LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Sep 2017, Wednesday










Constructed by: Samuel A. Donaldson

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Power Couple

Each of today’s themed answers includes two pairs of circled letters: AC/DC.

  • 56A. Influential pairing, and a hint to the circles in four puzzle answers : POWER COUPLE
  • 17A. Tennessee whiskey cocktail : JACK AND COKE
  • 23A. Fruity dessert : PEACHES AND CREAM
  • 35A. One above criticism : SACRED COW
  • 49A. Pre-employment investigation : BACKGROUND CHECK

Bill’s time: 7m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. One taken for a fool : DUPE

A dupe is someone who is easily fooled, a “live one”, one who is easily the victim of deception.

11. Game show hosts : MCS

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

14. Camped in a trailer, for short : RVED

Recreational vehicle (RV)

17. Tennessee whiskey cocktail : JACK AND COKE

I used to live in Tennessee, and one weekend took a tour of the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg. After watching all the whiskey being produced, we were brought to a room for “refreshments”. We were given lemonade and no samples of the whiskey were offered, because the distillery is located in Moore County, Tennessee, a dry country …

19. MLB’s Indians, on scoreboards : CLE

The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys named after Forest City, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. The media came up with name “Indians” after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. “Indians” was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.

20. __ Alamos : LOS

The town of Los Alamos, New Mexico takes its name from the Spanish for “the poplars” or “the cottonwoods”. Famously, it is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory which was founded during WWII to work on the Manhattan Project, the development of the first atomic bomb. The town of Los Alamos didn’t exist as such, until it was planned and constructed to support the employees working on development of the bomb.

22. Aquatic plant : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

31. “Othello” antagonist : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

35. One above criticism : SACRED COW

A sacred cow is something that is immune from criticism or questioning. The phrase alludes to the reverence for cows in the Hindu tradition. The use of figurative idiom seems to have originated in the late 1800s in the US.

41. MMDX ÷ V : DII

In Roman numerals, MMDX ÷ V = DII (2,510 ÷ 5 = 502)

44. Actor Estevez : EMILIO

Emilio Estevez is one of the members of Hollywood’s famous “Brat Pack”, having appeared in “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo’s Fire”. Estevez’s father (and can’t you tell it from looking at him?) is actor Martin Sheen. Estevez decided to keep his father’s real name, and not the stage name of “Sheen”. Charlie Sheen is Emilio’s brother, and Charlie’s real name is Carlos Estevez.

46. Stump speech : ORATION

“To stump” can mean to go on a speaking tour during a political campaign. This peculiarly American term dates back to the 19th century. Back then a “stump speech” was an address given by someone standing on a large tree stump that provided a convenient perch to help the speaker get his or her message across to the crowd.

55. Yale alum : ELI

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

61. President pro __ : TEM

Pro tempore can be abbreviated to “pro tem” or “p.t.” “Pro tempore” is a Latin phrase that best translates as “for the time being”. It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior. The President pro tempore of the US Senate is the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President of the US. It has been tradition since 1890 that the president pro tem is the most senior senator in the majority party. The president pro tem ranks highly in the line of succession to the presidency, falling third in line after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.

62. __ Jug: British Open trophy : CLARET

The winner of the British Open golf tournament has been award a trophy known as the Claret Jug since 1872. The prior award was known as the Challenge Belt, but it had to be replaced when it was presented permanently to Scottish golfer Young Tom Morris after he won the the Open three years in a row.

64. Most GRE takers : SRS

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

65. Iran, once : PERSIA

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was called Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

66. Holy recess : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

Down

1. Hall of Fame Sixer, familiarly : DR J

Julius Erving is a retired professional basketball player who was known as “Dr. J”, a nickname he picked up in high school. Dr. J was a trailblazer in many ways, being the first player associated with slam dunking and other moves above the rim.

The Philadelphia 76ers basketball team is one of the oldest franchises in the NBA. “The Sixers” were formed in 1946 as the Syracuse Nationals. The team moved to Philadelphia in 1963, and the name 76er was chosen in a fan contest, a name that honors the men who fought for the country’s independence in 1776.

2. Charlottesville sch. : UVA

The University of Virginia (UVA) was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who then sat on the original Board of Visitors alongside former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus was built on land near Charlottesville that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

3. Course that makes you sweat, briefly? : PE CLASS

Physical education (PE)

4. “How’m I doing?” New York mayor : ED KOCH

When Ed Koch was Mayor of New York, he would often ask the city’s residents “How’m I doing?” While still in office, Koch used the phrase for the title of a book “How’m I doing?: The wit and wisdom of Ed Koch”.

5. Hr. segment : MIN

The hour is subdivided into 60 parts, each of which was known as a “pars minuta prima” in Medieval Latin, translating as “first small part”. This phrase “pars minuta prima” evolved into our word “minute”. The “pars minuta prima” (minute) was further divided into 60 parts, each called a “secunda pars minuta”, meaning “second small part”. “Secunda pars minuta” evolved into our term “second”.

6. Swing voter: Abbr. : IND

Independent (Ind.)

7. Actor __ Baron Cohen : SACHA

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian and comic actor from England. Baron Cohen is perhaps most famous for playing the characters Borat and Ali G on the small and large screens. I’m not a fan …

10. Pupil’s place : EYE

The pupil of the eye is the hole located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

11. Magic Eraser spokesman : MR CLEAN

The board cleaner sold as Magic Eraser is a pad made from melamine foam , a material that is also used for insulating pipes and ducts, and for soundproofing. At a microscopic level, the foam is very hard and abrasive, and so acts like very fine sandpiper. Because melamine foam is so porous, on a larger scale it feels very soft.

12. Palmolive’s corporate partner : COLGATE

The Colgate company, of toothpaste fame, was started by Englishman William Colgate in 1806 as a soap and candle factory in New York City. As the Colgate family prospered, they spent decades providing financial support to Madison University in Hamilton, New York. In recognition of this support, the school was renamed in 1890 to Colgate University.

13. Cooks, as broccoli : STEAMS

The Italian term “broccolo” is used to describe the flowering crest of a cabbage. We use the plural form of the same word “broccoli” as the name of the edible green plant in the cabbage family.

18. Tennis legend who wrote “Days of Grace” : ASHE

The great American tennis player Arthur Ashe spent the last years of his life writing his memoir called “Days of Grace”. He finished the manuscript just a few days before he passed away, dying from AIDS caused by a tainted blood transfusion.

24. LAX posting : ETA

Expected time of arrival (ETA)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

25. Lindros in the Hockey Hall of Fame : ERIC

Eric Lindros is a retired Canadian hockey player. During his NHL career he played for the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Dallas Stars.

27. Former Labor secretary Elaine : CHAO

When President George W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Labor, he made a bit of history as Chao became the first Chinese American in history to hold a cabinet post. It turned out that Chao became the only cabinet member to hold her post for President Bush’s full eight years in office. In 1993, Chao married Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader of the US Senate.

32. Prefix with caching : GEO-

Geocaching is a game rather like hide and seek that is played outdoors using hi-tech equipment. The idea is that someone places a waterproof container in a specific location with known GPS coordinates. The container has a logbook inside, so that players who find the “cache” can record their discovery along with any notes of interest. The location of the container is listed on special sites on the Internet for anyone to access. You can check out caches near you at www.geocaching.com. You will probably be surprised at how many there are! I know I was …

33. Uses too much : ODS ON

Overdose (OD)

35. Jockey’s wear : SILKS

The colorful clothing made from silk that is worn by a jockey is known as “racing silks”. The specific colors and pattern of racing silks are registered to particular owner or trainer.

37. Wood measure : CORD

A cord of wood has a volume of 128 cubic feet. More commonly it’s a neat stack measuring 4 feet high, 8 feet long and 4 feet deep.

42. Summer Games org. : IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894, and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

43. Tattoo, in slang : INK

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.

44. __ Field: Brooklyn Dodgers’ home : EBBETS

Ebbets Field was home to the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 to 1957. The stadium was also home to three NFL teams: the NY Brickley Giants (1921), the Brooklyn Lions (1926) and the Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers (1930-1944)

45. Colorful songbird : ORIOLE

The songbird called an oriole builds an interesting nest. It is a woven cup-like structure that is suspended from a branch like a hammock.

47. Height: Pref. : ACRO-

Our prefix “acro-” comes from the Greek “akros” meaning “at the top”. Examples are “acrophobia” (fear of heights) and “Acropolis” (“city at the top”).

48. Where Springsteen was born? : THE USA

“Born in the USA” is a 1984 song (and album) written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen. The song was written three years earlier as the title song for a movie, but was never used. That film ultimately was released as “Light of Day” starring Michael j. Fox. The original intention was for Springsteen to star in the film himself.

50. Tug __ : OF WAR

Tug-of-war is a strength competition between two teams who pull on opposite ends of a rope, vying to pull the opponents over a marked line. The sport was an event in the Summer Olympic Games from 1900 until 1920. The USA teams won all three medals for the tug-of-war at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis.

56. Angel dust, for short : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

57. Outdoor gear retailer : REI

Sporting goods company REI introduced a #OptOutside campaign starting on Black Friday in 2015. The initial focus of the campaign was to encourages customers and employees alike to head out into nature instead of swamping retail outlets on the day that kicked off the holiday shopping season. REI actually closed its doors on Black Friday 2015, rather than participate in the annual shopping frenzy.

58. Transp. group in the Loop : CTA

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

The historic commercial center of Chicago is known as the Loop. One theory is that the “loop” got its name from the cable loops in the city’s old cable car system. An alternative theory is that term only arose with the construction of the elevated railway “loop” that forms the hub of the city’s “L” system.

59. Scale syllables : LAS

The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. One taken for a fool : DUPE

5. Question at a reunion : MISS ME?

11. Game show hosts : MCS

14. Camped in a trailer, for short : RVED

15. Sort of : IN A WAY

16. Spoil : ROT

17. Tennessee whiskey cocktail : JACK AND COKE

19. MLB’s Indians, on scoreboards : CLE

20. __ Alamos : LOS

21. Groundbreaking tool : HOE

22. Aquatic plant : ALGA

23. Fruity dessert : PEACHES AND CREAM

28. “My package has arrived!” : IT’S HERE!

29. “Darn it!” : OH RATS!

30. Fun time, in slang : GAS

31. “Othello” antagonist : IAGO

34. Unsurpassed : A-ONE

35. One above criticism : SACRED COW

38. Good opponent : EVIL

40. Fair-to-middling : SO-SO

41. MMDX ÷ V : DII

44. Actor Estevez : EMILIO

46. Stump speech : ORATION

49. Pre-employment investigation : BACKGROUND CHECK

52. Morsels : BITS

53. Conditions : IFS

54. Done with one’s career: Abbr. : RET

55. Yale alum : ELI

56. Influential pairing, and a hint to the circles in four puzzle answers : POWER COUPLE

61. President pro __ : TEM

62. __ Jug: British Open trophy : CLARET

63. Take a long bath : SOAK

64. Most GRE takers : SRS

65. Iran, once : PERSIA

66. Holy recess : APSE

Down

1. Hall of Fame Sixer, familiarly : DR J

2. Charlottesville sch. : UVA

3. Course that makes you sweat, briefly? : PE CLASS

4. “How’m I doing?” New York mayor : ED KOCH

5. Hr. segment : MIN

6. Swing voter: Abbr. : IND

7. Actor __ Baron Cohen : SACHA

8. Faint : SWOON

9. Get by : MAKE DO

10. Pupil’s place : EYE

11. Magic Eraser spokesman : MR CLEAN

12. Palmolive’s corporate partner : COLGATE

13. Cooks, as broccoli : STEAMS

18. Tennis legend who wrote “Days of Grace” : ASHE

22. Traffic light symbol : ARROW

23. Sty dweller : PIG

24. LAX posting : ETA

25. Lindros in the Hockey Hall of Fame : ERIC

26. Blackens, as tuna : SEARS

27. Former Labor secretary Elaine : CHAO

32. Prefix with caching : GEO-

33. Uses too much : ODS ON

35. Jockey’s wear : SILKS

36. Alter ego of 7-Down : ALI G

37. Wood measure : CORD

38. Screen writer? : EMAILER

39. Con targets : VICTIMS

41. Sugar-free soft drink : DIET POP

42. Summer Games org. : IOC

43. Tattoo, in slang : INK

44. __ Field: Brooklyn Dodgers’ home : EBBETS

45. Colorful songbird : ORIOLE

47. Height: Pref. : ACRO-

48. Where Springsteen was born? : THE USA

50. Tug __ : OF WAR

51. Operators : USERS

56. Angel dust, for short : PCP

57. Outdoor gear retailer : REI

58. Transp. group in the Loop : CTA

59. Scale syllables : LAS

60. Squeeze (by) : EKE

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Sep 2017, Wednesday”

  1. Dear Jeff, words cannot express at the sadness on hearing your story. I pray God gives you the courage and strenght to bear such an unimaginable horror. My earnest sympathies for your troubles. I hope you can rebuild ….. I know such catastrophes take place all around the world – but when it happens to someone you know and love, it is always hits home. So sorry to hear of all this. Our prayers go to you and your family.

  2. The puzzle was quite challenging – and I was not much in a mood, because of the above.
    I did not have any idea about the power couple, though there were hints galore. Not familiar with REI or CTA or CLARET.

    India, or some parts of the country, have banned the slaughter of cows. This is very sad, since this otherwise proscribed meat was the only meat available for the poor people, as protein. Not only is it very dangerous, and on a slipperly slope to theocracy to allow religious aspects into a secular democracy, … it is also extremely retrogressive. You have to only look at the disaster it has caused in a neighboring country, to realize how horrific this can be. I do hope and wish that cooler minds will prevail and undo this.

    Elihu Yale was also a illegal profiteer, and misappropriated funds from the East India Company, and an active slave trader, in Madras. This was explained to me by a Yale alum, …. who in turn was informed of this, when he was himself joined the college…. More on Elihu Yale in Wikipedia.

    Have a nice day, folks.

  3. 10:57, no errors. A slow solve (mostly because of me), but the app was acting up again: At one point, I typed a “G” and it didn’t appear, so I typed another one, and the “G” I wanted was there, but somehow, a moment later, I smelled a rat, so I went looking and, sure enough, the second “G” had gone somewhere it didn’t belong. Distracting. Grrrr … ?

    @Jeff … Words fail me, too … hang in there …

  4. I liked the trick clues – Screen writer and Good opponent. My timing was nothing to write home about, but could solve 93% without help from error-prompt.
    Many clues were familiar having appeared in previous crosswords. Bill’s explanations for these were also deja vus. Pardonnez moi svp, mais, is it too cheeky for me to suggest that lengthy explanations/ accompanying quips be replaced by links to a solutions-database? Of course, additional details get provided by Bill as and when needed.

  5. This week’s CHE: 32:09, no errors. Difficult theme. It took me a while to realize that there was a theme; all I saw at first were three places where there was some kind of mysterious problem and, even after I figured out what I had to do, it took me several minutes to do it (partly because I was unfamiliar with the institutions involved). I still don’t understand the title: “Leading (W)edge”. Huh?

    Today’s Newsday: 8:57, no errors. A typical Newsday romp (as long as it isn’t Saturday).

    Today’s WSJ: 15:08, no errors. Harder than usual for a Wednesday, I thought, and again I don’t fully understand the theme. (I see the relevance of 35A/45A, but the title doesn’t seem to shed much light on anything.)

    At any rate, I enjoyed them all, and now I’m contemplating a sojourn in the high country in hopes of getting away from all the wildfire smoke we’ve had here for the last few days (a minor nuisance compared to what is happening elsewhere, I know … ).

    1. I didn’t understand where things were headed by the revealer clue on the CHE, myself, until I looked things up. Of course, I’m still a new enough solver that I don’t have that sense that kicks in and says “trick grid”, which is what got me – most of my time was spent trying to figure out those three spots to no avail.

      > I still don’t understand the title: “Leading (W)edge”. Huh?

      On my linked (above) review I posted a map of the Research Triangle area. It looks exactly like it does in the puzzle. It’s more known as that for the high-tech companies that have located there. So you could say that they’re “leading edge” companies. The shape of the triangle looks like a wedge too, hence how it was titled.

      >Today’s WSJ … I don’t fully understand the theme.

      The outer part of the puzzle defines “Banks” in different ways. In light of the revealer clue and the outer “banks” of the grid, Sand Box is apt in a certain way.

      >At any rate, I enjoyed them all

      I can say that too with what I’ve encountered so far this week. It’s been a good week for crosswords that have come before me.

  6. A hair over 13 minutes for this one. Very late to the party today. I’ve been doing these so inconsistently they all seem challenging. Once again – no calculators allowed for 41A…

    Threw away almost everything today. I took over 300 photos so I hope my insurance company is happy. When I realized that every photo I take makes me money from the claim (or more accurately – allows me to lose less money) , the work was much easier. By tomorrow the demo (I found out that’s contractor lingo for “demolition”) will be complete and the clock will finally stop ticking. Then the slow process of reconstruction will take place.

    Grazie for all the well wishes from everyone.
    I can’t even watch reports about Irma. I’ve had enough of hurricanes for a while. Maybe I’ll stay in Vegas after my 6 month stint there. The desert sounds pretty good about now……

    Dave – Hope to join you back at the NYT next week.

    Best –

  7. £Qué tal, amigos? ?
    Good Wednesday challenge; no errors.
    @Francophile, I LOVE Bill’s write-ups! I always find something interesting, and I always learn something. I wouldn’t want links… I think Bill takes what’s most interesting. I generally just skip the items I’ve seen before, but I think they’re nice for occasional visitors to the blog.
    Vidwan, interesting–and disturbing– re. prohibited slaughter. I personally don’t eat red meat, but this has a terrible impact on the poor, it seems. And yes, a slippery slope…?
    Be well~~™?

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