LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jun 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Bill Zagozewski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Easy Does It

Themed answers each include the short letter string EZ. One word of the answer ends with E, and the following word starts with Z:

  • 60A. “Careful now” … and a hint to what’s hidden in 17-, 27- and 46-Across : EASY DOES IT
  • 17A. Marmalade ingredient : ORANGE ZEST
  • 27A. Sign near school playgrounds : DRUG-FREE ZONE
  • 46A. Theoretical lowest temperature : ABSOLUTE ZERO

Bill’s time: 5m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Far direction? : EAST

In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. “Near East” and “Middle East” are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

5. Frankfurt’s river : ODER

Frankfurt an der Oder is a town in Brandenburg, Germany that is right on the border with Poland. The suffix “an der Oder” shows that it lies on the Oder River and also serves to differentiate the town from the larger and more famous city of Frankfurt am Main.

9. Word repeated in a historic FDR quote : FEAR

When Franklyn D. Roosevelt was sworn in as president for his first term, he made a 20-minute inaugural address. The most famous lines of the speech are probably:

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

13. Formal “no” from 14-Across : VETO

14. White House VIP : POTUS

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

President of the United States (POTUS)

16. Tomb Raider’s __ Croft : LARA

Lara Croft was introduced to the world in 1996 as the main character in a pretty cool video game (I thought, back then) called “Tomb Raider”. Lara Croft moved to the big screen in 2001 and 2003, in two pretty awful movie adaptations of the game’s storyline. Angelina Jolie played Croft, and she did a very energetic job.

17. Marmalade ingredient : ORANGE ZEST

Marmalade is my favorite fruit preserve. The essential ingredients in a marmalade are fruit juice and peel, and sugar and water. “Marmalade” comes from the Portuguese “marmelada” meaning “quince jam”.

20. Hunter constellation : ORION

The very recognizable constellation of Orion is named for the Greek god Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion’s “right shoulder”, the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don’t want to miss that …

26. City in Florida or Italy : NAPLES

The Florida city of Naples in the south of the state on the Gulf Coast. The city was settled in the 1880s, at a time when the Florida peninsula was being compared with the Italian peninsula. Developers were touting the climate in the area as “surpassing the bay in Naples, Italy”. Apparently, that analogy strick home, and the new city was named “Naples”.

Naples (“Napoli” in Italian) is the third largest city in Italy. The name “Napoli” comes from the city’s Ancient Greek name, which translates as “New City”. That’s a bit of a paradox as today Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.

31. Geological period : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

33. Bear in two constellations : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

39. Former U.N. leader Hammarskjöld : DAG

Dag Hammarskjöld was the second secretary-general of the United Nations, right up until his death in a plane crash in Rhodesia in 1961. The crash was considered suspicious at the time as the bodyguards were found to have bullet wounds when they died, but this was put down to bullets exploding in the fire after the crash.

40. Biblical song : PSALM

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

42. Division on a Clue board : ROOM

Clue is board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

43. Sardine holders : TINS

Sardines are oily fish related to herrings. Sardines are also known as pilchards, although in the UK “sardine” is a noun reserved for a young pilchard. Very confusing …

45. Philosopher __-tzu : LAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

46. Theoretical lowest temperature : ABSOLUTE ZERO

Absolute zero is a temperature that can theoretically be reached by removing all the “energy” of the test vehicle that is being “frozen”. This temperature is designated as 0 degrees on the Kelvin scale, equivalent to -273.15 degrees centigrade. Scientists try to get as close to absolute zero as possible because matter has weird and wonderful properties at such cold temperatures, such as superconductivity and superfluidity.

50. Brownish horse : SORREL

The sorrel color of horse is a copper-red, although the term is often used these days to describe any horse with chestnut coloring.

56. City near the Great Salt Lake : OGDEN

Ogden was the first permanent settlement by people of European descent in what is now the state of Utah.

59. Prego competitor : RAGU

The Ragú brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

The Prego brand of pasta sauce is owned by the Campbell Soup Company. It is actually based on the family recipe of one of the company’s chefs. “Prego” literally means “I pray” in Italian, but it translates in English best as “you’re welcome” when it is used after a “thank you” (“grazie”, in Italian).

64. Turkmenistan neighbor : IRAN

The countries of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan lie along Iran’s northern and eastern borders.

66. Actress Blanchett : CATE

Cate Blanchett is a great actress from Australia, and a winner of an Academy Award for playing Katherine Hepburn in “The Aviator”. Winning for that role made Blanchett the first person to win an Academy Award for playing an actor (Hepburn) who had also won an Oscar. Now that, that is trivial information …

Down

1. Bolivian leader Morales : EVO

Evo Morales has been President of Bolivia since 2006. Morales has a socialist agenda, and as such his government is a close ally to the regimes in Venezuela and in Cuba.

6. Egg qty. : DOZ

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for twelve is “douze”, and a dozen is “douzaine”.

7. Bastille Day saison : ETE

In French, “été” (summer) is “la saison chaude” (the warm season).

The Bastille is a former fortress in Paris that was used as a prison by the kings of France. On 14 July 1789, an angry mob stormed the Bastille during the French Revolution. The mob was actually after the stores of gunpowder in the fortress, but while inside the building freed seven prisoners and killed the Bastille’s governor. The storming of the Bastille became a symbol of the French Revolution and has been celebrated in France on every July 14th since 1790. That celebration is referred to as “la fête nationale” (the national day) in France, but in English-speaking countries it is usually known as “Bastille Day”.

10. Prop for Picasso : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

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?

12. Flies off the handle : RANTS

The phrase “to fly off the handle” means “to become suddenly enraged”. The imagery evoked here is of an axehead flying off the handle and causing some damage or injury.

15. Shorthand expert, for short : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

27. Cotillion girl : DEB

“Cotillion” is an American term that we’ve been using since about 1900 for a formal ball. In France, a cotillion was a type of dance, with the term deriving from an Old French word for a petticoat. I guess the cotillion dance was one in which the lady would flash her petticoats as she did a twirl!

28. Katy Perry hit with the lyric “Louder, louder than a lion” : ROAR

Katy Perry is an American singer who grew up listening to and singing gospel music, as she was the daughter of two Christian pastors. In fact, her first musical release was a gospel album in 2001. She has branched out since then. Her first successful single was “Ur so Gay”, followed by “I Kissed A Girl”. She was married (for only a year) to the British comedian Russell Brand, until 2012.

30. Hershey bar in a red-and-yellow wrapper : ZAGNUT

The Zagnut candy bar is a tad unusual in that it contains no chocolate. Introduced in 1930, Zagnut bars have seen a resurgence in popularity over the past decade. Apparently, the lack of chocolate to melt is appreciated by US troops deployed in warm climates.

35. Bygone apple spray : ALAR

The chemical name for Alar, a plant growth regulator and color enhancer, is daminozide. Alar was primarily used on apples but was withdrawn from the market when it was linked to cancer.

47. Wintry mix component : SLEET

Apparently, “sleet” is a term used to describe two different weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls.

48. Therefore : ERGO

“Ergo” is a Latin word meaning “hence, therefore”, and one that we’ve absorbed directly into English.

49. Bayou music style : ZYDECO

Zydeco is a style of folk music that evolved from Creole music in Louisiana. The name “Zydeco” is imitative of the French word for green beans, “les haricots”. The term arose from a popular dance tune called “Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés” (“The Green Beans Ain’t Salty”).

50. __ mining : STRIP

Strip mining is a process used to mine minerals that are relatively close to the surface. A long strip of overlying soil and rock is first removed, and then the ore beneath is excavated. Once each long strip has been excavated then the overlying soil and rock is redeposited. Strip mining wouldn’t be most environmentally friendly practice …

51. Midwestern hub : O’HARE

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

52. Lear daughter : REGAN

“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:

  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia

55. Half a fish : MAHI

“Mahi-mahi” is the Hawaiian name for the dolphin-fish, also called a dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

57. Jacob’s twin : ESAU

Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

62. Singer Sumac : YMA

Yma Sumac was a Peruvian soprano. Sumac had a notable vocal range of five octaves.

63. Saigon holiday : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

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.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Far direction? : EAST
5. Frankfurt’s river : ODER
9. Word repeated in a historic FDR quote : FEAR
13. Formal “no” from 14-Across : VETO
14. White House VIP : POTUS
16. Tomb Raider’s __ Croft : LARA
17. Marmalade ingredient : ORANGE ZEST
19. Takes the stage : IS ON
20. Hunter constellation : ORION
21. Violent windstorm : TEMPEST
23. Ceaselessly : NO END
26. City in Florida or Italy : NAPLES
27. Sign near school playgrounds : DRUG-FREE ZONE
31. Geological period : EON
32. __ trap : SET A
33. Bear in two constellations : URSA
36. Symbol of rank : BADGE
39. Former U.N. leader Hammarskjöld : DAG
40. Biblical song : PSALM
42. Division on a Clue board : ROOM
43. Sardine holders : TINS
45. Philosopher __-tzu : LAO
46. Theoretical lowest temperature : ABSOLUTE ZERO
50. Brownish horse : SORREL
53. Yarn : STORY
54. Mathematical proposition : THEOREM
56. City near the Great Salt Lake : OGDEN
59. Prego competitor : RAGU
60. “Careful now” … and a hint to what’s hidden in 17-, 27- and 46-Across : EASY DOES IT
64. Turkmenistan neighbor : IRAN
65. Green __ : THUMB
66. Actress Blanchett : CATE
67. Remain undecided : PEND
68. “Haven’t decided yet” : I MAY
69. Topple from power : OUST

Down

1. Bolivian leader Morales : EVO
2. Prefix with dynamic : AERO-
3. Headliner : STAR
4. Weight-training activity : TONING
5. Bar gadgets : OPENERS
6. Egg qty. : DOZ
7. Bastille Day saison : ETE
8. Fall color : RUST
9. Diving gear : FLIPPERS
10. Prop for Picasso : EASEL
11. Came up : AROSE
12. Flies off the handle : RANTS
15. Shorthand expert, for short : STENO
18. Cause for an “Oops!” : GOOF
22. “Don’t be such a baby!” : MAN UP!
24. Must : NEED TO
25. Nuts and bolts, so to speak : DETAILS
27. Cotillion girl : DEB
28. Katy Perry hit with the lyric “Louder, louder than a lion” : ROAR
29. PC command after an “Oops!” : UNDO
30. Hershey bar in a red-and-yellow wrapper : ZAGNUT
34. Mall event : SALE
35. Bygone apple spray : ALAR
37. Skirt : GO AROUND
38. Fireplace bit : EMBER
41. Sound from the pasture : MOO
44. Stuck with, as a friend : STOOD BY
47. Wintry mix component : SLEET
48. Therefore : ERGO
49. Bayou music style : ZYDECO
50. __ mining : STRIP
51. Midwestern hub : O’HARE
52. Lear daughter : REGAN
55. Half a fish : MAHI
57. Jacob’s twin : ESAU
58. Quibbles : NITS
61. Bottom line : SUM
62. Singer Sumac : YMA
63. Saigon holiday : TET

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jun 2018, Wednesday”

  1. 15:40. Did this one and posting at the Houston airport while waiting for my flight to tequila land. I felt like I did this with people staring over my shoulder (or so it felt) watching what I was doing. I’m not sure if that helped or hindered me.

    Now I’ll try the NYT and see if I can finish before boarding time.

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … If I were there, I’d probably have a tequila with you, so feel free to have an extra one and put it on my tab … 😜

  2. LAT: 9:43, no errors (but a whole lot of missteps). In particular, for 31A, I went from ERA to AGE to EON.

    Newsday: 5:44, no errors. WSJ: 9:55, no errors (but, as with the LAT, lots of missteps).

    At 10:30 last night, we were told that our missing bags would be delivered at 4:30 this morning and that we would be required to sign for them. My stress level went down a notch. At about 1:00 in the morning, they dropped off two bags without waking us up. And … only one of the bags is ours. So my stress level has gone back up. Way up. The trip from hell continues … 😳

    @Glenn … I often feel as if there’s no way I’m going to be able to break into a Tim Croce or a Saturday Stumper and that it would be futile to continue. When that happens, I do my best to stave off despair and I keep reading over the clues, trying not to get obsessive about any particular clue, until my subconscious mind begins to offer up some possible ways to proceed (and, usually, that happens). I really don’t know how this facility developed, as I didn’t consciously work on developing it: it’s just something that happened over many years of doing puzzles. I would only encourage you to relax, do more puzzles, learn from your mistakes, and keep your ego from getting too involved in the process. Doing crosswords is not the only, or even the major, measure of a person’s worth, after all (and I’m sorry if this advice isn’t particularly helpful or encouraging, but it’s kind of all I’ve got … 😳).

    1. It’s hard I’m sure to quantify something, for sure. “What do you do when you don’t know anything?” is a question I still haven’t answered yet with crosswords. I run into it all too often with about everything late-week and especially with the two you named, some of the NYT (at least I’m doing those mostly now), and the New Yorker (I got farther on the last Croce I did than that one!).

  3. I did half of this puzzle and then spent two hrs in the dentists chair. Then I finished the puzzle. The puzzle part was enjoyable. No errors

  4. This was “gentle” Wed. puzzle! Moved through it without much trouble. I also did the “era”, etc. thing until I got it right.

  5. As a rule, my wife and I get Monday and Tuesday and then they start getting harder. Today (Wednesday) was challenging and no exception, except I thought it was friendlier than the usual Wednesday puzzle. Anyway, about an
    hour and made 3 errors – 97.5% the way I score, average is 99% for the three
    days, very acceptable to us geezers (85 and 77, me and her). We should be
    contenders in the Senior Division.

    Kudos to Bill and the other speed demons.

    Our errors were the German river – I called it EDER; ROAR foe Katy Perry’s
    song – I called it ROAD, thus missing ROOM for the division of the Clue game.
    Did not know POTUS at all (and that made us miss OPENER), but got VETO.

    I can identify with Dave’s airline problem. SNAFU.

  6. Like Madame Kay, as above, I too, found this to be a ‘gentle’ puzzle. I had no major difficulties.
    Dag Hammarskjold was awarded the Nobel Peace prize (1961), posthumously. Only three people have got such a prize after death. One person, Ralph Steinman , immunologist, died 3 days before the prize was announced ….in 2011.

    Mr. Dave Kennison, mazal tov, good luck with getting one of your bags – the other should, hopefully arrive in due course. Btw, was the ‘extra’ bag containing better goodies than your original still missing bag, or worse …… ? Lol….

    Reminds me, of a joke.
    What is the difference between a mistake and a blunder ?
    If you go into a shop, whilst it has been raining, with a silk umbrella, and close your umbrella, and put it on an umbrella stand to dry off ….you do your shopping …. and walk out with an ordinary cotton umbrella by error …. it is a mistake. If it was the other way around, and you walked out with a silk umbrella, it is a blunder…. so, the british saying goes ……

    Regarding ORION …. there is are Orion designs on all US Dollar BIlls, more than the one dollar bill. On a $5 Bill, it is a series of yellow dots on the reverse side of the note, on the upper center right hand side. This is a patented technology for preventing counterfeiting.

    If you see this Jeff, have a nice and safe journey – and leave some of the tequila for the other bar patrons …

    Carrie, I meant to respond to your love of Sapote’ …. which in India, is called chickoo. It is somewhat a grainy meat, but it is sweet and non acidic. You are the first person I have come across who is allergic to mangos. What a pity.

    Have a nice day, all you folks.

  7. Nice easy Wednesday; took about 15 minutes with no errors. Did it while watching Germany embarrass itself at the WC…sigh!! Now I’ll have to find another team to root for.

    Interesting story on the wonderful BBC the other day regarding how many words you need to know, to know a language. Includes an online test that measures your proficiency in a language, which I decided to take. My first pass gave me 20K words and a sense that I know 20% more word families than proficient English speakers. After looking up a few words, I took the refined test with twice as many questions and got 27.5K words and a sense that I know 85% more word families than proficient English speakers. Here’s the link to the story: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44569277

    @Glenn – Belated Happy Birthday to you.

    @Dave – Yow! I feel for you. I almost had baggage leave without me on a missed flight but luckily it didn’t happen after all. Maybe tequila will help.

  8. Wassup guys and gals?? 😀
    No errors, but this was not a breeze. Got in trouble here and there. I actually had GAFF at first instead of GOOF, and I didn’t realize till later that it’s actually (I think) spelled “gaffe.” LOL!!
    Vidwan, thank you for your post — as usual, you share lots of interesting things! 🙄 I didn’t know sapotes were found in India! I guess it’s quite logical.
    Dirk! Cool link! I took the test — I think it was the same one you took… apparently I know at least 25,000 word families. You must mean “word families” with your numbers, yes? I’m going to try the test in Spanish too….you should try it in German. Would be interesting! Meanwhile: sorry about your team…😐 …. who will you support going forward?
    Be well~~✌

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