LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Jun 17, Wednesday










Constructed by: Jake Halperin

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Split Hairs

Each of today’s themed answers features the letter string HAIR that have been SPLIT between the beginning and end of the answer:

  • 59A. Make petty distinctions … and what 17-, 23- and 49-Across literally do? : SPLIT HAIRS
  • 17A. Handyman’s maintenance field : HOME REPAIR
  • 23A. Ensemble of ringers : HANDBELL CHOIR
  • 49A. Unofficial Caribbean currency equal to 5 gourdes : HAITIAN DOLLAR

Bill’s time: 7m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Bygone Apple laptop : IBOOK

From 1996 to 2006, Apple sold a relatively cost-effective line of laptops called iBooks. Basically, an iBook was a stripped-down version of the high-end PowerBook, in a different form factor and targeted at the consumer and education markets. The iBook was replaced by the MacBook in 2006.

10. Actress Fey : TINA

Comic actress Tina Fey has a scar on her face a few inches long on her left cheek, which I was shocked to learn was caused by a childhood “slashing” incident. When she was just five years old and playing in the front yard of her house, someone just came up to her and slashed her with a knife. How despicable!

16. “(I’ve Got __ in) Kalamazoo” : A GAL

“(I’ve Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo” is a song made famous by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H
I got a gal in Kalamazoo
Don’t want to boast but I know she’s the toast of Kalamazoo
(Zoo, zoo, zoo, zoo, zoo)

20. 17th-century English poet John : DRYDEN

John Dryden was a highly influential poet and playwright in the late 1600s. He came from good literary stock, and was a cousin once-removed of Jonathan Swift.

21. Flexible : LISSOME

“Lissome” is such a lovely word, I think. It applies to something that is easily bent and supple. The term is a variation of “lithesome”.

23. Ensemble of ringers : HANDBELL CHOIR

The first set of tuned handbells was manufactured at the around 1700 in England. Sets of handbells were first used by church bell ringers so that they could practice as a group outside of the bell tower.

28. “The Night Manager” actor Hiddleston : TOM

Tom Hiddleston is an English actor who garnered international attention when he was given the role of Loki in the superhero film “Thor” (2011). More recently, I enjoyed Hiddleston’s performance in the excellent thriller miniseries “The Night Manager” that’s based on a John le Carré novel.

29. MAX rival : SHO

Showtime (SHO) and Cinemax (MAX).

37. Botanist’s study : FLORA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

39. Stat for Clayton Kershaw : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

Clayton Kershaw is a pitcher for the LA Dodgers. Outside of baseball, Kershaw is noted for his charitable work, especially his efforts to raise money for an orphanage in Zambia.

44. Sardine container : TIN

Sardines are oily fish related to herrings. Sardines are also known as pilchards, although in the UK “sardine” is a noun reserved for a young pilchard. Very confusing …

45. Disconnect between generations : GAP

That would be a “generation gap”.

47. Unclogging agent : LYE

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

48. Fountain of jazz : PETE

Pete Fountain is a New Orleans clarinetist. For four years Fountain played with the Lawrence Welk orchestra, but left when he and Welk had artistic differences.

49. Unofficial Caribbean currency equal to 5 gourdes : HAITIAN DOLLAR

The gourde is the currency of Haiti, and is divided into 100 centimes. The gourde has been pegged to the US dollar since 1912, at a value of 5 gourdes to the dollar. As a result, five gourdes are sometimes referred to as a Haitian dollar, and 5 contimes as a Haitian penny.

54. Bailiff’s bellow : ALL RISE!

Here in the US, the term “bailiff” is sometimes applied to a peace officer who provides security in a court.

55. Engineer who reinvented the wheel? : FERRIS

The first Ferris Wheel was built for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. That wheel was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. who lent his name to wheels built from then on.

58. Boxer Oscar __ Hoya : DE LA

Oscar De La Hoya is a boxer from East Los Angeles who won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. As a professional, De La Hoya won ten world titles in varying weight classes from super-featherweight to middleweight.

66. See 50-Down : OLDS
(50D. Last car made by 66-Across : ALERO)

Oldsmobile was an automobile brand founded by Ransom E. Olds (REO) in 1897. The brand was finally phased out by General Motors in 2004.

67. Orchestra section : REEDS

Woodwind instruments are a subcategory of wind instruments that were traditionally made of wood, although some are now made from metal. There are two main classes of woodwind: flutes and reed instruments. Flutes produce sound by blowing air across the edge of a hole in a cylindrical tube. Reed instruments produce sounds by blowing into a mouthpiece, which then directs the air over a reed or reeds, causing them to vibrate.

Down

3. Start of the Boy Scout Oath and the Girl Scout Promise : ON MY HONOR

According to the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the Scout Promise is:
On my honour I promise that I will do my best—
To do my duty to God and my Country
To help other people at all times and
To obey the Scout Law.

5. Actress Gillan of “Guardians of the Galaxy” : KAREN

The Scottish actress Karen Gillan is most famous for playing Amy Pond in the “Doctor Who” sci-fi show made by the BBC. Amy Pond was the companion to the eleventh doctor, played by Matt Smith. More recently, Gillan has been playing Nebula in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” series of films.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a 2014 film based on a team of superheroes from the Marvel Comics universe. The movie’s cast is very impressive, including Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Glenn Close and Benicio del Toro. I don’t normally “do” superhero films, but I quite enjoyed this one. That said, I think my appreciation was swayed by the soundtrack that features a great list of songs from the sixties and seventies.

10. Astaire footwear : TAP SHOES

Fred Astaire’s real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

11. Snow structure : IGLOO

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

12. Watts of “Mulholland Dr.” : NAOMI

The actress Naomi Watts was born in the UK and moved to Australia when she was 14 years of age. It was in Australia that Watts got her break in television and movies. Probably her most acclaimed role was in the 2003 film “21 Grams” with Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro. Watts is best friends with fellow Australian actress Nicole Kidman.

“Mulholland Drive” is a thriller released in 2002 that was well received by the critics (although I didn’t like it!). The original idea was for “Mulholland Drive” to be a pilot for a television series, but when ABC saw the filmed pilot they didn’t like it and so passed on it for their schedule. The script was rewritten, some new scenes shot, and after re-editing the movie was released.

22. Pair in “America” : SCHWAS

I guess it depends on how you pronounce the word, but the two schwas in the word “America” would be the letters A.

A “schwa” is an unstressed and toneless vowel found in a number of languages including English. Examples from our language are the “a” in “about”, the “e” in “taken” and the “i” in pencil.

25. May birthstone : EMERALD

Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

26. Sharable digital docs : PDFS

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

31. Only state which shares a time zone with Alaska : HAWAII

The Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone covers the state of Hawaii, and the most westerly of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST) is observed in both states, but only the Aleutian portion observes Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time (HADT).

32. Panasonic acquisition of 2009 : SANYO

Sanyo is a Japanese electronics manufacturer based near Osaka and founded in 1947. The company name means “three oceans” reflecting the company’s original aim to sell its products all around the world (across three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian).

Not so long ago, Panasonic was called Matsushita Electronics, the name it took from its founder when the company started in 1918. The products manufactured back then were lamp sockets, and in 1927 the company introduced a bicycle lamp. Even after the company became famous for producing electrical and electronic goods, Matsushita had a very successful line of Panasonic bicycles, as the founder was raised in a family with a bicycle shop and he was passionate about cycling.

34. Disneyland’s Splash Mountain, e.g. : WATER RIDE

The Disneyland ride called Splash Mountain is inspired by the 1946 Disney movie “Song of the South”, which in turn is based on the “Uncle Remus” stories featuring Br’er Rabbit and friends. The most famous song heard while on the ride is “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”, which comes from the film’s soundtrack. Splash Mountain made its debut in 1989 in Disneyland in Anaheim. The same ride opened in Disneyworld in florida and Tokyo Disneyland in 1992. The “splashy” ride was deemed unsuitable for Disneyland Paris due to the frequent cold weather in that part of Europe.

36. Back-row bowling pin : NINE

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

43. Dutch pottery city : DELFT

Delft is a city in the Netherlands located between Rotterdam and the Hague. Delft is noted for its pottery and was also home to one of my favorite painters: Johannes Vermeer.

46. Complete a Monopoly circuit : PASS GO

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

48. Veterans Day event : PARADE

Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and is observed on November 11th each year. This particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

50. Last car made by 66-Across : ALERO
(66A. See 50-Down : OLDS)

The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made under the Oldsmobile brand. The Alero was produced from 1999 to 2004.

51. Run-D.M.C.’s “You Be __” : ILLIN’

Run-DMC was a hip hop group from Queens, New York. The trio took its name from two of the group’s members: Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.

52. Himalayan country : NEPAL

Nepal lies to the northeast of India in the Himalayan mountain range. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

53. Operettist Franz : LEHAR

Franz Lehar was a Hungarian composer who had a difficult relationship with the Nazi regime after it took control of his country. His wife was born Jewish, but converted to Catholicism. Fortunately for the Lehars, Hitler enjoyed the composer’s music and as a result Goebbels intervened and made Sophie Lehar “an honorary Aryan by marriage”.

57. Union members until 1991: Abbr. : SSRS

When the former Soviet Union (USSR) dissolved in 1991, it was largely replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The formation of the CIS underscored the new reality, that the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) were now independent states. Most of the 15 former SSRs joined the CIS. Notably, the three Baltic SSRs (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) opted not to join the new commonwealth, and in 2004 joined NATO and the EU.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Bygone Apple laptop : IBOOK

6. Verge : CUSP

10. Actress Fey : TINA

14. Italian grandma : NONNA

15. Price for part of a deck? : ANTE

16. “(I’ve Got __ in) Kalamazoo” : A GAL

17. Handyman’s maintenance field : HOME REPAIR

19. Story line : PLOT

20. 17th-century English poet John : DRYDEN

21. Flexible : LISSOME

23. Ensemble of ringers : HANDBELL CHOIR

26. Cunning plan : PLOY

28. “The Night Manager” actor Hiddleston : TOM

29. MAX rival : SHO

30. Persistent noise : DIN

31. Polishes, as a skill : HONES

33. Team victory cry : WE WON!

37. Botanist’s study : FLORA

39. Stat for Clayton Kershaw : ERA

40. “Same here” : AS AM I

41. Soda machine freebie : STRAW

42. Smooths, as wood : SANDS

44. Sardine container : TIN

45. Disconnect between generations : GAP

47. Unclogging agent : LYE

48. Fountain of jazz : PETE

49. Unofficial Caribbean currency equal to 5 gourdes : HAITIAN DOLLAR

54. Bailiff’s bellow : ALL RISE!

55. Engineer who reinvented the wheel? : FERRIS

58. Boxer Oscar __ Hoya : DE LA

59. Make petty distinctions … and what 17-, 23- and 49-Across literally do? : SPLIT HAIRS

62. Lacking precipitation : ARID

63. Stride at a track : GAIT

64. One doing sums : ADDER

65. Strengthen, as muscles : TONE

66. See 50-Down : OLDS

67. Orchestra section : REEDS

Down

1. How many TV shows air : IN HD

2. Mannerless sort : BOOR

3. Start of the Boy Scout Oath and the Girl Scout Promise : ON MY HONOR

4. At some point : ONE DAY

5. Actress Gillan of “Guardians of the Galaxy” : KAREN

6. Cough syrup cover : CAP

7. Italian article : UNA

8. Even now : STILL

9. Possibilities of harm : PERILS

10. Astaire footwear : TAP SHOES

11. Snow structure : IGLOO

12. Watts of “Mulholland Dr.” : NAOMI

13. Rework : ALTER

18. Put an __: stop : END TO

22. Pair in “America” : SCHWAS

24. Skin partner : BONES

25. May birthstone : EMERALD

26. Sharable digital docs : PDFS

27. Bouncy rhythm : LILT

31. Only state which shares a time zone with Alaska : HAWAII

32. Panasonic acquisition of 2009 : SANYO

34. Disneyland’s Splash Mountain, e.g. : WATER RIDE

35. Filter out : OMIT

36. Back-row bowling pin : NINE

38. Clothing industry, casually : RAG TRADE

43. Dutch pottery city : DELFT

46. Complete a Monopoly circuit : PASS GO

48. Veterans Day event : PARADE

49. Threw oneself into : HAD AT

50. Last car made by 66-Across : ALERO

51. Run-D.M.C.’s “You Be __” : ILLIN’

52. Himalayan country : NEPAL

53. Operettist Franz : LEHAR

56. Boiling with rage : IRED

57. Union members until 1991: Abbr. : SSRS

60. Can cover : LID

61. “__ only me!” : IT’S

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Jun 17, Wednesday”

  1. 10:30, no errors, but lots of time-consuming missteps. Most startling realization (for me): that the “Olds” of “Oldsmobile” is/was the R. E. Olds of early automotive history. Why had that never occurred to me before? (A rhetorical question – no need to answer … duh … ?.)

  2. 1 error, 18:55. Difficult for a Wednesday LAT puzzle.

    @Bill
    A question I have now since I’ve done online puzzles a while. How do you do yours, specifically the time and errors? Do you just fill the grid and take whatever errors get and quit or do you take time to look for errors before you call it done? I know one of the differences between online and paper is no matter how much of the hinting you turn off, you can still fill the grid and not have the “you’re done” message, which basically hints that you can have errors and go back and fix them.

    1. @Glenn
      Yours is a question I get a lot, which means that I should put together an FAQ 🙂

      Yes, as many readers of the blog realize, I do solve on the computer, mainly because I can then move directly into a blog post. I try to recreate the pencil-and-paper solving experience as much as I can. As such, I do check the grid quickly right before declaring to myself “I’m done”. Often, that check will add 15-30 seconds to my solving time, if I’ve found an error (usually fat-fingering a key/letter). I deliberately hide the timer from view on the screen, so I can’t tell if there’s an error outstanding.

      The corollary:
      1. If I’ve solved correctly first time out, the clock stops without my knowledge, out of sight. I will spend 15-30 seconds looking over the grid, but that time won’t be recorded.
      2. When I declare myself “done” I reveal the timer. If the timer is still running then I just stop it. I check for the error that I’ve missed. I then declare that error(s) in the blog post.
      3. If the error is something “stupid”, like a typo, something I should have known, then I indicate that with exclamation marks. For example: JOHNSON (Johnsen!!!) or BABY RUTH (Babe Ruth!!!). Then I kick my laptop across the room and go get a beer.

      1. @Bill … I like this. Step 1 may not be possible when using certain apps (like the NYT app on my iPad); I’ll have to check to see if there’s an option to turn off the message that pops up when you fill in the last square. And I can empathize with the occasional urge to kick the laptop/desktop/tablet across the room … ?.

      2. @Bill
        Thanks for your answer. Part of why I asked is that with most stuff I’ve seen there’s really no way to turn off any “you’re done” messages or the like. More obvious is the “The grid is filled” message that a lot of them put out, too. Even if you don’t “red letter” error squares, it’s still a pretty big tell when that “yay you’re done!” message doesn’t pop up (often with music).

        Of course, given a lot of the other mechanics (movement around the screen, typing speed, highlighting current clues and the like), there really seems to be no way to duplicate paper solving. While I could do online stuff much more, I still try to fit in about half (and easy stuff every once in a while to speed-drill) just to be sure I can build up my writing ability and not let it atrophy.

  3. Agreed – tough for a Wednesday. NW gave me fits for a while.

    @Mark3 –
    We are all guests here so the answer to your question is “yes”

    I looked at Jack’s final comment on Sunday about using paper clips to mark the ends of saran wrap or packing tape. I’m going to give it a try….

    Since when do they provide a STRAW at a soda machine?

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … I had the same thought about straws at a soda machine. Places that have soda machines usually do provide free straws, but they’re not necessarily next to the machine. I tried to think of a better way to have phrased the clue, but failed. I’m frequently in awe of a setter’s and/or editor’s ability to phrase things tersely but accurately; this would seem to be a rare exception.

      1. One more thought: When I (occasionally) come up with an answer to the WSJ Friday contest, I send it in as the subject line (as required), but I amuse myself by trying to write a more concise description of the process by which I arrived at that answer than the one that they will publish the following Monday. And I have not once succeeded in doing it! Back when I was writing computer software, I often had to deal with people editing the user manuals that I also wrote; the group was a mixed bag, but one of them was a master of the craft … truly a remarkable talent.

        1. @David
          One thing about writing in all the times I’ve done it as a computer programmer, speech writer, and blog poster, is that it’s super-easy to write for length, but much harder to write for focus and efficiency. Perhaps because we’re encouraged to do it so much in classes and the like, instead of going for short quality writing.

          I notice it seems to take more skill to coherently write 250-500 words on a subject or a 3-5 minute speech than it is to just write something. That’s especially so since I can end up with 1000-1500 words pretty easily, and not always quality. I even remember pulling out an old thing I wrote to repost once and editing 600 words out of it, while not sacrificing anything related to the topic. Mainly it just involved removing a number of asides (while interesting, didn’t add to the main topic) and filler words.

          But like anything, it’s a skill that requires both good training and exercise (perfect practice makes perfect).

    2. @Jeff
      I think it more directly relates to when you go to a soda machine. There’s usually cups & lids & straws somewhere in direct sight that are go-alongs with the soda when you fill it up to purchase it. The clue didn’t confuse me any, but usually one has to expect a certain amount of confusion with any crossword clue both due to the terseness and deliberate obfuscation that most harder clues exhibit.

  4. I suddenly found Timothy Parker, and I’m glad he’s still doing crosswords. Apparently he’s employed by Andrews McMeel Syndication, and has a puzzle on the daily workout on Curious of Brain Train. The same puzzle is on the Boston Globe, Universal Press Syndicate.
    Everyone knows I prefer Flair and paper, and doing the puzzle on my back, and I wonder how the game has changed because of computer forms.
    I occasionally do puzzles in People or Star (second hand from friends who are interested in young movie stars). These puzzles don’t go by the “rules” as we know them – they have many 2 letter words, orphan endings and beginnings, and are not 15 x 15, nor have the special diagonal symmetry. So they lack the charm, and rarely have a theme. But does the form influence the content, or vice versa?

    What’s also interesting is how many of us crossword solvers are old (“legacy”) programmers. When the last company up here was closed and sold to foreigners, I took the free education and became a prison teacher. Hardest part of the job was the walk in.

    As for this puzzle, had Liszt before LAHAR; ON a DAY before ONE DAY.
    Never heard of ILLIN.

  5. I had a rough time with the puzzle – talk about obfuscations – but I still enjoed it. The NorthWest corner was the most difficult. Also I had a tough time with the SSRs, normally, a favorite regular of many constructors. Also, I must mention after reading Bill’s comments, – I am amazed as to what lenghts solvers go to, to even remove an idea of a hint that may compromise their integrity, on accuracy or the time !!!

    A handbell ‘set’ is an expensive proposition – one of our dear friends, is a handbell choir volunteer-director and the carillon and organ player at her church. The bells are imported from England there are atleast 24 to 36 bells, on two octaves, which cost $ 3,000 to $ 5,000 each ! Even the repair, which means sending them to England, is a pricey proposition.

    Have a nice day, all.

  6. Hi folks!
    Dirk, where you at??!
    This puzzle went pretty smoothly for me–EXCEPT when I misspelled “hair” even after getting the theme!! I put HI_____AR in before getting the Caribbean currency clue, then I wondered why HAITIAN was spelled wrong!!! OMG I’m​ a geek…..?
    Glenn, you mean self-serve soda machines, I think?
    @Jeff & Vidwan re: elite universities and US presidents: the first ten seem to show that the issue has always existed!!! Except, of course, for the presidents who were home-schooled or self-educated (indicated by N/A)….
    1. Washington – N/A
    2. Adams – Harvard
    3. Jefferson – College of William and Mary
    4. Madison – Princeton (then called College of New Jersey)
    5. Monroe – College of William and Mary (dropped out….)
    6. J Q Adams – Harvard
    7. Jackson – N/A
    8. Van Buren – N/A
    9. Harrison – University of Pennsylvania
    10. Tyler – College of William and Mary
    Sweet dreams~~™?

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