LA Times Crossword Answers 18 Feb 2018, Sunday

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Constructed by: Alan Arbesfeld
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Political Insiders

Themed answers include hidden three-letter sequences that are the monograms of US presidents:

  • 69A. What’s hidden in answers with an apt “#” in their clues : PRESIDENTIAL MONOGRAMS
  • 23A. Kiddie lit hero created by Hans and Margret Rey (#18) : CURIOUS GEORGE (USG – Ulysses S. Grant)
  • 33A. It usually begins “How many (whatever) does it take … ” (#36) : LIGHT BULB JOKE (LBJ – Lyndon B. Johnson)
  • 51A. Film based on the novel “Shoeless Joe” (#32) : FIELD OF DREAMS (FDR – Franklin D. Roosevelt)
  • 82A. Arizona tourist attraction (#34) : PAINTED DESERT (DDE – Dwight D. Eisenhower)
  • 101A. Athletic retiree? (#37) : UNIFORM NUMBER (RMN – Richard M. Nixon)
  • 114A. Religious high point? (#33) : CHURCH STEEPLE (HST – Harry S. Truman)

Bill’s time: 25m 19s

Bill’s errors: 3

  • EGON (Igan!)
  • ALBEDO (albido)
  • OROSCO (Orasco)

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Truckers’ competition : ROADEO

A roadeo is a competition held between drivers of buses or trucks. The competition’s name is a play on the words “road” and “rodeo”.

13. Adenauer sobriquet meaning “the old man” : DER ALTE

Konrad Adenauer was the first Chancellor of West Germany after WWII, taking office in 1949 at the age of 73. Adenauer was 87 years old when he left office. Understandably perhaps, his nickname was “Der Alte”, German for “the old man”. Adenauer spent much of WWII in prison, courtesy of Herr Hitler.

22. Dressing choice : ITALIAN

Don’t try asking for Italian dressing in Italy, as it’s a North American invention. Italians are fond of dressing their salads with olive oil, vinegar, salt and maybe some black pepper. Try it!

23. Kiddie lit hero created by Hans and Margret Rey (#18) : CURIOUS GEORGE (USG – Ulysses S. Grant)

Curious George is a character in a series of children’s books written by husband and wife Hans Augusto and Margret Rey. The couple wrote the original stories in Paris, taking the manuscripts with them as they fled from the city ahead of the Nazi invasion in 1940.
Ulysses S. Grant (USG) was born Hiram Ulysses Grant in 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio. At the request of Grant’s father, US Congressman Thomas L. Hamer nominated 16-year-old Ulysses to West Point. Hamer mistakenly wrote the young lad’s name as “Ulysses S. Grant”, and so that became the future president’s adopted name.

25. Sways on a curve : CAREENS

The term “careen” dates back to 1590 when it meant “to turn a ship on its side, exposing the keel”. The word evolved from the Middle French word “carene” meaning “keel”. Our modern usage, meaning to lean or tilt, only dates back as far as the 1880s. Careen should not be confused with “career”, a verb meaning to move rapidly. One has to “career” from side-to-side in order to “careen”.

27. Suspense novelist Tami : HOAG

Tami Hoag is a novelist best known for writing romances and thrillers. She is a prolific writer and once had five consecutive titles on the New York Times bestsellers list, all in a 20-month period.

28. Fields of comedy : TOTIE

“Totie Fields” was the stage name of comedian Sophie Feldman. “Totie” is a corruption of “Sophie”, and was the nickname she was given as a child.

30. ’70s-’80s batting instructor Charlie : LAU

Charlie Lau played in the major leagues as a catcher, and later made a name for himself as a hitting coach. The Ted Williams book called “The Science of Hitting” was considered the “Bible of Batting” until Lau came out with “The Art of Hitting .300” in 1992.

33. It usually begins “How many (whatever) does it take … ” (#36) : LIGHT BULB JOKE (LBJ – Lyndon B. Johnson)

Question: How many mystery authors does it take to change a light bulb?Answer: Two! One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.

37. “Mi casa __ casa” : ES SU

“Mi casa es su casa” translates from Spanish as “My home is your home”.

38. Bk. after Proverbs : ECCL

Ecclesiastes is a book in the Hebrew Bible and in the Christian Old Testament. The term “ecclesiastes” is usually translated as “teacher” or “preacher”, although a more literal translation is “gatherer”.

41. Winnebago descendants : IOWAS

The Iowa Native American people are a Siouan nation. The Iowa speak the Chiwere language, along with the Missouria and Otoe tribes.

42. Winter wear : PARKA

A parka is a hooded jacket that is often lined with fur, and that is worn in cold weather. The original parka was a pullover design, but nowadays it is usually zipped at the front. “Parka” is the Russian name for the garment, and it was absorbed into English in the late 1700s via the Aleut language.

51. Film based on the novel “Shoeless Joe” (#32) : FIELD OF DREAMS (FDR – Franklin D. Roosevelt)

“Field of Dreams” is a fantasy drama about baseball, released in 1989 and starring Kevin Costner. The movie is an adaptation of a 1982 novel titled “Shoeless Joe” by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella. Shoeless Joe Jackson was a real baseball player, and someone associated with the Black Sox Scandal that allegedly affected the outcome of the 1919 World Series. Jackson was portrayed by Ray Liotta in the movie. “Field of Dreams” was also the last film in which Burt Lancaster made an appearance. The baseball stadium that was built for the movie can be visited in Dubuque County, Iowa.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt Sr. The Delano family history in America goes back to the pilgrim Philippe de Lannoy, an immigrant of Flemish descent who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The family name “de Lannoy” was anglicized here in the US, to “Delano”. Franklin was to marry Eleanor Roosevelt, and apparently the relationship between Sara and her daughter-in-law was very “strained”.

54. __ Gimignano: walled Tuscany town : SAN

San Gimignano is a medieval walled town on a hill in the Italian region of Tuscany. The town is noted for the conservation of fourteen tower houses, which gives rise the nickname the “Town of Fine Towers”.

57. “It’s __ wind … ” : AN ILL

We’ve all probably heard the phrase “‘tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good”. The poet Ogden Nash made a “punny” statement about the oboe, calling the instrument “an ill wind nobody blows good”. I must say though, I disagree …

59. KOA visitor : RVER

One using a “recreational vehicle” (RV) might be called an “RVer”.
Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.

62. Rhythm rattler : MARACA

Maracas are percussion instruments native to Latin America. They are constructed from a dried shell, like that of a coconut, to which a handle is attached. The shell is filled with dried seeds or beans, and shaken.

64. Longtime rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey Dan : INGRAM

Dan Ingram is DJ who had a career spinning discs, mainly in New York, that spanned five decades.

72. 1991 Steve Martin film set in Calif. : LA STORY

“L.A. Story” is 1991 romantic comedy starring Steve Martin. It’s all about the romantic life of a television weatherman (played by Martin). In the storyline, Martin’s character meets a journalist from London with whom he becomes infatuated. Said journalist was portrayed by actress Victoria Tennant, who was married to Steve Martin at the time.

73. Front line? : ISOBAR

An isobar is a line on a weather map connecting points of equal barometric pressure.

78. Austrian expressionist Schiele : EGON

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter who was noted for his explicit and sexual drawings. Indeed, his style got him locked up in 1912 and he was eventually found guilty of exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible by children. The judge even burned one of Schiele’s drawings over a candle flame in the court.

80. Former “60 Minutes” debater __ Alexander : SHANA

“Ain’t She Sweet” is a popular song first published in 1927, composed by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen. Ager wrote the song for his daughter, Shana. Shana grew up to become Shana Alexander, a political commentator on CBS’s “60 Minutes”.

82. Arizona tourist attraction (#34) : PAINTED DESERT (DDE – Dwight D. Eisenhower)

The Painted Desert in Arizona is a beautiful badlands area noted for colorful rock formations. The name was given way back in 1540 by the Spanish, who called it “El Desierto Pintado”.
Future US president Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas in 1890 and given the name David Dwight, but by the time he made it to the White House he was going by the name Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). Growing up, his family called him Dwight, and when “Ike” enrolled in West Point he himself reversed the order of his given names.

91. Mtge.-offering business : S AND L

Savings and Loan (S&L)

94. Mosque leader : IMAM

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

101. Athletic retiree? (#37) : UNIFORM NUMBER (RMN – Richard M. Nixon)

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

105. Mr. Clean competitor : LESTOIL

LesToil is a cleanser with many advertized uses, including laundry stain removal and floor cleaning. It was introduced in 1933 as a single product with the dual purpose of removing both water-soluble and non-water-soluble dirt on washday.

107. “M*A*S*H” extra : ROK

A South Korean soldier is known as an “ROK”, an initialism standing for the Republic of (South) Korea.
“MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors” is a novel written by “Richard Hooker” and first published in 1968. “Richard Hooker” was the pen name used by Dr. H, Richard Hornberger and writer W. C. Heinz. The novel was the inspiration for the iconic movie “M*A*S*H” and the great spinoff television series.

108. Knight clubs : MACES

A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence. It is a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.

109. River to the Rhein : AARE

The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. The Aar is a major tributary of the Rhine, and flows through Bern, the nation’s capital.
The river running through Europe that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German, “Rhin” in French and “Rijn” in Dutch.

111. “__ woods these are I think I know”: Frost : WHOSE

When I was a school-kid back in Ireland, Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was our first introduction to American poetry, and what a lovely introduction it was:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

114. Religious high point? (#33) : CHURCH STEEPLE (HST – Harry S. Truman)

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

118. What love and hate share? : SILENT E

The last letter in both the word “love” and “hate” is a silent letter E.

119. “It’s My Party” singer Gore : LESLEY

“It’s My Party” is a great song from the sixties that was released by Lesley Gore in 1963 when she was just 16 years of age. “It’s My Party” tells the story of a teenage girl whose boyfriend hooks up with another girl at her own birthday party. The song struck such a chord with the listening audience that Gore recorded a sequel called “Judy’s Turn to Cry” in which the teenage girl gets her revenge, and her boyfriend returns to her.

120. Shakespearean attendant : VARLET

A varlet was an attendant or servant, and perhaps a knight’s page. The term comes from the Old French “vaslet” meaning “squire, young man”, which also gave us our contemporary word “valet”.

121. Hybrid with thorns : TEA ROSE

The first tea roses were so called because they had a fragrance reminiscent of Chinese black tea.

123. Main squeeze : STEADY

Back in the late 1800s, a “main squeeze” was the “most important person”. It wasn’t until almost a century later the one’s main squeeze became one’s sweetheart.

Down

1. Fix, as a rattan chair : RECANE

Rattan is the name of a large number of species of palms, all of which look less like trees and more like vines. The woody stems are used for making cane furniture.

3. Cliff dwellings : AERIES

An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

5. Preppy jackets : ETONS

An Eton jacket is usually black in color, cut square at the hips and has wide lapels. It is named for the design of jacket that is worn by the younger students at Eton College just outside London.

6. The Beavers of the Pac-12 : OSU

The athletic teams of Oregon State University (OSU) are known as the Beavers. The big rivals to the Beavers are the Ducks of the University of Oregon, a rivalry that has been dubbed “the Civil War”. The two schools’ football teams play a game every year for the Platypus Trophy.

7. Macy’s red star, e.g. : LOGO

The original Macy’s store was opened by Rowland Hussey Macy in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1851. This store, and several others that Macy opened, all failed. Macy picked himself up though, and started over again in New York City. Those early New York stores all focused on the sale of dry goods, but added departments quickly as the clientele grew. The Macy’s “star” logo has been around since the company was first established. Macy chose the star because it mimicked the star tattoo that he got as a teenager when he was working on a whaling ship out of Nantucket.

9. Japanese chess : SHOGI

Shogi is a game that is also known as Japanese chess. The name “shogi” translates as “general’s board game”.

10. Hammer site : EAR

The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).

11. “Star Trek” spin-off, briefly : TNG

When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

12. One-named folk singer : ODETTA

Odetta Holmes (or just “Odetta”) was a singer and a human rights activist. She has been cited as an influence by such singers as Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Carly Simon.

13. Mirabile __: wonderful to say : DICTU

The Latin phrase “mirabile dictu” is used as an interjection meaning “wonderful to tell”. The related phrase “mirabile visu” means “wonderful to see”.

14. Amazon business : ETAIL

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. It is also the most largest Internet company in the world by revenue. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

15. Cheesy “Welsh” dishes : RAREBITS

Welsh rarebit is a delicious dish made using a cheese-flavored sauce served over toast. It may be that the name Welsh rarebit was originally a bit of an insult to the folks in Wales. The dish was called Welsh “rabbit” back in the 1700s. In those day’s rabbit was the poor man’s meat, and the implication of the dish’s name is that in Wales cheese was the poor man’s rabbit.

18. Yankees’ pitcher Masahiro : TANAKA

Masahiro Tanaka is a baseball pitcher from Japan who signed with the New York Yankees in 2014. Tanaka had played from 2007 through 2013 for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in his homeland.

29. Conan of “Conan” : O’BRIEN

Before Conan O’Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host, he was a writer. He wrote for both “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”. While attending Harvard, O’Brien was president of “The Harvard Lampoon”.

32. Garr of “Tootsie” : TERI

The lovely Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
“Tootsie” is a hilarious 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman in the title role, a male actor who adopts a female identity in order to land an acting job. Jessica Lange won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in the film. “Tootsie” was also provided Geena Davis with her first movie role.

34. Tennis great Steffi : GRAF

Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, more than any other man or woman other than Margaret Court. She is married to another former World No. 1, namely Andre Agassi.

36. Veep between Dick and Mike : JOE

Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.
In 2000, Dick Cheney was called upon by then-Governor George W. Bush to head up the search for a running mate for Bush in the presidential election. After a few months search, Bush turned things on their head by asking Cheney to join him on the ticket.
Mike Pence served as the 50th Governor of Indiana from 2013 until 2017, when he became the 48th Vice President of the US in the Trump administration. Famously, Vice President Pence has described himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order”, although he grew up in an Irish Catholic Democrat family.

39. Friend of Hobbes : CALVIN

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes a 17th century English political philosopher.

43. Gp. created by a 1955 merger : AFL-CIO

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

44. Welsh herding dogs : CORGIS

The Welsh corgi is a herding dog that originated in Britain, with two recognized breeds: the Pembroke and Cardigan. Corgis aren’t speedy enough to do their job by running around livestock like collies, and instead nip at the heels.

47. Israeli author who wrote “A Tale of Love and Darkness” : AMOS OZ

Amos Oz is an Israeli writer. Oz has written 18 books in Hebrew and his works have been translated into 30 languages, including Arabic.
“A Tale of Love and Darkness” is a 2002 autobiographical novel by Israeli author Amos Oz. Actress Natalie Portman bought the film rights to the book and adapted it into a screenplay. The move was released in 2015, with Portman playing Oz’s mother. The film “A Tale of Love and Darkness” also marked Portman’s directorial debut.

54. Many Beethoven pieces : SONATAS

A cantata is a piece of music that is sung, as opposed to a sonata, which is a piece that is played on some instrument, often a piano. A sonatina is in effect a sonata that has been labelled as something lighter and shorter.
In addition to 5 cello sonatas and 10 violin sonatas, Ludwig van Beethoven composed 32 piano sonatas. The most famous of his sonatas that have been “named” are probably “Pathétique”, “Moonlight”, “Waldstein” and “Appassionata”.

56. Long Island paper : NEWSDAY

“Newsday” is a New York newspaper that primarily serves Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. “Newsday” was founded in 1940 by Alicia Patterson and her husband Harry Guggenheim. I hear that “Newsday” has a good crossword …

61. Pulitzer journalist Seymour : HERSH

Seymour Hersh is an investigative journalist based in Washington D.C. Hersh was awarded the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his 1969 exposé of the My Lai Massacre.

63. “Rocky” role : ADRIAN

You might remember Rocky Balboa saying, “Yo, Adrian!” in the original “Rocky” movie. Adrian was Rocky’s wife played by the lovely Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

65. ’90s Indian prime minister : RAO

P. V. Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. Rao is seen by most as the leader who transformed his country’s economy into the market-driven engine that it is today.

66. Planetary reflected-light ratio : ALBEDO

Albedo is the reflective power of a surface. The concept is particularly important in the sciences of climatology and astronomy, and often refers to the proportion of incident light that is reflected back by the surface of a planet or moon. The term “albedo” is Latin for “whiteness”.

70. Singer Gorme : EYDIE

Eydie Gormé is best known for her work with her husband Steve Lawrence. The duo started performing traditional popular music together in the late fifties. One of the couple’s children is David Nessim Lawrence, a composer who wrote the score for the 2006 movie “High School Musical”.

71. Pitcher Jesse with a record 1,252 regular-season appearances : OROSCO

Jesse Orosco is a former baseball pitcher who played for several teams including the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Orosco had a long playing career, retiring when he was 46 years old. Partly because of that long career, he holds the major league record for career pitching appearances at 1,252 games.

82. Trigger was one : PALOMINO

A palomino is a horse with a gold coat and a white mane and tail. The color was prized by TV and film producers in the golden age of the Western. Two of the most famous palominos were Trigger ridden by Roy Rogers, and Mr. Ed who had his own TV show.

83. Dutch export : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

85. Funny Martha : RAYE

Martha Raye was a comic actress as well as a singer. Raye was famous for the size of her mouth, something that she used to her own advantage. As her nickname was “The Big Mouth”, she made a little money appearing in commercials for the Polident denture cleaner in the eighties. Her line was, “So take it from the Big Mouth: new Polident Green gets tough stains clean!”

87. Common attached file : PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

92. Breakdown of social norms : ANOMIE

Anomie is social breakdown caused by the erosion of value and standards. The term comes to us via French from Greek. The root words are “a-” (without) “nomos” (law).

93. Inventor Tesla : NIKOLA

Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. Tesla’s work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

98. Fanfare : HOOPLA

The word “hoopla” means “boisterous excitement”. The term probably comes from “houp-là”, something the French say instead of “upsy-daisy”. Then again, “upsy-daisy” probably isn’t something said very often here in the US …

100. Cold and wet, maybe : SLEETY

Apparently, “sleet” is a term used to describe two different weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls.

102. Goes on a tirade : RANTS

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

103. Bobby in a 1971 #1 hit : MCGEE

Janis Joplin recorded the song “Me and Bobby McGee” just a few days before she died in 1970. The song was released anyway, and it became Joplin’s only number one single, topping the charts the following year. There have been just two posthumous number-one singles: Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee”, and Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay”.

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
And nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free
Feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues
And buddy, that was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

104. Country rocker Steve : EARLE

Steve Earle is an American songwriter and performer, and someone with a reputation of having lived a hard life. Earle’s brushes with the law and drug addiction problems have earned him the nickname “the hardcore troubadour”.

110. Matthew of “The Americans” : RHYS

Matthew Rhys is a Welsh actor who is best known in the US for playing the lead in the drama series “The Americans” opposite his partner Keri Russell.

113. Thrice, in Rx’s : TER

Abbreviations on a medical prescription (Rx) are shortened forms of Latin phrases. “Ter in die” is Latin for “three times a day”, abbreviated to “TID”. “Bis in die” (BID) would be twice a day, and “quater in die” (QID) would be four times a day.

115. Bad spell : HEX

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

116. 2017 Pac-12 champs : USC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known the success of its athletic program. USC athletes have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

117. Sharp products : TVS

Sharp Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic goods, headquartered in Osaka. The company takes its name from one of the first inventions of one of its founders, namely the Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Truckers’ competition : ROADEO
7. Finish behind : LOSE TO
13. Adenauer sobriquet meaning “the old man” : DER ALTE
20. Turns inside out : EVERTS
21. Available : ON HAND
22. Dressing choice : ITALIAN
23. Kiddie lit hero created by Hans and Margret Rey (#18) : CURIOUS GEORGE (USG – Ulysses S. Grant)
25. Sways on a curve : CAREENS
26. Space cadet? : ALIEN
27. Suspense novelist Tami : HOAG
28. Fields of comedy : TOTIE
30. ’70s-’80s batting instructor Charlie : LAU
31. Must : NEEDS TO
33. It usually begins “How many (whatever) does it take … ” (#36) : LIGHT BULB JOKE (LBJ – Lyndon B. Johnson)
37. “Mi casa __ casa” : ES SU
38. Bk. after Proverbs : ECCL
40. Raise : REAR
41. Winnebago descendants : IOWAS
42. Winter wear : PARKA
44. Dining __ : CAR
45. “__ to eat and run … ” : I HATE
48. Gain a lap : SIT
51. Film based on the novel “Shoeless Joe” (#32) : FIELD OF DREAMS (FDR – Franklin D. Roosevelt)
54. __ Gimignano: walled Tuscany town : SAN
57. “It’s __ wind … ” : AN ILL
59. KOA visitor : RVER
60. Menu option : UNDO
61. Website page : HOME
62. Rhythm rattler : MARACA
64. Longtime rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey Dan : INGRAM
67. “It’s suddenly clear” : I SEE NOW
69. What’s hidden in answers with an apt “#” in their clues : PRESIDENTIAL MONOGRAMS
72. 1991 Steve Martin film set in Calif. : LA STORY
73. Front line? : ISOBAR
74. Spiced up : ZESTED
75. Big ones are found on Wall Street : EGOS
76. Altar agreements : I DOS
78. Austrian expressionist Schiele : EGON
80. Former “60 Minutes” debater __ Alexander : SHANA
81. Judge of hoops : REF
82. Arizona tourist attraction (#34) : PAINTED DESERT (DDE – Dwight D. Eisenhower)
86. Dorm room, perhaps : STY
87. Cartoon strip : PANEL
88. Small team : DUO
89. Put a stop to : CEASE
91. Mtge.-offering business : S AND L
94. Mosque leader : IMAM
96. Wine characteristic : BODY
97. Revelations : AHAS
101. Athletic retiree? (#37) : UNIFORM NUMBER (RMN – Richard M. Nixon)
105. Mr. Clean competitor : LESTOIL
107. “M*A*S*H” extra : ROK
108. Knight clubs : MACES
109. River to the Rhein : AARE
111. “__ woods these are I think I know”: Frost : WHOSE
112. Letting it all hang out, theatrically : EMOTING
114. Religious high point? (#33) : CHURCH STEEPLE (HST – Harry S. Truman)
118. What love and hate share? : SILENT E
119. “It’s My Party” singer Gore : LESLEY
120. Shakespearean attendant : VARLET
121. Hybrid with thorns : TEA ROSE
122. Overage : EXCESS
123. Main squeeze : STEADY

Down

1. Fix, as a rattan chair : RECANE
2. Small eggs : OVULES
3. Cliff dwellings : AERIES
4. Ran out, as a supply : DRIED UP
5. Preppy jackets : ETONS
6. The Beavers of the Pac-12 : OSU
7. Macy’s red star, e.g. : LOGO
8. Low tie : ONE ALL
9. Japanese chess : SHOGI
10. Hammer site : EAR
11. “Star Trek” spin-off, briefly : TNG
12. One-named folk singer : ODETTA
13. Mirabile __: wonderful to say : DICTU
14. Amazon business : ETAIL
15. Cheesy “Welsh” dishes : RAREBITS
16. Brown __ : ALE
17. Stay under the radar : LIE LOW
18. Yankees’ pitcher Masahiro : TANAKA
19. Happens as a result : ENSUES
24. Stunning surprise : SHOCKER
29. Conan of “Conan” : O’BRIEN
32. Garr of “Tootsie” : TERI
34. Tennis great Steffi : GRAF
35. Group in a drive : HERD
36. Veep between Dick and Mike : JOE
39. Friend of Hobbes : CALVIN
43. Gp. created by a 1955 merger : AFL-CIO
44. Welsh herding dogs : CORGIS
46. Invited to one’s place : HAD IN
47. Israeli author who wrote “A Tale of Love and Darkness” : AMOS OZ
48. Array of chocolates, say : SAMPLER
49. Seething : IN A RAGE
50. Loses interest in : TIRES OF
52. X-ray examiner, perhaps : DENTIST
53. Odds and ends : RUMMAGE
54. Many Beethoven pieces : SONATAS
55. “One sec” : A MOMENT
56. Long Island paper : NEWSDAY
58. Has legs : LASTS
61. Pulitzer journalist Seymour : HERSH
63. “Rocky” role : ADRIAN
65. ’90s Indian prime minister : RAO
66. Planetary reflected-light ratio : ALBEDO
68. Discharges : EGESTS
70. Singer Gorme : EYDIE
71. Pitcher Jesse with a record 1,252 regular-season appearances : OROSCO
77. Surfing indoors, say : ONLINE
79. Pine forest floor covering : NEEDLES
82. Trigger was one : PALOMINO
83. Dutch export : EDAM
84. Oversimplify, with “down” : DUMB
85. Funny Martha : RAYE
87. Common attached file : PDF
90. Diner come-on : EAT HERE!
91. Most confident : SUREST
92. Breakdown of social norms : ANOMIE
93. Inventor Tesla : NIKOLA
95. Physical strength : MUSCLE
96. Prepares (oneself) for impact : BRACES
98. Fanfare : HOOPLA
99. Like supermarkets and stadiums : AISLED
100. Cold and wet, maybe : SLEETY
102. Goes on a tirade : RANTS
103. Bobby in a 1971 #1 hit : MCGEE
104. Country rocker Steve : EARLE
106. Exercise beads? : SWEAT
110. Matthew of “The Americans” : RHYS
113. Thrice, in Rx’s : TER
115. Bad spell : HEX
116. 2017 Pac-12 champs : USC
117. Sharp products : TVS

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 18 Feb 2018, Sunday”

  1. DNF after 45:42, about 16 letters either unfilled or in error. At least there was only one thing that I really *should* have gotten out of all that nonsense. Terrible grid.

  2. LAT: 27:45 after getting the silent treatment, finding an error, and fixing it: initially, I wasted several minutes staring at the “G” at the intersection of “SHOGI” and “HOAG” and the “A” at the intersection of “TANAKA” and “LAU” (both of which were guesses that I had filled in correctly), but the actual error was an “A” instead of an “O”, giving me “EGAN” and “ORASCO” instead of “EGON” and ”OROSCO”. This is a bit ironic, since I “knew” (meaning, “had heard of”) “EGON” and should have been able to correct it relatively quickly. C’est la vie … ?

    Newsday: 18:58, no errors; the usual Sunday romp after Saturday’s humbler.

  3. Proper names. You either know them or you don’t. There were A LOT of names. Some were a huge help; others? Not so much.

  4. 62:13. I stubbornly stayed with this one until the bitter end . ANOMIE was the last to fall. To echo Syndiland, I counted at least 22 proper names plus a few more you could throw into that category. Very tough puzzle, but I really liked it….as is always the case when I finish one…

    Kind of a fun theme after the fact, but it was really of no use during the puzzle. So this became a 21×21 slog of a themeless puzzle for me.

    Now the airwaves are full of people yelling at each other across the political spectrum, but I remember James Kirkpatrick and SHANA Alexander doing Point Counter-Point on 60 minutes and loved it as a kid. The two of them engendered the famous SNL comedy skit between Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain. Aykroyd’s classic response to Jane Curtain’s comments always began with “Jane, you ignorant [see 69A error from Friday] ”

    Amazing how these things keep coming around. Carrie, perhaps I didn’t benefit as much from my time out as I should have. But I am merely the messenger here…..

    Best –

  5. Finally got this to the finish line after grinding away on it for way too long. I can be incredibly stubborn when I am convinced I ought to know the answer to the clues. I was stuck in the middle with the whole “Orosco” “Albedo” “Egon” intersection of mayhem. I finally saw “isobar” which got me to the promised land at last.

    Leaving in a few minutes to go see Chicago in concert at the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center. Hope it’s enjoyable.

  6. Hiya folks!!! ?
    Haven’t finished this one yet. So far it’s irritatingly difficult in places, but I had to weigh in to say that I actually liked the theme. Being a US history geek, the theme helped in a coupla places, altho for LIGHTBULB JOKE I at first counted wrong and was looking for a JFK in there…?
    Tony!! Let us know how Chicago is! That should be a great show….I imagine they did a lot of the old hits…?
    Jeff, no worries–in this case you’re​ just quoting Ackroyd saying “69A with error.”
    Be well~~™?

    1. Hi Carrie. The concert was really great. I am a fan of their “big brass” sound. The entire 2nd half of the show was a non stop litany of their greatest hits and they had the whole audience on their feet dancing and clapping in rhythm. This is the first time we’ve been to this venue and it was beautiful. We paid extra to go downstairs afterward and have our photo taken with the entire group and hang out and talk for 45 minutes or so. Now I just have to keep my eyes open at work today!

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