LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Jul 2017, Monday










Constructed by: Lila Cherry

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Broken Bat

Each of today’s themed answers includes the hidden letter string BAT. However the order of the letters is BROKEN, changed:

  • 58A. Cause of wood splinters in the infield … and what each set of puzzle circles represents : BROKEN BAT
  • 17A. Popular pool game : EIGHT-BALL
  • 32A. Nearly : JUST ABOUT
  • 40A. Bulletin board sticker : THUMBTACK
  • 5D. Healthful cereal : OAT BRAN
  • 42D. Doctor’s order : LAB TEST

Bill’s time: 5m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. Andes beast of burden : LLAMA

Many female mammals lick off their newborn. That’s not an option for llamas as their tongues only reach out of their mouths about half an inch. Instead llama dams nuzzle their young and hum to them.

16. Flashy display : ECLAT

“Éclat” can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

17. Popular pool game : EIGHT-BALL

Eight-ball and nine-ball are arguably the most popular variants of pool played in North America. In eight-ball, one player sinks the striped balls, and the other the solid balls. The first to sink all his or her balls, and then the black 8-ball, without fouling wins the game. In nine-ball, each player must hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first with the cue ball. The first player to sink the 9-ball wins. Sinking the nine ball can happen when first hitting the lowest bowl on the table, or possibly when balls numbered 1-8 have been sunk.

21. Spinach-eating sailor : POPEYE

The cartoon character Popeye the Sailorman is very fond of spinach, eating cans of the vegetable through his pipe and garnering great strength from it.

22. College dorm VIPs : RAS

RAs are resident assistants or resident advisers, the peer leaders found in residence halls, particularly on a college campus.

23. Loo : LAV

Our word lavatory (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s a “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

24. Blame for the crime : RAP

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

25. Capital One’s “What’s in your wallet?,” e.g. : SLOGAN

Capital One is a financial services company based in McLean, Virginia. The company is known for its mass marketing of credit cards. In fact, it is one of the US Post Office’s largest customers due to the volume of direct mail solicitations sent out.

29. Great Wall continent : ASIA

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications that was built and rebuilt over the centuries to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire. Most of the existing wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty. This Ming wall is about 5,000 miles long. There is an urban myth that the Great Wall is visible from the Moon, or from space. NASA has shown that the Great Wall can only be discerned from low Earth orbit (about 100 miles), and that is no more or less visible than any other man-made structure.

31. Singer Rimes : LEANN

LeAnn Rimes has been a country music star since she was 13 years old. In 2008 she disclosed publicly that she suffered from the autoimmune disease psoriasis. She has been active since then in raising money to fight the disease and helping fund cancer research as well. So, not only did Rimes win three Grammy Awards in 1997, she also won a 2009 Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Country Music.

37. Eduardo’s eight : OCHO

In Spanish, “ocho” is “eight”.

38. Brown-toned photo : SEPIA

Sepia is that lovely rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish.The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

42. Doone of Exmoor : LORNA

The novel “Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor” was written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. R. D. Blackmore was an English novelist, very celebrated and in demand in his day (the late 1800s). His romantic story “Lorna Doone” was by no means a personal favorite of his, and yet it is the only one of his works still in print.

43. Israeli statesman Abba : EBAN

Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”. He made this change as reportedly as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

44. Poland’s capital : WARSAW

The capital city name “Warsaw” in Polish means “belonging to Warsz”. Legend has it that Warsz, was a fisherman who fell in love with a mermaid called Sawa. It’s a nice story, but actually Warsz was a nobleman from the 12th or 13th century who owned a local village.

45. Sophs, two yrs. later : SRS

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

48. Milk buys: Abbr. : QTS

The unit of volume “quart” is so called because it is one quarter of a gallon.

50. Bernadette of “Into the Woods” : PETERS

Bernadette Peters is perhaps best known as a Broadway actress, and in particular for her performances in works by Stephen Sondheim. Off the stage and screen, Peters was noted for her 4-year relationship with Steve Martin in the seventies.

“Into the Woods” is Stephen Sondheim musical that premiered in 1986. The storyline uses characters from several fairy tales, including “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel” and “Cinderella”. The borrowed characters are held together with an underlying original tale about a baker and his wife who long to have a child, but cannot due to a curse placed on them by a witch.

52. Surprise winner of fable : TORTOISE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

57. Japanese mushroom : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

60. Tibetan beast of burden : YAK

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

63. Ambulance initials : EMS

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Down

2. Et __: and others : ALII

Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

4. Texter’s “If you ask me” : IMHO

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

6. Neuters : SPAYS

Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

9. Classical guitarist Andrés : SEGOVIA

Andrés Segovia was a classical guitar player from Andalusia in Spain.

11. Advertising handout : FLIER

Fliers are notices that are circulated. The original fliers (also “flyers”) were police bulletins that were “scatter-broadcast”.

18. Lima or fava : BEAN

The lima bean is also known as the butter bean. The lima bean was introduced to Europe from the area around Lima, Peru, hence the name.

Fava bean is an alternative name for the broad bean. “Broad bean” is used “broadly” (pun!) in the UK, whereas “fava bean” is common in the US. “Fava” is the Italian name for the broad bean.

21. Linguine or tortellini : PASTA

Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti, except that in cross-section linguine is elliptical whereas spaghetti is round. The correct name for the dish is “linguine” meaning “little tongues” in Italian. That said, the misspelling “linguini” is given in some dictionaries as an acceptable Americanized variant..

Tortellini are stuffed pasta that are ring-shaped, or navel shaped. In fact tortellini can also be called “umbellico”, the Italian for “belly button”.

23. Eye surgery acronym : LASIK

LASIK surgery uses a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye to improve vision. The LASIK acronym stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis”.

26. Peace Nobelist Walesa : LECH

Lech Walesa worked as an electrician in the Gdansk Shipyards in Poland. Walesa was active in the trade union movement in the days when unions were not welcome behind the Iron Curtain. His efforts resulted in the founding of Solidarity, the first independent trade union in Soviet-controlled territory. For his work, Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and in 1990 he became the first democratically elected President of Poland. He has lost support in Poland in recent years, but he is a very popular booking on the international speaking circuit.

27. Honolulu’s island : OAHU

Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii, and the state capital. Located on the island of Oahu, the name “Honolulu” translates from Hawaiian as “place of shelter, calm port, sheltered bay”.

28. Pointy-hatted garden decoration : GNOME

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable so we now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

32. Lees on your legs : JEANS

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

The Lee company that’s famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

33. Scannable mdse. bars : UPC

Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code (UPC)

35. Pres. Carter’s alma mater : USNA

President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter (JEC) is a graduate of the US Naval Academy (USNA). Carter served in the Navy on surface ships and submarines, and chose to pursue a career in the submarine service as he was interested in nuclear power and believed it had a great future in submarine design. As a result, he became an expert in nuclear propulsion. In 1952, the Navy sent the young Carter to the Chalk River Laboratories in Canada to lead the US effort to shutdown the reactor after an accident and partial meltdown of a reactor core. He and his team had to be lowered into the leaking reactor core for mechanical disassembly, staying there for only seconds at a time to minimise exposure to radiation. Decades later as US President, it was this experience that influenced Carter’s decision not to complete the development of the neutron bomb.

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in Ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

46. Actress Zellweger : RENEE

Renée Zellweger’s big break came in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”. A few years later, Zellweger followed that up with a string of successes in “Bridget Jones Diary” (2001), “Chicago” (2002) and “Cold Mountain” (2003). My wife and I love watching her play Bridget Jones, and as someone coming from the British Isles, I have to say that Zellweger does a remarkable job with the accent. She worked hard to perfect that accent, and of course she had a voice coach. She also went “undercover” and worked as a temp in an office for three weeks fine-tuning her skills.

58. “Ciao!” : BYE!

“Ciao” is the Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Outdoor party area : PATIO

6. Hot tub : SPA

9. In-the-wall security devices : SAFES

14. Andes beast of burden : LLAMA

15. Fox foot : PAW

16. Flashy display : ECLAT

17. Popular pool game : EIGHT-BALL

19. Pretense : GUISE

20. Sneaks out after being grounded, say : DISOBEYS

21. Spinach-eating sailor : POPEYE

22. College dorm VIPs : RAS

23. Loo : LAV

24. Blame for the crime : RAP

25. Capital One’s “What’s in your wallet?,” e.g. : SLOGAN

29. Great Wall continent : ASIA

31. Singer Rimes : LEANN

32. Nearly : JUST ABOUT

37. Eduardo’s eight : OCHO

38. Brown-toned photo : SEPIA

39. Crowd silence : HUSH

40. Bulletin board sticker : THUMBTACK

42. Doone of Exmoor : LORNA

43. Israeli statesman Abba : EBAN

44. Poland’s capital : WARSAW

45. Sophs, two yrs. later : SRS

48. Milk buys: Abbr. : QTS

49. Kernel holder : COB

50. Bernadette of “Into the Woods” : PETERS

52. Surprise winner of fable : TORTOISE

57. Japanese mushroom : ENOKI

58. Cause of wood splinters in the infield … and what each set of puzzle circles represents : BROKEN BAT

59. Hollywood VIP : CELEB

60. Tibetan beast of burden : YAK

61. Barely enough : SCANT

62. Garden plantings : SEEDS

63. Ambulance initials : EMS

64. Short and not so sweet : TERSE

Down

1. Asked earnestly (for) : PLED

2. Et __: and others : ALII

3. Clothing price sites : TAGS

4. Texter’s “If you ask me” : IMHO

5. Healthful cereal : OAT BRAN

6. Neuters : SPAYS

7. Buddies : PALS

8. Punching tool : AWL

9. Classical guitarist Andrés : SEGOVIA

10. __ of coffee : A CUP

11. Advertising handout : FLIER

12. No-sweat grade : EASY A

13. Precipitous : STEEP

18. Lima or fava : BEAN

21. Linguine or tortellini : PASTA

23. Eye surgery acronym : LASIK

25. One in a casino row : SLOT

26. Peace Nobelist Walesa : LECH

27. Honolulu’s island : OAHU

28. Pointy-hatted garden decoration : GNOME

30. Detest : ABHOR

32. Lees on your legs : JEANS

33. Scannable mdse. bars : UPC

34. For us : OURS

35. Pres. Carter’s alma mater : USNA

36. Unfreeze : THAW

38. Runs, hits and errors : STATS

41. Backyard beef on the bone, briefly : BBQ RIBS

42. Doctor’s order : LAB TEST

44. Employment : WORK

45. Project details, for short : SPECS

46. Actress Zellweger : RENEE

47. Took badly? : STOLE

49. Broth-spoiling excess? : COOKS

51. Barely managed, with “out” : EKED

52. Theme park transport : TRAM

53. At a former time : ONCE

54. Letter-shaped beam : I-BAR

55. Without, in France : SANS

56. Suffix with kitchen : -ETTE

58. “Ciao!” : BYE!

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Jul 2017, Monday”

  1. Quick puzzle with a decent theme. A Monday. Some interesting tidbits in the write up I didn’t know – specifically about Carter.

    As a follow-up, I managed to see “Hidden Figures” over the weekend. It was referenced in one of the puzzles late last week. It was much better than I anticipated. I was left thinking that the only thing more striking than these women’s contribution to the space program, is how long this story remained unknown to most of us. Really amazing stuff.

    Best –

  2. I spent yesterday driving 800 miles from Iowa back to Colorado, so I didn’t get to Sunday’s LAT until this morning: 22:31, no errors. And today’s (Monday’s) LAT: 6:38, no errors.

    As for the whole “DNF” controversy: I’m not a charter member of the “in” crossword crowd. I just do the puzzles the way I’ve learned to do them over the last five or six decades. If I say that I finished a puzzle in 11:34, with no errors, it means that I filled in all the squares in 11 minutes and 34 seconds, with no errors and no aids of any kind – just me and my failing memory, working with a pen on paper or one finger on an iPad screen. If anything else happens during the solve (like, I have to resort to Google to come up with a name I don’t know – which does happen occasionally – or I inadvertently get help from the app because I foolishly filled in the last square without sufficient checking), I report it. Now, I would maintain that, even if you used Google, an unabridged dictionary, an old copy of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, and the 1943 edition of the Chicago phone directory to fill in all the squares, you are entitled to say that you finished the puzzle, using a commonly accepted dictionary definition of the word “finished” … and you probably learned a lot in the process … even if some say that you have to use their hijacked definition of the word and report your effort as a “DNF”.

    Sorry for the rant … I guess the discussion over on the NYT blog left me feeling I had more to say on the subject … or could somehow say it better … (or maybe I’m just tired and cranky from yesterday’s drive) … ???

    1. DNF for me is, after I have filled in as much of the grid as I can without any aids, I then have to resort to either Google or an online forum such as Bill’s to see what it was I had missing. I count finding any errors I’ve made, after looking at the answers here or elsewhere as a “TDNF” which is a Technical Did Not Finish. Kind of like boxing with either a “KO” or “TKO” (Knock Out or Technical Knock Out).

  3. Jeff, I also want to see Hidden Figures – having read all about the movie, in the wiki. Btw, some of the facts have apparently been concocted for melodrama, per the site, especially some of the racial matters, but no matter. It is also being shown in many inner city schools to encourage STEM ( Sci., Tech, Engg., Math ) participation and encouragement.

    I also saw (belatedly – ) The Accountant and Sully. The former – I never knew accountants could be that violent, and as for the latter, the NTSB actually formally protested at the unfair and unflattering way that their investigation committee was portrayed …

    Interestingly, I noticed that both the movies had Steven Mnuchin as the producer !! Since he is now US Secy of the Treasury, I immediately looked into my wallet full of bills, to see if I had any currency notes with his signature on them … nope … not a one …. I guess it takes a while for those signature bills to make it into circulation.

    More on the puzzle in my next post.

  4. This was a easy puzzle, appropriate for a Monday. I liked the unusual words …. which I can’t remember ( 😉 )
    Lila Cherry is ofcourse, ‘really Rich’. Thank you Rich, and ofcourse, our mentor Bill.

    Abba Eban, once said, ‘The palestinians have never lost the opportunity, to lose an opportunity’ ( to negotiate, that is – ). I apologise for the politics involved.

    Bill, thank you for sophos and moros – I’ll try to remember that …

    Finally, regarding Yak’s milk – two things – Yak’s milk and the resulting cheese is apparently very rancid – the Tibetians, couldn’t prevent it from becoming rancid because of their constant travels, storage in leather flasks, and lack of refrigeration …. so they just got used to it. Man has to adjust to his circumstances. Also tibetian tea is unusual in that it is not sweet but salty. Btw, salt is a rather expensive commodity in land locked Tibet, ( and Nepal ) and land locked portion of China.

    have a nice day, all.

  5. 12 minutes, 2 errors. Very difficult for a Monday. Or it could be how sick I’m feeling (more than usual). Or something else.

    @David
    When I get to feeling up to editing it, I’m going to post what I had to say in all of that. More or less, the whole controversy isn’t in the “finished” word, but who finished it. If you look up a bunch of things or look at the answers, you can’t exactly say that you are the one that finished it. Unfortunately, there’s a pretty huge group in crossword-dom that will say that you indeed finished it. So it depends on how honest you really are going to be – in the more lax definition, there hasn’t been a single grid that I haven’t ever “finished” since I began. But if I’m going to be more honest about it, if I wasn’t the one that did it by myself, I can’t exactly say that I was the one to finish it. As I explained then, one can look at different standards and levels and still be honest about it (DNF, but 98% of the grid is much better than DNF, 2%) – which I think is really the question that most need to answer: Am I being honest about it?

    Anyway, onto other stuff (late week NYT grids, among other things), at least as much as I can feel doing it.

  6. @Dave
    Welcome back from Iowa. As you were leaving did anyone tell you to “Drive careful!”…? Being from Missouri, I feel entitled to make fun of everyone in the region….

    @Vidwan
    Yes – you should see Hidden Figures. You’ll appreciate the math part of it especially. I’ve seen Sully and The Accountant (amazingly enough) and I’ll admit to really liking both of them. I had no idea our Secretary of the Treasury produced them. I just checked my wallet (clip) and all I have are a couple of Timothy Geithner’s and a couple of Jack Lew’s. Perhaps no one knows how to spell Mnuchin yet…

    Best –

  7. Hi gang! ?
    Very easy Monday, and the theme was cute. I had ALIA before ALII — working too fast and thinking it’s a breeze.
    For me, DNF means Glenn’s take. I almost always fill in every square, but it’s a DNF if I cheated or needed help along the way.
    Now I kinda want to see Hidden Figures! Initially I wasn’t interested, because of the factors Vidwan mentions: exaggerating for effect. Of course, that’s done with most movies based on true events, I guess.
    In other news: Adorable baby possum in my back yard today!!! ???!! Hope he got safely to his hideout….Kept the dogs in.
    Be well~~™ ?✌

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