun meaning “face”.

61. Labor day doc OB/GYN
Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)

62. Church chorus AMENS
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

63. Mini-albums, briefly EPS
An extended play record (EP) contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

Down
2. Ill-fated 1967 moon mission APOLLO I
Apollo 1 was planned to be the first manned mission in NASA’s lunar landing program. Sadly, the three crew members perished in a tragic cabin fire that took place in a launch pad test. The astronauts who died were Gus Grissom (the second American to fly in space), Edward White (the first American to walk in space) and Roger Chaffee (the pilot for the planned Apollo 1 mission).

3. Made even, to a carpenter TRUED UP
A carpenter is a woodworker. “Carpenter” came into English via French from the Latin “carpentarius” meaning “wagon maker”. The earlier “carpentum” is Latin for “wagon”.

5. Cheerios descriptor OATY
Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, “Cheerios” were known as CheeriOats.

7. Blood-typing letters ABO
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a “universal donor”.

9. Uber competitors CABS
Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Personally, I love the service and only have had good experiences …

10. Platte River tribe OTO
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

The Platte River used to be called the Nebrakier, which is an Oto word meaning “flat river”. Indeed, the state of Nebraska takes its name from “Nebrakier”. For a while it was also called the River Plate as “plate” is the French word “flat”. Later this became “Platte”, the phonetic spelling of the French “plate”.

24. Orders with mayo BLTS
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

25. “Les __”: musical nickname MIZ
The 1980 musical “Les Misérables” is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London’s West End. My wife and I saw “Les Miz” in the Queen’s Theatre in London quite a few years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The old theater’s seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor that had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn’t really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn’t seem to hang together for me.

26. PCs’ “brains” CPUS
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main component on the “motherboard” of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

28. Karen Carpenter’s instrument DRUMS
Karen Carpenter was an accomplished drummer, although she only started playing drums in high school, as a member of the school band. After she graduated she started playing jazz with her brother, Richard, and a college friend. Later, she and Richard played with a group called Spectrum, and submitted many demo tapes to recording companies, but all were unsuccessful. Finally, Karen and Richard got a recording contract with A&M Records, and when they had Karen take the lead on their songs, they hit the big time and toured as the Carpenters. Sadly, Karen passed away at only 32-years-old, dying from heart failure brought on by anorexia.

34. Prom partner DATE
A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

35. Fallopian tube traveler OVUM
The Fallopian tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals in the uterus. The tubes are named for the 16th-century Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio, who was the first to describe them.

37. Drink on credit RUN A TAB
When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

39. Multi-platinum Steely Dan album AJA
Steely Dan’s heyday was in the seventies when they toured for a couple of years, although the group mainly focused on studio work. The band was formed in 1972 and broke up in 1981. The core of the band reunited in 1993 and they are still going strong today. Steely Dan’s best-selling album is “Aja”, released in 1977.

44. Viral Internet phenomenon MEME
A “meme” (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

45. Two-horse wager EXACTA
To win a bet called an exacta (also called a “perfecta”), the person betting must name the horses that finish first and second, and in the exact order. The related bet called the trifecta requires naming of the first, second and third-place finishers in the right order.

51. Yemeni port ADEN
Aden is a seaport in Yemen, located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

52. Capital near Zurich BERN
Bern (also “Berne”) is the capital of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

56. Tech giant IBM
IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. The company changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name of International Business Machines (IBM) was given first to the company’s Canadian subsidiary, and then its South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice …

57. Cube that rolls DIE
The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Vanna’s cohort PAT
4. Smidgens IOTAS
9. Thicket COPSE
14. Boston Marathon mo. APR
15. Meat and greet patio party? BAR-B-Q
16. Skylit courtyards ATRIA
17. Yes, to a cowboy? YOU BET YOUR BOOTS
20. Sunday service providers CLERGY
21. Switz. neighbor AUS
22. Pollen carrier BEE
23. “M*A*S*H” Emmy winner for acting, writing and directing ALDA
24. German autos BMWS
26. Women’s undergarment, briefly CAMI
27. Yes, to an architect? SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN
31. __ joint HIP
32. Cracker with a scalloped edge RITZ
33. [uh-oh] GULP
34. Provides with a soundtrack DUBS
35. Components of many tips ONES
37. Give in to wanderlust ROAM
39. Shakespeare’s river AVON
40. Stockholm carrier SAS
43. Yes, to a traffic court judge? SUITS ME JUST FINE
47. Author Rice ANNE
48. Final, e.g. EXAM
49. Medicine Hat’s prov. ALTA
50. Shoot the breeze YAK
51. Org. for docs AMA
52. Exited quickly, in slang BAILED
54. Yes, to the Magic 8 Ball IT IS DECIDEDLY SO
58. “Divine Comedy” poet DANTE
59. “Fun, Fun, Fun” car in 1960s hit T-BIRD
60. Make faces for the camera MUG
61. Labor day doc OB/GYN
62. Church chorus AMENS
63. Mini-albums, briefly EPS

Down
1. Choose paper over plastic? PAY CASH
2. Ill-fated 1967 moon mission APOLLO I
3. Made even, to a carpenter TRUED UP
4. “__ your pardon” I BEG
5. Cheerios descriptor OATY
6. “Give it a go” TRY
7. Blood-typing letters ABO
8. Kick up a fuss SQUAWK
9. Uber competitors CABS
10. Platte River tribe OTO
11. The majors PRO BALL
12. Online guide SITE MAP
13. Enter gradually EASE IN
18. Muffin mix additive BRAN
19. Con job RUSE
24. Orders with mayo BLTS
25. “Les __”: musical nickname MIZ
26. PCs’ “brains” CPUS
28. Karen Carpenter’s instrument DRUMS
29. Member of the fam SIB
30. One who helps you find a part? AGENT
34. Prom partner DATE
35. Fallopian tube traveler OVUM
36. Rejections NOS
37. Drink on credit RUN A TAB
38. Noise from a 55-Down OINKING
39. Multi-platinum Steely Dan album AJA
40. “I was so foolish!” SILLY ME!
41. Pays for cards ANTES UP
42. Old salts SEA DOGS
43. Get hitched SAY “I DO”
44. Viral Internet phenomenon MEME
45. Two-horse wager EXACTA
46. Go up in smoke FAIL
51. Yemeni port ADEN
52. Capital near Zurich BERN
53. Supplements, with “to” ADDS
55. Type of pen STY
56. Tech giant IBM
57. Cube that rolls DIE

Return to top of page

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Mar 16, Wednesday”

  1. For those that are interested, today's WSJ was pretty good for a challenge.

    @Bill In case I forget to say, good luck with the ACPT this weekend (if it still works out that you're going).

  2. Lots of familiar crosswordese in this one. Wednesday-ish sounds about right. Error free with a few write overs.

    I have very little to add to the write up, so I'll just remind trivia buffs that the king of trivia gameshows began this day in 1964 with Art Fleming as the host. I almost never see Jeopardy anymore, but it was and still is the best gameshow of all time. I assume it's still on network tv in sydication somewhere over the air. I could look it up, but that's what you guys are for… 🙂

    Best –

  3. I had a tough, tough time with the puzzle. I was 'not on the correct wavelenght, of the constructor' , as the saying goes ….. even the easy answers took forever to develop. That aside, I enjoyed (?) the puzzle – and Bill, thanks for the tons and galoots of info while I read the blog. Really made my day.

    All indian ( Bollywood ) songs are dubbed, because all the socalled handsome men and pretty women still can't sing. The singers used to be considered merely an 'accessory', but now, thank god, they are becoming famous in their own right. Songs are often the main reason to see the movie in the first place.

    The Magic 8 ball 'predictor' is an icosahedron (20 sides) and according to Wiki, 10 faces have positive answers, 5 have neutral and 5 have negative answers. I have many icosahedrons (20 faces of triangles ) and dodecahedrons ( 12 faces of pentagons) in my cabinet, but still have a tough time making out the difference.

    Bill, good luck with the American Crossowrd Puzzle Tournament, if you are going or going to be constructing. Do write a humorous diary on your view – we would love to hear of your opinions. What'll happen to the blog ???

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. @Bill
    I do rembember you were less than satisfied at last year's competition. Hope you avoid "falling for every trick in the book" again this year. Good luck there this year.

    Best –

  5. @Bill – I've got a lot of admiration for you putting yourself out there for this tourney. While I've never entered one for crossword puzzles I did enter a table tennis event when I was much, much younger. I did fair…won a couple of matches. But when I played a couple of guys who were really good it was a humbling experience.

    @Glenn – I had a lot of fun with the WSJ daily today as well. It was definitely a challenge (proof of how much of a challenge was the acute number of strike overs I ended up with!). I did solve it successfully and it sounds like you did too.

    Today's LA Times grid was pretty straightforward. I didn't approach Bill's solve time, but I had a decent time (11 to 12 minutes, or so).

  6. I had fun with this today.Got the beginnings of the phrases, but had to wait for the "BOOTS" and "PLAN", etc.
    Good luck Bill!!!!

  7. @Vidwan – The Italian cinema system sounds the same.
    One of the children of one of my husband's first cousins is a dancer in Bollywood – and also a lawyer back home. She's Italian and "passes."
    As for the puzzle, some of the expressions are Americanisms and old fashioned, especially the cowboy one.

    Wanderlust is a theme in some classic German poetry. At least one speaks of the desire of the miller to wander after watching water flow over his millstone forever, and wondering whence it comes and to where it goes.

  8. Bill, good luck in the ACPT, something I would never even think of trying. Your times on the LAT and NYT grids are admirable to say the least. God speed!

  9. Contests are funny things, I've found. A lot of it, I have found with my own contest experiences, is as much being prepared mentally for the environment they put you in as is performing well. Hopefully, Bill will do much better simply for knowing that this time.

    It's interesting in any event, as I'm waiting to see if they publish the grids just to know where my ability lies in just being able to do them (more than any times I might get on them), as I'm still struggling to complete a certain subset of grids much less do them quickly. Would be nice to know though.

    @Tony and in general, about WSJ
    I did with the exception of the NE corner, which was both the hardest and where I picked up my errors for the grid.

    To speak in general, one thing I've picked up upon in trying to learn constructing grids (amidst what I haven't figured out, which basically right now amounts to layout and fill questions, though I have picked up a couple of tricks on solving along the way) is what it takes to consistently come up with decent grids. That said, since I figured out most of Mike Shenk's pseudonyms, I'm wondering now how the WSJ selection varies between Mike Shenk and Not Mike Shenk (which today was). Even if doing grids is easier than I'm making it out to be, I definitely have to admire the ability to turn out the amount of grids that some of the constructors seem to be turning out.

  10. @Bill
    With so much on your mind it almost seems cruel to remind you that Patriots Day (in your entry for 14A) marks the beginning, not the end, of the American Revolution.

  11. @Anonymous
    Thanks for correcting my assertion about Patriots' Day. All fixed now.

    @Everyone
    Thanks for the good wishes for the ACPT this coming weekend. As I said, I can't do much worse than I did my first time out, last year. I will be going in with a healthy dose of humility from that last showing. And, if any fellow competitor notices my name badge while there in Stamford, please do stop me and say "hi".

  12. @Tony from yesterday — yes that's it!! Papadum! So tasty.
    Nice Wednesday puzzle: challenging, well put together. I'd never heard TRUED IN, but I really like that phrase and I'm going to work it into my conversations. Y'know, like this:
    "Do you believe believe he really loves you?"
    "Oh yes, he's TRUED in."
    So glad we have Karen's instrument as DRUMS, and it's time for me to link again to the video of her in action. I just need to go back and find where you kind folks linked me to How to Link!! Hope I bookmarked it…
    Great discussion, fun puzzle.
    Sweet dreams~~™

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.