LA Times Crossword Answers 11 May 17, Thursday










Constructed by: Mark McClain

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Stickers

Today’s themed answers are all STICKERS:

  • 17A. Workshop sticker : EPOXY RESIN
  • 27A. Kitchen sticker : FRIDGE MAGNET
  • 43A. Mailroom sticker : POSTAGE STAMP
  • 58A. Desk-bottom sticker : CHEWING GUM

Bill’s time: 5m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Acht minus sechs : ZWEI

In German, “acht” (eight) minus “sechs” (six) is “zwei” (two).

13. Rock guitarist Eddy : DUANE

Duane Eddy is a rock and roll guitarist from Corning, New York.

16. Dracula costume item : CAPE

“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …

19. Major in astronomy? : URSA

The constellation named Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

23. CBS maritime drama : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spinoff shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

34. __ Mahal : TAJ

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

38. City north of Memphis : CAIRO

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is the largest city on the continent of Africa and is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

Memphis was an ancient city on the River Nile. The ruins of Memphis are located just south of Cairo, Egypt. It was a magnificent city that eventually failed due to the economic success of the city of Alexandria, located further down the river and right on the Mediterranean coast.

39. Pacific island where much of “Lost” was filmed : OAHU

In the TV show “Lost”, the plane that crashed was operated by Oceanic Airlines. The fictional airline Oceanic Airlines or Oceanic Airways turns up a lot on the big and small screen. Try to spot Oceanic in the movies “Executive Decision” and “For Love of the Game”, and in episodes of the TV shows “Castle”, “Chuck”, “Flipper”, “The Goldbergs” and “The X-Files”.

41. “Wheel of Fortune” name : VANNA

Vanna White is the lady who turns the letters on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show. White is big into knitting and crochet, and has her own line of yarns called “Vanna’s Choice”.

50. I-15 city between Los Angeles and Las Vegas : BARSTOW

Barstow is a California railroad town that grew with the success of mining operations in the Mojave desert. The city is named for William Barstow Strong, who served as president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway from 1881 to 1889.

Interstate 15 runs north-south from the US -Canada border at Sweet Grass, Montana to San Diego, California.

58. Desk-bottom sticker : CHEWING GUM

Ugh!

61. Icy coating : RIME

Rime is that beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

62. Numbers game : KENO

The name “Keno” has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

63. Knife hawked on infomercials : GINSU

Ginsu knives are more famous for their hard-sell television ads than they are for their efficacy in the kitchen. The Ginsu phenomenon took off in the seventies when two brothers found a set of knives called “Eversharp” that were being manufactured in Ohio. The brothers changed the brand name to something more exotic, and Japanese in particular (Ginsu), and then produced ads that made references to Japanese martial arts. I think they made a fortune …

64. Old despot : TSAR

A “despot” is a ruler with absolute power, often one who wields that power oppressively. “Despot” is an old French term from the 14th century, ultimately derived from the Greek “despotes” meaning “master of a household, absolute ruler”.

Down

1. River through Frankfurt : ODER

The Oder river rises in the Czech Republic, and forms just over a hundred miles of the border between Germany and Poland. Downstream, the Oder breaks into three branches that empty into the Gulf of Pomerania in the Baltic Sea.

Frankfurt an der Oder is a town in Brandenburg, Germany that is right on the border with Poland. The suffix “an der Oder” shows that it lies on the Oder River and also serves to differentiate the town from the larger and more famous city of Frankfurt am Main.

2. __ platter : PUPU

n Hawaiian, “pu-pu” is a word originally meaning “snail”. Nowadays “pu-pu” denotes many different types of food that are usually served as an hors d’oeuvres. A “pupu platter” then is a selection of such foods served in a Hawaiian restaurant.

3. City near Ghost Ranch, a favorite Georgia O’Keeffe retreat : TAOS

Ghost Ranch is a 21,000-acre property in north central New Mexico that served as Georgia O’Keefe’s home and studio from 1945 until 1984. The ranch now serves as a retreat and education center.

4. “Devil Inside” band : INXS

INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia. The band formed in 1977 in Sydney as the Farriss Brothers, as three of the original lineups were indeed brothers.

5. Crazy consonant? : ZEE

The consonant Z (zee) is the fourth letter in the word “crazy”.

7. La Salle of “Under the Dome” : ERIQ

Eriq La Salle played Dr. Peter Benton on “ER”, and is best known in film for his portrayal of Darryl in the 1998 comedy “Coming to America”.

“Under the Dome” is a sci-fi show that is based on a novel of the same name by Stephen King. The storyline involves a small town in Maine that is inexplicably covered with a transparent indestructible dome that cuts the inhabitants off from the rest of the world. It’s an intriguing concept for a novel/show, but I’m not a big fan of Stephen King …

10. Producer Ponti : CARLO

The renowned Italian film producer Carlo Ponti was not quite as famous as his celebrity wife Sophia Loren. Ponti met Loren as a contestant in a beauty contest he was judging in 1950. Back then she was a budding young actress still using her real name, Sofia Lazzaro. The two married in 1957 even though divorce was illegal at the time in Italy, so Ponti was still married to his first wife.

11. Spots for religious statues : APSES

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

12. Civil War general : MEADE

George Meade was a career army officer with a depth of experience in civil and military operations even before the onset of the Civil War. During the war he rose to the level of commander of the Army of the Potomac, and is best remembered for leading the Union forces that defeated General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg in 1863.

25. City “it took me four days to hitchhike from,” in Paul Simon’s “America” : SAGINAW

Saginaw is a city in central Michigan. The city blossomed as a lumber town in the 19th century. Logs were floated down the Saginaw river where they were processed in the town’s many sawmills before being loaded onto ships, and eventually onto railroad cars. Growth in the 20th century was driven by the automotive industry, with GM alone locating 12 manufacturing plants in and around Saginaw. Employment declined sharply in the latter 1900s along with the decline in the number of automotive jobs in the US.

Simon & Garfunkel’s 1968 song “America” tells of a young couple hitchhiking across the US. Paul Simon was inspired to write the song after he took an extended road trip in 1964 with his girlfriend at the time, Englishwoman Kathleen Chitty. Chitty also inspired Simon & Garfunkel hit “Kathy’s Song”.

28. Zamboni domain : RINK

The first ice resurfacing machine was developed in 1949 by one Frank Zamboni. The machine works by simultaneously executing a number of tasks. First, the surface of the ice is scraped off by a sharp blade. Next the ice is “washed” with water sprayed from the front of the Zamboni, and that wash water is vacuumed back up and filtered to remove impurities. Water is then reapplied to the scraped ice by a wet towel dragging behind the machine, forming a new skating surface.

29. __ fixe : IDEE

An “idée fixe” (a French term) is basically a fixed idea, an obsession

39. East of Essen : OST

Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany.

41. Electric Chevy : VOLT

Despite being late entering the eco-friendly car market, Chevrolet today produces the most fuel-efficient compact car with a gasoline engine that is sold in the US. The Chevrolet Volt went on sale at the end of 2010, and is a plug-in hybrid car that runs on batteries. The Volt has a gasoline engine that can be used run an electric generator if needed. The Volt also uses a regenerative braking system.

44. Childlike race in “The Time Machine” : ELOI

In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

46. Critic Roger : EBERT

Roger Ebert was a film critic for “The Chicago Sun-Times” for 50 years. He also co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed. Ebert was the first film to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, which he did in 1975. He was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002, and finally succumbed to a recurrence of the disease in April 2013.

48. Ballerina descriptor : PRIMA

The title of “prima ballerina” is the second-highest awarded to a female dancer in a company. The more prestigious “prima ballerina assoluta” is only awarded to the most notable dancers.

53. “What a brutal week!” : TGIF!

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

56. Big birds : EMUS

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.

59. Hydrocarbon suffix : -ENE

An alkene is an organic compound made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It differs from an alkane in that it has at least one C=C double bond. The simplest alkene is the gas ethylene, a major raw material used in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).

60. Asian pan : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Eye-related prefix : OPTI-

5. Acht minus sechs : ZWEI

9. Con : SCAM

13. Rock guitarist Eddy : DUANE

15. Make : EARN

16. Dracula costume item : CAPE

17. Workshop sticker : EPOXY RESIN

19. Major in astronomy? : URSA

20. 64-Across’s realm : RUSSIA

21. Pacified : QUELLED

23. CBS maritime drama : NCIS

26. Lay bare : EXPOSE

27. Kitchen sticker : FRIDGE MAGNET

32. Personal assistant : AIDE

33. “Zounds!” : EGADS!

34. __ Mahal : TAJ

37. Had already learned : KNEW

38. City north of Memphis : CAIRO

39. Pacific island where much of “Lost” was filmed : OAHU

40. Scrape (out) : EKE

41. “Wheel of Fortune” name : VANNA

42. Half-note feature : STEM

43. Mailroom sticker : POSTAGE STAMP

46. Kicks out : EXPELS

49. Water source : WELL

50. I-15 city between Los Angeles and Las Vegas : BARSTOW

52. Service interruption : OUTAGE

57. Stage direction : EXIT

58. Desk-bottom sticker : CHEWING GUM

61. Icy coating : RIME

62. Numbers game : KENO

63. Knife hawked on infomercials : GINSU

64. Old despot : TSAR

65. Try to find : SEEK

66. Is appropriate : FITS

Down

1. River through Frankfurt : ODER

2. __ platter : PUPU

3. City near Ghost Ranch, a favorite Georgia O’Keeffe retreat : TAOS

4. “Devil Inside” band : INXS

5. Crazy consonant? : ZEE

6. Used to be : WAS

7. La Salle of “Under the Dome” : ERIQ

8. Subtle slur : INNUENDO

9. Make busts : SCULPT

10. Producer Ponti : CARLO

11. Spots for religious statues : APSES

12. Civil War general : MEADE

14. Getting a good look at : EYING

18. 10K, say : RACE

22. They may not be on speaking terms : EXES

24. Clarifying words : I MEANT …

25. City “it took me four days to hitchhike from,” in Paul Simon’s “America” : SAGINAW

27. Hoops move : FAKE

28. Zamboni domain : RINK

29. __ fixe : IDEE

30. Meadow drops : DEW

31. Parking place : GARAGE

34. “Cheerio!” : TATA!

35. “Shh!” relative : AHEM

36. Head start : JUMP

38. Full-length clerical garments : CASSOCKS

39. East of Essen : OST

41. Electric Chevy : VOLT

43. Annoy : PESTER

44. Childlike race in “The Time Machine” : ELOI

45. Thrown : SLUNG

46. Critic Roger : EBERT

47. Line on which y = 0 : X-AXIS

48. Ballerina descriptor : PRIMA

51. “This is fun!” : WHEE!

53. “What a brutal week!” : TGIF!

54. Lambs, in Latin : AGNI

55. A strong one may invert an umbrella : GUST

56. Big birds : EMUS

59. Hydrocarbon suffix : -ENE

60. Asian pan : WOK

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 11 May 17, Thursday”

  1. 13 minutes, no errors. Probably a record for this day. Pretty weird, especially looking at Bill’s time. Must be an “easy week” of some kind. Or Fri/Sat/Sun is going to be *very hard*.

  2. Agreed – pretty easy puzzle week although I haven’t done the NYT Thursday puzzle yet.

    Only trouble spot was far upper left. I started there, punted, did the rest of the puzzle, then I had to deal with it. Finaly guessed the D in ODER/DUANE to finish and was stunned to be correct. A river, an author’s favorite city, a rock band and a rock guitarist. Not exactly in my wheelhouse.

    I believe KENO has the worst odds in the house in a casino so I’ve never played. Stick to craps….you’ll lose more slowly.

    Interesting there is a Memphis, Egypt. I filled in CAIRO thinking they were talking about Cairo, Missouri which is indeed north of Memphis, TN albeit not really close. Fooled me anyway.

    I’m now getting an ad in between Bill’s time and the start of the Wiki write up. Is that new or have I just never noticed before? I had a Lexus ad today. Not important. Just curious.

    Best –

    1. Yeah, I haven’t done all the puzzles I could be doing, especially WSJ (though I’ll probably grab today’s if I want something before the meta grid, I’m reading it’s pretty good/different). Funny when you could honestly say the hardest “rotation” grid you’ve done so far this week is the syndicated Tuesday NYT (outside of Jeffrey Weschler’s CHE grid of this week). I know that’ll change before the week’s out, but still odd to be able to say that on a Thursday.

  3. Hands up for finishing NW corner last.
    PUPU platter!!! I’m HUNGRY!
    Egg rolls, deep-fried shrimp, wontons, Chinese pork, chicken teriyaki
    and rumaki ! Anybody remember rumaki? Where can I get some, right now!
    Why did it take me so long to get
    DUANE EDDY?
    QUietED before QUELLED.
    WAG on TAOS.

  4. Carrie, from yesterday, I too, recognized Simon Helberg ( Howard Wolowitz in TBBT) and his acting in Florence Jenkins is very good. Actually, my wife recognized him first, and I stopped the movie, to go and Google his name, to confirm. He is a great actor, and nominated, for some awards, for his role in ‘Jenkins’ …. In hindsight, I have learnt a lesson, …. to differentiate an acting part, from the natural abilities & capabilities of the actor, himself.
    Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

  5. The puzzle was easier than most for a Thursday – I am not complaining, just grateful.

    Re: prima Ballerina assoluta – I’ll take it the cognate is one which also is for our word ‘absolute’ . I really haven’t seen enough ballets to know of the most famous ballerinas.

    I saw this on a blog, new chinese cookbook, ‘ 101 ways to wok your dog … ‘. old joke.

    Bill, thank you for explaining the ‘crazy’ consonant – Zee.

    At first I could not understand a sticker as a verb, in the workshop. Very punny and creative.

    Have a nice day, all.

  6. The LAT’s grid seemed really simple today. On the other hand the WSJ was a total bear and a half today. I finished and I think it’s right. But I’m still not sure.

  7. 8:40, no errors. Very easy.

    @Tony … I agree that today’s WSJ was unusually difficult. I did it over lunch after a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t time myself, but there was a lot of head-scratching involved until I finally understood the gimmick.

  8. Good puzzle today. Hand up on that NW corner, despite my getting DUANE right away.
    For a moment, I thought Mark McClain might’ve had a geographical mini-theme going … TAOS, BARSTOW, SAGINAW, CAIRO, even RUSSIA.
    Speaking of Saginaw, for anyone old enough to remember Duane Eddy, a shorter musical clue could’ve been “Michigan town Lefty left.” (If you haven’t heard the classic ballad “Saginaw, Michigan” by Lefty Frizzell, it’s worth digging up.)
    @Vidwan, from yesterday: Thanks for the “husky” link. Just for fun, I was trying to come up with appropriate breeds of dogs for various states. The corny Alaska/husky pairing was the only one I mentioned (you can imagine how lame the rejects were).
    @Tony Michaels, also from yesterday: Another Pastis fan! Clever puns are funny, but his torturously contrived ones are funnier. “Pearls” is one of only three comic strips I read EVERY day.

    1. I especially enjoy Pearls when they take off on The Family Circus and my favorite characters are, without a doubt, anything featuring the crocodiles…

  9. Interesting history on Barstow, having been through there quite a few times on the way to somewhere else. Once visited the Borax Mine in nearby Boron which is the largest open pit borax mine in the world , but out in the middle of nowhere. Extremely interesting with a nice visitor center and museum. Of note, before the interstate highway system, Barstow was a major stop on the old Route 66 (get your kicks).

  10. Fun and pretty easy Thursday, except for the NW corner. Did this at a leisurely pace while selling my honey today. Got to the NW corner when I got home.

    I did know ODER and TAOS but had to think about DUANE and INXS for a bit. I also had trouble with “Workplace Sticker.”

    Still, Duane Eddy is a pretty interesting guy. Thanks for the video Pookie. I also checked out his Wiki page. The Peter Gunn theme is an old favorite.

    Just like Jeff, I was thinking about Memphis TN but Cairo works for both IL and Egypt.

    I also love Pearls before Swine. Really liked the “forget names ten seconds after meeting someone” as “Snapchat of the brain” from yesterday. The gators are great too.

  11. Oh!! I SO love the Simon & Garfunkel song “America.” So beautiful!! One of my favorite songs, even tho I usually get kinda choked up when I hear it…?
    Yes Pookie thanks for the Duane Eddy link — more great music — and I WANT that guitar!
    Hey Vidwan, I finished watching Florence Foster Jenkins today. Lovely film, and our Simon Helberg was great — very subtle. It’s always so cool to see an actor in a completely different role from what you’re used to.
    I did think today’s puzzle was relatively easy for a Thursday. Fun to do. Still, Bill your​ time is pretty amazing!?
    Sweet dreams~~™???

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