LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Mar 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Religious Leader

Themed answers LEAD off with a RELIGIOUS LEADER as a hidden word:

  • 54A. Minister or imam, say … and, in two ways, a hint to words hidden in 17-, 29- and 38-Across : RELIGIOUS LEADER
  • 17A. Secondhand wave of excitement : VICARIOUS THRILL (leading with “VICAR”)
  • 29A. Place to get delivery instructions? : LAMAZE CLASS (leading with “LAMA”)
  • 38A. Hare care site : RABBIT HUTCH (leading with “RABBI”)

Bill’s time: 6m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. SALT weaponry : ABMS

An anti-ballistic missile (ABM) is a rocket designed to intercept and destroy a ballistic missile (as one might expect from the name). A ballistic missile, as opposed to a cruise missile, is guided during the initial launch phase but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity (hence “ballistic”) to arrive at its target. As an aside, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than 3,500 miles.

There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the US and the Soviet Union, and two resulting treaties (SALT I & SALT II). The opening round of SALT I talks were held in Helsinki as far back as 1970, with the resulting treaty signed by President Richard Nixon and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1972. Brezhnev also signed the SALT II treaty, with President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

14. “Ta-ta, mon ami” : ADIEU

“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye” or “farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

15. Students’ lunchroom : CAFETERIA

“Cafeteria” is a Mexican Spanish word meaning “coffee store” that we imported into American English around 1840. Somehow, that coffee store became a self-service dining establishment in the 1890s.

17. Secondhand wave of excitement : VICARIOUS THRILL (leading with “VICAR”)

Our word “vicarious” means “experienced through another”. The term comes from the Latin “vicarius”, meaning “substitute, deputy”.

A vicar is a member of the clergy in several Christian traditions. In more general terms, we can use the word “vicar” for a person who acts in the place of another, i.e. a deputy. It was the latter usage of the term that gave rise to the religious usage, as a vicar in a church was considered a person acting for God.

20. Court plea, briefly : NOLO

“Nolo contendere” (sometimes shortened to “nolo”) is a legal term that translates from Latin as “I do not wish to contend”. It’s the plea of no contest, and is an alternative to guilty and not guilty, meaning that one doesn’t admit guilt but nor does one dispute the charge.

24. They may be raised in casinos : STAKES

The term “casino” originated in the 1700s, then describing a public room for music or dancing. “Casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

25. Saudi neighbors : OMANIS

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

27. Google Apps component : GMAIL

G Suite (formerly “Google Apps”) is a free group of services that includes communication, productivity and collaboration tools. Well, the free services do include some advertising, but enterprise-level versions of G Suite are ad-free. I use G Suite all the time (for free) to help me write and manage my crossword blogs. I’m a big fan …

29. Place to get delivery instructions? : LAMAZE CLASS (leading with “LAMA”)

The Lamaze technique for childbirth was developed by a French obstetrician called Fernand Lamaze. He introduced the technique in the west after observing similar practices in the Soviet Union during a visit there in 1951.

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

31. Pro bono TV ad : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

The Latin term “pro bono publico” means “for the public good”, and is usually shortened to “pro bono”. The term applies to professional work that is done for free or at a reduced fee as a service to the public.

34. “Hamilton” climax : DUEL

Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s Founding Fathers, chief of staff to General George Washington and the first Secretary of the Treasury. It was Hamilton who founded the nation’s first political party, the Federalist Party. He is also famous for fighting a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, which resulted in Hamilton’s death a few days later.

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life or US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

44. Arcade activity : GAMING

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

48. Kicking partner? : ALIVE

I’m alive and kicking after solving today’s puzzle …

49. Ancient France : GAUL

The Gauls were a Celtic race, with Gaul covering what is now known as France and Belgium. We use the term “Gallic” today, when we refer to something pertaining to France or the French.

51. St. Petersburg’s river : NEVA

The Neva is a very large river that spills into the Gulf of Finland at the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The river forms an expansive delta as it reaches the Baltic Sea, and the delta gives rise to numerous islands, with the number of islands further increased by a network of canals. The historic part of the city is built on these islands, giving St. Petersburg a very Venetian feel. I had the privilege of visiting the city some years ago, and I can attest that it is indeed spectacular …

St. Petersburg in Russia is an absolutely beautiful city to visit. The city was renamed to Petrograd in 1914, Leningrad in 1924 and back to St. Petersburg in 1991.

57. Jaguar’s jaguar, e.g. : TRADEMARK

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

58. Clarence Odbody in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” e.g. : ANGEL

The Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” was released in 1946, and is a Frank Capra movie starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. The film’s screenplay was adapted from a short story called “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. Remember the famous swimming pool scene? That was shot in Beverly High School gym, and the pool is still in use today.

60. Word with bill or ball : PLAY

I get quite a kick out of reading the bios in “Playbill” as some of them can be really goofy and entertaining. “Playbill” started off in 1884 in New York as an in-house publication for just one theater on 21st St. You can’t see any decent-sized production these days anywhere in the United States without being handed a copy of “Playbill”.

61. In __: unborn : UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. The Latin word was derived from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

Down

2. Actress Falco : EDIE

The actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”, an excellent black comedy.

3. The Sultan of Swat and The Splendid Splinter : NICKNAMES

Baseball legend George Herman Ruth, Jr. had several nicknames, the best known being “Babe”. He was also called “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”.

As well as playing in left field for the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams served as a pilot in the Marine Corps in World War II and the Korean War. Williams earned a few colorful nicknames during his baseball career, including “The Splendid Splinter”, “Teddy Ballgame”, “The Thumper” and “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived”.

5. The Danube’s cont. : EUR

The continent of Europe was named for Europa, a Phoenician princess of Greek mythology.

The Danube is the second largest river in Europe (after the Volga). The Danube flows through four European capitals (Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava).

9. Guinea pig, e.g. : PET

The guinea pig species of rodent is also known as a cavy. Guinea pigs aren’t related to pigs, and not are they from Guinea (in West Africa). Guinea pigs actually come from the Andes. They were commonly used for research in the 1800s and 1900s, and as a result we use the term “guinea pig” for a test subject to this day.

13. Cyber Monday events : SALES

Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, when retailers offer incentives to online shoppers in the hope of boosting sales. The term “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 in a press release issued by the website Shop.org. In recent years, consumers have been spending more money online on Cyber Monday than any other day in the year.

24. Copenhagen carrier : SAS

SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.

Copenhagen is the largest city and the capital of Denmark. I haven’t had the privilege of visiting Copenhagen, but I hear it is a wonderful metropolis with a marvelous quality of life. The city is also very environmentally friendly, with over a third of its population commuting to work by bicycle.

25. Former GM division : OLDS

Oldsmobile was an automobile brand founded by Ransom E. Olds (REO) in 1897. The brand was finally phased out by General Motors in 2004.

26. Haleakala National Park locale : MAUI

If you visit the island of Maui, a visit to the Haleakala National Park is a must. One section of the park features the spectacular Haleakala Crater, where you would swear you are on the moon. The second part of the park is the Kipahulu section, which features the very picturesque pools accessed along the Road to Hana. When we visited (quite a few years ago), the Road to Hana was a tad undeveloped and rental car companies would not allow you to drive their cars there. Funnily enough, the only cars you’d meet on the Road to Hana were rental cars …

28. Landlocked African nation : MALI

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa, south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.

33. Tennis great Arthur : ASHE

Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979 Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

36. Cud-chewing mammal : RUMINANT

Animals that “chew the cud” are called ruminants. Ruminants eat vegetable matter but cannot extract any nutritional value from cellulose without the help of microbes in the gut. Ruminants collect roughage in the first part of the alimentary canal, allowing microbes to work on it. The partially digested material (the cud) is regurgitated into the mouth so that the ruminant can chew the food more completely exposing more surface area for microbes to do their work.

38. Go back (on) : RENEGE

To renege on something is to back out of it. It’s a verb commonly used in card games like bridge and whist. A renege is when a player doesn’t follow suit, even though there may be a card of the suit led in his/her hand.

39. Director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

40. Disruptive forum visitor : TROLL

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person, as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. Sad, sad people …

41. With it, once : HEP

The slang term “hep” meaning “cool” has the same meaning as the later derivative term “hip”. The origins of “hep” seem unclear, but it was adopted by jazz musicians of the early 1900s.

44. Brooks with two Grammys : GARTH

Country singer Garth Brooks retired from recording and performing in 2001. He came back out of retirement in 2009, signing a five-year concert deal with the Encore Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

45. Last 25-Down model : ALERO
(25D. Former GM division : OLDS)

The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made under the Oldsmobile brand. It was produced from 1999 to 2004.

46. Italian fashion city : MILAN

The Big Four fashion capitals are Paris, Milan, London and New York.

47. Iditarod runner : HUSKY

The Siberian Husky is one of the oldest breeds of dog, and originated in northern Asia. Siberian Huskies were imported into Alaska in great numbers in the early 1900s for use as sled dogs during the gold rush.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers an incredible 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. The fastest finishing time was set in 2002 at just under 9 days. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!

53. Guthrie who sang about Alice : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

56. Seine filler : EAU

In French, one can find “eau” (water) in a “rivière” (river).

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. The Seine empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Touch, e.g. : SENSE
6. Model in a bottle : SHIP
10. SALT weaponry : ABMS
14. “Ta-ta, mon ami” : ADIEU
15. Students’ lunchroom : CAFETERIA
17. Secondhand wave of excitement : VICARIOUS THRILL (leading with “VICAR”)
19. Surprised cries : EEKS
20. Court plea, briefly : NOLO
21. Bridal path : AISLE
22. “Uh-uh–however … ” : NO–BUT …
24. They may be raised in casinos : STAKES
25. Saudi neighbors : OMANIS
27. Google Apps component : GMAIL
29. Place to get delivery instructions? : LAMAZE CLASS (leading with “LAMA”)
31. Pro bono TV ad : PSA
34. “Hamilton” climax : DUEL
35. 27-Across alternative : AOL
36. Has second thoughts about : RUES
37. Member of the fam : SIS
38. Hare care site : RABBIT HUTCH (leading with “RABBI”)
42. Thick : DENSE
43. Off the beaten path : REMOTE
44. Arcade activity : GAMING
47. Welcome words to a hitchhiker : HOP IN
48. Kicking partner? : ALIVE
49. Ancient France : GAUL
51. St. Petersburg’s river : NEVA
54. Minister or imam, say … and, in two ways, a hint to words hidden in 17-, 29- and 38-Across : RELIGIOUS LEADER
57. Jaguar’s jaguar, e.g. : TRADEMARK
58. Clarence Odbody in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” e.g. : ANGEL
59. Give a finer edge to : HONE
60. Word with bill or ball : PLAY
61. In __: unborn : UTERO

Down

1. Hockey announcer’s cry : SAVE!
2. Actress Falco : EDIE
3. The Sultan of Swat and The Splendid Splinter : NICKNAMES
4. Like produce at farm-to-table restaurants : SEASONAL
5. The Danube’s cont. : EUR
6. “Run along now” : SCOOT
7. Pull with effort : HAUL
8. “Assuming it’s true … ” : IF SO …
9. Guinea pig, e.g. : PET
10. Taken from above, as photos : AERIAL
11. Invigorating : BRISK
12. Jacque’s thousand : MILLE
13. Cyber Monday events : SALES
16. “To clarify … ” : THAT IS …
18. Operating : IN USE
23. Show __ : BIZ
24. Copenhagen carrier : SAS
25. Former GM division : OLDS
26. Haleakala National Park locale : MAUI
27. Round Earth map : GLOBE
28. Landlocked African nation : MALI
30. Airport lineup : CABS
31. Made tense : PUT ON EDGE
32. Doctrinal faction : SECT
33. Tennis great Arthur : ASHE
36. Cud-chewing mammal : RUMINANT
38. Go back (on) : RENEGE
39. Director Lee : ANG
40. Disruptive forum visitor : TROLL
41. With it, once : HEP
42. Cut into parts : DIVIDE
44. Brooks with two Grammys : GARTH
45. Last 25-Down model : ALERO
46. Italian fashion city : MILAN
47. Iditarod runner : HUSKY
49. Hockey announcer’s cry : GOAL!
50. Pervasive glow : AURA
52. Turn sharply : VEER
53. Guthrie who sang about Alice : ARLO
55. Little trickster : IMP
56. Seine filler : EAU

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Mar 2018, Wednesday”

  1. 12:53. Another theme that solved like a themeless. The first time I ever heard the word “vicar” was in Monty Python’s “The Dirty Vicar Sketch”….never forgot it..

    @Vidwan
    From yesterday – there was a famous track coach at the University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman, who always used to call his first meeting of the year at 7:37 AM. When asked why he did that, his response was the mere fact that he made the start time at 7:37 made his athletes wonder “why 7:37?” so they showed up on time to find out. Interestingly my high school started the first class every morning at 8:38 AM. I don’t know if it has the same effect when it’s a daily ritual, but I was (almost) always on time….

    Also – I too noticed the results of that 5th puzzle at the ACPT. Solvers who scored 1100-1600 on the other puzzles often scored 400-500 on that one. Dave – I’m curious to see how you fare on that one once they send you the puzzles.

    Well today is my 55th birthday. I’m now closer to 60 than I am to 50. Yikes! Happily I don’t feel it. I still do and enjoy the same things I did when I was 25 so I’ll stop worrying about it. I think my relative youthfulness goes hand in hand with my inherent immaturity.

    So – it’s a birthday Maker’s Mark on the rocks with a splash of water tonight at my favorite bar here in Vegas, then I’m off to see the Vegas Golden Knights’ game where I’ll have as many $14 beers (to be fair they’re 24 oz cans) as I want because I’m not driving tonight!

    Best –

  2. Not bad for a Wed. with Wechler, although I had trouble with 36D & 36A. I don’t think of ‘rues’ as having 2nd thoughts, but as having regrets. Oh, well, I did finish with only a little suffering.

    Jeff – Happy Birthday, and 55 is not old. Trust me!

  3. Happy Birthday, Jeff ….(clue in fifty-five emojis …. )
    Jeff, Fifty five is not old !!@!! …. you’re a mere tadpole of a youngster !!@!
    Trust me, age adds up real fast. later on … especially if you’re having fun !

    Who said,”Old age hits you like a bug on a windshield, when you’re driving at 65 mph.” ? Whoever it was, he was right, and I admire his wisdom. And I can attest to it…
    This is when, if you have older kids, you start paying off their student loans, helping with their first house down payments and shelling out for their marriage expenses …. and hoping for grandchildren. When your car insurance goes down by 10 percent, without doing anything, …. and your life insurance premiums start jumping up by 40 percent every year….. when you find out that you’ve outlived most people, in history, whose biographies you read on Wikipedia …..
    Why, at my age, I can’t even remember when I was 55 …..
    Soon, you’ll be able to see a nakkid woman in a magazine, and the first thing that comes into your mind. will be. “wow. I bet her cholestrol levels are really low !”.

    Enjoy your Maker’s Mark, because you can still remember the name of the drink ….. and have a great week and a great weekend.

  4. Okay, that out of the way …. I had a tough timw with this puzzle, but it got easier as I ambled along. I first came across the word, Vicarious, in Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, which was a textbook in high school. I didn’t know it was related to Vicar. The first vicar I heard of was ‘The Vicar of Wakefield’.

    For the record, Oman is one of the most faithful ally of the US, and they have leased the very edge of the UAE peninsula at the Straits of Hormuz to the US military for 99 years ! ( They own the very edge, although it is not contiguous to the rest of the country.) From what I have heard, the country is one of the most friendliest, the most tolerant, and the most peaceful, in that part of the world. Which really, says something …..

    I really, really want to see ‘Hamilton’ if the play ever becomes a movie – provided it has subtitles. I have a tough time understanding rap, as it is.
    I saw a documentary, when Mr. Miranda performed before Pres. Obama, at the White House.

    A ‘renege’ in a bridge game, can you kicked out the game, or the company, …. or, the club !!@! I was once in a bridge game, in 1974, where one of our opponents, reneged, and he was embarassed for months on end….

    I was totally confused by The Danube cont. I thought cont. meant continuation …. and I’m like, the Danube continues …. as what ????

    Have a nice day, all.

  5. No paper today, so had to do it online; took 17:36 according to the timer.

    Had a little bit of difficulty when I put opel instead of OLDS, and that caused some confusion in the West, but once a saw ALERO, I quickly changed it and finished. Didn’t notice the theme until I got to the reveal, so effectively theme-less.

    Off to bed early tonight…market tomorrow.

  6. Hey homies!! ?
    Wow! Wazzup over at the NYT crossword??! I accidentally clicked on Bill’s link and decided to check out Wednesday’s comments (mainly to see if Dave and Jeff like that gang better than ours. ) I’m surprised that term made it into the grid! Talk about not passing the Breakfast Rule! I don’t like it — I’m not personally offended but I do think crossword puzzles should be family-friendly … or at least respectful of a general audience…?
    This puzzle was a fun challenge! Didn’t notice the theme at all; didn’t even think to see who the setter was til I’d completed it. Once if got the reveal answer, the first thing I thought was “Religious MAZE??” (from LAMAZE CLASS). Hmmm….? I was a bit off…
    Jeff!! Hope your birthday was awesome!!! Cheers, kampai, prost, and salud! ????!!
    Be well~~?

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