LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Sep 2017, Saturday










Constructed by: Mark Diehl

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. The punch in Planter’s Punch : ETHANOL

Planter’s Punch is a cocktail that may have originated in the Planters Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina some time in the 19th century, hence the name. It is a rum-based cocktail that also includes several fruit juices, grenadine and Angostura bitters.

14. Disk problem : SCIATICA

Sciatica is pain caused by compression and inflammation of one or both of the sciatic nerves that run from the lower back down to the lower legs.

15. Curly-haired “Peanuts” character : FRIEDA

Charles Schulz introduced the Frieda character in the sixties. She is a little girl with a head of curly, red hair. Schulz modeled Frieda on his longtime friend from real life Frieda Rich, a local artist from Minneapolis.

17. Like rattlers : FANGED

The scales covering the tip of a rattlesnake’s tail are made of keratin, the same structural protein that makes up the outer layer of human skin, as well as our hair and nails. The rattlesnake shakes its tail vigorously to warn off potential predators, causing the hollow scales to vibrate against one another and resulting in that scary “rattle” sound. The rattler’s tail muscles “fire” an incredible fifty times a second to achieve that effect, demonstrating one of the fastest muscular movements in the whole animal kingdom.

19. Former Haitian president : ARISTIDE

John-Bertrand Aristide is a Haitian native. When he was 29 years old he entered the priesthood, after having studied in Italy, Greece and Israel. He served as a priest in Haiti under the brutal regimes of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc”. Aristide became an outspoken critic of the dictators, and many times incurred their wrath. While still a priest, he was elected to the office of president, in the country’s first democratic election. Aristide was also an outspoken critic of the church, and in 1994 left the priesthood, getting married 12 months later.

22. Display some guns : FLEX

“Guns” is a slang term for very strong arms or biceps.

The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

23. “Wuthering Heights” setting : MOOR

“Wuthering Heights” is the only novel written by Emily Brontë, and one that she published using the pen name Ellis Bell. “Wuthering Heights” was published in December of 1847, a date chosen to take advantage of the wave of success enjoyed by Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” that had been published just two months earlier.

25. Taylor of “American Crime” : LILI

The actress Lili Taylor had supporting roles in films like “Mystic Pizza”, “The Haunting” and “Rudy”. She also had a recurring role in the HBO series “Six Feet Under”.

“American Crime” is a crime drama TV series that ran for three seasons from 2015 to 2017. I haven’t seen this one, but I hear good things.

26. Wedding announcement : BANNS

In the Christian tradition, the banns of marriage are the public announcement posted in a parish church of an intended marriage. The banns are intended to give anyone a chance to raise any valid objections to the union.

28. Sachet filler : LAVENDER

“Lavender” is the common name for the plant genus Lavandula. Lavender is used as an ornamental plants, as a culinary herb and for the production of essential oils. The plant’s name might ultimately be derived from the Latin word “lavare” meaning “to wash”, a reference to the use of essential oils in bathing.

38. Lummox : APE

The word “lummox” comes from East Anglian slang (northeast of London), and describes an ungainly and often clueless person. The term is probably a contraction of “lumbering ox”.

39. Covered carriages : SHAYS

A chaise is a light carriage with a folding hood that transports one or two people. “Chaise” is the French for “chair”, and takes its name from the “sedan chair” means of transportation. In the US, the name “chaise” evolved into “shay”.

42. Reverse of a knit : PURL

As all of us knitters know, the purl stitch and knit stitch are very similar, one being sort of the inverse of the other. Yes, I’ve knitted a few sweaters in my day …

45. Pâté base : FOIE

Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made up of a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, made from the fattened livers of geese (“foie gras” means “fat liver” in French).

46. Month after diciembre : ENERO

In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

47. Immortal Kiev-born pianist : HOROWITZ

Vladimir Horowitz was a classical pianist from Kiev who escaped to the West in 1925, and then settled in the US. Horowitz was married to Wanda Toscanini, daughter of the famed Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini.

50. Commonly seen brown vehicle : UPS VAN

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

54. Like the praying mantis : ONE-EARED

The term “praying mantis” is often used for species of insects more correctly called simply “mantises”. The familiar term refers to the prayer-like posture adopted by the insect with their fore-limbs folded. Strangely, the praying mantis is the only animal that we know with only one ear. That ear is located deep in the thorax or chest.

55. In Tupperware, say : SEALED

Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal”, which were provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

Down

2. Dessert with a kick : TIRAMISU

Tiramisu is an Italian cake. The name “tiramisu” translates from Italian as “pull me up”, and is often translated into our English phrase “pick-me-up”.

3. Mad __ : HATTER

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, the Mad Hatter makes his first appearance in a chapter called “A Mad Tea-Party”. This event is usually described as “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”, even though the Mad Hatter was just a guest. The host was the March Hare. In fact, the phrase “mad Hatter” doesn’t appear anywhere in Lewis Carroll’s novel, although the character, the Hatter (and sometimes “Hatta”), is described as mad.

5. West Coast ZIP starter : NINE

ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

6. Neatnik’s possible condition, briefly : OCD

Apparently, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.

7. Mississippi explorer : LA SALLE

The French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River basin for France in 1682. He named the region “La Louisiane” in honor of Louis XIV, who was King of France at that time. It is from “La Louisiane” that we get the state name “Louisiana”.

9. Line 32 items on 1040 forms : IRAS

Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

10. D, P or S, on quarters : MINT MARK

Mint marks are inscribed on coins to indicate where the coin was minted. In the US, the current mint marks are:

  • “P” for the Philadelphia Mint
  • “D” for the Denver Mint
  • “S” for the San Francisco Mint
  • “W” for the West Point Mint

12. Had way too much of : ODED ON

Overdose (OD)

13. Angler’s gear : WADERS

We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.

14. Grand children? : SPINETS

A spinet is the name given to a smaller version of keyboard instruments, such as the harpsichord, piano or organ. Spinets are still made today, as smaller and cheaper versions of full-size instruments.

20. Pull over, say? : REINJURE

To pull a muscle again is to reinjure said muscle.

22. Fin : FIVE SPOT

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

28. Wranglers alternative : LEES

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

Wrangler is a manufacturer of jeans headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. Wrangler jeans were first made in the mid-1940s and were designed specifically for use by cowboys in rodeos.

29. Part of DINK : DUAL

The acronym “DINK” stands for “Dual Income, No Kids”, and describes a couple who are both working for a wage, and have no children. The extended term “DINKER” stands for “Dual Income, No Kids, Early Retirement”. The opposite situation is sometimes referred to as SITCOM, meaning “Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage”!

31. Fleming work : SPY NOVEL

Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

35. Ran off : XEROXED

A xerox is a copy made on a xerograph machine. Xerography is a dry photocopying technique that was invented in 1938 by Chester Carlson, although he originally referred to the process as electrophotography. Joseph Wilson commercialized Carlson’s process some years later, coining the term “Xerography” using the Greek words for “dry” and “writing”. Wilson changed the name of his own photographic company to Xerox.

37. Subway alternative : QUIZNOS

Quiznos is one the finer fast food joints, in my humble opinion. The main meal served is a toasted submarine sandwich.

39. Speed down a slope : SCHUSS

A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, with no turns taken to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

40. Rockers Mott the __ : HOOPLE

Mott the Hoople was a glam rock band from England that was big in the mid-seventies. The name of the band comes from the title of a novel by Willard Manus.

52. Literary assortment : ANA

An ana (plural “anas”) is a collection, perhaps of literature, that represents the character of a particular place or a person. “Ana” can be used as a noun or as a suffix (e.g. “Americana”).

Return to top of page

Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. The punch in Planter’s Punch : ETHANOL

8. Set overly easy goals : AIM LOW

14. Disk problem : SCIATICA

15. Curly-haired “Peanuts” character : FRIEDA

16. Foreshadows : PORTENDS

17. Like rattlers : FANGED

18. Drawn : IN A TIE

19. Former Haitian president : ARISTIDE

21. Policy at certain clubs : NO MEN

22. Display some guns : FLEX

23. “Wuthering Heights” setting : MOOR

24. Gulf States leader : EMIR

25. Taylor of “American Crime” : LILI

26. Wedding announcement : BANNS

27. It’s in many poems : ‘TIS

28. Sachet filler : LAVENDER

30. Informal passing remark? : ‘SCUSE ME

32. Repository for spare or unused parts : JUNK BOX

36. Cheerleading outfit? : PEP SQUAD

38. Lummox : APE

39. Covered carriages : SHAYS

42. Reverse of a knit : PURL

43. Selfish sort : USER

44. Be the first to say : COIN

45. Pâté base : FOIE

46. Month after diciembre : ENERO

47. Immortal Kiev-born pianist : HOROWITZ

49. Company whose name appears in an odometer in its logo : CARFAX

50. Commonly seen brown vehicle : UPS VAN

51. Gross out : NAUSEATE

53. It may be rolled up on a farm : SLEEVE

54. Like the praying mantis : ONE-EARED

55. In Tupperware, say : SEALED

56. Ready to ride : SADDLED

Down

1. Cost-effective : ECONOMIC

2. Dessert with a kick : TIRAMISU

3. Mad __ : HATTER

4. Took courses at home : ATE IN

5. West Coast ZIP starter : NINE

6. Neatnik’s possible condition, briefly : OCD

7. Mississippi explorer : LA SALLE

8. Tack on : AFFIX

9. Line 32 items on 1040 forms : IRAS

10. D, P or S, on quarters : MINT MARK

11. Vast multitude : LEGION

12. Had way too much of : ODED ON

13. Angler’s gear : WADERS

14. Grand children? : SPINETS

20. Pull over, say? : REINJURE

22. Fin : FIVE SPOT

25. Lighter : LAMP

26. Give a little : BEND

28. Wranglers alternative : LEES

29. Part of DINK : DUAL

31. Fleming work : SPY NOVEL

33. Ride cost before taxes and such : BASE FARE

34. Ran : OPERATED

35. Ran off : XEROXED

37. Subway alternative : QUIZNOS

39. Speed down a slope : SCHUSS

40. Rockers Mott the __ : HOOPLE

41. Like some offshore rescues : AIR-SEA

43. “Are you kidding me?!” : UNREAL!

45. Punished in court, in a way : FINED

46. Let up : EASED

48. Parade greeting : WAVE

49. Helped on stage : CUED

52. Literary assortment : ANA

Return to top of page

8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Sep 2017, Saturday”

  1. 63 minutes, no errors on this. Pretty interesting and challenging grid.

    77 minutes, no errors on the WSJ. Like most of them, I had 95% of it in about half the time. The theme was pretty droll, but the rest was pretty par for the course with these things. And I got the Friday meta.

  2. I couldn’t get any footing with this puzzle. Not even close. Bad day for me. Just hope football doesn’t let me down this weekend too.

  3. 40:52 but I had to cheat on ARISTADE – couldn’t quite remember him from my crossword lizard brain. Once I saw the name, I remembered it from past crosswords. Indeed very challenging, but all of Mark Diehl’s grids are like this. I’m not sure I’ve ever finished one of his unscathed.

    Lots of puns and clever cluing. I also had to get several things via crosses like BANNS SHAYS and a couple of others.

    I think I’ll do the David Steinberg NYT Friday before attempting today’s. He’s another one I have trouble beating at these things….

    Best –

  4. I drew a blank on the NW corner when I first looked at the grid, so I slowly worked my way around the remainder of the puzzle filling it in as I went. That must of awoken my brain as I then was able to get that pesky corner solved without any final errors. On to the WSJ..

  5. LAT: 18:04, no errors. Thoughtful.

    WSJ: 35:58, no errors. Okay theme, but a bit tedious.

    Newsday’s Saturday Stumper: 1:22:01 so far, but I haven’t given up on it yet. At the 50-minute mark, I had filled in (and was sure of) all but the second and third letters of 7A (a 3-letter entry!). Nothing works there. I stared at it for another 30 minutes and no lights came on, so I’m walking away from it for a bit …

    Tim Croce’s #280 (from 08/01/2017), that I was stuck on yesterday: 30:43:13 ?, no errors! I played hooky in RMNP all yesterday afternoon, got home at 9:00, looked at the puzzle for a minute or two, went to sleep about 10:00, and woke up at 4:30 this morning with a couple of key answers floating through my head, so I got up, wrote them in, finished the puzzle, recorded my time, and went back to bed.

    @Jeff … I didn’t realize yesterday’s NYT was a Steinberg puzzle. Maybe that’s why I did okay on it … ?

    Yesterday’s Tim Croce: It can wait … ? … ?

    1. After reading today’s papers, I picked up the Saturday Stumper again and immediately saw what I had done wrong: My answer for 18A, while somewhat logical, was a completely indefensible guess. After mentally erasing the two questionable letters in it, I quickly filled in 8D and 9D, giving me a 7A I should have had in the first place and a reasonable (though unfamiliar) guess for 18A. Final results: 3:27:29, no errors. It’s always amazing to me how committed I can be to a stupid error and how helpful a little time off can be. I suppose there are life lessons to be learned from this … ?

  6. I stunk at this one today; liked the write up because it explained quite a few things I didn’t get. I did get the meta this week so that at least makes me feel a little better.

    Getting ready to watch some college football. Hoping my Dores can hold their own against Bama. Will probably work on the WSJ puzzle while it’s going on. Maybe I’ll be able to finish it before the game is over.

    @Carrie – here I am (well one of the ladies anyway). I have been pretty inconsistent lately due to kids schedules being busy. 🙂

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    -Megan

  7. Pretty hard Saturday; about 90 minutes with 4 errors. Had AnneX before AFFIX, oaf before APE.

    The four errors are just stupid, looking at them now, but I was just glad that I had an entry in every square and starting to get bored with the thing. Also, a lot of stuff that I had no idea about like: LILI, BANNS, ONEEARED, FRIEDA, CARFAX and MOOR.

    @Carrie and all South Landers Congrats on your Dodgers, even if it pains me to say it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.