LA Times Crossword Answers 6 May 17, Saturday










Constructed by: Alan Olschwang

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 02s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • HAN (Dan)
  • HATARI (Datari)



Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

11. Eleanor Roosevelt’s real first name : ANNA

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the daughter of Elliot, brother to President Theodore Roosevelt. “Eleanor” met Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was her father’s fifth cousin, in 1902, and the two started “walking out together” the following year after they both attended a White House dinner with President Roosevelt.

15. Controlled : RODE HERD ON

To ride herd on is to supervise a group of people.

16. 1967 self-titled folk album : JOAN

Joan Baez is an American folk singer and a prominent activist in the fields of non-violence, civil rights, human rights and environmental protection. Baez has dated some high-profile figures in her life including Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs (of Apple) and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.

18. Abruzzi town in a Longfellow poem : ATRI

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Sicilian’s Tale; The Bell of Atri”, a narrative poem set in the small town of Atri in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

19. British prime minister during two millennia : BLAIR

Tony Blair was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for ten years, from 1997 to 2007. Blair led his Labour Party from the left towards the center, helped along by the phrase “New Labour”. Under his leadership, Labour won a landslide victory in 1997, and was comfortably elected into power again in 2001 and 2005. Blair stepped down in 2007 and Gordon Blair took over as prime minister. Labour was soundly defeated at the polls in the next general election, in 2010.

24. Somme time : ETE

One might spend the summer (été) under the sun (le soleil) in France, and “juillet” is French for July (note that the name of months aren’t capitalized in French).

The Somme is a department in the very north of France, in the Picardy region. The Somme is famous as the site of devastating battles during WWI.

26. Somme co. : CIE

“Cie.” is an abbreviation used in French. “Cie.” is short for “compagnie”, the French word for “company”, and is used as we would use “Co.”

27. What may be seen before long : ERE

The phrase “ere long” is a poetic way of saying “before long”.

31. Supper, say : REPAST

Our word “repast”, meaning “meal”. came to us via French (in which language “repas” is “meal”). Ultimately the term comes from the Latin “repascere” meaning “to repeatedly graze”.

35. Language that gave us “galore” : ERSE

There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

Our word “galore”, meaning “in great numbers”, comes from the Irish phrase “go leór” that translates as “sufficiently, enough”.

36. 1924 novel set during the British Raj : A PASSAGE TO INDIA

“A Passage to India” is a wonderful 1924 novel by E. M. Forster set in the days of the British Raj. There are two excellent adaptations for the screen that I would recommend. There’s a BBC television version from 1965 starring a wonderful cast including Virginia McKenna and Cyril Cusack. There is also an Oscar-winning movie version from 1984 with Alec Guinness and Peggy Ashcroft. Forster had first-hand knowledge of life during the Raj, having worked in India during the twenties.

41. Perfectly : TO A TURN

The term “done to a turn” means nicely cooked. The phrase dates back to 1780 and relates to meat cooked on a spit.

42. Attack from above : STRAFE

We’ve been using “strafe” to mean an attack on a ground position from low-flying aircraft since WWII. Prior to that, the word was used by British soldiers to mean any form of attack. It was picked up from the German word for “punish” as it was used in “Gott strafe England” meaning, “May God punish England”.

44. Con __: briskly, on scores : MOTO

The musical term “con moto” indicates that a passage should be played quickly, briskly, The term translates from Italian as “with motion”.

45. Diner owner __ Lee on “2 Broke Girls” : HAN

“2 Broke Girls” is a sitcom about two young ladies sharing an apartment in Brooklyn, and their attempts to launch a cupcake business. The title characters are played by Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.

48. Metal precioso : ORO

In Spanish, “oro” (gold) is a “metal precioso” (precious metal).

49. Surfing need, briefly : ISP

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way in which end users are connected to the ISP’s network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs.

55. Chocolate __ : LAB

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

59. Beneficial berry : ACAI

Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

62. Cloud __ : NINE

I don’t think that anyone is really certain of the etymology of the term “on cloud nine” meaning “elated”, but I do like the following explanation. The 1896 “International Cloud-Atlas” was a long-standing reference used to define cloud shapes that was based on a classification created by amateur meteorologist Luke Howard some decades earlier. The biggest and puffiest of all cloud shapes (and most comfortable-looking to lie on) is cumulonimbus. And you guessed it, of the ten cloud shapes defined in the atlas, cumulonimbus was cloud nine …

Down

1. Amp setting : TREBLE

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

4. Big Macks : SEMIS

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

Mack Trucks was founded by John Mack in the early 1900s, after he had spent some years working in companies that made carriages and electric motor cars. Along with his two brothers, Mack started their company to focus on building heavy-duty trucks and engines.

5. Palate cleansers : SHERBETS

The frozen dessert called “sherbet” is a very similar to “sorbet”, the difference being that sherbet contains a small amount of milkfat.

6. Yeats’ yet : E’EN

Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate, but not her last …

7. Flat-screen predecessors : CRTS

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)

8. Harem rooms : ODAS

“Oda” is the Turkish word for “room”, and is the name used for a room within a harem in the days of the Ottoman Empire. We use the derivative word “odalisque” for “a concubine” or “a chamber girl”.

“Harem” is a Turkish word, derived from the Arabic for “forbidden place”. Traditionally a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area.

9. Ancient mariners : NORSE

The Vikings were a Germanic people from northern Europe who were noted as great seafarers. Key to the success of the Vikings was the design of their famous “longships”. Made from wood, the longship was long and narrow with a shallow hull, It was also light, so that the crew would actually carry it small distances over land and around obstacles. Longships were designed to be propelled both by sail and by oars.

10. Letters after Sen. Schumer’s name : D-NY

Democrat, New York (D-NY)

Chuck Schumer is the senior US Senator from New York, and a Democrat. Schumer was elected Senate minority leader in 2016 following the retirement of Harry Reid. Schumer is a second cousin, once removed of comedian and actress Amy Schumer.

11. Bon Ami competitor : AJAX

Ajax cleanser has been around since 1947, and it’s “stronger than dirt!” That was the most famous slogan over here in the US. On my side of the pond, the celebrated slogan was “it cleans like a white tornado”.

Bon Ami cleanser was introduced just a few years after Bon Ami soap went to market in 1886. The cleanser was marketed by emphasising its “non-scratch” properties. The label showed a chick coming out of an egg, the idea being that a newly hatched chick hasn’t yet scratched the ground looking for worms and insects.

13. Jonquil and daffodil : NARCISSI

The bulbous flowering plant known as the jonquil is a species of Narcissus or daffodil. The name comes from “junquillo”, the Spanish for “rush”, reflecting the jonquil’s long, rush-like leaves.

Daffodils are more properly called narcissus plants, a whole genus in the Amaryllis family. Ancient Greeks believe that after the god Narcissus died (while obsessed with his reflection in a pool), his remains were turned in the Narcissus flower, hence the name. Back in the British Isles, the daffodil is most famous as the national flower of Wales. It is also remembered for its appearance in Wordsworth’s poem:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;

29. Pudding starch : SAGO

When I was growing up in Ireland I was very familiar with pearl sago, which is very similar to pearl tapioca. Pearls of sago are simply little balls of sago starch used to make breads, pancakes, biscuits, or the steamed puddings that we ate as kids. Sago comes from pith of the sago palm tree. To get at the starch the tree has to be cut down and the trunk split to reveal the pith. The pith is crushed and manipulated to make the starch available, which is then washed out of a fibrous suspension. One sago palm tree yields about 150-300 kg of starch. Personally I love the stuff, but then, I am a bit weird …

30. Crossing the keel : ABEAM

The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying abeam is something that it is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words directly off to the right or the left.

32. One of the Ivies : PENN

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) was founded in 1740 by by Benjamin Franklin. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses. Penn’s sports teams are known as the Quakers, or sometimes “the Red & Blue”.

33. Silly question starter? : ASK A …

“Ask a silly question, and you’ll get a silly answer.”

34. Anne Frank’s father : OTTO

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in the attic of Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

37. Crime author Cornwell : PATRICIA

Patricia Cornwell is a writer of very entertaining crime fiction from Miami, Florida. Cornwell’s most famous series of novels features the medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta and so emphasise the forensic side of crime fighting. Cornwell is a personal friend of evangelist Billy Graham and former President George W. Bush.

38. Brazen : ARROGANT

Someone described as “brazen” might also be described as “shameless”. The term “brazen” comes from the Middle English “brasen” meaning “made of brass”. The suggestion is that a shameless person has a hardened, brass-like face.

39. Mohawk’s confederacy : IROQUOIS

The Iroquois Confederacy was also known as the Five Nations and was comprised of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca nations.

45. 1962 John Wayne film set in Africa : HATARI!

“Hatari!” is a film directed by Howard Hawks that was released in 1962. The movie stars John Wayne as a big game hunter in Africa. “Hatari” translates from Swahili as “danger”.

46. Blueblood, informally : ARISTO

“Aristo” is short for “aristocrat”.

The idiomatic phrase “blue blood” applies to someone of noble descent. The phrase is a translation from the Spanish “sangre azul”, which was applied to the royal family in Spain. The notion is that someone of noble birth does not have to work outdoors in the fields, and so has untanned skin. The veins showing in the skin had “blue blood”, whereas those veins were masked by the darker skin of the peasant classes.

47. Wrestling hold : NELSON

The full nelson and half nelson are wrestling holds in which one wrestler secures an opponent by encircling the opponent’s arm(s) under the armpit(s) and around the neck. Some say the holds are named after Admiral Nelson, who was renowned for using encircling tactics in battle.

50. Pizza Hut’s Texas headquarters : PLANO

Plano, Texas is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Settlers chose the name “Plano” in the 1840s. “Plano” is Spanish for “flat”, a reference to the terrain in the area.

Pizza Hut started out as a single location in Wichita, Kansas in 1958 and is now the world’s largest pizza franchise. Pizza Hut claims to be the world’s largest user of cheese, consuming 300 million pounds every year. The chain buys 3% of the cheese produced in the US, which means that 170,000 American cows are producing milk for Pizza Hut alone.

54. Gets moving : HIES

“To hie” is to move quickly, to bolt.

56. Band letters : AM/FM

The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. “High band” is composed of relatively high frequency values, and “low band” is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency, or VHF. Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF). AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF).

57. “Peaky Blinders” network, with “the” : BEEB

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is also known as “the Beeb”, a name given to the network by the great Peter Sellers on the classic British radio comedy called “The Goon Show”. The BBC was founded in 1922, and was the world’s first national broadcasting organization.

“Peaky Blinders” is a BBC crime drama that can be viewed on Netflix. The show follows the story of a gangster family in the English midlands city of Birmingham from just after the end of WWI. The show has a pretty good cast, led by Irishman Cillian Murphy as the gang’s leader, and New Zealander Sam Neill as police detective, the gangster’s nemesis.

60. Mil. VIP : CIC

Commander in Chief (CIC)

61. It replaced “Court” in a TV channel name : TRU

truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network, launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name was changed to truTV in 2008.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Without delay : THIS SECOND

11. Eleanor Roosevelt’s real first name : ANNA

15. Controlled : RODE HERD ON

16. 1967 self-titled folk album : JOAN

17. Uncomplicated : ELEMENTARY

18. Abruzzi town in a Longfellow poem : ATRI

19. British prime minister during two millennia : BLAIR

20. Hot skillet sound : SSS

21. Suits : EXECS

22. Leaves alone : LETS BE

24. Somme time : ETE

26. Somme co. : CIE

27. What may be seen before long : ERE

28. It, in Italy : ESSA

31. Supper, say : REPAST

33. “Way to go!” : ATTA BOY!

35. Language that gave us “galore” : ERSE

36. 1924 novel set during the British Raj : A PASSAGE TO INDIA

40. Bit of mischief : LARK

41. Perfectly : TO A TURN

42. Attack from above : STRAFE

44. Con __: briskly, on scores : MOTO

45. Diner owner __ Lee on “2 Broke Girls” : HAN

48. Metal precioso : ORO

49. Surfing need, briefly : ISP

51. Even : SQUARE

53. Proper : RIGHT

55. Chocolate __ : LAB

58. Commercial word after “open,” perhaps : … UNTIL

59. Beneficial berry : ACAI

60. Occurred : CAME TO PASS

62. Cloud __ : NINE

63. Beneath : INFERIOR TO

64. Challenge for srs. : SATS

65. It may be spontaneous : COMBUSTION

Down

1. Amp setting : TREBLE

2. Call out : HOLLER

3. Imagine : IDEATE

4. Big Macks : SEMIS

5. Palate cleansers : SHERBETS

6. Yeats’ yet : E’EN

7. Flat-screen predecessors : CRTS

8. Harem rooms : ODAS

9. Ancient mariners : NORSE

10. Letters after Sen. Schumer’s name : D-NY

11. Bon Ami competitor : AJAX

12. Greeting carrier : NOTE CARD

13. Jonquil and daffodil : NARCISSI

14. Licorice-flavored brew : ANISE TEA

21. Extra-wide spec : EEE

23. Willing subjects? : ESTATES

25. Team builders : TRYOUTS

29. Pudding starch : SAGO

30. Crossing the keel : ABEAM

32. One of the Ivies : PENN

33. Silly question starter? : ASK A …

34. Anne Frank’s father : OTTO

36. They were in it but didn’t win it : ALSO-RANS

37. Crime author Cornwell : PATRICIA

38. Brazen : ARROGANT

39. Mohawk’s confederacy : IROQUOIS

43. One may be thrown in anger : FIT

45. 1962 John Wayne film set in Africa : HATARI!

46. Blueblood, informally : ARISTO

47. Wrestling hold : NELSON

50. Pizza Hut’s Texas headquarters : PLANO

52. Prepare for a transplant : UNPOT

54. Gets moving : HIES

56. Band letters : AM/FM

57. “Peaky Blinders” network, with “the” : BEEB

60. Mil. VIP : CIC

61. It replaced “Court” in a TV channel name : TRU

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 6 May 17, Saturday”

  1. 92 minutes, 4 errors, 1/4 to 1/2 filled after about 15 minutes. Lots of strange stuff on this one I never heard of. Lot of guessing, just missed on 3 of them (spelled one wrong). Never heard of RODE HERD ON or NARCISSI or a large number of the crosses on those two. Didn’t really know a lot of this grid straight out, and wonder how many really do – again back to the “how much do people really know when they do these?” question. Won’t delve too far into the specifics of all the weird on this one. But good I finished this one, figured it might be much worse.

    Oddly enough though, HAN was one of the few that was slam dunk, and was a “is it cheating if it’s on my TV right now while I do it?” kind of thing. Not a terribly good show (it’s filled with some edgy PG-13 raunchy stereotype type jokes), but if I want the TV on it’s better than a lot of the alternative, especially at night. To fill out Bill’s blurb, Han Lee is the owner of the diner that the two young ladies work at regularly, and where most of the show is set.

    Anyhow, onto the Saturday Stumper and the rest of Saturday and the weekend (NYT mainly).

  2. 14:39, no errors. Had to guess at MOTO and HAN. Have to quarrel a little bit with the use of “during” in the clue for 19A, but it was easy enough to see what was meant.

    Thanks to all for greetings. I had a great trip, but it’s good to be back. More later …

  3. I assume these expressions are all used more in the U.K. than over here – TO A TURN, RODE HERD ON, the BEEB…. . Add ABEAM/MOTO and you have a 58 minute exercise. Only wound up with 2 wrong squares – I had RODE HaRD ON as in really riding someone until they break presumably. I also had ABEAs /sOTO.

    Good challenge otherwise. I had to get a lot via crosses. I’ve grappled with some of Alan Oschwang’s grids in the past, I believe over at the NYT.

    Peaky Blinders sounds like an interesting show. I might have to check it out sometime.

    Best –

  4. @Jeff – I’m pretty certain “rode herd on” is a phrase that would be at home over here (especially in cattle country). In the UK they do a lot of sheep herding but not normally from horseback I don’t think.

    This came together pretty quickly with no final errors. One of my better Saturday efforts.

  5. Just completed the WSJ 21X21. I had to guess one letter, but it seems likely that it’s right. 84 Across is “NPR’s Hansen” and where it crosses the start of 85 Down is “Cherry Wine rapper” for which my answer to both is a total guess. I’ll try Googling now to see if I guessed right, or not.

    Just looked and the guess was right.

  6. It always surprises me when I finish a Saturday puzzle. Especially when there are so many things I never heard of … BEEB, CIE, TO A TURN … just to name a few.
    Cheers. ?

  7. @Tony Michaels — I think you’re right. My bet is that it’s straight outta the American West cattle drives. I’d never heard of CIE — but is there a puzzle constructer creative enough to never have to fall back on ATRI or ACAI? Good clue for 19A (the British PM) woulda been: “AKA W’s lap dog.” Maybe if he hadn’t been so eager to please Bush on Iraq …

  8. Tony –

    You’re probably right, but the only thing close to that I’ve ever used ends in “…and the horse you rode in on”. Probably a different phrase.. 🙂

    Best –

  9. Hi all!
    Cheated my way thru a lot of this– too much other stuff going on today.
    Dave! Can’t believe your time on this — nicely done!! You basically aced our Bill here, as you were error free. (No disrespect, Bill!?)
    I actually know the phrase RODE HERD ON, tho it took a lotta crosses to see it. Definitely American, I say.
    Hey Glenn, re: chancing to see it while working on puzzle: been there! Maybe I see a stray word in the newspaper that fits the clue I’m thinking about! I always ask myself “Would I have gotten there if I hadn’t seen it?” A judgement call, of course.
    See y’all Sunday!

    Sweet dreams~~™?

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