LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Jul 2017, Friday










Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Let’s Have Some Fun

Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase with the letters FUN inserted:

  • 51A. “It’s party time!” … or a hint to 17-, 24- and 40-Across : LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!
  • 17A. Complain, “Don’t I get anything to do around here?”? : DEMAND A FUNCTION (from “demand action”)
  • 24A. Compensation for an incomplete sundae? : CHERRY REFUND (from “cherry red”)
  • 40A. When a restaurant offers its weekly mushroom specials? : FUNGAL FRIDAY (from “gal Friday”)

Bill’s time: 10m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Asian priests : LAMAS

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

6. Miso base : DASHI

Dashi is a style of cooking stock used in Japanese cuisine. Most famously, dashi is the stock that is used as the base for miso soup. Traditional dashi is a fish stock to which is added edible kelp called kombu and shavings of preserved and fermented skipjack tuna called katsuobushi.

11. Zodiac critter : RAM

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

15. How gourmands enjoy their food : IMMENSELY

A gourmand is someone who takes great pleasure in consuming food and drink, often eating and drinking to excess. The related term “gourmet” refers to someone who has a refined palate.

19. Distressed sort? : DAMSEL

A damsel is a young woman, often referring to a lady of noble birth. The term came into English from the Old French “dameisele”, which had the same meaning. The modern French term is “demoiselle”, which in turn is related to the term of address “mademoiselle”.

20. Medium for much body art : HENNA

Henna has been used for centuries as a dye, not just for leather and wool, but also for the hair and skin. In modern days, henna is also used for temporary tattoos.

24. Compensation for an incomplete sundae? : CHERRY REFUND (from “cherry red”)

There’s a lot of speculation about how the dessert called a sundae got its name, but there seems to be agreement that it is an alteration of the word “Sunday”.

28. European luxury vehicles : AUDIS

The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch’s young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that “horch” was German for “hear” and he suggested “Audi” as a replacement, the Latin for “listen”.

29. Atari release of 1972 : PONG

Do you remember the arcade video game that was like a game of tennis, with paddles moving up and down to hit what looked like a ball, over what looked like a net? Well, that was Pong. The arcade version of Pong was introduced in 1972, with Atari selling a home version through Sears for the Christmas market in 1975.

30. Twaddle : PAP

One meaning of “pap” is soft or semi-liquid food for babies and small children. “Pap” comes into English via French, from the Latin word used by children for “food”. In the 1500s, “pap” also came to mean “an oversimplified” idea. This gives us a usage that’s common today, describing literature or perhaps TV programming that lacks real value or substance. Hands up those who think there’s a lot of pap out there, especially on television …

“Twaddle” is a trivial talk, and is a word that has been around since the late 1700’s. It probably evolved from the earlier term “twattle” that had the same meaning.

38. Territory east of the Philippines : GUAM

Guam is a US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, the largest of the Mariana Islands. Guam is also the first territory in the United States to see the sun rise on any particular day. As such, the territory has adopted the motto, “Where America’s day begins”. During WWII, the US territory of Guam was occupied by the Japanese for 31 months until it was liberated in the Battle of Guam in July 1944. Of the 18,000 Japanese men holding the island, only 485 surrendered, so almost all perished in the invasion. One Japanese sergeant hid out on the island for an incredible 28 years, finally surrendering in 1972!

When the Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos discovered the islands of Leyte and Samar, he named them Felipinas, after King Philip II of Spain. Eventually, the name was used for the whole archipelago, becoming what we know in English as the Philippines.

39. Dance performed with passion : TANGO

The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.

40. When a restaurant offers its weekly mushroom specials? : FUNGAL FRIDAY (from “gal Friday”)

In Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel “Robinson Crusoe”, the castaway encounters a companion that Crusoe calls “Friday”, because the two first met on that day. Friday soon becomes his willing servant. This character is the source of our terms “Man/Guy Friday” and “Girl/Guy Friday”, which are used to describe a particularly competent and loyal assistant.

43. Witless sorts : MORONS

The unsavory term “moron” was formerly used by the medical community to describe someone with a degree of mental retardation. The term comes from the Greek “moros” meaning “foolish, dull”. Back in the early 1900s, IQ tests were used to classify those suffering from mental retardation into categories:

  • “idiot” … IQ of 0-20
  • “imbecile” … IQ of 21-50
  • “moron” …IQ of 51-70

46. Water nymph : NAIAD

The Naiads of Greek mythology were water nymphs, associated with fountains, wells, springs and streams. The saltwater equivalents of the freshwater Naiads were the Oceanids.

47. Diarist Nin : ANAIS

Anaïs Nin was a French author, famous for her journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

56. 2003 best-selling nutritional self-help book : EAT TO LIVE

“Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss” is a 2003 book written by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. A central premise of the book is the formula “health = nutrients/calories”. I suppose one could infer from that formula that a diet based on nutrient-rich calories promotes health.

57. Raring to go : ANTSY

The word “antsy” embodies the concept of “having ants in one’s pants”, meaning being nervous and fidgety. However, “antsy” has been used in English since the 1830s, whereas “ants in the pants” originated a century later.

Down

1. Any Boy Scout : LAD

As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, in 1910. And, the Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared”.

3. NYC cultural attraction : MOMA

The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, son of the oil magnate. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

4. Tracy/Hepburn classic : ADAM’S RIB

And here it is! My favorite movie of all time. “Adam’s Rib” is a classic romantic comedy starring the powerful duo, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, playing two lawyers married to each other. Inevitably, the married couple have to take opposite sides in a high-profile court case, and hilarity ensues. The film is an interesting exploration of the roles of men and women in 1949 American society.

6. Electronic telemarketing tool : DIALER

Hate, hate, hate …

7. Big initials in bowling : AMF

AMF Bowling Centers, Inc. is an operator of bowling alleys, and is in fact the largest such company in the world.

8. Dallas campus: Abbr. : SMU

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas), and was founded in 1911. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Mustangs. Also, SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

13. Birds that may babble : MYNAS

Some species of myna (also “mynah”) bird are known for their ability to imitate sounds.

22. One taking things back? : REPO MAN

Repossession (repo)

23. Balderdash : BUNK

The word “bunk” is short for “bunkum”, the phonetic spelling of “Buncombe”, which is a county in North Carolina. Supposedly, a state representative made a dull and irrelevant speech that was directed to his home county of Buncombe, bringing the term “bunkum” into the language with the meaning of “nonsense”. The derivative word “debunk” first appeared in a novel by William Woodward in 1923, when he used it to describe “taking the bunk out of things”.

“Balderdash” means “senseless jumble of words”. The original balderdash (back before the late 1600s) was a jumbled mix of liquids, like maybe beer and wine, or even beer and milk!

25. Netflix competitor : HULU

Hulu.com is a website providing streaming video of full television shows. It is a joint venture of NBC and Disney, and so features a lot of their content. The service is free and is supported by advertising, but you can sign up for a premium subscription and get access to more shows. A lot of younger folks seem to use it a lot …

Netflix was founded in Los Gatos, California in 1997 as a DVD rental company that sent out titles by mail. Netflix no longer focuses on distribution by mail, and instead provides programming on demand. The company is now making a big name for itself producing films and TV programs.

26. Dutch export : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

27. Rock’s __ Fighters : FOO

Foo Fighters are described as an alternative rock band, one formed in 1994 by the drummer from Nirvana, Dave Grohl. The term “Foo fighters” originally applied to unidentified flying objects reported by allied airmen during WWII. Spooky …

30. 31-Down environment : POND

31. Bit of 30-Down life : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

40. Pass off (on) : FOIST

The word “foist”, meaning “to pass off as genuine”, comes from the Dutch word meaning “take in hand”. The original concept came from playing dice, in which one die was held surreptitiously in one hand.

42. Baklava dough : FILO

Filo (also “phyllo”) is an extremely thin unleavened dough used in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. The most famous dish made from filo is baklava, a rich and sweet pastry made from layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and held together with syrup.

44. Retired NBA center : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality show: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

49. Mennen lotion : AFTA

Afta is an aftershave in the Mennen range of products that is owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

50. “… prologue to the history of __ and foul thoughts”: Iago : LUST

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

52. Ring legend : ALI

Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later.

53. Get-up-and-go : VIM

“Vim” and “pep” are words that both mean “energy, power”.

55. TV’s “Science Guy” : NYE

That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years from 1993-97.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Asian priests : LAMAS

6. Miso base : DASHI

11. Zodiac critter : RAM

14. Town house, e.g. : ABODE

15. How gourmands enjoy their food : IMMENSELY

17. Complain, “Don’t I get anything to do around here?”? : DEMAND A FUNCTION (from “demand action”)

19. Distressed sort? : DAMSEL

20. Medium for much body art : HENNA

21. Crop planter : SOWER

23. Slants : BIASES

24. Compensation for an incomplete sundae? : CHERRY REFUND (from “cherry red”)

28. European luxury vehicles : AUDIS

29. Atari release of 1972 : PONG

30. Twaddle : PAP

33. Rock quarry unit : SLAB

34. River feeder : BROOK

36. It may involve cold calls : POLL

37. Air-conditioning sound : HUM

38. Territory east of the Philippines : GUAM

39. Dance performed with passion : TANGO

40. When a restaurant offers its weekly mushroom specials? : FUNGAL FRIDAY (from “gal Friday”)

43. Witless sorts : MORONS

46. Water nymph : NAIAD

47. Diarist Nin : ANAIS

48. Heads or tails : PLURAL

51. “It’s party time!” … or a hint to 17-, 24- and 40-Across : LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!

56. 2003 best-selling nutritional self-help book : EAT TO LIVE

57. Raring to go : ANTSY

58. Furtive : SLY

59. x, in math : TIMES

60. Condition : STATE

Down

1. Any Boy Scout : LAD

2. Not up : ABED

3. NYC cultural attraction : MOMA

4. Tracy/Hepburn classic : ADAM’S RIB

5. Burglar alarm devices : SENSORS

6. Electronic telemarketing tool : DIALER

7. Big initials in bowling : AMF

8. Dallas campus: Abbr. : SMU

9. Chick magnet? : HEN

10. Making slow progress : INCHING

11. Jockey controls : REINS

12. Isolated : ALONE

13. Birds that may babble : MYNAS

16. Stand (one) in good __: be useful to : STEAD

18. Like a meadow in the morning : DEWY

22. One taking things back? : REPO MAN

23. Balderdash : BUNK

24. Fives and tens, say : CASH

25. Netflix competitor : HULU

26. Dutch export : EDAM

27. Rock’s __ Fighters : FOO

30. 31-Down environment : POND

31. Bit of 30-Down life : ALGA

32. Bit of subterfuge : PLOY

34. Backyard cookout supply : BUNS

35. Car wash item : RAG

36. Leased, with “on” : PAID RENT

38. Crime drama sound effect : GUNSHOT

39. Psychological wounds : TRAUMAS

40. Pass off (on) : FOIST

41. Runs out : LAPSES

42. Baklava dough : FILO

43. Bulls and bucks : MALES

44. Retired NBA center : O’NEAL

45. Like shabby old clothes : RATTY

49. Mennen lotion : AFTA

50. “… prologue to the history of __ and foul thoughts”: Iago : LUST

52. Ring legend : ALI

53. Get-up-and-go : VIM

54. Big night : EVE

55. TV’s “Science Guy” : NYE

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Jul 2017, Friday”

  1. 12:30, no errors. What are the chances that “Adam’s Rib” would make an appearance in both the NYT and LAT crosswords today? Weird. (Actually, I think it made an appearance in another recent puzzle. Otherwise, I’d have had a lot harder time coming up with it today.)

  2. On a quick 48 hour trip to Monterrey, MX again. Did yesterday’s grid on the plane but had to stop in the middle to fill out my custom forms. Liked the ANIMAL HOUSE theme, but I didn’t see any of the hidden words until the blog.

    I’ll catch up over the weekend. Be back in Houston tomorrow.

    Best –

  3. 18:30, no errors. Didn’t know “dashi,” but got it by crosses. LA Times print version did not list a clue for 55D.

  4. Another good Friday puzzle from Jeffrey Wechsler. Only write-over for me was SHAPE for STATE (“Condition”) in the semi-tough SE. @Anon, me too on DASHI. @David Kenneson, I got a late start, so I’m just now getting to the NYT. Thanks for the spoiler (?) on ADAMS RIB. I’ll be looking for it. Happy Friday, all.

  5. A little time to get into things today . . . 28 minutes, no errors on this. Ended up with the Friday NYT grid, so I’ll get to do that later tonight.

    @David
    14 minutes, 0 errors on yesterday’s Newsday. Pretty normal grids all the way across Friday too. Except for that meta…

  6. Had to do this online as the papers were all gone when I went to pick one up. It took 14:38 according to the timer and it wasn’t too hard really.

    On to Saturday, with a little pep in the step…

  7. Gentlemen!! (….. and I use the term sincerely….?)
    Challenging! Really, I did okay, but a DNF, as I had to cheat for DASHI and AMF. That got me out of a jam in the center top. THEN I almost abandoned ship with that lower right. Working on paper, so I also didn’t have that 55-down clue. Turned on my tablet​ to finish that corner but before it came on I got both PLURAL and LUST. Good on me!!
    That POND & ALGA thing was tricky too, but I finally realized that SAND and YOGA was wrong, and I fixed it.
    Today’s NYT was easier — and how about that kid Paolo who constructed it?! What is he, 18? Amazing. I googled him: he looks about 12. ?
    Be well~~™⚾

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