LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Feb 17, Wednesday










Constructed by: Peg Slay

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Station Breaks

Today’s themed answers include circled letters at either end. Those letters spell out words that are BROKEN, split, and those words are all types of STATIONS:

  • 33A. Program interruptions literally demonstrated by this puzzle’s four sets of circles : STATION BREAKS
  • 17A. World-class : FIRST-RATE (giving “fire station”)
  • 23A. Mantilla material : SPANISH LACE (giving “space station”)
  • 49A. It may be shaped on a wheel : POTTER’S CLAY (giving “PlayStation”)
  • 55A. Sacred lily of ancient Egypt : BLUE LOTUS (giving “bus station”)

Bill’s time: 7m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Airline mentioned in the first line of the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” : BOAC

British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was one of the two airlines that were merged in 1974 to form British Airways (the other was British European Airways, known as BEA).

By the time the Beatles recorded “Back in the U.S.S.R.”, they were having a lot of problems working with each other. The song was recorded in 1968, with the band formally dissolving in 1970. Tensions were so great during the recording of “Back in the U.S.S.R” that Ringo Starr actually stormed out saying that he had quit, and the remaining three Beatles made the record without Ringo. Drums were played mainly by Paul McCartney, but there are also drum tracks on the final cut by both George Harrison and John Lennon. Interesting, huh?

9. Taj Mahal city : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal

13. Old Renault : LE CAR

French automaker Renault made the “mini-like” Renault 5 and sold it as the Renault “Le Car” in North America. My Dad had a Renault 5 back in Ireland …

14. Cold, in Cádiz : FRIO

Cádiz is a port city in southwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz is a remarkable city geographically in that it sits on a thin spit of land that juts out into the sea.

16. Like most triangle angles : ACUTE

In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

  • acute (< 90 degrees) 
  • right (= 90 degrees) 
  • obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees) 
  • straight (180 degrees) 
  • reflex (> 180 degrees)

19. Glass manufacturing dioxide : SILICA

Glass is made up of about 75% silica, another name for sand.

21. Bk. read at Purim : ESTH

Purim is a festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther.

22. Sports doc’s scan : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

23. Mantilla material : SPANISH LACE

A mantilla is a traditional lace or silk shawl from Spain. It is often worn over a high comb called a “peineta”, which makes creates the illusion that the wearer is taller than she actually is.

25. Univ. dorm overseers : RAS

RAs are resident assistants or resident advisers, the peer leaders found in residence halls, particularly on a college campus.

26. “__ the fields we go … ” : O’ER

The traditional Christmas song “Jingle Bells” was first published in 1857, penned by James Lord Pierpont. We associate the song with Christmas, although in fact Pierpont wrote it as a celebration of Thanksgiving.

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

27. Codebreaking org. : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

38. Not quite place : SHOW

In a horse race, the first-place finisher is said to “win”. The second-place finisher “places” and the third-place finisher “shows”.

39. California’s San __ Zoo : DIEGO

The world-famous San Diego Zoo first opened its doors to visitors in 1916. The zoo was founded in the Balboa Park area of the city, on the site of the Panama-California Exposition that was held the prior year. The zoo was needed to care for the abandoned exotic animal exhibits from the exposition.

40. Rubs elbows (with) : HOBNOBS

“To hobnob with” means “to rub elbows with, associate with”. The term dates back to the mid 1700s and is derived from “hob and nob”, a phrase meaning to toast each other in turn, or to buy alternate rounds of drinks.

48. She raised Cain : EVE

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

52. Legal thing : RES

“Res” is the Latin for “thing”. “Res” is used in a lot of phrases in the law.

53. Thickening agent : 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.

54. African desert : SAHARA

The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

55. Sacred lily of ancient Egypt : BLUE LOTUS

The blue lotus is a water lily that is also known as the sacred lily of the Nile. In Egyptian mythology, the blue lotus was a symbol of the sun, as the flowers close at night and open in the morning.

59. Architect Saarinen : EERO

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

60. Composer who was a CBS reporter : TESH

John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter. For many years Tesh presented the show “Entertainment Tonight”. For “ET” he once covered the filming of an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. As part of the piece, he volunteered to act as a Klingon warrior and so if you see the “Star Trek: TNG” episode called “The Icarus Factor” in reruns, watch out for John Tesh engaging in ritual torture with Mr. Worf as his victim.

61. Bay and gray followers : AREAS

The San Francisco Bay Area comprises the nine counties that impinge on the San Francisco Bay itself: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. The region also includes the major cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

62. Uno y dos : TRES

In Spanish, “uno y dos” (one plus two) makes “tres” (three).

64. Spoon’s escape partner : DISH

The nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” has been around at least since the mid-1700s.

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Down

3. Marseille morning : MATIN

Marseille (often written “Marseilles” in English) is the second largest city in France, after Paris. Marseille is also the largest commercial port in the country. I used to live nearby, and can attest that Marseille and environs is a great place to visit …

4. Police unit : PRECINCT

A “precinct” is a defined area, often in a city, that is established for administrative purposes. For electoral purposes in the US, the term “precinct” is sometimes used interchangeably with “election district”. Famously, the city of New York uses the term “precinct” for its police stations. The term comes from the Medieval Latin word “precinctum” meaning “enclosure, boundary line”.

5. Fave texting bud : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

6. Projecting window : ORIEL

An oriel window is a bay window that projects from a wall, but does not reach all the way to the ground.

7. Respiratory cavity : AIR SAC

The alveoli are the air sacs in the lungs, the basic units of respiration. They are hollow cavities around which the alveolar membranes perform the gas-exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. That gas exchange surface is about 800 sq. ft. in the average human.

8. Bulk-purchase club : COSTCO

Costco is the largest warehouse club in the US, and the second largest retailer in the world (after Wal-Mart). Apparently Costco is also the largest retailer of wine in the whole world. The company was founded in 1983 in Kirkland, Washington. Kirkland Signature is Costco’s store brand, and you can even buy Kirkland Signature wine.

9. Kilimanjaro’s cont. : AFR

The Carthaginian Republic was centered on the city of Carthage, the ruins of which are located on the coast of modern-day Tunisia. The Latin name for the people of Carthage was “Afri”. When the Romans took over Carthage, they created a province they called “Africa”. That name extended over time to include the whole continent.

Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania, and is the highest mountain in the whole of Africa.

10. Genre that influenced Prince : GLAM ROCK

I remember the days of glam rock so well, as it was a hugely popular genre of music in the British Isles during the early seventies. Artistes wore the wildest of clothes, big hair, shiny outfits and really high platform boots. Names associated with glam rock are T. Rex, David Bowie, Roxy Music and Gary Glitter.

The singer Prince was born in Minneapolis, and he lived there most of his life. Born Prince Rogers Nelson, his given name honored his father, a jazz musician who used the stage name Prince Rogers. Prince died in 2016 due to an accidental fentanyl overdose at his home and recording studio located just southwest of Minneapolis. The home and studio, known as Paisley Park, is now a museum that is open to the public.

11. Hectic lifestyles : RAT RACES

We use “rat race” figuratively to describe an endless, pointless pursuit. The term comes from the laboratory, where one might imagine rats racing around a maze in search of some cheese.

12. Biased targets of the Gray Panthers : AGEISTS

Maggie Kuhn became a social activist fighting ageism when she was forced to retire from her job in 1970, at the age of 65. Kuhn then founded the Gray Panthers movement, which focuses on ageism and other social justice issues such as the preservation of Medicare and Social Security and the introduction of single-payer healthcare.

13. Rodeo need : LASSO

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

20. Extremely, musically : ASSAI

The Italian term “assai” translates as “very”, and is used in music with the same meaning.

24. Angelic ring : HALO

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo”, used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

29. “Later!” : CIAO!

“Ciao” is the Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

37. Sandwich filling for a lacto-ovo vegetarian : EGG SALAD

A lacto-ovo vegetarian is someone who does not consume meat or fish, but does eat eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto) products.

38. Frozen dessert : SHERBET

The frozen dessert called “sherbet” is a very similar to “sorbet”, the difference being that sherbet contains a small amount of milkfat.

41. Play-of-color gem : OPAL

An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence, known as “opalescence”.

42. South American capital : BOGOTA

Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. Noted for having many libraries and universities, Bogotá is sometimes referred to as “The Athens of South America”.

43. Australian sextet : STATES

The Commonwealth of Australia is a federation of six states:

  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

46. Persona non grata : PARIAH

“Pariah” is an anglicized version of the Tamil word “Paraiyar”. The Paraiyar are a social group of about 9 million people found in some Indian states and in Sri Lanka. The term “pariah” came to be a general term for members of the lowest caste in society, outcasts.

A “persona non grata” (plural “personae non gratae”) is someone who is not welcome. The phrase is Latin for “an unacceptable person”.

47. “__ Hope”: ’70s-’80s soap : RYAN’S

“Ryan’s Hope” is a soap opera that ran on ABC from 1975 to 1989. The show’s storyline centers on an Irish-American family in New York City. Never saw it …

51. French darling : CHERI

“Chéri” is a form of familiar address in French, meaning “dear, … “Chéri” is the form used when talking to a male, and “chérie” to a female.

56. Dawn goddess : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos is Aurora.

57. HBO competitor : SHO

Showtime (SHO) is a competitor of the Movie Channel (TMC) in terms of program lineup, although both channels are in fact owned by CBS.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Blowout victory : ROMP

5. Airline mentioned in the first line of the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” : BOAC

9. Taj Mahal city : AGRA

13. Old Renault : LE CAR

14. Cold, in Cádiz : FRIO

15. Mark as important : FLAG

16. Like most triangle angles : ACUTE

17. World-class : FIRST-RATE

19. Glass manufacturing dioxide : SILICA

21. Bk. read at Purim : ESTH

22. Sports doc’s scan : MRI

23. Mantilla material : SPANISH LACE

25. Univ. dorm overseers : RAS

26. “__ the fields we go … ” : O’ER

27. Codebreaking org. : NSA

28. Dream up : CONCOCT

30. One inch = one foot, e.g. : SCALE

32. Seals, as a deal : ICES

33. Program interruptions literally demonstrated by this puzzle’s four sets of circles : STATION BREAKS

38. Not quite place : SHOW

39. California’s San __ Zoo : DIEGO

40. Rubs elbows (with) : HOBNOBS

44. Kids’ recess game : TAG

45. Time of yr. for new growth : SPR

48. She raised Cain : EVE

49. It may be shaped on a wheel : POTTER’S CLAY

52. Legal thing : RES

53. Thickening agent : AGAR

54. African desert : SAHARA

55. Sacred lily of ancient Egypt : BLUE LOTUS

58. Allow to pass : LET IN

59. Architect Saarinen : EERO

60. Composer who was a CBS reporter : TESH

61. Bay and gray followers : AREAS

62. Uno y dos : TRES

63. Concerning : AS TO

64. Spoon’s escape partner : DISH

Down

1. Means to an end : RECIPE

2. Pertaining to the eye : OCULAR

3. Marseille morning : MATIN

4. Police unit : PRECINCT

5. Fave texting bud : BFF

6. Projecting window : ORIEL

7. Respiratory cavity : AIR SAC

8. Bulk-purchase club : COSTCO

9. Kilimanjaro’s cont. : AFR

10. Genre that influenced Prince : GLAM ROCK

11. Hectic lifestyles : RAT RACES

12. Biased targets of the Gray Panthers : AGEISTS

13. Rodeo need : LASSO

18. In that case : THEN

20. Extremely, musically : ASSAI

24. Angelic ring : HALO

29. “Later!” : CIAO!

30. Like logs : SAWN

31. Bitter __ : END

33. Snow remover : SHOVELER

34. Without a doubt : TO BE SURE

35. Tasting menu portion : BITE

36. Brings up : REARS

37. Sandwich filling for a lacto-ovo vegetarian : EGG SALAD

38. Frozen dessert : SHERBET

41. Play-of-color gem : OPAL

42. South American capital : BOGOTA

43. Australian sextet : STATES

45. Lists of nominees : SLATES

46. Persona non grata : PARIAH

47. “__ Hope”: ’70s-’80s soap : RYAN’S

50. Have faith : TRUST

51. French darling : CHERI

56. Dawn goddess : EOS

57. HBO competitor : SHO

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Feb 17, Wednesday”

  1. I could not post yesterday because, while, I was trying to locate the singer of the national anthem, I got entrenched in some work. Had to pick up the wife from the airport, and then listen to her for the next 6 hours. God gave us mates so there would be no idle moments or any time for introspection …

    Re: yesterday, Hans Brinker and the silver skates, ….. I wonder if a boy using his finger to plug the dyke – although a great idea – has any scientific basis ? What say you, Jeff ?

    I have also visited the Arc de Troimphe. I read the names of all the battlefields and battles and thought about the catastrophic loss of life and french lives, and the misery, and the consequent ruin of France as an economic and political power. Despite his contributions to ‘his’ Code of law, his military exploits ruined the country for a long time to come. For a politically naive novice, thats my point of view.

    Now, to finish the puzzle.
    Have a nice midweek, and a great day, all.

  2. A very slow solve today. I never know if I’m just off or if the puzzle was indeed difficult. 2 (4) errors as I had BaAC/aRIEL. I figured Ariel is the answer to everything. I also thought morning in French is MoTIN/LECoR.

    Time draining errors were thinking 32A was “inks” rather than ICES. I also didn’t know what Mantilla was. Maybe it was food and 23a was Spanish rice, but at least I fixed those errors.

    It turns out I have an ORIEL window in my kitchen and I never knew it…or at least never knew what it was called.

    Overall a nice challenge. I think my solve time here was longer than my last several Friday times.

    Best –

  3. I had a tough time with the puzzle. Very unusual words, but very interesting, that I enjoyed the puzzle very much. As a Wed, theme, the long answers were quite easy and a big help.

    Thanks Bill, for the Beatles break-up info. Also about the location of Cadiz, Spain. Silica is Silicon Dioxide SiO2, but the clue as written, is correct. It fooled me though – I was looking for an element !! I taught my eldest daughter, who was 6 at the time, that glass was made of melted sand. Later, that year, she answered that question in an ‘I.Q.’ test. That answer, apparently, gave her a ‘genius’ rating …. so much for IQ tests !!

    What a sad thing, that the large Sahara desert – has no oil, underneath. Those countries could have used the wealth.

    Thank you for the Blue Lotus, which I had never heard of before. I always though the lotuses were orange -yellow-red colored. Apparently it (like most lotuses ) contains some morphine-derivative, “Apomorphine” psycho-active alkaloid, However, it is NOT a morphine, or an opioid, but has been used, ( not approved, currently) for some psychiatric treatment uses. Not, totally clinically legit, yet. I have eaten lotus roots, a common vegetable, in chinese and asian cultures. Bland, but crunchy.
    Finally, Sherbet or more commonly, sharbuth, is a generic word for a liquid, non-frozen, fruit drink, in the middle east and near east Asia. Especially Iran.

    Ciao.

  4. AIRway before AIR SAC CONjure before CONCOCT.
    Spelled PREsINCT wrong. Aack! Where is my brain today?
    Strangest clue: “Means to an end”= RECIPE.

  5. @Carrie … Thanks for pointing out that bit of “discovered poetry” in my post about “stony-faced gendarmes on mountain ridges”, which was a bit of attempted wordplay on the two meanings of “gendarme”: 1) a French police officer; 2) a rock pinnacle obstructing easy passage along a sharp ridgeline. It occurred to me later that the second meaning might be a bit obscure for non-climbers. (I’m pretty sure I learned it only when I got into climbing.)

  6. I didn’t find this grid too terribly difficult. On the other hand today’s WSJ grid was really challenging, but in the end solvable.

    I’ve never been to the Sahara desert but had the opportunity to visit the Rub’ al Khali in Saudi Arabia, and it was always damned impressive. The nice part of my visiting that particular desert was it was done by helicopter. Much easier than by ground vehicle or camel. If anyone is interested there was a famous British explorer by the name of Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger (who was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) who wrote a tremendously fascinating book on his travels through that area (in English it is known as the “Empty Quarter”) called “Arabian Sands” and is well worth reading.

  7. Pretty quick Wednesday for me; I guess Monday was an aberration. Around 15 minutes with no errors, although the theme eluded me.

    Interesting info regarding “Back in the USSR.” That the rest of the band all played drums is kinda funny. I was always more into the Stones but “The White Album” and “Let it Be” were very cool albums.

    @Vidwan I’m pretty sure there is oil underneath the Sahara. Most of Algeria’s and Libya’s oil is pumped in the southern part of the countries. At least Chad, if not Niger, Mali or Mauritania, pumps oil from just in the middle of the country. Sudan has oil fields as well.

    @Carrie I am a beekeeper, with 14 +/- 2 hives, so about 4-700K pets, although I’m only on a first name basis with the queens. They produce their honey on some of the most expensive real estate in the country, although I charge pretty reasonable prices and it is super delicious.

  8. Hi folks!
    Jeff, I definitely found this puzzle more difficult than your typical Wednesday. Either we’re right or Tony and Dirk know some things that we don’t….? Did manage to finish tho.
    Of course, I didn’t help myself by mis-reading that OCULAR clue. Thought it was the clue for 6 D, not 2 D!!!
    I was confounded by the theme. After I saw FIRE, I thought the idea was events that would interrupt your “regularly scheduled program.” So, I expected the other circles to spell out RIOT and QUAKE, y’know?
    And why must we see that one architect again???!! Guess I shoulda memorized his name by now….
    Dave! I did not know those were called gendarmes! Excellent wordplay! I pictured stern looking French officers, in the rôle of forest rangers.
    I’ve said it here before: no way did John play drums on that track. Mostly Paul, MAYBE a little George. (^^)
    Hey Dirk that’s so cool! I must procure some honey from you if you come to LA!
    Be well~~™?

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