LA Times Crossword Answers 26 Oct 2017, Thursday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Fans

Each of today’s themed clue is the same, namely “FAN”:

  • 17A. FAN : RANGE HOOD DEVICE
  • 26A. FAN : GEISHA ACCESSORY
  • 43A. FAN : GO DOWN ON STRIKES
  • 56A. FAN : ARDENT SUPPORTER

Bill’s time: 7m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “The Hobbit” figure : DWARF

“The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” is a children’s fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien that was popular from the time of its first publication in 1937. Included in the early awards for “The Hobbit” was a prize for best juvenile fiction from “The New York Herald Tribune”. Tolkien adapted his succeeding novel “The Lord of the Rings” to incorporate elements in “The Hobbit”, so that the two tales are very much related.

15. Grassy “pet” : CHIA

Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terracotta figurines to which are applied moistened chia seeds. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.

20. Donkey Kong, e.g. : APE

The first video game featuring the ape called Donkey Kong was created in 1981. That first Donkey Kong game also introduced the world to the character known as Mario, four years before the game Super Mario Bros became such a big hit.

21. Tiny bit : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

22. Gas in an arc lamp : XENON

Metal halide lamps that are called xenons don’t actually rely on the incorporated xenon gas to generate light. The xenon gas is added so that the lamp comes on “instantly”. Without the xenon, the lamp would start up rather like an older streetlamp, flickering and sputtering for a while before staying alight.

26. FAN : GEISHA ACCESSORY

The Japanese term “geisha” best translates as “artist” or “performing artist”.

34. Holy Week season : LENT

In the Christian tradition, the week running up to Easter Sunday is known as Holy Week. Holy Week includes Palm Sunday, Holy/Spy/Ash Wednesday, Holy/Maundy Thursday, Holy/Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

35. Menagerie : ZOO

A “menagerie” is a varied group, and particularly refers to a collection of wild or unusual animals. The term comes from the French “ménagerie”, which described housing for domestic animals.

36. Organa family royal : LEIA

The full name of the character played by Carrie Fisher in the “Star Wars” series of films is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, and later Leia Organa Solo. Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (aka “Darth Vader”) and Padmé Amidala. Leia is raised by her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa. She eventually marries Han Solo.

37. Outback youngsters : JOEYS

In Australia, male kangaroos are known by several names including bucks, boomers, jacks or old men. Females are called does, flyers, or jills. There seems to be just the one name for young kangaroos: joeys. A group of kangaroos might be called a mob, troop or court.

In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as the outback or the bush. That said, I think that the term “outback” is sometimes reserved for the more remote parts of the bush.

41. Trombone’s symphonic neighbor : TUBA

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

42. First two-time Nobelist : CURIE

Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in Physics in 1903, and in Chemistry in 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

43. FAN : GO DOWN ON STRIKES

That would be baseball.

49. “Star Wars” genre : SCI-FI

“Star Wars” is the highest-grossing film media franchise of all time, and the second highest-grossing media franchise in general. The highest-grossing media franchise? That would be “Pokémon”.

52. Contrary girl of rhyme : MARY

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, And pretty maids all in a row.

63. Bigelow products : TEAS

The Bigelow Tea Company is a family-owned business that was founded in 1945 by Ruth C. Bigelow. The company is headquartered in in Fairfield, Connecticut, and owns America’s only tea plantation, which is located in Charleston, South Carolina.

65. Maker of iComfort mattresses : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

Down

1. Swimmer Torres with 12 Olympic medals : DARA

Dara Torres is a US swimmer who has won twelve Olympic medals. Torres is also the only American swimmer to have competed in five Olympic Games, and is the oldest swimmer to have made it onto the Olympic team, at 41.

2. Sub alternative : WRAP

Those would be sandwiches, or similar.

4. Joplin work : RAG

Scott Joplin was a great American composer and pianist, the “King of Ragtime”. Joplin was born poor, into a laboring family in Texas. He learned his music from local teachers and started out his career as an itinerant musician, traveling around the American South. He found fame with the release of his 1899 composition “Maple Leaf Rag”, regarded as the foundation stone on which ragtime music was built. Joplin’s music, and ragtime in general, was rediscovered by the populous in the early seventies when it was used in the very successful movie “The Sting”.

6. Nova __ : SCOTIA

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia (NS) lies on the east coast of the country and is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The area was settled by Scots starting in 1621, and Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland”.

9. Legal __ : PAD

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

11. Mr. Wednesday’s real identity in “American Gods” : ODIN

“American Gods” is a 2001 fantasy novel by English author Neil Gaiman. The book has been adapted into a TV series, with the first season airing on Starz in 2017. It’s all about gods and mythological creatures in contemporary America. Not my cup of tea, although there is a leprechaun named Mad Sweeney in the mix …

12. Artistic style of L.A.’s Eastern Columbia Building : DECO

The 13-story Eastern Columbia Building in Downtown Los Angeles opened in 1930 after only 9 months of construction at a cost of $1.25 million. It originally housed the headquarters of the Eastern Outfitting Company and the Columbia Outfitting Company, hence the name. Back in 1930, there was a city-wide height limit for buildings set at 150 feet. That limit was waived to allow construction of the magnificent and massive clock tower that brings the edifice to a total height of 264 feet.

13. Churchill’s 1955 successor : EDEN

Sir Anthony Eden served as Britain’s Foreign Secretary during WWII, and then as Prime Minister from 1955-57. I think it’s fair to say that Eden doesn’t have a great reputation as a statesman. He was proud of his stance in favor of peace over war, so his critics characterized him as an appeaser. His major stumble on the world stage occurred with the Suez Crisis in 1956. Egypt’s President Nasser unilaterally nationalized the Suez Canal causing war to be declared on Egypt by Britain, France and Israel. Within a few months political pressure from the US and the USSR caused the allies to withdraw, bolstering Egypt’s national reputation. Eden never recovered from the loss of face at home, and it is felt that the stress even affected his health. Eden resigned in January 1957.

18. Hand-holding celebratory dance : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

23. Where Vladivostok is : ASIA

Vladivostok is a Russian city in the very southeast of the country, located close to the borders with China and North korea. It is a port city, and is home to the Russian Pacific Fleet. Indeed, Vladivostok is the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean.

24. __-deucey : ACEY

Acey-deucey is a fast-played variant of backgammon. Apparently the game has been a favorite with members of the armed forces since the days of WWI.

26. Solzhenitsyn subject : GULAG

The Gulag was a government agency in the Soviet Union that administered forced labor camps. The term “gulag” was used for the camps themselves, especially when used for political dissidents. “GULag” is actually an acronym standing for the Russian “Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies”.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, having spent many years in a Gulag labor camp, wrote his famous book “The Gulag Archipelago” that was published in the West in 1973.

27. Día de Reyes month : ENERO

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

The holiday in the Christian tradition known as the Epiphany falls on January 6th. In some Spanish-speaking countries, the Epiphany is known as “Día de los Reyes”, and in other as “Día de Reyes” (The Day of Kings).

30. Netflix drama set in a Missouri mountain resort : OZARK

“Ozark” is a TV crime show starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as a married couple that relocate from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. The couple fall foul of Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes awry. The show is set at lake resort in the Ozarks, although filming actually takes place at lakes in the Atlanta area in order to take advantage of tax breaks offered by the State of Georgia.

31. WWII riveter : ROSIE

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon that represented women working in factories across the country during WWII as part of the war effort. The term “Rosie the Riveter” first appeared as the title of a 1942 song that was a national hit. The image that we bring to mind today that supposedly depicts “Rosie” is a wartime poster with the words “We Can Do It!”, which shows a woman in blue overalls and a red and white polka-dot headscarf. However, this image was used by Westinghouse as an internal motivation tool only for a two-week period in 1943, and was never associated with the Rosie the Riveter persona. The “Rosie” association to that image came decades later, in the 1980s. The best-known WWII representation of Rosie the Riveter was a “Saturday Evening Post” cover drawn by Norman Rockwell in 1943. This image shows a female worker with a rivet gun, and a lunch box bearing the name “Rosie”.

32. Devices used with oxcarts : YOKES

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

38. Flute’s symphonic neighbor : OBOE

In a common seating arrangement used by a symphony orchestra, the flautists sit beside the oboists and in front of the second violinists.

39. Sierra Club founder : MUIR

John Muir was a famous American naturalist, although he was born in Scotland. Muir founded the Sierra Club in 1892. He published “My First Summer in the Sierra” in 1911, which described one of Muir’s favorite places in the country, the Sierra Nevada range in California.

41. With “the,” East and West, in a Kipling ballad : TWAIN

“Twain” is an archaic word meaning “two”.

The phrase “never the twain shall meet” originated in a Rudyard Kipling poem from 1892. The full quotation is:

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.

Kipling’s reference here is to the British (the “West”) and the people of India (the “East”), and the lack of understanding that existed between the two in the days of the Raj.

42. Colorful set : CRAYONS

We use the word “crayon” for a stick of colored wax used for drawing. The term was imported in the 16th century from French, in which language it means “pencil”.

46. Maryland athlete, familiarly : TERP

The sports teams of the University of Maryland are called the Maryland Terrapins, or “the Terps” for short. The name dates back to 1932 when it was coined by the the university’s president at the time, Curley Byrd. He took the name from the diamondback terrapins that are native to the Chesapeake Bay.

49. Cellar contents : SALT

A salt cellar is small bowl that sits on a table holding salt for the seasoning of food. They were popular before free-flowing salt became available in the early 1900s. Salt cellars have been almost completed displaced now by salt shakers.

50. First Nations tribe : CREE

“First Nations” is a term used in Canada describing the ethnicity of Native Americans who are neither Inuit nor Métis people.

52. Backless shoe : MULE

A mule is a shoe without a back and usually with a closed toe. The original mule was a shoe worn by the highest magistrates in Ancient Rome.

57. Power agcy. since 1933 : TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has to be one of America’s great success stories when it comes to economic development. Created in 1933, the TVA spearheaded economic development in the Tennessee Valley at the height of the Great Depression. Central to the success was the federally-funded construction of flood-control and electricity-generation facilities.

58. Jazz band staple : SAX

The saxophone was invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

59. Landmark ’70s case anonym : ROE

Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

An anonym is a person whose name is not given, one who retains “anonymity”.

Though the English court system does not use the term today, “John Doe” first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with the similar “Richard Roe”. An unknown female is referred to as “Jane Doe”. Variants of “John Doe” are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “The Hobbit” figure : DWARF
6. Moneyless deal : SWAP
10. It may involve an exchange of letters : CODE
14. Like a raucous crowd : AROAR
15. Grassy “pet” : CHIA
16. Binged (on) : ODED
17. FAN : RANGE HOOD DEVICE
20. Donkey Kong, e.g. : APE
21. Tiny bit : IOTA
22. Gas in an arc lamp : XENON
23. Cultural opening? : AGRI-
24. Working away : AT IT
26. FAN : GEISHA ACCESSORY
33. Dark : UNLIT
34. Holy Week season : LENT
35. Menagerie : ZOO
36. Organa family royal : LEIA
37. Outback youngsters : JOEYS
39. Cover up : MASK
40. Is for many : ARE
41. Trombone’s symphonic neighbor : TUBA
42. First two-time Nobelist : CURIE
43. FAN : GO DOWN ON STRIKES
47. False move : FAKE
48. Try in court : HEAR
49. “Star Wars” genre : SCI-FI
52. Contrary girl of rhyme : MARY
53. Relaxation spot : SPA
56. FAN : ARDENT SUPPORTER
60. Oblique look : LEER
61. Lowland : VALE
62. Din : NOISE
63. Bigelow products : TEAS
64. Cut without mercy, as a budget : AXED
65. Maker of iComfort mattresses : SERTA

Down

1. Swimmer Torres with 12 Olympic medals : DARA
2. Sub alternative : WRAP
3. As good as it gets : A-ONE
4. Joplin work : RAG
5. Train load : FREIGHT
6. Nova __ : SCOTIA
7. “Just a doggone minute!” : WHOA!
8. Legal __ : AID
9. Legal __ : PAD
10. Longs for enviously : COVETS
11. Mr. Wednesday’s real identity in “American Gods” : ODIN
12. Artistic style of L.A.’s Eastern Columbia Building : DECO
13. Churchill’s 1955 successor : EDEN
18. Hand-holding celebratory dance : HORA
19. Be real : EXIST
23. Where Vladivostok is : ASIA
24. __-deucey : ACEY
25. Arithmetic column : TENS
26. Solzhenitsyn subject : GULAG
27. Día de Reyes month : ENERO
28. “That wasn’t quite true … ” : I LIED
29. Do housework : CLEAN
30. Netflix drama set in a Missouri mountain resort : OZARK
31. WWII riveter : ROSIE
32. Devices used with oxcarts : YOKES
37. Rubbish : JUNK
38. Flute’s symphonic neighbor : OBOE
39. Sierra Club founder : MUIR
41. With “the,” East and West, in a Kipling ballad : TWAIN
42. Colorful set : CRAYONS
44. They’re music to job-seekers’ ears : OFFERS
45. Molded : SHAPED
46. Maryland athlete, familiarly : TERP
49. Cellar contents : SALT
50. First Nations tribe : CREE
51. Thought : IDEA
52. Backless shoe : MULE
53. Start to wake up : STIR
54. Sitter’s challenge : PEST
55. Geometry figure : AREA
57. Power agcy. since 1933 : TVA
58. Jazz band staple : SAX
59. Landmark ’70s case anonym : ROE

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 26 Oct 2017, Thursday”

  1. Not too bad for a Thursday puzzle. I think I had to look one or two things up.

    I didn’t know about the paper sizes and find it very fascinating that the rest of the world uses a math ratio to determine the size of their paper. Root 2 is very close to the golden ratio which is also used to determine the size of various things due to its appealing look. I think credit cards for example have a length and width in the golden ratio. Fun with irrational numbers!

    Also, speaking of Star Wars, that is the theme of my family’s Halloween costumes this year: 2 yo son is Obi Wan, 4 yo daughter is Rey, 7 yo daughter is Darth Vader, I’m a Storm Trooper, and my SO is a Rebel Pilot. It’s funny how into Star Wars my kiddos are (of course it doesn’t hurt that my husband is really into it).

    Regarding the WSJ, man there were a lot of names in this one that I did not know. Only finished with the help of Google. It ended up taking a lot longer because I tend to go down the rabbit hole while reading about some of the answers. Ended up setting my DVR to record “Live From the Lincoln Center” tomorrow because the musical was one of the answers.

    Well that’s a lot for today. Dang rabbit holes. Hope everyone has a great day!

    -Megan

  2. LAT: 16:26, no errors. Newsday: 8:31, no errors. WSJ: 20:54, no errors. I did all three of these late last night in a bit of a fog (an internal one), but managed to muddle through.

    Yesterday, the temperature here was close to 80. For tonight, they’re predicting something in the low 20’s. Colorado. Gotta love it … ?

    1. @Dave
      44 minutes, 1 (half-dumb) error on the BEQ. This was definitely more “hard” than “medium”, though nothing too weird in this particular grid compared to last time.

      1. @Glenn … The BEQ took me 22:20, with no errors, but I agree it was on the difficult side. And, for once, I was sort of disappointed in the theme. I think I found the embedded words that I was supposed to (two of them with three letters and three of them with four letters), but I spent some time looking at the theme entries in which they are embedded, hoping to see some kind of play on words, and all I saw was nonsense. Did I miss something? Ah … and finally the light comes on! … each of them is a common phrase when the short embedded word is omitted! Geez. Okay. My opinion just improved significantly … ?

        This is Dave Kennison, by the way …

  3. I made a couple of missteps that tripped me up for awhile on the LAT’s grid, but eventually I got them straightened out and I had no final errors. One of those missteps was putting in “deke” for 47 Across. That’s what I get for being a hockey fan!

    The WSJ just fell and it was a good challenge for sure. 20 Across was a definite natick and 61 Across “Dostoyevsky novel” was only solved based on down answers.

  4. 27:53 with some tricky parts to this one. Had to pull CREE from my crossword lizard brain to get the lower left. I almost put “deke” also but left it at FAKE thinking I might need to change it later.

    St. Louis claims Scott Joplin as one of their own – a little bit erroneously. He didn’t live there that long, but a lot of his best works were composed there – e.g. The Entertainer from The Sting. Interestingly, he composed a lot of those works while married to his wife who hated music. He later divorced her, but his best work was while she was (I’m assuming) nagging him about his profession. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but I can’t figure it out….

    OZARK is a great series on Netflix. It’s only 1 season in, but it is compelling. Willie should watch it as there are many aerials from above Lake of the Ozarks he would recognize.

    I didn’t realize GULAG was an acronym as such. The Russian word for “camps” is “LAGyeree” so I always thought the “lag” was part of their word for camps.

    Exhausted from the game last night. Go Astros. Dirk – I’ve always been a National League guy as a Cardinal fan, but I rooted against the Cubs with all my heart last year (to no avail) and am rooting for my adopted home town of Houston this year. The city needs this World Series so badly after hundreds of thousands got flooded out by Harvey – including yours truly. It’s killing me not to be there during this series. Depending on how the series goes, I could see me flying in for game 5 in Houston or getting in my car and driving to LA for game 6 or 7. Yes – I’m just that crazy….

    Best –

  5. @Megan, @Dave, @Tony
    55 minutes, 2 errors on today’s WSJ with some bad guesses at Natick locations (for me). It’s a pretty good baseline for one of Mike Shenk’s harder puzzles.

  6. A tough time with this puzzle. The north west corner was the worst – I kept thinking for as name for the Hobbit… as opposed to the dwarf figure. The cluing was very sophisticated – beyond my ken. I finished it with great respect and awe to the constructor.

    Thank you Bill, for all the information on Sir Anthony Eden ! As far as British Prime Ministers go, I am more aware of Clement Attlee of the Labour Party, (1945-1951) who started The National Health Service and the Welfare State in the UK. He also gave independence to India and Pakistan, and Burma and Ceylon ( Sri Lanka).

    Have a good evening, all you folks.

    Btw, this is Vidwan827 …. I guess my name’s disappeared …..

  7. One more post, to restore my name, which, like Vidwan’s, disappeared sometime during the day. Curious …

  8. Slightly tough Thursday; took about 45 minutes with one error. Just like Vidwan I had the most trouble in the NW, which I spent at least ten minutes trying to figure out without success. sWARF/sARA and I actually remember about a month ago when DARA Torres showed up before. Never read “The Hobbit” and not inclined to.

    Also had TrAIN before TWAIN and hoya before TERP.

    @Jeff/Carrie I think the Dodger’s manager got a little carried away with his pitcher management last night. Four innings for a starter is ridiculous, leading inevitably to two innings for the closer…not good. Kofaux must have rolled his eyes.

    Houston’s kind of an honorable mention NL team and they definitely could use it to boost moral. I don’t really know the two teams well enough, but I’m thinking Dodgers in 7. I’m really liking all the HRs.

  9. Hi folks! ?
    Fun Thursday. No errors, but it was a close call — I had SWARF/SARA til the last minute when suddenly DWARF occurred to me! I seriously thought that they were not DWARFs but Hobbits! A totally different thing! ? Never read the books.
    I also didn’t know XENON, tho I’m SURE I’ve seen it in puzzles. Sounds like a comic book superhero to me.
    Yes​, Wednesday’s game was cray-zee. Why Dave Roberts pulled Hill so early is a mystery. I know that’s been his strategy but omigosh! NOT in a close World Series game!! Not when there’s the likelihood of extra innings​! ( I think it was already tied when he pulled him but probably I’m remembering wrong…)
    Be well~~™⚾

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