LA Times Crossword Answers 4 May 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Parikshit Sreedhara Bhat
THEME: Grasslands … each of today’s themed answers ends with a type of grassy area:

17A. New York City park that hosted two world’s fairs FLUSHING MEADOWS
35A. Rice cultivation lands PADDY FIELDS
54A. More exciting circumstances GREENER PASTURES

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Sleep lab study APNEA
Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

6. Dalí works, por ejemplo ARTE
In Spanish, a work of “arte” (art) might be by Dalí, “por ejemplo” (for example).

The famous surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. I had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it’s a “must see” as it really is a quite magnificent building with a fascinating collection.

10. Drug cop NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”.

15. Midday NOON
Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in Ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

16. Chevy hatchback AVEO
The Chevrolet Aveo is a subcompact automobile that has been around since 2002. The Aveo is manufactured by GM Daewoo, the GM subsidiary in South Korea. Although the Aveo name is still used in some markets, here in North America the Aveo has been sold as the Chevrolet Sonic since 2012. By the way, GM Daewoo is the third largest manufacturer of automobiles in South Korea, after Hyundai and Kia.

17. New York City park that hosted two world’s fairs FLUSHING MEADOWS
Flushing Meadows is a park in Queens in New York City. It is home to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (home for the US Open), Citi Field (home for the New York Mets), the Queens Zoo and several other significant venues. The park was created in the late thirties as the site of the 1939/1940 New York World’s Fair.

23. Ordinal suffix -ETH
Ordinal numbers express a position in a series, i.e. first, second, third etc.

25. Albania’s capital TIRANA
Tirana is the capital of Albania, and the nation’s largest city.

29. Periodontist’s deg. DDS
Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

“Periodontium” is the name given to the tissues that surround and support the teeth.

30. “How Deep Is Your Love” group BEE GEES
The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “The Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

35. Rice cultivation lands PADDY FIELDS
A paddy field is the flooded piece of land used to grow rice. The water reduces competition from weeds allowing the rice to thrive. The word “paddy” has nothing to do with us Irish folk, and is an anglicized version of the word “padi”, the Malay name for the rice plant.

38. Star in Scorpius ANTARES
Antares is the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius. The name “Antares” comes from “anti-Ares” meaning “anti-Mars”. The star has a reddish hue that resembles the planet Mars.

39. Voice legend Blanc MEL
Mel Blanc was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. We’ve all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc’s tombstone are … “That’s All Folks”.

40. U-verse provider ATT
“U-verse” is the brand name ATT give to their bundle of services that includes Internet, telephone and television.

41. “Not just a scooter, a way of life” brand VESPA
Vespa is a brand of motor scooter originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.

45. Kind of surprise kick ONSIDE
In American football, an onside kick is one in which the ball is kicked a short distance. The intention is for the kicking team to retain possession, although that is a relatively unlikely outcome.

47. Popular berry ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

50. Trawler’s catch COD
In the British Isles, the most common fish that is used in traditional “fish and chips” is Atlantic cod. Cod has been overfished all over the world, and is now considered to be an endangered species by many international bodies. Confrontations over fishing rights in the North Atlantic led to conflicts called “the Cod Wars” between Iceland and the UK in the 1950s and the 1970s, with fishing fleets being protected by naval vessels and even shots being fired.

51. Present moment NONCE
The quaint phrase “for the nonce” means “for the present”, “for now”.

57. Tan tone ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

58. Scale for rock hounds MOHS
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness was developed in 1812 by Friedrich Mohs. Basically Mohs took minerals and scratched them with other minerals. In this way he was able to determine which minerals were hardest (most scratch resistant) and which softest.

59. Alaskan native ALEUT
The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

62. Señorita’s parent MADRE
In Spanish, a “madre” (mother) is a member of “la familia” (the family).

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

Down
1. Valet at Wayne Manor ALFRED
Alfred J. Pennyworth is the loyal butler to Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. Alfred is sometimes referred to as “Batman’s batman”. Sir Michael Caine played Alfred in three movies: “Batman Begins”, “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises”.

Wayne Manor is where Bruce Wayne lives, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access is to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne’s parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.

2. Hand-washer of the Gospels PILATE
Pontius Pilate was the judge at the trial of Jesus Christ and the man who authorized his crucifixion. Over the years, many scholars have suggested that Pilate was a mythical character. However in 1961 a block of limestone was found in the modern-day city of Caesarea in Israel, and in the block was an inscription that included the name of Pontius Pilate, citing him as Prefect of Judea.

4. Celtic language ERSE
There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

6. 1997-2006 U.N. leader ANNAN
Kofi Annan is a diplomat from Ghana who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007. Annan was born into an aristocratic family, and had a twin sister named Efua Atta. Efua and Kofi shared the middle name “Atta”, which means “twin” in the Akan language of Ghana. Annan attended the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1971-72, and graduated with a Master of Science degree.

8. Mummy’s resting place TOMB
We use the term “mummy” for a dead body that has been embalmed in preparation for burial, especially if done so by the ancient Egyptians. The term “mummy” comes from the Persian word “mumiyah” meaning “embalmed body”.

9. Yakima-to-Spokane dir. ENE
The city and county of Yakima lie southeast of Mount Rainier in the state of Washington. The Yakima Valley is recognized as one of the best apple-producing regions in the world, and it also produces three quarters of all the hops grown in the US.

Back in 1974, Spokane in Washington was the smallest city ever to host a World’s Fair. The theme of the fare was “the environment”, which I suppose was ahead of its time. Notably, Expo ’74 was the first American-hosted World’s Fair attended by the Soviet Union after WWII.

10. Low point NADIR
The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith.

11. Guacamole ingredients AVOCADOS
Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes, and is made by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

13. Bob of “Football Night in America” COSTAS
Bob Costas has been a sportscaster for NBC since the early eighties. Costas has a son called Keith. Just before his son was born, Costas made (as a joke) a bet with Minnesota Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett that if he was batting over .350 by the time the child was born, he would name the baby “Kirkby”. Well, Puckett won the bet, but the actual name chosen was Keith Michael Costas. When Puckett reminded Costas of the agreement, the birth certificate was changed to Keith Michael Kirkby Costas. My wife would have killed me …

19. Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego ALI G
Ali G is a fictional character created by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Baron Cohen achieved international fame playing another of his personae, Borat, the protagonist in the 2006 movie “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”.

25. Stun gun brand 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”.

27. Bk. after Amos OBAD
The Book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Hebrew Bible, consisting of just one chapter, divided into 21 verses.

28. Daughter of Darth LEIA
Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in all six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

– Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
– Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
– Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
– Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
– Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
– Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

32. Ibsen’s “Peer __” GYNT
Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” is based on a Scandinavian fairy tale “Per Gynt”. The incidental music to the play, written by Edvard Grieg, is some of the most approachable classical music ever written, at least in my humble opinion …

33. Young newt EFT
Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

34. Inventory: Abbr. MDSE
Merchandise (mdse.)

35. Tapered beer glasses PILSNERS
Pilsener (also pilsner or pils) is a pale lager. The name “pilsener” comes from the city of Pilsen, now in the Czech Republic. It was in Pilsen, in 1842, that the first bottom-fermented lager was produced. A bottom-fermented beer is much clearer that a top-fermented beer, and has a crisper taste. The “top” and “bottom” refers to where the yeast gathers during the brewing process.

36. Big name in jeans LEVI
Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (from Nimes) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.

37. One of Las Islas Baleares MENORCA
The island of Minorca in the Mediterranean takes its name from the larger neighboring island of Majorca. The names come from the Latin “Insula Minor” meaning “Minor Island” and “Insula Major” meaning “Major Island”. The island is known as “Minorca” in English, and “Menorca” in Spanish and Catalan.

The Balearic Islands (“Las Islas Baleares” in Spanish) form an archipelago in the western Mediterranean of the east coast of Spain. The Balearics are made up up four main islands: Ibiza and Formentera (aka “the Pine Islands”), Majorca and Minorca.

39. Fish tail? -MONGER
The suffix “-monger” indicates a dealer or trader. For example. A fishmonger sells fish, and an ironmonger sells hardware.

40. Yemen coastal city 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.

44. Carol opener ADESTE
The lovely Christmas hymn “Adeste Fideles” (translated from Latin as “O Come, All Ye Faithful”) was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time.

47. Omega’s opposite ALPHA
The greek alphabet starts with the letter alpha, and ends with the letter omega.

53. Luau dance HULA
Hula is the name of the Polynesian dance. The chant or song that the dance illustrates, that’s known as the mele.

55. Ambulance letters EMS
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

56. Edinburgh bonnet TAM
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”), but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of Robert Burns’ poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and is a really beautiful city. In days gone by it might not have been quite so charming though. Like many cities, plumes of smoke hung over Edinburgh when coal and wood fires weren’t regulated. To this day, the city has the nickname “Auld Reekie”, Scots for “Old Smoky”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sleep lab study APNEA
6. Dalí works, por ejemplo ARTE
10. Drug cop NARC
14. Some storytellers LIARS
15. Midday NOON
16. Chevy hatchback AVEO
17. New York City park that hosted two world’s fairs FLUSHING MEADOWS
20. Current fashion RAGE
21. Put on any old way DAUB
22. Permissible LICIT
23. Ordinal suffix -ETH
24. First-rate A-ONE
25. Albania’s capital TIRANA
26. Dry out, so to speak DETOX
28. Fall behind LAG
29. Periodontist’s deg. DDS
30. “How Deep Is Your Love” group BEE GEES
34. Wks. and wks. MOS
35. Rice cultivation lands PADDY FIELDS
37. Prefix with life or wife MID-
38. Star in Scorpius ANTARES
39. Voice legend Blanc MEL
40. U-verse provider ATT
41. “Not just a scooter, a way of life” brand VESPA
45. Kind of surprise kick ONSIDE
47. Popular berry ACAI
50. Trawler’s catch COD
51. Present moment NONCE
52. Farm implement PLOW
53. Coil in a garden HOSE
54. More exciting circumstances GREENER PASTURES
57. Tan tone ECRU
58. Scale for rock hounds MOHS
59. Alaskan native ALEUT
60. Filing tool RASP
61. Petty fight SPAT
62. Señorita’s parent MADRE

Down
1. Valet at Wayne Manor ALFRED
2. Hand-washer of the Gospels PILATE
3. All for __: in vain NAUGHT
4. Celtic language ERSE
5. Volcanic cloud that can disrupt flights ASH
6. 1997-2006 U.N. leader ANNAN
7. Disobedient way to go ROGUE
8. Mummy’s resting place TOMB
9. Yakima-to-Spokane dir. ENE
10. Low point NADIR
11. Guacamole ingredients AVOCADOS
12. Goes back a scene or two REWINDS
13. Bob of “Football Night in America” COSTAS
18. Words before a kiss I DO
19. Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego ALI G
24. Shown the office door AXED
25. Stun gun brand TASER
27. Bk. after Amos OBAD
28. Daughter of Darth LEIA
31. Bit of online courtship E-DATE
32. Ibsen’s “Peer __” GYNT
33. Young newt EFT
34. Inventory: Abbr. MDSE
35. Tapered beer glasses PILSNERS
36. Big name in jeans LEVI
37. One of Las Islas Baleares MENORCA
39. Fish tail? -MONGER
40. Yemen coastal city ADEN
42. Made a point SCORED
43. One with affectations POSEUR
44. Carol opener ADESTE
46. Acquire a winter coat? ICE UP
47. Omega’s opposite ALPHA
48. Move effortlessly COAST
49. Cribside chorus AWS
52. Pocket watch, to a hypnotist PROP
53. Luau dance HULA
55. Ambulance letters EMS
56. Edinburgh bonnet TAM

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 4 May 16, Wednesday”

  1. LAT: 2 letters off. Started feeling harder, like a general Wednesday. Hardest side was the SW. Boding towards a harder week, though.
    WSJ: 0 letters off. This one felt more like a Tuesday grid, where most all of it fell pretty quickly except the center for the awkward theme clue there.

    Good day, all.

  2. Sorry, yet again nothing to comment on. Just a standard, boring Wednesday grid. Perhaps a bit Spanish-themed, but otherwise…I got nothing. Hump day!

  3. I thought it was a good Wednesday grid. I did it quickly but I did have to think a few times. That said I thought the theme was a little weak. Like having a theme Pea, pear, prawn…with the theme being Foods that beginwith "P"……

    Guessed wrong and had ALaG/TaRANA. ALIG didn't look right to me. Didn't think of ALI G. Duh.

    COD wars? Goodness the British take their fish n chips seriously don't they..

    Best –

  4. No real difficulties with this grid. I will say you don't hear "paddy fields" very often (if at all). Rice paddies, yes. Paddy fields, not so much.

    Nest up the WSJ.

  5. 5D- Volcanic cloud that can disrupt FIGHTS.
    Yes, I actually read it that way multiple times.
    Sheesh.
    15A My paper actually printed MIDDAYA.
    That one's not my fault. ^0^
    ALyA/TyRANA. Ignorant on both counts.

  6. From yesterday, Carrie, best of luck for your search for ESL students. Alas, I don't live in or near LA, and I dont know any prospective students for ESL training. Maybe you could register at a local Nationalities center, for prospective citizens-to-be ?

    The puzzle was easier than a normal Weds., but the theme was somewhat esoteric. I cleaned up in a jiffy, except for a few words like NONCE, Menorca (which I've heard of – ), Antares, monger and Pilsner …..

    Well, well, well – an indian constructor, surprise. Parikshit, would more likely be spelled Pariksit, in the US, to avoid the unfortunate last 4 letters. A certainly very rare name, from the origin word, 'Pariksha' meaning test or exam. Thus 'one who has been tested' ( – and presumably found competent …). The last name 'Bhat' is the word for a priest. (More likely, the ancestral profession.) Crossword constructors, will please note that this word, has 4 letters …. (also, sometimes, 'bhatt'). I googled the name, and came up blank, so maybe a first submission. I would guess, of the brahmin caste ( though thats irrelevant, nowadays ) from south india, probably from Karnataka or Tamil Nadu.

    Have a nice day, folks.

  7. The writeup for 35 down only talks about pilsner the drink, not the glass. Here is what I found on Wikipedia…

    A pilsner glass is used for many types of light beers, including pale lager or pilsner. Pilsner glasses are generally smaller than a pint glass, usually in 200 ml, 250 ml, 300 ml, 330 ml or 400 ml sizes. (In Europe 500ml ones are common.) They are tall, slender and tapered. The slender glass reveals the colour, and carbonation of the beer, and the broad top helps maintain a beer head.

    Weizen glasses are sometimes mistakenly called Pilsner glasses because they are somewhat similar in appearance, but true Pilsner glasses have an even taper without any amount of curvature.

    My paper had Middaya also, perhaps the answer should have been Noona?

  8. Hey all!
    Thank you Vidwan for your kind wishes! Yes, I've got to do some serious outreach. I'm not getting many students from my Craigslist ads. :'(
    Also Vidwan, I wondered whether this setter was male or female? I can't tell from the name.
    Finally, the badly named Babu, of "Seinfeld" infamy: his last name was Bhatt!
    I liked this puzzle. Good challenge, and some originality in clues & answers, IMO. I got stuck in the southwest for awhile, what with PILSNERS and NONCE and ONSIDE. But it came together.
    I did notice the Star Wars reference, in honor of Star Wars Day…tho it probably wasn't intentional.
    Annnyway ~~ back for more good times tomorrow!
    Sweet dreams ~~™

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