LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Oct 2017, Tuesday










Constructed by: Roland Huget

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: It’s a Deal

Today’s themed answers each start with a type of DEAL:

  • 42D. “Agreed!” … and what can be said about the start of the answers to starred clues : IT’S A DEAL!
  • 17A. *Boot camp newbie : RAW RECRUIT (giving “raw deal”)
  • 66A. *Defensible alibi : GOOD EXCUSE (giving “good deal”)
  • 11D. *Grand scheme of things : BIG PICTURE (giving “big deal”)
  • 29D. *It may be rational, in math : REAL NUMBER (giving “real deal”)

Bill’s time: 5m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Crowbar, basically : LEVER

A crowbar is a wonderful tool, one that can be used to pry open things, and to remove nails. The claw at one or both ends of the tool aids in that nail removal, and it is likely this iron claw was said to resemble the claw of a crow, giving us the name “crowbar”. Back in Elizabethan times. the same tool was called an “iron crow”. There’s a line in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” that reads “Get me an iron crow and bring it straight/Unto my cell.”

10. Vanishing ski lift : T-BAR

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.

16. MasterCard rival : VISA

Visa doesn’t actually issue any credit or debit cards. Visa just sells the electronic systems and infrastructure to banks who then put the Visa logo on their own cards. And so, both the customer and merchant know to use the VISA system when making a transaction.

Mastercard is a financial services company that is headquartered in Harrison, New York. The company was originally called Master Charge and was set up by a group of California banks to compete with BankAmericard (which later became Visa).

21. Play the hand you were dealt : STAND PAT

To stand pat is to resist change. The term comes from the game of poker, in which one stands pat if one keeps one’s hand as is, not drawing any extra cards.

25. __-Locka, Florida : OPA

Opa-Locka is a rather interesting city in Florida. Located near Miami, Opa-Locka has a themed city plan that is based on “One Thousand and One Nights”. The city hall has a very Arabian look, and some examples of street names are Ali Baba Avenue and Sesame Street.

26. Aetna’s bus. : INS

When the healthcare management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mt. Etna, the Italian volcano.

27. Michelin product : CAR TIRE

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires that is based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin “stars”.

33. Fuel-efficient Chevy : AVEO

The Chevrolet Aveo is a subcompact automobile that has been around since 2002. The Aveo is manufactured by GM Daewoo, the GM subsidiary in South Korea. Although the Aveo name is still used in some markets, here in North America the Aveo has been sold as the Chevrolet Sonic since 2012. By the way, GM Daewoo is the third largest manufacturer of automobiles in South Korea, after Hyundai and Kia.

34. Physics work unit : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, as there are 10 million ergs in one joule. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

36. Starts the kitty : ANTES

The pot in a card game has been referred to as the kitty since the 1880s. It’s not certain how the name “kitty” evolved but possibly it came from “kit”, the necessary equipment for the game.

40. Nebula Award genre : SCI-FI

The best works of science fiction and fantasy published each year are recognized annually by the Nebula Awards. The first Nebulas were awarded in 1966.

47. __ Minor: Little Bear : URSA

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”.

48. Chinese menu promise : NO MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

51. Company co-founded by J.P. Morgan : US STEEL

US Steel was founded in 1901 with a merger of Carnegie Steel, Federal Steel and National Steel. The resulting company immediately became the world’s first billion-dollar corporation. US Steel reorganized in 1986 and changed its name to USX Corporation, but reverted to the US Steel name in 2001. I think I’m right in saying that the USX name was chosen because US Steel is traded under the symbol “X” on the New York Stock Exchange …

John Pierpont Morgan was a financier and banker active in the last half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. Given the tremendous power that came with his wealth, J. P. Morgan and other tycoons were at times unpopular with the masses. Morgan did not often respond to criticism although did once say “I owe the public nothing”. Around the same time, John D. Rockefeller habitually rebuffed public inquiries with the words “silence is golden”.

53. “The Simpsons” disco guy : STU

On “The Simpsons”, the character of Disco Stu is voiced by Hank Azaria, although he was voiced for a while by Phil Hartman. Disco Stu is described as “a black, wrinkly John Travolta”.

55. Sport-__: 4 x 4 : UTE

A utility vehicle is often called a “ute” for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sport-utes and crossover-utes.

56. 90 deg. at the North Pole, e.g. : LAT

Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

60. One of Santa’s reindeer : DASHER

We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
  • Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

65. “SOS” pop group : ABBA

The ABBA song “SOS.” was originally titled “Turn Me On”. In the movie “Mamma Mia!”, “S.O.S.” is performed by Meryl Streep (brilliantly) and by Pierce Brosnan (terribly).

71. Tortoise racer : HARE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

Down

1. Prefix with scope : PERI-

The prefix “peri-” is Greek in origin and means “around”. An example of its use is “periscope”, a device on a submarine for looking “around”.

2. Hall of Fame catcher Rodriguez : IVAN

Iván Rodríguez is a retired MLB catcher who played most of his career for the Texas Rangers. He also played in the World Series with Detroit Tigers in 2006, and won the World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003. Iván’s son Dereck was drafted in 2011 by the Minnesota Twins.

3. Newton’s motion trio : LAWS

Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion are the basis of classical mechanics. The three laws define the relationship between a body and the forces acting on that body, and its resulting motion.

4. Color of raw silk : ECRU

The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

7. “Parlez-__ français?” : VOUS

In French, “Parlez-vous français?” means “Do you speak French?”

22. Simba’s playmate : NALA

In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.

24. Defunct Ford division, for short : MERC

The Mercury brand of car was made by Ford from 1938 until 2011. Mercury was introduced by Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford. Mercury vehicles were positioned as being more luxurious that the regular Ford models, and more economical than Ford’s high-end Lincoln models.

28. Sports shoe brand : AVIA

The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

29. *It may be rational, in math : REAL NUMBER (giving “real deal”)

A “rational number” is a number that can be written as a simple fraction, i.e. a ratio of two integers. For example 1.5 is rational, as it can be written as 3/2. An “irrational number” is the opposite, a number that cannot be written as a simple fraction. The classic example of an irrational number is “pi”, which is 3.14159… and cannot be written as a ratio of two integers. All rational and irrational numbers are “real numbers”, numbers that can be written on a number line. Almost all numbers that we can think of are “real numbers”. Infinity is not a real number, and nor are “imaginary numbers”, e.g. the square root of minus 1.

30. Sculptor’s subject : TORSO

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

37. Highland tongue : ERSE

There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country not classified as the Lowlands(!). The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.

45. Grounded Aussie birds : EMUS

The large flightless birds called emus make sounds by manipulating inflatable necks sacs. The sac is about a foot long, has a thin wall and allows the bird to emit a booming sound. The type of sound emitted is the easiest way to differentiate between male and female emus.

49. Mark of disgrace : STIGMA

A stigma (plural “stigmata), in a social sense, is a distinguishing mark of disgrace. For example, one might have to suffer the stigma of being in prison. The term derives from the Greek “stigma” meaning “mark, brand”.

50. Columbus, by birth : GENOAN

Genoa is a seaport in the very north of Italy, in the region known as Liguria. One of Genoa’s most famous sons was Christopher Columbus. Another was the violinist Niccolò Paganini.

52. Lay’s chips-in-a-can brand : STAX

Stax is a brand of potato snack made by Lay’s. Stax are similar to its famous competitor Pringles.

53. Dangerous bacterium : STAPH

Staphylococcus is a genus of bacteria. Under a microscope it can be seen that the individual bacteria form into clusters like bunches of grapes. “Staphylococcus” comes from the Greek word meaning “bunch of grapes”.

54. Knee-to-ankle bone : TIBIA

The tibia is the shin bone, the larger of the two bones right below the knee. The tibia is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

59. Skull Island ape : KONG

The fictional Skull Island is home to King Kong in most of the movies featuring the giant gorilla. Kong has also been found on Farou Island (in “King Kong vs. Godzilla”) and Mondo Island (in “King Kong Escapes”). Skull Island is said to be located off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.

62. Island dance : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Carpet thickness : PILE

5. Crowbar, basically : LEVER

10. Vanishing ski lift : T-BAR

14. Preemptive rescue op : EVAC

15. Wear down : ERODE

16. MasterCard rival : VISA

17. *Boot camp newbie : RAW RECRUIT (giving “raw deal”)

19. Not fer : AGIN

20. Slap in the face : INSULT

21. Play the hand you were dealt : STAND PAT

23. Smooth engine sound : HUM

25. __-Locka, Florida : OPA

26. Aetna’s bus. : INS

27. Michelin product : CAR TIRE

31. Ancient vase in a museum, say : RELIC

33. Fuel-efficient Chevy : AVEO

34. Physics work unit : ERG

36. Starts the kitty : ANTES

39. Truth stretcher : LIAR

40. Nebula Award genre : SCI-FI

43. Undiluted : PURE

44. Untrue : FALSE

46. Acquired : GOT

47. __ Minor: Little Bear : URSA

48. Chinese menu promise : NO MSG

51. Company co-founded by J.P. Morgan : US STEEL

53. “The Simpsons” disco guy : STU

55. Sport-__: 4 x 4 : UTE

56. 90 deg. at the North Pole, e.g. : LAT

57. Overly long and generally unproductive activity : TIME SINK

60. One of Santa’s reindeer : DASHER

65. “SOS” pop group : ABBA

66. *Defensible alibi : GOOD EXCUSE (giving “good deal”)

68. Baked desserts : PIES

69. Latest craze : MANIA

70. Ointment additive : ALOE

71. Tortoise racer : HARE

72. Spiritual guardian : ANGEL

73. Identity hider : MASK

Down

1. Prefix with scope : PERI-

2. Hall of Fame catcher Rodriguez : IVAN

3. Newton’s motion trio : LAWS

4. Color of raw silk : ECRU

5. Professors’ talks : LECTURES

6. Boot the ball : ERR

7. “Parlez-__ français?” : VOUS

8. Manuscript fixer : EDITOR

9. Make another recording of : RETAPE

10. Promo on the tube : TV AD

11. *Grand scheme of things : BIG PICTURE (giving “big deal”)

12. From China, say : ASIAN

13. Tirades : RANTS

18. Pre-college, briefly : ELHI

22. Simba’s playmate : NALA

24. Defunct Ford division, for short : MERC

27. Baby whale : CALF

28. Sports shoe brand : AVIA

29. *It may be rational, in math : REAL NUMBER (giving “real deal”)

30. Sculptor’s subject : TORSO

32. Data to be processed : INPUT

35. Band tour booking : GIG

37. Highland tongue : ERSE

38. Close tightly : SEAL

41. Basketball transgression : FOUL

42. “Agreed!” … and what can be said about the start of the answers to starred clues : IT’S A DEAL!

45. Grounded Aussie birds : EMUS

49. Mark of disgrace : STIGMA

50. Columbus, by birth : GENOAN

52. Lay’s chips-in-a-can brand : STAX

53. Dangerous bacterium : STAPH

54. Knee-to-ankle bone : TIBIA

58. Lessen, as pain : EASE

59. Skull Island ape : KONG

61. Rip-off : SCAM

62. Island dance : HULA

63. Those, in Mexico : ESOS

64. Cause serious nose-wrinkling : REEK

67. Stop working, as an engine : DIE

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Oct 2017, Tuesday”

    1. That clue is miming a Midwestern hillbilly dialect and how it sounds. “Not fer” is “Not for” and “Agin” is “against”.

  1. Had a hard time because I never heard of this IVAN (sports), AVEO (just never noticed it exists) or TIMESINK.

    Also, had odor before REEK.

    I actually own the Monkey Ward Rudolf book – from my childhood.

  2. 9:36. Interesting explanation of where “crowbar” comes from. If I remember correctly, STAPH infections were never a trivial thing, but it’s a more recent phenomenon that they have become so resistant to antibiotics and therefore have become much more dangerous than before. The perils of overprescribing. It was only a couple of years ago that Mexico started requiring a prescription in order to obtain an antibiotic.

    Heading back to Houston tomorrow for a few days to deal with the start of reconstructing the first floor of the house. I tend to deal with the whole situation pretty well with the exception of when I’m physically inside the house. That part is definitely more difficult.

    Best –

  3. LAT: 7:53, no errors, but a remarkable number of missteps. Newsday: 5:44, no errors. WSJ: 8:00-ish, no errors (I pronounced myself done at 7:45, but later realized I had forgotten to fill in two squares).

    It drizzled all day yesterday here, so I did four more Tim Croce puzzles. No errors. Times ranged from a little less than 30 minutes to just over an hour. I’ve done 28 of them now and I’m currently working on puzzles from last June.

    @Vidwan … I loved your joke and I’ve put the book you mentioned on my Amazon wish list. I’m at that age when attending funerals becomes an all-too-familiar activity and I’m trying to maintain a sense of humor (or at least avoid becoming completely depressed) about it …

  4. I had a good time with the puzzle – some very unusual clues and answers – all throughly enjoyable. I didn’t try to elucidate the central theme , ….. as usual.

    ‘Time sink’ in India, also called ‘time pass’ …. as opposed to pastime, which is maybe, a hobby, and presumably somewhat productive …

    Bill, thank you for info on VISA and Mastercard …. but the google and internet info seems to indicate that both the cards are now mere transaction and process service providers – there is really no difference, and the actual credit is really extended by the individual banks concerned ( and hence the risk of default etc.)

    Francofile, learning the american ‘lingo’ maybe your final pitfall, and your final frontier. A few more puzzles solving maybe hopefully, resolve your problem.

    Before I forget, Jeff, the 2017 Nobel Physics prize winners (3) may have some interest for you …. on the detection of gravity waves … Hope you are OK.

    J. P. Morgan ( nice biography, The House of Morgan / Ron Chernow ) WAS the U S federal reserve bank, with his guise and persuasion, before the U S Fed even existed. He passed away just before the Fed came into existence.

    Have a nice day folks,

    1. Thanks Vidwan. I was aware of the discovery at something called LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) a while back, but I am not well read up on it. I know it pretty much confirmed Einstein’s Theory of general relativity. Other forces always had waves and/or particles associated with them, but the gravitational ones were always elusive. Now that awards have been handed out for it, I guess I need to go get caught up.

      I just gave a VERY cursory read about it at Matt Strassler’s site (www.professormattstrassler.com) and I need to go look at it all more closely. Most of what he posts is readable by non science types, but not all of it. If you’re interested, you should check it out. He’s leading with that right now. It’s quite interesting.

      Best –

    2. Thank you Vidvan Ji. Mastering AL, I guess is Not fer me ;O.
      I haven’t come across many instances where this skill might be Sine Qua Non.
      Francophile

  5. Jeff, I read only the cursory details on the Nobel Physics Prize – just as a matter of curiosity.
    As my friend would have said ….. , ‘ I listen to the radio, so I know of waves … and my body parts are sagging, so I know of gravity …. so its only natural that both the gravity and the waves come together …’.

    Actually LIGO was not only the massive telescopes in Washington State and in Louisiana, but all around the world …. in Virgo, Italy and even in three sites in India …. over > 1,000 scientists involved and expenses in excess of 40 Billion USD. Btw, Kip Thorne has a good clue name for an Xword puzzle.

    I mostly thought of you, because you seem to understand something cogent about all these things ….. unfortunately, my mind and eyes just glaze over ….

    There is a female, zoroastrian, MIT Professor, Astro-physicist, Dr. Nergis Mavalvala, born in Karachi, Pakistan, and studied in Wellesly, MIT and CalTech, who was one of the senior scientists involved, in this project, on gravitational waves, and there are currently, big celebrations taking place in that country for ‘her contribution’. She is also a McArthur Fellow, starting from last year.

    … which is very, very commendable !!!

    ( I wonder, though, if “her country’s” socalled compatriots know, or are aware of, the fact, that she’s also, an open LGBT member …. )
    Merely, that, that sort of behavior is viewed, very harshly, in that country ….

  6. I finished three more of the Tim Croce puzzles (including the one he posted today), averaging about an hour apiece, and made a one-square error on one of them, but no errors on the other two. I’m beginning to have a sense of how Croce’s devious definitions work; they’re not tripping me up as often as they did at first.

    As for the Nobel Prize that was just awarded for the detection of gravity waves: These guys created a device that is capable of detecting a change in the distance between two mirrors that are 4 kilometers apart when the magnitude of the change is less than one ten-thousandth the width of a proton. It is said that this is like measuring the distance from here to Proxima Centauri (more than 4.2 light-years) with a error less than the width of a human hair. How astonishing is that?! There are now three such detectors in operation (two in the US and one elsewhere), and more in the works, making it possible to use triangulation to determine the direction of the massive event that caused the gravity waves that were detected and look for other evidence of that event. I only wish I understood the underlying physics better, but I have to admit that the concept of space-time itself quivering like a bowl of jelly makes me a little queasy … ?.

  7. Hi all! ?
    Pretty easy puzzle. No errors, altho for some reason I got stopped in my tracks​ by _ _ _TIRE!! I was looking for something more arcane than CAR TIRE. That happens sometimes, I find, tho I’m not sure why I’d expect something complex on a Tuesday.
    These few days have been difficult. The completely senseless tragedy in Las Vegas hit me hard, as I’m sure it has the rest of the country. And — I know that it can’t compare in magnitude so forgive me — I’m very sad about Tom Petty’s death, so sudden and unexpected as it was. Loved him.
    It feels to me as if the world is out of its orbit.
    Sorry for the sad thoughts….
    Be well~~™?

    1. @Carrie- I share with you the unsettling feeling inre Las Vegas tragedy. Such madness had been earlier seen on Univ. campus. But rest assured the world is still in its orbit. Sir Isaac Newton has reassured us that in absence of an external force, things continue as before.
      Francophile

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