LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Jun 17, Thursday










Constructed by: Brian Thomas

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Perfect Square

Today’s grid includes four sets of circled letters. When rearranged, each set of circled letters spells out a number. Each of those numbers is a PERFECT SQUARE, an integer that is the square of an integer:

  • 36A. With some unscrambling, the contents of each set of circles : PERFECT SQUARE

The unscrambled PERFECT SQUARES spell out:

  • SIXTY-FOUR (64 = 8 x 8)
  • THIRTY-SIX (36 = 6 x 6)
  • FORTY-NINE (49 = 7 x 7)
  • EIGHTY-ONE (91 = 9 x 9)

Bill’s time: 10m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Port initials : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

4. Fallon’s predecessor : LENO

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

13. Late July arrival : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

16. Going rate? : TAXI FARE

We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

18. Younger daughter of Hi and Lois, in comics : TRIXIE

“Hi and Lois” is a comic strip that first appeared in 1954 and is still running today. The strip was created by Mort Walker (also known for “Beetle Bailey”) and was originally illustrated by Dik Browne (also known for “Hägar the Horrible”). The title characters Hi and Lois Flagstone first appeared in “Beetle Bailey”. Lois is Beetle’s sister, and the characters occasionally show up in each other’s strip.

22. Baseball’s Wills and TV’s Povich : MAURYS

Maury Wills is a former baseball player and manager who is very much associated with the tactic of stealing bases. In 1962, Wills stole a record 104 bases, which was more bases stolen than the whole of any other team that season.

Maury Povich has his own daytime talk show called “Maury”. He has famous family connections. Maury’s father was Shirley Povich, a columnist and sports reporter for the Washington Post, and his wife is Connie Chung the news anchor.

24. __ zone: shallowest oceanic region that sunlight doesn’t reach : BATHYAL

An ocean’s bathyal zone extends from a depth of 3,300 to 13,000 feet below the surface. It is the shallowest zone receiving no sunlight, leading to the nickname “midnight zone”. Due to the lack of sunlight, there are no plants in the bathyal zone. Also, many of the species of fish found in the zone lack eyes.

27. Co. once led by Baryshnikov : ABT

American Ballet Theatre (ABT)

Mikhail “Misha” Baryshnikov started his dancing career with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad before defecting to Canada in 1974. The only time my wife ever lined up to get an autograph was when she did so outside the stage door after seeing Baryshnikov dance in Syracuse, New York many moons ago. The man is a god in her eyes …

28. Sap sucker : APHID

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in the British Isles where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids in my experience is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called ladybirds in Ireland!).

32. Suffix with Bieber : -MANIA

Justin Bieber is a young pop singer from London, Ontario. Bieber was actually discovered on YouTube by talent manager Scooter Brown. Fans of Bieber call themselves “Beliebers”. Personally, I’m no believer in Bieber …

34. Like aged cheddar : SHARP

Cheddar cheese takes its name from the English village of Cheddar in Somerset. Over 50% of the cheese sold in the UK is cheddar. Here in the US cheddar is the second most popular cheese sold, behind Mozzarella.

36. With some unscrambling, the contents of each set of circles : PERFECT SQUARE

A square number is sometimes referred to as a perfect square. A square number is an integer, and integer that is square of an integer. Examples are 1 (= 1 x 1), 4 (= 2 x 2), 9 (= 3 x 3).

42. Once-sacred snake : ASP

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in Ancient Egypt.

43. Straight sides of a pizza slice, e.g. : RADII

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

48. Low-down prank? : HOT FOOT

The hot foot “prank” involves someone setting fire to a victim’s shoe laces.

51. __ torpedo: “Star Trek” weapon : PHOTON

When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

54. Symbol of complementary principles : YIN-YANG

The yin and the yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

58. Bakery-café chain : PANERA

Panera Bread is a chain of bakery/coffeehouses. A Panera restaurant a good place to get online while having a cup of coffee. Back in 2006 and 2007, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi access in the whole of the US.

60. Man of steel? : CARNEGIE

Andrew Carnegie was an industrialist and philanthropist from Scotland who made his fame and fortune in the US steel industry. He founded the Carnegie Steel Company in 1892, which was destined to become US Steel. After he sold Carnegie Steel, making his fortune, Carnegie devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy. Famously, he built Carnegie Hall in New York, founded Carnegie Mellon University in PIttsburgh, and set up several charitable trust funds that are still doing valuable work today.

62. “Wild” author Strayed : CHERYL

The author Cheryl Strayed has written several successful books, most notably her 2012 memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”. “Wild” was adapted into a 2014 film starring Reese Witherspoon as Strayed. I haven’t seen the film yet, but my wife had and really enjoyed it …

63. Actor Baldwin : ALEC

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he is known for impersonating Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

64. Tillis of country : MEL

Mel Tillis is a country singer who had most of hits in the seventies. Notably, Tillis has a speech impediment, but this does not affect his singing at all.

65. “Sonatine Bureaucratique” composer : SATIE

Erik Satie was a French composer most famous for his beautiful composition, the three “Gymnopédies”. I have tried so hard to appreciate other works by Satie but I find them so very different from the minimalist simplicity of the lyrical “Gymnopédies”.

Down

1. Word’s last syllable : ULTIMA

In the world of linguistics, the last syllable in a word is called the ultima. The second last syllable is known as the penult.

2. Aquanaut’s base : SEALAB

SEALAB I, II and II were man-made habitats built by the US Navy designed to advance the technology needed for humans to live and work underwater for extended periods. SEALAB I was lowered to a depth of just under 200 feet off the coast of Bermuda in 1964. Four divers stayed in SEALAB for 11 days, before the experiment was halted due to the approach of a tropical storm.

5. Actress Longoria : EVA

Eva Longoria is a fashion model and an actress who had a regular role on TV’s “Desperate Housewives”, playing Gabrielle Solis.

6. Soft toy brand : NERF

Nerf is soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

7. Russian city where Turgenev was born : OREL

Orel (also Oryol) is a city lying on the Oka River, just over 200 miles SSW of Moscow. Orel was one of the cities occupied by Germany during WWII. It was liberated in 1943, but had been almost completely destroyed.

Ivan Turgenev was a Russian novelist and playwright. Turgenev’s most famous works are a collection of short stories called “A Sportsman’s Sketches” (1852) and the novel “Fathers and Sons” (1862).

9. “Fighting” Indiana team : IRISH

The athletic teams of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana are known as the Fighting Irish. There are several debated etymologies for the moniker “Fighting Irish”, with the most generally accepted being that it was applied by the press in the 1920s, reflecting the team’s’ fighting spirit and grit, determination and tenacity. I guess “grit, determination and tenacity” are characteristics often associated with the Irish.

15. Fine fiddle : STRAD

Generations of the Stradivari family produced violins, the most famous of which were constructed by Antonio Stradivari.

21. Sapporo sash : OBI

Sapporo is the fourth largest city in Japan, and lies on the island of Hokkaido. The city and surrounding area was home in 1972 to the first Winter Olympic Games to be held in Asia. For the beer drinkers out there, Sapporo is also home to Sapporo Brewery, with the Sapporo beer being one of the more internationally recognizable.

30. Word repeated twice in a Roger Ebert title about bad movies : HATED

“I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie” is a collection consisting of a couple of hundred of Roger Ebert’s most acerbic and negative film reviews. Included are reviews of “Armageddon” (1998), “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1993) and “Police Academy” (1984).

32. Injured pro’s test, perhaps : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate images that can be used by medical professionals to diagnose injury and disease.

34. “What’s doin’?” : SUP

I think that “sup” is slang for “what’s up?”

35. Haberdasher’s item : HAT

Back in the 14th century a haberdasher was a dealer in small wares. By the late 1800s, the term had evolved to mean a purveyor of menswear, and in particular was associated with the sale of hats.

36. Latin American capital : PESO

The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

37. Like some late-game hockey goals : EMPTY NET

In the sport of hockey, a team might pull the goaltender out of the game in the final minutes in order to place an extra attacker on the ice. If that team’s opponents score in that situation, it is referred to as an empty net goal.

38. Hindu title : SRI

“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

45. Mark of shame : STIGMA

A stigma (plural “stigmata), in a social sense, is a distinguishing mark of disgrace. For example, one might have to suffer the stigma of being in prison. The term derives from the Greek “stigma”, which was a mark or brand.

46. Paid (up) : PONIED

“To pony up” means “to pay”. Apparently the term originated as slang use of the Latin term “legem pone” that was once used for “money”. “Legem Pone” was the title of the Psalm that was read out on March 25 each year, and March 25 was the first payday of the year in days gone by.

49. Guy in the kitchen : FIERI

Guy Fieri is a restaurant owner and television personality. Fieri is known as “the face of the Food Network” as his television series on that channel is very popular.

55. Indiana-based sports org. : NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910. The NCAA has been headquartered in Indianapolis since 1999.

56. Chutzpah : GALL

Our word “chutzpah” meaning “nerve, gall, impudence” is derived from the Yiddish “khutspe”, which has the same meaning.

58. Best Buy buys : PCS

Best Buy is a retailer specializing in the supply of consumer electronics. Best Buy services include the famous “Geek Squad”, a band of technical experts that will help solve your computer and other consumer electronic problems.

61. Flying Cloud, for one : REO

The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

Return to top of page

Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Port initials : USB

4. Fallon’s predecessor : LENO

8. Negative quality : MINUS

13. Late July arrival : LEO

14. No longer hung up on : OVER

15. Composed : SERENE

16. Going rate? : TAXI FARE

18. Younger daughter of Hi and Lois, in comics : TRIXIE

19. Admission of defeat : I LOST

20. Petal pusher? : FLORIST

22. Baseball’s Wills and TV’s Povich : MAURYS

24. __ zone: shallowest oceanic region that sunlight doesn’t reach : BATHYAL

27. Co. once led by Baryshnikov : ABT

28. Sap sucker : APHID

31. Green prefix : ECO-

32. Suffix with Bieber : -MANIA

34. Like aged cheddar : SHARP

36. With some unscrambling, the contents of each set of circles : PERFECT SQUARE

40. Invoice word : REMIT

41. Blow one’s fuse : ERUPT

42. Once-sacred snake : ASP

43. Straight sides of a pizza slice, e.g. : RADII

45. Relaxation destination : SPA

48. Low-down prank? : HOT FOOT

51. __ torpedo: “Star Trek” weapon : PHOTON

54. Symbol of complementary principles : YIN-YANG

57. Watching intently : EYING

58. Bakery-café chain : PANERA

60. Man of steel? : CARNEGIE

62. “Wild” author Strayed : CHERYL

63. Actor Baldwin : ALEC

64. Tillis of country : MEL

65. “Sonatine Bureaucratique” composer : SATIE

66. Soothing succulent : ALOE

67. Pitches during breaks : ADS

Down

1. Word’s last syllable : ULTIMA

2. Aquanaut’s base : SEALAB

3. Block during rebounding, in basketball : BOX OUT

4. Up in the air : LOFTY

5. Actress Longoria : EVA

6. Soft toy brand : NERF

7. Russian city where Turgenev was born : OREL

8. Positive quality : MERIT

9. “Fighting” Indiana team : IRISH

10. When some fans have to wait till : NEXT YEAR

11. Solitary prefix : UNI-

12. “Told you!” : SEE?!

15. Fine fiddle : STRAD

17. Med. nation : ISR

21. Sapporo sash : OBI

23. Reasonable : SANE

25. Zoning unit : ACRE

26. Cut : LOP

29. Shot : PIC

30. Word repeated twice in a Roger Ebert title about bad movies : HATED

32. Injured pro’s test, perhaps : MRI

33. Toward the stern : AFT

34. “What’s doin’?” : SUP

35. Haberdasher’s item : HAT

36. Latin American capital : PESO

37. Like some late-game hockey goals : EMPTY NET

38. Hindu title : SRI

39. Wisecrack : QUIP

40. Fan sound : RAH!

43. __ blue : ROYAL

44. Words with clip or crossroads : AT A

45. Mark of shame : STIGMA

46. Paid (up) : PONIED

47. Cloud dwellers? : ANGELS

49. Guy in the kitchen : FIERI

50. Deli order : ON RYE

52. For this reason : HENCE

53. “Listen up,” to Luis : OYE

55. Indiana-based sports org. : NCAA

56. Chutzpah : GALL

58. Best Buy buys : PCS

59. “That’s it!” : AHA!

61. Flying Cloud, for one : REO

Return to top of page

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Jun 17, Thursday”

  1. The grid I was using didn’t have circles, but in this case I think ignoring the theme probably helped. Clever thing to construct, but I would have needed several minutes of staring at the PERFECT SQUARES to figure them out. 25:07 on this one. The NW caused me the most trouble because I had put “post up” before BOXOUT. A mess ensued, and I had to sort it all out. Fortunately I remembered ULTIMA, penult and antepenult from Latin class ages ago.

    I think the non-sports crowd won’t like this one much.

    Dirk – Hope you like “Sons of Anarchy”. It’s essentially a mob movie/series on bikes so the guns don’t go away. I was hooked on it when I was watching it.

    Currently I’m hooked on Nat Geo’s “Genius” series about the life of Albert Einstein. The series finale is next Tuesday, but I think they’re rerunning the first 8 episodes beforehand in case anyone wants to set their DVR’s…

    Best –

  2. 0 errors, 21 minutes. Referred to a printout (very slightly better from the online there) at Mensa – which of course was like pulling teeth to get.

    I didn’t finish today’s WSJ before I fell asleep, but I noticed it’s going to be an interesting one for that venue. I’ll post my thoughts later.

  3. 10:34, no errors, but got lucky with a few–Ultima, Orel, Satie, perfect square–gleaned from crosses.

  4. Just a housekeeping comment, Bill, on Olympics in Japan. Re: 21 Across, Sopporo sash.
    You probably meant the first WINTER Olympics, to be held in Asia…. the summer olympics were held in Tokyo in 1964. (and, to be held, in 2020). The winter olympics were in Sopporo, in 1972, and Nagano in 1998. I have a set of coins comemorating the 1964 games. Also, last night, I was reading the biography of Wilma Rudolph ( 1940-1994) who won 3 golds …. in the women’s 100 m., 200 m., and the 4 X 100 m. relay in 1960 Rome Olympics. She suffered from polio, as a child, at age six and had to take phys. therapy.

    The puzzle was quite challenging ….. and I had a semi-tough time. I enjoyed it very much, and finally got it done. I would have enjoyed it even more if I had even tried to analyze the cryptic clue of ‘perfect squares’ !!!@!!!! But, thanks to Bill’s blog, I did read about the clue, and had a very, very enjoyable time figuring out the perfect squares in the four corners, after Bill had given me the answer. I have been watching ‘The man who knew infinity’ … more of a biopic, of an indian mathematician Ramanujam. IMHO, the book by Robert Kanigel, (1991) is much, much better.

    I had LIMA before Peso … the alternate meaning of the word Capital, always confuses me.

    The female honorific equivalent of Sri ( or more commonly, Shri) is Shrimati or Shreemathi. abbreviated Smt. …… Sounds like ‘mate of shri’. Generally reserved as a term for a married woman.
    Kumari would refer to a unmarried woman, generally used only for young women or girls.

    In my personal opinion, the ‘geek squad’ is too highly overrated …..
    I had a bad experience, with them.

    Have a nice day all.

  5. 17:24, no errors. At first, in the lower left, I had HOT SEAT instead of HOT FOOT and CDS instead of PCS, I couldn’t remember PANERA, and I didn’t know CHERYL, EMPTY NET, or FIERI; figuring out that the perfect square in that corner was 49 was instrumental in bailing me out. Then, at the end, it came down to a choice between ULTIMA/ABT or ULTIMO/OBT and I guessed correctly only because “A” comes before “O” in the alphabet. So … not my finest solve … but a cool puzzle … and how clever of the setter to notice that SIXTY-FOUR, THIRTY-SIX, FORTY-NINE, and EIGHTY-ONE all have exactly nine letters.

    My solve was also complicated by a change in the LAT web site’s behavior on my iPad Mini. I can now see almost all of the grid (a good thing), but there are now ads in a strip across the bottom, which flash at me in a most annoying and distracting fashion (a bad thing). Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess …

    @Vidwan … The story of Srinivasa Ramanujan is endlessly fascinating to me. I was a good math student, but I simply cannot imagine how that man’s mind worked … totally astonishing. I also agree with your opinion of the “geek squad” and the “genius bar” …

    @Carrie … Today, my Jerusalem Post link from yesterday doesn’t work for me either … which is too bad. (I was going to capture it, as it gave some details about Denis Rohan that I had not previously come across. The error message I get speaks of “too many redirects”, making me think that it might work later.)

  6. @Carrie … I found that JP article and copied it out for my records, but I don’t know how to make a link to it work. Just Google “Denis Michael Rohan” and look for the JP link there, which does work. (The Wikipedia article is also informative.)

    @Glenn … Today’s WSJ is indeed interesting: 29:40, with no errors, but an awful lot of head-scratching.

  7. Jeff, I will certainly try to see ‘Sons of Anarchy’. Your numerous recommendations have impressed me very highly.

    May I put in a plug for a cop ( murder ) mysteries of “The Brokenwood Mysteries” . set in New Zealand, (of all places !). I feel sorry for the victims, but I never realised that murder drama could be so funny. It ran for only three seasons, and I am on my second one now. Check it out at your local library. No gory violence.

  8. @David
    Finished the WSJ finally, 57 minutes, 1 error (bad guess, 30A-25D). Well thought out, stiff cluing, plus the gimmick I think is going to put this one into the “definitely worth loading up to try” list for 2017. Very interesting grid.

  9. @Jeff – thanx for Genius.

    about Satie, I have never found out why so many artists made drawings of him. Some kind of contest?

  10. Fizzled out in the SW with 4 did-not-fills after about 45 minutes. Had PAN__A and SAT__. Tried to decipher the circles but didn’t succeed; pretty silly after seeing the answers.

    “Wild” was a great movie, although it could be my enthusiasm for Reece Witherspoon and nature. I still might try parts of the Pacific Crest Trail.

    @Jeff I do like that Jax is riding , at least in the 1st two seasons, almost my exact bike, before it was stolen. I had normal handle bars, no fairing and leather saddle bags. The show is making me strongly consider getting a new bike or at least rent one. Still, I can only take so much gratuitous gun violence…I walked out of “Goodfellas” after ten minutes.

  11. Hi gang!
    Wow, the theme completely eluded me– the circled letters made no sense!! Vidwan, I also fell for the “capital” trick. Ultimately I had to peek at HOT FOOT & REMIT to finish. Gave me serious cheater’s remorse tho. Coulda gotten this with a little more effort.
    Dave, you figured out the math angle; kudos! I googled Denis Rohan– wow. Disturbed fellow. (FWIW, did you know there’s a cyclist named Rohan Denis??!!) I’m very glad you didn’t stick around, those many years ago.
    @Ken Mick from yesterday: I think you may have posted your Thursday comment on Wednesday?
    No cheating for me on Friday and Saturday!! I’ve got to redeem myself!? (Hope that resolution sticks….)
    Sweet dreams~~™?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.