LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Mar 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Debbie Ellerin & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. __ bar : TAPAS

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

15. Singer whose three studio albums have numerical titles : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. More recently, her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

17. Remove, as a corsage : UNPIN

“Corsage” is a word that we imported from French in the late 15th century and meaning , believe it or not, “body size”. By the early 1800s, a corsage was a bodice, or the body of a woman’s dress. At the beginning of the 20th century, the French term “bouquet de corsage” was being used for a “bouquet worn on the bodice”, and this has been shortened simply to “corsage”.

18. It has a climbing route called “The Nose” : EL CAPITAN

El Capitan is a stunning vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park in California. The top of El Capitan has been used as the take-off point for many BASE jumps, parachute jumps made by diving off the top of the rock face. The National Park Service put a stop to the practise in 1999. Soon afterwards, a BASE jumper made an illegal jump to protest the ban. She died …

21. Den denizens : CUBS

Nowadays we use “denizen” to mean simply a resident, but historically a denizen was an immigrant to whom certain rights had been granted, somewhat like today’s “resident alien”.

22. Nice assent : OUI

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.

23. League of Women Voters co-founder : CATT

Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. Catt was also very close to Susan B. Anthony and succeeded Anthony as head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

26. White House advisory gp. : NSC

The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.

27. Six-pack group : 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 …

31. The African Queen, for one : STEAMBOAT

“The African Queen” is a 1935 novel by C. S. Forester that was adapted into a very successful 1951 film of the same name starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. The title refers to a steam-powered launch that travels the Ulanga River. The story is set during World War I. At the climax of the tale, the African Queen is used as a makeshift torpedo to sink a German gunboat (spoiler!).

35. Former first daughter : MALIA

Malia Obama is the oldest of Barack and Michelle Obama’s two daughters. Malia graduated from the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., the same school that Chelsea Clinton attended. Malia took a gap year after leaving high school, and spent the 2016 summer as an intern in the US Embassy in Madrid, before heading off to Harvard in 2017.

38. Conqueror of Valencia in 1094 : EL CID

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast in 1094, making it his headquarters and home. He died in Valencia, quite peacefully, in 1099.

Valencia is one of the autonomous communities of Spain, and is located in the east of the country on the Mediterranean Coast. Its capital city is also called Valencia, and is the third-largest city in the nation, after Madrid and Barcelona.

40. Brain in many an Asimov story : MAINFRAME

In contemporary usage, a “mainframe” is a large and powerful computer tasked with high-volume and processor-intensive tasks. Mainframes are typically used by large businesses and scientific institutes. In the ranking of computers, mainframes would sit below supercomputers, and above the personal computers with which we are all so familiar.

Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”. Asimov wrote three autobiographies, the last of which was called “I, Asimov”, which was published in 1994, two years after his death.

43. British title : DAME

In the British honors system, “Dame” is the feminine form of address for the honor of knighthood, and is equivalent to the male form “Sir”.

44. Part of a flute : STEM

The narrow bowl of a champagne flute is preferred over the wide bowl of a champagne coupe as the smaller surface area of the wine helps retain its carbonation.

45. Kvetching chorus : OYS

The word “kvetch” comes to us from Yiddish, with “kvetshn” meaning “to complain” or “squeeze”.

48. Buzzed : TIPSY

The term “tipsy” comes from the verb “to tip” meaning “to overturn, knock over”, and has been meaning “drunk” since the late 1500s.

50. Pokémon that evolves to Kadabra : ABRA

In the “Pokémon” universe, the species known as “Abra” can evolve into “Kadabra”, and then into “Alakazam”.

“Pokémon” is the second-biggest video game franchise in the world, second only to the “Mario” franchise. “Pokémon” is a contraction of “Pocket Monsters”.

51. Org. concerned with child support : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

52. Singer Vannelli : GINO

Gino Vannelli is a Canadian singer, from Montreal, Quebec. Vannelli is apparently very popular in the Netherlands, and divides his time between homes there and in Oregon in the US.

53. 1995 AFI Life Achievement Award recipient : SPIELBERG

The director Steven Spielberg has had so many hit movies. Spielberg won two Best Director Oscars, one being “Schindler’s List” from 1993 and “Saving Private Ryan” from 1998. Three Spielberg films broke box office records: “Jaws” (1975), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) and “Jurassic Park” (1993). That’s quite a portfolio of movies …

The American Film Institute (AFI) introduced its annual Life Achievement Award in 1973. Notable recipients have been:

  • John Ford in 1973: the first recipient
  • Bette Davis in 1977: the first female recipient
  • Lillian Gish in 1984: the only recipient from the silent film era
  • Tom Hanks in 2002: the youngest recipient, at 45 years of age
  • John Williams in 2016: the first composer to receive the award

55. Spidey sense, basically : ALARM BELL

“Spidey sense” is a phrase used to describe one’s intuition or instinct, especially when sensing something that might be dangerous. The term arises from the comic book hero Spider-Man’s ability to sense danger before others.

58. Skateboard leap : OLLIE

An ollie is a skateboarding trick invented in 1976 by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand. Apparently it’s a way of lifting the board off the ground, while standing on it, without touching the board with one’s hands. Yeah, I could do that …

60. Home of Armani and Prada : MILAN

Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

Prada was started in 1913 as a leather-goods shop in Milan, by the two Prada brothers. One of the brothers, Mario Prada, prevented the female members of his family participating in the company as he didn’t believe women should be involved in business (!). When the sexist brother died, his son had no interest in the business so it was his daughter who took over and ran the company for about twenty years, handing it over to her own daughter. I’d say the devil loved that …

Down

1. Scientific name involving a repeated word : TAUTONYM

A tautonym is a particular example of a scientific name in which both parts of the name are the same. Examples Bison bison (the American bison, or American buffalo) and Rattus rattus (the black rat).

2. To an annoying degree : AD NAUSEAM

To do something “ad nauseam” is to do so to a ridiculous degree, to the point of nausea. “Ad nauseam” is the Latin for “to sickness”.

3. What Brad’s Drink became : PEPSI COLA

The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as Brad’s Drink. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name we use today: Pepsi-Cola.

5. Elder or Younger Roman writer : SENECA

Seneca the Elder was Roman orator and writer who lived through the reigns of Roman emperors Augustus, Tiberius and Caligula. Seneca the Elder is perhaps best known as father of Seneca the Younger, who was tutor to emperor Nero.

Seneca the Younger was a tutor and advisor to the Emperor Nero of Ancient Rome. Although maybe innocent, Seneca was forced to commit suicide by Nero as it was alleged that Seneca participated in a plot to kill the emperor. To kill himself, Seneca cut into a number of veins in order to bleed to death.

6. Modern-day eruption : TWEETSTORM

In the wonderful world of Twitter (said he, sarcastically), a tweetstorm is a series of related tweets by a single user on a related subject.

7. “The Planets” composer : HOLST

Despite the Scandinavian-sounding name, Gustav Holst was born in Britain and was the most English of classical composers. His most famous work is the orchestral suite known as ‘The Planets”. The suite has seven movements, one for each of the planets known at the time (1914-1916) except Earth. Pluto was discovered during Holst’s lifetime, but decades after he had completed his masterpiece. Anyway, Pluto was relegated from the league of planets …

8. Story lines : ARCS

A story arc is a continuing storyline in say a television show that runs through a number of episodes. Story arcs are also found in comics, books, video games, and other forms of media.

10. Con’s mark : SAP

“Sap” is slang for “fool, someone easily scammed”. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words derive from “sapwood”, which is the softwood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

11. Hyphenated word in a Hawthorne title : TWICE-TOLD

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1837 and 1842 two-volume collection of short stories called “Twice-Told Tales” earned its title as each story had previously been published in a magazine or annual.

13. Many Scheherazade characters : ARABS

Scheherazade was a Persian queen of legend, and the storyteller in the wonderful “One Thousand and One Nights”.

20. Big dogs : LABS

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

24. Little dog : POM

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

25. Self-Operating Napkin creator Goldberg : RUBE

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist, engineer and inventor who became famous for designing overly-complicated gadgets to perform the simplest of tasks. Goldberg produced a famous series of cartoons depicting such designs. Such was the success of his work, the Merriam-Webster dictionary accepted the phrase “Rube Goldberg” as an adjective in 1931, an adjective meaning “accomplishing something simple through complicated means”.

28. Rides with wing-shaped tailfins : BATMOBILES

The Batmobile was introduced in the world of comic books in 1939. It started out as a simple, red convertible, with nothing special to recommend it. Over the years though, the car evolved and became more and more sophisticated. The Batmobile always had pride of place in the Batman tales, but once in a while Batman would take the Batplane, Batboat and Batcycle out for a spin.

30. Game including golf and bowling : WII SPORTS

Players of the Wii Sports video game can simulate five sports: tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing.

32. Taker of ppm measurements : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Parts per million (ppm)

33. Barbershop quartet style : A CAPPELLA

“A cappella” music is sung without instruments accompanying. The name translates from Italian as “in the manner of the chapel”.

39. Buster? : DEA AGENT

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

41. “Bossypants” memoirist : FEY

Tina Fey’s 2011 humorous autobiography “Bossypants” topped the New York Times Best Seller list for five weeks.

42. Fictional governess : EYRE

“Jane Eyre” is a celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I’ve shared here on my blogs that the “Jane Eyre” story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.

46. Rita Hayworth’s title princess : SALOME

In the New Testament, Salome was a dancer and a seductress. She was the stepdaughter of Herod and when she danced for him on his birthday, her mother demanded as a reward the execution of John the Baptist. Salome is not actually named in the account in the gospels, and historians rely on other sources to determine that she was indeed “Salome”. Famously, the seductive dance that she performed is said to be the Dance of the Seven Veils. The dance isn’t named in the Biblical account, and is an elaboration that developed in later Christian mythology.

Rita Hayworth was born in Brooklyn as Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her father was a flamenco dancer from Spain and so his daughter fell naturally into dancing. The family moved to Hollywood where Hayworth’s father set up a dance studio, and there worked with the likes of James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The young Hayworth had a slow start in movies, finding herself typecast because of her Mediterranean features. When she underwent extensive electrolysis to change her forehead and dyed her hair red, she started to get more work (how sad is that?). In 1941 she posed for that famous pin-up picture which accompanied GIs all over the world.

53. Genesis creator : SEGA

Genesis is a video game console sold in the US by the Japanese company Sega. Genesis is sold as Mega Drive in the rest of the world, as Sega couldn’t get the rights to the Mega Drive name in the US.

54. “Disarming Iraq” author Hans : BLIX

Hans Blix is a Swedish diplomat who was front and center in the news in 2002/2003 when he headed up the UN group responsible for seeking out weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

56. Ceremonial title? : MRS

Mr. is an abbreviation for “master”, and Mrs. is an abbreviation for “mistress”.

57. Jazz genre : BOP

“Bop” is a shortened form of “bebop”, a jazz style that dates back to the early 1940s.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. __ bar : TAPAS
6. Line used when wrapping? : THAT’S THAT
15. Singer whose three studio albums have numerical titles : ADELE
16. Was bugged : WORE A WIRE
17. Remove, as a corsage : UNPIN
18. It has a climbing route called “The Nose” : EL CAPITAN
19. Crude : TASTELESS
21. Den denizens : CUBS
22. Nice assent : OUI
23. League of Women Voters co-founder : CATT
24. Assists a chef : PREPS
26. White House advisory gp. : NSC
27. Six-pack group : ABS
28. Fighting chance : BOUT
29. Comics shriek : YEOW!
31. The African Queen, for one : STEAMBOAT
35. Former first daughter : MALIA
37. Make a call : OPT
38. Conqueror of Valencia in 1094 : EL CID
40. Brain in many an Asimov story : MAINFRAME
43. British title : DAME
44. Part of a flute : STEM
45. Kvetching chorus : OYS
47. __ shooter : PEA
48. Buzzed : TIPSY
50. Pokémon that evolves to Kadabra : ABRA
51. Org. concerned with child support : PTA
52. Singer Vannelli : GINO
53. 1995 AFI Life Achievement Award recipient : SPIELBERG
55. Spidey sense, basically : ALARM BELL
58. Skateboard leap : OLLIE
59. Stopped taking orders : WENT ROGUE
60. Home of Armani and Prada : MILAN
61. News credential : PRESS PASS
62. Place on a pedestal : EXALT

Down

1. Scientific name involving a repeated word : TAUTONYM
2. To an annoying degree : AD NAUSEAM
3. What Brad’s Drink became : PEPSI COLA
4. Settled down : ALIT
5. Elder or Younger Roman writer : SENECA
6. Modern-day eruption : TWEETSTORM
7. “The Planets” composer : HOLST
8. Story lines : ARCS
9. It can be green, red or yellow : TEA
10. Con’s mark : SAP
11. Hyphenated word in a Hawthorne title : TWICE-TOLD
12. Put the bite on : HIT UP
13. Many Scheherazade characters : ARABS
14. XXX, perhaps : TENS
20. Big dogs : LABS
24. Little dog : POM
25. Self-Operating Napkin creator Goldberg : RUBE
28. Rides with wing-shaped tailfins : BATMOBILES
30. Game including golf and bowling : WII SPORTS
32. Taker of ppm measurements : EPA
33. Barbershop quartet style : A CAPPELLA
34. Race against the clock : TIME TRIAL
36. Outdoor party crashers : ANTS
39. Buster? : DEA AGENT
41. “Bossypants” memoirist : FEY
42. Fictional governess : EYRE
46. Rita Hayworth’s title princess : SALOME
48. Building subcontractor : TILER
49. Just plain silly : INANE
50. Outstanding : A-PLUS
52. Be a looky-loo : GAWP
53. Genesis creator : SEGA
54. “Disarming Iraq” author Hans : BLIX
56. Ceremonial title? : MRS
57. Jazz genre : BOP

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21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Mar 2018, Saturday”

  1. On “Former first daughter” I couldn’t escape “Julia” as in Nixon because I spelled “ad nauseam” with a “u” before the “m.” Also I never heard of “gawp” even though I got it. All in all, a great and very hard puzzle.

  2. LAT: 28:53, no errors. Had a problem getting 6A, until I remembered the TIC in the White House and changed 6D from SWEET STORM (don’t know why I put that in!) to TWEET STORM and decided that 9D really could be TEA. (Green tea? Yup. Red tea? I used to drink rooibos tea, so … yup. But yellow tea? Hmmm. Not so sure about that. Better smell it first!) And I also had JULIE before MALIA.

    All in all, this has not been one of my better weeks with the LAT puzzles …

    WSJ: 21:10, no errors. Newsday’s Saturday Stumper: 42:43, no errors.

    Yesterday, I also did seven Matt Jones puzzles from 2015 (11/19 through 12/31) while waiting for my car to be serviced. And last night I did today’s NYT. So, by the end of the day, I was pretty well puzzled out. Glad to have Saturday’s puzzles behind me.

  3. Bill’s competing in the ACPT today.

    Look here for standings. There’s only been one puzzle reported so far, so there’s not much interesting to look at. But Bill did well with it.

      1. @Dave
        They post results to the site as soon as the judges get done with them, as I recall. As I remember, they do six puzzles today, one each hour, and then one tomorrow. If I understand the program right, they should be wrapping up with Puzzle #3 and getting ready to start Puzzle #4 right now.

        1. @Glenn … What I was wondering about was the puzzles themselves. Maybe you can only get them if you somehow entered as a kind of at-home participant?

  4. Inking in “salad” bar for 1 Across almost sunk me. I kept going in circles tying to get the down answers to work with that. Finally I figured out it must be something else other than leafy greens and after I put in “tapas” that corner came together and the grid was finished. Whew! On to the WSJ.

    1. @Tony … I very nearly entered “salad” right out of the starting gate, but held off just long enough to see that it might pose a problem …

  5. I did all the missteps as above – Julia before Malia, salad before tapas. And I put in media storm before tweet. Ugh! Got through it finally!

  6. @Dave – I think you can pay a fee of $20 and compete online as opposed to attending, but it may be too late to do something like that. I do know the puzzles get published after the fact…eventually.

    I see Bill finished puzzle #1 at #257 overall. I think he finished around the top 200 overall last year, but if memory serves he tends to be a slow starter in these tourneys.

    I’m being led around by the nose all day by my real estate guy….looking at 7 different houses today. I’m either going to have a great or a miserable day..anyone care to wager which?

    I’ll get to the puzzle later today. NYT beat me up pretty well already..

    Best –

    1. >he tends to be a slow starter in these tourneys.

      If you really look at the standings, a lot of people are in multiple way ties right now. He’s in the 6th group. Which as I wrote above, we need to see more puzzles to differentiate people before the standings become interesting. Right now, it’s kind of like early season baseball…

    2. Thanks, Jeff. I actually gave some serious thought to attending the ACPT this year, but age and lethargy got the better of me. Maybe I’ll be younger next year … ?

  7. Aloha! ?
    Good challenging puzzle, and I did well but had to peek to complete THAT’S THAT. That NE corner was a bear!! (not a CUB…) I like the clue “fighting chance” for BOUT. Clever!
    It’s funny how several of us thought of Nixon’s kids! I thought TRISH at first. ?
    Also I initially had SUSHI instead of TAPAS.
    Looks like Bill is #233 in overall rankings!! ? Not bad, as there seem to be some 700 competitors.
    @Dave, yes, you WILL be younger!! My understanding is that that’s how it works.
    Jeff!! Good luck on the house hunting slog — I mean ADVENTURE!!!?
    Be well~~™⚾

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