LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Jul 2017, Wednesday










Constructed by: Gary D. Schlapfer & C.C. Burnikel

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Class Action

Each of today’s themed answers an ACTION that might be taken by a CLASS in a school:

  • 57A. Group lawsuit … and what each answer to a starred clue is? : CLASS ACTION
  • 18A. *Annual kids’ competition aired by ESPN : SPELLING BEE
  • 24A. *Excursion that may require permission slips : FIELD TRIP
  • 37A. *Evacuation exercise : FIRE DRILL
  • 50A. *Year-end hurdle : FINAL EXAM

Bill’s time: 4m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Place for fuzzy navels : BAR

The cocktail known as a fuzzy navel was invented in the eighties by bartender Ray Foley, the founder of “Bartender Magazine”. The basic drink is made with equal parts of peach schnapps and orange juice, with the “fuzzy” referring to the texture of the skin of a peach, and the “navel” referring to the navel in a navel orange. A variant of the drink is made by adding a splash of vodka, giving a hairy navel. The more vodka, the hairier the cocktail.

10. Animated internet pics : GIFS

A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.

14. Whopper, but not a Big Mac : LIE

The iconic Big Mac sandwich was introduced nationally by McDonald’s in 1967. It was the creation of a Pittsburgh franchisee who offered it on the menu as a response to the very similar “Big Boy” sandwich offered by the competing Big Boy restaurant chain.

16. “You said it, sister!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

17. Safari find : URL

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

Safari is Apple’s flagship Internet browser, one that is mainly used on its Mac line of computers. Personally, I use Google Chrome …

18. *Annual kids’ competition aired by ESPN : SPELLING BEE

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is sponsored and managed by the E. W. Scripps Company. ESPN has been televising the latter rounds of the National Spelling Bee since 2006.

20. Kazan who directed Marlon in his first Oscar role : 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.

Actor Marlon Brando really hit the big time with his Oscar-winning performance in the 1951 movie “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Brando went on to win another Best Actor Oscar for his performance in 1972’s “The Godfather”, which gave him the platform to establish himself as a political activist. He turned down the award and didn’t attend the ceremony. Instead he sent a Native American rights activist called Sacheen Littlefeather who made a speech protesting the depiction of Native Americans in Hollywood movies. Brando wasn’t the first person to refuse an Oscar. George C. Scott did the same thing when he won for playing the title role in 1970’s “Patton”. Scott just didn’t like the whole idea of “competing” with other actors.

22. Crème de la crème : ELITE

The “crème de la crème” is the elite, the best of the best. The term is French and translates as “cream of the cream”.

23. Neruda’s “__ to Common Things” : ODE

Pablo Neruda was the pen name, and eventually the legal name, used by Chilean writer Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. Basoalto chose the name as a homage to Czech poet Jan Neruda.

31. Bridal bio term : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

32. Reader at Mass : LECTOR

Lector” is Latin for “reader”.

36. Pigs out (on), briefly : ODS

Overdose (OD)

41. Balkan first-timer in the 2016 Olympics : KOSOVO

The country name “Kosovo” is an adjectival form of the Serbian word “kos” meaning “blackbird”. The name commemorates the “field of the blackbirds” the site of a 1389 battle between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire. The dispute over Kosovo technically dates back to the implosion of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The capital of Kosovo is Pristina.

45. Oasis visitors : CAMELS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake.

47. Urbana-Champaign “Fighting” team : ILLINI

The Illini (or the Fighting Illini) are the athletic teams and marching band of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The name Illinois is a French name that was given to the people who lived in the area (called Illiniwek).

49. What might make a Cardinal an Oriole : TRADE

The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

The Baltimore Orioles are one of the eight charter teams of MLB’s American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team has roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn’t fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn’t help the team’s performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.

54. Maine college town : ORONO

The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

61. Homeric outburst : D’OH!

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

63. Crunchy breakfast : MUESLI

“Muesli” is a Swiss-German term describing a breakfast serving of oats, nuts, fruit and milk. “Muesli” is a diminutive of the German word “Mues” meaning “puree”. Delicious …

64. “Just sayin’,” in texts : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

66. Out in a hammock? : ASLEEP

Our word “hammock” comes via Spanish from Haiti, evolving from a word used there to describe a fishing net.

67. Empire St. paper : NYT

“The New York Times” (NYT) has been published since 1851. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

Down

1. Much sushi- and sashimi-grade tuna : BLUEFIN

Bluefin tuna is one of those species (actually there are three species of bluefin) that has been overfished, and is no longer found in some parts of the world.

2. Southwest, e.g. : AIRLINE

Southwest Airlines is the world’s largest low-cost passenger airline. I’ve always admired the Southwest operation and found that the company knows to keep costs under control while maintaining a high level of customer service. One strategy the company used for decades was only to operate Boeing 737 aircraft, which kept maintenance and operating costs to a minimum.

4. Corp. symbols : TMS

Trademark (TM)

5. Eschew the doorbell : RAP

“To eschew”, meaning “to avoid, shun” comes from the Old French word “eschiver” that means the same thing.

6. Like __ in the headlights : A DEER

There may be some truth to the idea that a deer can freeze when “caught in the headlights” of a car. This is because the anatomy of a deer’s eye, like many animals, is such that its night vision is very effective. That extra night sensitivity can be a disadvantage when a deer is suddenly illuminated by a strong light like that from a headlamp. Such illumination can be blinding and perhaps bewildering, causing the deer to freeze.

7. Ma’s strings : CELLI

Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist who was born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.

8. Showy April bloom : TULIP

We usually associate the cultivation of tulips with the Netherlands, but they were first grown commercially in the Ottoman Empire. The name “tulip” ultimately derives from the Ottoman Turkish word “tulbend” which means “muslin, gauze”.

9. Shish kebab holder : SPIT

The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

12. Birdseed buffets : FEEDERS

Our word “buffet” comes from the French “bufet” meaning “bench, sideboard”. So, a buffet is a meal served from a “bufet”.

19. Fiddling emperor : NERO

The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home on hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

21. Liston opponent : ALI

Sonny Liston won the heavyweight boxing championship in 1962 by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round. Liston suffered a first round defeat himself in 1965, to Muhammad Ali. The picture of Ali standing over Liston was featured on the cover of a special “Sports Illustrated” edition featuring “The Century’s Greatest Sports Photos”.

25. Where heros are made : DELI

“Hero” is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

26. Sexy dance moves : TWERKS

Twerking is a dancing move in which a woman (usually) shakes her hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”. The term may have been coined back in the early 2000s with the song “Whistle While You Twurk” released by the Ying Yang Twins. Twerking became a real phenomenon in 2013 when Miley Cyrus posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit to the 2011 song “Wop” by J. Dash. That video went viral on YouTube, amassing over 4 million views in no time at all.

28. Mil. no-show : AWOL

The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

30. “Jeopardy!” fare : TRIVIA

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

33. VIP with a corner office, perhaps : CEO

Chief executive officer (CEO)

34. NFL six-pointers : TDS

Touchdowns (TDs)

35. Guatemala gold : ORO

Guatemala in Central America became independent from Spain in 1821, first becoming part of the Mexican Empire, and then becoming completely independent two years later.

37. Mister Rogers : FRED

The “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show starred Fred Rogers. It was the second-longest running series on PBS television after that other iconic children’s show “Sesame Street”.

39. Mrs. Smith’s rival : SARA LEE

In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

The company known as Mrs. Smith’s Pies was founded by Amanda Smith and her son in the 1920s. The Smiths started the company to take advantage of increasing demand for her own fruit pies that she sold at a local YMCA lunch counter in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

43. Gray area? : ANATOMY

“Gray’s Anatomy” is a very successful human anatomy textbook that was first published back in 1858 and is still in print today. The original text was written by English anatomist Henry Gray, who gave his name to the work. The TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (note “Grey” vs. Gray”) is centered on the character Dr. Meredith Grey, but the show’s title is a nod to the title of the famous textbook.

44. Drummer’s sound after a one-liner : RIMSHOT

A rimshot is a sound made when a drummer hits the head of a drum and the rim at the same time. It’s a sound often used by comics to help punctuate a gag.

45. Med. imaging procedure : CT SCAN

A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful, causing damage that is cumulative over time.

50. Prepare to shoot with a Canon : FOCUS

The Japanese company called Canon is largely known in the US for producing quality cameras. The company started out as Precision Optical Industry Laboratory in 1937 making camera bodies. The name was changed in 1947 to Canon.

51. Maker of chips : INTEL

Intel is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips. The company was founded in 1968, and the name “Intel” is a derived from the term “int(egrated) el(ectronics)”. Recognition of the Intel brand has been greatly helped by the success of the “Intel Inside” campaign that started back in 1991.

52. Cacophony : NOISE

“Cacophony” is such a lovely word, one used to describe a harsh or jarring sound. The term arises from the Greek “kakos” (bad) and “phone” (voice).

55. Major Hindu deity : RAMA

In the Hindu tradition, the god known as Vishnu has seven different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

Return to top of page

Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Place for fuzzy navels : BAR

4. Plots of land : TRACTS

10. Animated internet pics : GIFS

14. Whopper, but not a Big Mac : LIE

15. Reconciled : MADE UP

16. “You said it, sister!” : AMEN!

17. Safari find : URL

18. *Annual kids’ competition aired by ESPN : SPELLING BEE

20. Kazan who directed Marlon in his first Oscar role : ELIA

22. Crème de la crème : ELITE

23. Neruda’s “__ to Common Things” : ODE

24. *Excursion that may require permission slips : FIELD TRIP

27. Not as well-done : RARER

29. Not hidden : IN VIEW

30. Airfield fixtures : TOWERS

31. Bridal bio term : NEE

32. Reader at Mass : LECTOR

36. Pigs out (on), briefly : ODS

37. *Evacuation exercise : FIRE DRILL

39. Sergeant’s address : SIR

41. Balkan first-timer in the 2016 Olympics : KOSOVO

42. Vandalize : MAR

45. Oasis visitors : CAMELS

47. Urbana-Champaign “Fighting” team : ILLINI

49. What might make a Cardinal an Oriole : TRADE

50. *Year-end hurdle : FINAL EXAM

53. Wood cutter : SAW

54. Maine college town : ORONO

56. Understands : GETS

57. Group lawsuit … and what each answer to a starred clue is? : CLASS ACTION

61. Homeric outburst : D’OH!

62. Dynamic leader? : AERO-

63. Crunchy breakfast : MUESLI

64. “Just sayin’,” in texts : IMO

65. Must have : NEED

66. Out in a hammock? : ASLEEP

67. Empire St. paper : NYT

Down

1. Much sushi- and sashimi-grade tuna : BLUEFIN

2. Southwest, e.g. : AIRLINE

3. Take over for : RELIEVE

4. Corp. symbols : TMS

5. Eschew the doorbell : RAP

6. Like __ in the headlights : A DEER

7. Ma’s strings : CELLI

8. Showy April bloom : TULIP

9. Shish kebab holder : SPIT

10. __ rule : GAG

11. “There’s nothing to do” : I’M BORED

12. Birdseed buffets : FEEDERS

13. Contemptuous looks : SNEERS

19. Fiddling emperor : NERO

21. Liston opponent : ALI

25. Where heros are made : DELI

26. Sexy dance moves : TWERKS

28. Mil. no-show : AWOL

30. “Jeopardy!” fare : TRIVIA

33. VIP with a corner office, perhaps : CEO

34. NFL six-pointers : TDS

35. Guatemala gold : ORO

37. Mister Rogers : FRED

38. Take it easy : LOLL

39. Mrs. Smith’s rival : SARA LEE

40. “It’s not news to me … ” : I’M AWARE …

42. Blended : MIXED IN

43. Gray area? : ANATOMY

44. Drummer’s sound after a one-liner : RIMSHOT

45. Med. imaging procedure : CT SCAN

46. Some summer births : LEOS

48. Triangle side : LEG

50. Prepare to shoot with a Canon : FOCUS

51. Maker of chips : INTEL

52. Cacophony : NOISE

55. Major Hindu deity : RAMA

58. Lawn roll : SOD

59. Bullring cry : OLE!

60. Puppy bite : NIP

Return to top of page

7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Jul 2017, Wednesday”

  1. Good morning all!
    @Piano Man– just wanted to say thanks for your Tuesday post re Your Show of Shows! Love Carl Reiner — just heard him interviewed the other day. Will now look for Sid Caeser’s show…Never did see it.

  2. 9 minutes, no errors (still writing these this week).

    Regarding me, yesterday: I still wonder how much mental state and general fatigue effects these things. I struggled mightily over the weekend (save the Newsday Stumper and Sat LAT), but did the whole stack of themelesses I had last night in about 3-4 hours (breaks included). Can’t say the puzzles were *that* different, but it’s a possibility.

    @Carrie
    Thanks. I’ve been trying to make that page reflect more of a general entry-level type focus, instead of merely listing puzzle sources. Hence the little reviews, and my impression of difficulty to help guide people a bit. I don’t know what else will end up on that page yet, but still got a lot to add. Not sure if I can organize it better (it’s gonna get LOOONGGG before I’m done with it), but I’m trying to make it into a list that one can check to the effect of “here’s everything new I can play today” along with a way to tell what to expect.

  3. Very fast solve for a Wednesday, but there was some clever cluing. Interesting history of the name “Kosovo”.

    I was never in the military although I’ve spent some time around the military professionally. As far as I know, one typically does not address a sergeant as SIR. He is addressed as “sergeant”. Anyone with a real military background please feel free to confirm or contradict that.

    My AC survived the band aid fix they performed on it last Thursday, and they are installing the new one as I type. It’s “only” 84 this morning here, but it is so humid, I feel like my hands are sticking to everything I touch. It’s a very soupy 84….soon to be a soupy 95 later today. Yikes. There are 4 guys working so maybe they’ll finish before the heat of the day hits.

    @Glenn
    That’s quite a site and quite a bit of work you’ve put into it. It looks interesting. I’ll take an in depth look at it later today….provided I don’t faint from the heat…

    Best –

    1. Jeff, I also caught the “Sir” for Sergeant answer. I spent over 20 years in the Army and never met a Sir SGT!

      So it goes.

      Ken

    2. The typical rejoinder, according to my brother who served in the USMC, was “Don’t sir me, Marine. I work for a living!”

  4. Nice quick Wednesday; around 15 minutes on paper. I just had to change Cello to Celli to make FIELDTRIP work.

    re “Liston Opponent” There were actually two fights: 2/25/64 Liston vs Clay – 6 rounds TKO win for Clay when Liston couldn’t answer the bell for the 7th and 5/25/65 Ali vs Liston – 1st round KO win for Ali. Clay converted to Ali on 2/27/64 two days after the 1st fight.

    re “Sergeant’s address” I was only in the US Army for 3yrs, but I can attest that we referred to them as drill sergeant – at first – and then sarge thereafter, never “sir.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.