LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Oct 2017, Monday










Constructed by: Brock Wilson

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: 10 – 40

Today’s themed answers end with increasing numbers, all divisible by 10, and adding 10 sequentially as we progress down the grid:

  • 17A. Evening show with headlines and stories : NEWS AT TEN
  • 29A. Like perceptive hindsight : TWENTY/TWENTY
  • 47A. Generic pre-sunrise hour : OH DARK THIRTY
  • 64A. Farm’s remote acreage : BACK FORTY

Bill’s time: 5m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Ophthalmic sore : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

16. Chopin piece : ETUDE

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

Frédéric Chopin was a Polish composer who spent most of his life in France. He was most famous for his piano works in the Romantic style. Chopin was a sickly man and died quite young, at 39. For many of his final years he had a celebrated and tempestuous relationship with the French author George Sand (the nom de plume of the Baroness Dudevant). Those years with Sand may have been turbulent, but they were very productive in terms of musical composition.

20. Swiss convention city : GENEVA

The First Geneva Convention is one of four treaties aimed at protecting the victims of armed conflict. The first of these treaties was signed in 1864 by the major European powers at the urging of relief activist Henri Dunant. Dunant also established the Red Cross in 1863, an organization that is specifically called out in the First Geneva Convention as an agency that is allowed to provide protection and relief for wounded and sick soldiers. The first treaty was significantly updated and expanded in 1906, 1929 and 1949.

24. ’60s protest org. : SDS

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

25. Periods that may decide 5-Acrosses, briefly : OTS

Overtime (OT)

27. Andean animal : LLAMA

Many female mammals lick off their newborn. That’s not an option for llamas as their tongues only reach out of their mouths about half an inch. Instead llama dams nuzzle their young and hum to them.

29. Like perceptive hindsight : TWENTY/TWENTY

I only understand the expression “20/20 vision” in non-technical terms. Apparently someone with 20/20 vision can see just as well as a standard/normal person at 20 feet from an eye chart. Someone with 20/40 vision can see just as well as a standard/normal person at 40 feet. Someone with 20/100 vision can see just as well as a standard/normal person at 100 feet, and so on. Those of you living in Metric Land use the term 6/6, with the standard distance being 6 meters instead of 20 feet.

37. Journalist Couric : KATIE

Katie Couric left NBC’s “The Today Show” in 2006 and took over as news anchor for “CBS Evening News”. In so doing she became the first solo female anchor of a broadcast network evening news program. Couric also has the honor of being the only person to guest-host on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. In fact she “swapped jobs” on that particular day, and Leno filled in for Couric on “The Today Show”.

38. German coal valley : RUHR

The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.

39. Lifts on slopes : T-BARS

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

45. One collaring a perp : COP

Perpetrator (perp)

46. Watch displays, briefly : LEDS

A Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a specialized form of semiconductor that when switched on releases photons (light). LEDs were used in early digital watches, and are getting more and more popular even though their use in electronic equipment is fading away. LEDs are used now as a replacement for the much less efficient tungsten light bulb. I replaced all of my tungsten Xmas lights a few years ago and saved a lot on my electricity bill.

47. Generic pre-sunrise hour : OH DARK THIRTY

“Oh dark thirty” originated as military slang. The term refers to military time, and the use of a zero as a the first digit in the early, pre-sunrise hours, e.g. 01:30 (“zero one thirty” or “oh one thirty”).

52. Use a shovel : DIG

A shovel is a manual tool used for lifting and throwing material such as earth and coal. Our words “shovel” and “shove” are related etymologically, as a “shovel” is used to “shove” things aside.

56. __ Palmas: Canary Islands city : LAS

The Spanish province of Las Palmas comprises about half of the islands of Gran Canaria, and several other small islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa. Gran Canaria is perhaps better known as the “Canary Islands” in English.

60. Five cents : NICKEL

The 5-cent American coin known as a nickel is actually made up of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The first nickel was introduced in 1866, and was named the Shield nickel due to the shield design on the front of the coin. The current design is the Jefferson nickel, which was introduced in 1938.

62. Yellowish brown : OCHER

Ocher is a light, yellowy-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

64. Farm’s remote acreage : BACK FORTY

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”).

66. French sweetie : CHERI

“Chéri” is a form of familiar address in French, meaning “dear”. “Chéri” is the form used when talking to a male, and “chérie” when addressing a female.

67. Inland Asian sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

69. Frankfurt’s state : HESSE

Hesse is a German state. The capital of Hesse is Wiesbaden, although the largest city in the state is Frankfurt.

70. Lowdown : DOPE

Our use of the word “dope” to mean “inside information” probably comes from horse racing. The idea is that a better might have information about which horse has been drugged (doped) to influence its performance.

71. Soon, to a bard : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

Down

1. Billy Joel creations : SONGS

Billy Joel is the third-best selling solo artist in the US, after Elvis Presley and Garth Brooks. Joel’s name has been associated with two supermodels in his life. He dated Elle Macpherson, and wrote two songs about their relationship: “This Night” and “And So It Goes”. Joel’s second wife was Christie Brinkley, to whom he was married from 1985 to 1994. Brinkley appeared in the title role in the music video for “Uptown Girl”.

5. Software trial : BETA TEST

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the “alpha” version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a “beta” and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

6. Halloween mo. : OCT

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

7. Food for Miss Muffet : WHEY

When milk curdles it separates into two parts, the solid curds and the liquid whey.

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, the solid curds and the liquid whey. Then “along came a spider and sat down beside her”.

9. Seattle athlete : SEAHAWK

The Seattle Seahawks joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Seahawks have enthusiastic fans, often referred to as the “12th man”, a reference to how well their support can buoy the team. The Seahawks fans have twice broken the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event.

12. Carving tool : ADZE

An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe’s blade is set in line with the shaft.

22. Bottom-row PC key : ALT

The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.

28. Insultingly small, as a payment : MEASLY

Back in the 17th century, someone described as measly was affected with measles. The use of “measly” to describe something insultingly small was initially recorded as slang in the mid-1800s.

Measles is a viral infection of the respiratory system. Apparently, there is no really effective treatment of measles, although there is some evidence that high doses of vitamin A can reduce the chances of mortality in the very young. Measles is also known as rubeola, not to be confused with rubella, an alternative name for German measles.

32. Strong desires : YENS

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

40. __ rage: PED user’s aggression : ROID

Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “roid rage”.

Performance-enhancing drug (PED)

48. Netherlands airline : KLM

The initialism KLM stands for “Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij”, which translates from Dutch as “Royal Aviation Company”. KLM is the flag carrier for the Netherlands, and is the oldest airline in the world still operating with its original name. It was founded in 1919. KLM merged with Air France in 2004.

50. Jubilant end-of-week cry : TGIF!

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

53. Ohio rubber city : AKRON

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.

55. Swashbuckling Errol : FLYNN

Actor Errol Flynn was born 1909 in Tasmania, Australia where he was raised. In his twenties, Flynn lived in the UK where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film “In the Wake of the Bounty” and then appeared in a British film “Murder at Monte Carlo”. It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. Flynn’s non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

A swashbuckler is a flashy swordsman. The term probably derives somehow from “swash” meaning “fall of a blow”, and “buckler” meaning “small round shield”.

56. __ Ness monster : LOCH

The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

59. Corn syrup brand : KARO

Karo is a brand of corn syrup, an industrially manufactured sweetener derived from corn.

63. Ambulance destinations: Abbr. : ERS

Our word “ambulance” originated in the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning field hospital (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

Return to top of page

Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Ophthalmic sore : STYE

5. Season-ending college football game : BOWL

9. Stories spanning decades : SAGAS

14. __ hygiene : ORAL

15. Bounce off a wall : ECHO

16. Chopin piece : ETUDE

17. Evening show with headlines and stories : NEWS AT TEN

19. Flabbergast : AMAZE

20. Swiss convention city : GENEVA

21. Fist-pump cry : YEAH!

23. Sales force member : REP

24. ’60s protest org. : SDS

25. Periods that may decide 5-Acrosses, briefly : OTS

27. Andean animal : LLAMA

29. Like perceptive hindsight : TWENTY/TWENTY

33. Promise before testimony : OATH

36. Take to court : SUE

37. Journalist Couric : KATIE

38. German coal valley : RUHR

39. Lifts on slopes : T-BARS

42. Gotten a glimpse of : SEEN

43. Uncomfortably pricey : STEEP

45. One collaring a perp : COP

46. Watch displays, briefly : LEDS

47. Generic pre-sunrise hour : OH DARK THIRTY

51. Prefix for Rome’s country : ITALO-

52. Use a shovel : DIG

53. Pound sound : ARF!

56. __ Palmas: Canary Islands city : LAS

58. “No damage done” : I’M OK

60. Five cents : NICKEL

62. Yellowish brown : OCHER

64. Farm’s remote acreage : BACK FORTY

66. French sweetie : CHERI

67. Inland Asian sea : ARAL

68. Eve’s opposite : MORN

69. Frankfurt’s state : HESSE

70. Lowdown : DOPE

71. Soon, to a bard : ANON

Down

1. Billy Joel creations : SONGS

2. Trapped on a branch : TREED

3. Signs of boredom : YAWNS

4. “Is there something __?” : ELSE

5. Software trial : BETA TEST

6. Halloween mo. : OCT

7. Food for Miss Muffet : WHEY

8. Needing company : LONELY

9. Seattle athlete : SEAHAWK

10. Fast-cash spot, for short : ATM

11. “Money-back” assurance, perhaps : GUARANTEE

12. Carving tool : ADZE

13. Ooze : SEEP

18. Swear to be true : AVOW

22. Bottom-row PC key : ALT

26. Dismiss with disdain : SNUB

28. Insultingly small, as a payment : MEASLY

29. “… or else!” remark : THREAT

30. Instruct : TEACH

31. Even on the scoreboard : TIED

32. Strong desires : YENS

33. Not exactly : OR SO

34. Writer: Abbr. : AUTH

35. Things to wash after dinner : THE DISHES

40. __ rage: PED user’s aggression : ROID

41. Very light rain : SPRINKLE

44. Grassland : PRAIRIE

48. Netherlands airline : KLM

49. “That’s a shame” : TOO BAD

50. Jubilant end-of-week cry : TGIF!

53. Ohio rubber city : AKRON

54. Back in style : RETRO

55. Swashbuckling Errol : FLYNN

56. __ Ness monster : LOCH

57. Steady pain : ACHE

59. Corn syrup brand : KARO

61. Unconscious state : COMA

63. Ambulance destinations: Abbr. : ERS

65. Golfer’s hat : CAP

Return to top of page

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Oct 2017, Monday”

  1. Great way to start a Monday. I had one error because my P in COP somehow turned into an O and I couldn’t find the error. Other than that, easy-peasy. Thanks to previous write-ups, a lot of the answers came quickly!

    I was “asea” for this week’s meta. Went on many differnt paths but thinking about the vessels was not one of them. Boo.

    @Jeff – hoping you are not affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas. Seems like you can’t catch a break. Prayers for that city and our country as a whole.

    Hope y’all have a great day!

    -Meg

  2. Hi Meghan, glad you were ‘ahead’ of me ….. I always get nervous when posting first …. I feel I might have the wrong day …

    The puzzle was easy and enjoyable, though I did not think of the number progression, despite being an accountant ;-).

    In other matters ….. I remember the movie, Zero dark Thirty about OBL or UBLaden, …. rather ‘dark’….
    The Geneva Convention has probably been noted more in its misuse and ‘exceptions’ that certain victor countries have invoked … than its use. Even during the end of WW II, due to the sheer numbers, and logistics, of POWs involved, after the surrender of Germany, the german soldiers were not categorized as POWs by any of the Allied powers …. the US, England, Russia and France …. they were called DEF’s (Disarmed enemy forces) not POWs to avoid the provisions of the Geneva Convention. Just a matter of facts of history…

    I have generally 20/40 eyesight, and I was very lucky, just a month ago, that I got a sympathetic DMV examiner, who generously agreed to renew my forty year old driving license, for the next four years ….. God bless her.

    Have a nice day, and rest of the week.

  3. 6:16, no errors. Easy Monday puzzle …

    My iPad just informed me of the awful news from Las Vegas. Horrible. And I will be worried until Jeff checks in …

    As I feared, my answer for the WSJ meta on Friday was wrong, but I think I deserve a consolation prize: The release dates of the movies mentioned in the theme clues were 1991, 1951, 1959, 1975, and 1954, and the Best Picture Oscar winners in those years were as follows:

    “The Silence of the Lambs”
    “An American in Paris”
    “Ben-Hur”
    “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
    “On the Waterfront”

    And what do the initial letters spell? TABOO! Google informed me that there was a 1980 porno movie by that name, which didn’t seem to be a likely answer, but then I discovered a Japanese film, from 1999, named “Gohatto”, which won the Japanese equivalent of a Best Picture Oscar in 2000 and was distributed here under the name … drum roll … TABOO! (It’s available from Netflix.) I had my doubts, but I sent that answer in, and I think, in lieu of a WSJ mug, I deserve a WSJ shot glass or, even better, a WSJ sake glass … ?

    Oh, well, there’s always next week … ?

  4. @Vidwan … Please forgive my impertinence, but your post reminded me of a bit of humor. I found the following version on the Web:

    “I’ve sure gotten old! I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I’m half blind, can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. I have bouts with dementia and poor circulation. I can hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. I can’t remember if I’m 69 or 96 and I’ve lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver’s license!”

    I can relate, actually … ?

    A couple of weeks ago, in spite of the fact that I might still be described as a “spry old codger”, I fell down the stairs in my house. Now, it’s not what you might think. It was daytime, I was perfectly sober, and I was bopping down the stairs in my usual fashion, but I wasn’t paying full attention and got confused at the bottom. I thought I was on the last step above the landing, but I was actually one step higher than that, so my heel hit the last step, but my toe kept on going and I went straight into the wall on the other side of the landing. I walked away with no more than a bump on my head and a sore knee, but I could easily have broken my fool neck. I’ve always wondered how old folks manage to fall coming downstairs. Now I know. (This has been a Public Service Announcement; you may now return to your regularly scheduled lives (but be careful … ?).

    1. I have done that on a number of occasions and I haven’t even hit mid-life yet (as long as 40 is still considered mid-life, though it may be higher now). The worst is while holding a kid. I definitely don’t think it is a sign of old age, just clumsiness or as you said, not recognizing there is another step. :).

  5. 5:55, no errors. Too many stumbles on my part for me to really call this one “easy” for a Monday. Of course, still a pile of puzzles left that I could do too.

  6. Thanks all for the well wishes. Disasters seem to be following me everywhere. Once again, I’m one of the lucky ones. Nevertheless, it’s only a matter of time before cities start banning me from entering….

    I was actually doing laundry last night when a friend of mine in the Bay Area texted me to see if I was ok. I had no idea what they were talking about until I tuned to the local tv station and saw. Ouch. I’m safely down south in a suburb called Henderson or in another western suburb called Summerlin (where OJ is now staying…) depending on what I’m doing that day. But I was just at TMobile arena Tuesday night, and that’s just a couple of blocks from where all this took place.

    As to the puzzle it was an easy Monday. Interesting link between the word “measly” and the measles that I never knew existed. Just yesterday I heard another slang use of the word “dope” meaning “really cool” or “really nice”…like “those clothes look really dope on you”..Maybe that’s common knowledge, but that usage is new to me.

    Back to try to put some normalcy in my day. I’m not tired of all the texts I get seeing if I’m ok from floods, hurricanes or mass shootings, but I am tired of those things taking place…Sheesh.

    Best –

  7. I never keep track of time, but this one went by pretty fast… about the same time it took me to do the four LA Times “math” puzzles. I did not look at the long clues, and as soon as I saw the the second answer was going to be “twenty” I went and put “thirty” and “forty” in the last two. Worked out, but then I try to figure what the “clue” might have been… I never get those exactly right! Sometimes close though 🙂
    17 — Where to get daily headlines
    29 — Perfect vision
    37 — 2012 movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow
    64 — Large part of a farm

  8. Dear Jeff, I just heard, on the radio, that a guy who was texting, … drove off the cliff, somewhere in the south west US …… I hope it wasn’t you ! 🙂

    I, too, fell down a long flight of stairs, with a baby in my arms, and to avoid dropping the baby, I landed. purposely, on my butt, and bump. bump. bumped all the way to the bottom (pun) of the stairs. The baby is now 33 years old. Still unmarried …. she’s afraid to take the ‘plunge’ ….

    Dave K., I have had three relatives die on me, in the last month, so old age jokes don’t bother me none. I even ordered a book, Die Laughing, Killer jokes for Newly Old Folks, from Amazon.

    One guy visits a doctor, and after a number of tests, he is told, he has only six months to live. He asks the doctor, if there is anything he could do to cure the disease, or to alleviate the symptoms.
    The doc tells him, ‘Take three mud baths a day’.
    Patient: Will it relieve the symptoms or cure the disease ?
    Doc: No, but it’ll help you get used to lying in dirt.

    Take care, all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.