LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Feb 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: John Lampkin
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Five Ws

Themed answers are exclamations. Each starts with one of the FIVE WS, the five questions that journalists try to answer when gathering information for a story:

  • 46D. Journalism’s traditional set of questions, obliquely addressed by the answers to starred clues : FIVE WS
  • 17A. *”Never!” : WHEN PIGS FLY!
  • 37A. *”Not another problem!” : WHAT NOW?!
  • 58A. *”I don’t need a second opinion!” : WHO ASKED YOU?!
  • 11D. *”Happenin’ scene, man!” : WHERE IT’S AT!
  • 28D. *”Cool your heels!” : WHY THE RUSH?!

Bill’s time: 5m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Borden spokescow : ELSIE

Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. She is so famous and respected that she has been awarded the degrees of Doctor of Bovinity, Doctor fo Human Kindness and Doctor of Ecownomics. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

11. With 25-Across, “Scream” director : WES …
25. See 11-Across : … CRAVEN

Wes Craven was a very successful film director and writer specializing in movies of the horror genre, which means that I don’t watch them! He was responsible for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the “Scream” films. Craven passed away in August 2015.

16. Shakespearean prince or Broadway producer Prince : HAL

“Prince Hal” is a term used for Prince Henry, the son of the title character in Shakespeare’s plays “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry IV, Part 2”. Prince Hal then becomes king in Shakespeare’s “Henry V”.
Hal Prince is a theatrical producer and director who is mainly associated with Broadway shows such as “Show Boat”, “Cabaret”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Evita” and “Sweeney Todd”. Prince has won 21 Tony Awards, more than any other individual.

19. Incoming flight info : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

20. Flower parts : SEPALS

In a flower, the sepals are the green, leaf-like structures that are “interleaved” with the petals, providing support. Prior to acting as support for the petals, the sepals protect the flower in bud.

22. Fedora feature : BRIM

A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …

23. Valley with wine cellars and sellers : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

31. Folk singer Phil : OCHS

Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War. Sadly, the singer’s mental health declined at the very time the war was winding down. Saigon fell in 1975, and Ochs committed suicide in 1976.

40. Appetizer follower : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found it very confusing to order meals when I first came to America!

43. 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.

57. Outback bird : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

60. Sit-up targets : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack” in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

61. Sporty Chevy : VETTE

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The “vette” has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

64. Portfolio part : ASSET

Our word “portfolio” comes from the Italian “portafoglio” meaning “a case for carrying loose papers”. The Italian term comes from “porta” meaning “carry” and “foglio” meaning “sheet, leaf”.

65. Snooty sorts : SNOBS

Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.
“Snoot” is a variant of “snout” and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

Down

4. Fruit that grows in bunches : BANANAS

The banana is actually a berry, botanically speaking. And, they don’t really grow on trees. The “trunk” of the banana plant is in fact a pseudostem. The pseudostem is a false stem comprising rolled bases of leaves, and it can grow to 2 or 3 meters tall.

6. Physicist’s 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.

8. Seattle’s __ Field : SAFECO

Safeco Field is the home of the Seattle Mariners. Safeco Insurance was the highest bidder when it came to christening the new stadium opened in 1999, paying $40m for a 20-year contract.

10. Ice cream maker Joseph : EDY

Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

18. Web access co. : ISP

An Internet service provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way in which end users are connected to the ISP’s network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs.

22. Brief briefs? : BVDS

The men’s underwear known as BVDs are made by the Bradley, Voorhees & Day. The company was started in 1876 to make bustles for women, and is named for its founders.

28. *”Cool your heels!” : WHY THE RUSH?!

The phrase “cool your heels” was originally used to mean “cool your feet” after they’d heated up from walking. The ironic usage, meaning “take your time, slow down”, has been around since the early 17th century.

30. Yoga system : HATHA

Hatha yoga is a yoga system developed in 15th century India. Traditional Hatha yoga is a more “complete” practice than often encountered in the west, involving not just exercise but also meditation and relaxation.

35. Pumpernickel grain : RYE

The lovely bread known as pumpernickel is made with a recipe that originates in the Westphalia region of Germany. The version of the bread that we eat in North America has been adapted over the years from the original recipe, largely to produce a cheaper product. If you taste the European version beside the American version, it’s hard to believe they have the same origins.

45. Skedaddles : SCOOTS

“Skedaddle” is a slang term meaning “run away” that dates back to the Civil War.

46. Journalism’s traditional set of questions, obliquely addressed by the answers to starred clues : FIVE WS

The Five Ws (or “Five Ws and one H”) is a journalistic concept used for gathering information. For a story to be complete, six questions need to be answered:

  1. Who is it about?
  2. What happened?
  3. Where did it take place?
  4. When did it take place?
  5. Why did it happen?
  6. How did it happen?

47. Brazilian dance : SAMBA

The samba is a Brazilian dance that is very much symbolic of the festival of Carnival. Like so much culture around the world, the samba has its roots in Africa, as the dance is derived from dances performed by former slaves who migrated into urban Rio de Janeiro in the late 1800s. The exact roots of the name “samba” seem to have been lost in the mists of time. However, my favorite explanation is that it comes from an African Kikongo word “semba” which means “a blow struck with the belly button”. We don’t seem to have a need for such a word in English …

49. “__War”: Shatner novel : TEK

The “TekWar” series of science-fiction novels was co-authored by Ron Goulart and the actor William Shatner, although it’s only Shatner’s name that appears on the book covers. The stories center around the microchip “drug” called “tek” that dominates the TekWar universe.

50. Novelist Auel : JEAN

As Jean Auel prepared her first book in the “Earth’s Children” series, she did a lot of research about the Ice Age, the setting for her stories. She went as far as taking a survival course in cold conditions, learning to build an ice cave and how to make fire, tan leather and knap stone.

54. “Stoned Soul Picnic” songwriter Laura : NYRO

Laura Nyro was a singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York. Nyro had success with her own recordings, but her songs were even more successful when recorded by other big names. Two of Nyro’s compositions were “Eli’s Coming” recorded by Three Dog Night, and “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand.
“Stoned Soul Picnic” is a song by singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Nyro recorded the song herself in 1968, but a cover version recorded the same year by the 5th Dimension is best known.

56. Figure (out) : SUSS

The verb “to suss” means “to figure out”. The term originated in the 1950s as police slang, and is a shortening of “to suspect”.

58. Harpers Ferry st. : WVA

The state of West Virginia (WVA) was formed during the civil war when the western counties in the old state of Virginia voted to secede from the Confederate state.
Harpers Ferry is a town in West Virginia located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. We tend to remember Harpers Ferry as the place where John Brown led a raid on a federal armory during the Civil War with the intent of arming slaves.

59. Jazz gig unit : SET

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Hebrew scholar : RABBI
6. Borden spokescow : ELSIE
11. With 25-Across, “Scream” director : WES …
14. Watery expanse : OCEAN
15. Double-check, as totals : RE-ADD
16. Shakespearean prince or Broadway producer Prince : HAL
17. *”Never!” : WHEN PIGS FLY!
19. Incoming flight info : ETA
20. Flower parts : SEPALS
21. Visit : SEE
22. Fedora feature : BRIM
23. Valley with wine cellars and sellers : NAPA
25. See 11-Across : … CRAVEN
27. Rock gently : SWAY
29. “Is this a good move for me?” : SHOULD I?
31. Folk singer Phil : OCHS
32. Steeped beverage : TEA
33. Become a pro at : MASTER
36. After “no,” “Not possible!” : … WAY
37. *”Not another problem!” : WHAT NOW?!
39. State : SAY
40. Appetizer follower : ENTREE
42. That woman : HER
43. Tortoise racer : HARE
44. Carpenter’s cordless cutter : HANDSAW
46. Temper tantrums : FITS
47. Tank type : SEPTIC
48. Mix : STIR
50. Jelly holders : JARS
51. Turf roll : SOD
53. Olympic segments : EVENTS
57. Outback bird : EMU
58. *”I don’t need a second opinion!” : WHO ASKED YOU?!
60. Sit-up targets : ABS
61. Sporty Chevy : VETTE
62. Angler’s danglers : WORMS
63. “Nope” : NAH
64. Portfolio part : ASSET
65. Snooty sorts : SNOBS

Down

1. Lettered theater locations : ROWS
2. Post-workout soreness : ACHE
3. Warning toot : BEEP
4. Fruit that grows in bunches : BANANAS
5. Like catchable foul balls : IN PLAY
6. Physicist’s work unit : ERG
7. Not so pricey : LESS
8. Seattle’s __ Field : SAFECO
9. Unsubstantiated bit of gossip : IDLE RUMOR
10. Ice cream maker Joseph : EDY
11. *”Happenin’ scene, man!” : WHERE IT’S AT!
12. Enjoy home cooking : EAT IN
13. Shut angrily : SLAM
18. Web access co. : ISP
22. Brief briefs? : BVDS
24. On the water : ASEA
26. “There oughta be __!” : A LAW
27. Read quickly : SCAN
28. *”Cool your heels!” : WHY THE RUSH?!
30. Yoga system : HATHA
31. Be in debt : OWE
32. Things to “do” after you 12-Down : THE DISHES
34. Glasses holders : EARS
35. Pumpernickel grain : RYE
37. Took one’s turn : WENT
38. Latest buzz : NEWS
41. Knocks quickly : RAPS
43. Joined the staff : HIRED ON
45. Skedaddles : SCOOTS
46. Journalism’s traditional set of questions, obliquely addressed by the answers to starred clues : FIVE WS
47. Brazilian dance : SAMBA
49. “__War”: Shatner novel : TEK
50. Novelist Auel : JEAN
52. Time stamp component : DATE
54. “Stoned Soul Picnic” songwriter Laura : NYRO
55. Archaeological site : TOMB
56. Figure (out) : SUSS
58. Harpers Ferry st. : WVA
59. Jazz gig unit : SET

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Feb 2018, Tuesday”

  1. LAT: 7:47, no errors. Jones: 9:10, no errors. CHE: 24:43, 1 error on a Natick (14A-3D). Good gimmick puzzle executed quite well and was fun to do.

    @Dave
    I’ve been studying comments since almost the time the WSJ started doing meta puzzles. People don’t typically say much. Part of that is that they really don’t have anything to say, and part of that is that most of the WSJ commenters also have been subscribing to a meta puzzle service that Matt Gaffney has produced over 500 meta puzzles for and have enough experience that most of the puzzles are passe to them.

    All you can really do is study solutions and try to see how to get from the solved grid to the meta answer on the ones that you don’t get. I have them all here (seen ’em anyway when they first came out), but I really haven’t been interested in taking the time to study them.

    The problem as I stated with most of the metas is that if you really get an honest answer out of the people that solved them, the answer is “I made a lucky guess”, more than any logical process leading to the meta device. Like with the last one, how do you come to the conclusion to look for parts of movie titles? Most of the metas don’t have any logical deduction in that fashion and simply expect the solver to guess their way into the solution instead of doing any actual “solving”.

    1. I disagree that most do a “lucky guess”. There is usually a very well thought out way to answer the meta – the title and the clues ( if there are any). Last week the title was Et Cetera. I first looked for Latin or lists or plurals, which led nowhere. Kept fixating on the answer Giant, thought of James Dean, looked at the grid again, there were parts of Spielberg movies. Et Cetera meant “E.T”, and the rest of the title is “the Extraterrestrial”. Very logical.

  2. @ Tony from Sunday– that sounds awesome!! Yes, Chicago did the rock with horns thing so well. Woulda loved to see that second half of the show. Jealous!! ?

  3. LAT: 7:25, no errors. Newsday: 6:18, no errors. WSJ: 9:49, no errors. Matt Jones: 9:32, no errors. CHE: 18:53, no errors (but lots of missteps, as it took me a while to figure out the gimmick – somehow, I had it in my head that the CHE never did that kind of thing).

    @Carrie … Your reaction to “DigiDave” is about the same as mine: it may be kind of cute, but it doesn’t wear well. The idea came out of a mercifully short foray into what I might call pop philosophy, musing about the connections between “Digital Dave”, “Climber Dave”, “Neighbor Dave”, “Ex Dave”, “Daddy Dave”, “Grandpa Dave”, and “Real Dave” (if there is such a thing) … ?.

    @Glenn … For me, the phrase “lucky guess” doesn’t quite suffice to describe what happens when one figures out the typical metapuzzle. What’s often involved is the ability to see a certain pattern, at which point logic may come into play to explain the pattern. Some people have this ability to a greater degree than others and it’s not clear to me how to expand such ability as one has. In a way, it reminds me of music: although I have emotional reactions to a lot of music, I have absolutely no talent for it, and I suspect that, were I to somehow magically share the mind of a musician for a day, I would be utterly astonished by the vast difference in our fundamental grasp of it. And I think I could study music theory for ten years and still not “get” it. (So now I’m completely depressed … ??.)

  4. This was challenging for a Tuesday. Mr. Lampkin is very punny, and a serious constructor. I had a tough time, but finally finished.

    The Google Doodle yesterday was about the Hare and the turtle racing, then the hare picked up the turtle and they went over the finish line together …. cute.

    Have a nice day folks.

  5. 11:38. After an obviously long day yesterday, I went to the hockey game last night. Since it was a Monday night, I promised to limit myself to 2 beers. Fortunately, I was able to find 2 24-ounce beers…..Needless to say, I’m sleepwalking through the day today.

    I actually kind of like “DigiDave”, but it’s too late in that we know the real Dave name.

    When I find myself so reluctant to just put my full name down, I’m reminded of the quote, “You probably wouldn’t worry so much about what people think of you, if you knew how seldom they did”. That quote is attributed to someone named Olin Miller, but I couldn’t find much about him other than that quote. Did he just think of that quote then retire??

    Best –

  6. Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

    There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

    Both by Oscar Wilde. You are in good company.

    Btw, there are hundreds of Dave Kennisons. Atleast 56 of them have had the temerity, to splay themselves, all over Facebook. 😉

    And Jeff, if I ever meet you, I will be tempted to punch you, for that snotty comment you made about a puzzle on October 17, or was that November 19, or perhaps December 21, or maybe January 23 , and so on. 😉 🙂 Oh, never mind.

  7. Wassup y’all?! ?
    Cute Tuesday puzzle!! I also like this constructor. Nothing too highbrow, except perhaps Jean AUEL (whom I’ve never heard of…)

    My dog’s surgery went well, thank goodness, and she’ll be home tomorrow morning, which of course is TODAY for anyone reading this! ?

    Dave — interesting musings on our different selves. I always think in terms of the old saying, about wearing different hats. ? It’s funny to observe oneself switching from one role to another, which often happens QUICKLY for me: teacher, host, homeowner.

    Be well~~™???

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