LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jul 2017, Thursday










Constructed by: Pancho Harrison

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Bridges

Each of today’s themed answers is something with a BRIDGE:

  • 61A. Hollywood family name … and what the answers to starred clues have in common : BRIDGES
  • 14A. *Billboard entry : POP SONG
  • 20A. *Upright instrument in a bluegrass band : BASS FIDDLE
  • 36A. *Place to land when there’s no land in sight : AIRCRAFT CARRIER
  • 49A. *LensCrafters products : EYEGLASSES

Bill’s time: 8m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “Dawn of the Dead” (1978) director : ROMERO

George A. Romero is a film director noted for making satirical horror films such as “Night of the Living Dead”, “Dawn of the Dead” and “Day of the Dead”. Ugh …

“Dawn of the Dead” is a 1978 horror movie all about zombies going after some folks barricaded into a shopping mall. I really don’t do zombies nor horror films …

7. Street, in Stuttgart : STRASSE

Stuttgart is the sixth-largest city in Germany, and is located in southern Germany. The city is sometimes called “the cradle of the automobile” as Karl Benz made his first cars and motorcycles there, as were the first VW Beetle prototypes. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche cars are still manufactured in Stuttgart and the surrounding area.

14. *Billboard entry : POP SONG

In a popular song, a bridge is a connecting device, usually between verse and chorus.

“Billboard” was founded way back in 1894 as a trade magazine for the advertising and bill posting industry. The editorial focus gradually moved towards music as phonographs, radios and the recorded music business took off in the early part of the 20th century. “Billboard” published its first “music hit parade” 1936, and is now famous for its collection of lists that track music sales.

17. First of a film series about Damien Thorn : THE OMEN

The original film “The Omen” was released in 1976. “Damien: Omen II” hit the screens in 1978. We were regaled with “Omen III: The Final Conflict” in 1981, and there was even a TV movie “Omen IV: The Awakening” in 1991. The original was remade in 2006 as “The Omen: 666”, and was released on 6/6/06. I haven’t seen any of them, and have no interest in doing so (despite the excellent cast) as I really don’t like the genre …

18. Cultural environments : MILIEUS

We use the French term “milieu” to mean an environment, surroundings. In French, “milieu” is the word for “middle”.

19. Marines NCO : SSGT

Staff sergeant (SSgt)

20. *Upright instrument in a bluegrass band : BASS FIDDLE

The double bass is usually referred to as the bass fiddle or bass violin in the world of folk and bluegrass music.

22. Head of Hollywood : EDITH

Edith Head was a Hollywood costume designer. Head won eight Academy Awards for Best Costume Design for her work on movies including 1951’s “All About Eve”, 1954’s “Roman Holiday” and 1955’s “Sabrina”. She ended up winning more Oscars than any other woman in history, in any category.

24. Switchback feature : ESS

A switchback is road that zigzags through mountainous terrain. The term “switchback” dates back to the 1860s, and originally applied to zig-zag rail tracks.

25. Bordeaux wine : CLARET

Clairet is a dark rosé wine. Although it is uncommon today, clairet used to be the most common wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. For centuries now, English consumers have used the derivative term “claret” to describe any red wine from Bordeaux.

30. Mauna __ : LOA

Mauna Loa on the “big island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

33. 19-Across boss : LOOIE

A “looie” (lieutenant) has a higher rank than a “noncom” (noncommissioned officer).

34. Conniption : FIT

A conniption, or more commonly a conniption fit, is a bout of violent anger or panic.

40. Span. miss : SRTA

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

41. “U R 2 funny!” : LOL

Laugh out loud (“LOL” in text-speak)

42. Goosebump-inducing : EERIE

The terms “goosebumps” and “goose flesh” come from the fact that skin which is cold can look like the flesh of a plucked goose.

43. Neptune’s realm : SEA

Neptune was the Roman god of the sea and of freshwater. He was sometimes known as “Neptunus Equester” as he was also the god of horses and patron of horse-racing.

46. Post-Manhattan Project org. : AEC

The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was set up right after WWII in 1946, with the aim of promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy. Establishing the AEC was a significant move made by President Truman, as it passed control of atomic energy from the military to the civilian sector. The AEC continued to operate until 1974 when its functions were divided up into two new agencies: the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The Manhattan project was the joint US-Canada-UK project to develop an atomic bomb during WWII. Initially, the Army headquarters for the program was located on the 18th floor of a building on Broadway in New York City. Eventually, because of that first location, the project adopted the name “Manhattan”.

49. *LensCrafters products : EYEGLASSES

Lenscrafters is a eye-care retail chain that was founded in 1983. It is now the largest optical chain in the US. LensCrafters is owned by Italian eyewear company Luxottica.

60. “Inka Dinka Doo” singer : DURANTE

Jimmy Durante was a very talented entertainer, with that wonderful, gravelly voice, as well as that large nose that he used in so much of his humor (and earned him the nickname “Schnozzola”). Durante appeared in the Broadway stage musical “Jumbo” in 1935. In one scene, he leads a live elephant across the stage, and gets stopped by a police officer who asks, “What are you doing with that elephant?” Durante replies “What elephant?” and brings the house down every night.

“Inka Dinka Doo” was Jimmy Durante’s theme song, a novelty piece composed by Durante in 1934. Such was his association with the song that when Durante’s charity paid for a heated therapy swimming pool in Port Arthur, Texas in 1968, it was named the “Inka Dinka Doo Pool”.

61. Hollywood family name … and what the answers to starred clues have in common : BRIDGES

The actor Lloyd Bridges is noted for his many television and movie roles over a long and distinguished career. Lloyd is also remembered as the father of two great actor sons: Beau Bridges and jeff Bridges. Lloyd served with the US Coast Guard during WWII, and was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary after the war. Sons Beau and Jeff also served in the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve.

62. Son of Clytemnestra : ORESTES

Orestes is a character appearing in Greek mythology, and is the subject of several Ancient Greek plays. In a story by Homer, Orestes kills his mother Clytemnestra. He does so in revenge as Clytemnestra had killed Agamemnon, who was her husband and father to Orestes. Agamemnon was killed by his wife for sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia in order to get favorable winds on a sea voyage. Heavy stuff …

Down

3. Compressed video file format : MPEG

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym MPEG.

4. Abstruse knowledge : ESOTERICA

Something described as “esoteric” is meant only for a select few with special knowledge. The term comes from the Greek “esoterikos” meaning “belonging to an inner circle”.

5. Com can follow it : ROM

Romantic comedy (rom-com)

7. “The Urbz: __ in the City”: video game : SIMS

SimCity is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. “SimCity” was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

8. Long-odds bet : TRIFECTA

In horse racing, a trifecta is a bet in which the first, second and third place finishers are predicted in the correct order. The same bet can be made in jai alai competitions, predicting which the top three finishers.

9. It’s often put on a dog : RELISH

A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

10. Litmus reddeners : ACIDS

Litmus is a mixture of naturally-occurring dyes that responds to acidity by changing color. Litmus was probably first used around 1300 by the Spanish alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova, who extracted the blue dye from lichens. One suggestion is that the term “litmus” comes from the Old Norse “litmose” meaning “lichen for dyeing”. Litmus is often absorbed onto filter paper, creating “litmus paper” or “pH paper”.

11. Short itinerary? : SKED

Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

12. Motown music : SOUL

The city of Detroit was founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French explorer. The original settlement was named for the Detroit River, which in turn takes its name from the French word “détroit” meaning “strait”. Detroit became inextricably linked with the automotive business from the very early 20th century when Henry Ford and others set up manufacturing in the area. This link to transportation led to Detroit’s nicknames of “Motor City” and “Motown”. The city’s economic strength declined at the beginning of the 21st century, resulting in a 25% drop in population between 2000 and 2010. Detroit filed for the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy in history in 2013, facing a debt of $18.8 billion. The city exited bankruptcy at the end of 2014.

Motown Records is a record label that was founded in 1959 in Detroit (aka “Motor City” or “Motown”). The founder of Motown records was Berry Gordy, Jr.

13. First word of Massachusetts’ motto : ENSE

The motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem”, a Latin phrase that can be translated as “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty”. The quotation is from a passage written by English politician Algernon Sidney who was executed for treason by King Charles II.

23. Stag, for one : DEER

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

26. French wine valley : LOIRE

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet.

27. Main artery : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

31. NBC newsman Roger : O’NEIL

Roger O’Neil is a news reporter who has been working for NBC for over 30 years.

37. Like many steakhouse menus : A LA CARTE

On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice.

45. Unmannerly sorts, in Canadian slang : HOSERS

The derogatory word “hoser”, meaning “foolish or uncultivated person”, is apparently attributed to Canadians. That said, I just read that the term is in fact rarely used north of the border.

46. Turkish honorifics : AGHAS

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

50. Part of FYI : YOUR

You might see FYI (for your information) or Attn. (attention) at the top of a memo.

51. Raison d’__ : ETRE

“Raison d’être” is a French phrase meaning “reason for existence”.

54. Latvian capital : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

55. Taiwan-based computer giant : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I used to visit a lot when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

56. Gershwin heroine : BESS

“Porgy and Bess” is an opera with music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and libretto by DuBose Heyward. The storyline of the opera is based on the novel “Porgy” written by DuBose Heyward and and wife Dorothy. “Porgy and Bess” was first performed in 1935, in New York City, but really wasn’t accepted as legitimate opera until 1976 after a landmark production by the Houston Grand Opera. The most famous song from the piece is probably the wonderful aria “Summertime”.

59. Parsons of “Hidden Figures” : JIM

Jim Parsons is an actor from Houston, Texas who is best known for playing Sheldon Cooper on the television sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”. As of 2014, Parsons and his costars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco are earning one million dollars per episode of the show.

“Hidden Figures” is an excellent 2016 film based on a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. Both book and film tell the story of female African American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Mercury and Apollo programs in the 1960s.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. “Dawn of the Dead” (1978) director : ROMERO

7. Street, in Stuttgart : STRASSE

14. *Billboard entry : POP SONG

16. “S’pose so” : I RECKON

17. First of a film series about Damien Thorn : THE OMEN

18. Cultural environments : MILIEUS

19. Marines NCO : SSGT

20. *Upright instrument in a bluegrass band : BASS FIDDLE

22. Head of Hollywood : EDITH

24. Switchback feature : ESS

25. Bordeaux wine : CLARET

28. Hankering : ITCH

30. Mauna __ : LOA

33. 19-Across boss : LOOIE

34. Conniption : FIT

35. “Oh, crud!” : DANG

36. *Place to land when there’s no land in sight : AIRCRAFT CARRIER

40. Span. miss : SRTA

41. “U R 2 funny!” : LOL

42. Goosebump-inducing : EERIE

43. Neptune’s realm : SEA

44. Hot state : RAGE

45. Irritating inconvenience : HASSLE

46. Post-Manhattan Project org. : AEC

47. Selling points? : SHOPS

49. *LensCrafters products : EYEGLASSES

53. Grouch : CRAB

57. “Let’s talk in my office” : NOT HERE

58. Word in many hymns : REJOICE

60. “Inka Dinka Doo” singer : DURANTE

61. Hollywood family name … and what the answers to starred clues have in common : BRIDGES

62. Son of Clytemnestra : ORESTES

63. Campaign ugliness : SMEARS

Down

1. Official accts. : RPTS

2. Sounds of amazement : OOHS

3. Compressed video file format : MPEG

4. Abstruse knowledge : ESOTERICA

5. Com can follow it : ROM

6. At all : ONE BIT

7. “The Urbz: __ in the City”: video game : SIMS

8. Long-odds bet : TRIFECTA

9. It’s often put on a dog : RELISH

10. Litmus reddeners : ACIDS

11. Short itinerary? : SKED

12. Motown music : SOUL

13. First word of Massachusetts’ motto : ENSE

15. Pest in a swarm : GNAT

21. Lazy : SHIFTLESS

23. Stag, for one : DEER

25. Elegance : CLASS

26. French wine valley : LOIRE

27. Main artery : AORTA

29. It may be nervous : TIC

30. Hibernation spots : LAIRS

31. NBC newsman Roger : O’NEIL

32. Come to terms : AGREE

35. Specification regarding threads : DRESS CODE

37. Like many steakhouse menus : A LA CARTE

38. London bank? : FOG

39. Harvest : REAP

44. Give in : RELENT

45. Unmannerly sorts, in Canadian slang : HOSERS

46. Turkish honorifics : AGHAS

48. Window box plant : HERB

49. Opposite of exo- : ENDO-

50. Part of FYI : YOUR

51. Raison d’__ : ETRE

52. Witnesses : SEES

54. Latvian capital : RIGA

55. Taiwan-based computer giant : ACER

56. Gershwin heroine : BESS

59. Parsons of “Hidden Figures” : JIM

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jul 2017, Thursday”

  1. 11:56, no errors. Okay puzzle, but I had a little trouble with the app because I forgot to reset the two options whose default values I don’t like. (I want it to “skip filled cells” and not to make “arrows change direction”.) On days when the app remembers me, it remembers my preferences; on other days, I have to set them again. Very confusing.

    I’m also a bit disoriented from an 800-mile drive yesterday. ( I’m visiting Iowa for a few days.)

  2. From yesterday, thanks Jeff and Carrie. Re; the VRBO, let me just say, the conditions were not expected – however we were or should have been aware, that a VRBO is not a J W Marriott. I think the experience taught us on how to live as a functional extended family, and cooperate and learn to cope. That said, the inconveniences quickly became a non-issue. When there is enough goodwill to go around, no obstacle seems unsurmountable. I am not sure I want to leave a recommendation on the VRBO website, but then I also don’t want to identify the owner. God bless her, she is probably ready to quit, very soon – it is too much for her. We left the site, in much better condition than we found it.
    We left on good terms, and with much goodwill, all around.
    Avoid criticising a person(s) unless you have walked a mile in their moccasins.

  3. 25 mins but had one error. I had tOP SONG instead of POP SONG. Fun use of 25 minutes, but I didn’t think much of the theme. The theme itself was ok, but the entries were pretty obscure. I’ve never heard of a bridge in a song.

    When I saw ESS for “Switchback..”, I thought they were just referring to the fact that it started with an ESS. That comes from being traumatized by that trick one too many times…..

    I think I played SimCity once or twice. I still feel the best video games of all time were Pong and Leisure Suit Larry…but I’m (obviously) hardly an expert.
    Agamemnon traded his daughter for a bag of wind? Ancient Greece was a tough place….
    Hidden Figures is on my “to do” list whenever I see it playing on HBO or wherever. Sounds interesting.

    Best –

  4. Rather liked the theme.

    This was one of those educational puzzles, for me. Googled for THE OMEN and ROMERO, both from a genre I avoid. Didn’t know “switchback,” O’NEIL, or ACER. Like @Nolanski – I know now!

    @Kennison – I visited the Saratoga Battlefield, which is much larger than I thought. After I exited, I got lost 4 hours, or 250 miles going nowhere, but beautiful country. I have a sister in IA, and I don’t believe I could get lost in a state that is “flatter than a pancake.” Enjoy IA, where people don’t sue each other, you can see tomorrow’s weather to the West, and the worst thing they say is, “Well, that’s different.”

  5. No real difficulty with the LAT’s. Can’t say the same thing for the WSJ. It had me twisting in the wind for quite awhile, especially 43 Across and 44 Down. I finally got it all to come out as the constructor intended, but is wasn’t easy.

    1. @Tony
      The WSJ was a nice little grid from Mike Shenk, IMO – and a good contrast for my fatigue studies. Funner is what @Joe indicates regarding the NYT – an interesting coincidence to be sure (though the theme direction is different for both).

  6. What I think is a truly remarkable coincidence awaits you in today’s NYT puzzle. Those who have worked it know what it is, and I won’t risk spoiling it for the rest.

  7. I’ve spoken and written German since I as in college. I’m fairly sure “Strasse” should be “Straße,” because the double consonant comes after a long vowel (a, o, u). There was some type of linguistic reform in the 1980s. But in true German style, the reforms only make it more difficult to learn. Not to mention that Austrians, German, Swiss and Lichstenstein all have different ways of spelling.

  8. BTW, thanks to all for the welcome back. Several things contributed to my absence. But I’m wading back into the pool as time allows. I set stupidly unrealistic time and accuracy standards on these grids. I’m now taking a more relaxed approach.

  9. The puzzle was very tough – especially ROMERO, MPEG, RPTS, THE OMEN …. I was stymied. Also not familiar with Pop Song and Bass Fiddle – bridges. Had to look that up.

    I can never understand zombies – are they like Dracula and allergic to the Cross and garlic ?

    Regarding Lenscrafters, whom I used to use exclusively …. nowadays, personally, I think it is a ripoff. The frames and lens costs at Walmart are far more reasonable – and just as good. Because of my very weak eyesight, I change my specs regularly, so I appreciate the cost savings and value involved.

    Have a nice day, all. Posted very very late – just forgot to post.

  10. Moderately tough Thursday; about 45 minutes with “sorta” one error. I changed tOPSONG to POPSONG as this site was coming up.

    The great George Romero just passed away last week, so his appearance is undoubtedly an homage to him. He made zombie movies, with zombies that move very slowly, unlike some of the newer directors with running zombies (!?!) which is just crazy.

    @Willie There was a German reform but most, except those of us without a German keyboard, ignore it. My favorite city is either Köln or Koeln or in Amer-English Cologne.

    @Carrie I saw your comment on Saturday after I commented. I usually stay up long enough to read your entries before going “abed.”

  11. Hi gang! ✌
    Hey, thanks Vidwan for the info. Since I’m in the business, I think it’s terrible, but from what you say, I am inclined to feel sympathy for your host. I hope that you and yours don’t give up on sites like VRBO and Airbnb. The majority of hosts work hard and offer great spaces! It is different from hotels, so you always want to read the ratings and reviews. If I were you, I surely wouldn’t recommend the place on VRBO. You don’t want to mislead future guests who aren’t as kind hearted as you! ?
    Good puzzle; no errors, but I found the NW kinda tricky. Had DOT before ROM, and HIT SONG before POP SONG. Gnarly!!
    Hey Dirk, thanks for reading my comments!! Night Watch is a tough crowd LOL–
    @Jeff! FWIW and since you didn’t ask, here’s an example of a bridge, from the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night:
    “When I’m home, everything seems to be right–
    When I’m home, feeling you holding me tight, tight yeah….”
    Then back to the verse.
    Be well~~™?

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