LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Mar 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: Jerry Edelstein & Bob Monat
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Mixed Messages

Themed answers included sets of circled letters. Those letters, when MIXED, spell out synonyms of MESSAGE:

  • 54A. Confusing statements … and a hint to the circled letters : MIXED MESSAGES
  • 20A. Surprisingly little, pricewise : NEXT TO NOTHING (hiding mixed “text”)
  • 27A. Superfast : A MILE A MINUTE (hiding mixed “email”)
  • 37A. Maxim about frugality : WASTE NOT, WANT NOT (hiding mixed “note”)
  • 45A. It’s learned the hard way : BITTER LESSON (hiding mixed “letter”)

Bill’s time: 8m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “… __ a puddy tat!” : I TAW

“I tawt I taw a puddy tat!” is a famous line uttered by Tweety Bird, the yellow canary in the “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons who is constantly stalked by various cats.

5. Bygone 26-Down rival : PAN AM
(26d. Co-founder of the SkyTeam alliance : DELTA)

Pan American World Airways (usually just “Pan Am”) started out as a mail and passenger service between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba in 1927. From very early in the company’s life it was the de facto representative air carrier of the United States. For many years Pan Am’s fleet was built around the Boeing 314 Clipper, a long-range flying boat that was one of the largest aircraft around at the time. Pan Am adopted the Clipper as part of its image, even using “clipper” as the call sign for its flights.

13. Small rodent : VOLE

Vole populations can really increase rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

14. Bold alternative : ITALIC

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

16. Have a mortgage : OWE

Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. Such an arrangement was so called because the “pledge” to repay “dies” when the debt is cleared.

18. Helix-shaped pasta : ROTINI

Rotini is the corkscrew-shaped pasta that is often used in pasta salads. Even though “rotini” sounds like it comes from a word meaning “twist, rotate”, the word “rotini” doesn’t exist in Italian other than as the name for the pasta.

19. Pince-__ : NEZ

Pince-nez are eyeglasses clipped to the bridge of the nose. “Pince-nez” is French, and translates as “pinch the nose”.

23. Picasso’s birth city : MALAGA

Málaga is the capital city of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia in Spain. Located on the Mediterranean coast, it is considered the southernmost large city in Europe, and lies about 80 miles north of Africa. Included in the list of notable people born in Málaga are artist Pablo Picasso, and Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas.

The artist Pablo Picasso’s full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a name he was given right from birth. Got that?

32. RR stops : STAS

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) stop.

36. Immigrant’s subj. : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

43. “Deadliest Catch” narrator Mike : ROWE

Mike Rowe is host of the successful reality show called “Dirty Jobs” that is broadcast by “Discovery Channel”. Rowe is also a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company in a series of television commercials. He is quite the singer too, and he sang professionally with the Baltimore Opera for a while.

“Deadliest Catch” is yet another reality show, although this one is perhaps worth a look. It is produced for the Discovery Channel and deals with the exciting life on board fishing boats in the Bering Sea.

44. View from Catania : ETNA

Catania is the second largest city on the island of Sicily (after Palermo). Catania has a long and rich cultural history, and today is best known as a center for technology industries earning it the nickname of the “European Silicon Valley”.

60. MSNBC’s “Morning __” : JOE

“Morning Joe” is a show broadcast by MSNBC each weekday morning. It is hosted by Joe Scarborough, and first went on the air in 2007. Given the name of the show, Starbucks was very happy to be the show’s sponsor from 2009 through 2013, and got lots of product placement.

63. Avian digestive system part : CRAW

“Craw” is another name for the “crop”, a portion of the alimentary tract of some animals, including birds. The crop is used for the storage of food prior to digestion. It allows the animal to eat large amounts and then digest that food with efficiency over an extended period. The expression “to stick in one’s craw” is used one when one cannot accept something, cannot “swallow” it.

66. Singer Horne : LENA

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

68. Bond and others : SPIES

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

69. Macron’s state : ETAT

When Emmanuel Macron became President of France in 2017, he was 39 years of age, and so became the youngest person to ever hold that office.

Down

1. Nobelist Pavlov : IVAN

Ivan Pavlov was studying gastric function in dogs in the 1890s when he observed that his subject dogs started to salivate before he even presented food to them. This “psychic secretion”, as he called it, interested him so much that he changed the direction of his research and studied the reactions of dogs to various stimuli that were associated with the presentation of food. Famously, he discovered that a dog could be conditioned to respond as though he was about to be fed, just by sensing some stimulus that he had come to associate with food. This might be a bell ringing, an electric shock (poor dog!) or perhaps the waving of a hand. Nowadays we might describe someone as “Pavlov’s Dog” if that person responds just the way he/she has been conditioned to respond, rather than applying critical thinking.

2. Revered emblem : TOTEM

“Totem” is the name given to any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

3. Singer/songwriter __ Ray Joel : ALEXA

Singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel is the oldest daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley.

5. European dumpling : PIROGI

Pirogi (also “pierogi”) are Eastern European pies or dumplings made from unleavened dough that can have a sweet or savory filling.

7. Post-WWII alliance : NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

9. Ho Chi __ City : MINH

Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

12. Candy with an Emoji dispenser set : PEZ

PEZ is an Austrian brand of candy sold in a mechanical dispenser. Famously, PEZ dispensers have molded “heads”, and have become very collectible over the years. The list of heads includes historical figures like Betsy Ross and Paul Revere, characters from “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and even British royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (“William and Kate”). The name PEZ comes from the first, middle and last letters of “Pfefferminz”, the German word for “peppermint”.

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but more elaborate.

15. VI x XVII : CII

In Roman numerals, VI x XVII = CII (6 x 17 = 102).

21. Flat-topped cap : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

22. Editor Talese with a Doubleday imprint : NAN

Nan Talese is an editor working at Doubleday. Nan is married to author Gay Talese, who is apparently in the process of writing a non-fiction book documenting their life together.

26. Co-founder of the SkyTeam alliance : DELTA

The airline alliance known as SkyTeam is headquartered at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands. SkyTeam was founded in 2000 by Aeroméxico, Air France, Delta Air Lines, and Korean Air as a competitor to the Star Alliance and Oneworld.

28. Skin care name : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

30. Wasikowska of “The Kids Are All Right” : MIA

Mia Wasikowska is an Australian actress. Wasikowska’s breakthrough role was playing the title character in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010. The only movie I’ve seen her in though is 2011’s “Jane Eyre”, a pretty good adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic, I thought …

“The Kids Are All Right” is an entertaining 2010 movie with a fabulous cast that includes Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Mia Wasikowska. Bening and Moore play a lesbian couple, with each of them having given birth to a child using the same sperm donor. Ruffalo plays the sperm donor, and Wasikowska plays the elder of the two children.

32. DNA lab items : SWABS

DNA was first isolated in 1869 by Swiss physician and biologist. The molecular structure of DNA was identified in 1953, by the American and British team of James Watson and Francis Crick.

39. Scand. land : NOR

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. Norway is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

40. Temple athlete : OWL

Temple University was founded in 1888, and started out as a night school offering classes to people of limited means who had to hold down jobs during the day. These students earned themselves the nickname of “night owls”, leading to the use of “Owls” for Temple’s athletic teams.

41. Squid appendage : TENTACLE

Along with octopodes, squid are marine animals of the class cephalopoda. It has been suggested that the common name “squid” is an old sailors’ alteration of the word “squirt”, and a reference to the ink that it squirts out as a defense mechanism.

46. Light opener? : TWI-

Twilight is the light experienced when the sun is below the horizon, both in the morning and the evening. The prefix “twi-” seems to come from the sense of “half”, and in “half light”. There appears to be no connection to the word “twice”, despite twilight occurring twice each day.

47. Coined money : SPECIE

Coined money, as opposed to paper money, can be referred to as “specie”. The term comes from the Latin “in specie” that has been used for centuries in English to mean “in the real or actual form”.

49. Anesthesiologists’ work sites, briefly : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

52. White-plumed wader : EGRET

Egrets are a group of several species of white herons. Many egret species were faced with extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s due to plume hunting, a practice driven by the demand for egret plumes that could be incorporated into hats.

53. “Strawberry Wine” country singer Carter : DEANA

Deana Carter is a country singer from Nashville, Tennessee. Carter’s first album was a big seller, and was called “Did I Shave My Legs for This?”

55. Gen-__ : XER

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

56. First family grandson? : ENOS

Enos was the son of Seth, and therefore the grandson of Adam and Eve. According to the ancient Jewish work called the Book of Jubilees, Enos married his own sister Noam.

58. Actress Rogers : MIMI

Mimi Rogers is a favorite actress of mine, although she hasn’t really had the starring roles in big movies. Off screen. Rogers is famous for her association with her second husband, Tom Cruise. It was Mimi who introduced Tom to Scientology. Mimi Rogers can also be seen playing a lot of so-called “celebrity poker”, and she is on the board of directors of the World Poker Tour.

59. Rescue team acronym : SWAT

SWAT is an acronym standing for Special Weapons and Tactics. The first SWAT team was pulled together in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.

60. Word with hawk or walk : JAY-

A jayhawk is a fictitious bird, the name of which probably dates back to the 1840s. That name is a combination of “blue jay” and “sparrow hawk”.

“Jaywalking” is mainly an American term. The original version of the word is “jay-driving”, which applied to people driving horse-drawn carriages on the wrong side of the road.

61. “¡Viva el matador!” : OLE!

“Matador” is a Spanish word used in English for a bullfighter, although the term isn’t used in the same way in Spanish. The equivalent in Spanish is “torero”. “Matador” translates aptly enough as “killer”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “… __ a puddy tat!” : I TAW
5. Bygone 26-Down rival : PAN AM
10. Limit : CAP
13. Small rodent : VOLE
14. Bold alternative : ITALIC
16. Have a mortgage : OWE
17. “… two fives for __?” : A TEN
18. Helix-shaped pasta : ROTINI
19. Pince-__ : NEZ
20. Surprisingly little, pricewise : NEXT TO NOTHING (hiding mixed “text”)
23. Picasso’s birth city : MALAGA
24. Desertlike : ARID
27. Superfast : A MILE A MINUTE (hiding mixed “email”)
32. RR stops : STAS
35. Healthy drink : SWIG
36. Immigrant’s subj. : ESL
37. Maxim about frugality : WASTE NOT, WANT NOT (hiding mixed “note”)
42. Comic strip cry : ACK!
43. “Deadliest Catch” narrator Mike : ROWE
44. View from Catania : ETNA
45. It’s learned the hard way : BITTER LESSON (hiding mixed “letter”)
50. Put away : STOW
51. Split up : PARTED
54. Confusing statements … and a hint to the circled letters : MIXED MESSAGES
60. MSNBC’s “Morning __” : JOE
62. Add value to : ENRICH
63. Avian digestive system part : CRAW
64. Brewpub order : ALE
65. School bud : ROOMIE
66. Singer Horne : LENA
67. “Not __” : YET
68. Bond and others : SPIES
69. Macron’s state : ETAT

Down

1. Nobelist Pavlov : IVAN
2. Revered emblem : TOTEM
3. Singer/songwriter __ Ray Joel : ALEXA
4. Followed the crowd? : WENT LAST
5. European dumpling : PIROGI
6. Not exactly hummable : ATONAL
7. Post-WWII alliance : NATO
8. Settled on a branch : ALIT
9. Ho Chi __ City : MINH
10. Harmonious : CONGRUENT
11. Leave open-mouthed : AWE
12. Candy with an Emoji dispenser set : PEZ
15. VI x XVII : CII
21. Flat-topped cap : TAM
22. Editor Talese with a Doubleday imprint : NAN
25. “Show time!” : IT’S ON!
26. Co-founder of the SkyTeam alliance : DELTA
28. Skin care name : ESTEE
29. “That is sooo cute!” : AWW!
30. Wasikowska of “The Kids Are All Right” : MIA
31. Engine starter: Abbr. : IGN
32. DNA lab items : SWABS
33. Unspoken : TACIT
34. Call for an appointment : ASK TO MEET
38. Before, in ballads : ERE
39. Scand. land : NOR
40. Temple athlete : OWL
41. Squid appendage : TENTACLE
46. Light opener? : TWI-
47. Coined money : SPECIE
48. Pageant bands : SASHES
49. Anesthesiologists’ work sites, briefly : ORS
52. White-plumed wader : EGRET
53. “Strawberry Wine” country singer Carter : DEANA
55. Gen-__ : XER
56. First family grandson? : ENOS
57. Let go of : DROP
58. Actress Rogers : MIMI
59. Rescue team acronym : SWAT
60. Word with hawk or walk : JAY-
61. “¡Viva el matador!” : OLE!

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Mar 2018, Thursday”

    1. BEQ: 16 minutes, no errors. A nice run. CHE: 29 minutes, no errors. Quite a change on this one. A couple of hard spots, but nothing I couldn’t handle…

  1. LAT: 13:12, no errors. Newsday: 10:28, no errors. WSJ: 13:12 (same as the LAT, really!), no errors. Will get to the BEQ later, after I recover from getting up at 3AM to drive my ex to the airport. Roads wet, icy in spots, horrendous traffic, lunatic drivers … not my favorite morning activity … ?

    1. Forgot to mention … thick fog … in my head and (in places) the air … ?

      In any case, I survived … and I have now had a long restorative nap and I have done the BEQ: 12:34, no errors. A very clever and enjoyable theme puzzle from our Mr. Quigley.

  2. A suitably tough puzzle. I didn’t get the theme, even when I tried it on Bill’s blog. The long answers were of course, a big help.
    My time was suitably large.

    While reading about “italics”, in Bill’s blog, I wondered why the fonts are always right leaning ?? What happens if they lean left ,,, and why not ?
    I read a copious number of articles, on italics, and finally found the answer. It is because we read from left to right …. so a right leaning font implies speed and swiftness – like someone’s in a hurry.
    A left leaning ( backward leaning – ) italic font, looks very laid back, and while it grabs attention …. it seems artificial and unnatural …. not nice, at all.

    Now, in arabic, which is read right to left, right leaning fonts would, apparently, seem to imply, the same thing ….. speed …. but curiously, the arabic fonts also lean to the LEFT !! This, despite the fact, that the arabic typesetters are obviously from the middle east. I guess convention and habit are very difficult to part with.
    However, left leaning arabic fonts are coming into style.

    Enough, about fonts.

    Have a nice day, all.

  3. Anonymous, the phrase,’a mile a minute’ , probably was invented around the time as when the Model A or Model T made its appearance… and of course, there is always the elegance of an alliteration.
    And, as for the clue …. its a Thursday, after all. We are in la-la land.

  4. Had to Google for ALEXA, ROWE. Had Madrid before MALAGA, CRop before CRAW. Thought word with hawk or walk could be JAY or skY. Never heard of this OWL (sports). Thought it might have something to do with the OWL being sacred to Athena.

    Memorize this name: Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.

  5. 19:17. A little tricky. I leaned on the theme early and that helped a lot. never knew SPECIE in the “coin” sense.

    Back to normalcy today after a fun bday. I also plan to steal Vidwan’s paragraph on the signs of aging and use it as my own shamelessly at a later date….

    Best –

    1. @Dave –
      Curious if you noticed your buddy AD’s reaction to today’s syndicated NYT puzzle. I have no idea why, but the guy makes me laugh. I’m warped to the point where I’m actually disappointed when he likes a puzzle….No disappointment today, however.

      Best –

  6. Fun Thursday, done at a leisurely pace while selling my honey. Was able to finish without difficulty despite heavy sales today, with no errors.

    Just had to change IsAW to ITAW. Got the theme, but couldn’t figure out the circled letters stuff until I got here. Didn’t know Alexa, Malaga, Mia, Rowe and just vaguely kinda knew Owl and Joe.

    @Jeff – Forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday yesterday. I hope you had a great time at the match.

  7. Greetings!!! ?
    Fuzzle! No errors but plenty of missteps. I remembered VOLE and CRAW from recent puzzles. ?
    Vidwan, that info about fonts is interesting! I’m reminded of the trend back in hippie days of writing signs and posters in psychedelic-style letters, and they often leaned backwards!! That would fit right in with the “laid-back” look you mention. ?
    RE today’s theme: I once had this idea to record my outgoing greeting thus: “To leave a message, please press one. For mixed messages, please press two.” LOL!! ? Maybe I should revive that idea!
    Be well~~???

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