LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Apr 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Andrew J. Ries
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. Echo follower? : FOXTROT

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

16. Construction equipment with a projecting arm : JIB CRANE

The lifting device known as a crane is so called because of its resemblance to the wading bird with the same name.

17. Game with Skip cards : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the “shedding” family of card games, in that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

18. Difficult to describe : NEBULOUS

Something nebulous is indistinct and vague. The term “nebulous” comes from the Latin “nebula” meaning “mist, vapor”.

23. Connection letters : 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.

26. Waits at a music festival? : TOM

Tom Waits is a singer-songwriter from Pomona, California. Waits is noted for his growling, rasping voice.

28. ORD tower gp. : ATC

The concept of air traffic control (ATC) was introduced to the world in 1920 at Croydon Airport in South London, England.

O’Hare International is the fourth busiest airport in the world. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which derives from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field.

35. Nervous system transmitter : AXON

A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron. The branched projections that receive electrochemical signals from other neurons are known as dendrites. The long nerve fiber that conducts signals away from the neuron is known as the axon. A neuron that has no definite axon is referred to as “apolar” or “nonpolar”. In apolar neurons the nerve impulses radiate in all directions.

40. Dr. Isles on “Rizzoli & Isles” : MAURA

“Rizzoli & Isles” is a detective drama that is inspired by the “Maura Isles/Jane Rizzoli” series of novels by Tess Gerritsen. In the show, Angie Harmon plays detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander plays medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles.

45. Haus wives : FRAUEN

“Frauen” (“women” in German) live across the border from “femmes” (“women” in French).

51. Tony winner for his LBJ role in “All the Way” : CRANSTON

The actor Bryan Cranston is best known today for playing Walter White in the crime drama “Breaking Bad”. Prior to joining that incredibly successful show, Cranston play Hal in the sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle”. He also had a recurring role on “Seinfeld” from 1994 to 1997, as Jerry’s dentist Dr. Tim Whatley.

“All the Way” is a 2012 play about President Lyndon B. Johnson’s efforts to get the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 signed into law. In the original Broadway production, Bryan Cranston portrayed LBJ, and won himself a Tony Award.

54. Buffalo sighting : LAKE ERIE

Buffalo is the second most-populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

57. “You’ve Got Mail” genre : ROMCOM

“You’ve Got Mail” is a 1998 romantic comedy film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, directed by Nora Ephron. The film is an adaptation of the Miklos Laszlo play “Parfumerie”. The storyline of “Parfumerie” was also used for the movies “The Shop Around the Corner” (from 1940 starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan) and “In the Good Old Summertime” (from 1949 starring Van Johnson and Judy Garland).

59. Main : OPEN SEA

When one thinks of the word “main” in the context of the sea, the Spanish Main usually comes to mind. Indeed, the use of the more general term “main” to mean “sea”, originates from the more specific “Spanish Main”. “Spanish Main” originally referred to land and not water, as it was the name given to the mainland coast around the Caribbean Sea in the days of Spanish domination of the region.

61. Cuts in Hollywood? : TENTHS

“Ten-percenter” is an informal term describing an agent, particularly a showbiz agent. The reference is to the 10% fee that agents often charge for their services.

Down

1. [Meh] : SHRUG

“Meh!” is one of those terms unfamiliar to me outside of crosswords. It is a modern colloquialism meaning “I’m not great, but not bad”. A friendly reader of this blog tells me that the usage of the term increased dramatically after it started to appear regularly in “The Simpsons” starting in the early nineties.

2. 2016 Disney musical set in Polynesia : MOANA

“Moana” is a 2016 animated feature film and the 56th animated Disney movie. The title character is the daughter of a Polynesian chief who heads off in search of the demigod Maui, hoping that he can save her people.

The term “Polynesia” was coined in 1756 by the author Charles de Brosses, when he used it to describe all the islands in the Pacific. This was later restricted to what we now refer to as a subregion of Oceania.

4. K.C. summer setting : CDT

Central Daylight Time (CDT)

The Kansas City (KC) metropolitan area straddles the stateline between Kansas and Missouri. The metropolitan area includes several cities, with the largest being (in order):

  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Independence, Missouri

6. Herd member : STEER

A steer is a male bovine that was castrated when young and is then raised for beef. The term comes from the Old English “steor” meaning “bullock”.

7. Subject of an Asimov collection : ROBOT

Science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote a marvelous collection of short stories called “I, Robot” that were first published together in 1950. In the stories, he makes repeated reference to the Three Laws of Robotics, which he introduced in the story “Runaround”, first published in 1942. The three laws are:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

10. Diamond fig. : ERA

That would be baseball.

12. Notre-Dame honoree: Abbr. : STE

“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a “femme” (woman).

Notre-Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle on the River Seine in Paris. Notre Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, placed in the cathedral in 1239. It’s also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them.

19. Worship of John, Paul, etc.? : BEATLEMANIA

The phenomenon known as “Beatlemania” originated in the early sixties, with the term describing the frenzy exhibited particularly by female fans of the Beatles. The term is perhaps imitative of the much older “Lisztomania”, a term coined in 1844 for the similar fan frenzy directed towards pianist and composer Franz Liszt during an eight-year tour of Europe starting in 1839. Hysterical fans of Liszt would try to get locks of his hair, fight over his handkerchiefs and even carry glass vials containing the dregs from his coffee cup.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney made an agreement before they became famous that they would always give joint credit for their songs. In the early days, the duo wrote their songs together, working alongside each other. Soon they would write songs individually, with one giving the other limited input. Regardless, the Lennon-McCartney attribution was used for all the songs they wrote either individually or together right up to 1974. The partnership was officially dissolved in December 1974, in the Polynesian Resort in Walt Disney World, Florida. There, John Lennon put his signature to official documents couriered to him by Apple’s lawyers (Apple being the Beatles record label).

23. “Wide Open Spaces” country trio : DIXIE CHICKS

The Dixie Chicks are a country music trio comprising sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, along with lead singer Natalie Maines. The band hit the headlines in 2003 during a London concert that took place around the time of the invasion of Iraq. Maines expressed her opposition to the war to the general acclaim of the British audience, and the general disapproval of conservatives back in the US.

24. Informant, informally : STOOL

Stoolies, also called “canaries”, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. Originally a stoolie was a decoy for the police, rather than an informer, hence the name.

25. Bruce posthumously pardoned by New York state in 2003 : LENNY

“Lenny Bruce” was the stage name of comedian Leonard Schneider. Bruce was noted for his edgy style and material on stage, as well as his edgy lifestyle offstage. He was arrested several times and charged with obscenity because of language used in his routines. He was eventually found guilty of one of the charges and sentenced to four months in a workhouse. He was set free on bail while making a much-publicized appeal. Sadly, he died before the appeal process was completed. After his death, the Governor of the New York granted Lenny Bruce a pardon.

27. Comfy footwear : MOC

“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, a type of shoe. The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by members of many Native American tribes.

30. Belarus neighbor : LATVIA

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located east of Poland and north of Ukraine. Belarus didn’t exist as an entity until the Russian Revolution when it was created as one of the Soviet Socialist Republics (SSR) that made up the USSR. The Republic of Belarus was formed soon after the USSR dissolved in 1990, but unlike many of the former Soviet Republics, Belarus has retained many of the old Soviet policies. Alexander Lukashenko is the country’s president and he believes in state ownership of the economy. Belarus and Russia have formal agreements in place that pledge cooperation.

32. Teensy amounts : IOTAS

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

34. Monopoly foursome: Abbr. : RRS

The four railroad (RR) properties in the Monopoly board game are:

  • Reading Railroad
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • B&O Railroad
  • Short Line

37. Biathlon asset : AIM

A biathlon is an event requiring expertise in two sporting disciplines. The most common biathlon is the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. This traditional biathlon was born out of an exercise for Norwegian soldiers.

47. Up from Mexico? : NORTE

“Norte” (north) is a “dirección” (direction), in Spanish.

49. Paris’ __ des Beaux-Arts : ECOLE

In France, an “École des Beaux-Arts” is a school of fine arts. The most famous such school is the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts located on the left bank of the Seine in Paris, across the river from the Musée du Louvre.

50. Fast-spreading online phenomena : MEMES

A meme (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

51. Till coin : CENT

What we usually call a cash register here in North America, we mostly call a “till” in Ireland and the UK. I haven’t heard the word “till” used much here.

52. Raymond Chandler specialty : NOIR

Raymond Chandler was novelist and screenwriter who turned to the pen relatively late in life, after losing his job in the oil business at the age of 44. Chandler’s first novel was published when he was published in his early fifties. That novel was “The Big Sleep”, which featured his famous detective Philip Marlowe”.

54. Slew : LOT

Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew” meaning “to turn, skid”. The noun “slew” come into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.

56. Physician-turned-actor Jeong : KEN

“Dr. Ken” is a sitcom that first aired in 2015. The show was created by Ken Jeong, who also plays the title character. Jeong is a licensed physician in California, but opted to pursue a career in stand-up comedy.

58. Longtime Elton John label : MCA

“Elton John” is the stage name of English singer and pianist Reginald Dwight. John is an avid football (soccer) supporter, and is especially enthusiastic about Watford Football Club, which was his local team growing up. After he achieved financial success, John was able to purchase Watford FC, and owned the club from 1976 to 1987, and again from 1997 until 2002.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Has a suggestion (of) : SMACKS
7. Play period : RECESS
13. Stop order : HOLD IT!
14. Echo follower? : FOXTROT
15. Jar : RATTLE
16. Construction equipment with a projecting arm : JIB CRANE
17. Game with Skip cards : UNO
18. Difficult to describe : NEBULOUS
20. Reaction upon opening a jewelry gift, perhaps : GASP!
22. Goes back to zero : RESETS
23. Connection letters : DSL
26. Waits at a music festival? : TOM
28. ORD tower gp. : ATC
29. Best of the best : ELITE
31. Site to get tight for a flight? : AIRPORT BAR
35. Nervous system transmitter : AXON
36. Post-scoring routine : GOAL CELEBRATION
38. “__ boy!” : ATTA
39. Easy way to win : DECISIVELY
40. Dr. Isles on “Rizzoli & Isles” : MAURA
42. “Holy cow!” : MAN!
43. It may be open at a club : MIC
44. Two hairpin turns, say : ESS
45. Haus wives : FRAUEN
48. “If I may interject … ” : AHEM …
51. Tony winner for his LBJ role in “All the Way” : CRANSTON
53. Pack filler : ICE
54. Buffalo sighting : LAKE ERIE
57. “You’ve Got Mail” genre : ROMCOM
59. Main : OPEN SEA
60. Cause to laugh : TICKLE
61. Cuts in Hollywood? : TENTHS
62. Rubs out : ERASES

Down

1. [Meh] : SHRUG
2. 2016 Disney musical set in Polynesia : MOANA
3. Cloud at heights of about one to five miles : ALTOSTRATUS
4. K.C. summer setting : CDT
5. Ceramics oven : KILN
6. Herd member : STEER
7. Subject of an Asimov collection : ROBOT
8. Permit to leave : EXCUSE
9. Large med. facilities : CTRS
10. Diamond fig. : ERA
11. One in a family photo : SON
12. Notre-Dame honoree: Abbr. : STE
14. Record holder : FILE CABINET
16. “No reason” : JUST BECAUSE
19. Worship of John, Paul, etc.? : BEATLEMANIA
21. Aspen relative : POPLAR
23. “Wide Open Spaces” country trio : DIXIE CHICKS
24. Informant, informally : STOOL
25. Bruce posthumously pardoned by New York state in 2003 : LENNY
27. Comfy footwear : MOC
30. Belarus neighbor : LATVIA
31. Athlete’s best : A-GAME
32. Teensy amounts : IOTAS
33. __-faced : RED
34. Monopoly foursome: Abbr. : RRS
37. Biathlon asset : AIM
41. Over : AFRESH
46. Collector’s prized pursuits : RARES
47. Up from Mexico? : NORTE
49. Paris’ __ des Beaux-Arts : ECOLE
50. Fast-spreading online phenomena : MEMES
51. Till coin : CENT
52. Raymond Chandler specialty : NOIR
54. Slew : LOT
55. Clumsy sort : APE
56. Physician-turned-actor Jeong : KEN
58. Longtime Elton John label : MCA

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Apr 2018, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 26 minutes, 1 dumb error. WSJ: DNF after 27:20 and 3 errors. Meta is still the biggest mystery to me in about 2 months of these.

  2. Agame. Common sports talk. When players perform very well, it is said that they “brought their agame” as opposed to a lesser level of performance.

  3. LAT: 19:26, no errors. I did it last night while still shell-shocked from doing yesterday’s Croce and today’s “Saturday Stumper” and I almost messed it up: I had used “LAURA” for 40A (because I vaguely remember hearing of a “Dr. Laura” on TV … or is it radio?). At the last second, I noticed AGALE, thought “what the … devil?”, and then hit on “A GAME”, giving me “MAURA”. A near thing … ?

    WSJ: 30:19, no errors; a bit more tedious than usual.

    Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 40:59, no errors; some very odd cluing.

  4. OK Saturday puzzle, but some clues/answers ranged from “bit of a reach” to “oh, c’mon.” Least faves: CENT (the coin is almost always called a PENNY … worth one cent); AFRESH (clue was OVER, and yeah, if you start over, you start “afresh,” but when’s the last time you heard anyone say it?); RARES, for collectors’ pursuits? (Yup, it’s a category, but adjectives aren’t nouns); and while we’re being nit-picky, the long crosser GOAL CELEBRATION … football players dance in the END ZONE, but never celebrate a field GOAL, and again: Have you ever heard anyone actually SAY “goal celebration”? Or have you seen it written anywhere else?

  5. Goal celebration is a soccer term..or hockey perhaps.Nothing to do with football. Except that soccer is known as football in the rest of the world.

  6. I did a lot better today than yesterday. Also, agree with the critics from above re: some clues. SW section was my only, and final hangup. Had “lug” instead of “ape”. Hope Sundays a fun one.

  7. @Anonymous (8:47am)
    This is a Saturday-level puzzle, which is going to be loaded with things that won’t necessarily make sense on first blush. However, like I explained to Carrie Tuesday, there’s a lot of weird disconnects in crosswords. CENT is buyable (after all it’s printed right on the thing), AFRESH was tricky but buyable, RARES stank though, and for GOAL CELEBRATION, it relates to soccer as others have explained.

    @All
    One thing I came across in the last week was the TV Guide Crossword. It’s almost amazing that I didn’t think of it a lot sooner since I remember seeing them in the mags growing up. 13×13. If you think “proper names” are a pain, these are loaded with almost nothing but (TV themed grid, well…). They always had a reputation for being “easy” though, but didn’t have the frame of reference until now. Yep, easy. Did one in 5:27, another in 13 minutes or so (didn’t know as much of it so I had to interpolate a lot) – probably would be sub 4 or 3 for some of the others that post here. Wasn’t too thrilled. But hey, another puzzle that I’m aware of now.

  8. 21:24. Had the same issues as Kay in the SW although I had OAF at first. That whole corner took me a while to finish.

    Best –

  9. Pretty arcane Saturday; took a bit over an hour with no errors. Like yesterday, I got one side – the right this time – and then slowly got the left side. Actually surprised that this came together without errors, since I didn’t really know until I got here on some of the clues.

    Had to change boTTLE to RATTLE, faa to ATC, two to RED, ArM to AIM and amuses to TICKLE. Last to fall was the NW and SW.

    Ah, success, just like the SJ Sharks, GS Warriors and the 2nd SF Giant’s game and unlike my beloved 1 FC Koeln and the 1st Giant’s game. Busy day, since three of these were on at the same time I was doing the puzzle.

    @Bill – Small typo in the Beatles-mania explanation, where the start of the Liszt -mania is listed as 1939, rather than 1839. Wiki says that Liszt having grown wealthy from his music gave generously to the Cologne Cathedral building fund, among other charities. Very cool…very cool indeed.

    @Carrie – Yikes! So you were almost thrown to the plain, by Maine, in SoCal where it hardly rains? Thankfully not, so you felt no pain…:-)

    1. @Dirk
      Thanks so much for taking the time to notify me of the typo. I always appreciate the opportunity to tighten up my database of explanations.

  10. Guten Morgen meine Freunden!!! ?

    How funny! At first I typed Gluten and almost didn’t catch it!! ….as if I know German anyway…. I likely have other errors there…?

    No errors on the puzzle tho!! Yay! Typical Saturday level of difficulty, I’d say. That NE held me back for awhile, as I didn’t know JIB CRANE and had SIB instead of SON. Finally grokked FOXTROT and I was okay. ?

    @Dirk, yes indeedy!! Maine went cantering straight into a fence, and I turned her just in time. It was scarier than the time I actually did fall off a horse…Wyoming. I sure miss riding! Must get back in the saddle again. Man! I always say that! ?

    Be well ~~?

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