LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Jan 17, Monday










Constructed by: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Shopper’s Delight

Today’s themed answers each start with something a SHOPPER might find DELIGHTFUL at a big sale event:

  • 38. Big sale, where you can find the starts of 18-, 23-, 49- and 60-Across : SHOPPER’S DELIGHT
  • 18. “Just handle the problem!” : DEAL WITH IT!
  • 23. Upstage one’s co-stars : STEAL A SCENE
  • 49. Employ stalling tactics : BUY SOME TIME
  • 60. Take into account : BARGAIN FOR

Bill’s time: 4m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Rides for hire : CABS

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

10. Toothed tonsorial tool : COMB

Something described as “tonsorial” pertains to a barber or to haircutting. The Latin term “tonsor” translates as “barber, shaver, shearer”.

15. Open courtyards : ATRIA

In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

17. Shakespearean king : LEAR

Shakespeare was inspired to write his famous drama “King Lear” by the legend of “Leir of Britain”, the story of a mythological Celtic king.

20. Jam session jammer : MUSICIAN

The use of “jam”, to mean an improvised passage performed by a whole jazz band, dates back to the late twenties. This gave rise to “jam session”, a term used a few years later. The use of “jam” in this context probably stems from the meaning of “jam” as something sweet, something excellent.

27. Some motorcycles and pianos : YAMAHAS

The Japanese company Yamaha started out way back in 1888 as a manufacturer of pianos and reed organs. Even though the company has diversified since then, Yamaha’s logo still reflects it musical roots. Even on Yamaha motorcycles you can see a logo made up of three intersecting tuning forks.

32. Lawn-wrecking pests : MOLES

One of the more commonly known facts about my native Ireland is that there are no snakes in the country. A less known fact is that there are no moles either. There are plenty of snakes and moles in Britain, just a few miles away. Over a pint we tend to give the credit to Saint Patrick, but the last ice age is more likely the responsible party …

42. Mongolian desert : GOBI

The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

45. ’70s-’80s band with a steering wheel on their debut album cover : THE CARS

The Cars are a rock band from Boston, Massachusetts who were at the height of their success in the late seventies and early eighties.

59. Like some rays outside the visible spectrum : INFRARED

At either end of the visible light spectrum are the invisible forms of radiation known as infrared (IR) light and ultraviolet (UV) light. IR light lies just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, and UV light lie just below the violet end.

63. Fill fully : SATE

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

64. Qatari ruler : EMIR

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

65. British unit of length : METRE

On the other side of the Atlantic we use the French spelling for measurements that originated in French, so “metre” for “meter” and “litre” for “liter”.

66. Hall of Famer Musial : STAN

Stan Musial was a retired baseball player who went by the nickname “Stan the Man”, a moniker he was awarded by the Brooklyn Dodgers fans in 1946. Apparently, off the field Stan was quite the harmonica player.

68. Old West search party : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

Down

2. Native Alaskan : ALEUT

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

3. Having a been-there-done-that attitude : BLASE

“Blasé”, meaning “nonchalant, bored from overindulgence” comes from French, in which language it can mean “satiated”.

4. War-torn country since 2011 : SYRIA

Since the onset of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, a refugee crisis has developed involving almost 7 million internally displaced persons and almost 5 million displaced persons outside of Syria (as of February 2016). Those are staggering numbers, especially when one compares them to the estimated Syrian population of 17 million in 2014.

5. Goodyear offering : RADIAL

The Goodyear tire company was founded in 1898. The company was named for Charles Goodyear, the man who invented vulcanized rubber in 1839. Despite the Goodyear name, Charles Goodyear himself had no connection with the company.

7. Pre-euro Metz money : FRANC

The city of Metz is in the northeast of France, close to the German border. Given the proximity to Germany, Metz has both a strong German tradition and a strong French tradition. Metz was handed over to the French following WWI, after nearly 50 years of German rule. It quickly fell back into German hands in 1940 during WWII, with many German officers delighted to have back the city of their birth. Perhaps because of this long association with Germany, the US Army under General Patton encountered stiff resistance when liberating Metz in 1944. The cathedral in Metz is home to the largest expanse of stained glass in the world, almost 70,000 square feet in all.

11. Workplace standards org. : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

12. Israel’s Golda : MEIR

Golda Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before that sobriquet came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. Meir had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, Meir had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

28. “We Try Harder” car rental chain : AVIS

Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

32. Senior NCO : MSGT

A master sergeant (MSgt) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO).

36. Pres. between FDR and DDE : HST

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

39. Sandy shade : ECRU

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

46. Magician’s syllables : ABRA-

The incantation “abracadabra” has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in Ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. “Abracadabra” is Aramaic, and roughly translates as “I will create as I speak”.

51. Cup for café or thé : TASSE

In French, a “tasse” (cup) might contain “café” (coffee) or perhaps “thé” (tea).

53. Lead or zinc : METAL

Plumbum is the Latin for lead, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of them was leaking.

Zinc is the chemical element with the atomic number 30 and the element symbol “Zn”. Zinc is a metal that can form pointed crystals after smelting. It is probably these crystals that gave the element its name, which comes from the Old High German “zint” meaning “point”.

55. Cain’s victim : ABEL

In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

56. Commando garb : CAMO

Our term “camouflage” evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern applied to the hulls of ships.

A commando unit is a body of troops specially trained for hit-and-run raids into enemy territory. We imported the term into English from Afrikaans in the early 1800s. We owe the modern usage of “commando” to Winston Churchill, who used it starting in 1940 to describe shock troops whose job it was to disrupt of the planned German invasion of Britain. Churchill was probably familiar with the word from his time as a war correspondent and military officer during the Second Boer War.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Rides for hire : CABS

5. Rapids transports : RAFTS

10. Toothed tonsorial tool : COMB

14. Treaty partner : ALLY

15. Open courtyards : ATRIA

16. “So that’s what you mean” : I SEE

17. Shakespearean king : LEAR

18. “Just handle the problem!” : DEAL WITH IT!

20. Jam session jammer : MUSICIAN

22. Signs of sadness : TEARS

23. Upstage one’s co-stars : STEAL A SCENE

26. Tavern brew : ALE

27. Some motorcycles and pianos : YAMAHAS

32. Lawn-wrecking pests : MOLES

36. Sewn edge : HEM

37. __ president : VICE

38. Big sale, where you can find the starts of 18-, 23-, 49- and 60-Across : SHOPPER’S DELIGHT

42. Mongolian desert : GOBI

43. No-frills sleeper : COT

44. Fire pit particles : ASHES

45. ’70s-’80s band with a steering wheel on their debut album cover : THE CARS

47. Google success : HIT

49. Employ stalling tactics : BUY SOME TIME

55. Pro on camera : ACTOR

59. Like some rays outside the visible spectrum : INFRARED

60. Take into account : BARGAIN FOR

63. Fill fully : SATE

64. Qatari ruler : EMIR

65. British unit of length : METRE

66. Hall of Famer Musial : STAN

67. Relaxed gait : LOPE

68. Old West search party : POSSE

69. Narrow-bodied swimmers : EELS

Down

1. Brings peace to : CALMS

2. Native Alaskan : ALEUT

3. Having a been-there-done-that attitude : BLASE

4. War-torn country since 2011 : SYRIA

5. Goodyear offering : RADIAL

6. “Relax, soldier” : AT EASE

7. Pre-euro Metz money : FRANC

8. Up to, in ads : ‘TIL

9. Got a look at : SAW

10. Use as a reference : CITE

11. Workplace standards org. : OSHA

12. Israel’s Golda : MEIR

13. Puts money (on) : BETS

19. To-do list entry : ITEM

21. Envelope fastener : CLASP

24. Looked at closely : EYED

25. Birth certificate datum : NAME

28. “We Try Harder” car rental chain : AVIS

29. Air conditioner setting : HIGH

30. Suffer from overexertion : ACHE

31. Goes below the horizon : SETS

32. Senior NCO : MSGT

33. “Oops!” : OH-OH!

34. Place for an earring : LOBE

35. Grand-scale poem : EPIC

36. Pres. between FDR and DDE : HST

39. Sandy shade : ECRU

40. Flushed, as cheeks : ROSY

41. Down the road : LATER

46. Magician’s syllables : ABRA-

47. Pays tribute to : HONORS

48. “My schedule is wide open” : I’M FREE

50. Works with flour : SIFTS

51. Cup for café or thé : TASSE

52. Blowing one’s top : IRATE

53. Lead or zinc : METAL

54. Blissful regions : EDENS

55. Cain’s victim : ABEL

56. Commando garb : CAMO

57. Stumble : TRIP

58. Kiddie lit monster : OGRE

61. Mischief-maker : IMP

62. Modernist’s prefix : NEO-

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Jan 17, Monday”

  1. Before I write a comment on Monday, I try to read the comments for the two weekend days – just for my knowledge. The ones yesterday – and boy! there were a lot of them, were about the wrong crossword grid, that was printed. I sure didn’t know, so many people read this blog ( ;-x),… one screwup, and they all come out of the woodwork !!

    Maybe, the L A Times people were trying to check, as an audit, to find out, as to whether people actually do the Sunday crosswords, huh ? Many irate people, but still gives you a pretty good idea, of how important it is. …. Some jobs, in this world, are very mundane, and always taken for granted – but screw up once, and you realize how many people depend on you.

    I better start another post. Later.

  2. I found the puzzle easy and in record time – for me. I notice Bill did it in less time than it took me to read the clues…. I did get the theme, as well, …. but I didn’t know Stealing was a legal shopping option …. ;-D) Lol.

    Thank you Bill, for the blog. It is interesting to know that ‘Sate’ and ‘blase’ can mean the same thing . I’m sure, some Friday constructor is going to make full use of it.

    In other news, – from the side ads, that are peppering my web page, I am shocked to find that even Kate Middleton is a spokesperson for some anti wrinkle cream ads. Is nothing sacred ? Poor Queen Victoria, must be rolling in her grave. lol.

    I have a very busy day ahead of me, please wish me luck,
    Have a lovely day, all.

  3. @all
    My last post got ate by the spam filter Saturday. Anyway, then, I mentioned I did that puzzle in 48 minutes with 4 errors. Several strangely written clues on that one. The Sunday one was a problem for me, but evidently not in the same way as others. DNFed it about 1/4 of the way through after about 120 minutes of staring at it. I’m not sure why I can’t do certain puzzles, but I need to be finding out somehow.

    Did much better with the Sunday NYT (3 errors, 58 minutes). FWIW, I redid the Saturday one last night – 18 minutes on it. Take it for what it’s worth, but I noticed part of why it fell so quickly for me is that there seemed to be a large proportion of gimmes for me compared to normal for that day.

    @David Kennison (Sat)
    You pretty much got the whole assessment they made on the 19 black squares. It wasn’t so much hard for the solver, as for a constructor to do. When you consider the average for a end-week themeless is 25-28, you can kind of begin to see how hard it can be to both cut the number down, and end up with words/phrases that can pass muster to be published. (FWIW, the DVD extra for this one indicated that it was a little bit of a contest between constructors).

    As for the maze puzzle, I didn’t get to see all the rules for it until I peeked at the solution to it. More or less, the idea is to start at the indicated word-find target and make a path which passes through all the other word-find targets completely using the correct spelling, ending up at the indicated final clue. The rule I didn’t catch from the constructor’s note on the other two puzzles is that the path can not cross itself. FWIW, my paper got so cluttered that I had to reprint it, then ink in the word-find targets and final clue by themselves. I haven’t looked at it yet. When I did this one, I have to wonder what people did who actually did this within the news paper to not get confused by themselves.

    The only other highlight so far (only have yet to do the 15×15’s myself) is missing a couple of word-find targets on the artist’s tribute grid (good quick bio on said artist on the extra, btw) and really having to spend the time to get them all.

    @Carrie (Sat)
    120 wpm (or thereabouts) the last time I tested myself using one of the website apps out there to do it with. I rarely push myself that hard when I just type, but I will note that most keyboards marketed today are pretty terribly designed when it comes to typists (not too different than typewriters jamming if you pushed them too hard I suppose). I know I have to work very hard on most to make sure my error count doesn’t go up. Oddly enough, it’s both a huge benefit and handicap when it comes to online crossword grids. But that’s another story.

    1. @Glenn … Thanks for the info. I agree that the 19-black-square puzzle was a marvelous tour de force … and it’s astonishing to me that it was relatively easy to do.

      As for the maze puzzle: I speculated that one of the rules would be that the path can’t cross itself. Is it also the case that the path is required to be made up of one-square moves (left, right, up, and down)? What about diagonal moves? And, can the path use the same square more than once or does that count as the path crossing itself? And are the starting and ending points of the path particular squares or just any squares that are parts of the starting and ending entries? Okay … too many questions! … 🙂 When I get time, I’ll go back and examine the version I printed out, with all the RATs highlighted, and see what set of rules I think are required for it to make sense. This could happen later today, as I’m kind of stuck inside: after several days of temperatures hovering near or below zero and a foot of snow on the ground, it’s now 60 above, with a ferocious wind blowing and the snow mostly gone. (Colorado weather … gotta love it … 🙂 )

      1. @Glenn … So I finished the maze puzzle, I think. Tell me again where you found that list of five Will Shortz favorites? Something called “WordPlay”, maybe? I don’t know how to get there …

  4. @Bill Thanks for explaining Toothed tonsorial tool : COMB.
    Otherwise a quick solve.
    Here’s an online typing site where you can practice.
    A friend sent me the link a long time ago.
    TYPING PRACTICE
    I never learned to type. I always took music electives in school. Maybe some day I should learn. 🙂

  5. Wow, glad I skipped yesterday. It is amazing how many people read this site and assume that Bill works for the LA Times.

    Very easy puzzle after I fixed my spelling of ALueT, so I could get LEAR and MUSICIAN. About 14 minutes on paper.

    @Carrie Haven’t checked my typing speed so I’ll have to check and get back to you. Also, it does seem that Spanish and Fraawnch (how they say it on the other blog) are the predominant foreign languages, about in equal amounts.

  6. Hi all!
    Quite the kerfuffle Sunday!! I feel that some of those many voices wanted to blame Bill. OMG. As you say Dirk, it’s interesting how many people think that this is an official LAT site.
    I added a comment to Bill’s Sunday Blank Puzzle post, to clarify for those who don’t understand what this blog is.
    Thank you Bill for all you do, and for your cool head!
    Monday’s puzzle was easy, EXCEPT I first had UH OH instead of OH OH, which gave me MULES instead of MOLES! I KNEW it was wrong–finally figured it out, but I still think probably MULE could do some damage to a lawn…
    GLENN!!! 120 WPM??! ARE YOU BIONIC??! That’s so crazy. You put me to shame? although I have improved to about 55 WPM.
    POOKIE! Many thanks for the link! Very helpful.?
    Dirk, yes let me know! This is so interesting — I really thought I was a better typist than I am, and I wonder what other misconceptions I’m harboring about my talents and skills!
    Be well~~™????

  7. Easy puzzle, though din’t know EDIE Brickell or SAMMY Hagar.
    Had tEapot before KETTLE.

    It annoys me when so much French is assumed. It’s nearly a dead language as compared to Spanish or English, and half the letters are secret (not pronounced). I took German, Italian (beautiful, logical) and Dutch (much easier than German). My son speaks French and my husband speaks (a kind of) Italian.

    Took typing one HS summer. Doesn’t work with texting.

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