LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 17, Friday










Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: A and S

Today’s themed answers all have similar, if not the same, clue:

  • 17A. As : SYMBOL OF ARSENIC
  • 32A. A’s : EXCELLENT GRADES
  • 41A. As : TO THE SAME DEGREE
  • 60A. A’s : OAKLAND BALL CLUB

Bill’s time: 13m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Early Welsh : CELTS

The Celts were a very broad group of people across Europe, linked by common languages. The Celts were largely absorbed by other cultures, although a relatively modern revival of the “Celtic identity” is alive and well in the British Isles. Such Celtic peoples today are mainly found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany in France..

The Principality of Wales was created in 1216 when sovereign princes of Welsh territories agreed that Llywelyn the Great would become the paramount ruler of the region. The Principality covered about two thirds of what we call Wales today, and it gained partial recognition by the English Crown with the title of Prince of Wales being created for Llywelyn the Great and his successors. The relationship between the Principality and its powerful neighbor was an uneasy one though, and eventually there was a military conquest by the English King Edward I in 1282-1283. In 1284 the Statute of Rhuddlan became law which brought all the land held by the Prince of Wales under English rule. And today of course, the title of Prince of Wales is held by the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles.

6. Subpar performance … or not : BOGEY

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

We sometimes use the term “bogey” for a performance target, a mark that is to be attained.

11. School sweater letters : NUS

The Latin equivalent of the Greek letter “nu” is “N”. An uppercase nu looks just like the Latin capital N, however, the lowercase nu looks like our lowercase “v”. Very confusing …

17. As : SYMBOL OF ARSENIC

Arsenic is element #33 in the periodic table, and has the chemical symbol “As”. Because of arsenic’s toxicity, it was very commonly used in pesticides. These compounds are getting banned over time, but it seems there is a long way to go. Arsenic in aquifers continues to be a problem around the world, including here in the US. China has introduced limits to the amounts of arsenic permitted in food as well as water, mainly as the Chinese staple rice is particularly good at accumulating arsenic from groundwater.

19. Ancient communication medium : PAPYRUS

The papyrus plant was commonly found in the Nile Delta of Europe. The pith of the plant was used to make a thick, paper-like material on which one could write. This writing material, which became known as papyrus (plural “papyri”), became a competitor for the most popular writing surface of the day known as parchment, which was made from animal skins.

20. Modern communication medium : PODCAST

A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.

22. Memphis-to-Nashville dir. : ENE

Memphis is the largest city on the Mississippi River, and the largest city in the state of Tennessee. Memphis is also relatively young, having been founded in 1819 as a planned city. The founders were John Overton, James Winchester and future US president Andrew Jackson. The American Memphis is named for the Egyptian Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt located on the River Nile.

The Tennessee city of Nashville was founded in 1779 near a stockade in the Cumberland River valley called Fort Nashborough. Both the settlement and the fort were named for General Francis Nash, a war hero who died in combat during the American Revolution.

23. Washington portraitist : PEALE

Rembrandt Peale was a prolific American portrait artist. As one might guess from his given name, Rembrandt was the son of another artist, Charles Willson Peale, who named him for the Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn. Indeed, Rembrandt had two brothers, named Raphaelle and Rubens Peale. Rembrandt Peale’s most famous works are portraits of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

27. Bocelli album that includes “Bésame Mucho” : AMORE

“Bésame Mucho” was written in 1940, by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez. “Besame mucho” translates into “kiss me a lot”, and the remarkable thing is that according to Velázquez, at the time she wrote the song she had never even been kissed herself! “Besame Mucho” was just one of Jimmy Dorsey’s eleven number one hits, all from the thirties and forties.

Andrea Bocelli is a classically-trained tenor who sings popular music, a so-called cross-over artist. Bocelli was born with poor eyesight and then became totally blind at the age of 12 when he had an accident playing soccer.

38. __ work: menial labor : SCUT

“Scut” is an informal term that describes a contemptible person.

40. 1992 opponent of Bill and George : ROSS

Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion. Back in 1992, Perot ran as an independent candidate for US president. He founded the Reform Party in 1995, and ran as the Reform Party candidate for president in 1996.

44. What a bump may affect : SPEED

The traffic calming device we call a “speed bump” over here in the US, is known by the colorful name “sleeping policeman” in the UK.

46. Nation with a pyramid on its currency: Abbr. : USA

Conspiracy theorists love to point out “suspicious” symbols on the one-dollar bill. The pyramid on the bill is unfinished, with 13 steps. The number 13 has been associated with the occult, but it is also the number of original colonies which declared independence from Britain forming the United States. Not so suspicious after all …

49. Title for actor Gielgud : SIR

Sir John Gielgud was a marvelous English actor of stage and screen. Gielgud eschewed the Hollywood screen for much of his career, and so is known to us in films portraying more mature characters. For example, he played the manservant Hobson in 1981’s “Arthur”, and won that season’s Best Supporting Actor for his efforts. Gielgud is also one of the very few people who has won and Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony.

51. Channeled, as water : SLUICED

A “sluice” is a water channel with a gate at its head that is used to control the amount of water flowing.

60. A’s : OAKLAND BALL CLUB

The Oakland Athletics (usually “the A’s”) baseball franchise was founded back in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. The team became the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and moved to Oakland in 1968.

63. Quarters in the wild : LAIRS

We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.

64. CIA predecessor : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

Down

4. Keith of country : TOBY

Toby Keith is a country music singer from Clinton, Oklahoma. One of Keith’s number one hits is a 2003 duet with Willie Nelson called “Beer for My Horses”.

5. Underwater aid : SNORKEL

Our word “snorkel” comes from German navy slang “Schnorchel” meaning “nose, snout”. The German slang was applied to an airshaft used for submarines, due to its resemblance to a nose, in that air passed through it and it made a “snoring” sound. “Schnorchel” comes from “Schnarchen”, the German for “snore”.

9. “The Smartest Guys in the Room” subject : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

“The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron” is a 2003 book by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, two writers working for “Fortune” magazine. The book was used as the basis for a 2005 documentary “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”.

11. 1493 Lisbon arrival : NINA

The ship used by Christopher Columbus that we know as the Niña was actually the nickname of a ship actually called the Santa Clara. The nickname “Niña” probably came from the name of her owner, Juan Niña of Moguer.

12. Israeli weapons : UZIS

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

13. Mennonites, e.g. : SECT

The Mennonites are a group of religious sects that originated in the Friesland region of the Low Countries. The various denominations are named for Menno Simons who was a contemporary of the Protestant Reformers who followed Martin Luther.

18. Heathrow : his :: Orly : à __ : LUI

The French for “his, belonging to him” is “à lui”, and for “hers, belonging to her” is “à elle”

London’s Heathrow handles handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world, and is the third busiest airport around the globe in terms of passenger traffic (after Atlanta and Beijing).

Orly is on the outskirts of Paris, to the south of the city. It is home to the Paris-Orly Airport, the second busiest international airport for the city after the more recently built Charles de Gaulle Airport. That said, Orly is home to more domestic flights than Charles de Gaulle.

24. Serpico, for one : EX-COP

The 1973 movie “Serpico”, starring Al Pacino, is a based on a book by Peter Maas. The book is based on the true story of undercover police officer Frank Serpico. Serpico went undercover to investigate corruption within the New York Police Department. Frank Serpico was awarded NYPD’s Medal of Honor in 1972, and one month later retired from the force. He moved to Europe, living in Switzerland and the Netherlands for ten years. Serpico now resides in the New York town of Stuyvesant.

26. River in Hades : LETHE

The Lethe is one of the five rivers of Hades in Greek mythology. All the souls who drank from the river Lethe experienced complete forgetfulness. The Greek word “lethe” means “oblivion, forgetfulness”.

28. Toon with a blue do : MARGE

Marge Simpson is the matriarch of the family in “The Simpsons” animated sitcom. Marge is voiced by actress Julie Kavner, who is also well known for playing Brenda Morgenstern in the TV show “Rhoda” in the seventies.

29. Trails for bloodhounds : ODORS

Bloodhounds have an amazing sense of smell, and are particularly bred to track humans. Bloodhounds have been used to follow humans since the Middle Ages.

31. Swiss borders? : ESSES

There’s a letter S (ess) on either end (border) of the word “Swiss”.

33. __ Palmas: Gran Canaria capital : LAS

Gran Canaria, or Grand Canary Island, may be grand but it isn’t quite as big as Tenerife, the largest island of the group and the most populated. The capital of Gran Canaria is Las Palmas, which was a port of call for Christopher Columbus in 1492 on his way to the Americas.

34. Author LeShan : EDA

Eda LeShan wrote several nonfiction books including “When Your Child Drives You Crazy” and “The Conspiracy Against Childhood”. LeShan was also host of the PBS television show “How Do Your Children Grow?”

35. __ de famille : NOM

In French, the “nom de famille” is the family name, last name.

36. Otto minus cinque : TRE

In Italian, “otto” (eight) minus “cinque” (five) is “tre” (three).

37. H.S. equivalency test : GED

The General Educational Development (GED) tests are a battery of five tests designed to demonstrate that a student has the academic skills of someone who has graduated from an American or Canadian high school.

53. Luau entertainment : UKES

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

56. “Get lost!” : SCAT!

Our word “scat”, meaning “get lost!” comes from a 19th-century expression “quicker than s’cat”, which meant “in a great hurry”. The original phrase probably came from the words “hiss” and “cat”.

57. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE

Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

59. Kitchen meas. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

61. Acct. entry : BAL

Balance (bal.)

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Early Welsh : CELTS

6. Subpar performance … or not : BOGEY

11. School sweater letters : NUS

14. Wedding, e.g. : UNION

15. All small, say : OF ONE SIZE

17. As : SYMBOL OF ARSENIC

19. Ancient communication medium : PAPYRUS

20. Modern communication medium : PODCAST

21. Parts to put together : KIT

22. Memphis-to-Nashville dir. : ENE

23. Washington portraitist : PEALE

27. Bocelli album that includes “Bésame Mucho” : AMORE

32. A’s : EXCELLENT GRADES

38. __ work: menial labor : SCUT

39. Venerate : ADORE

40. 1992 opponent of Bill and George : ROSS

41. As : TO THE SAME DEGREE

44. What a bump may affect : SPEED

45. Sources of peeps : NESTS

46. Nation with a pyramid on its currency: Abbr. : USA

49. Title for actor Gielgud : SIR

51. Channeled, as water : SLUICED

55. Most trusted : CLOSEST

60. A’s : OAKLAND BALL CLUB

62. Real bargain : SWEET DEAL

63. Quarters in the wild : LAIRS

64. CIA predecessor : OSS

65. __ bird : EARLY

66. Not worth it, perhaps : STEEP

Down

1. Point of imminence : CUSP

2. Musician from County Donegal : ENYA

3. Sagging : LIMP

4. Keith of country : TOBY

5. Underwater aid : SNORKEL

6. Leg up : BOOST

7. On vacation : OFF

8. Lose it : GO APE

9. “The Smartest Guys in the Room” subject : ENRON

10. Sighed agreement : YES, DEAR

11. 1493 Lisbon arrival : NINA

12. Israeli weapons : UZIS

13. Mennonites, e.g. : SECT

16. “Just a __!” : SEC

18. Heathrow : his :: Orly : à __ : LUI

23. Vermin : PESTS

24. Serpico, for one : EX-COP

25. Severe : ACUTE

26. River in Hades : LETHE

28. Toon with a blue do : MARGE

29. Trails for bloodhounds : ODORS

30. Go back to zero : RESET

31. Swiss borders? : ESSES

33. __ Palmas: Gran Canaria capital : LAS

34. Author LeShan : EDA

35. __ de famille : NOM

36. Otto minus cinque : TRE

37. H.S. equivalency test : GED

42. Inform : EDUCATE

43. Registers : ENROLLS

47. “Never __ boy to … ” : SEND A

48. Dangerous biter : ADDER

49. Like 48-Down : SCALY

50. Unlikely to be chipper : ILL

51. Acceptable : SO-SO

52. They’re often broken : LAWS

53. Luau entertainment : UKES

54. Suffix with percent : -ILE

56. “Get lost!” : SCAT!

57. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE

58. “Glad to help” : SURE

59. Kitchen meas. : TBSP

61. Acct. entry : BAL

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 17, Friday”

  1. 0 errors, 36 minutes on this.
    1 error, 30 minutes on the WSJ, though not seeing a theme yet to answer the meta.

  2. I had more than a few moments where I was sure that the NW corner was going to do me in. But finally it came together and the grid was complete. I will call today “challenging”, especially so since Bill actually took more than 10 minutes to complete it! I was all set to see some sort of 7 minutes and change solve time and then just throw my hands up in the air and feel like the class dullard. Only kidding (mostly). On to the the WSJ grid later today.

  3. Fun theme today – unlike yesterday’s which made my head hurt. After reading all of the comments, I figured out that simply replacing the words “in a” with “within” yesterday would have made the theme clear to me from the start…which is probably why the setter didn’t use that word….

    Several missteps in this one and many writeovers. Eagle before BOGEY (I got GO APE first and the G fit), kept wanting to put equalSIZE. Like many Fridays once you get some momentum, the grid fills out rather quickly. A lot of non-English in this one too.

    Best

  4. Dave – forgot to ask how your back is doing. Those are the most debilitating injuries imaginable. Just hope it’s nothing chronic. I realize this might not be an option in your case, but tequila is surprisingly helpful as a muscle relaxer. I also heard that the hops in beer is a natural muscle relaxer.

    If you’re not consuming alcohol these days, I’ll be happy to consume them for you….

    Best –

  5. 15:47, no errors (but a lot of missteps along the way). Still feeling a little drugged-out goofy.

    @Jeff … Thanks for asking! My back problem is chronic, but it flares up only when I get lazy about doing a set of exercises that I created many years ago under the direction of a wonderful physical therapist named Julie (who did me more good than any two doctors I ever saw). Recently, I’ve been doing very long walks (12-18 miles) to get my leg muscles back in shape, but I’ve neglected other muscles, creating an imbalance and leading to back spasms. After four days on Flexeril, I have now started doing the exercises again, so I’ll be fine (until the next time I get lazy).

    I can vouch for the fact that alcohol does seem to be a natural muscle relaxant, but my tolerance for its other effects is rather low, so please feel free to consume it as you wish and beam positive thoughts in my general direction … 🙂

  6. Idiotically put in “liasters” for hundredths of an Egyptian pound on the WSJ grid so DNF. D’oh! (As Homer Simpson so famously utters when he pulls a total boneheaded goof).

  7. @all
    You’re welcome. Glad my effort to explain yesterday’s theme helped out.

    The maker of the solver software got back to me pretty quickly with a solution – a credit to them. So my weekend will probably be filled with movies and WSJ puzzles I haven’t done, outside of the Sat Newsday, Sat LAT, and the usual NYT stuff, after I get done what I need to do…

    As for the other question yesterday, I think finding a good Wed/Thurs level will probably work for sitting down with the people that saw me doing that puzzle if they end up asking me about it and I feel up to doing it.

    @David
    Good to hear your back is headed towards the right direction. I know the feeling (as I’ve mentioned on here), though it’s been quite a while since my back has been a major factor for me since I was able to find some good exercise and dietary changes to help me out.

    @Tony
    My error was the same, but I didn’t know either cross, so I had to guess (narrowed it down to D & P) and as usual…

  8. All this talk about alcohol ! I made Kung Pao/Gung bao chicken yesterday, and followed a recipe on Google – and added a cup of wine, port wine to be exact – and ruined it. The last time I had back problems, about 30 yrs ago, my doctor recommended a stiff collar, which nearly choked me. After 3 months, with the collar, I threw it away …. and have not had any back ( or neck – ) problems since. The aspirin tablet that I consume everyday for my heart, probably helps ….

    The puzzle was very challenging, and I notice Bill’s time was also way much longer. The exotic names and other puns also were mystifying. But the long answers helped. I was delighted, simply delighted, with the symbol for Arsenic – chemistry being my favorite subject and the love of my life. I didn’t know the A’s were located in Oakland – the Oakland A’s – makes sense …. but my sports are rather spotty. Too bad, we did not have the ‘A Levels’ that we had yesterday. On that subject – the english education system has S for special/scholarship, A for advanced and the O for ordinary.

    Forgot to post again
    have a nice day and evening all

  9. No nus is good news, to me anyway! That’s why I come to this blog, to find out what the heck I just wrote down!

  10. Challenging puzzle. I never time myself but I finished on the same day I started and that is always a good time for me! I didn’t look at the setter’s name before hand which probably helped.

    @David
    You have my sympathy. I too have chronic back problems. And like you I was also finally helped by a wonderful physical therapist. I have exercises I do several times a week. Only recently did it finally sink in that I would have to do them for the rest of my life in order to try to manage it. Hope you are in less pain soon!

    @Jeff
    I can attest to the effectiveness of a good strong beer (I don’t think it’s the hops?) in dealing with my pain. I much prefer it over Flexeril. ?

  11. Fun Friday Wechsler today; about 45-50 minutes, mostly because the Mid West. Had erupt before GOAPE, smurf before MARGE, and SNORKle before SNORKEL, which slowed things a bit. Almost put in hula for UKES, but decided to wait for crosses.

    @Carrie re Wednesday; I’ve hardly, if ever, heard someone say “busy as a bee” in beekeeper’s circles, but I’m sure it happens. I like to use “The bee’s knees” every once in awhile.

  12. Hi gang!
    Done and done. Glad to have finished this successfully, as I found it challenging. A regular mine field, and I got out in one piece.
    Initially I had BOGIE instead of BOGEY!! I’m just glad I got the golf reference, if not the spelling. (FWIW, I still dislike the sport, but I can’t deny I’m learning about it thru these puzzles.)

    Dave and mtnwest! I had the SAME experience. Back problems for several years, starting when I was only 22. After many doctors and chiropractors, I went to a wonderful physical therapist who gave me a set of exercises. Same as you guys! Did them religiously for a couple of years. Totally fixed me up. I haven’t even done the whole complement of exercises for years, but even so, I’ve only had a few minor problems.

    I didn’t get to the NYT puzzles this week — maybe Monday. I ain’t going NEAR their online Saturday grid!!!

    How is it already daylight savings time??! Grumble!!
    ….. but the citrus blossoms are in full bloom in my yard. Delicious fragrance!!
    Sweet dreams~~™?

  13. A comment on the NYT blog about doing some 400 plus crosswords got me thinking. For years I did the LA Times, which runs in the Chicago Tribune. I did it every night on the El going home. Rarely did I miss one, even on vacation I would do it on line. About a year ago, or more, I started doing the WSJ and the NYT every day as well.
    Adding it all up, I have surely done over 9,000 puzzles. Looking back, I maybe should have saved them, but when would you really have time to review them all.

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