LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Mar 17, Thursday










Constructed by: Bruce Haight

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Exxtra Letter

Today’s themed answers are well-known phrases, but with the second letter doubled. The result is a “punny” answer with the first three letters creating an interjection referred to in the clue:
17A. What Dobermans do for dinner? : GRR-AB A BITE (from “grab a bite”)
24A. Super-cold concoction at Baskin-Robbins? : BRR-AIN FREEZE (from “brain freeze”)
41A. World’s stealthiest detective? : SHH-ERLOCK HOLMES (from “Sherlock Holmes”)
52A. Cutest Baby contest champion? : AWW-ARD WINNER (from “award winner”)
65A. Massage epiphany? : AHH-A MOMENT (from “aha moment”)

Bill’s time: 7m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. The Miners of the Lone Star St. : UTEP

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) was founded in 1914, originally as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy. To this day there is a mine shaft on the campus, and the mascot of the school’s sports teams is Paydirt Pete, a prospector from the mining industry. The teams are also known as the UTEP Miners and Lady Miners.

The single star on the state flag of Texas is a reminder of the “lone star” on the 1836 National Standard of Texas. The single gold star on a blue background symbolized Texas as an independent republic and its struggle for independence from Mexico.

5. Eurasia’s __ Mountains : URAL

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

9. Fundraising gps. : PTAS

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

13. Caesar’s France : GAUL

The Gauls were a Celtic race, with Gaul covering what is now known as France and Belgium. We use the term “Gallic” today, when we refer to something pertaining to France or the French.

14. Marner of fiction : SILAS

“Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe” is a novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1861. There’s an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role, with Patsy Kensit playing Eppie, the young orphaned child that Marner takes under his wing.

16. Hindustani language : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

“Hindustan” is a historical name for the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. The name translates as “Land of the Hindus”. I am told by a kind blog reader that the term “Hindustan” is frowned on by some in India because of its religious connotation.

17. What Dobermans do for dinner? : GRR-AB A BITE (from “grab a bite”)

The Doberman Pinscher is a breed of dog that was developed around 1890 in Germany. The person responsible for introducing the breed was Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, explaining the “Doberman” (sometimes “Dobermann”) name. “Pinschers” are a group of Germanic breeds that probably owe their name to the English word “pinch”, a reference to the tradition of cropping (pinching) the ears.

21. Titanic undoing : BERG

A mill pond is a reservoir for a mill that is powered by water, often created by building a mill dam across a river or stream. The term “mill pond” is also used in the expression “it’s like a mill pond”, meaning that the water is flat and calm. Famously, the words, “It’s like a mill pond” were uttered by Captain Edward Smith, not long before his ship (the Titanic) hit an iceberg …

24. Super-cold concoction at Baskin-Robbins? : BRR-AIN FREEZE (from “brain freeze”)

The Baskin-Robbins chain of ice cream parlors is the largest in the word. The chain was founded by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in Glendale, California in 1945. The company started using the slogan “31 flavors” in 1953, suggesting that a customer could order a different flavor of ice cream on every day of every month.

28. Yale alum : ELI

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

31. Longtime Yankees announcer __ Allen : MEL

For many years, the sportscaster Mel Allen was the play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees, and known as the “Voice of the New York Yankees”. Allen was also the first host of television’s “This Week in Baseball”.

32. First to play James : SEAN

Sean Connery is most famous for playing the original James Bond in the successful series of movies. Back in his native Scotland, Connery is very active in politics and is a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party. He actively campaigns for Scottish independence from Britain and has stated that he believes Scotland will achieve that goal within his own lifetime. Whether that happens or not, is the subject of much speculation …

33. Tall and lean : LANK

The term “lank” can describe something that is straight and flat, particularly hair. The usage was extended in the early 1800s (especially in the form “lanky”) to mean “awkwardly tall and thin”.

41. World’s stealthiest detective? : SHH-ERLOCK HOLMES (from “Sherlock Holmes”)

According to author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his Sherlock Holmes character was based on a Dr. Joseph Bell for whom Doyle worked in Edinburgh. That said, Bell actually wrote a letter to Doyle in which he said “you are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it”.

46. Crowd-sourced review site : YELP

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

“Crowdsourcing” is mainly an online phenomenon, and is the solicitation of perhaps services, ideas or content from a large group of people. “Crowdsourcing” is a portmanteau of “crowd” and “outsourcing”. One example of crowdsourcing is “crowdfunding”, where an individual solicits many small contributions from a large number of people to fund a project.

51. See 56-Down : SLY
(56D. Repeating movie role for 51-Across : RAMBO)

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

57. Security briefing org. : CIA

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

63. Singer James : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

70. Phi __ Kappa : BETA

Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

71. Banks of 2000s TV talk : TYRA

Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosts the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also has her own talk show. She was also the first African American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.

73. “The Osbournes” patriarch : OZZY

English singer Ozzy Osbourne became famous in the seventies as the lead singer of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. His level of success soared again in the early 2000s when he appeared in an MTV reality show called “The Osbournes”, along with his wife Sharon and two of his three children, Kelly and Jack. Ozzy and Sharon’s eldest child, Aimee, refused to sign up for the show, opting instead for some level of privacy.

Down

1. Brand of sheepskin boots : UGGS

Uggs are sheepskin boots that originated in Australia and New Zealand. Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. Ugg is a generic term down under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

3. Italian capital : EURO

Euro coins are issued by all the participating European states. The reverse side is a common design used by all countries, whereas the obverse is a design specific to each nation. For example, the one euro coin issued by Malta features the Maltese Cross. That Maltese euro is legal tender right across the eurozone. Of course the Irish euro features a harp.

5. __ Today : USA

The title of widest circulation of any American newspaper is an honor competed for by “The Wall Street Journal” and “USA Today”, with each paper selling about 2 million copies each day (including online subscribers). “USA Today” was launched in 1982.

10. DBA followers : TRADE NAMES

Doing business as (DBA)

11. Madison Ave. field : AD BIZ

Madison Avenue became the center of advertising in the US in the twenties, and serves as the backdrop to the great TV drama “Mad Men”. There aren’t many advertising agencies left on Madison Avenue these days though, as most have moved to other parts of New York City. The street takes its name from Madison Square, which is bounded on one side by Madison Avenue. The square in turn takes its name from James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

15. Feudal laborers : SERFS

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

18. Protective barrier : BERM

The term “berm” can be used to describe a physical barrier of some kind. Berms can be constructed along a highway to protect those living and working nearby from noise pollution.

22. El __ : GRECO

“El Greco” (“the Greek”, in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

28. Designer Schiaparelli : ELSA

Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian fashion designer, a great rival of the perhaps more famous Coco Chanel. Schiaparelli was most successful between the two World Wars, but her business closed in 1954 as she failed to adapt to changing tastes after WWII.

29. Cowardly Lion portrayer : LAHR

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Lahr also starred in the first US production of Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot”, alongside Tom Ewell.

34. Singer who formerly stylized her name with a dollar sign : KESHA

Kesha (formerly “Ke$ha”) is the stage name used by singer Kesha Rose Sebert.

36. “__ du lieber!” : ACH

The German exclamation “Ach du lieber” translates as “Oh dear”.

50. Uruguayan money : PESO

The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

53. Like Oscar Wilde : WITTY

If you didn’t know Oscar Wilde was Irish, you will when you see the name he was given at birth: Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde!

54. Mackerel relative : WAHOO

The wahoo is a cousin of the mackerel, and is known as the “ono” in Hawaii.

56. Repeating movie role for 51-Across : RAMBO
(51A. See 56-Down : SLY)

“First Blood” was the original of the four “Rambo” films starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam War veteran. I thought “First Blood” was a pretty good film actually, but the sequels were terrible, and way too violent for me. But action all the way …

61. Animated bug film : ANTZ

“Antz” was the first feature movie released by Dreamworks SKG, the studio founded by Steven Spielberg and two partners in 1994. “Antz” came out in 1998, and has a stellar cast that includes Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Gene Hackman and many, many other big names. The cartoon is quite unique in that the facial features of the voice actors are reflected in the animated characters.

64. Org. for docs : AMA

American Medical Association (AMA)

67. AOL alternative : MSN

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.

Return to top of page

Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. The Miners of the Lone Star St. : UTEP

5. Eurasia’s __ Mountains : URAL

9. Fundraising gps. : PTAS

13. Caesar’s France : GAUL

14. Marner of fiction : SILAS

16. Hindustani language : URDU

17. What Dobermans do for dinner? : GRR-AB A BITE (from “grab a bite”)

19. Innocent : BABE

20. Retro wall unit : STONE

21. Titanic undoing : BERG

23. Not very bright : DIM

24. Super-cold concoction at Baskin-Robbins? : BRR-AIN FREEZE (from “brain freeze”)

28. Yale alum : ELI

31. Longtime Yankees announcer __ Allen : MEL

32. First to play James : SEAN

33. Tall and lean : LANK

35. “Sadly … ” : ALAS …

38. Box : CRATE

41. World’s stealthiest detective? : SHH-ERLOCK HOLMES (from “Sherlock Holmes”)

44. Got out of bed : AROSE

45. “So __ say” : THEY

46. Crowd-sourced review site : YELP

47. Asian takeout option : THAI

49. Little trickster : IMP

51. See 56-Down : SLY

52. Cutest Baby contest champion? : AWW-ARD WINNER (from “award winner”)

57. Security briefing org. : CIA

58. Clothing part that might split : SEAM

59. Epic tales : SAGAS

63. Singer James : ETTA

65. Massage epiphany? : AHH-A MOMENT (from “aha moment”)

68. Agenda detail : ITEM

69. Gets mud on : SOILS

70. Phi __ Kappa : BETA

71. Banks of 2000s TV talk : TYRA

72. Doing business : OPEN

73. “The Osbournes” patriarch : OZZY

Down

1. Brand of sheepskin boots : UGGS

2. Biting : TART

3. Italian capital : EURO

4. Fallback option : PLAN B

5. __ Today : USA

6. Tease : RIB

7. “I was out of town,” e.g. : ALIBI

8. Approach midnight : LATEN

9. Place to hoist a pint : PUB

10. DBA followers : TRADE NAMES

11. Madison Ave. field : AD BIZ

12. In-your-face challenge : SUE ME

15. Feudal laborers : SERFS

18. Protective barrier : BERM

22. El __ : GRECO

25. Authentic : REAL

26. Dole out : ALLOT

27. Like birds with worms, so it’s said : EARLY

28. Designer Schiaparelli : ELSA

29. Cowardly Lion portrayer : LAHR

30. Facing serious trouble : IN HOT WATER

34. Singer who formerly stylized her name with a dollar sign : KESHA

36. “__ du lieber!” : ACH

37. Yarn purchase : SKEIN

39. Squeal : TELL

40. Catch sight of : ESPY

42. Raises : REARS

43. Many a gospel song : HYMN

48. Brainstorms : IDEAS

50. Uruguayan money : PESO

52. Nail a test : ACE IT

53. Like Oscar Wilde : WITTY

54. Mackerel relative : WAHOO

55. Beatnik’s “With ya” : I’M HIP

56. Repeating movie role for 51-Across : RAMBO

60. “Sheesh!” : GEEZ!

61. Animated bug film : ANTZ

62. Time at a hotel : STAY

64. Org. for docs : AMA

66. Pint to drink : ALE

67. AOL alternative : MSN

Return to top of page

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Mar 17, Thursday”

  1. Zero errors, 16 minutes on this (paper). DNF, 48 minutes on today’s WSJ…probably 15 or 20 of that trying to figure out the upper left to no avail.

    1. Just completed the WSJ grid. What really helped tremendously was finally seeing the theme about half way through. Also the upper left solution was boosted by my dissolute youth in which I crewed on sailboats up and down the coast of Mexico for a year back in 1978/1979. I’ll rest on my laurels for the remainder of the day until tomorrow is sure to serve me a large slice of humble pie!

  2. Just saw Bruce Haight in yesterday’s NYT puzzle, and here he is again. Not too difficult considering there were a lot of answers I didn’t know. The theme answers helped with a lot of letters.

    I wonder if Urdo is easier to write for left-handers like myself. Writing L-R left-handed always smudges what you just wrote….

    Carrie – still waiting for you to join us over at the NYT although starting on a Thursday could be tricky. I’ll get around to that one later this afternoon.

    Best –

  3. This seemed pretty easy, especially for a Thursday grid. On to the WSJ and I’ve already been forewarned by Glenn so my trepidation level is up!

  4. Finished (finally!) with no errors and hated every minute of it.
    I despise gimmicks like this.
    Had PACS for fundraisers and changed to PTAS at the end.

  5. Jeff, Urdu is a sankrit based ( Indian grammar and vocabulary, mostly) language, written in a pseudo-arabic script. Orally it is quite mutually intelligible with Hindi. ( which has a deva nagari script.) Sindhi is also like Urdu, a sankrit language, with a pseudo arabic script. Pseudo-arabic scripts are arabic scripts modified to be more phonetic, as most indian languages are almos totally phonetic. You write as you speak, and vice versa. Spelling bees would be an oxymoron or redundant.
    I’m sure, the writing from the right, backwards, would help ‘lefties’ such as yourself, but crosswords might be too easy …..

    This crossword was not easy, but I got on to the double letters, quite quickly. I had to really struggle to get some of the crosses. My time was beyond counting.

    Thank you Bill, for the blog – I just learnt that Elsa Schiaparelli is now kaput, and Wahoo is not a derogatory word, like Yahoo, for instance – but a type of fish like a mackerel.

    Chief Wahoo was also the ‘name’ for a (red) indian chief, logo for the Cleveland Indians, until 1989, or so, until political correctness took over. Now, its just the letter C. You just cant satisfy all the fans, especially when the team is doing such a lousy job our on the field !! This Wiki article makes good reading. !!

    Btw, in one of O. Henry’s famous short stories, ‘Jeff Peters as a personal magnet’, Chief Waugh-hoo makes his appearance. This is an absolutely hilarious story, and I split my sides laughing !!! And …. I was able to find it on the internet ! so, if you have some time, do read this. Simply grr-eat !!

    Have a good time , folks.

  6. @Glenn and @Tony Michaels … I just did the Friday WSJ, which involves a very cute gimmick (reminiscent of a puzzle I once said I would like to create, in which the clues are familiar old standards, but the answers are not quite what one would expect). And, for a change, the meta puzzle is straightforward …

    1. @David
      Yep. Me too. But was going to wait until tomorrow to post about it. Puzzle solved (58 mins), meta gotten, and entered here. 🙂

  7. Pretty easy for a Thursday, although I did it at a leisurely pace, while selling my honey today. Took a bit to figure out the theme, but once I got that everything fell into place. A girl walked by in Uggs while I was looking at that clue 🙂 When I see DBA, though, I think of database admin.

    @Vidwan Great story by O’Henry, thanks. We, as in SF Giants fans, had our own great anti-mascot back in 1984, when the team was not-so-good, and we looked in envy at our Southern neighbors. Good old Crazy Crab. Personally, I loved him and his crabby attitude. Now we have a boring seal. At least there’s a Crazy Crab sandwich available. There are videos on You Tube, even a crab-u-mentary.

    @Carrie I was up – waiting til the last moment – filling bottles of honey for the next day’s market. I had to get up at 6:30, so I was a little late for bed.

  8. Greetings!!
    Glad I got the doubled-letter thing quickly– it helped. Nice challenge; no lame fillers. Didn’t know BERM, but it sounded right and it fit, so there it is!
    Like Pookie I also had PACS before PTAS,
    Hey Jeff, yes I still haven’t made my way over to the NYT. I’ve started a couple of grids but abandoned them before finishing….And now I have to wait til Monday. Won’t do the late-weeks online! ?
    Still dragging myself thru “Mad Men,” and I’m now at the start of season 3. Here these people are in the midst of the dash and flash of Manhattan, yet most of them seem pretty darn depressed and tightly wound…. season after season!! Hope it’s not rubbing off on me!
    Be well~~™?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.