LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Mar 17, Thursday










Constructed by: Roland Huget

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Something in Something

Each of today’s themed clues is on two parts, in the format “x in y”. The answer to “x” is found inside the answer to “y”, and is shown by the circled letters in the grid:

  • 17A. Done in a comprehensive plan? : OVER in BLANKET COVERAGE
  • 35A. Tied up in a government program? : EVEN in CRIME PREVENTION
  • 55A. Out in a classic sports car? : UNDER in FORD THUNDERBIRD

Bill’s time: 8m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Fish feature : GILL

A fish’s gills are the organs equivalent to the lungs of many land animals. The gills can extract oxygen dissolved in water and excrete carbon dioxide.

5. Sporty sunroof : T-TOP

A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

9. Impressionist’s métier : APERY

“Métier” is the French for “trade, profession”.

14. Mount between Pelion and Olympus : OSSA

Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mt. Pelion in the south, and the famed Mt. Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

15. Bat mitzvah dance : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

A Jewish girl becomes a Bat Mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become Bar Mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.

16. “__ Theme”: “Doctor Zhivago” song : LARA’S

The very lovely “Lara’s Theme” is a leitmotif written for the 1965 movie “Doctor Zhivago” by Maurice Jarre. Lara is the name of the character played by the wonderful Julie Christie. The theme was later incorporated into a hit song with the title “Somewhere My Love”.

21. Duffers’ dreams : ACES

A “duffer” is a golfer, and not a very good one.

22. Gamer’s game face : AVATAR

The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

25. Darth, before he turned to the Dark Side : ANAKIN

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

  • Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
  • Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
  • Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
  • Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

34. Target of annual shots : FLU

Influenza (flu) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.

39. Useful Scrabble tile : ESS

The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

41. Suez Canal ship : OILER

The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. The canal took ten years to construct, and opened in 1869. The northern terminus of the waterway is Port Said, and the southern is Port Tewfik in the city of Suez, which gives the canal its name. There are no locks on the Suez Canal, and there is only “one-lane” navigation available. There are two spots in the canal where ships travelling in opposing directions can pass each other. A second canal is now under construction that will cover half the route of the existing canal. When completed, the Suez Canal will be able to handle 97 ships a day, up from the current capacity of 49 ships per day.

42. IBM’s chess-playing computer : DEEP BLUE

Deep Blue was a computer developed by IBM specifically for playing chess. In 1996 it became the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. The champion in question was the great Garry Kasparov, although he came out on top in the end by winning the 6-game competition 4-2.

46. Singer India.__ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

47. Word with candy or sugar : CANE

Apparently candy canes were created at the behest of the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany in 1672. The sweet sticks were basically used as bribes to keep children quiet during services. The choirmaster specified that the candy sticks should have a crook at the top so that they reminded the children of the three shepherds who visited the infant Jesus just after his birth.

When sugarcane is processed to extract sugar, it is crushed and mashed to produce a juice. The juice is boiled to make a sugary concentrate called cane syrup, from which sugar crystals are extracted. A second boiling of the leftover syrup produces second molasses, from which more sugar crystals can be extracted. A third boiling results in what is called blackstrap molasses.

48. Book with tablets : EXODUS

According to the Book of Exodus, God inscribed the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets and gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai.

52. The White Stripes, e.g. : DUO

The White Stripes were a rock duo from Detroit that were together from 1997 to 2011. The duo was made up of Meg and Jack White, who were married from 1996 to 2000. Prior to the couple tying the knot, Jack’s family name was Gillis. Gillis took the unusual step of taking his wife’s family name when they married.

55. Out in a classic sports car? : UNDER in FORD THUNDERBIRD

Ford manufactured the Thunderbird (T-Bird) from 1955 to 2005, originally as a two-seater sporty convertible. The T-Bird was introduced as a competitor to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette.

58. Veil material : TULLE

Tulle is a lightweight net fabric often used in veils, wedding gowns and ballet tutus.

59. Bolivia neighbor : PERU

Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.

Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America, bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Argentina. The land now occupied by Bolivia was originally part of the Inca Empire. The country declared independence from Spain in 1809, which led to 16 years of war. When the Republic was finally named, “Bolivia” was chosen in honor of the Venezuelan-born revolutionary leader, Simón Bolívar.

60. “It follows that … ” : ERGO …

“Ergo” is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.

61. Lid woes : STYES

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

Down

1. Scads : GOBS

The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s “scads” was used to mean “dollars”.

3. Atty.-to-be’s hurdle : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

4. System of connected PCs : LAN

Local Area Network (LAN)

6. Carved symbol : TOTEM

“Totem” is the name given to any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

7. “Warcraft” killers : ORCS

“World of Warcraft” is an online role-playing game. My son informs me that the game is not that great. Like I would know …

8. Kung __ chicken : PAO

Kung Pao chicken is a Sichuan stir-fry dish that includes chicken, peanuts, vegetables and chili peppers. The name “Kung Pao” is thought to come from a governor of the Sichuan province whose title was “Gongbao”, meaning “Palace Guardian”.

9. British school test : A LEVEL

The UK’s education system was reformed in the fifties with the introduction of the General Certificate of Education (GCE). There were two levels of certification that could be awarded in most subjects. The GCE Ordinary Level (O Level) was a much less rigorous standard of examination than the GCE Advanced Level (A Level). The O Levels have largely been replaced now, but students still sit A Level examinations.

10. Annual Macy’s tradition : PARADE

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City has been held every year since 1924, with a brief suspension from 1942-1944. The parade was halted during WWII as there was a need for rubber and helium to support the war effort.

11. Q.E.D. word : ERAT

QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED initialism stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

12. Indian music style : RAGA

Raga isn’t really a type of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

13. North Sea feeder : YSER

The Yser river flows into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium.

18. Tigers Hall of Famer Al : KALINE

Al Kaline is a former Major League Baseball player. Kaline played his whole career with the Detroit Tigers, and then became a sportscaster for the team when he retired. He now works as a front office official for Detroit. Given the years that Kaline has devoted to the same team, it’s perhaps not surprising that he has the nickname “Mr. Tiger”.

23. 1% alternative : SKIM

The fatty component of milk is known as butterfat (sometime “milkfat”). To be labeled “whole” milk, the butterfat content must be at least 3.25%. Lowfat milk is defined as milk containing 0.5-2% fat, with levels of 1% and 2% commonly found on grocery store shelves. Skim milk must contain less than 0.5% fat, and typically contains 0.1%.

24. Have a jones for : CRAVE

The slang term “Jones” is used to mean an intense addiction, a yen, and probably arose in the late sixties out of the prior use of “Jones” for the drug heroin.

26. “Scrubs” extra : NURSE

“Scrubs” is a comedy-drama TV show set in a fictional hospital. The show’s main character is Doctor J. D. Dorian, played by Zach Braff. “Scrubs” originally ran from 2001 to 2010.

27. Herbal flavor similar to licorice : ANISE

The essential oil in the anise plant is anethole. Anethole has a licorice-like flavor, and is used extensively in cooking and to flavor several distilled alcoholic drinks.

Liquorice (also licorice) and aniseed have similar flavors, but they come from unrelated plants. The liquorice plant is a legume like a bean, and the sweet flavor is an extract from the roots. The flavor mainly comes from an ether compound called anethole, the same substance that gives the distinctive flavor to anise. The seedpods of the anise plant are what we know as “aniseed”. The anise seeds themselves are usually ground to release the flavor.

28. __ citato: in the work cited : OPERE

Loc. cit. is short for “loco citato” meaning “in the place cited”. Loc. cit. is used in a footnote instead of op. cit. as it refers not only to a prior work, but also to the same page in that work.

29. Case for Scully : X-FILE

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

31. Canadian Alice with a Nobel Prize : MUNRO

Alice Munro is a writer from southwestern Ontario in Canada. Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.

37. Lunchtime tryst : NOONER

In its most general sense, a “tryst” is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a “nooner”.

43. Get the canoe going : PADDLE

The boat called a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

47. Tight-knit group : CADRE

A “cadre” is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning a “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.

50. Alternative to de Gaulle : ORLY

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.

51. Tech news site : CNET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

56. Co. with brown trucks : UPS

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Fish feature : GILL

5. Sporty sunroof : T-TOP

9. Impressionist’s métier : APERY

14. Mount between Pelion and Olympus : OSSA

15. Bat mitzvah dance : HORA

16. “__ Theme”: “Doctor Zhivago” song : LARA’S

17. Done in a comprehensive plan? : OVER in BLANKET COVERAGE

20. Primed : SET

21. Duffers’ dreams : ACES

22. Gamer’s game face : AVATAR

23. Criticize harshly : SLAM

24. Emailed a dupe to : CCED

25. Darth, before he turned to the Dark Side : ANAKIN

28. Postgrad challenge : ORAL EXAM

32. Quarrel : RUN-IN

33. Pit-__: heart sound : A-PAT

34. Target of annual shots : FLU

35. Tied up in a government program? : EVEN in CRIME PREVENTION

39. Useful Scrabble tile : ESS

40. Fairy tale heavy : OGRE

41. Suez Canal ship : OILER

42. IBM’s chess-playing computer : DEEP BLUE

45. To a greater degree : MORE SO

46. Singer India.__ : ARIE

47. Word with candy or sugar : CANE

48. Book with tablets : EXODUS

51. Candle holder : CAKE

52. The White Stripes, e.g. : DUO

55. Out in a classic sports car? : UNDER in FORD THUNDERBIRD

58. Veil material : TULLE

59. Bolivia neighbor : PERU

60. “It follows that … ” : ERGO …

61. Lid woes : STYES

62. Intervene, with “in” : STEP

63. Some game : DEER

Down

1. Scads : GOBS

2. Part of a chain : ISLE

3. Atty.-to-be’s hurdle : LSAT

4. System of connected PCs : LAN

5. Lockup, in slang : THE CAN

6. Carved symbol : TOTEM

7. “Warcraft” killers : ORCS

8. Kung __ chicken : PAO

9. British school test : A LEVEL

10. Annual Macy’s tradition : PARADE

11. Q.E.D. word : ERAT

12. Indian music style : RAGA

13. North Sea feeder : YSER

18. Tigers Hall of Famer Al : KALINE

19. Move out : VACATE

23. 1% alternative : SKIM

24. Have a jones for : CRAVE

25. Like football passes : ARCED

26. “Scrubs” extra : NURSE

27. Herbal flavor similar to licorice : ANISE

28. __ citato: in the work cited : OPERE

29. Case for Scully : X-FILE

30. Leafy healers : ALOES

31. Canadian Alice with a Nobel Prize : MUNRO

33. Tell it to the judge : ARGUE

36. Refinement : POLISH

37. Lunchtime tryst : NOONER

38. Run out of gas : TIRE

43. Get the canoe going : PADDLE

44. Savages : BRUTES

45. Bury the hatchet : MAKE UP

47. Tight-knit group : CADRE

48. Young newts : EFTS

49. Cross off : X OUT

50. Alternative to de Gaulle : ORLY

51. Tech news site : CNET

52. Desperate : DIRE

53. Sugar craving, say : URGE

54. Wrinkled-nose cause : ODOR

56. Co. with brown trucks : UPS

57. Place to plant : BED

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22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Mar 17, Thursday”

  1. Slow solve today, but I seem to be saying that every day this week. Perhaps too much residual alcohol in my system…..Finished with 1 error. I had iSER river and assumed APERi was some French word to go along with “metier”.

    The theme completely eluded me. Then I read the blog explanation, and it still eluded me. Again – the residual alcohol thing? I don’t see how OVER is an answer to the x part BLANKET, for example. I can’t remember ever having a theme still be unclear even after seeing the explanation……oh well. Dense morning. Someone with peppier brain cells can explain it to me…

    Interesting evolution of the word CADRE.

    I’d love to see the algorithm used for DEEP BLUE and subsequent chess programs. I’m a huge fan of the game. There are about 400 possible positions after 2 moves each. After 7 moves, there are almost 11 million positions possible. Most chess matches are 30-60 moves. Some estimates put the total number of possible logical (not sure how they defined that) moves at 140 million. The number of logical games possible is about 5 million which actually sounds low to me – unless they have a very tight definition of “logical moves”. Even with those manageable numbers (for a computer), the complexity of the game would make for a very tough program to create.

    Have photos now. Will post in the next day or so…

    Best –

  2. Missed 9A. I entered Aperi. I knew meaning of métier, but I never heard Impressionism referred to as Apery. Bill’s blog entry does not address who used that term. Of course, if i’d spelled Yser with a “Y” instead of an “I”, I would have produced the correct answer.

    I assume the artists were criticized for merely copying?

    Can anyone explain?

    1. To “ape” something is to copy, or mimic. Hence “apery”. Seems clunky to me, but oh well, that’s a crossword for you!

  3. Had the same thing happen today as yesterday. 13:50 online to fill, 2 errors still remaining when the timer quit. Probably would have guessed and got wrong at 58A-50D (Naticky), so I’ll own up to one of the errors I didn’t get to fix. At least this time I figured out that Across Lite (newest version) was switching off the timer when the grid got filled as opposed to when it got finished.

    I don’t know the market well enough to know if there’s anything else out there for crossword solver software that’s better (can’t do online Flash for the limited Internet thing). Pretty fatal flaw though that I’m surprised hasn’t been fixed.

  4. Jeff, nice to hear – even, of all your troubles. You lead a very peripatetic (?) life – always on the move. You should have married an airline pilot – you might even meet her …. once in a while. While travelling might be a chore – it is always good to feel ‘needed’. People ‘need’ your presence, in your work – and the opposite, needless to say, is very dejecting.

    Bill, “the man behind the curtain !”, – sure nice to hear from you. I most ardently, wish you the very best at the ACPT this year. That a person of your genius, had some trouble at the ACPT, last year, made me very unhappy and almost want to give up solving, alltogether. There has to be some justice in this world.! My prayers are with you, every day and all the way.

    I hope you have a delightful time with your siblings, and pass a most wonderful time, together. In this transient world, such are the moments to be treasured, above all.

    Three irishmen walk into a bar. The barkeeper says ” …….”.?

    Carrie, nice to know you’re part irish and part scotch. Which mannerisms dominate ?

    More in my next post.

  5. Also for those that are curious, I ended up posting a bit of an autobiography on my puzzle solving experiences to the NYT blog. Got confused and posted to “current day” on a conversation that happened five weeks ago, and “current day” is now five weeks ago. Thought it was a good conversation topic then, might be interesting to someone now.

    Another conversation topic on my mind. A couple of people happened onto me when I was sitting and doing a puzzle (paper), and the topic went to “what are you doing that you’re doing these?”. If you were going to be open and try to demonstrate some things to people that wanted to learn, how would you approach it?

  6. 9:14, no errors. I’d like to comment on a couple of the questions raised above, but taking a muscle relaxant to cope with back spasms has led to a ferocious chest cold and the medication for that is causing an unusual level of mental dissonance … so maybe later …

  7. Very interesting topics above !!

    I had a semi-tough time with the puzzle. Even the long answers were a challenge. The theme was a mystery,

    On ‘O’ levels, and ‘A’ levels – be careful, in which levels you take …. those results stick with you, throughout your life !!! Read Prince Charles’ biography on the wikipedia, and you will find the exact number of O and A levels, that he passed in high school, a millenia ago !! ……

    Thank you Bill, for the blog. I always thought of Kung Pao as meaning ‘with peanuts’. I was so wrong, and now I stand corrected. Peanuts are normally not added in China. In China, they always have a copious amount of Sichuan or Shezwuan peppercorns

    Sichuan peppercorns – also called ‘prickly ash’ are not peppers or chillies. They are not hot, or pungent. They are tree fruits (hence, very strong in flavor – like juniper berries ). “They cause a tingling, tickling, fizzing, buzzing, numbing sensation …. which has to be tasted to be believed !!” …. Like the effect of carbonated drinks or a mild electric current on the tongue !!. There is an indian variety which is much larger, and more powerful – called tirphal or teppal – and I have three bottles full – in case somebody wants some. Boy, that makes me hungry.

    Have a nice day, youse all.

    1. Bella – I think they’re referring to an impressionist like Rich Little imitating (aping) some celeb. I don’t think they mean impressionists like Monet or Renoir….

      Best –

  8. The theme is WHAT???
    I don’t even get the long CLUES!”Out in a classic sports car?”
    FORD THUNDERBIRD. Whaaa?
    “Tied up in a government program?”
    CRIME PREVENTION.
    I may be dense, but none of these make any sense to me.
    To me it just looks like the placement of the circled letters is
    On top= OVER
    In the middle=EVEN
    Toward the bottom=UNDER
    Or betting odds OVER, EVEN, UNDER.
    ??????????????????????????????
    Impressionism is NOT APERY.

  9. Bill,
    I’m not convinced of your explanation of the “theme.” After looking at the completed crossword puzzle for minutes (after missing ISER / YSER – APERI / APERY) I concluded that the puzzle constructor (Roland Huget) was looking forward to March Madness — the NCAA college basketball tournament, and that he may be contemplating some “over,” “even,” and “under” wagers… I know I’m looking forward to it. Of course I may be wrong… is there any way of asking Roland?

  10. 1. I don’t understand the explanation for the theme either. I just don’t get it.
    2. 15A: this has come up before; I have never heard of a bat mitzvah being at age 12. Everyone that was bat mitzvahed from my Hebrew school including myself was bat mitzvahed at 13. Just sayin’.

  11. @Fred, @RestMyCase
    FWIW, here’s how I ended up interpreting the theme as I did the grid. It’s pretty close to how Bill explains it, but a little bit different. If you look at it, the last part of the clues given work as simple clues (i.e. no ?). So you could rewrite them to simply be:

    17A: Comprehensive plan : BLANKET COVERAGE
    35A: Government program : CRIME PREVENTION
    55A: Classic sports car : FORD THUNDERBIRD

    This is how I interpreted the clues as presented and got rewarded correctly. Anyhow, the obvious theme part is the OVER/EVEN/UNDER part. Our setter chose to use a conceit (“in a”) to point to the literal existence of those in the circles instead of simply let them stand on their own as the theme. So we have:

    17A: Done : OVER
    35A: Tied up: EVEN
    55A: Out: UNDER

    Hope that makes it more like mud than black ink. As Fred wrote, Roland would have to come along and tell us for certain, though I feel like I’m 99% on the right track.

    1. @Glenn … I came back to attempt to add an explanation of the theme and … you have done it for me! … and done it better than I could have done it … so … Thank you!

      My only problem, after reading Bill’s explanation, was with the clue “Out” for UNDER, and then I realized that, when you are sedated, you may be said to be either “out” or “under”.

    2. I tend to agree with Glenn’s explanation of the theme. For example, annotating the 17A clue with the proposed theme:

      [What’s a word that means] Done [that can be found] in [the answer to] a comprehensive plan? Answer, a synonym is OVER and can be found in BLANKET COVERAGE.

  12. Also, I think @Anonymous has the right of it regarding “impressionists” engagaging in APERY. I must say, though, that using the French word “métier” in the clue for it was an exceptionally sly bit of misdirection … 🙂

    1. Hey Dave – That was my comment about the impressionists. Just taking this opportunity to FINALLY remember to add my name to this new laptop!!!

  13. What a great team effort in explaining the theme! I had to read all the comments right down to David explaining how “out” meant “under” for it to finally sink in. Thanks everyone!

  14. Well! very fun Thursday; finished in record time – about :20 – with no errors. Theme is a little obtuse but Glen’s explanation is great.

    Waited for YSER before APERY, of which I had _PER_. Didn’t know the ” …Theme”, but knew the heroine was Lara. The post-grads that I know have all passed their orals and just want a reasonable pay to continue their research.

    Having delayed my Star Wars experience until just recently, I easily got ANAKIN, since I just watched him get married yesterday in Episode II. I just realized that Natalie Porter married Darth Vader!! Well okay, he wasn’t Darth yet, but he sure showed some early signs… I guess it’s okay, since he ended up coming back from the Dark Side when he died.

    Re LSATs Just read in yesterday’s paper, that Harvard Law will no longer require an LSAT for admission.

  15. Fie! What a mess!
    Only 3 wrong letters, but that’s enough to show that I definitely wasn’t seeing straight! I had ARCES, which gave me SEEP BLUE. Didn’t know the name of that computer but I shoulda been able to suss it out. And I had OPERA instead of APERY!!! Still thinking French impressionism, which included art forms beyond painting (I’m no expert.) Having “métier” in the clue undid me.
    Glenn, thanks for explaining the theme!! Pretty convoluted.
    Hey Dirk re. Harvard — really?! My best friend’s son recently took the LSAT for early admission to Harvard Law, and he thinks he did terribly! Maybe this means he won’t have to re-take it next year when he’s a senior!
    On to Friday and Saturday– tho this puzzle augurs ill for the next ones…
    Be well~~™?

  16. Argh! The theme for this puzzle was almost worthy of a British “puns and anagrams” puzzle. For example, “tied up in a government program” is EVEN (“tied up” in sportscaster-talk) in CRIME PREVENTION.

    I agree with David Kennison that using the French word metier in the definition of 9A (Impressionist’s metier) was an almost unfair level of misdirection. By convention, putting a foreign-language word into a definition means that the solution is word in that language. In this case, though, it was strictly English: an “impressionist” being “one who does impressions” and the answer being “apery” — to “ape” meaning to copy, usually for humorous/satirical effect.

    Very tough puzzle this time, and I actually did end up with two wrong letters — which is quite unusual for me.

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