LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Sep 2017, Monday










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: Lion’s Den

Today’s grid contains four sets of circled letters. Each of those sets of letters spells out the name of a celebrated LION:

  • 36D. Hostile place … and where to find the circled animals in this puzzle : LION’S DEN
  • 16A. “Is that your __?”: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” inquiry : FINAL ANSWER (hiding “NALA”)
  • 61A. Colorful burger topper : PURPLE ONION (hiding “LEO”)
  • 10D. Quaint light during a power outage : GAS LANTERN (hiding “ASLAN”)
  • 28D. Secure places for guests’ valuables : HOTEL SAFES (hiding “ELSA”)

Bill’s time: 5m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Seasoned rice dish : PILAF

“Pilaf” is a Persian word, one that we use for rice that is browned in oil and then cooked in a seasoned broth.

14. Sandwich chain known for artisan bread : PANERA

Panera Bread is a chain of bakery/coffeehouses. A Panera restaurant is a good place to get online while having a cup of coffee. Back in 2006 and 2007, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi access in the whole of the US.

16. “Is that your __?”: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” inquiry : FINAL ANSWER (hiding “NALA”)

“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” is a worldwide game show franchise that started out in the UK in 1998. The US version of the show debuted in 1999 with Regis Philbin as the host. The Indian version is one of the most famous, having provided the setting for the incredibly successful Danny Boyle film “Slumdog Millionaire” that was released in 2008.

19. Blender brand with an -izer product suffix : OSTER

The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women’s hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed to “Osterizer” and was a big hit. Oster was bought up by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

20. Spam container : TIN

Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”. Spam is particularly popular in Hawaii, so popular that it is sometimes referred to as “the Hawaiian steak”.

22. Amazon : Alexa :: Apple : __ : SIRI

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri not that long ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

Amazon’s Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

24. Malia Obama’s sister : SASHA

Sasha is the younger of the two Obama children, having been born in 2001. She was the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr. moved in with his parents as a small infant. Sasha’s Secret Service codename is “Rosebud”, and her older sister Malia has the codename “Radiance”.

Malia Obama is the oldest of Barack and Michelle Obama’s two daughters. Malia graduated from the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., the same school that Chelsea Clinton attended. Malia took a gap year after leaving high school, and spent the 2016 summer as an intern in the US Embassy in Madrid, before heading off to Harvard in 2017.

29. Surg. facilities : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

31. Touch of color : TINCT

To tinct is to add a little color to something. The term ultimately derives from the Latin verb “tingere” meaning “to dye”.

43. Library return spot : BOOK DROP

Our word “library” ultimately derives from the Latin “liber” meaning “book”.

45. Nick of “A Walk in the Woods” : NOLTE

The actor Nick Nolte got his big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that, he had worked as a model. Nolte appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model and future actor Sigourney Weaver.

46. __-dried tomatoes : SUN

Tomatoes can be placed in the sun for 4-10 days in order to dry out. They lose about 90% of their weight to become “sun-dried” tomatoes.

51. Tiny time meas. : PSEC

A picosecond is one trillionth of a second, and is correctly abbreviated to “ps” in the SI system of measurements. I guess that’s what “psec” is meant to be …

53. “See ya, Luigi” : CIAO

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

55. Alumna bio word : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

57. Monopoly cards : DEEDS

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

61. Colorful burger topper : PURPLE ONION (hiding “LEO”)

The constellation called Leo can be said to resemble a lion. Others say that it resembles a bent coat hanger. “Leo” is the Latin for “lion”, but I’m not sure how to translate “coat hanger” into Latin …

65. Annual golf or tennis tournament : US OPEN

The US Open is one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, having started out as the US National Championship in 1881. Today, the US Open is the last major tournament in the Grand Slam annual series, following the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.

Golf’s US Open Championship is held on the third Sunday of every June, which also happens to be Father’s Day. The first US Open was held in 1894. 36 holes were played over one day on a 9-hole course in Newport, Rhode Island.

67. “Viva __ Vegas” : LAS

“Viva Las Vegas” is an Elvis Presley movie released in 1964 that is considered one of his best films. The good reception for the movie was at least in part due to the performance of the female lead, the talented actress Ann-Margret.

Down

1. Sports inst. in Cooperstown : HOF

Cooperstown is a village in New York that is famous as the home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The village was named for Judge William Cooper, the founder of Cooperstown and the father of the noted writer James Fenimore Cooper.

2. Akron’s state : OHIO

For much of the 1800s, the Ohio city of Akron was the fasting growing city in the country, feeding off the industrial boom of that era. The city was founded in 1825 and its location, along the Ohio and Erie canal connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River, helped to fuel Akron’s growth. Akron sits at the highest point of the canal and the name “Akron” comes from the Greek word meaning “summit”. Indeed, Akron is the county seat of Summit County. The city earned the moniker “Rubber Capital of the World” for most of the 20th century, as it was home to four major tire companies: Goodrich, Goodyear, Firestone and General Tire.

6. The “I” in MIT: Abbr. : INST

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

7. Novelist C.S. __ : LEWIS

Irishman C. S. Lewis moved to Britain after serving in the British Army in WWI. A man of many achievements, Lewis is perhaps best remembered for his series of novels for children called “The Chronicles of Narnia” (which includes “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). He also wrote the “The Four Loves”, a nonfiction work exploring the nature of love from a Christian perspective.

10. Quaint light during a power outage : GAS LANTERN (hiding “ASLAN”)

In the C. S. Lewis series of books known as “The Chronicles of Narnia”, Aslan is the name of the lion character (as in the title “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). “Aslan” is actually the Turkish word for lion. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the the remarkable similarity between the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and resurrection.

21. Muslim denomination : SHIA

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.

23. “__ la Douce” : IRMA

“Irma la Douce” is a wonderful Billy Wilder movie that was released in 1963. It stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. Lemmon plays a maligned Parisian policeman, and MacLaine is the popular prostitute Irma la Douce (literally “Irma the Sweet”). Don’t let the adult themes throw you, as it’s a very entertaining movie …

25. Bird on birth announcements : STORK

In German and Dutch society, storks resting on the roof of a house were considered a sign of good luck. This tradition led to nursery stories that babies were brought to families by storks.

26. González in 2000 headlines : ELIAN

The immigration status of young Cuban boy Elián González was all over the news in 2000. Elián’s mother drowned while trying to enter the US illegally, whereas Elián and his mother’s boyfriend survived the journey. The INS placed Elián in the care of paternal relatives in the US who then petitioned to have the boy stay with them permanently, against the wishes of Elián’s father back in Cuba. After court proceedings, the federal authorities forcibly removed Elián from his relatives in the US, and he was returned to his father who took him back to Cuba. Back in Cuba, Fidel Castro stepped in and befriended Elián, and the young man still has influential sponsorship in his homeland as a result of his ordeal. Elián has grown up, earning himself a degree in industrial engineering in 2016.

27. Second longest African river : CONGO

The Congo River in Africa is the second-largest in the world in terms of volume of water discharged (after the Amazon), and also the second longest river in Africa (after the Nile). The Congo is named for the ancient Kingdom of Kongo that was once located at the mouth of the river.

28. Secure places for guests’ valuables : HOTEL SAFES (hiding “ELSA”)

The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when Elsa was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book “Born Free” about Elsa, and then “Living Free” which tells the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on “Born Free”, Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.

30. Belgrade natives : SERBS

Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia. The name “Belgrade” translates into “White City”.

32. Actress Sevigny : CHLOE

The actress Chloë Sevigny’s big breakthrough role was playing one of the three Mormon wives in the excellent HBO drama series “Big Love”. More recently, I saw Sevigny in “Love & Friendship”, a 2016 big screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s epistolary novel “Lady Susan”. I must say that Sevigny’s performance really paled when compared to that of the lead, Kate Beckinsale.

35. Psychologist Alfred : ADLER

Alfred Adler was one of the group of medical professionals that founded the psychoanalytic movement. Today, Adler is less famous than his colleague Sigmund Freud.

42. “Beetle Bailey” dog : OTTO

Sgt. Snorkel (“Sarge”) is Beetle Bailey’s nemesis in the cartoon strip that bears his name. Snorkel has a dog called Otto that he dresses up to look just like himself. Otto started off as a regular dog, but artist Mort Walker decide to draw him more like his owner, and soon Otto became a big hit.

44. Museum guides : DOCENTS

“Docent” is a term used for a university lecturer. There are also museum docents, people who serve as guides for visitors to their institutions and who usually provide their services for free. The term comes from the Latin “docere” meaning “to teach”.

50. Evita’s married name : PERON

Eva Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón who was in office from 1946 to 1955. The Argentine First Lady was known affectionately by the people as “Evita”, the Spanish language diminutive of “Eva”. “Evita” is also the title of a tremendously successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that is based on the life of Eva Perón.

52. Fair-hiring abbr. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

53. Stuff for Frosty’s eyes : COAL

“Frosty the Snowman” is a song that was recorded first by Gene Autry, in 1950. The song was specifically written in the hope that it would become a follow-up hit to Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that topped the charts the previous year.

56. “Almost Christmas” actor Omar : EPPS

Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Forman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Forman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

“Almost Christmas” is a 2016 comedy-drama movie starring Danny Glover as the widowed head of a pretty dysfunctional family that comes together for a holiday celebration. I haven’t seen this one …

62. Director Spike : LEE

Film director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia but has very much made New York City his home and place of work. Most of Lee’s films are set in New York City, including his first feature film, 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. That film was shot over two weeks with a budget of $175,000. “She’s Gotta Have It” grossed over $7 million at the US box office.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Party thrower : HOST

5. Seasoned rice dish : PILAF

10. Practical joke : GAG

13. Classroom “I know this one!” : OH OH!

14. Sandwich chain known for artisan bread : PANERA

15. “__ you kidding?” : ARE

16. “Is that your __?”: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” inquiry : FINAL ANSWER (hiding “NALA”)

18. Moral wrong : SIN

19. Blender brand with an -izer product suffix : OSTER

20. Spam container : TIN

21. Board in a window shutter : SLAT

22. Amazon : Alexa :: Apple : __ : SIRI

24. Malia Obama’s sister : SASHA

26. Canyon feedback : ECHO

29. Surg. facilities : ORS

31. Touch of color : TINCT

34. Request for eye contact : LOOK AT ME

36. Utterly detest : LOATHE

37. Acct. earnings : INT

38. Start of a formal letter : DEAR SIR

40. Shade tree : ELM

41. Time-tested : AGE-OLD

43. Library return spot : BOOK DROP

45. Nick of “A Walk in the Woods” : NOLTE

46. __-dried tomatoes : SUN

47. Bills in a tip jar : ONES

48. Remove sheets from, as a bed : STRIP

51. Tiny time meas. : PSEC

53. “See ya, Luigi” : CIAO

55. Alumna bio word : NEE

57. Monopoly cards : DEEDS

60. Punch-in-the-gut reaction : OOF!

61. Colorful burger topper : PURPLE ONION (hiding “LEO”)

64. Broke a fast : ATE

65. Annual golf or tennis tournament : US OPEN

66. “Yay me!” : TADA!

67. “Viva __ Vegas” : LAS

68. All wound up : TENSE

69. Thick cut of meat : SLAB

Down

1. Sports inst. in Cooperstown : HOF

2. Akron’s state : OHIO

3. Family boys : SONS

4. “Don’t sweat it” : THAT’S OK

5. Omelet cooker : PAN

6. The “I” in MIT: Abbr. : INST

7. Novelist C.S. __ : LEWIS

8. Concert venue : ARENA

9. In the distance : FAR

10. Quaint light during a power outage : GAS LANTERN (hiding “ASLAN”)

11. Diva’s solo : ARIA

12. Courteous fellow : GENT

14. Repeated mindlessly : PARROTED

17. Flower wreath : LEI

21. Muslim denomination : SHIA

23. “__ la Douce” : IRMA

25. Bird on birth announcements : STORK

26. González in 2000 headlines : ELIAN

27. Second longest African river : CONGO

28. Secure places for guests’ valuables : HOTEL SAFES (hiding “ELSA”)

30. Belgrade natives : SERBS

32. Actress Sevigny : CHLOE

33. Weather numbers, briefly : TEMPS

35. Psychologist Alfred : ADLER

36. Hostile place … and where to find the circled animals in this puzzle : LION’S DEN

39. Salad go-with : SOUP

42. “Beetle Bailey” dog : OTTO

44. Museum guides : DOCENTS

49. Unavailable at the moment : IN USE

50. Evita’s married name : PERON

52. Fair-hiring abbr. : EEO

53. Stuff for Frosty’s eyes : COAL

54. Greek “i” : IOTA

56. “Almost Christmas” actor Omar : EPPS

58. Rotary phone part : DIAL

59. Coke or ginger ale : SODA

61. __ up with: tolerate : PUT

62. Director Spike : LEE

63. Arrest : NAB

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7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Sep 2017, Monday”

  1. Easy Monday. Didn’t get the theme at first because I saw NALA and ELSA and thought Disney characters. Took the other side of the grid to get that they were all lions.

    @Carrie – I agree about the DH. I like the strategy around having to make the pitcher bat. A pitcher that can hit or bunt just adds something to the game. 🙂

    Have a great day y’all!

    -Megan

  2. Hi Megan – female company for Carrie 😉 There are so few women bloggers on this blog, I am sometimes sorely tempted to sign in as one. Just for equality’s sake …. 😉

    I had a good time, and rushed through the puzzle, aptly easy for a Monday. So, this is what ‘an easy A’ looks like to an expert…

    Pilaf, is known by many names across the continent – I’m sure, the Thai and Malaysians call it by more esoteric names…. I know it also as Pulau or Pulav and its more preferred cousin, Biryani. Biryani, is more difficult than pilaf because it has to be cooked in two separate pots – more utensils to wash up. The rice in biryani is not mixed up, like a mish-mash olio, but is kept elegantly white and pure. I love to cook indian food – and I often make biryani. Unfortunately, I am successful only 60 percent of the time …. So, what I do I do with my ‘disasters’ ? I pack it up, in Glad containers and give them away to our friends ….. Sounds cruel, but I will not compromise on quality – even if it is mine own cooking.

    As Otto von Bosmarck famously said,’ Patriotism stops well short of the stomach’. On the other hand, we haven’t lost any friends, yet, and they still rave about my cooking. It just doesn’t meet my own standards.
    Btw, there are plenty of Youtube videos on how to make biryani, so take your pick …. I like the comedy in Vah Re Vah videos. if nothing else….

    Have a nice day, and a great start of the week, folks.

  3. 5:51 no errors on this.

    @Dave
    I doubt with the digital stuff it’s any more interesting than watching any of us push text around on a word processor. Now sitting in one of the editorial meetings to decide what goes where would be fun. I’m sure pre-digital it would have been fun to see the layout though.

    @Carrie
    The thing about the pitcher batting is that it’s very often (98% of the time) an easy out. It cheapens the quality of the game, especially since the pitcher can’t work on his hitting nearly as much as the other players get to do, and that pitchers are often very poor hitters in the first place, and often have to have pinch-hitters to sub for, especially when the game is on the line (2 outs, bases loaded, pitcher up? On to the next inning!). The pitcher often bats 9th for this very reason as well.

    Now I had to look up why the DH got adopted in the first place, and it turns out to be this exact reason. Oddly enough, the National League very nearly adopted the DH at the same the AL did, but some office politics at one club (more or less) kept the vote from happening. Interestingly enough, with the inter-league games being common now, there’s a push for another vote to unify the rules on this, but there hasn’t been a vote yet on it.

    @Vidwan
    I wanted to say I appreciate your comments. I often have very little to say about them, but I always enjoy reading them.

  4. LAT: 7:09, no errors. BEQ: 33:43, no errors; a number of entries new to me that I got through crosses. Newsday: 6:22, no errors; typical romp. WSJ: 8:44, no errors; a little harder than usual, I thought. Dealing with a plethora of house plants moving inside; need to downsize.

  5. Very easy Monday. 9 minutes or so for me. Some uncommon words, however. Am I saying the grid was decent because of DOCENT? Didn’t look for the theme.

    As for the DH. Agree totally with Carrie. Baseball is a sport that draws all of its excitement and tension from context – as the great Bob Costas has said. It is a cerebral game. The DH takes a lot of that out of the game. The strategy involved with having a pitcher coming to bat, whether to take him out of the game at that point, using up a batter on your bench, using an extra relief pitcher, deciding how tired your bullpen is, whether you’ll be able to use that same reliever the next day, depending on the starters tomorrow – both pitchers and fielders, matchup issues and in the case of the post season – how using which arms when affects the entire series….and on and on and on…. Much of that goes away with the DH. “There should be a constitutional amendment outlawing the designated hitter..” – Crash Davis in “Bull Durham”. My sentiments exactly.

    The DH came about largely because the American League had fallen so far behind the National league – especially in hitting. They wanted to increase scoring. Part of the disparity was the AL was so late to welcome African-American players to their teams – of which there were many good ones back then. You could make a case that the DH came about as a result of racism….thus showing how evil it is….

    I digress. Have you ever had so much to do that you didn’t want to do anything? That is I this morning.
    Best –

  6. Hi y’all!
    Thanks Megan and Jeff for the input!! Ain’t it the truth.
    @ Glenn, I’m very sorry to have to disagree with you here…I know the reasons for the DH but from my perspective they just don’t hold water. If anything, having no DH enriches the game, rather than cheapening it, because of the strategies that Jeff mentioned. It’s always fun to wonder what will happen when the pitcher comes up — or to ask, “What’ll they do with the pitcher’s spot?” if he’s been pulled. And what about all those situations where we NEED a bunt?! More interesting, IMO, to move your men and generate runs than to see a designated hitter come up and hit one out of the park.
    I also think there’s another interesting aspect: the pitcher gets to face his opposite number!! Suppose he actually reaches on a really good bunt. Quite satisfying! ⚾
    Puzzle easy! ?
    Be well~~™?

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