LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Feb 17, Thursday










Constructed by: Chuck Deodene

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: See Ya!

Today’s themed answers are common phrases, but with the letter string YA inserted:

  • 39A. Casual parting … and a hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers : SEE YA!
  • 17A. Headline during an African wildfire season? : KENYA BURNS! (from “Ken Burns”)
  • 61A. Collector of some Spanish art? : GOYA GETTER (from “go-getter”)
  • 10D. Artist Jasper during his tropical period? : PAPAYA JOHNS (from “Papa John’s”)
  • 25D. Farmer’s possible reply to “What beans are you planting this year?”? : I RECKON SOYA (from “I reckon so”)

Bill’s time: 10m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Brewski : SUDS

Brewski, suds, beer.

5. Scrubland succulent : AGAVE

The agave is a succulent plant found mainly in Mexico. Surprisingly (to me, anyway), the agave is unrelated to the cactus, and isn’t related to the aloe plant either. The blue agave is used in the production of tequila.

16. Settled on the tarmac : ALIT

The terms “Tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.

17. Headline during an African wildfire season? : KENYA BURNS! (from “Ken Burns”)

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.

Ken Burns directs and produces epic documentary films that usually make inventive use of archive footage. Recent works are the sensational “The War” (about the US in WWII) and the magnificent “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Burns’ latest offering is 2014’s “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History”.

19. “¿Qué __?” : PASA

In Spanish, “que pasa?” literally translates as “what happened?” but is used to mean “how have things been going with you?”.

24. Former NASCAR Cup sponsor : SPRINT

The name of the premier NASCAR racing series has changed over the years, often as sponsors come and go. The names used have been:

  • 1949: Strictly Stock Series
  • 1950-1970: Grand National Series
  • 1971-2003: Winston Cup Series
  • 2008-2016: Sprint Cup Series
  • 2017-date: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

29. Kind of key : MAJOR

Experts, unlike me, can wax lyrical on the technical differences between major and minor keys and scales. To me, music written in major keys is very strident, often very joyful and “honest”. Music written in minor keys (often my “favorite”) is more feminine, more delicate and often quite sad.

36. Tolkien villain : ORC

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.

37. “This feels familiar” feeling : DEJA VU

“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

41. Had too much : ODED

Overdose (OD)

42. Satisfies, as thirst : SLAKES

“To slake” is to satisfy a craving, as in slaking one’s thirst.

46. Fable teller : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today for his famous fables. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

49. West Coast pro : NINER

The 49ers football team in San Francisco takes its name from the gold prospectors who flooded into Northern California around 1849 during the California Gold Rush. These “1849 prospectors” became known as the “49ers”.

55. Picture of health? : CAT SCAN

A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful, causing damage that is cumulative over time.

59. Hosp. area : ICU

Many a hospital (hosp.) includes an intensive care unit (ICU).

60. __ clarinet : ALTO

The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn’t it? The name comes from the Italian word “clarino” meaning “trumpet” with the “-et” suffix indicating “small”.

61. Collector of some Spanish art? : GOYA GETTER (from “go-getter”)

Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter, often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

65. Barn-raising sect : AMISH

The Amish are a group of Christian churches, a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

66. Latin I word : AMAS

Amo, amas, amat” … I love, you love, he/she/it loves”, in Latin.

67. County bordering Sonoma : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

Did you know that there are far more wine grapes produced in Sonoma than Napa? Within Sonoma County some of the more well-known appellations are Chalk Hill, Anderson Valley and Russian River Valley. Personally, when I want to visit the wine country, I head for the Russian River Valley as it’s far less crowded and much more fun than Napa Valley.

68. Core belief : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

Down

1. Punjabi monotheists : SIKHS

Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.

5. Seemingly eternal burden : ALBATROSS

An “albatross” is sometimes a metaphor for a psychological burden. This usage comes from the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In the story, an albatross is following a ship, a sign of good fortune. Then the “ancient mariner” shoots the albatross with a crossbow, an act that will bring a curse on the ship. The other sailors punish the mariner by forcing him to wear the dead albatross around his neck.

6. Joint ailment : GOUT

Gout is caused by an elevation of the levels of uric acid in the blood. As a result of the high concentrations, the uric acid can crystallize out in tissue causing extreme discomfort. What we tend to call gout occurs when the crystals are deposited in the big toe.

7. Abbr. in car ads : APR

Annual percentage rate (APR)

9. Old lemon : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel, son of Henry Ford. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

10. Artist Jasper during his tropical period? : PAPAYA JOHNS (from “Papa John’s”)

The papaya is the fruit of the Carica papaya, a large tree-like plant that is native to southern Mexico and Central America. One traditional use of papaya is as a meat tenderizer. The fruit and sap contain the enzyme papain that breaks down meat fibers. Papain is used today as a component of powdered meat tenderizers.

Jasper Johns is a contemporary artist from Augusta, Georgia. Johns’ most famous work is called “Flag”, which he created two years after being discharged from the US Army, in 1954. “Flag” is a representation of the “Stars and Stripes” made with paint and a collage of newsprint.

Papa John’s is the third largest takeout and delivery pizza chain in the US, with Pizza Hut and Domino’s taking the top spots.

11. Cumming of “The Good Wife” : ALAN

Alan Cumming is a very versatile Scottish actor. Cumming has played some pretty “commercial” roles, like the bad guy Boris Grishenko in “GoldenEye” and Fegan Flopp in the “Spy Kids” movies. He also played the unwanted suitor in the fabulous film “Circle of Friends” and won a Tony for playing the emcee in the 1998 Broadway revival of “Cabaret”.

“The Good Wife” is a legal drama showing on CBS starring Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a litigator who returns to practicing the law after spending 13 years as a stay-at-home mom. I binge-watched the show some time back and found it to be well-written, with a great cast and great acting …

12. CD part : DISC

The compact disc was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

18. “Rule, Britannia” composer : ARNE

Thomas Arne was an English composer from London. Arne wrote some iconic compositions including “Rule, Britannia!” He also wrote a version of “God Save the King” that became the British national anthem.

“Rule, Britannia!” is a poem by James Thomson, for which Thomas Arne composed the famous music.

25. Farmer’s possible reply to “What beans are you planting this year?”? : I RECKON SOYA (from “I reckon so”)

What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

30. Green gem : JADE

Jade is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

33. Badlands landform : MESA

Badlands may be “bad lands” for agriculture (hence the name), but they can be beautiful. A badlands is an extensive area from which the topsoil has been eroded by wind and water, leaving exposed rock and very little vegetation. One of the most beautiful badlands areas in the US is preserved for the nation as South Dakota’s Badlands National Park.

47. Biological map subject : GENOME

The genome is all the hereditary information needed to reproduce an organism, in other words, all of its chromosomes. When scientists unravel the human genome it takes up an awful lot of computer storage space, and yet all of this information is in almost every cell in our bodies. Each and every cell “knows” how to make a whole human being.

52. Card table request : HIT ME

“Stand” and “hit me” are instructions to the dealer in the card game Blackjack. The instruction “stand” means, I don’t want any more cards, I’ll use these. The instruction “hit me” means “please deal me another card”.

53. Where some large schools may be found : OCEAN

Oceanus was a mythical figure personifying an enormous river that the ancient Greeks and Romans believed encircled the world. It is from the name “Oceanus” that we get out modern term “Ocean”.

54. Rathskeller fare : WURST

“Wurst” is simply a German word for “sausage”.

A city hall in Germany is called a Rathaus. In days gone by there was often a restaurant located in the basement or cellar of a Rathaus, and this restaurant was given the name Rathskeller.

56. Trattoria’s “in the style of” : ALLA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated in “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

A trattoria is an Italian restaurant. In Italian, a “trattore” is the keeper of an eating house.

57. Firebird roof option : T-TOP

A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

1967 was a big year or American muscle cars. The Pontiac Firebird was introduced that year, as was the Chevrolet Camaro that shared the same platform as the Firebird. At the same time, Ford introduced the Mercury Cougar, which was built on the same platform as the Ford Mustang that went into production just three years earlier.

62. Half a cosmic whole : YIN

The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

63. Check : TAB

When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Brewski : SUDS

5. Scrubland succulent : AGAVE

10. Skate park protection : PADS

14. “__ something I said?” : IS IT

15. Bounded : LOPED

16. Settled on the tarmac : ALIT

17. Headline during an African wildfire season? : KENYA BURNS! (from “Ken Burns”)

19. “¿Qué __?” : PASA

20. Peach or orange : HUE

21. Snitch : RAT

22. Rental duration : TENANCY

24. Former NASCAR Cup sponsor : SPRINT

26. Pass along : RELAY

27. Go over again : REREAD

29. Kind of key : MAJOR

33. Bro : MATE

36. Tolkien villain : ORC

37. “This feels familiar” feeling : DEJA VU

38. Corner office fig. : EXEC

39. Casual parting … and a hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers : SEE YA!

41. Had too much : ODED

42. Satisfies, as thirst : SLAKES

44. Reduction : CUT

45. Attending : HERE

46. Fable teller : AESOP

47. “Challenge accepted!” : GAME ON!

49. West Coast pro : NINER

51. Possible reason for an empty seat : NO SHOW

55. Picture of health? : CAT SCAN

58. Profession, casually : BIZ

59. Hosp. area : ICU

60. __ clarinet : ALTO

61. Collector of some Spanish art? : GOYA GETTER (from “go-getter”)

64. Tactic : PLOY

65. Barn-raising sect : AMISH

66. Latin I word : AMAS

67. County bordering Sonoma : NAPA

68. Core belief : TENET

69. Out of shape : BENT

Down

1. Punjabi monotheists : SIKHS

2. Burn through : USE UP

3. Eatery often named for its owner : DINER

4. Foul spot : STY

5. Seemingly eternal burden : ALBATROSS

6. Joint ailment : GOUT

7. Abbr. in car ads : APR

8. Unloaded a burden : VENTED

9. Old lemon : EDSEL

10. Artist Jasper during his tropical period? : PAPAYA JOHNS (from “Papa John’s”)

11. Cumming of “The Good Wife” : ALAN

12. CD part : DISC

13. Sit tight : STAY

18. “Rule, Britannia” composer : ARNE

23. License info : NAME

25. Farmer’s possible reply to “What beans are you planting this year?”? : I RECKON SOYA (from “I reckon so”)

26. Pit visitor : RACE CAR

28. Before, poetically : ERE

30. Green gem : JADE

31. Wrapped up : OVER

32. Deserving a slap, maybe : RUDE

33. Badlands landform : MESA

34. Shaft with bushings : AXLE

35. Genteel gatherings : TEAS

37. Couple’s break from the kids : DATE NIGHT

40. “Delish!” : YUM!

43. Amazing, in dudespeak : EPIC

47. Biological map subject : GENOME

48. Slime : OOZE

50. Pester : NAG AT

52. Card table request : HIT ME

53. Where some large schools may be found : OCEAN

54. Rathskeller fare : WURST

55. Aye-catcher? : CAP’N

56. Trattoria’s “in the style of” : ALLA

57. Firebird roof option : T-TOP

58. Military center : BASE

62. Half a cosmic whole : YIN

63. Check : TAB

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Feb 17, Thursday”

  1. Any puzzle that begins with beer and tequila references is a good puzzle.

    In retrospect this took me longer than it should have. I think my brain was still scrambled from the silliness of the NYT Thursday puzzle. I made some things harder on myself than necessary e.g. being sure SPRite was a NASCAR Cup sponsor…I eventually figured it out.

    I think I agree with Carrie and her peanut(s) debate from yesterday. No one eats peanuts M&Ms…

    Best-

    1. “Are those plain M&M’s? I’m allergic to peanuts.”

      “No. These M&M’s have peanuts, so avoid them unless you want to try out your new generic Epi pen!”

  2. “have peanuts” vs. “are peanut” is the great debate, I think. Noun vs adjective. I think Carrie’s point is that it should be an adjective there which would necessitate “peanut”. Clue is just vague enough to invite debate. “M&M’s choice” hmmm. However, if you use peanuts as a noun, you’d also have to use “plain” as a noun in which case it would be the plural – plains…unless plain M&Ms are like “fish” or something iei plain is both singular and plural. Does anyone have an M&M’s dictionary?

    Maybe the choice is “I’ll have one plain or several peanuts??” Someone stop me when I start to overthink this…

    As soon as the new Supreme Court nominee becomes part of the court, I’ll submit this for their review….

    Best –

  3. ALBATROSS/AGAVE/GOUT/APR/VENTED/LOPED took forever. Thought I was a goner until the light bulb went off.
    Had SPRITE instead of SPRINT which messed everything up.
    What do I know about NASCAR? Zip!
    Don’t they have a hundred patches of sponsors on their jumpsuits anyway?
    Agree with Carrie. That answer bothered me yesterday, but then so did POPTASTIC.
    Can’t wait for the Supreme Court, Jeff. Let’s ask
    Kyle Busch

  4. Hi all! Pretty much hit all the “intermediate targets” on the NYT so far with no errors. Interesting conversation over there, but as always, coming five weeks late. I may be getting confused that European dates are set over there as to how current the conversation is (January 2 or February 1?). Being relatively new to this in comparison to what I gather from the others, I’ll have to see what I can add there, soon (probably in tomorrow’s comment box).

    Otherwise, been starting the puzzles in the Wordplay book (needed to copy a small handful because whoever owned this one before wrote in it – *) and got the LATs up to today. So plenty of fun ahead, right?

    * – On this note, if I wanted to contact someone who deals with these NYT publications, how would I do that?

  5. I found this very challenging – I think I am reaching my IQ limit and Gen. knowledge limit. But I persevered and kept filling in the blanks with some red letters until I ….. nailed it ….. But, I really had a good time, and the theme was quite evident ….. okay, okay, somewhat, chancy evident…. sorta evident .

    Peanuts snit is very interesting. I know what I can’t understand …. Thank you Carrie, for the thread of the idea.

    On the subject of the Supreme Court nominee, I came across this Newsweek article, which rattled me. Surely, this cant be serious. ! I pray for our beloved country.

    Thank you Bill, on the information that Agave is not a cactus or an aloe. you’ve just dashed my closest assumptions. ;-o)
    I always thought the chief sponsor for the car races was ….. STP Oil – but it was unfortunately, not the answer today. OK, the phone company.
    I nearly read Tolkien villain as Token villain – which could have meant almost anybody in todays politics ….
    Regarding, CAT scan, you’ve all probably heard of the joke, where a veterinarian had a pet cat, whom he used for ….. well, you get the joke.

    Finally, I might as well confess – I suffer from gout – although I am kinda used to it by now. For those unfortunates, who may get affected – avoid meat, wine and high protein – and use Allopurinol for long term prevention and Indomethacin for immediate short term pain cure. The latter is extremely toxic and upsetting and the cure can be as bad as the pain. It used to be called the ‘rich man’s ‘ disease because, the poor couldn’t afford the meat nor the alchohol.
    Fwiw, Ben Franklin had it, and he bought over the first painkiller for it – from France – colchicine. If you care to read about it ….. and other great men who had it…… Not for the queasy or easily upset………..

    have a nice day, all.

  6. Had a quick opportunity to post. 1 error on Monday over a guess. 11, 9, 16, and 22 minutes for times. Clutched a bit on the Wednesday grid for time, so that one should have been a bit faster than it turned out to be. I’ll post my response to the others on the NYT blog (as best as I can, 1100 words it turned into). Have a good night, all!

    @Vidwan
    Got gout here too. Unfortunately, the problem with health care, as it is, is one can’t afford to even have the simplest of diseases, Obamacare or not. So it’s been remaining untreated. Been on my share of colchicine over time – unfortunately a good example of what really needs to be addressed in health care. For that (and a few others) it turned out that a sweet heart deal got made with government during Shrub’s administration that turned it back into a patent drug (terms-wise) and effectively raised the price by about 10000%. Fun how it goes *sigh*.

  7. Hello friends!
    I had the same issue as you, Pookie, with that tricky center top section. Had OBO before APR, and stuck with OBO longer than I should have! Theme was kinda weird, I guess in part because two of the themed answers mentioned artists, while the other two were random.
    I stand by my M&Ms conclusion! It just doesn’t work to say peanuts! ESPECIALLY when “plain” is singular. @Tony, in that dialog the second person would say “No, they’re peanut [M&Ms].” It’s not like with brownies, for example, where you’d say “These have walnuts, and those don’t.” Peanut M&Ms is sort of a fixed term, really.
    No, Jeff, YOU’RE not over thinking this!!! Maybe *I* am, with my insistence on preserving our language….?
    Dang, now I REALLY want brownies!!!!
    Great article, Vidwan — thanks. Certain congressmen should have respected the Constitution last year, IMO (pardon the politics….?)
    Hope everyone’s ready for Fri and Sat…..
    Be well~~™?

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