LA Times Crossword Answers 8 May 17, Monday










Constructed by: Steven L. Zisser

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: 1,2, 3, 4 Start

Today’s themed answers each start with a number. We have the sequence ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR moving from the top to the bottom of the grid:

  • 17A. Mega-mall convenience : ONE-STOP SHOPPING
  • 25A. Small-time bad guy : TWO-BIT GANGSTER
  • 42A. Office attire with a vest : THREE-PIECE SUIT
  • 56A. Barbershop quartet blend : FOUR-PART HARMONY

Bill’s time: 4m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Great Salt Lake state : UTAH

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is extremely shallow, and so the area of the lake fluctuates greatly with the changing volume of water. Back in 1963 the lake shrunk to 950 square miles, whereas in 1988 the area was measured at a whopping 3,300 square miles.

14. 1971 Clapton classic : LAYLA

Layla is one of the great rock anthems of the seventies, released by Derek and the Dominos as a single in 1971. It is a masterpiece of composition, with the first half of the song a great vehicle for the guitar-playing talents of Eric Clapton. The second half is a beautifully melodic piano coda (a coda … taking up half the length of the track!). To top things off we have the “unplugged” version recorded by Clapton in 1992, a fabulous and inventive variation on the original.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

15. Pre-Columbian prefix with America : MESO-

Mesoamerica is a region extending from Central Mexico, south to Costa Rica. It is known as an area where societies flourished prior to the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.

16. Director Kazan : ELIA

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

20. Horror director Craven : WES

Wes Craven was a very successful film director and writer specializing in movies of the horror genre, which means I don’t watch them! He was responsible for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the “Scream” films. Craven passed away in August 2015.

22. Founder of Taoism : LAO TSE

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

23. Has office hours : IS IN

For example, the doctor has office hours from 9 to 5, is in from 9 to 5.

31. Pueblo-dwelling people : HOPI

Many of the Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

A pueblo is a Native American village, a term used in the American Southwest. The buildings in a pueblo are usually made of stone and adobe mud.

33. Igor’s workplace : LAB

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

36. Shrimp relative : PRAWN

The terms “prawn” and “shrimp” are often used interchangeably on menus. Over in the UK, the term “prawn” is most common, while “shrimp” is seen more often here in North America. Sometimes there is a differentiation from a food standpoint, with “prawn” being used for larger species and “shrimp” for smaller species. As a result, “jumbo prawns” seems to be an acceptable descriptor for a dish, whereas “jumbo shrimp” seems to be an oxymoron.

38. Adriatic resort : LIDO

The Lido di Venezia is a famous sandbar, about 11 km long, in Venice, Italy. It may be just a sandbar, but it is home to about 20,000 residents, as well as the Venice Film Festival that takes place there every September. The Lido is also the setting for Thomas Mann’s famous novel “Death in Venice”. The name “lido” has become a term for any fashionable beach resort.

39. Federal hush-hush org. : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) seal was introduced in 1965 and features an eagle perched upon a key. The eagle represents the agency’s national mission, and the key represents security.

40. Common-interest voting group : BLOC

“Bloc” is the French word for “block”.

41. State after North Dakota, alphabetically : OHIO

The state of Ohio takes its name from the Ohio River, and in turn river takes its name from the Iroquois “ohi-yo”, which translates as “large creek”.

42. Office attire with a vest : THREE-PIECE SUIT

Here’s another word that often catches me out. What we call a vest here in the US is a waistcoat back in Ireland. And the Irish use the word “vest” for an undershirt.

48. Part of many old German duchy names : SAXE

Saxony was the name given at different times in history to states along the Elbe river in central Europe. As the various states broke up, they spawned many duchies that retained the name “Saxe”. The most famous of these duchies was probably Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, two united duchies in Germany that ceased to exist after WWII. A notable branch of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha House is the British Royal Family, as Queen Victoria was married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. King George V of the United Kingdom changed the name of the family to the House of Windsor in a politically sensible move during WWI.

49. Belief systems : CREDOS

A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

52. Razor brand : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977 as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

56. Barbershop quartet blend : FOUR-PART HARMONY

Barbershop music is played in the a cappella style, meaning that it is unaccompanied vocal music. Barbershop music originated in the African American communities in the South, as gospel quartets often gathered in neighborhood barber shops to sing together.

59. Other, in Oaxaca : OTRA

Oaxaca is a state in the southern part of Mexico on the Pacific coast. The state takes the name of Oaxaca, its largest city.

61. Fountain drinks : MALTS

Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, back in 1922.

63. God with a hammer : THOR

The hammer associated with the Norse god Thor is known as Mjölnir. The name “Mjölnir” translates as “crusher”.

64. Baker’s dough raiser : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the Fungi kingdom. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

Down

2. Mr. Peanut prop : CANE

Planters is the company with the Mr. Peanut icon. Mr. Peanut was the invention of a first-grader named Antonio Gentile, a young man who won a design contest in 1916. A remarkable achievement, I’d say …

5. ’60s dance : WATUSI

The Watusi was almost as popular as the twist in the early sixties. The dance took its name from the Batutsi tribe in Rwanda.

9. Ruffian : HOOLIGAN

“Hooligan” is a word that arose in England in the late 1800s and describes an aggressive and violent youth. The term is apparently derived from the Irish family name of “Houlihan”. I can’t think why …

10. Share, as an internet meme : REPOST

A “meme” (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

12. Kegler’s targets : PINS

A “kegler” is a person who plays ten-pin bowling. “Kegel” is a German word for “bowling pin”.

13. “Parsley, __, Rosemary and Thyme” : SAGE

In Britain, sage is listed as one of the four essential herbs. And those would be “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme”.

“Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” is a studio album released by Simon and Garfunkel in 1966. The title is a lyric from the opening track “Scarborough Fair/Canticle”.

“Scarborough Fair” is a delightful ballad that originated in Yorkshire in the North of England. Simon & Garfunkel recorded a famous version of the song in 1966, setting it in counterpoint with one of Simon’s own creations called “Canticle”.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Remember me to one who lives there,
She was once a true love of mine.

19. Blue Ribbon brewer : PABST

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

23. Sacred bird of ancient Egypt : IBIS

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

27. Daytime TV celeb who founded Harpo Productions : OPRAH

Oprah Winfrey’s multimedia production company is known as Harpo Studios. “Harpo” is “Oprah” spelled backwards, and is also the name of the husband of the character Winfrey played in the movie “The Color Purple”.

28. Beaded calculators : ABACI

The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

29. Root or Yale : ELIHU

Elihu Root was an American statesman, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912 for his diplomatic work that brought “nations together through arbitration and cooperation”. Root served as Secretary of State under President Theodore Roosevelt.

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

30. Wheel spokes, essentially : RADII

Radius (plural “radii”) is a Latin word, as one might expect, meaning “spoke of a wheel”. Makes sense, huh …?

40. Jazz genre : BEBOP

The jazz term “bebop” probably came from “Arriba! Arriba!”, words of encouragement from Latin American bandleaders to their musicians.

44. Bible book named for a woman : ESTHER

Esther was a Jewish queen, wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus, and the heroine of the Book of Esther in the Bible. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t mention the word “God”.

45. Adored one, in Asti : CARA

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

49. Corp. fiscal execs : CFOS

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

50. __ IRA : ROTH

Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.

51. Continental coin : EURO

Euro coins are issued by all the participating European states. The reverse side is a common design used by all countries, whereas the obverse is a design specific to each nation. For example, the one euro coin issued by Malta features the Maltese Cross. That Maltese euro is legal tender right across the eurozone. The Irish euro features a harp.

52. Prefix with sphere : ATMO-

An atmosphere is the layer of gases surrounding a body, usually a planet. The word “atmosphere” comes from the Greek “atmos” meaning “vapor, steam”. The term was first applied to the Moon, which is a real paradox as the Moon doesn’t have any atmosphere.

53. Coca-__ : COLA

The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years.

54. “Carpenter” crawlers : ANTS

Carpenter ants can wreak havoc in a wooden structure. They burrow into damp wood creating galleries and pathways that form a complex network of nests. Unlike termites though, carpenter ants don’t feed on the wood.

55. Computer adventure game : MYST

In the days when I played the occasional video game, the best of the bunch was undoubtedly “Myst”. It is a game full of puzzles with the player wandering through a beautifully-designed (for its day) interactive world.

58. Wisecracking West : MAE

Comic actress Mae West can be quoted so easily, as she had so many great lines delivered so well. Here are a few:

  • When I’m good, I’m very good. When I’m bad, I’m better.
  • When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.
  • I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
  • Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet.
  • I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
  • Why don’t you come on up and see me sometime — when I’ve got nothin’ on but the radio.
  • It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.
  • To err is human, but it feels divine.
  • I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I’m a woman, but loose enough to show I’m a lady.
  • I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
  • Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Return to top of page

Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Word with ball or driver : SCREW-

6. Great Salt Lake state : UTAH

10. Sharp knocks : RAPS

14. 1971 Clapton classic : LAYLA

15. Pre-Columbian prefix with America : MESO-

16. Director Kazan : ELIA

17. Mega-mall convenience : ONE-STOP SHOPPING

20. Horror director Craven : WES

21. Foot or inch, e.g. : UNIT

22. Founder of Taoism : LAO TSE

23. Has office hours : IS IN

24. Bro and sis : SIBS

25. Small-time bad guy : TWO-BIT GANGSTER

31. Pueblo-dwelling people : HOPI

32. “Whatever floats your __” : BOAT

33. Igor’s workplace : LAB

35. Drops the ball : ERRS

36. Shrimp relative : PRAWN

38. Adriatic resort : LIDO

39. Federal hush-hush org. : NSA

40. Common-interest voting group : BLOC

41. State after North Dakota, alphabetically : OHIO

42. Office attire with a vest : THREE-PIECE SUIT

47. Online auction site : EBAY

48. Part of many old German duchy names : SAXE

49. Belief systems : CREDOS

52. Razor brand : ATRA

53. Photo taker : CAM

56. Barbershop quartet blend : FOUR-PART HARMONY

59. Other, in Oaxaca : OTRA

60. Moniker : NAME

61. Fountain drinks : MALTS

62. Broadway offering : SHOW

63. God with a hammer : THOR

64. Baker’s dough raiser : YEAST

Down

1. Like snail-mail, compared to email : SLOW

2. Mr. Peanut prop : CANE

3. Deli breads : RYES

4. LLL : ELS

5. ’60s dance : WATUSI

6. Calling balls and strikes, say : UMPING

7. Exam : TEST

8. Fireplace remains : ASH

9. Ruffian : HOOLIGAN

10. Share, as an internet meme : REPOST

11. Dismounted : ALIT

12. Kegler’s targets : PINS

13. “Parsley, __, Rosemary and Thyme” : SAGE

18. Getting the job done : ON IT

19. Blue Ribbon brewer : PABST

23. Sacred bird of ancient Egypt : IBIS

24. Winter bank makeup : SNOW

25. Partner of now : THEN

26. Bottom-of-the-barrel : WORST

27. Daytime TV celeb who founded Harpo Productions : OPRAH

28. Beaded calculators : ABACI

29. Root or Yale : ELIHU

30. Wheel spokes, essentially : RADII

34. Cowboy’s footwear : BOOT

36. Agreeable : PLEASANT

37. Stringy : ROPY

38. Diet successfully : LOSE

40. Jazz genre : BEBOP

43. Make a new sketch of : REDRAW

44. Bible book named for a woman : ESTHER

45. Adored one, in Asti : CARA

46. Formerly in the military : EX-ARMY

49. Corp. fiscal execs : CFOS

50. __ IRA : ROTH

51. Continental coin : EURO

52. Prefix with sphere : ATMO-

53. Coca-__ : COLA

54. “Carpenter” crawlers : ANTS

55. Computer adventure game : MYST

57. Cheerleader’s word : RAH!

58. Wisecracking West : MAE

Return to top of page

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 8 May 17, Monday”

  1. 5:41, no errors. A bit too slow for me by the time I hit the bottom, but probably exhausted from the weekend.

  2. I briefly stumbled a couple of times but otherwise a typical Monday puzzle.
    Keglar is a new word to me.
    Who knew that Wal Mart invented the malt? Surprisingly, I have never even tasted a malted milk shake.

    Best –

  3. Thought 9D was going to be a HOOd- something, then HOOLIGAN showed up.
    When I was a kid, we’d take the bus downtown with Mom, and after some shopping, get a hamburger and a chocolate malt at Woolworth’s.
    The counter person would take a small cube carton of ice cream and add the rest of the ingredients a mix it all up in a stainless steel milkshake maker. Mmmmm.
    Jeff, you need to try a malt someday!

  4. I still have an original steel malted maker from the 50’s and it still works! I used to love malteds. That’s what we called them back on Long Island when I was growing up.

  5. Derivation of the term “bebop”: Most of the bebop artists like John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk et al were not playing for latin crowds per se, so deriving from “ariba” is possible but less likely. Noone really knows for sure where the term comes from but a more likely source is the practice of ending a melodic phrase with two staccato eighth notes, the first falling on the beat and the second syncopated and more heavily accented – thus be bop’ (reference: Music in the 20th Century, page 54).

  6. An easy Monday, and I had a lot of fun, and I even got enough of the theme to properly take advantage of them, in the last two answers. I loved the puzzle, but I am posting rather late.

    I think malts taste like Horlicks, a british drink I used to drink as a child. A vague fermented, mildly bland, milky flavor…..

    Btw, I was reading about ‘accented English’ and the major varieties are American English and British Std. English. The former is spoken by about 66% of the world’s speakers, then the British version 12%, then 12% between Australia/New Zealand and the rest in Africa and other parts of Asia. Arabic countries, and Indo-Pak-Bangladesh and parts of East and South Africa speak British English but in China, Japan, Singapore and certain So.American countries speak American English. Very Interesting.

    Carrie, if you read this ….. Msr. Macron did win with 66% in the french election, so I guess you will be very happy. Whether he will change the economic and /or political landscape in France, as Kennedy did in the US in 1962, remains to be seen …. Since he was slated to win with that majority – no surprises there, unlike Mr. Trump’s victory.

    A funny story, a surprising lot of people in India, pronounce OHIO as OH-Ten, as if it is some sort of Route number. Reminds me of a joke, if H2O is the chemical symbol for water, would the chemical symbol for Holy Water be H2 Omg ?? Old joke.

    Finally, I am understanding that yeasts and bacteria are NOT related, at all, except very vaguely – if at all.

    Yeasts ‘eat’ sugars and produce carbon dioxide and various esters and phenols …. and alcohol. The CO2 and alcohol is boiled off in the breads, but retained in the beers etc. Only very few yeasts are actually useful and desirable.

    Bacteria are generally undesirable, and should preferably be removed at all costs. But they also, ‘eat’ sugars, glucose and ethanol, and other alcohols …. and produce CO2, and acids like lactic, acetic and other food organic acids. Think kosher pickles, various fruit vinegars and most yogurts.
    And, ofcourse, they are “resident aliens” in the human gut and intestines of healthly people, as well. They also spoil food, and some add flavors to cheese.
    Complicated, unless you are a microbiologist ….

    Have a nice day, all.

  7. Hello gang!
    Predictive text said “Hello gorgeous!!” Maybe that’s better…?
    Good puzzle, and I liked the theme, despite its being so simple.
    Not thrilled with CAM, tho.

    Hey Vidwan, yes, glad about Macron’s victory, mostly because his opponent, who may simply call herself a nationalist, is a xenophobe. We’ve seen what that brand of hatred has done in Europe in the past. The new guy will have his work cut out for him, but it’s a positive step.
    And hey Vidwan, thanks for that great holy water joke! ? I’d never heard it.
    Sweet dreams~~™???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.