LA Times Crossword Answers 5 Jan 17, Thursday




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Constructed by: Morton J. Mendelson

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Emoticons

Today’s themed clues are all emoticons, with the answers expressing the meanings intended by each emoticon:

  • 17A. >:-( : I’M REALLY FURIOUS!
  • 25A. 🙁 : WHAT A DOWNER!
  • 47A. 😉 : JUST KIDDING!
  • 60A. :-O : THAT’S SURPRISING!

Bill’s time: 7m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Gucci of fashion : ALDO

Gucci was founded in Rome in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio’s son Aldo took over the company after his father’s death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company’s first overseas store, in New York City.

9. Certain highlands musician : PIPER

The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country not classified as the Lowlands(!). The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.

16. Eco-friendly spa brand : AVEDA

Horst Rechelbacher was travelling in India in 1970 when he was introduced to the Hindu science of longevity called Ayurveda, which inspired him to set up his own company of skin and hair care products that he called Aveda. The company opened its doors in 1978 and is based in Blaine, Minnesota.

17. >:-( : I’M REALLY FURIOUS!
25. 🙁 : WHAT A DOWNER!
47. 😉 : JUST KIDDING!
60. :-O : THAT’S SURPRISING!

An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face 🙂

20. Gazpacho ingredient : TOMATO

Gazpacho is a cold soup made from vegetables in a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.

24. Scholar’s deg. : PHD

PhD is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for an earned PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

30. Carpooling calc. : ETA

Expected time of arrival (ETA)

33. Frigid end? : -AIRE

Frigidaire made the first self-contained refrigerator in 1916. Just three years later, the company was taken over by General Motors, who owned it right up to 1979. Frigidaire also made the first home freezer and room air conditioner.

34. Straight man : STOOGE

We use the term “stooge” these days to for an unwitting victim, or perhaps the straight man in a comedy duo. The first “stooges” were simply stage assistants, back in the early 1900s.

36. Vegetation : FLORA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

38. Tarzan creator’s monogram : ERB

Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB) was an author from Chicago who is best known as the creator of the “Tarzan” series of novels. Burroughs’ daughter Joan ended up marrying James Pierce, the actor who was the fourth to portray Tarzan on film. James and Joan Pierce also worked together, playing Tarzan and Jane on the radio show “Tarzan” from 1932 to 1934.

39. Virus named for a Congolese river : EBOLA

The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The disease is transmitted from human to human by exposure to bodily fluids. In nature, the main carrier of Ebola is the fruit bat.

41. Trains above the road : ELS

Elevated railroad (El)

45. “Smack That” rapper : AKON

Akon is a Senegalese American R&B and hip hop singer, who was born in St. Louis but lived much of his early life in Senegal. Akon is a stage name, and his real name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam. Got that?

46. Manhattan part : RYE

The cocktail called a Manhattan is made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. I make my own version of a Brandy Manhattan, using brandy, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.

50. Cabinet dept. with an Office of Science : ENER

The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

63. Veiny cheese : BLEU

Being a bit of a French speaker (admittedly a very poor one), the term “bleu” cheese has always kind of irritated me. I would prefer that we use either “blue cheese” or “fromage bleu” and not mix the languages, but then I can be annoyingly picky! It’s said that blue cheese was probably discovered accidentally, as molds tend to develop in the same conditions that are best for storing cheese. The blue mold in the cheese is introduced by adding Penicillium spores before the cheese is allowed to set. And yes, it’s the same mold that is used to produce penicillin, the antibiotic.

65. Med. specialty : OB/GYN

Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)

66. Couture line : SEAM

“Haute couture”, literally “high dressmaking” in French, is a name given to the creation of exclusive fashions. A couturier is someone who creates or sells such fashions.

Down

2. Long drive? : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes anyway …

3. Brown digs? : DORM

Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, is one of the eight Ivy League schools. Brown has been around a long time, founded in 1764, years before America declared independence from England. The university took the name of Brown in 1804 after one Nicholas Brown, Jr. gave a substantial gift to the school. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Brown Bears, and their mascot is Bruno.

“Digs” is short for “diggings” meaning “lodgings”, but where “diggings” came from, no one seems to know.

4. Many an Albee play : ONE-ACTER

Playwright Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:

  • 1967: “A Delicate Balance”
  • 1975: “Seascape”
  • 1994: “Three Tall Women”

Albee also won three Tony Awards:

  • 1963: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Best Play)
  • 2002: “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
  • 2005: Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

6. Poivre companion : SEL

In French, one might season one’s food with “sel” (salt) and “poivre” (pepper).

7. Slow Churned ice cream : EDY’S

Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

9. Where many aces can be seen : PAR THREE

One well-documented hole-in-one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes-in-one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes-in-one in his one and only round of golf.

11. Menial worker : PEON

A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

12. Part of NEA: Abbr. : EDUC

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

13. Demolish, in Devon : RASE

To “raze” (“rase”, in UK English) is to level to the ground. I’ve always thought it odd that “raise”, a homophone of “raze”, means to build up.

Devon is a county in the southwest of England. The county town of Devon is Exeter, and the largest city in the county is Plymouth, the port from which the Mayflower Pilgrims departed.

18. Gillette brand : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

23. Sacred songs : MOTETS

A motet is a simple musical composition based on a sacred text, usually sung without an accompaniment. The term “motet” is a diminutive form of “mot”, the French for “word”.

25. Mass consumption? : WAFER

The Communion rite is the part of the Mass in the Roman Catholic tradition. The rite involves distribution of the Communion bread (the host, a wafer) to the faithful.

The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

26. Like links-style golf courses : HILLY

The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

28. Razzie Award adjective : WORST

“Razzie” is the familiar name for the Golden Raspberry Award, an award presented annually for the worst in the world of film. The Razzies have been presented on the day before the Oscars since 1981.

30. Mushroom in Asian cuisine : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as enoki) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

31. Raptor’s weapon : TALON

“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.

37. “The Jazz Singer” singer : AL JOLSON

The classic musical “The Jazz Singer” was released in 1927, and became the biggest box office success for the Warner Bros. to date. Famously, it was a “talkie”, and is now regarded as one of the films that signaled the impending end of the “silent era”. Star of the movie is Al Jolson, who performs six songs including “Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Goo’ Bye)” and “My Mammy”.

43. Dutch banknotes : EUROS

The Euro is the official currency of most of the states in the European Union, but not all. The list of states not using the Euro includes the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

44. Günter Grass novel, with “The” : TIN DRUM

“The Tin Drum” is a novel by German author Günter Grass that was first published in 1959. The book was a adapted into very successful 1979 film of the same name, which won that season’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

48. __-plié: ballet movement with knees half-bent : DEMI

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

51. Houston pro, locally : ‘STRO

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

52. Captain who says, “For hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee” : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

54. Well-used crayons : NUBS

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

55. Creator of Perry and Della : ERLE

I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

Della Street was Perry Mason’s very capable secretary in the Erle Stanley Gardner novels. Street was played in the TV show by the lovely Barbara Hale.

57. Diamond complement : NINE

That would be baseball.

59. Some NCOs : SGTS

An NCO or “noncom” is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant major (sgt. maj.).

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Gucci of fashion : ALDO

5. Manual reader : USER

9. Certain highlands musician : PIPER

14. Celebrity : LION

15. Salon service : PEDI

16. Eco-friendly spa brand : AVEDA

17. >:-( : I’M REALLY FURIOUS!

20. Gazpacho ingredient : TOMATO

21. Grammatical unit : SENTENCE

22. Make up for skipping classes, perhaps : CRAM

24. Scholar’s deg. : PHD

25. 🙁 : WHAT A DOWNER!

30. Carpooling calc. : ETA

33. Frigid end? : -AIRE

34. Straight man : STOOGE

35. Bust : NAB

36. Vegetation : FLORA

38. Tarzan creator’s monogram : ERB

39. Virus named for a Congolese river : EBOLA

41. Trains above the road : ELS

42. Allows to attack : LETS AT

45. “Smack That” rapper : AKON

46. Manhattan part : RYE

47. 😉 : JUST KIDDING!

49. Pro : FOR

50. Cabinet dept. with an Office of Science : ENER

51. Dined at a table for one : SAT ALONE

56. Near-failing grade : D-MINUS

60. :-O : THAT’S SURPRISING!

62. Reached, as expenses : RAN TO

63. Veiny cheese : BLEU

64. Work with needles : KNIT

65. Med. specialty : OB/GYN

66. Couture line : SEAM

67. Gels : SETS

Down

1. Came to rest : ALIT

2. Long drive? : LIMO

3. Brown digs? : DORM

4. Many an Albee play : ONE-ACTER

5. Puts on the internet, e.g. : UPLOADS

6. Poivre companion : SEL

7. Slow Churned ice cream : EDY’S

8. Swarming (with) : RIFE

9. Where many aces can be seen : PAR THREE

10. Like some academic walls : IVIED

11. Menial worker : PEON

12. Part of NEA: Abbr. : EDUC

13. Demolish, in Devon : RASE

18. Gillette brand : ATRA

19. Remove wooden pins from : UNPEG

23. Sacred songs : MOTETS

25. Mass consumption? : WAFER

26. Like links-style golf courses : HILLY

27. Sprang up : AROSE

28. Razzie Award adjective : WORST

29. Easy to prepare, as desserts : NO-BAKE

30. Mushroom in Asian cuisine : ENOKI

31. Raptor’s weapon : TALON

32. Go out with __ : A BANG

37. “The Jazz Singer” singer : AL JOLSON

40. Applicants with low credit scores, to loan officers : BAD RISKS

43. Dutch banknotes : EUROS

44. Günter Grass novel, with “The” : TIN DRUM

48. __-plié: ballet movement with knees half-bent : DEMI

49. Like marbled steak : FATTY

51. Houston pro, locally : ‘STRO

52. Captain who says, “For hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee” : AHAB

53. Sharp flavor : TANG

54. Well-used crayons : NUBS

55. Creator of Perry and Della : ERLE

57. Diamond complement : NINE

58. Minute, e.g. : UNIT

59. Some NCOs : SGTS

61. __ shooter : PEA

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 5 Jan 17, Thursday”

  1. Good morning, all!
    I struggled with this one, but that’s no surprise for me on a Thursday. Or Friday, or Saturday for that matter.

    About plié: a demi-plié is a bending of the knees until just before the heels come off the ground in ant foot position besides second (feet spread apart wider than the shoulders). Once the heels leave the floor, again excepting second position, it becomes a grande plié. In second position the feet are wide enough apart to preclude the raising of the heels. There are five foot positions in ballet; third position is rarely used. Plié is very simple in theory, but is in fact very difficult. The word is not only a noun, it can be descriptive as well.
    The five foot positions are:
    First position, heels are touching
    Second position, heels are far apart to each side
    Third position, the heel of the front foot is aligned with the arch of the back foot
    Fourth position is taught two ways, either the front foot is moved forward from third position about a 12 inches, or moved forward in the same manner, but from fifth position, with the latter being more common
    Fifth position, the feet are aligned heel to toe

    Now y’all know way too much about pliés; next time you’re watching a ballet on PBS, you can amaze (and ultimately bore) the people watching with you. Oh, there are also arm positions associated with the foot positions, but those are much more varied, so I’ll save you from more useless (unless you’re a dancer) information and quit before you nod off.

    Hope Thursday is wonderful for you, just two more days ’til the weekend!

  2. I too struggled with this one. It felt like pushing rope uphill. I took a little longer than some other Thursday puzzles, but it sure felt a lot harder. Some of the cluing felt a little sideways to me, but then again maybe I’m a little sideways today…

    I had one (two) error. I didn’t know the rapper AKON or the mushroom ENOKI so the “K” got me.

    Strangely, I never realized an EL trains are short for “elevated”.

    Best –

  3. This took me a long time to finish and several times I almost gave up. In the end, it was the word “motet”, and the Tarzan creater monogram that caused me to not completely finish. “Motet” is a new word for me.

  4. What an UGLY puzzle. 🙁
    NEA confused with National Endowment for the Arts.
    UNPEG?
    LETS AT?
    RAN TO?
    Celebrity= LION???? Whaa?
    And the topper…ONE ACTER???
    Seriously?
    As you can tell, I’M REALLY FURIOUS that I wasted my time on this one.

  5. Suitably challenging for a Thursday. Nits: 51A — One could have SAT alone anywhere. “Dined” at a table begs for ATE alone. And 14A — Celebrity = LION?! Ugh.

  6. 9:53, no errors. The last letter I entered was the K of AKON (unknown to me) and ENOKI (a vaguely familiar term). I paused for half a minute to go through the alphabet, but finally settled on the correct letter.

    @ Carrie … I’m not snowed in here in Colorado, but I did get up and spend two hours shoveling about 10 inches of the white stuff. When I started, the temperature was 7.5 degrees (Fahrenheit); by the time I finished, it had warmed up to 12.5 degrees. At this point, the snow appears to have stopped, but I’ll probably have to go out again and deal with another half an inch. This is one of those times when I envy my daughter in LA … 🙂

  7. This puzzle was difficult, despite the cute emoticons ( now, I know I’ve been misusing them, all along ….) . In the early part of the game, I could not get any traction, and had to hunt peck and guess. Well, its a Thursday, so ….. ;-D)

    I once bought 2 lbs. of Enoki mushrooms, little white tiny button umbrellas – and found they had no taste – so I learnt my lesson and now stick to my tried-in favorites, the Oyster mushrooms. They have a sharp, slightly bitter (benzaldehyde) taste and chew refreshingly, like fresh leather …. ;-O) ….. OTOH, Shiitakes ( Shee – taakey ) also have a sharp taste, but it can be overpowering, more like rancid bleu cheese. ;-~x}} – but I have also used them in certain soups. Shii is the genus of the dead log tree where the mushroom is cultivated …. ‘takey’ is a generic word for mushroom.

    Finally, how to remember flora from fauna. Flo=flower hence plants, and faun=fawn, baby deer …. hence animals. Works for simple me.

    Thanks Bill, for your lovely blog. Learnt a lot.

    Have a nice day, all.

  8. Who should I believe? This grid, or my Lion eyes? I think this was fairly difficult for a Thursday. While I finished successfully I did have more than my normal amount of strike overs, such as “ate alone” before “sat alone”.

  9. Tough for me, I guessed wrong on the ANOKI/AKON (I thought ANONI/ANON).

    On the first pass through I wrote down (Captain James T.) KIRK, for the “from hates sake..” clue, but quickly realized it was from the older source of Moby Dick. Also, everyone knows it was Khan who actually says “from hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”, not Captain Kirk!

    Don

  10. Very nice challenge for me today; finished with about 45 minutes and one error: RANTe, which, of course, makes no sense. I can certainly understand AKON wanting a stage name, or some kinda pet name, given his real name. How does he fit all that on his license?

    An another new (two)French word(s) for me: POIVRE and SEL. I was thinking poor and rich rather than pepper and salt.

    On to Friday…

  11. Hi folks!
    Shoot! Errors!! Well, only two wrong letters. Won the battles but lost the war. I wrote ALDO but had trouble in that NW corner; put in FARM instead of DORM, which gave me ALFO (what do I know? It coulda been a name!!!) and also LIAN, which I figured was some word I didn’t know. But LION??! Never would’ve thought that, and didn’t like it.
    Mostly a good puzzle tho, and I thought the theme was cute. Just too much irritating cluing, as y’all have mentioned.
    Hey Joel, I slightly remember some of those ballet positions! Took ballet as a child but didn’t get very far with it.
    @Dave, I tell ya, we wouldn’t know WHAT to do if it snowed here in LA. I think it last snowed in this city the year of my birth — 1957. I should look that up. If I’m right, I’ll start referring to myself as the LA Snow Queen. Maybe it’ll catch on! ???
    As to Dirk’s comment: I’ve thought for awhile now that French is the most common non-English language used in crosswords. Spanish is second, then Latin. Does that seem right?
    Friday and Saturday puzzles ahead — LET’S CRUSH IT!!!!!
    ….Or not…?
    Sweet dreams~~™?????

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