LA Times Crossword Answers 5 Aug 2017, Saturday










Constructed by: Peter A. Collins

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Part of the back forty : ACRE

In the Public Land Survey System, land right across the country is divided into townships and sections. A section is roughly equivalent to a square mile, 640 acres. It became the practice to refer to quarter-quarter divisions of a section, with a quarter of a quarter of a section being equal to 40 acres (check the math!). From this sprung phrases like “lower 40” (nominally the lowest elevation 40 acres on a property) and the “back 40” (nominally a 40 acre parcel that was undeveloped on a property, “out the back”).

5. Genghis Khan subject : TATAR

Tatars are an ethnic group of people, mainly residing in Russia (a population of about 5 1/2 million). One of the more famous people with a Tatar heritage was Hollywood actor Charles Bronson. Bronson’s real name was Charles Buchinsky.

Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire who was destined to be the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world. He first built his empire by uniting nomadic tribes of northeast Asia, but once Genghis Khan had consolidated his position, he initiated Mongol invasions throughout Eurasia. At it’s height, the Mongol Empire stretched from the River Danube to the Sea of Japan.

10. Go after, as flies : SHAG

“To shag” (I am reliably informed, never having played a game of baseball in my life!) is to chase and catch a fly ball.

16. One heading for the cape? : TORO

The “muleta” is the red flannel cloth that a matador uses towards the end of a bull fight, instead of a cape. The muleta serves to distract the bull and also to hide the sword that is used for the kill. The term “matador” is only used in English, and translates aptly enough as “killer”.

21. Rooney and Griffith : ANDYS

Andy Rooney began his career in newspapers during WWII working for “Stars and Stripes” in London. He had some memorable experiences during the war, including flying on the first American bombing raid over Germany. He was also one of the first American journalists to visit the German concentration camps as they were liberated. He started his segment called “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” on CBS’s “60 Minutes” way back in 1978, and so was on our screens for over 40 years. Rooney passed away in 2011.

Andy Griffith was an actor and gospel singer. As an actor, he is perhaps best remembered for his starring roles in TV shows “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock”. As a singer, his 1996 album “I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns” went platinum and won a 1997 Grammy.

23. Calligraphy problems : SMEARS

Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting, and a term derived from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

31. ADHD drug : DEXEDRINE

Dexedrine is a trade name for the drug dextroamphetamine. The most common use for dextroamphetamine is the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

33. Triangle relationship : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent. For example, the arctangent can be read as “What angle is equivalent to the following ratio of opposite over adjacent?”

34. Removed a cylinder from, maybe : CORED

A core test involves the cutting out of a cylinder from the test material. The test might be for compressive strength in concrete, perhaps, or for measuring dates using ice samples.

35. Kurylenko of “Quantum of Solace” : OLGA

Olga Kurylenko is a Ukrainian actress and model. Kurylenko played the Bond girl Camille Montes in the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace”.

40. Notable feature of Africa : HORN

The Horn of Africa is that horn-shaped peninsula at the easternmost tip of the continent, containing the countries Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia as well as Somalia. The Horn of Africa is also known as the Somali Peninsula.

41. Father’s changing room : VESTRY

A vestry is where a priest dresses for services. Like so many English words, “vestry” came into our language via Anglo-Norman, from the Latin “vestarium” meaning “wardrobe”.

44. Like “The Age of Reason” doctrine : DEIST

Thomas Paine’s pamphlet known as “The Age of Reason” (published in three parts, in 1794, 1795 and 1807) is critical of mainstream religion and also challenges the legitimacy of the Bible.

46. One of Israel’s 12 tribes : ASHER

In the Torah, the Israelites are traced back to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob’s twelve sons became the ancestors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Jacob’s sons were:

  • Reuben
  • Simeon
  • Levi
  • Judah
  • Dan
  • Naphtali
  • Gad
  • Asher
  • Issachar
  • Zebulun
  • Joseph
  • Benjamin

47. Vermouth name : ROSSI

The company that is today known as Martini & Rossi was started in the mid-1800s in Italy, by Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi (and a third partner who sold out years later). From day one it was focused on bottling the fortified wine known as vermouth. Nowadays, the company is also famous for its sparkling wines, and its sponsorship of Grand Prix racing teams. And yes, the famous cocktail is probably named for Mr. Martini.

54. Go south : TANK

Apparently, the first use of the verb “to tank” to mean “to lose or fail” can be pinpointed quite precisely. Tennis great Billie Jean King used the verb in that sense in an interview with “Life” magazine in 1967, with reference to male players.

55. Compilation publication since 1984 : UTNE READER

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.

57. 30% of essentials : ESSES

30% (3 out of 10) of the letters in the word “essentials” are letters S (ess).

Down

1. Hamilton, to General Washington : AIDE

Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s Founding Fathers, chief of staff to General George Washington and the first Secretary of the Treasury. It was Hamilton who founded the nation’s first political party, the Federalist Party. He is also famous for fighting a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, which resulted in Hamilton’s death a few days later.

3. Author born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum : RAND

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

4. Baby newt : EFT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

5. Cronus and Rhea, e.g. : TITANS

In Greek mythology Rhea was one of the Titans. She was the sister and husband of Cronus, and together they had six children, the last of which was Zeus. Cronus swallowed all of his children as soon as they were born, except for Zeus, who Rhea managed to hide from her husband.

6. Harlem Renaissance writer Locke : ALAIN

The author and philosopher Alain LeRoy Locke was the first African-American Rhodes Scholar, and studied in Oxford and Berlin. Years later, Locke was the philosophical architect of what became known as the Harlem Renaissance, and indeed is often referred to as the Harlem Renaissance’s “Dean”.

9. Outdoor gear giant : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

10. Georgia’s __ Mountain : STONE

Stone Mountain is a granite dome in Georgia that has a circumference of over 5 miles in length. Famously, the dome has a massive bas relief structure of the three Confederate leaders of the Civil War: President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and General Stonewall Jackson, each mounted on their favorite horse. The carving surface is 3 acres in area, making it the largest bas relief sculpture in the world.

11. Acura MDX relative : HONDA PILOT

The Honda Pilot is mid-size crossover SUV that was introduced in 2002. The luxury version of the vehicle is sold as the Acura MDX.

12. Elite military member : ARMY RANGER

Army Rangers belong to a Special Operations unit known as the 75th Ranger Regiment. The modern Army Rangers have roots that go back to Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys, a militia organization that served in the Revolutionary War.

24. Bath additive : EPSOM SALTS

The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which is run the Epsom Derby every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. We also come across Epsom salt from time to time. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time. The town is also home to Epsom College, an English “public school” (which actually means “private, and expensive”). One of Epsom’s “old boys” was the Hollywood actor Stewart Granger.

25. Head rest? : TOILET SEAT

In old sailing ships the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship, hence the term “head” that has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.

28. Winter Olympics maneuver : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

31. Word with front or pocket : DOOR

A pocket door is a sliding door that disappears into a pocket in an adjacent wall.

34. Martial arts move : CHOP

Martial arts are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

45. Competitor of Helena : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

Helena Rubinstein was an American businesswoman born in Poland. She arrived in New York City just after the outbreak of WWI, and there opened up her first cosmetics salon. Within a decade she had built a huge chain of salons, and sold off the business to Lehman Brothers in 1928 for over $7 million. A couple of years later during the Great Depression, Rubinstein bought back her business, for less than one million dollars.

Return to top of page

Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Part of the back forty : ACRE

5. Genghis Khan subject : TATAR

10. Go after, as flies : SHAG

14. Words of self-pity : I’M A FAILURE

16. One heading for the cape? : TORO

17. Layoff order? : DON’T START IN ON ME

19. Remnant : END

20. Water carriers : MAINS

21. Rooney and Griffith : ANDYS

22. “Haven’t the foggiest” : DUNNO

23. Calligraphy problems : SMEARS

24. Law school course : ETHICS

27. Area between highlands : VALE

29. Word whose meaning can be the same when read backward : PAT

30. Take the wrong way? : POACH

31. ADHD drug : DEXEDRINE

33. Triangle relationship : SINE

34. Removed a cylinder from, maybe : CORED

35. Kurylenko of “Quantum of Solace” : OLGA

36. Like throwbacks : OLD SCHOOL

38. Reacted to a call at home, maybe : BOOED

39. Came together : MET

40. Notable feature of Africa : HORN

41. Father’s changing room : VESTRY

42. Plug : STOP UP

44. Like “The Age of Reason” doctrine : DEIST

46. One of Israel’s 12 tribes : ASHER

47. Vermouth name : ROSSI

48. Took : WON

51. Words shouted out an open window : LEARN HOW TO DRIVE!

54. Go south : TANK

55. Compilation publication since 1984 : UTNE READER

56. Factory regs. : STDS

57. 30% of essentials : ESSES

58. Proceed : WEND

Down

1. Hamilton, to General Washington : AIDE

2. “What are you waitin’ for?’ : C’MON

3. Author born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum : RAND

4. Baby newt : EFT

5. Cronus and Rhea, e.g. : TITANS

6. Harlem Renaissance writer Locke : ALAIN

7. Giving up the ball after a fake punt, say, in football lingo : TURNOVER ON DOWNS

8. Word in many degrees : ARTS

9. Outdoor gear giant : REI

10. Georgia’s __ Mountain : STONE

11. Acura MDX relative : HONDA PILOT

12. Elite military member : ARMY RANGER

13. Sees only one person : GOES STEADY

15. To the same degree : AS MUCH

18. Called : NAMED

22. Does a kitchen job : DICES

23. Dog follower : SLED

24. Bath additive : EPSOM SALTS

25. Head rest? : TOILET SEAT

26. Like some combat : HAND-TO-HAND

28. Winter Olympics maneuver : AXEL

31. Word with front or pocket : DOOR

32. Stick in a cage : ROOST

34. Martial arts move : CHOP

37. Agitate : CHURN

38. Not relevant to : BESIDE

41. Shade providers at golf clubs : VISORS

43. Exec’s extras : PERKS

45. Competitor of Helena : ESTEE

47. Breaks down : ROTS

48. Off the mark : WIDE

49. Rising spot : OVEN

50. Stereotypical techie : NERD

52. Tangerine or peach : HUE

53. Unadulterated : RAW

Return to top of page

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 5 Aug 2017, Saturday”

  1. 79 minutes, 0 errors. Surprised I actually managed this one. Hopefully this one isn’t “easy”, though I wouldn’t be surprised given how much worse I’ve gotten at this in the last week.

  2. I was able to fill in about 80% without any help. That’s pretty good for me on a Saturday. NW and SE corners are what got me.

    Re: TORO and bullfighting – I’ve been to two bull fights and I’m always amazed at how they are portrayed in the US: very over-romanticized. It’s actually pretty gruesome and I found it hard to watch the whole thing (granted I did attend a second fight even though I knew what to expect).

    Glad the long clue was a sports reference becuase I can usually get those. 🙂

    Hope y’all have a great day! Thanks for the warm welcome!

    -Megan

  3. 19:11, no errors. Not one of my better outings, but I muddled through. Had SWAT instead of SHAG, but finally figured out what kind of flies the clue referred to. Also had HEXADRINE before DEXADRINE and PRIORY before VESTRY. Favorite clue: “30% of essentials”. Groan … ?

  4. 23:14, but needed to lookups to “finish.” But let’s not “start in on” that whole discussion again. ?

  5. This didn’t seem all that hard for a Saturday. The long crosses got figured out pretty quickly. I was on a roll this week for some unexplainable

  6. 39:54…which sounds a LOT faster than 40 minutes….one error. 53 minutes for the NYT today, but this one felt more draining for some reason. Had DONT STAND ON ON ME. That one was a forced answer anyway (see diatribe below) so I’ll live with it. I thought TOILET SEAT for “Head rest” was the groaner of the day, but 30% of essentials is a close runner up.

    Incidentally I am seeing more and more common usage of the word “anyways” even in what I thought were pretty respectable places. Maybe it’s just Texas, but if “anyways” ever becomes accepted usage, I’m going to start speaking a different language. Ugh. I even had an argument with a current ENGLISH MAJOR in college who thought “anyways” was correct…which it never is. Yikes.

    @Carrie
    The Orioles are often referred to as the O’s especially in Baltimore, but I’ll admit the singular “O” isn’t very common. What do you care anywayS? The Dodgers never lose anymore!

    Best –

  7. Thanks for the write-up, Bill. I always learn something new about my own puzzles from your posts — like where the term AXEL came from.

    1. No, thank you for yet another solid puzzle, Pete. I love to see the Peter A. Collins name in the byline. It’s particularly nice to see your name on a Saturday! 🙂

  8. I just finished the “Saturday Stumper” from Newsday: 1:18:55, no errors. I thought it was harder than usual. There are two answers I got but don’t understand (though one of them may simply be a Britishism), and a couple of others that are pretty obscure, and that seems odd: usually, the puzzles are difficult, but, once you finish, all the answers make perfect sense.

  9. Likewise, from Bill’s explanation of the origin of “the back forty”, I surmise that when former enslaved black farmers were promised “40 acres and a mule” back in 1865, this must be where that computation comes from. Never realized that 🙂

  10. Good Saturday puzzle, double handful of nice clues. Thanks, PAC. Glad to see the very informal DUNNO, kudos on Ayn Rand’s birth name, appreciated cleverness of “Words often shouted out an open window” and “Head rest.” And the ESSES clue was better than most I’ve seen for it. All around, fun and challenging. (@Bill, the second “first” was dropped from your explainer on the REI folks: Besides being the outfit’s first full-timer, Whittaker was also the FIRST American to summit Everest.)

  11. Wend…. Looked it up and nowhere did I find a “proceed”. Hmmm… and it’s usage in language reached its zenith around 1850 and today, almost nil.
    Lost me on UTNE reader

      1. Well, now I’m even more confused. I can’t find anyone who’s ever abbreviated “standards” as “STDS”, and I can’t find any connection between the word “standards” and factories in particular.

  12. Nice, pretty tough Saturday; took about 1.5 hrs with no errors. Had to change asSIDE to BESIDE and sANK to TANK, but everything else was right the first time.

    How odious to find out Alan Greenspan was one of Ayn Rand’s acolytes, but it explains his (un)response to the financial crisis of 2008.

    @Bill You’re missing a “first”, just before American, in you’re REI description.

  13. Hi folks!!
    @Megan from yesterday: yes, got the AL-er reference; just never heard the Orioles referred to as “O’s”! ?
    Thanks Jeff! I guess cuz I’ve never been to Baltimore…. BTW, as an English teacher, I AGREE re. “anyways.” (Jeez, it even showed up on my predictive text!!!! Whaaat​??!) ?
    Did well on this, for a Saturday, but did have to Google two things. Well done puzzle. I expected RECTORY instead of VESTRY (never mind that it doesn’t fit.) I was thinking father as in priest. Weird how a Catholic childhood stays with you…
    So excited about my Dodgers!! ⚾ …….
    Be well~~™??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.