LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Aug 16, Friday




LA Times Crossword Solution 12 Aug 16







Constructed by: Bruce Haight

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Goes the Distance

Today’s themed answers each end with a hidden word, a DISTANCE. Those distances get progress down the grid, from INCH to MILE:

  • 57A…Finishes a task, and a hint to hidden words in this puzzle’s four other longest answers..GOES THE DISTANCE
  • 17A…Strapped..FEELING THE PINCH (hiding “inch”)
  • 23A…”Carefree Highway” singer..GORDON LIGHTFOOT (hiding “foot”)
  • 37A…Island on which much of “Jaws” was filmed..MARTHA’S VINEYARD (hiding “yard”)
  • 47A…Grin..BREAK INTO A SMILE (hiding “mile”)

Bill’s time: 11m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1…Read the riot act..BASTE

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.

11…D-backs, on scoreboards..ARI

The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

14…Physics Nobelist Schrödinger..ERWIN

Erwin Schrödinger was an Austrian theoretical physicist, one of the so-called “fathers of Quantum Mechanics”. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933 for developing the Schrödinger Equation, the “Newton’s Law” of Quantum Mechanics. Famously, Schrödinger devised a thought experiment that illustrates the concept of a paradox. The scenario, known as “Schrödinger’s cat”, presents us with a cat that can be both alive and dead at the same time. I used to be able to Schrödinger’s Cat, and then I got old …

16…Soft slip-on..MOC

“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, the type of shoe.

20…Baja bear..OSA

Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

22…Paycheck abbr…FICA

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) was introduced in the 1930s as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. FICA payments are made by both employees and employers in order to fund Social Security and Medicare.

23…”Carefree Highway” singer..GORDON LIGHTFOOT

Gordon Lightfoot is a singer-songwriter from Orillia, Ontario. Included in the list of songs written by Lightfoot are “If You Could Read My Mind” (1970), “Carefree Highway” (1974) and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (1976).

28…Seasoned cookers..WOKS

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

29…Golfer McIlroy..RORY

Rory McIlroy is a very successful golfer from Northern Ireland. McIlroy is a relatively young man and a former world number one on the circuit, so folks can’t help but compare him to Tiger Woods. He is first European to win three different majors. Along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, McIlroy is one of the only three people to win three majors before the age of 25.

30…Eastern noodle..UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisine like tempura.

37…Island on which much of “Jaws” was filmed..MARTHA’S VINEYARD

Martha’s Vineyard is a relatively large island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. “Martha’s Vineyard” was originally the name of a smaller island to the south, named by English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. The name was eventually transferred to the main island, and is now the eighth-oldest English place-name still used in the US. It is likely that the Gosnold named the island for his daughter Martha.

“Jaws” is a thrilling 1975 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley. The film has a powerful cast, led by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. “Jaws” was perhaps the first “summer blockbuster” with the highest box office take in history, a record that stood until “Star Wars” was released two years later.

41…Many a prof..PHD

PhD is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”.

43…First name in jazz..ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

54…”Do or do not. There is no try” speaker..YODA

Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the “Star Wars” series of films. Yoda’s voice was provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of “Muppets” fame.

55…Hyatt competitor..OMNI

Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico. The first Omni property opened in 1958, and Omni were the first large hotel chain to not offer in-room adult movies.

The Hyatt hotel chain takes its name from the first hotel in the group, that was purchased in 1957 i.e. Hyatt House at Los Angeles International Airport. Among other things, Hyatt is famous for designing the world’s first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

56…Informal British address..GUV

“Guv” is an informal word replacing “governor”, used in the UK. It is usually a friendly address to a man, sort of like our “Mac” or “Dad”.

62…SEALs’ org…USN

SEAL is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counterguerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

63…Baron Cohen’s Kazakh journalist..BORAT

The full name of the 2006 “mockumentary” is “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. Borat is played by a British comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen. Not my cup of tea …

64…”… bombs bursting __”..IN AIR

The words “bombs bursting in air” come from “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

Down

3…Censor’s target..SWEARWORD

The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

5…City SSW of Wichita, KS..ENID, OK

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because is has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

Wichita, Kansas started out as a trading post established by Jesse Chisholm in the 1860s, a stopover on the famous Chisholm Trail. Wichita became one of the railheads on the Chisholm Trail, the end point of many cattle drives from Texas. As such, Wichita earned the nickname “Cowtown”.

6…Source of opera financing..ANGEL

An angel investor is one who provides capital very early in a business’s life cycle. The term “angel” is borrowed from Broadway, where angels were wealthy people who provided funds to stage theatrical productions.

7…”The Teflon Don”..GOTTI

John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family from 1985. Gotti was known as the “Teflon Don” and took over leadership of the family from Paul Castellano when he was gunned down, allegedly on Gotti’s orders. Gotti remained head of the New York family until he was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. Gotti died of throat cancer after ten years behind bars.

9…Casual wear biggie..LEE

The Lee company famous for making jeans was formed in 1889, by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

10…Debatable power..ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

11…Test that examines fetal DNA, briefly..AMNIO

Amniocentesis is the prenatal test which involves the removal of a small amount of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus using a hypodermic needle. The fluid naturally contains some fetal cells, the DNA of which can then be tested to determine the sex of the child and to check for the presence of genetic abnormalities.

12…”Fidelio” jailer..ROCCO

“Fidelio” is Ludwig van Beethoven’s one and only opera, and a work that he really struggled with. “Fidelio” tells of a woman named Leonore who disguises herself as a prison guard in order get her condemned husband out of prison.

13…Phased-out Apple messaging software..ICHAT

iChat was introduced in 2002, and was Apple’s “instant messaging” application that integrated with the Mac Operating System. iChat was replaced by Messages.

25…Holy __..GRAIL

The Holy Grail is theme found throughout Arthurian legend. The grail itself is some vessel, with the term “grail” coming from the Old French “graal” meaning “cup or bowl made of earth, wood or metal”. Over time, the legend of the Holy Grail became mingled with stories of the Holy Chalice of the Christian tradition, the cup used to serve wine at the Last Supper. Over time, the term “grail” came to be used for any desired or sought-after object.

30…One with a stay-at-home job?..UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came for Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

31…Code word..DAH

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

32…Sean of “Rudy”..ASTIN

Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy” and the character Samwise Gamgee in the “Lord of the Rings” movies. You might also have seen him playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of “24”. Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke.

33…Penn. neighbor..WVA

The state of West Virginia was formed during the civil war when the western counties in the old state of Virginia voted to secede from the Confederate state.

34…Device that debuted in Detective Comics in 1942..BAT-SIGNAL

Batman is an ally of Police Commissioner Gordon of Gotham City. Gordon orders the shining of a searchlight into the sky, known as the Bat-Signal, to summon Batman when he is needed.

36…Org. concerned with securing crowns..ADA

American Dental Association (ADA)

53…’50s-’60s civil rights activist..EVERS

Medgar Evers was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi who was assassinated by the Klu Klux Klan in 1963. A year after the murder, one Byron De La Beckwith was arrested and charged with the crime. Two trials failed to return a decision on Beckwith’s guilt as the juries, composed completely of white males, deadlocked both times. New evidence was unearthed some thirty years later so Beckwith could be retried and he was finally convicted of the murder in 1994. Back in 1963 Evers was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. Evers had served in the US Army in France during WWII and left the military with the rank of sergeant.

58…”Angie Tribeca” airer..TBS

“Angie Tribeca” is a sitcom created by Steve Carell and his wife Nancy Walls Carell. The title role is an LAPD police detective played by actress Rashida Jones.

61…Santa __, California..ANA

Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1…Read the riot act..BASTE

6…Like tightrope walkers..AGILE

11…D-backs, on scoreboards..ARI

14…Physics Nobelist Schrödinger..ERWIN

15…Attendance count..NOSES

16…Soft slip-on..MOC

17…Strapped..FEELING THE PINCH

20…Baja bear..OSA

21…Two piece?..DUET

22…Paycheck abbr…FICA

23…”Carefree Highway” singer..GORDON LIGHTFOOT

28…Seasoned cookers..WOKS

29…Golfer McIlroy..RORY

30…Eastern noodle..UDON

32…Clued in..AWARE

34…What might make a ewe turn?..BAA!

37…Island on which much of “Jaws” was filmed..MARTHA’S VINEYARD

41…Many a prof..PHD

42…In base eight..OCTAL

43…First name in jazz..ETTA

44…Con..ANTI

45…Free ride..PASS

47…Grin..BREAK INTO A SMILE

54…”Do or do not. There is no try” speaker..YODA

55…Hyatt competitor..OMNI

56…Informal British address..GUV

57…Finishes a task, and a hint to hidden words in this puzzle’s four other longest answers..GOES THE DISTANCE

62…SEALs’ org…USN

63…Baron Cohen’s Kazakh journalist..BORAT

64…”… bombs bursting __”..IN AIR

65…High pts…MTS

66…Bends with the breeze..SWAYS

67…__ pitch..SALES

Down

1…Obscure..BEFOG

2…Playground comeback..ARE SO!

3…Censor’s target..SWEARWORD

4…Up to, in ads..TIL

5…City SSW of Wichita, KS..ENID, OK

6…Source of opera financing..ANGEL

7…”The Teflon Don”..GOTTI

8…”More or less” equivalent..-ISH

9…Casual wear biggie..LEE

10…Debatable power..ESP

11…Test that examines fetal DNA, briefly..AMNIO

12…”Fidelio” jailer..ROCCO

13…Phased-out Apple messaging software..ICHAT

18…They have their orders..NUNS

19…Questionable..IFFY

24…”Cut that out!”..DON’T!

25…Holy __..GRAIL

26…38-Down source..HORN

27…Back into a corner, in a way..TREE

30…One with a stay-at-home job?..UMP

31…Code word..DAH

32…Sean of “Rudy”..ASTIN

33…Penn. neighbor..WVA

34…Device that debuted in Detective Comics in 1942..BAT-SIGNAL

35…Knack..ART

36…Org. concerned with securing crowns..ADA

38…26-Down sound..HONK!

39…Dramatic start..ACT I

40…Respectful rural response..YES’M

44…Small power sources..AAAS

45…Discouraging words..PANS

46…”Given the circumstances … “..AS IT IS …

47…Quaint words of resolve..BY GUM

48…Place to rule..ROOST

49…Paradises..EDENS

50…”No more procrastinating!”..TODAY!

51…Passes over..OMITS

52…Florida’s Port St. __..LUCIE

53…’50s-’60s civil rights activist..EVERS

58…”Angie Tribeca” airer..TBS

59…Methodology word..HOW

60…Period..ERA

61…Santa __, California..ANA




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19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Aug 16, Friday”

  1. By gum, this was a difficult grid! If I were doing it on paper, I would have given up. Enid OK really gave me pause; I kept trying to read it as one word! But I can’t think of a single town called Enidok, at least not on this planet!

    Have a great Friday, all!

  2. I had a tough time with this puzzle. Even the easy answers required too much thinking.

    Carrie, from yesterday. You muct be a night owl or from Japan ( 😉 ) to be posting that late, It is admirable that you got to finish as close as you finally did. Way to go, girl ! I will try to get a copy of Gen Grant’s book and read it. I have 9 unread books on my dining room table, right now. So many books, so little time.

    Per the history of the US land purchases, (Alaska, etc.) – US ambassador Gadsen’s purchase of lands, on behalf of the US, in 1853, which now includes the cities of Tucson (AZ.) and Yuma (CA.) …. for 10 million dollars …. the mexicans were willing, at that time, to sell the whole of Baja California for less than $2 million ….. (as a comprehensive deal.) Santa Ana, once again the head of Mexico, had wasted the republic’s assets, and was, as usual, desperate for money.

    The US Supreme court judges, and the US congressmen are exempt from FICA taxes and do not pay into the system ….

    Have a nice day, folks.

  3. Terrible! I was doing it on paper and I did give up.
    Baste, befog, bygum, and Enid, OK. Never would have solved these.

  4. Regarding FICA, there is not a blanket exemption from FICA for Govt employees, including Congress, etc. For those employed prior to 1984, there was a separate retirement system, so they don’t pay into Social Security – they do pay the Medicare tax – and they also do not collect Social Security when they retire. They also contribute a percentage of salary towards any pension.
    All the myths about Congressmen getting full pay for life after one term, etc, were never true, but misinformation keeps getting repeated.

  5. Whew – after a week in Puerto Vallarta, I had to come home to this grid. It was tough, and I ultimately needed just one lookup to finish. Very good Friday puzzle though.

    I was at a meeting in Boston a few years ago and had a day off there. Two friends of mine and I took the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, rented bikes and pedaled the entire island all day. It was a beautiful day, and we were able to see almost the entire island that day….although the legs were a bit tired at the end. Great day and a great memory. That was the only time I was ever there, but I loved it.

    I’m a week behind, but I noticed the subject of lightning bugs came up. They are indeed in declining numbers. The experts presume it’s due to a few factors – light pollution (i.e. development), pesticides, and their inability to migrate. If you build asphalt over their habitat, they don’t move; they just die out.

    A few other fun facts I uncovered while looking that up. These were all news to me but very interesting:
    -Fireflys are the most efficient light source in the world. 100% of their energy is emitted as light. Compare that to our incandescent bulbs which emit about 10% as light and the rest is lost in heat.
    -Fireflys emit light most often to communicate and/or attract a mate.
    -Fireflys are carniverous. They eat worms, snails, and other fireflys..ala Hannibal Lector. Some are aquatic and even have gills.
    -They are found on all continents except antarctica. They love warm wet climates. They are even in California, but the species there don’t light up.
    -Their tails contain 2 chemicals luciferase and luciferin. When combined with oxygen and their own bodies’ ATP, they produce energy and create the light emission.
    -Since all living cells contain ATP, chemicals from fireflys can be injected and used to detect diseased cells in which have an abnormal amount of ATP in medical applications. Chemicals from fireflys are also used in spacecraft to detect food spoilage and bacteria…and even theoretically to detect life on other planets..

    Sorry for the lengthy sidebar, but the subject came up a few days ago, and I found all of this quite fascinating. These were just the highlights. Amazing creatures that are diminishing in numbers sadly.

    Alcohol free weekend for me. I had enough the last 7 days to last me a month or so..

    Best –

  6. I can’t be the only one to quickly put in “Ella” for 43 Across “First name in jazz” only to have to go back and figure out why that wasn’t working with any of the down answers. D’oh! Once “Etta” went in then the last of the grid came together.

    Hope you all have an excellent lead in to the weekend. See you back here to tomorrow to see what sort of brain strain those devilish puzzle constructors have in store for us.

  7. This puz is suitably challenging for a Friday, but that compliment is tempered by how much of its toughness can be attributed to less-than-stellar cluing:
    “Read the riot act”=BASTE? What a turkey. “Attendance count”=NOSES? Raise your “hand” if you’re nodding you’re “head.” Tightrope walkers are AGILE? OK, but what kind of mental juggling equates superb concentration and sense of balance with agility? And a Kansas clue for an Oklahoma city? That crosses the line!
    Throw in 10 or so PPPs (pop cultural references, products, proper names), and you’ve got yourself a bit of a slog — all to execute a ho-hum theme of units of distance included in the long crosses.
    I finished it, by gum, but it wasn’t much fun.

  8. On iPad: 25:24, no errors, but … initially, I had two errors that took me quite some time to find and fix: I had put in BANS instead of PANS and didn’t notice that BASS didn’t fit its clue. And, I thought “Arizona State University”, but, because I already had ICHAT, I had ended up with ASI instead of ASU (or the correct answer, ARI). Also, I’m familiar with “lambaste”, but BASTE seemed off and, like others, it took me forever to see “ENID, OK” in “ENIDOK”. So, all in all, a humbling experience … I’m not in total agreement with Mr. Bleaux, but I can see where he’s coming from … 🙂

    @Bill … I knew you were a solver of those cryptic crosswords in the Irish Times, but I didn’t realize you also created them. I’m in awe! And, yes, I did enjoy your “Irish setter” comment. (That particular play on words had actually occurred to me, but I restrained myself … 🙂

  9. Almost forgot … Jeff, thanks for the info about fireflies … fascinating … and it goes further toward convincing me that there are just too damned many of us humans on the planet … 🙁

  10. I’m so mad at myself!
    The British address started out as MUM. Couldn’t think of a Civil Rights activist that started with EM___. Aha! EVERS.
    That gave me LUV. Makes sense. “ow are ya, LUV?
    BAT SILNAL……..whaaa? Still couldn’t see SIGNAL. What’s wrong with my brain?
    The other stupid mistake was putting in DAT instead of DAH.
    DIT, DAH. I KNEW that, but did I change it? No.
    That made my profs RTD, as in retired.
    I know, it makes no sense.
    Did I change it? No.
    Aaack!
    All the long answers came easily, due to the theme.
    I messed up in the small places.

  11. One more thing. Can we please stop calling Etta James a “jazz” singer?
    She was a fantastic blues and soul singer. A lot of her songs are in 12/8. That’s a triplet feel of 4/4. Triplets for every 1,2,3 and 4. Examples- At Last, All I could do was Cry.
    Ella Fitzgerald was the greatest “JAZZ” singer of all time. Most of her straight-ahead songs were 4/4 and she could SCAT!!!! Her scat singing was just like a horn player’s solo. She could take her voice anywhere she wanted to go.
    How about Beyonce role?
    Final singer? As in “AT LAST”
    Something, anything but FIRST NAME IN JAZZ.

  12. What gives? I gave up after two hours (two vinyl LPs worth). Absolute craziness! Do ya think the LAT puzzle editors really pay attention to these negative comments and ask the constructor to “tone it down a bit?” I doubt if the insolubility of this puzzle, well chronicled here, is of great import to either the editors or the constructors. Let’s give this puzzle a “Come on, guys!”, OK?

    1. Between this new interface and the new version of Firesux my PC forced me to install, I’m not happy.

      If all the NYT constructors are migrating over here, I think I’ll just cancel my online NYT subscription. Makes no sense.

      Theme never came to me, and the usual Brice subterfuge with the language. A very east coast oriented grid. The only possible worse outcome from a Wechsler Thu and a Haight Fri is a Silk Sat.

  13. Hi guys & gals!!
    DNF. Cheated on more than a few.
    Thanks Vidwan for the encouraging words!! Yes, I’m a night owl. I’m not in Japan, altho I do sometimes like to say I’m on “Hawaii time.” It’s a nice way to explain why I wake up at ten.
    @Tony, I also put ELLA initially, and with total confidence.
    Hey Jeff, I swear I remember seeing fireflies here in Los Angeles when I was a little girl, back in the 60s. Problem is, no one I grew up with remembers them. So I may have been hallucinating….must Google to see if the lit-up variety were around then.
    Hope Saturday’s puzzle is doable…
    Sweet dreams~~™✌

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