LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Mar 17, Friday










Constructed by: Paul Coulter

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Front to Back

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day, everyone! Today’s themed answers are formed by taking the front letters of a well-known word, and placing them at the end of the answer:

  • 16A. Laboratory scam? : SCIENCE CON (from “conscience”)
  • 28A. Snubbing a testimonial? : TRIBUTE DIS (from “distribute”)
  • 45A. John Deere rep? : TRACTOR PRO (from “protractor”)
  • 61A. Ordinary law office employee? : NORMAL PARA (from “paranormal”)

Bill’s time: 11m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Grand Prix component : ESS

That would be an s-bend in the course.

Even though the term is used in many competitions, I think that we most associate “Grand Prix” with the series of Formula One motor races. These Formula One Grand Prix races trace their roots back to organized automobile road races from one French town to the next that date back to 1894. “Grand Prix” translates from French as “grand, big prize.”

13. Adult insect : IMAGO

The imago is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

14. Prefix with data : META-

“Metadata” is usually defined as “data about data”. The classic example is the card catalog of a library. The catalog is a set of data about a collection of books. Each entry in the catalog is data about a specific publication.

15. Subject preceder : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to”, or “in the matter of”.

18. Saves, say : STAT

That would be baseball.

20. Like some flushes : ACE-HIGH

In the game of poker, a “flush” is a hand with all cards in the same suit.

24. Spike TV, once : TNN

Spike TV was a 2003 relaunch of The Nashville Network (TNN) and was marketed as the first television channel for men. The station owners ran into trouble though as the director Spike Lee sued, claiming that viewers would assume he was associated with the channel because of the use of “Spike”. The suit was settled when Lee concluded that there was no intention to trade on his name.

25. Nile threats : ASPS

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

28. Snubbing a testimonial? : TRIBUTE DIS (from “distribute”)

“Dis” is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

35. B to C, e.g. : SEMITONE

In western music, an octave is composed of twelve notes, twelve semitones.

40. Pres. when Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was decided : DDE

Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE)

Brown v. Board of Education was the US Supreme Court Case that established the unconstitutionality of separate public schools for black and white students. Oliver L. Brown was one of thirteen parents who filed a class action suit against the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education on behalf of their twenty children. The suit called for the city to reverse its racial segregation policy. The final decision by the US Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, was unanimous in rejecting segregation.

41. “The Social Contract” author : ROUSSEAU

“The Social Contract” is a 1762 book by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau that contains the famous phrase “man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains”. Rousseau expanded on this idea, asserting that the modern commercial society represses the freedom of individuals. His solution was to organize a political community divided into the sovereign and the government. The sovereign was the whole population and it had complete legislative authority. The government dealt with the application of law. A government that exceeded its boundaries could be abolished by the people, and a new government appointed.

45. John Deere rep? : TRACTOR PRO (from “protractor”)

John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

48. Old Nair rival : NEET

The hair removal product “Neet” was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as “Immac”. Today it is sold under the name “Veet”.

Nair is a hair removal product that has some pretty harsh ingredients. The most important active constituents are calcium hydroxide (“slake lime”) and sodium hydroxide (“caustic soda”). Other Nair components seem to be there to soothe the skin after the harsher chemicals have done their job. The name “Nair” probably comes from combining “no” and “hair”.

50. Mozart opera ending : TUTTE

Mozart’s comic opera “Così fan tutte” is also known in English as “The School for Lovers”. The literal translation of the opera’s title is “Thus do all (women)”, or “Women are like that”.

52. Spendthrift : WASTREL

A “wastrel” is a spendthrift, someone who doesn’t “waste” much.

56. Hospital test : MRI SCAN

MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the image produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

60. Large deep-water fish : OPAH

Opah is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I’ve seen one in the Monterrey Aquarium. It is one huge fish …

61. Ordinary law office employee? : NORMAL PARA (from “paranormal”)

A paralegal (sometimes just “para”) is someone who is trained in legal matters sufficiently to assist a lawyer. A paralegal cannot engage in the practice of law and must be supervised by a qualified lawyer.

63. Actor Auberjonois : RENE

René Auberjonois is an American actor. Auberjonois’ most famous role on the big screen was Father Mulcahy in the movie “M*A*S*H”.

67. Case breaker, perhaps : DNA

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.

Down

2. 1979 disco classic : YMCA

“YMCA” was released in 1978 by Village People and has been adopted as an anthem by the gay community. The song was written by Victor Willis, a straight member of the mostly gay band, and he clarifies that the lyrics are extolling the virtues of the “YMCA” as a source of recreation for black urban youth. I think he might have been winking when he said that …

5. Philanthropist, e.g. : DONOR

Philanthropy is a concern for human welfare, and the act of donating to persons or groups who support such concerns. The term derives from the Greek “phil-” meaning “loving”, and “anthropos” meaning “mankind”.

6. Common Market letters : EEC

The European Economic Community (EEC) was also called “the Common Market”. The EEC was a NAFTA-like structure that was eventually absorbed into today’s European Union (EU).

7. Ancient colonnade : STOA

A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greece. A stoa usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.

8. Sacred sites : SANCTUMS

A “sanctum” (plural “sancta”) is a private place where one can hide away without fear of intrusion. I love my sanctum …

12. First family member : SETH

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

26. Monterrey title : SENOR

Monterrey is a Mexican city, the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon in the northeast of the country. Monterrey is the second largest city in Mexico in terms of area, but third largest in terms of population (the largest area city in the country is Mexico City, and the most populous are Mexico City and Guadalajara).

27. “The Taming of the Shrew” setting : PADUA

The city of Padua is in northern Italy, not far from Venice. Padua has many claims to fame. Galileo was one of the lecturers at the University of Padua, for example. And, William Shakespeare chose the city as the setting for his play “The Taming of the Shrew”.

William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.

29. Obsessive idea metaphor : BEE

As in “a bee in one’s bonnet”.

30. Caravan assembler : DODGE

The Caravan is a minivan that has been manufactured by Dodge since the model year 1984. It is basically the same vehicle as the Chrysler Town and Country.

31. Common Sundance entry : INDIE

The Sundance film festival is the largest independent film event in the country, and takes place every year around the Sundance Resort near Provo, Utah. The festival has its roots in the Utah/US Film Festival which started in Salt Lake City in 1978. Management of the festival was taken over by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in 1985. The festival has became a bit of a media feeding frenzy in recent years, as a lot of A-list celebrities attend. The Festival organizers introduced a “Focus on Film” campaign in 2007 to try to offset some of the madness.

39. Fold, spindle or mutilate : MAR

The phrase “do not fold, spindle or mutilate” first appeared on IBM punched cards. It was a warning to users to treat the cards unlike other items of paper, not folding them, stapling them, not impaling them on a spindle.

44. Buck : ONE-SPOT

“Buck” and “clam” are both slang terms for “a dollar”. The term “buck” has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days. It has been suggested that “clam” has a similar derivation, a throwback to the supposed use of clams as units of currency in ancient cultures.

46. Gin __ : RUMMY

Gin rummy is a variant of the slower game of standard rummy and was introduced in 1909 by one Elwood Baker and his son.

47. Other, in Oaxaca : OTRA

Oaxaca is a state in the southern part of Mexico on the Pacific coast. The state takes the name of Oaxaca, its largest city.

58. Jack-in-the-pulpit family : ARUM

Jack-in-the-pulpit is a perennial plant native to eastern North America. It’s a nasty plant though and contains oxalic acid, a compound that can be very painful if ingested and that can even cause death if taken in sufficient quantities.

62. The ANC’s country : RSA

The Republic of South Africa (RSA)

The African National Congress (ANC) started out as the South African Native National Congress in 1912 with the goal of improving the lot of black South Africans. After years of turmoil, the ANC came to power in the first open election in 1964.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. “Oopsy” : MY BAD

6. Grand Prix component : ESS

9. In things : FADS

13. Adult insect : IMAGO

14. Prefix with data : META-

15. Subject preceder : IN RE

16. Laboratory scam? : SCIENCE CON (from “conscience”)

18. Saves, say : STAT

19. Challenge : CALL OUT

20. Like some flushes : ACE-HIGH

22. Missed the mark : ERRED

24. Spike TV, once : TNN

25. Nile threats : ASPS

28. Snubbing a testimonial? : TRIBUTE DIS (from “distribute”)

33. Take for a while : LEASE

35. B to C, e.g. : SEMITONE

36. Call off : END

37. Something shared on a plane : ARMREST

40. Pres. when Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was decided : DDE

41. “The Social Contract” author : ROUSSEAU

43. Hindu ascetics : YOGIS

45. John Deere rep? : TRACTOR PRO (from “protractor”)

48. Old Nair rival : NEET

49. “You betcha!” : YEP!

50. Mozart opera ending : TUTTE

52. Spendthrift : WASTREL

56. Hospital test : MRI SCAN

60. Large deep-water fish : OPAH

61. Ordinary law office employee? : NORMAL PARA (from “paranormal”)

63. Actor Auberjonois : RENE

64. Relaxed : EASY

65. Refresh, as a cup of coffee : TOP UP

66. Participants in some awkward meetings : EXES

67. Case breaker, perhaps : DNA

68. Flower holders : STEMS

Down

1. Category for non-recurring pd. bills : MISC

2. 1979 disco classic : YMCA

3. Payment that’s posted : BAIL

4. Eternal : AGELESS

5. Philanthropist, e.g. : DONOR

6. Common Market letters : EEC

7. Ancient colonnade : STOA

8. Sacred sites : SANCTUMS

9. Stocking stuff : FISHNET

10. Not backing : ANTI

11. Party pooper : DRAG

12. First family member : SETH

14. Poet’s concern : METER

17. Short : CURT

21. Being : ENTITY

23. Throw into turmoil : DISRUPT

25. On the ball : ALERT

26. Monterrey title : SENOR

27. “The Taming of the Shrew” setting : PADUA

29. Obsessive idea metaphor : BEE

30. Caravan assembler : DODGE

31. Common Sundance entry : INDIE

32. Notice from Shakespeare? : SEEST

34. Time for eggs : EASTER

38. Worked on, as a cold case : REOPENED

39. Fold, spindle or mutilate : MAR

42. Crop cutters : SCYTHES

44. Buck : ONE-SPOT

46. Gin __ : RUMMY

47. Other, in Oaxaca : OTRA

51. Slopes : TILTS

52. Had on : WORE

53. Top : APEX

54. Fit to be tried : SANE

55. Student’s request : LOAN

57. Vacation spot : CAPE

58. Jack-in-the-pulpit family : ARUM

59. Gets caught off guard : NAPS

62. The ANC’s country : RSA

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

  1. DNF on this after 72 minutes due to the theme.

    As I posted yesterday, 58 minutes on the WSJ. <1min on the meta, and entered. @Tony, you're going to have some fun with this one.

    Some 21x21s ahead until Saturday…

    1. Hi Glenn. I think I got all but one little part (the middle Eastern section) of the WSJ grid done correctly. I struggled mightily with this puzzle. For those here who are griping about the LA Times grid today give this thing a whirl if you want to punish yourself. This was an excellent challenge for St. Paddy’s day as it could easily drive one to drink!

  2. For awhile I thought that the NE corner was going to ruin my Friday, but then I saw I had messed up 11 down and after I scratched out my first answer and then got fishnet for 9 down the last of this grid came together.

    On to the WSJ later today…

  3. 40 minutes and I felt ill at ease each and every one of them, but no errors. Didn’t get the theme until I had filled them all in so no help there. For me it was the SW that was the BEE in my bonnet. I was unfamiliar with WASTREL, RENE and couldn’t think of SCYTHES. I finally remembered OPAH from some long ago puzzle and everything else fell after that.

    Time vampire number 1 was wanting to put “fillers” instead of FISHNET for “Stocking stuff” – as in Christmas stockings. Wrong season.

    Carrie – was a fun New York Times puzzle yesterday. You should just go take a look at it. Also – I tried watching Mad Men. I made it through 1 season and just couldn’t watch anymore. John Hamm went to my rival high school in St. Louis, but ultimately I decided that wasn’t a good enough reason to watch 5 more seasons of the show….

    Starting season 4 of The Wire now. Liking it more each season. Only 2 seasons left 🙁

    Off to Phoenix and Cactus League Spring training tomorrow. The weather should be better than it was in Chicago. Going to St. Louis vs Arizona in hockey tomorrow night. Royals-Cubs on Sunday night and Royals-Reds Monday. 20 members of my family make an excuse to go out there every year for this. My first trip out there in 4 years. So it’s a hockey/baseball/family trip.

    Check in when I can. Sheesh I’m tired of airports.

    Best –

  4. Print solvers: Is the theme identified on weekdays in your newspaper? It isn’t in mine (in Atlanta), so I had a DNF because I couldn’t suss out sensible answers . Since I wasn’t tipped off to any “front to back” trick (as I would have been on a Sunday), I think it’s unfair. Bill, can you shed any light on this theme-identification business for me? Thanks, all.

    1. Joe,
      No clues in the Los Angeles Times (Ventura County edition) as to the “theme” except for Sunday’s. I didn’t get the theme until “tractor pro” = “protractor” — then worked back up the puzzle.

      1. Thanks for the info, Fred. (And I shouldn’t have accepted a theme revealer as a straightforward — but kinda dumb — answer.)

    2. @Joe Bleaux
      The only time any kind of titles are given in the LAT or NYT is in weekend grids (save any that the NYT might publish in books). Now with the WSJ and Newsday (non-Saturday, since that one is a themeless anyway) you get titles, but it depends in terms of how useful they are.

      And seconded on your other comment. As far as quality of grid, this one is about a 2.5 or so out of a 5, lot of that being the crappy cluing in the SE corner.

  5. PS — Even had I known the theme, IMHO the cluing in the SE really reeks. Top UP (not OFF) a cup of coffee? CAPE as a vacation spot? Ri-i-ght. Isnt MRI SCAN redundant? And when’s the last time you heard a dollar called a friggin’ ONE SPOT? C’mon.

  6. Weird DNF for me today. I have all the West and middle filled out, save BEE (sigh!), with just MRISCAN, DDE, YOGIS, INDIE and NEET filled in the East.

    Also, as a teen, I read Robert Ardrey’s “The Social Contract”, which delayed filling in ROSSEAU for his 1725 novel of the same name.

    Oh well, live and learn…

  7. Hey folks!
    Dirk!! You missed BEE but you got NEET?! ???
    Almost finished this grid without help, but I got frustrated and cheated on just two items. Had to force myself not to peek at any more answers! Cheating is a SLIPPERY SLOPE, my friends. It’s too easy to say, “It’s already a DNF — might as well look up another answer….”
    But I didn’t….And I didn’t see the theme til the last one I filled in, NORMAL PARA.
    Some tricky (read: irritating) clues indeed. NAPS was a tough get, and STAT: I’m a baseball gal, and I didn’t understand that clue til I read Bill’s write-up!!! Come on!
    Hey Jeff, Royals vs Cubs!! I know how you feel about the Cubs, but that’s going to be a great game to see!
    Hey Jeff again! I did look at yesterday’s NYT puzzle, on your recommendation: very cute idea!

    Today, 3/18, would have been my dad’s 90th birthday…?….He passed away in 2011. We all sure thought he’d make it to ninety! Miss him ?
    Be well~~™???

  8. “fishnet” hardly seems like stuff
    “ess” as an answer to anything is tiring
    “inre” is an abbreviation, which wasn’t mentioned in the clue
    “saves” was an unqualified example (quotes or eg wasn’t used) of an unmentioned abbreviated answer (“statistic”), clue seems clumsy at best even with “, say” at the end.
    still managed without errors

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