LA Times Crossword Answers 5 Mar 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Deal-Breaker

Themed answers include the circled letters DEAL. That letter sequence is BROKEN up and divided between the start and finish of each answer:

  • 25A. Negotiations killer … or, in a way, what each answer to a starred clue is : DEAL-BREAKER
  • 16A. *Kaput : DEAD AS A DOORNAIL
  • 19A. *Life in a breakfast bowl, say : DRY CEREAL
  • 22A. *Oral health care network : DELTA DENTAL

Bill’s time: 4m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. The Bounty, e.g. : SHIP

HMS Bounty, of mutiny fame, was originally a collier named the Bethia. The relatively small ship was purchased by the Royal Navy in 1787, and was refitted and renamed HMS Bounty. The Bounty was purpose built for one mission, to acquire breadfruit plants in Tahiti and deliver them to the West Indies. The shameful purpose of the mission was to introduce breadfruit to the West Indies as a cheap source of food for slaves. After the infamous mutiny, the Bounty ended up on Pitcairn Island where the mutineers remained undetected for 18 years. The band avoided detection partly by burning their ship, in what is now known as Bounty Bay. The remains of the Bounty were discovered in off Pitcairn Island in 1957.

15. Addresses with forward slashes : URLS

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

16. *Kaput : DEAD AS A DOORNAIL

“As dead as a doornail” is one of older expressions, and dates back at least to the 14th century. You might have seen very old doors in castles or old houses that have large studs all over the front in a regular pattern. The studs are the heads of nails driven through the door, originally for strength, but later for decoration. They are “doornails”.

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

19. *Life in a breakfast bowl, say : DRY CEREAL

The breakfast cereal called Life was introduced by Quaker Oats in 1961. Back then, Life contained just whole grain oats. Today’s recipe includes added sugar and flour.

24. Black Russian liquor : VODKA

A White Russian is a cocktail made from vodka, Kahlua or Tia Maria, and cream, served in an old-fashioned glass with ice. The White Russian is similar to a Black Russian, which is the same drink without the cream. Both cocktails are called “Russian” as they are based on vodka, and both have been around since the late forties, with no one seeming to know which drink came first.

28. Nivea competitor : AVEENO

Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat: “Avena sativa”.

Nivea is a brand name of skin-care products from Germany. The Latin word “nivea” means “snow-white”.

31. Rapper __ Wayne : LIL

“Lil Wayne” is the stage name used by rap artist Dwayne Carter, Jr. from New Orleans.

32. Disney’s title lamp rubber : ALADDIN

“Aladdin” is a famous tale in “Arabian Nights”, also called “The Book of One Thousand and One Nights”. However, there is no evidence at all that the story was in the original collection. It is generally believed that one Antoine Galland introduced the tale when he translated “Arabian Nights” into French in the early 1700s.

40. Source of linen : FLAX

Flax is mainly grown for its seeds (to make oil) and for its fibers. Flax fibers have been used to make linen for centuries, certainly back as far as the days of the Ancient Egyptians. Flax fibers are soft and shiny, resembling blonde hair, hence the term “flaxen hair”.

41. “Dilbert” creator Scott : ADAMS

“Dilbert” is a comic strip drawn by Scott Adams, a “neighbor” of mine here in the Bay Area. Adams used to be co-owner of a restaurant at the end of my street that had a menu replete with “Dilbertesque” comments.

43. “Little Women” woman : MEG

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of little women is Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy and the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

44. Spongy cake laced with rum : BABKA

Babka is a sweet yeast cake that can also be called Bobka or baba. Babka originated in Eastern Europe and is served traditionally on Easter Sunday, and with a drizzle of rum syrup.

47. Step in a flight : STAIR

A “landing” is the area at the top and bottom of a staircase. Apparently, we called the steps between the landings a “flight” of stairs, because one flies between landings! Can that be true?

49. West Coast state : OREGON

The Oregon Treaty of 1846 settled a dispute between the US and the UK over sovereignty of the Oregon Country. “The Oregon Country” was the name given by the Americans to a large swathe of land west of the Rocky Mountains. That same disputed land was known as the Columbia Department by the British. Oregon became is a US state in 1859.

51. Everglades waders : EGRETS

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.

60. Software test version : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

62. “M*A*S*H” actor Elliott : GOULD

Hollywood actor Elliott Gould is perhaps best known for the leading roles he played in the movies “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” (1969) and “M*A*S*H” (1970). In recent years, Gould played business tycoon Reuben Tishkoff in the “Ocean’s Eleven” series of films. On television, he played Ross Geller’s dad Jack Geller in the hit sitcom “Friends”. Gould was married to singer and actress Barbra Streisand from 1963 to 1971.

65. Homer Simpson’s wife : MARGE

Marge Simpson is the matriarch of the family in “The Simpsons” animated sitcom. Marge is voiced by actress Julie Kavner, who is also well known for playing Brenda Morgenstern in the TV show “Rhoda” in the seventies.

69. Gratis : FREE

Something provided “gratis” is supplied free of charge. “Gratis” is a Latin term, a contraction of “gratiis” meaning “for thanks”.

Down

3. Nest egg acronym : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

4. Ping-Pong need : PADDLE

Ping-Pong is called table tennis in the UK, where the sport originated in the 1880s. Table tennis started as an after-dinner activity among the elite, and was called “wiff-waff”. To play the game, books were stacked in the center of a table as a “net”, two more books served as “”rackets” and the ball used was actually a golf ball. The game evolved over time with the rackets being upgraded to the lids of cigar boxes and the ball becoming a champagne cork (how snooty is that?). Eventually the game was produced commercially, and the sound of the ball hitting the racket was deemed to be a “ping” and a “pong”, giving the sport its alternative name. The name “Ping-Pong” was trademarked in Britain in 1901, and eventually sold to Parker Brothers in the US.

6. Instagram upload : VIDEO

Instagram is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram was started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

7. Messy campfire snack : S’MORE

S’mores are treats peculiar to North America that are usually eaten around a campfire. A s’more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

8. Firestone competitor : DUNLOP

John Boyd Dunlop was an inventor and veterinary surgeon from Scotland who spent most of his life in Ireland. He is most remembered for developing the first practical pneumatic tire, for which a patent was awarded in 1888. Dunlop’s patent was eventually invalidated, as others in the US and France had patented similar inventions. Regardless, Dunlop partnered with Dublin-born financier Harvey du Cros to found the Dunlop Rubber company and essentially established the pneumatic tire industry.

Firestone is a tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900. The Firestone company took off when it was selected by Henry Ford as the supplier of tires for his Model T.

9. Pitching stat with a decimal point : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

10. Inventor Whitney : ELI

The inventor Eli Whitney is a best known for inventing the cotton gin. Whitney also came up with the important concept of “interchangeable parts”. Parts that are interchangeable can be swapped out of equipment or perhaps used in related designs.

11. Broadband option, for short : DSL

The abbreviation “DSL” originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is the technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

13. Maj. for a future shrink : PSY

The use of the term “shrink” to describe a psychiatrist is first attested in 1966. “Shrink” is diminutive of “head-shrinker”.

14. “The 18-Down” poet : POE
(18D. “Nevermore” speaker : RAVEN)

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …

20. Dip for chips : SALSA

“Salsa” is simply the Spanish for “sauce”.

21. Like the outfield walls at Wrigley Field : IVIED

The famous ballpark that is home to the Chicago Cubs was built in 1914. Back then it was known as Weeghman Park, before becoming Cubs Park when the Cubs arrived in 1920. It was given the name Wrigley Field in 1926, after the owner William Wrigley, Jr. of chewing gum fame. Wrigley Field is noted as the only professional ballpark that has ivy covering the outfield walls. The ivy is a combination of Boston Ivy and Japanese Bittersweet, both of which can survive the harsh winters in Chicago.

22. *Oral health care network : DELTA DENTAL

Delta Dental is an association of independent member companies that provide dental insurance coverage. Covering the whole of the US, Delta Dental is the largest dental plan system in the country. Delta Dental’s roots (pun!) go back to dental service corporations formed on the West Coast in 1954.

26. Whitewater craft : KAYAK

There is a type of boat used by Inuit people called an “umiak”. . The term “umiak” means “woman’s boat”, whereas “kayak” means “man’s boat”.

27. Amazon Echo Dot’s voice service : ALEXA

Amazon’s Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

33. Octopus’ eight : ARMS

The name “octopus” comes from the Greek for “eight-footed”. The most common plural used is “octopuses”, although the Greek plural form “octopodes” is also quite correct. The plural “octopi” isn’t really correct as the inference is that “octopus” is like a second-declension Latin noun, which it isn’t. That said, dictionaries are now citing “octopi” as an acceptable plural. Language does evolve, even though it drives me crazy …

34. Deer mom : DOE

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

35. Dalmatians, e.g. : DOGS

The Dalmatian breed of dog originated in Dalmatia, in the Republic of Croatia. Here in the US, Dalmatians are known as “firehouse dogs”. This association dates back to the use of Dalmatians in firehouses to guard the valuable horses that pulled the fire engines.

40. Inside the foul line : FAIR

That would be baseball, for example …

44. Hefty supplies? : BAGS

Hefty is a brand name of trash bags and related products.

46. Hard puzzle : ENIGMA

Our term “enigma” meaning “puzzle, riddle” comes from the Greek “ainigma”, which means the same thing.

50. Christopher of “Superman” : REEVE

The actor Christopher Reeve was most associated with his portrayal of Superman in the late seventies and early eighties. Reeve became paralyzed from the neck down when he fell from a horse in a jumping event in 1995. He passed away in 2004.

56. First matchmaker? : NOAH

Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

58. Tiny pond growth : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

63. Coppertone letters : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

Coppertone is a brand of sunscreen that is owned by Bayer. There is a famous advertising campaign featuring the “Coppertone girl”, in which a little dog pulls at the bathing suit of a pig-tailed girl revealing a cheeky tanline. A 1965 TV version of the ad featured 3-year-old Jodie Foster in her first acting role.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. The Bounty, e.g. : SHIP
5. Remote control targets : TVS
8. Landowner’s document : DEED
12. Subtle glow : AURA
13. Spruce oneself up : PRIMP
15. Addresses with forward slashes : URLS
16. *Kaput : DEAD AS A DOORNAIL
19. *Life in a breakfast bowl, say : DRY CEREAL
20. Move like a crab : SIDLE
23. Often-stubbed digit : TOE
24. Black Russian liquor : VODKA
28. Nivea competitor : AVEENO
30. Invalidate, as a law : REPEAL
31. Rapper __ Wayne : LIL
32. Disney’s title lamp rubber : ALADDIN
36. Sailor’s agreement : AYE
37. Stage designs : SETS
39. Emulate flowers on a hot day : DROOP
40. Source of linen : FLAX
41. “Dilbert” creator Scott : ADAMS
43. “Little Women” woman : MEG
44. Spongy cake laced with rum : BABKA
45. Scammer’s targets : DUPES
47. Step in a flight : STAIR
49. West Coast state : OREGON
51. Everglades waders : EGRETS
54. Layer of eggs : HEN
55. Target practice props : TIN CANS
59. “__ you awake?” : ARE
60. Software test version : BETA
62. “M*A*S*H” actor Elliott : GOULD
63. Body covering : SKIN
64. Racetrack shape : OVAL
65. Homer Simpson’s wife : MARGE
66. Four-legged companions : PETS
67. Give a holler : YELL
68. In the future : AHEAD
69. Gratis : FREE

Down

1. Pathetic : SAD
2. Tint : HUE
3. Nest egg acronym : IRA
4. Ping-Pong need : PADDLE
5. Piece of land : TRACT
6. Instagram upload : VIDEO
7. Messy campfire snack : S’MORE
8. Firestone competitor : DUNLOP
9. Pitching stat with a decimal point : ERA
10. Inventor Whitney : ELI
11. Broadband option, for short : DSL
13. Maj. for a future shrink : PSY
14. “The 18-Down” poet : POE
17. Structure with skyboxes : ARENA
18. “Nevermore” speaker : RAVEN
20. Dip for chips : SALSA
21. Like the outfield walls at Wrigley Field : IVIED
22. *Oral health care network : DELTA DENTAL
25. Negotiations killer … or, in a way, what each answer to a starred clue is : DEAL-BREAKER
26. Whitewater craft : KAYAK
27. Amazon Echo Dot’s voice service : ALEXA
29. Well-worn : OLD
30. Harshly criticize : RIP
33. Octopus’ eight : ARMS
34. Deer mom : DOE
35. Dalmatians, e.g. : DOGS
38. Far from self-effacing : SMUG
40. Inside the foul line : FAIR
42. Dalmatian marking : SPOT
44. Hefty supplies? : BAGS
46. Hard puzzle : ENIGMA
48. Watched over : TENDED
49. “This could be a problem” : OH BOY
50. Christopher of “Superman” : REEVE
52. Done to death : TRITE
53. Sight or smell : SENSE
56. First matchmaker? : NOAH
57. Make better : CURE
58. Tiny pond growth : ALGA
61. “__ in favor, say ‘aye'” : ALL
63. Coppertone letters : SPF

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 5 Mar 2018, Monday”

  1. (all written) LAT: 10 minutes, 1 dumb error. Newsday: 6 minutes, no errors. WSJ: 8:41, no errors. Yesterday’s Newsday: 21 minutes, no errors. Yesterday’s Washington Post: 54 minutes, 1 dumb error. Not too much eventful in any of it, except the painful reminder that I’m not used to writing. BEQ to come later.

      1. @Glenn … Oddly enough, I agreed with BEQ that his offering today was hard. The middle and the lower right were easy for me, but I had problems with the rest of it. (In particular, DANK MEMES and UBER EATS were totally new to me.) At the end, though, my error was pretty stupid: I had LOO instead of LAV, giving me Jimmy PIERSOLL (which looked okay, as I’d never heard of the man) and HQTRIOIA (which I “knew” was wrong somehow, but I’d never heard of Scott Rogowsky or his app and I just wanted to be done with the puzzle, so I declared it finished and took my lumps). I think, because (Lord) TARIQ was a guess that I was not at all sure of, my attention was focused there and it kept me from seeing the LOO/LAV problem. Difficulty ratings are highly personal, I think; today’s BEQ definitely played to my weaknesses at a few key points.

        1. Yeah, the overall time was uncharacteristic for me. Add to that the fact that I finished half the grid in about 8 minutes (highly irregular, 1A was actually my entry into the puzzle), I find it kind of difficult to say it was completely “hard” for me. The sticking points for me were the upper right and lower left, which fell relatively easily after I saw what was going on, except for the guesses that I made at the end. Like you say, it’s pretty subjective sometimes.

  2. LAT: 6:49, no errors. Newsday: 5:20, no errors. WSJ: 6:48, no errors. BEQ: ~1 hour (lost track because of interruptions), two squares filled incorrectly; should’ve walked away for a while and then spent another five minutes on it; c’est la vie … ?

  3. Filled in the last square at 9:36 (exact match for Nolanski), but I got the silent treatment. Took me 40 seconds more to find out it’s ALEXA and not ALEnA which I should know since I’ve used it. I’m also fairly certain that linen is not made from FLAn unless you spill some on a linen napkin…….

    10:16 after all was said and done. I use the term DEAD AS A DOORNAIL quite often. Now I can pretend to know what I’m talking about. I knew BABKA from the Seinfeld episode…chocolate vs cinnamon babka.

    Spent the morning with my accountant. Sheesh. I think I’d rather have been at the dentist all morning. Sorry, Vidwan.

    Best –

  4. I had a very nice time with this easy puzzle. Forgot to post on Friday, which was relatively easy puzzle …. for a Friday. I feared today’s constructor, but the clues were nice and easy. I even got the theme …

    Breadfruit was a slave cheap food ??
    I happen to love breadfruit, although it is not very sweet. It is only useful, when cooked and tastes like fresh bread ….

    … Not like the lovely Jack or Jackfruit fruit, the latter is one of the king of fruits, both in size (~40 lbs. ! ) and sweetness ( 22% Bx sugar, 17% overall yield.).
    Breadfruit is only eaten cooked, and while Jackfruit is generally eaten raw, after ripening. although a raw jackfruit is often cooked, as well.

    Re Doornails …. in India, there are massive doornails used as reinforcement on the main massive front gateway doors of forts and castles … which have sharp prongs and very prominent pointed heads. This was purposely done so that an invading army would not be able to use elephant heads and/or rams to breakdown the doors during a seige.

    Have a nice day, all.

  5. Jeff, you obviously have not had the pleasure of visiting an endodontist ( for rootcanals …) who are more painful and more expensive than most accountants …. and then you have to also worry about either implants and / or crowns, as well.

    Best ~

  6. @Jeff and @Vidwan …

    I have had at least a dozen root canals, most of which were performed by expert endodontists and were relatively painless. However, one of them was done by a completely incompetent dentist who would not listen to me when I said that the novocaine injection had gone in the wrong place and was not taking effect. Afterward, I sat in my car and shook for fifteen minutes before daring to drive home. (And I never went back to that dentist.) Of course, the real pain comes when I think about the many thousands of dollars I’ve laid out on crowns and implants (six of the latter, so far) … ?

  7. LolHiya folks! ?
    Cute LIL puzzle; no errors. Like Jeff, I knew BABKA only from Seinfeld.
    And like Sfingi, I initially spelled ALADDIN wrong…I put two ‘Ls’ and thought the octopus had 8 LEGS, which sounded weird and of course didn’t fit.
    Anyone remember the Beatles’ second movie, “Help!”? The original title was “Eight Arms to Hold You.” Glad they changed it.
    I’ve got to get an implant one of these days… Of course, insurance doesn’t cover dental implants​, but I’m held up by fear more than by the cost!! I’ve had my share of dental work and I hold up pretty well, but the implant procedure just seems so GNARLY!! ?
    Be well~~™?

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