LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Mar 17, Wednesday










Constructed by: Agnes Davidson & C.C. Burnikel

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Logophile

Each of today’s themed answers comprise two words, the first starting with LO- and the second with GO-

  • 64A. Word lover who’d especially enjoy the four longest answers in this puzzle? : LOGOPHILE
  • 17A. *Ambitious aspiration : LOFTY GOAL
  • 25A. *”We’re off to a strong start” : LOOKING GOOD
  • 39A. *A city council is part of it : LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 50A. *Aphrodite or Venus : LOVE GODDESS

Bill’s time: 6m 20s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • WAHOO! (yahoo!)
  • OH WOW! (oh yow!)



Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. __-pedi : MANI

Manicure & pedicure (mani-pedi)

5. Like many snowbirds: Abbr. : RETD

Snowbirds are people from Canada and the northern US who head south for the winter, to places like Florida and California.

9. Golden Arches pork sandwich : MCRIB

The McDonald’s McRib sandwich is based on a pork patty. There isn’t any pork rib in the patty though. It is primarily made up of pork shoulder meat reconstituted with tripe, heart and stomach tissue. Enjoy …

14. __ jacket : ETON

An Eton jacket is usually black in color, cut square at the hips and has wide lapels. It is named for the design of jacket that is worn by the younger students at Eton College just outside London.

15. Part of a plot : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one furlong wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. A area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

16. Muse for Millay : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry, and is often depicted playing a lyre.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American poet and playwright, the third woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (in 1923 for “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver”). Millay was noted not only for her work, but also for the open arrangement that she and her husband had in their marriage. Millay took many lovers, including the poet George Dillon, for whom she wrote a number of sonnets.

19. Industry bigwig : TITAN

The Titans were a group of twelve older deities in Greek mythology, the twelve children of the primordial Gaia and Uranus, Mother Earth and Father Sky. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the Olympians, who were twelve younger gods. We use the term “titan” figuratively to describe a powerful person, someone with great influence.

A “bigwig” is someone important. The use of the term harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore big wigs.

20. Hotel breakfast buffet offering : OMELET

Our word “buffet” comes from the French “bufet” meaning “bench, sideboard”. So, a buffet is a meal served from a “bufet”.

21. “Evita” role : CHE

Che is the narrator in the musical “Evita” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

23. River near the Sphinx : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is generally regarded as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for the peoples living along its length.

In Greek mythology, the creature known as the Sphinx has the body of a lion, the wings of a bird and the face of a woman. The Sphinx threatened to strangle and devour any person who could not answer a famous riddle: “Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?” Oedipus was able to save himself by answering correctly “Man”. The idea is that a man crawls on all fours as a baby, and then walks on two feet as an adult, and walks with a cane in old age. “Sphinx” is actually a Greek word, meaning “the strangler” …

24. *Hush-hush govt. 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”.

28. Lauren of fashion : RALPH

Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer, born Ralph Liftshitz in the Bronx, New York. Lauren started off working as a salesman for Brooks Brothers after spending two years in the US Army. He then opened a necktie store, featuring his own tie designs. The ties were sold under the name “Polo”, which became Lauren’s most famous brand. Other Lauren brands are Purple Label and Black Label.

30. Mystery man John : DOE

Though the English court system does not use the term today, John Doe first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with another unknown, Richard Roe. An unknown female is referred to as Jane Doe. Variants of “John Doe” are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.

36. Flapper’s accessory : BOA

Flappers were the so-called “new breed” of young women of the twenties. The flappers wore their hair short (with ringlets), dressed in short skirts and generally rebelled against the accepted norms of the time. The term “flapper” comes from the 1920 movie “The Flapper” starring Olive Thomas as a young woman who lived the more liberal lifestyle that was emerging at that time.

43. Typical “Blue’s Clues” watcher : TOT

“Blue’s Clues” is a Nickelodeon children’s show that ran for ten years from 1996. The title character is a blue-spotted dog who leaves clues in a treasure hunt for the host and the viewers.

44. Davenport resident : IOWAN

Davenport, Iowa sits on the Mississippi River. The city was founded in 1836 by landowner and businessman Antoine LeClaire, with the assistance of a group of investors. The investors resisted the use of LeClaire’s name for the new settlement as LeClaire was of mixed race, had a French name and was a Catholic. Instead, it was named for George Davenport, one of the other investors.

45. Gossip column twosome : ITEM

An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

Our word “gossip” comes from the Old English “godsibb” meaning “godparent”. The term was then used for women friends who attended a birth, and then for anyone engaging in idle talk.

50. *Aphrodite or Venus : LOVE GODDESS

As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, and Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male. The Roman equivalent of Aphrodite was Venus, and the equivalent of Eros was Cupid.

55. __ King Cole : NAT

Nat King Cole’s real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn’t pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all – the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

59. Road cover : TAR

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.

60. Sole role in the play “Tru” : CAPOTE

“Tru” was written by Jay Presson Allen and is a one-man play about Truman Capote that premiered in 1989. There is a classic anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote’s New York City apartment at Christmas 1975. At one point the Capote character talks about suicide, saying that he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn’t happen until three years later, in 1978.

68. Persia, today : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was called Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

69. Totally filled : SATED

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

Down

3. 2002 legislation that protects whistleblowers, familiarly : NO-FEAR ACT

The No-FEAR Act is a law introduced in 2002 designed to prevent unlawful discrimination and retaliation by managers and supervisors working for federal agencies. The law is more properly called the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002.

4. Like some waters: Abbr. : INTL

The phrase “international waters” is generally understood to mean the “high seas”, parts of oceans and seas that fall outside of national jurisdiction. There are also semi-enclosed bodies of water that have been declared international waterways. One example is the Danube River, which is deemed to be an international waterway so that it gives secure access to the Baltic Sea for the landlocked nations Austria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia and Slovakia.

5. Convertible, in slang : RAGTOP

“Ragtop” is slang for a convertible automobile.

7. Song on a CD : TRACK

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.

8. Indian metropolis : DELHI

New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

12. Author Calvino : ITALO

As well as being an author, Italo Calvino was a famous Italian journalist. He was a supporter of communism and so wasn’t very popular in the US nor in Britain.

22. Home of the Ewoks : ENDOR

The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor, first appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. They’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

27. Hired hood : GOON

The term “goon” was coined by American humorist Frederick J. Allen in a 1921 “Harper’s” piece titled “The Goon and His Style”. The article defines a good as “a person with a heavy touch” someone lacking “a playful mind”. The term was popularized in the “Thimble Theater” comic strips featuring Popeye. The first use of “goon” to describe a hired thug was in 1938, with reference to strikebreakers.

31. Lunchtime fave : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

32. John of the U.K. : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

Sir John Harington was an author and a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, Harington is perhaps best remembered as the inventor of the flush toilet. Our slang term “john”, meaning “toilet”, is thought to be a reference to John Harington.

34. Gardner of the silver screen : AVA

Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long-term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

36. Bane : BETE NOIRE

“Bête noire” translates from French as “black beast” and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.

Today we tend to use the word “bane” to mean anathema, a source of persistent annoyance. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

37. Cardinal Ozzie Smith’s retired uniform number : ONE

Ozzie Smith is a former professional shortstop. Smith played for the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals. After retiring in 1996, Smith served as the host of TV’s “This Week in Baseball” for about a year.

40. Lisa who hosts CNN’s “This Is Life” : LING

Lisa Ling is a journalist, best known as a former co-host of the television show “The View”. Lisa’s younger sister is Laura Ling. Laura is one of the pair of journalists who were sentenced to 12 years hard labor in prison for illegal entry to North Korea, but who were released in 2009 after a visit from former President Bill Clinton.

41. Beckett no-show : GODOT

“Waiting for Godot” is a play by novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett that premiered in 1953. Irishman Beckett actually wrote the piece in French, under the title “En attendant Godot”. He then translated the play into English himself.

46. Friend of Pooh and Roo : EEYORE

Eeyore is the donkey character in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”. Eeyore is very lovable, but has a gloomy and pessimistic outlook on life.

49. PDQ : ASAP

Pretty darn quick (PDQ)

51. D-Day beach : OMAHA

The Normandy landings on D-Day in 1944 took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The worst fighting by far took place on Omaha Beach, a sector assigned to the US Army that was transported by elements of the US Navy and the Royal Navy.

52. Lot attendant : VALET

A “varlet” was an attendant or servant, perhaps a knight’s page. The term comes from the Old French “vaslet”, which also gave us our contemporary word “valet”.

56. Book with roads : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas”.

61. One of the Everly Brothers : PHIL

The Everly Brothers are noted for their steel guitar sound, and their great use of harmony. Their harmony onstage wasn’t reflected off the stage though. In 1973 the brothers decided to pursue separate careers and scheduled a farewell performance attended by many fans, family and stalwarts from the music industry. Don Everly came on stage too drunk to perform, and eventually brother Phil just stormed off into the wings, smashing his guitar as he left. The boys didn’t talk to each other for ten years after that incident. Phil Everly passed away in January 2014.

63. Actor Beatty : NED

Actor Ned Beatty is probably best remembered for the rather disturbing “squeal like a pig” scene in the movie “Deliverance”. Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. __-pedi : MANI

5. Like many snowbirds: Abbr. : RETD

9. Golden Arches pork sandwich : MCRIB

14. __ jacket : ETON

15. Part of a plot : ACRE

16. Muse for Millay : ERATO

17. *Ambitious aspiration : LOFTY GOAL

19. Industry bigwig : TITAN

20. Hotel breakfast buffet offering : OMELET

21. “Evita” role : CHE

23. River near the Sphinx : NILE

24. *Hush-hush govt. org. : NSA

25. “We’re off to a strong start” : LOOKING GOOD

28. Lauren of fashion : RALPH

30. Mystery man John : DOE

31. Uninteresting : BLAH

33. “Yippee!” : WAHOO!

36. Flapper’s accessory : BOA

39. *A city council is part of it : LOCAL GOVERNMENT

43. Typical “Blue’s Clues” watcher : TOT

44. Davenport resident : IOWAN

45. Gossip column twosome : ITEM

46. Stop : END

47. Stop : CEASE

50. *Aphrodite or Venus : LOVE GODDESS

55. __ King Cole : NAT

58. “Not sure yet” : I MAY

59. Road cover : TAR

60. Sole role in the play “Tru” : CAPOTE

62. Place for short cuts : SALON

64. Word lover who’d especially enjoy the four longest answers in this puzzle? : LOGOPHILE

66. Pointed remark? : THERE

67. Always : EVER

68. Persia, today : IRAN

69. Totally filled : SATED

70. Email status : SENT

71. What a successful dieter weighs : LESS

Down

1. Fruit served in balls : MELON

2. Matter makeup : ATOMS

3. 2002 legislation that protects whistleblowers, familiarly : NO-FEAR ACT

4. Like some waters: Abbr. : INTL

5. Convertible, in slang : RAGTOP

6. Prefix with friendly : ECO-

7. Song on a CD : TRACK

8. Indian metropolis : DELHI

9. Got together : MET

10. Shrink in fear : CRINGE

11. Probability expression : RATIO

12. Author Calvino : ITALO

13. Like fillets : BONED

18. Cry out : YELL

22. Home of the Ewoks : ENDOR

26. “I’m impressed!” : OH WOW!

27. Hired hood : GOON

29. Puzzle solver’s cry : AHA!

31. Lunchtime fave : BLT

32. John of the U.K. : LOO

34. Gardner of the silver screen : AVA

35. Start of a conclusion : HENCE

36. Bane : BETE NOIRE

37. Cardinal Ozzie Smith’s retired uniform number : ONE

38. Spot to check your balance : ATM

40. Lisa who hosts CNN’s “This Is Life” : LING

41. Beckett no-show : GODOT

42. Leading lead-in : MIS-

46. Friend of Pooh and Roo : EEYORE

48. Go along with : ESCORT

49. PDQ : ASAP

50. Leans while sailing : LISTS

51. D-Day beach : OMAHA

52. Lot attendant : VALET

53. Lowlands : DALES

54. Used the car : DROVE

56. Book with roads : ATLAS

57. After-school jobholders : TEENS

61. One of the Everly Brothers : PHIL

63. Actor Beatty : NED

65. High-ranking off. : GEN

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Mar 17, Wednesday”

  1. Somewhat more challenging today, but I enjoyed it.
    Very punny, as usual, with this constructor.(s).

    I wasn’t sure about logophile ….. I thought logos were (visual ) images of brand names, or pictures or cartoons that were copyrighted names or themes of companies or products. I checked up, and the word does mean a ‘word lover’, That probably describes all of us, and describes, in all, the concept of crosswords ! Very, very brilliant idea. Great !

    I got the central theme right away, but I still kept thinking that the
    ‘godess-es’ were either related to being sexy, or beauty queens. Duh !

    Re: Titan – the life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., by Ron Chernow. I have read this book, and highly recommend it. Also his books on ‘The Warburgs’, and the one on J P Morgan…

    Thank you Bill, for the blog, and also the explanation of the ‘Sphinx’ as meaning ‘the strangler’. Though I hate to mention it, at breakfast time, that word would also explain the concept for the sphincter muscle(s), Believe it or not, the body has over 50 sphincter muscles … they are more common than you think.

    On that pleasant note, have a great day, all.

  2. Weird one today. Filled the grid in 12:18 online, the time stopped and I got confused as to whether or not I finished the grid correctly as a couple of messages blew by. I ended up revealing the two errors I still had on the board (Bill’s error and 25A-12D for those who are curious).

    So take it as you will, as to what this qualifies as exactly. Hopefully I’ll get fully used to this online rig I have now sooner or later.

  3. 8:19, no errors.

    @Glenn … Switching from paper-and-pen to online definitely takes some getting used to. I started doing the LAT and NYT puzzles online almost a year ago. At first, I really hated it. Now, I’m still doing them online, but everything else on paper, and it’s a tossup which I like better. (BTW, did you see my final comment on yesterday’s blog, about Don Lemon and Don Cherry?)

    1. @David
      I used to do puzzles more online than in print for a while until I lost steady Internet access. Of course, I did paper a bunch more because I was too slow – my back would complain rather loudly before I’d finish the puzzle for sitting bolt upright. What I’m trying for (lately) is more of a mix (will get that with the NYTs I’ll do a bit later), to try and make sure I can handle doing it either way. Still too slow on late week stuff to be confident with online, but I’m sure I’ll see sooner or later.

      Speaking of which, my hand started complaining on that Sunday Newsday I mentioned a couple of days ago – could have had 2 minutes even faster there if I didn’t have to stop a couple of times for that. I guess new problems and challenges… (yeah still in a bit of shock that it went that quick for me)

      And yes I saw the comment – I didn’t know either one so I just looked up the first, figuring they shared the name or whatever…it’s good for additional documentation if someone else here tries it.

  4. I too got tripped up in the center with WAHOO etc. The rest of the puzzle wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t familiar with LOGOPHILE either. Nice one to know. That’s why I tune in here every day.

    Carrie – I think it’d be cheaper just to buy new clothes and skip laundry altogether… 🙂

    Another comment on the Irishmen from yesterday’s tale – Irish is a great accent, but I realized it’s one I cannot imitate at all. I can do English, Australian, even to some extent South African, but the Irish accent is just beyond me. I need more practice. A local Dominican was asking me to show them the difference between my accent (American) and theirs (Irish) by saying the same phrase in both accents, but I just couldn’t do it.

    This also made me realize that with reading Bill here and/or over on the NYT blog for years, none of us have ever heard him speak – i.e. his accent. He forever remains like the Wizard of Oz – the man behind the curtain….

    Today is my mom’s 77th birthday. She’s in Florida so I guess I better go make the call…

    Best – – Jeff (I keep forgetting to put my name into this new laptop)

    1. To be sure, to be sure 🙂

      Like many Irish immigrants to the US, I think, my accent has softened, but comes out when with fellow Irishmen or when there’s a pint of Guinness in hand. One of my brothers is actually on a plane from the Auld Sod right now, and arrives here this afternoon. The accent will be thick enough over the next couple of weeks. My brother and I are getting on a train from the Bay Area tomorrow morning bound for Chicago, where we meet our other brother who is flying in from Ireland on Saturday. We spend a couple of weeks in the Windy City (including Paddy’s Day!), and then they head for home. I’ll be hopping on another train and heading for the Annual Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) in Stamford, Connecticut. I’ll be hoping to resurrect my Americanisms and suppress my Irishisms for the competition. Given my travel schedule, I’m hoping that “yous” (Irish for “y’all”) will be patient with me in terms of blog posting and management over the next three weeks.

      1. Bill that sounds like a great trip. I’ll actually be in Chicago on Sunday, but I’m just passing through driving up from O’Hare to a meeting in Milwaukee for 2 days. If I hear the sounds of mugs clanking when I arrive, I’ll know why…

        Good luck in the tourney. Which group are you in this year?

        And don’t worry about posts. Guinness takes priority..

        Best

        1. I’ll toast your crossing of Chicago on Sunday, Jeff. And, I’m in Group D this year at the tournament (up from Group E last year!).

    1. @RestMyCase … According to my Webster’s New World College Dictionary, one of the meanings of the adjective “boned” is “having the bones taken out”. So “boned” and “deboned” are synonyms (just as “flammable” and “inflammable” are synonyms). Illogical, but that’s the way it is …

  5. “the man behind the curtain” That’s a great one!

    Accents are so fun, and I can’t do any. I like to watch “The Quiet Man” and “Waking Ned Devine” for the accent. The accent in Devine is so strong sometimes, I have to have subtitles to keep up w/ the story!

    Good luck, Bill! Your finishing times never CEASE to amaze me.
    WAHOO!

  6. I did the same thing as Bill, but thought OH YOW was a mistake and at the last minute changed it to OH WOW/ WAHOO.
    The computer, for the last 2 days has beaten me up and stolen my lunch money.
    I am so tired of having to study and learn things to do on new versions of Windows and the things that are no longer supported on more recent versions.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  7. Pretty quick Wednesday for me today; around 14 minutes no errors. I sidestepped WAHOO until I got OH WOW and since I’ve used Wahoo!! before, when I get the Saturday puzzle, I figured I was set.

    I’ve been pretty busy with the bees here with Spring nigh, so DNF both Friday and Saturday, although Saturday wasn’t as hard as I thought. Skipped Sunday and easy Monday and Tuesday; about 12 minutes each.

    @Bill Have a great trip and good luck in the tournament. In case you see this, there is a “good” in your goon description.

  8. Hi all!
    Good puzzle; no real problems.
    @Vidwan, thanx for the info on “logophile.” Interesting stuff that I didn’t know.
    Bill, that sounds like a great time. I imagine it will be fun to see your brothers! Can’t believe it’s already time for the ACPT again.
    Hey Jeff, I’ll bet you can find videos on YouTube that teach how to speak with an Irish accent! Once, a while back, I decided to try a Scottish accent. Not sure why; guess I thought it would be cute. I found several scottish-accent lessons on YouTube!
    Really tho, I should try my hand at the Irish accent, since I am mostly Irish.
    Hey Dirk! Busy as a bee, right? I don’t suppose that’s a beekeeper saying?
    Sweet dreams~~™???

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