LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jan 17, Friday










Constructed by: Patti Varol

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Tennis Anyone?

Today’s themed clues are the progression of “wins” that ANYONE might vie for when playing TENNIS:

  • 34A. With 36-Across, question for the court : TENNIS …
  • 36A. See 34-Across : … ANYONE?
  • 17A. POINT : TAPERING END
  • 23A. GAME : SAFARI ANIMALS
  • 50A. SET : FILMING LOCALE
  • 59A. MATCH : FIRE STARTER

Bill’s time: 9m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Summer music? : DISCO

Donna Summer is known as “The Queen of Disco”, with great hits like “Love to Love You, Baby”, “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff”. In the late sixties and early seventies, LaDonna Gaines (her real name) lived and worked in Germany. There she met and married an Austrian actor called Helmuth Sommer. They divorced not long after the marriage, but Donna kept his family name, just changing the “o” to “u” to give her the stage name of “Donna Summer”.

10. Org. funded by FICA : SSA

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

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.

13. Under-the-sink brand : COMET

The Comet brand of household cleanser produced a famous series of ads in the sixties through the eighties that featured a character known as “Josephine the Plumber”. Played by actress Jane Withers, she was noted for uttering the line “Nothing can hold a can to Comet!”

15. “Paper Moon” Oscar winner : O’NEAL

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.

“Paper Moon” is a 1973 comedy film that tells the story of a father and daughter during the Great Depression. The onscreen father and daughter are played by real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O’Neal. The original choices for the lead roles were Paul Newman and his daughter Nell Potts, but they left the project after director John Huston also dropped out.

16. Like ibuprofen, briefly : OTC

Over-the-counter drugs (OTC) don’t need a prescription (Rx).

“Ibuprofen” is a shortened version of the drug’s name: Iso-BUtyl-PROpanoic-PHENolic acid. Ibuprofen is primarily an anti-inflammatory, but apparently it is good for headaches too.

21. Engineering sch. on the Hudson : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

22. Sport with masks : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

23. GAME : SAFARI ANIMALS

“Safari” is a Swahili word, meaning “journey” or “expedition”.

26. Move a finger or two, maybe : PEEK

I guess one might cover one’s eyes with one’s hands, and then “peek” by moving a finger or two.

28. Physics units : RADS

A rad is a unit used to measure radiation levels that is largely obsolete now. The “rad” has been superseded by the “rem”.

30. 1945 Pacific battle site, familiarly : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

32. Superhero played by Chris Hemsworth : THOR

Thor is a superhero who was introduced to us by Marvel Comics in 1962. The character is of course based on the Norse god Thor, and comes complete with a magical hammer. Like so many comic book heroes it seems, Thor has made it to the big screen. Actor Chris Hemsworth played the role in the 2011 film “Thor” directed by the great Kenneth Branagh. Branagh must have needed the cash. Thor’s father Odin is played by Anthony Hopkins. He must have needed the cash too …

42. Alex Dunphy, to Luke, on “Modern Family” : SIS

Alex Dunphy is the youngest daughter of Claire and Phil on the sitcom “Modern Family”. Alex is played by the very talented young actress Ariel Winter.

Luke is the youngest child and only son of Claire and Phil Dunphy on the fabulous sitcom “Modern Family”. Luke is played by actor Nolan Gould. Gould’s character isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box, although Gould himself has an IQ of 150 and is a member of Mensa.

43. Mojito ingredient : RUM

A Mojito is a Cuban cocktail, although the exact origins appear to be unclear, as does the derivation of the name. Want one? Put 4 mint leaves in a glass, and add the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Muddle the ingredients, smashing them together with a muddler or a spoon. Add some crushed ice, two ounces of white rum and stir. Top with a couple of ounces of club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint and/or a slice of lime. Cheers!

53. Captain Picard’s counselor : TROI

Deanna Troi is a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” who is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

When Gene Roddenberry was creating the “Star Trek” spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I think he chose a quite magnificent name for the new starship captain. “Jean-Luc Picard” is imitative of one or both of the twin-brother Swiss scientists Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard. The role of Picard was of course played by the wonderful Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart.

55. Kenya neighbor : UGANDA

Uganda is a landlocked county in East Africa lying just to the west of Kenya. Uganda was ruled by the British as a protectorate from 1894 and gained independence in 1962. Uganda is very much associated with the tyrannical rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s.

Kenya lies on the east coast of Africa, right on the equator. The country takes her name from Mount Kenya, the second highest peak on the continent (after Kilimanjaro). The official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili.

61. Programming pioneer Lovelace : ADA

Ada Lovelace’s real name was Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. She was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the poet. Lovelace was fascinated by mathematics and wrote about the work done by Charles Babbage in building his groundbreaking mechanical computer. In some of her notes, she proposed an algorithm for Babbage’s machine to compute Bernoulli numbers. This algorithm is recognized by many as the world’s first computer program and so Lovelace is sometimes called the first “computer programmer”. There is a computer language called “Ada” that was named in her honor. The Ada language was developed from 1977 to 1983 for the US Department of Defense.

Down

1. When Lear disinherits Cordelia : ACT I

“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:

  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia

2. “Home on the Range” verb : ROAM

The words of “Home on the Range” came before the music, a poem called “My Western Home” from the 1870s written by a Dr. Brewster Higley of Kansas. The music was added by Daniel Kelley, a friend of Higley. And now, a version of the song is the state song of Kansas.

4. “Quantum Healing” author Chopra : DEEPAK

Deepak Chopra is a medical doctor who is now an advocate for alternative medicine. Chopra was born in New Delhi, India and immigrated to the US in 1968. He is an advocate for mind/body spiritual healing. I have heard Chopra speak, and he really knows how to get his message across …

6. Ilsa portrayer : INGRID

The wonderful actress Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm and named for Princess Ingrid of Sweden. The three Bergman performances that stand out for me are in 1942’s “Casablanca” opposite Humphrey Bogart, in 1944’s “Gaslight” opposite Charles Boyer and in 1946’s “Notorious” opposite Cary Grant. What a stunningly beautiful woman she was …

Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

8. “A Doubter’s Almanac” novelist Ethan : CANIN

Ethan Canin is an author, physician and educator at the University of Iowa. Canin’s debut publication is a collection of short stories called “Emperor of the Air”.

10. Under-the-sink brand : SOS PAD

S.O.S is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an acronym for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

11. “Remington __” : STEELE

The eighties detective show “Remington Steele” stars Stephanie Zimbalist as a private detective Laura Holt, and Pierce Brosnan as the handsome bad boy Remington Steele, who’s really a good boy. The show successfully melds the detective genre with elements of romantic comedy.

14. Nonkosher : TREF

According to Jewish dietary law, “kosher” food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as “treif” (or “tref”).

22. Manicurist’s tool : EMERY

Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

31. “Pink Friday” singer Minaj : NICKI

Nicki Minaj is a rapper from Queens, New York who was born in Trinidad.

33. Coiffure : HAIRCUT

“Coiffure” is a French word that we’ve imported into English meaning “hairstyle”. The term comes from the Old French word “coife”, which was used for the inner part of a helmet.

35. “The End of America” author Wolf : NAOMI

Author and journalist Naomi Wolf served as a political consultant for President Bill Clinton in his successful 1996 reelection bid, and for Al Gore in his unsuccessful 2000 bid for the presidency. A noted feminist, Wolf’s role was to help both campaigns target female voters.

37. Avenue after Reading Railroad : ORIENTAL

The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The four railroad (RR) properties in the Monopoly board game are:

  • Reading Railroad
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • B&O Railroad
  • Short Line

38. Worn end : NUB

A much-used pencil or crayon might be worn down to a “nub”.

39. Scrabble three-pointers : EMS

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts determined how many tiles of each letter, and the point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like “The New York Times”.

41. Wonton alternative : EGG DROP

Egg drop soup is a Chinese dish in which the key ingredients are beaten eggs and chicken broth. Also called egg flower soup, the final step in its preparation is the addition of a thin stream of beaten eggs to the broth as it boils, creating flakes of cooked egg that float in the soup.

A wonton is a dumpling used in Chinese cooking. Wontons are often boiled and served in a wonton soup.

42. Brazilian map word : SAO

In Portuguese, the word “são” can mean “saint”, as in São Paulo (Saint Paul) and São José (Saint John). If the saint’s name starts with a letter H or with a vowel, then the word “santo” is used instead, as in Santo Agostinho (Saint Augustine) and Santo Antônio (Saint Anthony).

46. Apple’s “Think different,” e.g. : SLOGAN

Apple Computer introduced its “Think Different” advertising slogan in 1997. The Apple slogan was a very clear play on the longstanding motto used by IBM, namely “Think”.

48. Like Meg March, in “Little Women” : ELDEST

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of little women is Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy and the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

51. Bete __ : NOIRE

“Bête noire” translates from French as “black beast” and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.

52. Food thickener : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

56. Poet Walter __ Mare : DE LA

English writer Walter de la Mare is probably best remembered for his children’s stories. His “Collected Stories for Children” won the Carnegie Medal for British children’s books in 1947.

59. Pokémon Go, e.g. : FAD

“Pokémon GO!” is a reality-based video game in which players must locate, capture, battle and train virtual creatures known as Pokémon. The Pokémon are hidden in the real world, in the sense that they have to be located on an electronic device (like a smartphone) in “the real world”, for which a GPS location is needed. Players see the Pokémon overlaid on a view of the real world on their smart device.

60. French possessive : SES

“Ses” is the French word for “his”, “her” or “its”, when referring to a group of items.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Like much of the Southwest : ARID

5. Summer music? : DISCO

10. Org. funded by FICA : SSA

13. Under-the-sink brand : COMET

15. “Paper Moon” Oscar winner : O’NEAL

16. Like ibuprofen, briefly : OTC

17. POINT : TAPERING END

19. Jiff : SEC

20. “Nothing planned that day” : I’M OPEN

21. Engineering sch. on the Hudson : RPI

22. Sport with masks : EPEE

23. GAME : SAFARI ANIMALS

26. Move a finger or two, maybe : PEEK

28. Physics units : RADS

29. Signs over : CEDES

30. 1945 Pacific battle site, familiarly : IWO

31. Superfan : NUT

32. Superhero played by Chris Hemsworth : THOR

34. With 36-Across, question for the court : TENNIS …

36. See 34-Across : … ANYONE?

40. Exercise woe : ACHE

42. Alex Dunphy, to Luke, on “Modern Family” : SIS

43. Mojito ingredient : RUM

44. “Not a problem” : IT’S OK

47. Stuff in a backpack : GEAR

49. Little stretches : FIBS

50. SET : FILMING LOCALE

53. Captain Picard’s counselor : TROI

54. Unexpectedly by itself, as in the dryer : ODD

55. Kenya neighbor : UGANDA

58. Storybook baddie : HAG

59. MATCH : FIRE STARTER

61. Programming pioneer Lovelace : ADA

62. Stopped lying : AROSE

63. Sphere : REALM

64. Common scale extreme : TEN

65. Org. chart headings : DEPTS

66. Crack up : SLAY

Down

1. When Lear disinherits Cordelia : ACT I

2. “Home on the Range” verb : ROAM

3. Take unfair advantage of : IMPOSE ON

4. “Quantum Healing” author Chopra : DEEPAK

5. Throw on : DON

6. Ilsa portrayer : INGRID

7. Overlook, as a fault : SEE PAST

8. “A Doubter’s Almanac” novelist Ethan : CANIN

9. Dated : OLD

10. Under-the-sink brand : SOS PAD

11. “Remington __” : STEELE

12. Hacker’s goal : ACCESS

14. Nonkosher : TREF

18. Pressed for time : IN A RUSH

22. Manicurist’s tool : EMERY

24. Expose, with “on” : RAT

25. Desktop assortment : ICONS

26. Cherry center : PIT

27. Lamb parent : EWE

31. “Pink Friday” singer Minaj : NICKI

33. Coiffure : HAIRCUT

35. “The End of America” author Wolf : NAOMI

37. Avenue after Reading Railroad : ORIENTAL

38. Worn end : NUB

39. Scrabble three-pointers : EMS

41. Wonton alternative : EGG DROP

42. Brazilian map word : SAO

44. “Maybe less” : IF THAT

45. Intemperate speech : TIRADE

46. Apple’s “Think different,” e.g. : SLOGAN

48. Like Meg March, in “Little Women” : ELDEST

49. Emergency signals : FLARES

51. Bete __ : NOIRE

52. Food thickener : AGAR

56. Poet Walter __ Mare : DE LA

57. Large number : ARMY

59. Pokémon Go, e.g. : FAD

60. French possessive : SES

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jan 17, Friday”

  1. Another Friday puzzle that seemed easier than normal. I did this between a Tuesday and Wednesday time. That’s several of these in a row so I’m sensing a trend of easier Fridays in the LAT. Let’s hope not. Here’s hoping I’m gnashing my teeth and cursing the setter next Friday…

    I did have one error as I can never seem to remember how to spell Tatum O’NEiL correctly.

    “Move a finger or two, maybe” as a clue for PEEK gets the chuckle of the day.

    I’m exhausted from this week. I can’t remember the last time I needed a weekend this badly. Happy Friday!

    Best –

  2. I’m in step with Jeff again. Not that difficult for a Friday grid. My only strike over was for 57 Down’s “Large Number” which I had first written in “a lot” and eventually saw that answer was not going to work and figured out “army” which got me to the end of the puzzling!

    Hope everyone has a good Friday and that we all have a challenging but successful Saturday grid solving tomorrow.

  3. 15:19, no errors. Ultimately, I thought this one wasn’t bad, but there were a number of entries I had bypassed during the solve so, when I got down to the bottom, I had to reverse course and work my way back up, filling in all the holes in the Swiss cheese that the puzzle had become. Also, I kept wondering why certain clues were capitalized and didn’t get it until after I finished and considered them as a group. Duh. But … all’s well that ends well … 🙂

  4. Jeff, I guess this was an easier Friday, because I had the most success I’ve had in any Friday puzzle. I decided to try and make stabs at the whole puzzle and rack my brains – before I gave in – and I was quite able for a long time. The clever clues and the proper names eventually did me in. But, I had a very good time, and really enjoyed it.

    I didn’t know Agar was a food thickener – although I know it jells. Maybe in japanese cuisine ….. Walter De La Mare was my favorite poet growin up – probably my only poet growing up. Paper Moon was one of my first movies, and Tatun Oneil was a fav actress. Too bad, she did not become an icon in her later years. ( I also sold books door-to-door as a summer job, one summer, so I could relate to her role.)

    Thank you Bill, for Ibuprofen, I did not know it is an organic acid. That last word ‘acid’ could have turned off a lot of consumers. Now, to read up on this.

    Have a nice weekend, all. Its finally snowing in Cleveland.

  5. Not too much going on, but had the time before I need to go get some dental work done. Anyway, I’m finding it fun when I discover some new crossword source to see what they are like and from where. Lately, I found a couple of new syndicate sources (15×15) that aren’t too popular but mainly sell to local and off-kilter topic oriented weeklies. I had to research to find out where they came from, as there were no attributions at all.

    It was amazing at how poorly they were written compared to the ones we usually do, and consequently how tough they were. One was like what I guess most of Eugene Maleska’s puzzles would have been like – I got 3 or 4 clues before I had to DNF it and then look at all the things I absolutely NEVER heard of. Then the other had clues written so illogically and obliquely that it didn’t make any sense (very high black square count too) – I did finish that one with 5 errors after about 35 minutes.

    I definitely had to wonder what kind of appeal these things have. Maybe it’s just readers that don’t know what else is out there, or there are a few that actually like these kind of puzzles. I did find out that both have really cheap syndication rates (one publishes for a grand total cost of $5 per issue), which is probably why these papers gravitated to them.

    But, I guess I’m surprised that some of these things do see the light of day. Anyhow, not *too* on topic to this post, but a crossword related adventure of the last couple of days, anyhow. 🙂

    Until tomorrow where (hopefully), I can talk about some more solves.

    @Vidwan
    A very huge number of things in this world are acids, including a large number of things we use every day in this world (like vinegar). An acid is simply any compound which can accept an electron pair and typically can be dissolved into its component ions. Most commonly, just about any halogen compound is an acid though there are legions of other examples.

  6. Yikes! I had a tough time with this!
    Easy? Not for me.Not sure of the spelling of NICKI, DEEPAK,
    TROI (who?) DE LA, ONEAL ( me either, Jeff. Shaquille, too)
    CANIN (who?). Thought the Brazil map would have SUL (south?)
    Just discovered I had one letter wrong. EMORY/CODES by not double-checking my answers. Sheesh!
    A tough, but fair puzzle and liked TENNIS, ANYONE?

  7. I’ve had trouble all week with the puzzles. I’m somewhat of a novice at doing them, but this week was harder than I remember. Glad some of you enjoyed it. I’ll try to keep my chin up! Hope Sunday’s is fun.

  8. Note to novices: Do not start while half-awake with brain on autopilot — as I did this morning when I saw the clue “Summer music?” and wrote in “DONNA.”
    Duh! After the fix, all went well. I found the puzzle a little easy for a Friday, and a little heavy on proper nouns, but enjoyed it. Good job, Patti. Thanks.

  9. @Carrie
    A “theme” is simply just anything uniform between puzzle answers that makes them have something in common, which typically is what is expected with mid-week puzzles. This can be just about anything of any variety. There’s about 20 different types of themes out there. Yesterday was a letter addition theme, where adding the letters made common phrases into other words. The setter likely just brainstormed ideas and fastened onto a phrase that could have that done, then found enough more to be able to pull the theme off in a grid.

  10. I agree it seemed easier (note: not easy) for a Friday. My only nit was 10 down – I think SOS is the brand not SOS PAD. But I got it anyway. 😉

    My solutions always look like Swiss cheese. LOL

  11. A pretty quick Friday, except for the SE corner, for me today. Finished in about an hour with no errors, with DELA, SLAY and ARMY as the last to fall.

    With Oneal, I always put in ON__L and wait for crosses, but Tatum, Ryan and Shaq are all Oneal and I think those are the only ones that show up in crosswords.

    On to Saturday…

  12. Hi all! UGANDA be kidding! I didn’t find this one particularly easy, as Fridays go. Missed just ONE LETTER and I hate it when that happens!!! Had CANON/RPO. Total Natick for me. Worst part is that I had guessed it RIGHT, with an “I”, for most of the time I spent working on this thing, and I changed it at the last minute. Dang!!
    And I couldn’t get UGANDA at first, which is really irritating as I am a geography geek and can name all the African countries in alphabetical order. ? I came up with five that would fit; finally thought of UGANDA.
    (Where’s that list of European rivers… It’d help to memorize those as well….)
    I do think the puzzle was well done and theme was cute.
    Hey Glenn! Yes, I sorta meant the term “theme” in general, you know? — not just as applied to crosswords. I think a better term for a puzzle theme would be “trick” or “catch”, as in “What’s the catch here?” Theme has a more sweeping connotation, I think.

    Then again, what do I know? I forgot UGANDA!!!
    Be well~~™?

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