LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Jan 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: David Liben-Nowell
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Triple-Double

Themed answers include TRIPLE-DOUBLES, three occurrences of double letters side-by-side:

  • 54A. Ten or more points, rebounds and assists in one game, in hoops lingo … and a literal feature of 20-, 33- and 43-Across : TRIPLE-DOUBLE
  • 20A. Played the Samaritan : DID A GOOD DEED
  • 33A. Ones who once shared quarters : FORMER ROOMMATES
  • 43A. Love sugary snacks, say : HAVE A SWEET TOOTH

Bill’s time: 5m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. Gobi Desert continent : ASIA

The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

15. Calf-roping event : RODEO

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated as “round up”.

16. “The __ Duckling” : UGLY

Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Ugly Duckling” has to be one of the most endearing ever written. Unlike so many fairy tales, “The Ugly Duckling” isn’t based on any folklore and is simply a product of Andersen’s imagination. It is speculated that Andersen was the illegitimate son of the Crown Prince of Denmark, and that he wrote the story of the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan as a metaphor for the secret royal lineage that was within Andersen himself.

17. Writer Ayn : RAND

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

20. Played the Samaritan : DID A GOOD DEED

“The Good Samaritan” is a parable told by Jesus that can be read in the Gospel of Luke. According to the story, a Jewish traveler is robbed and beaten and left for dead at the side of the road. A priest happens by and sees the poor man, but does not stop to help. A fellow Jewish traveler also passes and refuses to help. A third man stops and gives aid. This kind person is a Samaritan, a native of Samaria. Back then Jewish and Samarian people were said to generally despise each other, and yet here a detested creature gives aid. Jesus told to the story to a self-righteous lawyer, the intent being (I assume) to shake up his self-righteousness.

22. Italian automaker : FIAT

Fiat is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, and is headquartered in Turin in the Piedmont region in the north of the country. Fiat was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, when the company’s name was “Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino” (FIAT). A few years ago, Fiat became the majority shareholder in Chrysler.

23. “The Big Bang Theory,” for one : SITCOM

“The Big Bang Theory” is very clever sitcom that first aired in 2007. “The Big Bang Theory” theme song was specially commissioned for the show, and was composed and is sung by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. The theme song was released in 2007 as a single and is featured on a Barenaked Ladies greatest hits album.

29. Rock band staple : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

36. Juicy Fruit, e.g. : GUM

Juicy Fruit is the oldest brand of chewing gum made by Wrigley, as it was introduced just a few months before the Wrigley’s Spearmint gum in 1893. William Wrigley, Jr. actually started distributing his gum in the prior year as a free gift with boxes of his father’s Scouring Soap that he was selling. The gum became more popular than the soap, and a chewing gum business was born.

40. Cup o’ mud : JOE

It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.

49. Ukr., until 1991 : SSR

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English, we often call the country “the Ukraine”, but I am told that we should say just “Ukraine”.

50. Many Middle Easterners : ARABS

In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. The Near East and Middle East are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

54. Ten or more points, rebounds and assists in one game, in hoops lingo … and a literal feature of 20-, 33- and 43-Across : TRIPLE-DOUBLE

In the world of basketball, a “double” is the accumulation of double digits in either points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocked shots. A “double-double” is getting double digits in two of these five categories. A player can also earn a triple-double, quadruple-double or quintuple-double.

66. Thomas __, 9/11 Commission chairman : KEAN

Thomas Kean served as Governor of New Jersey from 1982 until 1990. President George W. Bush called on Kean to head up the 9/11 Commission that was tasked with providing a full account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11 attacks. President Bush had originally appointed former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as head of the commission, but Kissinger was forced to resign after just a few weeks due to potential conflicts with his private consulting business.

68. Hilton rival : HYATT

The Hyatt hotel chain takes its name from the first hotel in the group, i.e. Hyatt House at Los Angeles International Airport that was purchased in 1957. Among other things, Hyatt is famous for designing the world’s first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

69. Poet Pound : EZRA

Ezra Pound was an American poet who spent much of his life wandering the world, spending years in London, Paris, and Italy. In Italy, Pound’s work and sympathies for Mussolini’s regime led to his arrest at the end of the war. His major work was the epic, albeit incomplete, “The Cantos”. This epic poem is divided into 120 sections, each known as a canto.

Down

1. Cooking fat : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered or purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

2. Morales of “NYPD Blue” : ESAI

The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

“NYPD Blue” is a police drama that was originally aired in 1993, and ran until 2005. Stars of the show are Dennis Franz, David Caruso, Jimmy Smits and Rick Schroder. The show created a bit of a fuss back in the nineties as it featured a relatively large amount of nudity for broadcast television.

3. Collection of energy-producing turbines : WIND FARM

A turbine is a machine uses the flow of a fluid (sometimes air) to create rotational work. Simple examples of turbines are windmills and waterwheels.

4. Avant-garde art movement : DADAISM

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

Someone or something described as avant-garde is especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.

5. Specialized jargon : ARGOT

“Argot” is a French term. It is the name given in the 17th century to “the jargon of the Paris underworld”. Nowadays argot is a set of idioms used by any particular group, the “lingo” of that group.

“Jargon” can mean nonsensical and meaningless talk, or the specialized language of a particular group, trade or profession. The term is Old French, with the more usual meaning of “a chattering”. How apt …

6. NYC division : BORO

The five boroughs of New York City were created in 1898. Those five boroughs are:

  • Manhattan
  • The Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Staten Island

7. Took too much, briefly : ODED

Overdose (OD)

8. Clarinet insert : REED

The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn’t it? The name comes from the Italian word “clarino” meaning “trumpet” with the “-et” suffix indicating “small”.

10. Baker’s ring-shaped mold : BUNDT PAN

Here in the US, what we know as Bundt cake takes its name from the ring-shaped pan in which it is usually baked. This pan was introduced in 1950 by the company NordicWare, at which time the “Bundt” name was trademarked.

11. Turkish honorific : AGA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

13. Caustic chemical : LYE

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

19. Earthquake prefix : SEISMO-

The combining form “seismo-” means “earthquake”, and comes from “seismos”, the Greek for “earthquake”.

27. 2016 film based on a Roald Dahl novel, with “The” : BFG

“The BFG” is a 1982 children’s book by Welsh author Roald Dahl. The initialism in the title stands for “Big Friendly Giant”. Dahl dedicated “The BFG” to his daughter Olivia, who had passed away at the age of 7 in 1962. Steven Spielberg made a 2016 movie adaptation of the book.

28. Baseball’s Gehrig : LOU

Baseball legend Lou Gehrig was known as a powerhouse. He was a big hitter and just kept on playing. Gehrig broke the record for the most consecutive number of games played, and he stills holds the record for the most career grand slams. His durability earned him the nickname “The Iron Horse”. Sadly, he died in 1941 at 37-years-old suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an illness we now call “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. The New Yankees retired the number four on 4th of July 1939 in his honor, making Lou Gehrig the first baseball player to have a number retired.

29. Archery ammo : ARROWS

An archer is someone who shoots with a bow and arrow. The term “archer” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “bow, arc”.

30. Poet Marianne and actress Julianne : MOORES

Marianne Moore is an American poet who most famous work is probably the poem known as “Poetry”, appropriately enough.

Actress Julianne Moore won her Best Actress Oscar for playing the title role in the 2014 film “Still Alice”, which deals with the subject of Alzheimer’s disease. As well as being a talented actor, Moore is a successful children’s author. Her 2007 book “Freckleface Strawberry” became a New York Times Best Seller, and was inspired by the teasing she received as a child for having freckles.

39. Diner, drive-in or dive : EATERY

We’ve been using the word “dive” in American English for a run-down bar since the latter half of the 19th century. The term comes from the fact that disreputable taverns were usually located in basements, so one had to literally and figuratively dive into them.

40. 1969 Woodstock folk singer : JOAN BAEZ

Joan Baez is an American folk singer and a prominent activist in the fields of non-violence, civil rights, human rights and environmental protection. Baez has dated some high-profile figures in her life including Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs (of Apple) and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.

1969’s Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on a dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

41. Gambling venue letters : OTB

Off-track betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

45. __ populi: popular opinion : VOX

The Latin phrase “vox populi” translates as “voice of the people”. The expression is used in the world of broadcasting to describe interviews with members of the public.

47. Political satirist P.J. : O’ROURKE

P. J. O’Rourke is a political satirist and journalist. I enjoy listening to O’Rourke as a regular panelist on the NPR game show “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” O’Rourke is also well-known on the other side of the Atlantic for his appearance in a series of satirical TV spots for British Airways.

52. Copier maker : RICOH

Ricoh is a Japanese company that started out in 1936 and by the year 2000 was the biggest manufacturer of copiers in the world. The company is also well known as a supplier of cameras. The most successful of Ricoh’s lines of cameras is the compact model called a Caplio.

53. That is, in Latin : ID EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

56. Pop singer Loeb : LISA

The singer Lisa Loeb was discovered by actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Hawke took a demo of her song “Stay (I Missed You)” and gave it to director Ben Stiller, who in turn used it over the ending credits of his 1994 movie “Reality Bites”. The movie was a hit, the song went to number one, and Loeb became the first artist ever to hit that number one spot without having signed up with a record label. Good for her!

58. Perjurer : LIAR

An act of perjury is the wilful giving of false testimony under oath. The term “perjury” ultimately comes from the Latin “per” meaning “away” and “iurare” meaning “to swear”.

59. Writer Ferber : EDNA

Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successfully for the stage and/or big screen.

60. __ de deux : PAS

In the world of ballet, a “pas de deux” is a duet in which the dancers dance together. A classic pas de deux has a particular structure. It starts with a short entree followed by an adagio and two variations, one for each dancer, and ends with a short coda. The term “pas de deux” is French for “step for two”, or I suppose “dance for two”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Vulgar : LEWD
5. Cancel, as a mission : ABORT
10. Leave in a hurry : BAIL
14. Gobi Desert continent : ASIA
15. Calf-roping event : RODEO
16. “The __ Duckling” : UGLY
17. Writer Ayn : RAND
18. Harmless garden slitherer : GREEN SNAKE
20. Played the Samaritan : DID A GOOD DEED
22. Italian automaker : FIAT
23. “The Big Bang Theory,” for one : SITCOM
27. Big bang : BLAST
29. Rock band staple : AMP
32. Gush : SPURT
33. Ones who once shared quarters : FORMER ROOMMATES
36. Juicy Fruit, e.g. : GUM
37. Cause of shrinking beaches : EROSION
38. Delivers the news : REPORTS
40. Cup o’ mud : JOE
43. Love sugary snacks, say : HAVE A SWEET TOOTH
48. Up in the air : ALOFT
49. Ukr., until 1991 : SSR
50. Many Middle Easterners : ARABS
51. More alluring : SEXIER
53. App symbol : ICON
54. Ten or more points, rebounds and assists in one game, in hoops lingo … and a literal feature of 20-, 33- and 43-Across : TRIPLE-DOUBLE
60. Minor infraction : PETTY CRIME
63. Special forces mission : RAID
64. Ointment additive : ALOE
65. Fertile desert spot : OASIS
66. Thomas __, 9/11 Commission chairman : KEAN
67. Snowy day toy : SLED
68. Hilton rival : HYATT
69. Poet Pound : EZRA

Down

1. Cooking fat : LARD
2. Morales of “NYPD Blue” : ESAI
3. Collection of energy-producing turbines : WIND FARM
4. Avant-garde art movement : DADAISM
5. Specialized jargon : ARGOT
6. NYC division : BORO
7. Took too much, briefly : ODED
8. Clarinet insert : REED
9. Shades of color : TONES
10. Baker’s ring-shaped mold : BUNDT PAN
11. Turkish honorific : AGA
12. Type : ILK
13. Caustic chemical : LYE
19. Earthquake prefix : SEISMO-
21. Garden entrance : GATE
24. Piece of the action, or a shout that stops the action : CUT
25. Valuable underground find : ORE
26. Peaks: Abbr. : MTS
27. 2016 film based on a Roald Dahl novel, with “The” : BFG
28. Baseball’s Gehrig : LOU
29. Archery ammo : ARROWS
30. Poet Marianne and actress Julianne : MOORES
31. Dorm decoration : POSTER
34. Workout count : REPS
35. Waterfall spray : MIST
38. Updated, as factory equipment : REFITTED
39. Diner, drive-in or dive : EATERY
40. 1969 Woodstock folk singer : JOAN BAEZ
41. Gambling venue letters : OTB
42. “I didn’t hear you” sounds : EHS
43. Gives birth to : HAS
44. Pub brew : ALE
45. __ populi: popular opinion : VOX
46. Food truck fare : TACO
47. Political satirist P.J. : O’ROURKE
52. Copier maker : RICOH
53. That is, in Latin : ID EST
55. Ask for divine guidance : PRAY
56. Pop singer Loeb : LISA
57. Discharge : EMIT
58. Perjurer : LIAR
59. Writer Ferber : EDNA
60. __ de deux : PAS
61. Pipe bend : ELL
62. Digit on a foot : TOE

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Jan 2018, Tuesday”

  1. LAT: 5:21, no errors. WSJ: 10:20, 1 dumb error. Jones: 7:17, no errors. CHE (the new one): 13:31, 4 rather dumb errors. Newsday: 7:51 (written), 1 dumb error.

  2. LAT: 8:57, no errors, but a veritable three-ring circus of fumble-fingering my iPad “keyboard”.

    And … on paper … CHE (2018/01/26): 14:17, no errors, but it took me a while to grok the “elliptic functions” theme. CHE (2018/02/02): 10:12, no errors, pretty straightforward. Newsday: 5:49, no errors, unremarkable. WSJ: 10:06, no errors, have never heard of a certain nail polish brand (though it may be that I should check it out: at age 75, my nails have become so brittle as to be a real problem ?). Forgot about the Jones puzzle … until now …

    @Carrie … Good luck with your search for the perfect dog!

    1. This week’s Matt Jones: 12:18, no errors, but I had to guess the letter at the intersection of 1D – the name of someone I’d never heard of (which, oddly enough, also happens to be my daughter’s middle name!) – and 16A – a name I’ve probably heard, couldn’t bring to mind. The entry for 39A was an unfamiliar initialism. And … I’m embarrassed to admit that I got trapped into an obvious, but incorrect, initial choice for 20A (pretty sneaky move on Matt’s part!). So … for me, a good tussle.

  3. 9:19 – I’m 90%+ certain that this exact theme was in the NYT a month or two ago. I even think SWEETTOOTH was one of the theme answers for that one as well. No matter. I won’t take any legal action this time…

    I didn’t get a chance to read all of the write up from yesterday, but after Vidwan’s comments on the telefoto lens, I went back and looked at it. Indeed quite interesting how those function.

    And, Vidwan, there was absolutely no legitimate or logical aspect of our Oxfam pub skip. It was just our attempt at humor at the expense of people trying to legitimately help others 🙂

    Best –

  4. I did the Sunday puzzle last night right before bed. It was a very tiring and challenging puzzle at that hour. A lot I had to guess, strain to remember, or get via crosses to finish. My time was 60:01. 1 second over an hour and 2 seconds over 59:59…which no one would have believed anyway…..

    More challenging than most LAT Sundays. Bill’s 13 minute time is absolutely absurd. At the 13 minute mark, I think I was thinking I’d never finish my first corner…..

    @Dave –
    I knew it. Perhaps my mind is degenerating at a slower rate than I thought. I also still remember the September 15, 2016 NYT puzzle. It’s up there with Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination and 9/11 as infamous dates. It’s the date of the horrifying anagram puzzle. I still have scars from that one.

    Then again I wrote “telefoto” lens in my first post today so maybe it’s a wash. My excuse is I was writing something in Spanish right beforehand and that’s why my brain chose that spelling.

    No overlap in the setters of the two “Triple Double” puzzles. The theme answers were better in this one. The NYT had some I’d never heard of back in November.

    Best –

  5. I had a very nice time with this puzzle – but with the work I was involved in, I just got to doing the puzzle. I didn’t want to miss a Tuesday ! I got the theme, which was my level of easy. I read the whole of Bill’s blog – and find nothing to comment about.
    Jeff, thank you for reading my comment. I came across the consumption of beer or ale, in the 17th century when I was reading about the establishment of Bombay, the city, in an eponomous book, actually called City of Gold, book by a british urbanologist and architect …. Gillian Tyndall. She mentioned the water was so bad, it was much safer to drink beer… The book is fantastic, if you ever lived in the city, and I have 3 copies of it !!!

    Have a nice evening, all

  6. Hi y’all!! ?☕????
    I feel that what this comment section needs is more emojis!!!??? …And I’d be the only one to think that!!?✌
    Easy Tuesday. I just googled to see if anyone in the NBA had ever managed a quintuple-double — they haven’t!! Apparently the only Q-D on record occurred in a girls’ high school basketball tournament in 2011…!!!! ?
    Dave, thank you!! Tomorrow (Wednesday that is) I go to the pound!! ? !! Fingers crossed! ??
    Be well~~™???✌?

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