LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Sep 2017, Thursday










Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: Stephen King

Each of today’s themed answer starts with the title of a novel by Stephen King:

  • 62A. Author born 9/21/1947 who penned the starts of 17-, 24-, 38- and 52-Across : STEPHEN KING
  • 17A. Measurement based on inflation and unemployment rates : MISERY INDEX (giving “Misery”)
  • 24A. “Postcards From the Edge” author : CARRIE FISHER (giving “Carrie”)
  • 38A. Smart comment? : IT HURTS! (giving “It”)
  • 52A. Semipermeable biological barrier : CELL MEMBRANE (giving “Cell”)

Bill’s time: 5m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Medicine __, Alberta : HAT

Medicine Hat is a city in Alberta. Canada. Medicine Hat is known for its extensive natural gas fields. In fact, English writer Rudyard Kipling described the city as having “all hell for a basement”.

13. OPEC, for one : CARTEL

A cartel is a group of independent businesses who cooperate to regulate production, pricing and marketing of their common product(s).

The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

15. Radius neighbor : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

17. Measurement based on inflation and unemployment rates : MISERY INDEX (giving “Misery”)

In the world of economics, the misery index is the sum of the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate and the annual inflation rate. As such, higher rates of unemployment and inflation make us all miserable. Since WWII, the largest improvement in the misery index for the US occurred during the administration of President Harry Truman. The largest deterioration in the misery index took place during the administration of President Richard Nixon.

The 1990 film “Misery” is an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. I think it’s the only movie of a King book that I’ve watched and enjoyed. I can’t stomach his books, not because of the writing, but because of the gruesome scenes that are part of the plots. The screen version of “Misery” is toned down a little from the original storyline. In the novel, the Kathy Bates character amputates the James Caan character’s foot to incapacitate him. In the movie she just smashes his ankles. Big difference …

19. X, at times : TEN

“X” is the Roman numeral for “10”.

20. Tesla Motors co-founder Musk : ELON

Elon Musk is successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

21. “Inside Politics” channel : CNN

“Inside Politics” is a CNN news program that had an original run of over 20 years. It was hosted by Judy Woodruff from 1993 to 2005, and was resurrected in 2014 with John King as host.

22. Poet laureate, e.g. : TITLE

A poet laureate is a poet who is officially pointed by some institution to compose works for special occasions. The US Poet Laureate is more correctly known as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

24. “Postcards From the Edge” author : CARRIE FISHER (giving “Carrie”)

The actress Carrie Fisher was best known for playing Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” series of films. Fisher was the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. Carrie Fisher fell seriously ill on a transatlantic flight at the end of 2016, and then died of cardiac arrest four days later. Famously, her mother and next-door neighbor in Beverly Hills, passed away following a stroke, just one day after her daughter died.

“Postcards from the Edge” is a semi-autobiographical 1987 novel by actress Carrie Fisher that was adapted into a 1990 movie of the same name starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.

“Carrie” was Stephen King’s first published novel. The title character is humiliated in a cruel prank during her high school prom in which she ends up covered in the blood of an animal. This trauma leads to a fit rage, with Carrie slaughtering her classmates and the rest of her hometown’s inhabitants.

28. Where Moses received the Ten Commandments, for short : MT SINAI

According to the Bible, Mount Sinai is the mountain on which Moses was given the Ten Commandments. The Biblical Mount Sinai is probably not the mountain in Egypt that today has the same name, although this is the subject of much debate. The Egyptian Mount Sinai has two developed routes that one can take to reach the summit. The longer gentler climb takes about 2 1/2 hours, but there is also the steeper climb up the 3,750 “steps of penitence”.

33. Instagram upload, briefly : PIC

Instagram is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram was started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

34. Three-time A.L. MVP : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, broke a lot of records in his career, albeit under a shroud of controversy due to his use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. When he signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers for $252 million in 2000, it was the most lucrative contract in sports history. In 2007, Rodriguez signed an even more lucrative 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, worth $275 million. Rodriguez retired in 2016.

38. Smart comment? : IT HURTS! (giving “It”)

“It” is a 1986 horror novel penned by Stephen King. The novel was adapted into a 1990 miniseries of the same name.

42. Baja she-bear : OSA

Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

45. Solar wind particle : ION

The Sun’s upper atmosphere continually ejects a stream of the charged particles that have such high energy that they can escape the Sun’s gravity. This supersonic plasma consisting of mainly electrons, protons and alpha particles is referred to as the solar wind. The solar wind extends as far as the outer limits of our solar system, and is responsible for phenomena such as the Earth’s northern and southern lights, the geomagnetic storms that affect radio reception, and the plasma tails of comets.

46. Song of worship : PSALM

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

52. Semipermeable biological barrier : CELL MEMBRANE (giving “Cell”)

“Cell” is a 2006 novel by the master of horror Stephen King about people being turned into zombie-like killers when they hear a mysterious signal over their cell phones.

55. Big glitch : SNAFU

SNAFU is an acronym standing for Situation Normal: All Fouled Up (well, that’s the “polite” version!). As one might perhaps imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

57. 2000s Chevy : AVEO

The Chevrolet Aveo is a subcompact automobile that has been around since 2002. The Aveo is manufactured by GM Daewoo, the GM subsidiary in South Korea. Although the Aveo name is still used in some markets, here in North America the Aveo has been sold as the Chevrolet Sonic since 2012. By the way, GM Daewoo is the third largest manufacturer of automobiles in South Korea, after Hyundai and Kia.

62. Author born 9/21/1947 who penned the starts of 17-, 24-, 38- and 52-Across : STEPHEN KING

Stephen King is a remarkably successful author having sold over 350 million copies of his books, many of which have been made into hit movies. I’ve tried reading two or three, and didn’t get too far. I really don’t do horror …

66. Biblical craft : ARK

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

68. “Mad About You” co-star : REISER

The comedian and actor Paul Reiser is best known for co-starring alongside Helen Hunt in the nineties sitcom “Mad About You”. Reiser also co-wrote the show’s theme song, “The Final Frontier”.

“Mad About You” is a sitcom from the nineties that stars Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as a couple living in New York City. Reiser and Hunt did well out of the success of the show, each earning one million dollars per episode for the last season.

71. Drumroll drum : SNARE

Snare drums are so called because they have a set of wire strands (snares) stretching across the bottom surface of the drum. When the drum is struck, the snares vibrate against the bottom drumhead producing a unique sound.

Down

5. Always, in sonnets : E’ER

A sonnet is a 14-line poem with a specific structure and rhyming scheme. A popular rhyming scheme for what is known as the Italian sonnet is ABBA, ABBA, CDECDE. Compare this with the Shakespearean sonnet which rhymes as ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG.

6. Denomination of most Iraqi Kurds : SUNNI

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

Most of the Kurdish people live in a region known as Kurdistan, which stretches into parts of Iran, Syria, Turkey as well as northern Iraq.

11. One-named “All I Ask” singer : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. More recently, her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

14. Sports bra fabric : LYCRA

What we call spandex in the US is known as lycra in the British Isles. “Spandex” was chosen as the name for the elastic fiber as it is an anagram of “expands”.

18. Cross characters : INRI

The letters written on the cross on which Jesus died were “INRI”. INRI is an initialism standing for the Latin “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum”, which translates into English as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”.

23. Land surrounded by agua : ISLA

In Spanish, there is water (agua) flowing in a river (río) or surrounding an “isla” (island).

26. Bahrain bigwig : EMIR

Bahrain is an island nation located off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia by a series of causeways and bridges constructed in the eighties.

27. One of John Adams’ “stubborn things” : FACT

According to John Adams:

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

Adams uttered those words when he was still a lawyer, and while representing the British soldiers who killed five civilians in what came to be known as the Boston Massacre.

28. Corp. execs’ degrees : MBAS

The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

35. Nobel Prize city : OSLO

The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.

36. Butler’s last word : DAMN

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, when Rhett Butler finally walks out on Scarlett O’Hara he utters the words “My dear, I don’t give a damn”. Most of us are more familiar with the slightly different words spoken by Clark Gable in the film adaption of the story: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

39. Flag : TIRE

Our verb “to flag” meaning “to tire” was originally used in the sense of something flapping about lazily in the wind. From this it came to mean “to go limp, droop”, and then “to tire”.

40. “Chariots of Fire” Oscar nominee Ian : HOLM

English actor Sir Ian Holm is very respected on the stage in the UK, but is better known for his film roles here in the US. Holm played the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in two of the “Lord of the Rings” movies, and he also played the character who turns out be an android in the film “Alien”.

“Chariots of Fire” is British film released in 1981. The movie is based on the true story of two athletes training for and participating in the shorter running events in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

51. Tylenol rival : BAYER

Bayer AG is a German pharmaceutical company that was founded in 1863. The company’s most famous product is its original brand of aspirin. The company logo, the Bayer cross, was introduced in 1904. That same logo can be seen on an illuminated sign in Leverkusen, where the company is headquartered. It is the largest illuminated sign in the world.

52. Political channel : C-SPAN

C-SPAN is a privately-funded, nonprofit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings.

53. Calendario month : ENERO

In Spanish, we start the “año” (year) in “enero” (January) as noted on a “calendario” (calendar).

58. Authorization to enter a country : VISA

A visa is a usually a stamp in one’s passport, an indication that one is authorized to enter (and less often, to exit) a particular country. The word “visa” comes into English, via French, from the Latin expression “charta visa” meaning “paper that has been seen”, or “verified paper”.

59. Fed. power dept. : ENER

The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

60. Barbarian : OGRE

We use the word “barbarian” to describe a person lacking refinement and culture. The term comes from the Greek “barbaros”, which originally meant “non-citizen”. Over time, the Greek word came to be used pejoratively, applying to enemies of Athenians in particular.

65. Nintendo’s Super __ console : NES

The name Super NES (or SNES) stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Our kids probably have one somewhere …

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Hopped out of bed : AROSE

6. Challenge for Santa’s dry-cleaner : SOOT

10. Medicine __, Alberta : HAT

13. OPEC, for one : CARTEL

15. Radius neighbor : ULNA

16. Sworn statement : I DO

17. Measurement based on inflation and unemployment rates : MISERY INDEX (giving “Misery”)

19. X, at times : TEN

20. Tesla Motors co-founder Musk : ELON

21. “Inside Politics” channel : CNN

22. Poet laureate, e.g. : TITLE

24. “Postcards From the Edge” author : CARRIE FISHER (giving “Carrie”)

28. Where Moses received the Ten Commandments, for short : MT SINAI

31. Colorful fall tree : MAPLE

32. Put together : BUILT

33. Instagram upload, briefly : PIC

34. Three-time A.L. MVP : A-ROD

37. “Is there more?” : AND?

38. Smart comment? : IT HURTS! (giving “It”)

42. Baja she-bear : OSA

43. Understands : SEES

45. Solar wind particle : ION

46. Song of worship : PSALM

48. Off-white color : PEARL

50. It may be reckless : ABANDON

52. Semipermeable biological barrier : CELL MEMBRANE (giving “Cell”)

55. Big glitch : SNAFU

56. Inhospitable : ICY

57. 2000s Chevy : AVEO

61. Signature piece? : PEN

62. Author born 9/21/1947 who penned the starts of 17-, 24-, 38- and 52-Across : STEPHEN KING

66. Biblical craft : ARK

67. Roof edge : EAVE

68. “Mad About You” co-star : REISER

69. “But, mom!” evokers : NOS

70. Zoomed : SPED

71. Drumroll drum : SNARE

Down

1. Top : ACME

2. Scenic overlook safety feature : RAIL

3. Driving directions qualifier : OR SO

4. Sign maker’s aid : STENCIL

5. Always, in sonnets : E’ER

6. Denomination of most Iraqi Kurds : SUNNI

7. Unlike spring chickens : OLD

8. Person : ONE

9. Advice for an e-filer : TAX TIP

10. Get going : HIT THE ROAD

11. One-named “All I Ask” singer : ADELE

12. Skin care product : TONER

14. Sports bra fabric : LYCRA

18. Cross characters : INRI

23. Land surrounded by agua : ISLA

25. Not pro : ANTI

26. Bahrain bigwig : EMIR

27. One of John Adams’ “stubborn things” : FACT

28. Corp. execs’ degrees : MBAS

29. Use a fork, perhaps : TUNE

30. Exercises that strengthen obliques : SIDE PLANKS

33. “Sign language is pretty handy,” e.g. : PUN

35. Nobel Prize city : OSLO

36. Butler’s last word : DAMN

39. Flag : TIRE

40. “Chariots of Fire” Oscar nominee Ian : HOLM

41. Time period : SPAN

44. __-service : SELF

47. Enter surreptitiously : SNEAK IN

49. Makes giggle : AMUSES

50. Cat’s back shape, at times : ARCH

51. Tylenol rival : BAYER

52. Political channel : C-SPAN

53. Calendario month : ENERO

54. Two-footer : BIPED

58. Authorization to enter a country : VISA

59. Fed. power dept. : ENER

60. Barbarian : OGRE

63. __ water : TAP

64. Holiday threshold : EVE

65. Nintendo’s Super __ console : NES

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Sep 2017, Thursday”

  1. LAT: 12:12, no errors. Easy, but I floundered a bit and, once again, forgot to check for a theme.

    BEQ: 16:52, no errors. A bit tricky for me, with a number of missteps. I understood enough of the theme to help me finish the puzzle, but it was only then that I understood it completely. A marvelous tour de force from Mr. Quigley!

    Newsday: 11:08, no errors. Remarkably unremarkable.

    WSJ: 17:18, with one square in error: 25A was new to me. 18D was an old standard that should have come to my rescue and given me the letter at the intersection. (In fact, I had it right at one point, but I changed it and then I forgot to change it back.) 6D and 15A were also new to me, but I got them through crosses.

    I’m still working on the latest Tim Croce puzzle, which I started just before going to bed last night; it’s about 80% done. Oddly enough, a clue in the BEQ puzzle contains a very unusual word that also occurs as an entry in the Croce puzzle. Coincidence?

  2. 24 minutes, 1 error on this (I wouldn’t take much stock on the time, I was pretty distracted for a few minutes while doing this). DNF on the WSJ (again) with several errors. More proof caffeine is a PED for crosswords I suppose (I can’t do these at all since I did that). Getting more glacially slow on everything I think too. On to the NYT, I suppose. Maybe the BEQ too. We’ll see.

  3. So I finished the latest Tim Croce puzzle (#294), with no errors (but I cannot tell a lie: that clue in today’s BEQ saved me from a one-letter error in it). I finally had to print a whole new copy, fill in all the things I was sure of, and go from there. (The original copy had so many write-overs in the lower left that it was impossible to look at without dissolving into confusion.) So maybe I won’t download any more Croce puzzles for a little while … ?

  4. Interesting, how the Misery Index has been applied to Harry Truman favorably, since it was not computed during his time. It was actually created and publicized during the Johnson administration – to reflect economic conditions during the Vietnam War, but precociously in anticipation of Richard Nixon’s presidency. Can you remember when interest rates/ inflation got to 17%? Now that’s Misery 🙂

  5. I had a good time with this Thursday puzzle – the long answers were a big help, although I am not familiar with Stephen King’s novels. I wondered why Carrie Fisher was there ….

    Re: Misery Index …. I thought the worst misery index was during Prez. Carter’s time in office …. which is why Mr. Reagan used it so often in his campaign speeches – and that is when I first heard of it. The Unemp rate was ~ 11 percent and the inflation was prob 12% – because the mortgage interest rate, when I bought my first house was a whopping 14% !!
    Btw, in the UK and in Europe, a double digit interest rate on mortgages is not very uncommon.

    Re: Bayer as a Tylenol ‘rival’ ….
    I somehow had a problem with this. Tylenol is a BRAND name for APAP = Acetyl para-amino-phenol ( also Acet-aminophen / Para-acetomol ). It is manufactured/distributed by McNeill Cosumer Healthcare, which is, in turn, fully owned by Johnson and Johnson ( Inc.).

    Bayer AG ( for Aktien Gesellschaft – public corpn. ) is the original manufacturer (of a type of ) – acetyl salicylic Acid ( or a sodium salt thereof – ) – the brand name of which is Aspirin. So, the equivalency ratio would be :

    Tylenol:: Aspirin …… McNeill (Labs) :: Bayer

    Both APAP and “Aspirin” are made by hundreds of other companies…. all over the world.
    I know, because I worked, making APAP, for 2 months, in a Pharma company, in 1966, when APAP was called ‘Crocin’, and made by Crookes Interfran (UK).(Now, GlaxoSmithKline – )
    …. Not to be confused with Crocin, a yellow carotenoid pigment of the expensive spice Saffron – that is the chemical name of a totally different unrelated product ……

    If you are not confused, or bored, enough, Have a nice day, folks.

  6. 20 minutes, no errors on the BEQ.

    @Vidwan
    That’s one of the many problems that get through on these kind of puzzles. Unfortunately, as you explained, this one is particularly egregious and should have been edited to more fit the answer.

  7. 15:16. Did this earlier this morning but had some issues with the website so I couldn’t comment. Was that just me?

    Amazing how little things thrill me these days. I finally have sheets for a bed somewhere other than a hotel room. It’s also amazing the number of things I don’t have and used to take for granted. For example, I have no trash cans yet….. How do I throw anything away? I have bought some hefty bags.

    Was talking to my friends and family in the Dominican Republic. They were dealing with mandatory evacuations and a LOT of heavy rain as well as intermittent electricity due to Hurricane Maria – just a few days after Irma hit them as well. It’s not as bad as what has happened in Puerto Rico, and even though I know they are all safe for the moment, I’m having a hard time sleeping these days. I can’t tell you how sick I am of hurricanes and their wrath.

    On a lighter note – Vidwan I never pegged you as a drug dealer… 🙂

    Best –

  8. Pretty easy Thursday, done at a leisurely pace while selling my honey. Actually finished during the market instead of having to wait until I got home.

    Bayer Leverkusen is one of my team’s, 1. FC Köln, rivals in NRW, Germany. They are referred to as the team/city on the wrong side of the Rhein (Rhine) and their supporters are called pill twirlers, since it is a company supported/sponsored team.

  9. Hi gentlemen!! ?
    Again I’m the only gal!! ? At least I’m once again name-checked in a grid — and once again it’s in reference to the bloody telekinetic prom queen….hmmm.
    Pretty easy Thursday, but even so, I’m amazed by Bill’s time!! I had a *moment* in the center: I couldn’t at first get either TIRE or PEARL. The theme led me right to the author, even tho I’ve never read any of his books. Have seen the movies tho.
    Hey Dirk, is that soccer you’re talking about? ⚽
    Jeff, I’m glad your peeps are safe in the Dominican Republic. I hope you settle in quickly yourself. I’d find it hard to live and work in Vegas, but at least it’s not boring.
    Be well~~™✌

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