LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Feb 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Capital Gridlock

Themed answers come in pairs in the GRID. The across-element of each pair is a country, and the down-element is that country’s CAPITAL and seat of its legislative assembly. The common letter in each pair is circled in the grid:

  • 7D. Legislative impasse … and what occurs at this puzzle’s circles? : CAPITAL GRIDLOCK
  • 3D. With 17-Across, where the Duma sits : MOSCOW
  • 17A. See 3-Down : RUSSIA
  • 13D. With 23-Across, where the Hellenic Parliament sits : ATHENS
  • 23A. See 13-Down : GREECE
  • 42D. With 52-Across, where the Assembleia Nacional sits : LUANDA
  • 52A. See 42-Down : ANGOLA
  • 45D. With 58-Across, where Parliament sits : OTTAWA
  • 58A. See 45-Down : CANADA

Bill’s time: 6m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11. Gp. known for travelers’ checks? : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks. TSA personnel carry out the baggage and body searches at US airports. The TSA has a Trusted Traveler program that allows certain passengers to move more quickly through security screening. These passengers pay the TSA a one-time fee that covers a background check after which successful applicants are issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN).

14. Ancient markets : AGORAE

In early Greece, the agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

15. Erelong : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

20. Nutmeg spice : MACE

The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.

21. NY engineering sch. near Albany : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

25. Enero to enero : ANO

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

26. Charcuterie fare : MEAT

In French, a “charcutier” is a pork butcher, although the term “charcuterie” has come to describe a genre of cooking focused on prepared meats such as bacon, ham, sausage and pâté. Although these meats often feature pork, it is not exclusively so. The word “charcuterie” comes from the French “chair” meaning “flesh” and “cuit” meaning “cooked”.

27. Tippi of “The Birds” : HEDREN

Tippi Hedren is an actress from New Ulm, Minnesota who is best known for her starring roles in two Alfred Hitchcock classics: “The Birds” (1963) and “Marnie” (1964). Famously, Hedren claimed that Hitchcock destroyed her movie career because she would not succumb to his sexual advances, a charge that has been denied.

“The Birds” is a 1963 film made by Alfred Hitchcock based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve read the story and seen the film and find them both strangely disturbing (it’s probably just me!). I can’t stand the ending of either version, as nothing resolves itself!

32. Fish often fried : COD

In the British Isles, the most common fish that is used in traditional “fish and chips” is Atlantic cod. Cod has been overfished all over the world, and is now considered to be an endangered species by many international bodies. Confrontations over fishing rights in the North Atlantic led to conflicts called “the Cod Wars” between Iceland and the UK in the 1950s and the 1970s, with fishing fleets being protected by naval vessels and even shots being fired.

33. “The Thin Man” actress : LOY

The beautiful Myrna Loy was one of my favorite actresses. Her career took off when she was paired up with William Powell in the fabulous “The Thin Man” series of films. Loy also appeared opposite Cary Grant in a couple of films that I like to watch every so often, namely “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” (1947) and “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” (1948).

“The Thin Man” is a detective novel written by Dashiell Hammett that was first published in the magazine “Redbook” in 1934. Hammett never wrote a sequel to his story, but it spawned a wonderful, wonderful series of “The Thin Man” films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). “The Thin Man” was the last novel that Hammett wrote.

34. Zeta follower : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the letter name “zed”, which became “zee”, the term that we use here in the US.

38. Rathskeller draft : BIER

“Bier” is the German word for “beer”.

A city hall in Germany is called a Rathaus. In days gone by there was often a restaurant located in the basement or cellar of a Rathaus, and this restaurant was given the name Rathskeller.

39. __ goo gai pan : MOO

Moo goo gai pan is the American version of a traditional Cantonese dish. In Cantonese, “moo goo” means “button mushroom”, “gai” is “chicken” and “pan” is “slices”.

40. Wine-and-cassis drink : KIR

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a Kir Royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

43. 20 Questions category : ANIMAL

The parlor game called “twenty questions” originated in the US and really took off in the late forties as it became a weekly quiz show on the radio. Am I the only one who thinks that there aren’t enough quiz shows on the radio these days? I have to resort to listening to the BBC game shows over the Internet …

45. Food scrap : ORT

Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

51. Lipton product : TEA

Sir Thomas Lipton was a grocer in Glasgow, Scotland. He founded a tea packing company in North America in 1893, in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was very successful as his blends of tea became popular in the US. Despite the Lipton roots in the UK, Lipton black tea isn’t available there, so I’ve always thought of it as an American brand.

53. Inc., in London : LTD

In Britain and Ireland the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one that has private shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the letters “Ltd” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.

London is the largest metropolitan area in the whole of the European Union (and one of my favorite cities in the world). London has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years and was founded as a town by the Romans who named it Londinium. The name “Londinium” may have existed prior to the arrival of the Romans, and no one seems too sure of its origins. Famously, the City of London is a one-square-mile area at the center of the metropolis, the area that marked old medieval London. “The City”, as it is commonly called, has its own Mayor of the City of London (the Mayor of London is someone else), and it’s own City of London Police Force (the London Metropolitan Police are the police usually seen on the streets, a different force).

55. Class-conscious org.? : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

60. “Spring forward” letters : DST

On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (“spring forward”), and backwards in the fall (“fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight.

61. À la mode : CHIC

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

63. Enzyme suffix : -ASE

Enzymes are basically catalysts, chemicals that act to increase the rate of a particular chemical reaction. For example, starches will break down into sugars over time, especially under the right conditions. However, in the presence of the enzyme amylase (found in saliva) this production of sugar happens very, very quickly.

Down

1. Airport surface : TARMAC

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

2. Galápagos lizard : IGUANA

An iguana is a lizard, and as such is cold-blooded. There are times when pet iguanas need heat from an IR lamp to maintain body temperature.

The Galápagos Islands lie over 500 miles west of Ecuador. The Galápagos owe their celebrity to the voyage of HMS Beagle which landed there in 1835, with Charles Darwin on board. It was Darwin’s study of various species on the islands that inspired him to postulate his Theory of Evolution.

3. With 17-Across, where the Duma sits : MOSCOW
(17A. See 3-Down : RUSSIA )

A “duma” is a representative assembly in Russia. The word “dumat” in Russian means “to think, consider”.

4. Hebrides language : 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 Hebrides is a group of islands just off the west coast of Scotland. The Hebrides are divided into two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

5. French narrative poem : LAI

In the mid-13th century a “lay” was a short song. “Lay” evolved from the Old French word “lai” meaning “song, lyric”.

8. “Oh Yoko!” dedicatee : ONO

“Oh Yoko!” is a song written and performed by John Lennon in 1971 that appears on his iconic album “Imagine”. The title refers to Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono.

10. __ nous : ENTRE

In French, something might perhaps be discussed “entre deux” (between two) or “entre nous” (between us).

12. Long key : SPACE BAR

In early typewriters, the “space bar” was indeed a bar. It was a metal bar that stretched across the full width of the keyboard.

13. With 23-Across, where the Hellenic Parliament sits : ATHENS
(23A. See 13-Down : GREECE)

The Hellenic Parliament sits in the Old Royal Palace that was built for King Otto of Greece in Athens in 1843. After the palace suffered fire damage in 1909, the monarchy moved into the Crown Prince’s Palace (the New Palace) nearby. The two chambers of the parliament moved into the renovated palace in 1934 and 1935. What is now called the Old Parliament House, is today home to Greece’s National Historical Museum.

30. Platform for Siri : IOS

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

32. “Cookin’ With __”: rapper/chef’s web show : COOLIO

Rap Star Coolio has a web-based cooking show called “Cookin’ with Coolio”. And, he has a cookbook of the same name. Coolio likes to refer to himself as the “ghetto Martha Stewart” and the “black Rachael Ray”.

37. ATM code : PIN

One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Given that the N in PIN stands for “number”, then “PIN number” is a redundant phrase. And, given that the M in ATM stands for “machine”, then “ATM machine” is a redundant phrase as well. Grr …!

38. One-swallow drink : BELT

A belt is a swift swig of hard liquor.

40. Pakistani port : KARACHI

The city of Karachi is home to both the Port of Karachi and to Port Qasim, the busiest and second-busiest ports in Pakistan.

41. Railroad maintenance vehicle : HANDCAR

The most notable handcar design used on railroad tracks is powered by a walking beam that passengers alternately push up and down. Thousands of handcars were built for the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.

42. With 52-Across, where the Assembleia Nacional sits : LUANDA
(52A. See 42-Down : ANGOLA)

Angola’s National Assembly is referred to as the “Assembleia Nacional” in Portuguese, which is the predominant language in the former Portuguese colony. The National Assembly was established in the 2010 constitution, the nation’s third constitution adopted since Angola achieved independence in 1975.

45. With 58-Across, where Parliament sits : OTTAWA
(58A. See 45-Down : CANADA

Parliament Hill is on the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. The Parliament buildings were constructed in a Gothic Revival style, so there is a passing resemblance to the Houses of Parliament in London. There’s a Parliament Hill in London too, but it has no real connection to the Parliament buildings at the Palace of Westminster, which is miles away.

47. “The Canterbury Tales” inn : TABARD

Tabards were tunics worn by knights over their armor. Often, the tabard was quite colorful and wa emblazoned with the knight’s coat of arms. It was this usage of the word “tabard” that gave rise to the Tabard inn, which features in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”.

57. Hawaiian Punch alternative : HI-C

Hi-C orange drink was created in 1946, and introduced to the market in 1948, initially in the south of the country. The name “Hi-C” was chosen to emphasize the high vitamin C content in the drink, as it contained added ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Fitting the season : TIMELY
7. Innermost part : CORE
11. Gp. known for travelers’ checks? : TSA
14. Ancient markets : AGORAE
15. Erelong : ANON
16. Bow (out) : OPT
17. See 3-Down : RUSSIA
18. Sullen look : POUT
19. “Well, __-di-dah!” : LAH
20. Nutmeg spice : MACE
21. NY engineering sch. near Albany : RPI
23. See 13-Down : GREECE
25. Enero to enero : ANO
26. Charcuterie fare : MEAT
27. Tippi of “The Birds” : HEDREN
28. Black bird’s call : CAW
29. Necessitate : ENTAIL
31. Goes on and on : GABS
32. Fish often fried : COD
33. “The Thin Man” actress : LOY
34. Zeta follower : ETA
35. Pack away : STOW
37. Ratings for family-friendly films : PGS
38. Rathskeller draft : BIER
39. __ goo gai pan : MOO
40. Wine-and-cassis drink : KIR
41. Cooped-up female : HEN
42. Break in the action : LULL
43. 20 Questions category : ANIMAL
45. Food scrap : ORT
48. More unsightly : UGLIER
50. Minor body-shop job : DENT
51. Lipton product : TEA
52. See 42-Down : ANGOLA
53. Inc., in London : LTD
54. Wild guess : STAB
55. Class-conscious org.? : NEA
56. Bouncing effect : ECHO
58. See 45-Down : CANADA
60. “Spring forward” letters : DST
61. À la mode : CHIC
62. Confessor : AVOWER
63. Enzyme suffix : -ASE
64. Watch word? : TICK
65. Word on a lost-dog poster : REWARD

Down

1. Airport surface : TARMAC
2. Galápagos lizard : IGUANA
3. With 17-Across, where the Duma sits : MOSCOW
4. Hebrides language : ERSE
5. French narrative poem : LAI
6. Like closing financial reports : YEAR-END
7. Legislative impasse … and what occurs at this puzzle’s circles? : CAPITAL GRIDLOCK
8. “Oh Yoko!” dedicatee : ONO
9. Or so : ROUGHLY
10. __ nous : ENTRE
11. Stand : TOLERATE
12. Long key : SPACE BAR
13. With 23-Across, where the Hellenic Parliament sits : ATHENS
22. Bit of butter : PAT
24. Enter cautiously : EDGE IN
26. Cat call : MEOW
30. Platform for Siri : IOS
32. “Cookin’ With __”: rapper/chef’s web show : COOLIO
35. Overconfidence : SMUGNESS
36. Bridge entrance structure : TOLLGATE
37. ATM code : PIN
38. One-swallow drink : BELT
40. Pakistani port : KARACHI
41. Railroad maintenance vehicle : HANDCAR
42. With 52-Across, where the Assembleia Nacional sits : LUANDA
44. Bumped into : MET
45. With 58-Across, where Parliament sits : OTTAWA
46. Library patron : READER
47. “The Canterbury Tales” inn : TABARD
49. Campaign poster word : ELECT
54. White flakes : SNOW
57. Hawaiian Punch alternative : HI-C
59. Hail, to Caesar : AVE

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20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Feb 2018, Wednesday”

  1. 16:23. A few rough spots. I didn’t know LUANDA and had forgotten that they speak Portuguese in ANGOLA.

    No way is HI-C a substitute for Hawaiian Punch. When I was a kid (or even now) if I asked for Hawaiian Punch and got HI C, a tantrum was/is likely to follow..

    Best –

  2. LAT: 9:48, no errors. Newsday: 7:14, no errors. WSJ: 9:21, no errors. All pretty straightforward.

    Apparently, the Hindu festival “Holi” appeared on my iPad calendar yesterday because of something Apple did. The following little blurb is a slightly edited version of someone else’s attempt to explain it:

    “It appears [that] Apple’s response to the outcry at the removal of religious holidays (which only represented Christian events) from the calendar a week ago, was to put holidays for all major religions on the calendar. [You can] Subscribe to a calendar that only has what you want.”

    I don’t know how to “subscribe” to a different calendar, but a Google search would probably turn up information on the topic. Personally, I like the change that Apple made … (of course, I reserve the right to celebrate each holiday in my own way) … ?

    1. For example, it just occurred to me that, for Holi, I could trap all of the neighborhood cats that sit in my yard and paint them bright yellow, allowing visiting song birds to see them more easily and thereby avoid being eaten … ?

      (Actually, I just realized that I haven’t seen so many cats recently, so maybe the local coyotes have taken care of the problem.)

  3. One good result of being in a college sorority, was I had to learn the Greek alphabet so I always know the order of the letters!

    1. Sallee! Totally — me too. I can still rattle off the Greek alphabet as well as I could when I was a Tri Delt… even tho in my case that was 40 years ago!! (Yikes!) ?

        1. I never joined a sorority ? (or a fraternity, for that matter), but I was a math nerd (60 years ago!), so learning the Greek alphabet was a given.

  4. Had a hard time with this Wednesday puzzle. Had to Google for charcuterie and Chef COOLIO. I’ll have to add tv cooking to my difficult subjects (along with sports and young pop). I prefer simple cooking, and the definition of charcuterie included “terrinesm galantines, ballotines and confit,” and I’m reaching for my Pesmo. Also had REtuRn before REWARD.
    However, I had more problems in the northeast where I had AAA instead of TSA and never changed it.
    Gpa graduated RPI ’09 – that’s 1909. Civil Engineering.
    The theme was fine.

  5. I had a tough time with the puzzle, but with some googling, managed to finish it. I thought Luanda Angola was Madrid Spain or in Mexico…. I know of Luanda, Angola – but I did not know they actually had some sort of legislature running the government. I apologize if this is too non-PC>

    Dave Kenny, I did not know Holi was a religious holiday – I know it has a religious connotation, but I did not know, it was an official holiday. I guess it is, becaue the indian legations in the US are also closed. On the other hand, they rarely need a reason to close, anyway…. 😉 Being out of India, for the last 40+ years, has made me somewhat blase’ about indian holidays.
    Btw, today is Suck The Blood of Your Partner day – in honor of those of us who are vampires, blood pagans and witch worshippers … and if Apple did not notify us, we should complain loudly and persistently …..

    What Agoraphobia should really mean is …. the fear of landing up in Greece, as a tourist…. or in one of their marketplaces at one of their 10,000 islands…. OR maybe the fear that your next phonecall is yet another teleMARKETer trying to sell you a option for a student loan you never had….

    Finally, thank you Bill, for your lovely blog … as always.
    have a great evening and a safe night, folks.

  6. Pretty easy Wednesday for me; took about 18 minutes or so with no errors. Got the theme early and ran with it. A little trouble in the NW when I put in Russia where Moscow was supposed to go, but straightened it out quickly.

    Had HEDRiN before HEDREN, AGORAs before AGORAE and for some reason dos before ANO.

    Saw a documentary recently on German public TV about Luanda. Apparently a very very expensive place to live and work, what with oil exploration and security/crime concerns. Among the most costly in the world.

  7. Wassup y’all?! ?
    No errors — but check this out: did anyone else think​ what I did?? The circled letters started to spell out SEAT, as in seat of government. Clockwise, I had S, E, A…. so I figured the last circled letter was T!! I filled it in, which of course threw me off. No T in LUANDA!! (Wasn’t sure how to spell that, either, but I got help from crosses.)
    Vidwan! You’re funny today! ?
    Be well~~™????

    1. @Carrie … I also noticed the S, E, A, … thing, but only after finishing the puzzle. I can’t help wondering if the setter intended to have that as part of the theme, but couldn’t quite manage it …

  8. You should know that in Spanish “ano” means something very different from “año.” The letters ñ and n are not interchangeable, and give (kind of hilariously) very different meanings to this word!

  9. Seriously, and for the record, the word “ano” , without the tilde, apparently denotes the excretionary aperture used by most vertebrates. for expelling solid waste products of digestion. This is very similar to the english word, which is its equivalent.
    This explanation is provided strictly in the spirit of academic inquiry.

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