LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Jan 17, Saturday










Constructed by: Pawel Fludzinski

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Spent : JADED

Our term “jaded”, meaning tired and feeling a little “ho-hum”, comes from the noun “jade” which in the 14th century was an old, worn-out horse.

6. Wine city SSE of the Matterhorn : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

Matterhorn is the German name for the famous Alpine peak that lies on the border between Switzerland and Italy. The Italian name for the same mountain is Monte Cervino, and the French call it Mont Cervin. “Matterhorn” comes from the German words Matte and Horn meaning “meadow” and “peak”. Cervino and Cervin come from the Latin name for the mountain, Mons Silvius meaning “Forest Mountain”.

10. Pasta alle vongole ingredient : CLAM

“Spaghetti alle vongole” is Italian for “spaghetti with clams”. The dish is originated in Naples, but is popular all over Italy, and indeed all over North America.

14. 1955 Dior innovation : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares toward the hem.

Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped reestablish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

16. Actress Loughlin : LORI

Lori Loughlin played Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis on the sitcom “Full House”. Loughlin later appeared in a spinoff of the TV show “Beverly Hills, 90210” titled, inventively enough, “90210”.

18. Vintage vessels : TUNS

A “tun” is a barrel, often a large barrel used in winemaking. The term “tun” came to be a measure of volume, originally 256 gallons of wine. The weight of such a volume of wine was referred to as a “tun”, which evolved into our contemporary unit “ton”.

20. Quantum mechanics symbol : SCHRODINGER’S CAT

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 …

23. __ wire : GUY

A “guy wire” or “guide wire” is a tensioned cable that is used to add stability to a relatively tall free-standing structure. Ship’s masts, radio masts and utility poles usually have guy wires attached so that they stay vertical. The term is nautical in origin and comes from the Old French meaning “guie” meaning “guide”.

30. Roast runner : EMCEE

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

31. Dramatic start? : MELO-

A “melodrama” is a play or film that usually pits good against evil, with an obvious hero or heroine vying against an obvious villain. Melodrama has evolved over time, originating in the 18th century as a drama for which there was a musical accompaniment. The term is derived from the Greek “melos” meaning “music” and the French “drame” meaning “drama”.

33. Place with Sundance : ETTA

Etta Place is the schoolteacher character played by the lovely Katharine Ross in the 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

37. Herbie and Christine : SELF-DRIVING CARS

“The Love Bug” is a 1969 film from Walt Disney, the star of which is a 1963 Volkswagen Bug named Herbie. Believe it or not, the movie is based on a book called “Car, Boy, Girl” written by Gordon Buford. “The Love Bug” spawned a series of sequels such as “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” (1977) and “Herbie: Fully Loaded” (2005).

“Christine” is a 1983 novel from the pen of horror maestro Stephen King. The title character is a 1958 Plymouth Fury automobile that is apparently possessed by supernatural forces. Not my cup of tea …

42. Capital at the foot of Vitosha Mountain : SOFIA

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. Natives pronounce the name “Sofia” with the emphasis on the “o”, while the rest of us tend to stress the “i”. Bulgarians do agree with us though when it comes to the girl’s name “Sofia”, then they stress the “i” like we do!

43. Network with a lot of reruns : ION

Ion Television started out as PAX TV in 1998, was renamed to i:Independent Television in 2005 and then to Ion in 2007.

51. Crowbar, e.g. : PRY

A crowbar is a wonderful tool, one that can be used to pry open things, and to remove nails. The claw at one or both ends of the tool aids in that nail removal, and it is likely this “claw” was said to resemble that of a crow, giving us the name “crowbar”. Back in Elizabethan times. the same tool was called an “iron crow”. There’s a line in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” that reads “Get me an iron crow and bring it straight/Unto my cell.”

52. Game with a disc : ULTIMATE FRISBEE

Ultimate is a team sport, similar to football or rugby in that the goal is to get a flying disc into an endzone or goal area. The sport used to be called “Ultimate Frisbee”, but the “Frisbee” was dropped as it is a registered trademark.

57. Architect Mies van der __ : ROHE

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German architect who was routinely referred to simply as “Mies”. I am a philistine, I know, but Mies’ buildings look very plain to me. However, he did come up with two far-from-plain sayings, namely “less is more” and “God is in the details”.

58. Big name in credit : CITI

In 1998, one of the biggest company mergers in history took place, between Citicorp and Travelers Group. The result was Citigroup, a seemingly unstoppable giant, until we taxpayers bailed the company out in 2008 with $25 billion.

59. It’s quite a blast : N-TEST

Nuclear test (N-test)

61. “Ad Parnassum” painter : KLEE

The artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. You can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.

64. Vassal : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

Feudalism was a legal and military system that flourished in medieval Europe. Central to the system were the concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. Lords would grant fiefs (land or rights) to vassals in exchange for allegiance and service.

65. Line drive, say : SMASH

In baseball, a line drive is a ball that is hit low, hard and straight.

Down

2. Smart guy? : ALEC

Apparently the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

3. Bobby Flay creation : DISH

Bobby Flay is a celebrity chef who has hosted several shows on the Food Network. Flay is also an Iron Chef on the show “Iron Chef America”, which also airs on the Food Network.

4. Like the Toyota Prius : ENERGY EFFICIENT

The Toyota Prius is still the most fuel-efficient, gasoline-powered car sold in the US, according to the EPA. The name “Prius” is a Latin word meaning “ahead, leading”. In the US we pronounce the name “pree-us”, but across the Atlantic it’s pronounced “pry-us”. According to Toyota, the plural of “Prius” is “Prii”.

6. When Valjean is released from prison : ACT I

Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel “Les Misérables”, has been translated into English several times. However, the title is usually left in the original French as a successful translation of “les misérables” seems to be elusive. Some suggestions for an English title are “The Wretched”, “The Victims” and “The Dispossessed”. The novel follows the lives of several characters including an ex-convict Jean Valjean, a fanatic police inspector Javert, a beautiful prostitute Fantine, and Fantine’s illegitimate daughter Cosette.

8. Soupçon : TINGE

“Soupçon” translates literally from French into English as “suspicion”, and can be used in the sense that a “suspicion” of something is a just a hint, a crumb.

9. Like Halloween pumpkins : IN SEASON

It’s thought that the tradition of pumpkin carving originated in Ireland, although turnips and beets were used over there instead of pumpkins. The turnips and beets were carved for the festival called Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season.

11. “Oda a Salvador Dalí” poet García __ : LORCA

Garcia Lorca was a Spanish poet and dramatist. Lorca is as famous for his poems and his plays as he is for the circumstances of his death. Although it has never been irrefutably proven, many believe that he was shot and killed while in the custody of Nationalist militia, one month after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

21. Batik need : DYE

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in solvent that dissolves the wax.

22. Dietary no. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

25. Zaire’s Mobutu __ Seko : SESE

Mobutu Sese Seko was the longtime President of Zaire (later to be called the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Mobutu was known to be a very corrupt dictator and it is believed that he embezzled over $5 billion from his country. On a lighter note, Mobutu was the money man behind the famous 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman known as “The Rumble in the Jungle”. Mobutu was anxious to expand the image of Zaire so he used his nation’s funds to entice the fighters to have a go at each other in his homeland.

26. Counterfeit cops? : T-MEN

The responsibility for investigating the use of counterfeit US currency lies with the Secret Service, which was part of the Department of Treasury until 2003. As a result of the USA Patriot Act that became law in 2001, the Secret Service was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security.

27. Scopes Trial gp. : ACLU

In 1925, Tennessee passed the Butler Act which made it unlawful for a public school teacher to teach the theory of evolution over the Biblical account of the origin of man. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sought to challenge this law and found a test case of a Tennessee high school teacher named John Scopes, who was charged with violating the law by presenting to his students ideas put forth by Charles Darwin. Celebrity lawyers descended on the small town of Dayton, Tennessee to argue the case. At the end of a high-profile trial, teacher John Scopes was found guilty as charged and was ordered to pay a fine.

28. Nice friends : AMIS

A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.

32. Late Ottoman currency : LIRA

The currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira, which is divided into 100 kuruş. In 1927, the Turkish lira replaced the Ottoman lira, which had been in use since 1844.

34. Chief justice before Hughes : TAFT

William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.

Charles Evans Hughes Hughes was an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1910 until he resigned his position in order to run as the Republican candidate for US president in 1916. He was narrowly defeated by incumbent President Woodrow Wilson, after which Hughes did not assume another public office until he was made Secretary of State in 1921 by President Warren G. Harding. Hughes was returned to the US Supreme Court in 1930 when he was nominated as Chief Justice by President Herbert Hoover. It was Chief Justice Hughes who swore in President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his three terms in office.

36. “Pronto!” : ASAP

The Spanish, Italian (and now English) word “pronto” is derived from the Latin “promptus” meaning “ready, quick”.

44. Bit of resistance : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm’s Law.

46. Easter time: Abbr. : SPR

Spring (spr.)

54. Test release : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the “alpha” version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a “beta” and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

55. Those, in Tenerife : ESAS

Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands located off the coast of Morocco in North Africa. Part of Spain, Tenerife is the nation’s most populous island, home to almost 900,000 people. It also receives about five million visitors annually, making it one of the most important tourist destinations in the world.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Spent : JADED

6. Wine city SSE of the Matterhorn : ASTI

10. Pasta alle vongole ingredient : CLAM

14. 1955 Dior innovation : A-LINE

15. Create, in a way : COIN

16. Actress Loughlin : LORI

17. Plague : BESET

18. Vintage vessels : TUNS

19. Silver sources : ORES

20. Quantum mechanics symbol : SCHRODINGER’S CAT

23. __ wire : GUY

24. “Piece of cake!” : DEAD EASY!

25. Be true to oneself : STAY REAL

29. Poor, as an excuse : SAD

30. Roast runner : EMCEE

31. Dramatic start? : MELO-

33. Place with Sundance : ETTA

37. Herbie and Christine : SELF-DRIVING CARS

40. Adequate, in texts : ENUF

41. Tablet operator : USER

42. Capital at the foot of Vitosha Mountain : SOFIA

43. Network with a lot of reruns : ION

45. End of the line : LAST STOP

47. Shore scavenger : BEACH BUM

51. Crowbar, e.g. : PRY

52. Game with a disc : ULTIMATE FRISBEE

57. Architect Mies van der __ : ROHE

58. Big name in credit : CITI

59. It’s quite a blast : N-TEST

60. Reinterpret : SPIN

61. “Ad Parnassum” painter : KLEE

62. Pass without flying colors : GET A C

63. __ dress : TENT

64. Vassal : SERF

65. Line drive, say : SMASH

Down

1. Sharp criticisms : JABS

2. Smart guy? : ALEC

3. Bobby Flay creation : DISH

4. Like the Toyota Prius : ENERGY EFFICIENT

5. Avoided traffic, perhaps : DETOURED

6. When Valjean is released from prison : ACT I

7. Gadget affected by waves : SOUND LEVEL METER

8. Soupçon : TINGE

9. Like Halloween pumpkins : IN SEASON

10. Like some aquariums : CLOSED ECOSYSTEM

11. “Oda a Salvador Dalí” poet García __ : LORCA

12. Domains : AREAS

13. Indistinct : MISTY

21. Batik need : DYE

22. Dietary no. : RDA

25. Zaire’s Mobutu __ Seko : SESE

26. Counterfeit cops? : T-MEN

27. Scopes Trial gp. : ACLU

28. Nice friends : AMIS

32. Late Ottoman currency : LIRA

34. Chief justice before Hughes : TAFT

35. Small club group : TRIO

36. “Pronto!” : ASAP

38. Football plays with special teams : RUNBACKS

39. D neighbors on most guitars : G-STRINGS

44. Bit of resistance : OHM

46. Easter time: Abbr. : SPR

47. Star or cloud follower : BURST

48. Cut out for a union? : ELOPE

49. Walk __ line : A THIN

50. Handy : UTILE

53. Vassal’s venue : FIEF

54. Test release : BETA

55. Those, in Tenerife : ESAS

56. Permanently mark : ETCH

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Jan 17, Saturday”

  1. For yesterday, 42 minutes, no errors. Nothing particularly remarkable, though the abundance of proper names made this one a bit annoying. Finished the WSJ in 29 min, but the theme is a little sparse on me right now to answer the meta.

    @Carrie
    The main thing I was just doing was responding to what was written Thursday and just was saying that there wasn’t likely any meaning, “trick”, or “catch” behind it. “Theme” is what gets used to describe such things, as “trick” or “catch” are better words to describe characteristics of puzzles that are different than normal (the anagram stuff we talked about once upon a time, AL being required on the outsides of a grid, and so on). The term that gets used in that case for puzzles actually is “gimmick”.

    But I’m just basically saying that “trick” or “catch” has certain connotations that “theme” doesn’t, and more or less “theme” is more accurate.

  2. Agree with Dave—seemed easy but took me a while. For example, I kept thinking about a bird for shore scavenger. Also agree with Glenn about the abundance of proper names, it was a bit frustrating at times.
    I found Bill’s notes on “Rumble in the Jungle” interesting.
    I hope everyone is having a good weekend.

  3. I found this one very gratifying. It was one of those grids that at first glance I thought it was hopeless, but after hanging in there a while I ended up finishing….albeit in 47 minutes. Last to fall was the Y for GUY Wire (really?) and DYE (batik??), but I guessed right.

    Biggest writeover was marineECOSYSTEM which was a mess to clean up…pardon the pun. SCHRODINGER helped.

    DEAD EASY??

    I have to give an assist to yesterday’s NYT grid that also had Vassal as a clue so I learned what it was yesterday. It cannot be a coincidence that Vassal was on the NYT yesterday and today’s LAT (twice!). I’ve already called the FBI for an investigation….

    C’mon, Bill. Everyone knows the Matterhorn was named for the ride at Disneyland…..

    Dave – I have not done today’s NYT, but your time is scaring me off. Should I believe your 38 mins or Bill’s 14? Maybe I’ll just wait 5 weeks and see what kind words your buddy Anonymous has for the puzzle…..

    Best –

    1. Jeff … (about today’s NYT puzzle) … I honestly don’t know whether that puzzle is inherently difficult or I just got off on the wrong foot with it. In any case, you shouldn’t let my time scare you off …

  4. Ditto Jeff and Joe. I actually finished it the same day I started it. Does that make it easy for a Saturday? I think it does. 🙂

  5. Both Friday and today were too easy for end of the week grids. But I’m sure some puzzle constructor who moonlights as Torquemada will rectify things next week.

    I thought today’s WSJ 21 X 21 was challenging without being over the top crazy difficult. The last bit to fall was the SW corner.

    The trouble with Schrodinger’s cat is that, along with being both alive and dead it has 9 of those states (you know, 9 lives – and deaths in this case – and all that). That’s got to add a whole new level of complexity to the issue.

  6. Too many proper names. The author is just being lazy. Also, don’t get “place with Sundance”. Why does Etta answer that?

    1. Hi De. Bill had a very nice answer to your query above but I’ll just paste in here so you don’t have to go looking for it:

      33. Place with Sundance : ETTA
      Etta Place is the schoolteacher character played by the lovely Katharine Ross in the 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

        1. My crush on her began with “The Graduate” and was already in full bloom by the time of Butch, Sundance and Etta…(Raindrops keep falling on my head…).

  7. Hi folks!
    Successfully completed this one, mostly because I approached with my usual start-early Saturday method. Didn’t know ETTA before. Only remembered LORCA from a song by the Clash! Got ULTIMATE FRISBEE after only one letter. It’s amazing the range of topics these puzzles cover, and how we manage to dredge up stuff from our various life memories, y’know? I guess that’s the idea.

    I got waylaid by spelling SCHRODINGER wrong at first — put an extra E in somewhere.

    Beautiful weather here in LA! ?
    Be well~~™?

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