LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Apr 17, Wednesday










Constructed by: Neville Fogarty

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Blood Type

Each of today’s themed answers starts with a BLOOD TYPE:

  • 62A. Classification suggested by the beginning of 17-, 25-, 37- and 53-Across : BLOOD TYPE
  • 17A. Dean’s list honorees : A-STUDENTS
  • 25A. Thiamine and riboflavin : B-VITAMINS
  • 37A. Two-variable marketing experiment : A/B TESTING
  • 53A. First novel in Willa Cather’s Great Plains trilogy : O PIONEERS!

Bill’s time: 8m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. They broke their 108-year World Series drought in 2016 : CUBS

The Chicago Cubs is one of only two charter members of the baseball’s National League who are still playing, the other being the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs won the World Series in 2016 for the first time since 1908, which is a long time ago. In fact, the Cubs had the longest championship drought of any professional sports team in North America.

5. Medical picture : X-RAY

X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901 Röntgen won the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded, recognition for his work on X-rays.

14. Lustrous gem : OPAL

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

15. “Bloom County” reporter : MILO

“Bloom County” is a comic strip that originally ran from 1980 to 1989, and which was drawn by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed. Breathed resurrected the strip in 2015, distributing it via Facebook. The main protagonist in the storyline is Milo Bloom, a 10-year-old newspaper reporter.

21. Electronic sci-fi antagonist : HAL

In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

23. “¡Dios __!” : MIO

“Dios mio!” translates from Spanish as “My God!”

24. Cannes cup : TASSE

Cannes is a city on the French Riviera that is noted as host of the Cannes Film Festival. The decision to host an annual film festival was adopted by the city just before WWII. However, the festival had to wait for the end of the war for its launch in 1946.

25. Thiamine and riboflavin : B-VITAMINS

The B-vitamins were originally thought to be just one vitamin, which was labeled vitamin B. It was then discovered vitamin B was in fact made up of eight distinct vitamins, which today are given distinct numbers (B1, B6, B12 etc). Supplements often contain a mixture of all eight, a combination known as vitamin B complex.

Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1. A deficiency of thiamine causes the disease known as beriberi, which is a disorder of the nervous system.

Riboflavin is vitamin B2. At one time, riboflavin was known as vitamin G.

29. Number before vier : DREI

“Eins, zwei, drei, vier” is German for “one, two, three, four”.

31. Spring bloomer : AZALEA

Azaleas are very toxic to horses, sheep and goats, but strangely enough cause no problem for cats or dogs. And if you go to Korea you might come across “Tug Yonju”, which is azalea wine made from the plant’s blossoms. Azaleas are usually grown as shrubs, but are also seen as small trees, and often indoors.

34. Son of Zeus and Hera : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

40. Diving bird : GREBE

A grebe is a small to medium-sized freshwater diving bird. Although they appear to be very different, recent molecular studies have shown that grebes and flamingos are closely related.

48. After morays, say : EELING

Morays are a large group of about 200 species of eels found across the world’s oceans. They are carnivorous and look pretty scary but they’re quite shy when confronted and present no threat to humans. One interesting thing about morays is that they will sometimes work in cooperation with the grouper fish found in reefs, the two helping each other hunt for food.

53. First novel in Willa Cather’s Great Plains trilogy : O PIONEERS!

American novelist Willa Cather wrote what’s referred to as the “prairie trilogy”, books that tell the story of Swedish immigrants living in Nebraska. The titles in the trilogy are “O Pioneers!”, “The Song of the Lark” and “My Antonia”. Cather won the Pulitzer Prize for another novel, “One of Ours”, that is set in Nebraska and the French battlefields of WWI.

59. Javier __, first Spanish actor to win an Oscar : BARDEM

Spanish actor Javier Bardem is probably best known for playing the crazed assassin in 2007’s “No Country for Old Men”, and Bond villain Raoul Silva in 2012’ “Skyfall”. Bardem won the Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “No Country for Old Men”, making him the first Spaniard to win an Academy Award. Bardem wasn’t actually born on the Spanish mainland, but rather in Las Palmas in the Canary Island off the Moroccan coast. He is married fellow-actor Penélope Cruz in 2010.

62. Classification suggested by the beginning of 17-, 25-, 37- and 53-Across : BLOOD TYPE

Here is an approximate distribution of blood types across the US population:

  • O-positive: 38 percent
  • O-negative: 7 percent
  • A-positive: 34 percent
  • A-negative: 6 percent
  • B-positive: 9 percent
  • B-negative: 2 percent
  • AB-positive: 3 percent
  • AB-negative: 1 percent

68. Early fur trader : ASTOR

John Jacob Astor was the patriarch of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

Down

3. Cuban dictator overthrown by Castro : BATISTA

Fidel Castro studied law at the University of Havana and there became a follower of left-wing ideals. He launched his first rebellion against Cuban president Fulgencio Batista in 1953, which landed him in jail for a year. He later led rebels in a guerrilla war against the Cuban government, which led to the Cuban Revolution and the overthrow of Batista in 1959. Castro took control of the country, and immediately formed a strong relationship with the Soviet Union. Concern over the alliance in the US led to the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. There followed the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Fidel Castro started to transfer power to his brother Raúl in 2008, and has led a life of increasing retirement ever since.

5. Marvel Comics mutants : X-MEN

X-Men is a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains that X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellan.

6. __ Tin Tin : RIN

The original Rin Tin Tin was a real-life dog, a puppy discovered by a GI in a bombed-out kennel in France during WWI. The soldier named the pup Rin Tin Tin, the same name as a puppet given to American soldiers for luck. On returning to the US, “Rinty” was trained by his owner and was spotted doing tricks by a film producer. Rinty featured in some films, eventually getting his first starring role in 1923 in the silent movie “Where the North Begins”. Legend has it that this first Rin Tin Tin died in the arms of actress Jean Harlow. Not a bad way to go …

8. Super Mario World dinosaur : YOSHI

Yoshi is a dinosaur-like character in some Nintendo video games. Yoshi first appeared as a sidekick for Mario and Luigi in the 1991 game called “Super Mario World”.

9. Decorate elaborately : EMBLAZON

Our terms “blazon” and “emblazon” both mean to decorate in a showy way. “To blazon” can also mean to adorn with a coat of arms. In the world of heraldry, a “blazon” is in fact a coat of arms, probably coming from the old French word “blason” meaning “shield”.

10. End of a general’s URL : MIL

The .mil domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

25. First interracial coed college in the South : BEREA

Berea College is located in Berea, Kentucky, just south of Lexington. It is a remarkable university that is focused on providing a low-cost education to students from low-income families. There are no tuition fees and instead students must work at least ten hours a week on campus and in service jobs. Berea was also the first college in the Southern US to become coeducational and the first to become racially integrated.

27. Canine ailment : MANGE

Mange is a skin disorder in animals caused by parasitic mites that embed themselves in the skin, perhaps living in hair follicles. The same disorder in humans is called scabies.

30. Chinese zodiac animal : RAT

The 12-year cycle in the Chinese calendar uses the following animals in order:

  • Rat
  • Ox
  • Tiger
  • Rabbit
  • Dragon
  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Goat
  • Monkey
  • Rooster
  • Dog
  • Pig

33. One-named Italian male model : FABIO

Fabio Lanzoni (usually called just “Fabio”) is an Italian fashion model and all-round celebrity. Fabio’s real claim to fame was his appearance on the cover of many, many romance novels in the eighties and nineties.

35. “The Fault in Our __”: 2014 film : STARS

“The Fault in Our Stars” is a 2014 film based on a novel of the same by John Green. Both film and novel are about two teenage cancer patients who fall in love with each other. The leads are played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.

38. Nickname for a 2000s tabloid item : BENNIFER

“Bennifer” is a portmanteau used for the super-couple pairing of actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Other supercouples are/were:

  • Tomkat – Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
  • Grant ‘n’ Hurley – Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley
  • Posh and Becks – Victoria and David Beckham
  • Brangelina – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

40. Black Sea republic : GEORGIA

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

The Black Sea is in southeastern Europe just south of Ukraine. In the north of the Black Sea is the Crimean Peninsula.

56. Weed B Gon maker : ORTHO

Ortho is a brand of weed killer owned by Scotts Miracle-Gro.

61. Confessional rock genre : EMO

The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. They broke their 108-year World Series drought in 2016 : CUBS

5. Medical picture : X-RAY

9. Gives out : EMITS

14. Lustrous gem : OPAL

15. “Bloom County” reporter : MILO

16. Very small : MICRO

17. Dean’s list honorees : A-STUDENTS

19. Pasture sound : BLEAT

20. Add to the pot : STIR IN

21. Electronic sci-fi antagonist : HAL

23. “¡Dios __!” : MIO

24. Cannes cup : TASSE

25. Thiamine and riboflavin : B-VITAMINS

28. FBI operative : AGT

29. Number before vier : DREI

31. Spring bloomer : AZALEA

32. Flip (through) : LEAF

34. Son of Zeus and Hera : ARES

36. In tune : ON KEY

37. Two-variable marketing experiment : A/B TESTING

40. Diving bird : GREBE

43. Way out yonder : AFAR

44. Inscribe : ETCH

48. After morays, say : EELING

50. Mined matter : ORES

52. Mexican gold : ORO

53. First novel in Willa Cather’s Great Plains trilogy : O PIONEERS!

55. Apartment sign : TO LET

57. Go bad : ROT

58. Under the weather : ILL

59. Javier __, first Spanish actor to win an Oscar : BARDEM

60. “Good __!” : GRIEF

62. Classification suggested by the beginning of 17-, 25-, 37- and 53-Across : BLOOD TYPE

65. Not always helpful reply to “Who’s there?” : IT’S ME

66. Like bad fried food : OILY

67. Shed tools : HOES

68. Early fur trader : ASTOR

69. Ties the knot : WEDS

70. Joint possession word : OURS

Down

1. Like beachfront property : COASTAL

2. Steal the spotlight from : UPSTAGE

3. Cuban dictator overthrown by Castro : BATISTA

4. Nasty remarks : SLURS

5. Marvel Comics mutants : X-MEN

6. __ Tin Tin : RIN

7. PC key : ALT

8. Super Mario World dinosaur : YOSHI

9. Decorate elaborately : EMBLAZON

10. End of a general’s URL : MIL

11. Low-fat frozen dessert : ICE MILK

12. Many a new hire : TRAINEE

13. “If you will” : SO TO SAY

18. Fizzled out : DIED

22. __ crossroads : AT A

25. First interracial coed college in the South : BEREA

26. Tries to win : VIES FOR

27. Canine ailment : MANGE

30. Chinese zodiac animal : RAT

33. One-named Italian male model : FABIO

35. “The Fault in Our __”: 2014 film : STARS

38. Nickname for a 2000s tabloid item : BENNIFER

39. Anger : IRE

40. Black Sea republic : GEORGIA

41. Police paperwork : REPORTS

42. High-and-mighty sort : ELITIST

45. “Just like I said” : TOLD YOU

46. Climbing plant : CREEPER

47. Disordered yet appealing person : HOT MESS

49. Salon application : GEL

51. Dutch town : STAD

54. Nudge : ELBOW

56. Weed B Gon maker : ORTHO

59. School restroom sign : BOYS

61. Confessional rock genre : EMO

63. Fabrication : LIE

64. Not up-to-date : OLD

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Apr 17, Wednesday”

  1. At the end, I got the silent treatment on this one and found that I had put in YOSSI and SAL instead of YOSHI and HAL, so I corrected it and stopped the clock at 8:33. I recently “learned” YOSHI from another crossword puzzle, but apparently it hasn’t sunk in deeply enough yet. The clue for HAL should have been enough to set off an alarm when I filled in SAL instead, but hey, it’s early … and I’m old … and increasingly feeble-minded … ?

  2. Tough slog by Wednesday standards. I just never seemed to get any momentum with this one. Eventually missed 1 letter in the SE as I had never heard of Javier BARDEM nor of a person referred to as a HOTMESS. Really??

    Liked the challenge though. This was closer to a Friday time for me. I’ll see what the New York Times has in store a little later today.

    Best –

  3. A little extra staring and thinking time for the NE corner, but when it came together the grid was done. As to hot mess. My friend refers to her daughter with that exact term quite frequently, so at least I was familiar with it. But as far as I know it has nothing to do with being physically attractive and everything to do with being disordered in ones thinking and actions.

  4. The theme got me. Spelled A Vitamins. I should know my B Vitamins, but I guess I don’t. Didn’t notice the progression and wondered how AB got in the mix. Totally ignored the O. HAL was the last entry. Cruel crossing of YOSHI/HAL. Electronic sci-fi antagonist? Yeah, that’s clear as mud.

  5. I think I first heard the term “hot mess” a year or two ago. A few months ago, a poster over on Bill’s NYT blog applied it to a puzzle he didn’t like. Then, just recently, when I was in the hospital overnight, one of the nurses asked me how I was doing. When I replied that I was basically fine, but a blanket had somehow gotten bunched up under me and I had had a tiny accident with the … uh … “facilities” provided for relieving myself, she said, “Well, you’re just a hot mess, aren’t you?” This was said in such a way as to be funny, so I laughed and responded in kind, but it did seem a rather odd thing to say. So the term is being used in more than one type of situation …

    Apropos of nothing: I just came across the word “dreadnought” and suddenly, for the first time ever, grokked its etymology. How odd that one can know a word for many decades without really considering why the word was coined or how it came to have its meaning.

  6. Finally got to the puzzles today. Busy and just tired. Figured out fatigue must play a pretty big part, I did the WSJ last night when I knew I was tired and ended up with 1 error and 63 minutes on it, finishing it up just now. Know I’m better than that. Still must be a little tired with how I felt today’s LAT went today. No errors (ought to stop that with online puzzles, errors are honestly pretty irrelevant I’m finding in that, also makes me wonder a couple of things), 9:59, but after seeing the times here, I feel a little better.

    HAL is pretty iconic…though I actually knew both that one and YOSHI. Had struggles in a different place though. Heard HOTMESS before and figured that out eventually with crosses, but with any slang it’s hard to come up with good uniform definitions. Kind of like the ever infamous and stupid BAE, which I’m sure has showed up somewhere in a crossword by now, if I’m not remembering that it already has…given the letter combination I’m sure it’ll never die in crossword-land…

  7. I forgot to post yesterday …. and my almost complete ‘letter’ was still there on the computer screen, before I deleted it.

    Today was way too difficult, so I solved it with red letters. I still had trouble with YOSHI and HAL. ( I thought it was Yossi) …. its been a long time since I played computer games… ,,Never heard of HOTMESS, though I have two daughters ….. Maybe, its a regional thing. Berea is also a suburb of Cleveland, but I hadn’t heard of the more famous one ….

    I am really behind in my work. and I have only myself to blame….

    Btw, I am a O neg – universal donor – so if any of you ….. Unfortunately I can’t use anybody else’s blood type, except my own …. and the American Red Cross refuses to accept my blood donation(s), because I travel abroad, every year…
    Most other countries’ blood agencies do not have that luxury of “refusing” free and “clean” blood donations from O negatives.

    Like Jacob Astor who dealt in opium, three indian ‘dynasties’ made their fortune ( and also for the british govt. in India ) in producing, smuggling and selling opium – to the mainland chinese who were very prone to- / suspectible / vulnerable to addiction to it. This was from 1810 to 1940.

    They were all knighted by the British – and made baronets ( little barons – ) and the baronetcy’s are still extant = their eldest male descendents still carry the hereditary ‘Sir’ and knighthood. even today ….The “indian” families were, by religion, Zoroastrians ( fire worshippers, originally from Iran, and caucasian ) of Jeejeebhoy , Petit and Jehangir.

    The amount of silver earned from the chinese, each year, paid for 75% of the british Indian govt. budget, upto 1920 …. and there were 2 Anglo-Chinese opium wars ( circa. 1839-1842 and 1856-1860) foisted on the chinese, …… which the british won, to force the chinese to allow for the sale of the opium, to their own countrymen.

    Have a nice evening, all.

  8. Hi folks!
    This was a tough Wednesday!! Missed ONE letter. I had MILT instead of MILO! That gave me YTSHI for the dinosaur!! I don’t know comics OR video games…..But I still shoulda figured it out.
    Nice to see HAL! I love that scene: “Open the door, Dave” says HAL, in that robotic but weirdly calm voice.
    I think that HOT MESS can be applied in fun. Heck, I’M a hot mess sometimes!!!? A classic example is that moment a few years ago when Britney Spears went on a drunken rampage and had her head shaved. (At least I’m pretty sure she was drunk.)
    Vidwan, I love reading your posts! ? Very interesting stuff about the opium trade. This is off the subject, but do you know the Thomas Christian sect in India? I believe they’re on the Southeast coast, and they number about 7 million. Just saw a very interesting show about them. I wonder how they’re viewed by other religions in India.
    Bye for now!!!???
    Sweet dreams~~™??

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