LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 2017, Thursday










Constructed by: Mark McClain

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: U to OU

Today’s themed answers are common phrases, but with a letter O changed to OU:

  • 20A. Computer accessory honored in verse? : MOUSE OF POETRY (from “muse of poetry”)
  • 28A. Olympic dominance by Team USA? : AMERICA’S COUP (from “America’s Cup”)
  • 45A. How some medieval knights described their relationships? : JOUST FRIENDS (from “just friends”)
  • 55A. Grammarian’s treatise? : THE NOUN’S STORY (from “The Nun’s Story”)
  • Bill’s time: 9m 25s

    Bill’s errors: 0




    Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    9. Chophouse order : FILET

    A fillet is a boneless cut of meat or fish. The term comes from the Old French “filet” meaning “small thread, filament”. Apparently we applied the term to food as the piece of fish or meat was tied up with string after it was boned. Here in the US, we tend to use the French spelling “filet”.

    14. Young Clark’s love : LANA

    Smallville, Kansas is the town on Earth in which Superman grew up (as Clark Kent). One of Clark’s best friends in Smallville, and the romantic interest of his youth, was Lana Lang.

    15. 90 degrees from norte : ESTE

    The cardinal directions in Spanish are “norte” (north), “este” (east), “sur” (south) and “oeste” (west).

    16. Century plant, e.g. : AGAVE

    “Century plant” and “American aloe” are common names for the flowering plant Agave americana. The century plant lives for maybe 10-30 years (not a hundred!). It flowers only once, towards the end of a long life. It dies after flowering.

    17. Hindustani tongue : URDU

    Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

    “Hindustan” is a historical name for the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent.

    19. Trick : COZEN

    “To cozen” is such a lovely verb! Meaning to cheat or hoodwink, it comes from the Middle English word “cosin” meaning fraud or trickery.

    20. Computer accessory honored in verse? : MOUSE OF POETRY (from “muse of poetry”)

    The first computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

    In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

    • Calliope (epic poetry)
    • Clio (history)
    • Erato (lyric poetry)
    • Euterpe (music)
    • Melpomene (tragedy)
    • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
    • Terpsichore (dance)
    • Thalia (comedy)
    • Urania (astronomy)

    Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

    • Mneme (memory)
    • Melete (meditation)
    • Aoede (song)

    23. Construction alloy : STEEL

    Steel is an alloy that is composed mainly of iron, with a small percentage of carbon.

    24. RSVP part : S’IL

    RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer please”.

    28. Olympic dominance by Team USA? : AMERICA’S COUP (from “America’s Cup”)

    A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.

    The America’s Cup is a trophy that has been awarded for yacht racing since 1851. It was first presented to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in England that was won by a schooner called “America”. The trophy was eventually renamed to “the America’s Cup” in honor of that first race winner.

    33. Virgin __ Records: British label : EMI

    Virgin EMI Records is a label that formed in 2013 with the merger of Mercury Records UK and Virgin Records. The list of artists recording with Virgin EMI includes Justin Bieber, Elton John, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, U2, Willie Nelson and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    37. Canadian coin since 1996 : TOONIE

    “Toonie” is the familiar name for a two-dollar coin in Canada. The toonie was introduced in 1996, and gets its familiar name from the one-dollar coin known as a “loonie”.

    The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

    43. Mine in Milan : MIO

    Milan is Italy’s second largest city, second only to Rome. Milan is a European fashion capital, the headquarters for the big Italian fashion houses of Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Prada and others. Mario Prada was even born in Milan, and helped establish the city’s reputation in the world of fashion.

    44. Conscription agcy. : SSS

    The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

    45. How some medieval knights described their relationships? : JOUST FRIENDS (from “just friends”)

    Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used the competition is called “tilting”. Jousting took place in a roped-off enclosure that was called the lists, or list field. In later medieval times, some castles and palaces had purpose-built “tiltyards” that were used for jousting. Do you remember where the Beach Volleyball events were held in the 2012 London Olympics? Well that was Horse Guards Parade, the former tiltyard for the Palace of Whitehall that was used in the time of King Henry VIII.

    49. “__ Fell”: Beatles : IF I

    “If I Fell” is one of my favorite ballads by the Beatles. It’s a John Lennon composition that was released in 1964 on the album “A Hard Day’s Night”, and was featured in the movie of the same name.

    50. Chicago’s __ Center : AON

    The Aon Center in Chicago is the third-tallest building in the city. There is also an Aon Center in Los Angeles that is the second-tallest building in that city.

    55. Grammarian’s treatise? : THE NOUN’S STORY (from “The Nun’s Story”)

    “The Nun’s Story” is a novel by Kathryn Hulme first published in 1956. The story is based on the experiences of Hulme’s friend, former nun and nurse Marie Louise Habets. Famously, “The Nun’s Story” was adapted into a film in 1959 with Audrey Hepburn in the title role.

    62. Watch part : STEM

    The stem of a watch is the shaft that projects from the body and which is used to wind the mechanism. Prior to the introduction of stem watches, the timepieces were wound up using a key.

    63. Potpourri quality : ODOR

    The French term “pot pourri” literally translates to “rotten pot”, but in France it used to mean “stew”. Over time, the term “potpourri” evolved in English usage to mean a “medley”, and eventually a mixture of dried flowers and spices.

    64. Did a gainer, say : DIVED

    A gainer is a dive in which the diver leaves the board while facing forward, but makes a backward somersault, entering the water feet first.

    65. Yokohama product : TIRE

    The Yokohama Rubber Company is a tire manufacturer based in Tokyo that was founded in 1917. The company was established back then as a joint venture between Yokohama Cable Manufacturing and B.F Goodrich, based in Akron, Ohio.

    66. Eric who founded an eclectic reader : UTNE

    The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The “Utne Reader” was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

    67. Autobahn autos : OPELS

    Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.

    69. The ten in “hang ten” : TOES

    “To hang ten” is a verb used in surfing. A surfer hangs ten when he or she is able to walk forward and hang ten toes over the nose of the board because the back of the board is covered by the wave being ridden.

    Down

    1. Frequents dive bars, say : SLUMS

    We’ve been using the word “dive” in American English for a run-down bar since the latter half of the 19th century. The term comes from the fact that disreputable taverns were usually located in basements, so one had to literally and figuratively dive into them.

    2. Deck with a Hanged Man : TAROT

    Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

    5. Certain auction offering : REPO

    Repossession (repo)

    10. “Young Frankenstein” helper : IGOR

    In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

    I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

    13. Coffee break time : TEN

    The coffee break that often takes place mid-morning in the US is equivalent to a similar routine in Britain known as “elevenses”, and “smoko” in Australia.

    21. “Slippery” tree : ELM

    The slippery elm is a species of elm native to North America that is also known as the Red Elm. The inner bark of the slippery elm can used in a medicinal tea. Elm bark tea is said to ease a sore throat or irritated stomach.

    27. Essays appearing daily : OP-EDS

    “Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

    29. “Get on Your Feet” singer : ESTEFAN

    Gloria Estefan is a Cuban American singer, born in Havana. Estefan fled Cuba along with her family after the Cuban Revolution, and ended up in Miami. Her father fought for the US military in Vietnam, and also took part in the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion. Years later, Estefan herself was approached by the CIA to work for the agency due to her skill with languages. She ended up doing quite well singing instead …

    “Get on Your Feet” is a song released by Gloria Estefan in 1989. The song’s title gave rise to the name “On Your Feet!” being used for the 2015 musical based on the lives and music of Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio.

    30. Anonymous ’70s litigant : ROE

    Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

    31. Song on the album “ABBA” : SOS

    The ABBA song “S.O.S.” was originally titled “Turn Me On”. In the movie “Mama Mia!”, “S.O.S.” is performed by Meryl Streep (brilliantly) and by Pierce Brosnan (terribly).

    33. The Oxford Dictionaries 2015 “Word” of the Year is one : EMOJI

    An emoji is a character found on many cell phones now that is much like an emoticon, but more elaborate.

    34. “__ Constant Sorrow”: folk classic : MAN OF

    “Man of Constant Sorrow” is a traditional American folk song that was first published in 1913 under the title “Farewell Song”. The title “Man of Constant Sorrow” dates back to a 1928 version. There was a revival in interest in the song after is was featured in the 2000 movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

    39. Wagner’s “__ Rheingold” : DAS

    “Das Rheingold” is an 1869 opera by Richard Wagner, the first of four works that comprise his famous “Ring Cycle”.

    Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” is more properly called “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (The Ring of Nibelung), and comprises four very, very long operas. The individual operas are:

    1. “Das Rheingold”
    2. “Die Walkure”
    3. “Siegfried”
    4. “Gotterdammerung”

    41. Gambling cube : DIE

    The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

    43. Trivial matter : MINUTIA

    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 …

    47. Kicks off the field, briefly : DQS

    Disqualified (DQed)

    54. Lew in old movies : AYRES

    The Hollywood actor Lew Ayres got his big break in “All Quiet On the Western Front”. Famously, he also played Dr. Kildare in several movies. Ayres’ private life wasn’t too dull. He was married three times, Lola Lane and Ginger Rogers being wives one and two. Ayres was also the man for whom actress Jane Wyman left her husband Ronald Reagan, although the Ayres-Wyman relationship didn’t last very long.

    58. Soft ball : NERF

    Nerf is soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

    59. “Hook” pirate : SMEE

    In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

    “Hook” is a very enjoyable 1991 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel “Peter and Wendy”. Spielberg elicited great performances from a great cast in “Hook”. Included in the cast are Robin Williams as Peter, Dustin Hoffman as Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as Smee and Maggie Smith as a mature Wendy.

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    Complete List of Clues and Answers

    Across

    1. Bowl over : STUN

    5. Hardly prudent : RASH

    9. Chophouse order : FILET

    14. Young Clark’s love : LANA

    15. 90 degrees from norte : ESTE

    16. Century plant, e.g. : AGAVE

    17. Hindustani tongue : URDU

    18. Boardwalk extension : PIER

    19. Trick : COZEN

    20. Computer accessory honored in verse? : MOUSE OF POETRY (from “muse of poetry”)

    23. Construction alloy : STEEL

    24. RSVP part : S’IL

    25. Bud : BRO

    28. Olympic dominance by Team USA? : AMERICA’S COUP (from “America’s Cup”)

    33. Virgin __ Records: British label : EMI

    36. Male delivery : SON

    37. Canadian coin since 1996 : TOONIE

    38. Landslide victory claim : MANDATE

    41. Stretch out : DISTEND

    42. Recorded : ON TAPE

    43. Mine in Milan : MIO

    44. Conscription agcy. : SSS

    45. How some medieval knights described their relationships? : JOUST FRIENDS (from “just friends”)

    49. “__ Fell”: Beatles : IF I

    50. Chicago’s __ Center : AON

    51. Post-lecture activity, briefly : Q AND A

    55. Grammarian’s treatise? : THE NOUN’S STORY (from “The Nun’s Story”)

    60. Strange : ALIEN

    62. Watch part : STEM

    63. Potpourri quality : ODOR

    64. Did a gainer, say : DIVED

    65. Yokohama product : TIRE

    66. Eric who founded an eclectic reader : UTNE

    67. Autobahn autos : OPELS

    68. Strongbox alternative : SAFE

    69. The ten in “hang ten” : TOES

    Down

    1. Frequents dive bars, say : SLUMS

    2. Deck with a Hanged Man : TAROT

    3. Inordinate : UNDUE

    4. Queasiness : NAUSEA

    5. Certain auction offering : REPO

    6. “Fat chance!” : AS IF!

    7. Intervenes : STEPS IN

    8. Stout-hearted : HEROIC

    9. It’s not debatable : FACT

    10. “Young Frankenstein” helper : IGOR

    11. Slugabed : LAZYBONES

    12. Christmas lead-in : EVE

    13. Coffee break time : TEN

    21. “Slippery” tree : ELM

    22. Joy : ELATION

    26. Place for digs : RUINS

    27. Essays appearing daily : OP-EDS

    29. “Get on Your Feet” singer : ESTEFAN

    30. Anonymous ’70s litigant : ROE

    31. Song on the album “ABBA” : SOS

    32. Bed at a base : COT

    33. The Oxford Dictionaries 2015 “Word” of the Year is one : EMOJI

    34. “__ Constant Sorrow”: folk classic : MAN OF

    35. Easy to figure out : INTUITIVE

    39. Wagner’s “__ Rheingold” : DAS

    40. Fitting : APT

    41. Gambling cube : DIE

    43. Trivial matter : MINUTIA

    46. Perches : ROOSTS

    47. Kicks off the field, briefly : DQS

    48. Skipped : SAT OUT

    52. Greet quietly : NOD TO

    53. Airborne intruder : DRONE

    54. Lew in old movies : AYRES

    56. Dog trainer’s word : HEEL

    57. Good things to make meet : ENDS

    58. Soft ball : NERF

    59. “Hook” pirate : SMEE

    60. Commotion : ADO

    61. Impertinence : LIP

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    13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 2017, Thursday”

    1. 34:51 with one error at LAZYBONEd/dSS. Took me a long time to figure out the theme. It got to the point where I was looking for a rebus of some kind. JOUST FRIENDS finally made the light bulb over my head turn on. I’d never heard of COZEN which I got with crosses and just hoped it was right. In fact I had to get several answers via crosses – especially anything German or song related…and AON….or Nun’s Story. When you can’t figure out the theme or the fill, you have problems. In retrospect, it’s a miracle I finished at all.

      I never knew where “hang ten” comes from which I guess means I never knew what it really meant. Interesting.

      Tough sledding here and at the NYT today.

      Best –

    2. Seemed like a fair Thursday challenge. Once I got some momentum going the grid came together without any final errors. One strike over when I at first misspelled nausea, but then getting Urdu going across helped me see where I had gone wong.

      On to the WSJ later.

    3. This was a difficult puzzle, although I did manage to suss out the theme – it was of little help. I had a very tough time, and I am glad its over and done with. No fun at all.

      Regarding: Hindustani …. I would like to make an important correction, and in particular to my own education on the development of the word. Prior to 1947, hindustani ( and hindustan – ) did not mean, ‘of the hindus’ , but more pertinent to ‘indian’….. as it was for centuries. Thus hindustani classical music is (north ) indian classical music. As opposed to south indian classical music, carnatic music, which is a radically different style.

      Hindustani classical music was developed by, among others, …. by many, many muslims – especially in the muslim royal courts — and even now, the greatest maestros, teachers and proponents … are muslims .,,, even today ! !! Most of the music is not religious, and certainly not related to the hindus or hinduism. In that sense, the word hindustani is an endonym, ( what indians would refer to themselves – ) for ‘indian’. irrespective of religion …. This is just one example.

      After the partition, in 1947, now, the word hindustan, has veered towards, to be deemed to be in its original connotation – “of the hindus” – thus, new uses for the word carry a parochial hardness about it – and therefore are generally avoided.

      But, prior to 1947, and certainly during the British era, from say 1750 through 1947, ‘hindustani’ meant, and was the sole denominator, of the lingua franca of India, a continuum and admixture of Hindi, Persian, Arabic and other ‘turkic’ languages, and the eventual development to a syncreatic language of Urdu. We cannot erase that historical fact, and nor should we attempt to deny it.
      TMI

    4. 16:51, with one (letter) in error: I had AMERICAN CUP and NO’S instead of AMERICA’S CUP and SOS. After I got the silent treatment, I went through all the answers half a dozen times and finally gave up.

      Thursday’s Newsday: 13:30, no errors, unremarkable.

      I did Thursday’s WSJ over dinner last night, so I didn’t time it, but I thought it was more challenging than usual and very, very clever.

    5. I love the idea of Dustin Hoffman playing the role of Wendy in Spielberg’s movie “Hook”, as you suggested in the Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies; but my impression is that he actually portrayed Captain Hook!

      I might also add that Wagner’s Das Rheingold isn’t really a “very, very long opera”, although the other three in the Ring Cycle certainly could be described that way. It just seems long because it is written in one act with no intermission. In my youth, you could use the number of LPs in an opera set to gauge length of the works: Die Walkuere was five LPs, Siegfried also five, and Goetterdaemmerung was six; but Das Rheingold was only three, the usual length of a Verdi opera.

      But, as usual, I learned a lot doing the puzzle and reading your explanations.

    6. Is DIVED apt in that space? Shouldn’t it be “dove.” As in, “I dove straight in, but the stupid Soviet judge only gave me a 6.”

    7. Thank you Bill, for your response …. a wise solomon-ic decision. Its is always a pleasure and privilege to read your blog.

      Re: Roe vs. Wade. ( of Texas – ) was called ‘Roe’, perhaps because there was already ( another) Jane Doe – in Doe vs. Bolton, from the Georgia Supr. Court. …. which was being decided, ( in pretty much the same manner and conclusion – ) at the same time. The two cases, were. so to say, consolidated. (?) Interestingly, both the socalled plaintiffs became personally opposed to abortion, and converted to catholicism, after about 30 years.

      Strictly speaking, every steel is an alloy, but not all steels are called alloy steels … Wikipedia.
      Carbon gets into the iron, during the smelting and refining process – and is, so to say, an ‘unnecessary evil’ element. High quality steel has to burn off the excess, so the carbon is preferably less than 0.5 % at the most. Otherwise it is like pig iron or cast iron. The alloying elements which are deliberately added are Manganese, Nickel, Chromium, moly, vanadium, silicon, boron etc. etc. I realize this all is TMI, and the clue, as noted, is perfectly correct.

      Have a nice day, folks.

    8. Whew, tough Thursday; took an hour, but miraculously with no errors. Never heard of “slugabed” or cozen, so that was tricky.

      QANDA was the last to fall. Had mcI before EMI, ESTEbAN before ESTEBAN and lOONIE before TOONIE. I also thought it should have been Dove, but I guess it’s kinda like pled and plead.

      Interesting Wiki article on steel. I’ve read it earlier but forgot that carbon is unnecessarily introduced. I was interested at the time why someone here was reluctant to weld a piece of stainless steel. That is also interesting, what the difference between welding and cutting is, since the same gases are used…probably more TMI.

    9. Hi all! ?
      I didn’t have too much trouble with this puzzle and finíshed error-free. The theme actually helped. Did not know COZEN…. or did I? It seems I’ve seen it on a previous grid, tho ?who knows where or when…? Agree with Willie: It​ should be DOVE. I imagine DIVED is acceptable somewhere, but I don’t like it!
      Okay, I’ve got a question for y’all, and it’s a stupid one, so DON’T laugh: Aren’t Clark Kent and Superman the same person????!! Why then do they have different birth places?? Wasn’t Superman born on the planet Krypton??? Never read comic books or saw the movies…. my knowledge of Superman pretty much comes from “Seinfeld”….?
      Thanks as always Bill– you’re the best!
      Be well~~™? ??

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