LA Times Crossword Answers 1 Apr 17, Saturday










Constructed by: Andrew Woodham

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Stairs

Perhaps in honor of April Fools’ Day, we have a mini-themed Saturday puzzle. Starting from the letter S at the 40-across answer SNAGS, we have the letters STAIRS reading in the northeasterly direction, AT A SLANT:

  • 57A. Like an escalator, and, aptly, like the six-letter word that begins where 40-Across ends : AT A SLANT

Bill’s time: 14m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Shuttle facility : SPACELAB

Spacelab was a modular science laboratory that was carried in the cargo bay of 32 Space Shuttle missions from 1981 until 2000. It was designed and constructed by 10 European nations with funds from the European Space Agency (ESA), with NASA providing ground facilities and managing Space Shuttle flights.

9. Auto shop purchase : RADIAL

Radial tires (actually “radial-ply tires) are so called because the cord plies embedded in the rubber are arranged radially from the centre of the tire. This means that the plies are at right angles to the direction of travel. In older tires the plies were criss-crossed over each other, at angles of 60 and -60 degrees from the direction of travel. Such tires are called “cross-ply” or “bias” tires.

15. Slender smoke : PANATELA

A panatela is a long thin cigar. It is a about the length of a “regular” cigar, but is not much wider than a cigarette.

16. Thorny shrub : ACACIA

Acacia is a genus of tree and shrub, also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle.

22. Autumn shade : OCHER

Ochre is often spelled “ocher” in the US (it’s “ochre” where I come from). Ocher is a light, yellowy-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher.

23. Many profs : PHDS

PhD is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for an earned PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

24. Oktoberfest supply : BIER

“Bier” is the German word for “beer”.

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve been there twice, and it really is a great party …

25. Transportation option : UBER

Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Uber’s main competitor is Lyft. Personally, I love the service and have only had good experiences …

28. Jaunty topper : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

Our words “jaunty” and “genteel” are related in that they both derive from the French “gentil” meaning “nice, pleasing”. In modern usage, someone described as jaunty has a buoyant air. Someone described as genteel is refined in manner.

30. Ja, across the border : OUI

The word “yes” translates into German as “ja”, and into French as “oui”.

31. Beezus’ little sister, in Cleary books : RAMONA

Ramona Quimby is a character in a series of “Henry Huggins” children’s novels penned by Beverly Cleary. As she aged, Ramona merited her own set of stories.

38. Super __ : PAC

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

43. Punxsutawney headliner : PHIL

Punxsutawney is a borough in Pennsylvania, located about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Punxsutawney Phil is the famous groundhog that lives in the area. Phil comes out of his hole on February 2 each year and if he sees his shadow he goes back into his hole predicting six more weeks of winter weather. February 2 is known as Groundhog Day.

44. Default result : REPO

Repossession (repo)

46. “Growing Up in New Guinea” author : MEAD

“Coming of Age in Samoa” sounds like a fascinating book. It was written by American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and published in 1928. In the book, Mead examines the behavior of youths in Samoa, making some comparisons with youths in America. One major observation she made was the smooth transition from childhood to adulthood of Samoan girls, compared to what she described as a more troublesome transition in the US. Mead followed up “Coming of Age in Samoa” with a similar work in 1930 titled “Growing Up in New Guinea”, which documented her observations of the people of the Manus Province of Papua New Guinea.

47. Joint component : TENON

One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In a dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

48. Hatchling from a green egg : EMU CHICK

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs.

50. Art incorporating architectural elements : MURALS

A “mural” is a painting that is applied directly to a wall or a ceiling. The term comes from the Latin “murus” meaning “wall”.

52. Rule with many exceptions : I BEFORE E

“I before E, except after C”, although with so many exceptions, I don’t think that this rule is taught in schools anymore …

54. Software giant : ORACLE

Oracle is a huge software company with a headquarters in Redwood City, California. Oracle’s main product is enterprise software, software that meets the needs of an organization rather than an individual user. Oracle was co-founded in 1977 by Larry Ellison, who is now one of the richest businesspeople in the world.

Down

2. Emergency exit device : PANIC BAR

A crash bar or panic bar is a special door handle that allows someone to open a locked door quickly, often in the case of an emergency. Crash bars are often mandated by fire regulations on the doors used to exit a building.

3. Something detested : ANATHEMA

“Anathema” is a source of persistent annoyance. Anathema is the Latin word for an excommunicated person. Note that “anathema” does not take an article, so we say “he is anathema” rather than “he is an anathema”.

5. Heavens : ETHER

The Greek philosopher Empedocles proposed that there are four elements that made up the universe, namely earth, water, air and fire. Aristotle later proposed a fifth element which he called aether (also “ether”). Aether was the divine substance that made up the stars and planets.

8. Its sung in the same act as “Some Enchanted Evening” : BALI HA’I

The 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” is based on stories from the 1947 book “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener. “South Pacific” really is a classic show featuring some classic songs, like “Bali Ha’i”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”, “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Happy Talk”.

14. Surgical tools : LASERS

The term “laser” comes is an acronym standing for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely LOSER!

21. Wartime prez : FDR

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt Sr. The Delano family history in America goes back to the pilgrim Philippe de Lannoy, an immigrant of Flemish descent who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The family name “de Lannoy” was anglicized here in the US, to “Delano”. Franklin was to marry Eleanor Roosevelt, and apparently the relationship between Sara and her daughter-in-law was very “strained”.

23. Fruity cocktail word : PINA

“Piña colada” is a Spanish term which translates into “strained pineapple”. The Piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

26. Fuzz : LINT

Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the pond …

30. Colorful ring tone producer? : OPAL

An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence, known as “opalescence”.

33. Arrived home evasively : SLID

That would be baseball.

35. Layered dessert : NAPOLEON

A Napoleon is a French layered pastry that is often called a “mille-feuille” on the other side of the Atlantic. “Mille-feuille” is French for “thousand-leaf”. The origin of the “Napoleon” name is unclear, but is thought to derive from the French “napolitain” meaning “from Naples”. The shift to “Napoleon” perhaps took place during the reign of Napoleon I, although there is no direct connection to the emperor.

37. Colombian singer formerly a coach on “The Voice” : SHAKIRA

Shakira is a hugely successful singer from Colombia. She used to appear on TV as one of the coaches on the reality show “The Voice”. Shakira is the highest-selling Colombian performing artist of all time.

40. Hearing aid, briefly? : STENOG

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

42. Oranjestad native : ARUBAN

Oranjestad is the capital city of the island of Aruba in the Caribbean. Aruba is a constituent country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Oranjestad translates as “Orange Town”, and was named for the first King William of Orange-Nassau.

43. Pumping target, for short : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar term for the chest muscle, more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

44. Casino table do-over : REROLL

The “casino” originated in the 1700s, first describing a public room for music or dancing. The name “casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

46. Daughter of Billy Ray : MILEY

Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

47. Medford school with a Boston campus : TUFTS

Tufts University is a private school in the city of Medford, near Boston. The school was built in 1852 on land donated by Charles Tuft a local businessman. One of the early benefactors of the school was P. T. Barnum who funded the Barnum Museum of Natural History located on the college grounds. This museum is home to the stuffed hide of Jumbo, the famous elephant. Jumbo is also the school’s mascot.

49. Tobogganing spot : HILL

“Toboggan” came into English from the French Canadian “tabagane”, the name for a long sled with a flat bottom. The French Canadian word is probably from the Algonquian word for a sled, “tobakun”,

50. Prefix with carpal : META-

There are five metacarpal bones in each hand. They make up the framework of the palm and the back of the hand. Each metacarpal is connected to a finger and the wrist. The equivalent bones in the foot are called the metatarsals.

53. Swing in a box : BAT

That would be baseball.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Shuttle facility : SPACELAB

9. Auto shop purchase : RADIAL

15. Slender smoke : PANATELA

16. Thorny shrub : ACACIA

17. Emotionally withdrawn : IN A SHELL

18. Buries : INTERS

19. Little laughter : TITTER

20. In a pinch : IF NEED BE

22. Autumn shade : OCHER

23. Many profs : PHDS

24. Oktoberfest supply : BIER

25. Transportation option : UBER

26. Whopper inventor : LIAR

27. Unites for a purpose : BANDS

28. Jaunty topper : TAM

29. __ golf : MINI

30. Ja, across the border : OUI

31. Beezus’ little sister, in Cleary books : RAMONA

33. Perfect : SPOT ON

36. Proper : APT

37. Delight at the comedy club : SLAY

38. Super __ : PAC

40. Hitches : SNAGS

43. Punxsutawney headliner : PHIL

44. Default result : REPO

45. Doughnuts, geometrically : TORI

46. “Growing Up in New Guinea” author : MEAD

47. Joint component : TENON

48. Hatchling from a green egg : EMU CHICK

50. Art incorporating architectural elements : MURALS

51. Judge’s declaration : NO BAIL

52. Rule with many exceptions : I BEFORE E

54. Software giant : ORACLE

55. Yak, yak, yak : RATTLE ON

56. One way to break the news : GENTLY

57. Like an escalator, and, aptly, like the six-letter word that begins where 40-Across ends : AT A SLANT

Down

1. Say scornfully : SPIT OUT

2. Emergency exit device : PANIC BAR

3. Something detested : ANATHEMA

4. Furniture mover : CASTER

5. Heavens : ETHER

6. Creepy look : LEER

7. Entirely : ALL

8. Its sung in the same act as “Some Enchanted Evening” : BALI HA’I

9. Comes down : RAINS

10. Unpopular spots : ACNE

11. Concert tix flashed at a singles bar, say : DATE BAIT

12. Stuck at the ski lodge, maybe : ICED IN

13. Sack for company? : AIR BED

14. Surgical tools : LASERS

21. Wartime prez : FDR

23. Fruity cocktail word : PINA

26. Fuzz : LINT

27. Lift : BUOY

29. Challenging locks : MOPS

30. Colorful ring tone producer? : OPAL

32. It could involve a disappearance : MAGIC ACT

33. Arrived home evasively : SLID

34. Clearing : OPEN AREA

35. Layered dessert : NAPOLEON

37. Colombian singer formerly a coach on “The Voice” : SHAKIRA

39. Agree : CONSENT

40. Hearing aid, briefly? : STENOG

41. “That’s it for me” : NO MORE

42. Oranjestad native : ARUBAN

43. Pumping target, for short : PEC

44. Casino table do-over : REROLL

46. Daughter of Billy Ray : MILEY

47. Medford school with a Boston campus : TUFTS

49. Tobogganing spot : HILL

50. Prefix with carpal : META-

53. Swing in a box : BAT

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 1 Apr 17, Saturday”

  1. No errors, 65 minutes on this (last 36 minutes on the lower right square bounded by 47A&D).

    3 errors (1 completely stupid, 2 I’m not sure exactly how to assess), 50 minutes on the WSJ. Definitely have NEVER heard of the Hyundai AZERA (guessed ALERA).

    On to see what the Newsday brings (and to see if Lester Ruff really is “Less Rough” this time)…

    1. @Glenn … I just finished the Newsday “Saturday Stumper”. It took me 26:15, with no errors, and, yes, I definitely thought it was “less rough” than usual. Am I to understand that “Lester Rough” is a pseudonym? BTW: The clue for 53D deserves an award of some kind. Marvelous!

      1. @David
        Haven’t gotten to it yet (will very shortly), but yes, just about every by-line you’ll see is a pseudonym of some kind on that puzzle. I think Brad Wilber and Frank Longo are the only ones that are real by-lines (used to do the later’s 21×21 regularly). Lester Ruff and Anna Stiga is Stanley Newman. Dan Addams IV was David Steinberg and Sam Ezersky. There’s a number of others, but the pseudonyms tend to get very creative on that puzzle. Of course, it’s about like the other puzzles (WSJ especially with all of Mike Shenk’s pseudonyms), you learn what they are (and what they signal sometimes too) and who are really behind them soon enough if you pay attention.

  2. Tough puzzle. My paper has Bruce Haight as the setter; I think Andrew Woodham is a carryover from yesterday. Bill – I hope you’re feeling better. Easy on the cough medicine.

    STENOG is odd enough, but I didn’t understand the clue until I thought of a courtroom hearing.

    It was the NW that got me. I didn’t know CASTERs were little rollers, I didn’t know ETHER was the heavens, and I didn’t know PANATELA at all. Never saw South Pacific either so that entire section was ANATHEMA to me. PANIC BAR? Is that really a name?

    I still can’t finish this guy’s puzzles. He’s over at the NYT as well. I think I”ve solved about 1 out of the 5 or 6 of his I’ve attempted. It’s always one area that gets me so I assume it’s purposeful.

    Best –

  3. 16:23, no errors. Thoughtful, but doable.

    Today’s NYT puzzle is something of a classic – marvelously deceptive. And, thanks to @Glenn, I now realize why the gimmick was vaguely familiar: a similar one was used in a WSJ puzzle a couple of weeks ago.

    @Jeff … Thanks for the info about Panama City. I’ll keep it mind. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and do some advance planning for the port stops (too much going on here). Cruises are frustrating for me, because I find things I’d like to spend more time on and then … I’m back on the ship, headed somewhere else. Last year’s week in London was a lot more fun (except it should have been a month).

    As if things weren’t interesting enough … Yesterday, I bit down on something and broke off a tooth. Sometimes ya just gotta laugh … 🙂

  4. Thank you, Bill for your fabulous blog. I’d be stumped forever trying to figure out the reveal. I tried every direction EXCEPT northeast. 🙂
    As usual I gave up and went to Mensa and got help form red letters.
    RAmbLE ON before RATTLE and I’M DONE before NO MORE.
    IF NEEDED before IF NEED BE.
    I just refuse to spend a lot of time on something I won’t get anywhere with. With all of those errors I’d be sitting here until, well who knows?

  5. A little bit of thinking and staring at the NW corner,, but when it fell the grid was complete. On the WSJ!

  6. Just catching up on some missed grids. Just did the one from 2 Sundays ago – the March 19th Sunday grid with “I KNOW AN OLD LADY” as the theme. Crazy puzzle, but I did it in just under an hour. One error with DJINN/JETE – I missed the J. Couldn’t remember a Muslim spirit.

    Dave – One thing about the comments is I just saw you had an appendectomy then?? Boy – I leave for a few weeks and I miss everything…..Hope your appendix, back and now tooth are doing better. Better get to Panama City before you self destruct like the tape recorders on Mission Impossible…

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … My appendix picked St. Patrick’s Day as the day to request its freedom (which, given the circumstances, I was delighted to arrange ? ). Fifteen days later, I’m nearly back to normal, but I have been warned not to pick up anything too heavy, as the surgery, marvelous though it is, creates a temporary weak spot in the vicinity of the navel and there is a possibility of hernia there. Given my recent string of mishaps, though, I have warned my SO to keep his distance lest the gods cast another bolt and miss me by a hair … ?

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