LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Nov 2017, Monday

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Constructed by: Brian Thomas
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Grandpa

Today’s themed answers are two-word phrases, with the first word starting with GR-, AND the second with PA-. They are GR AND PA phrases:

  • 39A. Pop’s pop … or, divided into three parts, what the answers to starred clues have in common : GRANDPA (or “GR AND PA”)
  • 17A. *Degree earner’s celebration : GRADUATION PARTY
  • 27A. *Math student’s pad : GRAPH PAPER
  • 48A. *Lawn repair piece : GRASS PATCH
  • 63A. *More promising job, say : GREENER PASTURES

Bill’s time: 4m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Vitello __ parmigiana: ristorante offering : ALLA

In Italian, one might dine on “vitello alla parmigiana” (veal parmigiana) in an Italian “ristorante” (restaurant).

Parmigiana is a dish from southern Italy. The original parmigiana was made with an aubergine (eggplant) filling, with cheese and tomato layers and then baked. Versions originating outside of Italy have replaced the aubergine with breaded cutlets of chicken or veal.

14. Jeans material : DENIM

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

15. Porky Pig or Elmer Fudd : TOON

Porky Pig was the first of the characters created by Warner Bros. to become a hit with audiences. Porky Pig is the guy with the line at the end of each cartoon, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!” If you don’t mind a little adult language, there’s a very funny 11-second Porky Pig clip that the studio released on a blooper reel in 1938. Porky Pig stutters out “Son of g-g-gun”, only he doesn’t say “gun” …

Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous of all the Looney Tunes cartoon characters, the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …

16. Hawaiian dance : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

20. “Life of Pi” author __ Martel : YANN

Yann Martel is a Canadian author who was actually born in Spain. His most famous work is the 2001 novel “Life of Pi”, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2002. Spanish-Canadian’s first language is French, but he writes in English.

The 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy named Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

23. Off base sans permission, in the mil. : AWOL

The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

25. Italian volcano : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts.

31. Big galoots : OAFS

“Galoot” is an insulting term meaning an awkward or boorish man, an ape. “Galoot” comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

35. Vermouth bottle name : ROSSI

The company that is today known as Martini & Rossi was started in the mid-1800s in Italy, by Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi (and a third partner who sold out years later). From day one it was focused on bottling the fortified wine known as vermouth. Nowadays, the company is also famous for its sparkling wines, and its sponsorship of Grand Prix racing teams. And yes, the famous cocktail is probably named for Mr. Martini.

Vermouth is a fortified wine that is infused with various aromatic flavors. The vermouth that we use today originated in Turin, Italy in the mid-1700s. The various vermouths produced all use a neutral grape wine as a base, with alcohol added to fortify it. Dry ingredients like herbs or roots are added to give a distinctive flavor, and then sugar can be added to make the drink sweeter. Today, most vermouth comes from Italy and France.

38. “Lost” network : ABC

In the TV show “Lost”, the plane that crashed was operated by Oceanic Airlines. The fictional airline Oceanic Airlines or Oceanic Airways turns up a lot on the big and small screen. Try to spot Oceanic in the movies “Executive Decision” and “For Love of the Game”, and in episodes of the TV shows “Castle”, “Chuck”, “Flipper”, “The Goldbergs” and “The X-Files”.

42. Foe of Chiang : MAO

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

Chiang Kai-Shek was the leader of the Nationalist Movement in China right through to the end of WWII. The Nationalists lost out in a Civil War to the Communists backed by the Soviet Union after war, and Chiang Kai-Shek and his government were forced to flee to Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek claimed rule over China from Taiwan until his death in 1975.

43. ’40s coat-and-trousers outfit : ZOOT SUIT

A zoot suit has pants that are fairly loose fitting, except around the cuff at the bottom of the leg. The pants also have a high waist. The jacket of the suit has wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. Zoot suits were popular in the US in the thirties and forties, and were often associated with the African American, Latino American and Italian American ethnic groups. Over in the UK, the zoot suit was worn by the “Teddy boys” of the fifties and sixties. “Zoot” is probably just a slang iteration of the word “suit”.

47. Jazz legend James : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

51. Dick Tracy’s love __ Trueheart : TESS

In the “Dick Tracy” comic strip, Tess Trueheart was Dick’s love interest and later his wife (and still his love interest, I am sure!).

59. Triangle ratio : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

68. The John B, e.g. : SLOOP

The Beach Boys hit “Sloop John B” is a traditional folk song from the West Indies, originally titled “The John B. Sails”. The John B. was a real boat, one used for collecting sponges. The John B. foundered and sank in Governor’s Harbor on the Bahamas on or about 1900. The folk song was around as far back is 1927, with recordings being made as early 1935. The Kingston Trio recorded a version in 1958, as did Johnny Cash in 1959. The Beach Boys version of the song made it to #3 in the US charts in 1966. We liked it even more in Ireland and sent it to the top of the Irish charts.

70. Tarzan raisers : APES

“Tarzan” is the title character in the series of books created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The line “Me Tarzan, you Jane” never appeared in the books, and indeed doesn’t even figure in the movies. Apparently Johnny Weissmuller (who played Tarzan in the thirties and forties) saw Maureen O’Sullivan (“Jane”, to Weissmuller’s “Tarzan”) struggling with a suitcase in the parking lot during filming. He grabbed the bag from her, jokingly saying “Me Tarzan, you Jane”, and people have been quoting those words ever since.

71. Coin with Lincoln : PENNY

The US one-cent coin has borne the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of Lincoln’s birth. Fifty years later, a representation of the Lincoln Memorial was added to the reverse side.

Down

1. Like avant-garde art : EDGY

People described as avant-garde are especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.

6. Number one Hun : ATTILA

In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.

9. Cape NNW of Cod : ANN

Cape Ann is 30 miles north of Boston and is on the northernmost edge of Massachusetts Bay. The Cape was first mapped by the explorer John Smith. Early in his adventurous life Smith had been captured and enslaved by the Ottoman Empire. His “owner” in his days of slavery was a woman called Tragabigzanda, and apparently the slave and owner fell in love. Smith originally called Cape Tragabigzanda in her memory, but King Charles I changed the name to Cape Ann in honor of his own mother, Anne of Denmark.

10. Exodus tyrant : PHARAOH

According to the biblical Book of Exodus, God inflicted ten plagues on Egypt to persuade the Pharaoh to release the Israelites from bondage. For example, the first was the changing of water in the Nile to blood, the eighth was a plague of locusts that consumed all the Egyptian crops, and the tenth was the death of firstborn sons.

12. Opposite of baja : ALTA

In Spanish, “baja” is “low” and “alta” is “high”.

24. Taylor and Fillmore, politically : WHIGS

The Whig Party (in the US) was active from 1833 to 1856, and was the opposition party to the Democrats at that time. One of the tenets of the Whig Party was the supremacy of Congress over the Executive branch. Prominent members of the party included Presidents Zachary Taylor and John Tyler. Abraham Lincoln was also a Whig while he served a two-year term as a US Representative for the state of Illinois. By the time he became President, Lincoln was a member of the Republican Party.

Zachary Taylor won the 1848 election to become the 12th US president, and the first president to hold office without a political resume. Taylor was a career military man, known as “Old Rough and Ready” Taylor. He died only 16 months into his term, apparently of gastroenteritis. Given that rumors of poisoning persisted over the decades, his body was exhumed in 1991 and tissue samples were checked for signs of foul play. Nothing out of order was discovered, although rumours still persist.

Vice President Millard Fillmore took over the US Presidency when Zachary Taylor died after only 16 months in office. Fillmore was born in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, but grew up around Buffalo. He was one of the founders of the University of Buffalo and served as chancellor there after he left office in 1853.

28. Automaton : ROBOT

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

29. Neckwear for Fred in “Scooby-Doo” : ASCOT

An Ascot tie is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, first broadcast in 1969. The title character is a great Dane dog owned by a young male called Shaggy Rogers. The character’s name was inspired by the famous “doo-be-doo-be-doo” refrain in the Frank Sinatra hit “Strangers in the Night”. Shaggy was voiced by famed disk jockey Casey Kasem.

30. Ship of 1492 : PINTA

Famously, Christopher Columbus used three ships in his first voyage across the Atlantic: the Santa Maria, the Niña and the Pinta. The Pinta was the fastest of the three, and it was from the Pinta that the New World was first spotted, by a sailor named Rodrigo de Triana who was a lookout on the fateful day. Pinta was a nickname for the ship that translated as “the painted one”. The Pinta’s real name has been lost in mists of time.

33. Swiss coin : FRANC

Not only is the Swiss Franc legal tender in Switzerland, it is also the money used in Liechtenstein and the Italian exclave of Campione d’Italia.

46. Time-release med : CAPSULE

Gelatin capsules (gelcaps) might be an issue for those on a strict vegan diet. The gelatin used in the capsule is made from collagen extracted from animal skin and bone.

52. Waiting time at the DMV, seemingly : EON

In most states, the government agency responsible for vehicle registration and the issuing of driver’s licenses is called the DMV. This initialism usually stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles, but there are “variations on the theme”. For example, in Arizona the responsible agency is called the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and in Colorado the familiar abbreviation “DMV” stands for Division of Motor Vehicles.

54. Taj Mahal city : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

56. Shipbuilding wood : TEAK

Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family, commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.

58. Sport with swords : EPEE

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, both of which are also thrusting weapons. However, the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

60. Cold War curtain material? : IRON

The term “Iron Curtain” was first used in the context of Soviet influence over Eastern Europe in a speech made by Winston Churchill in 1946. He made that address in the US, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

The term “Cold War” was coined by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

61. Bright sign : NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

64. UV index monitor: Abbr. : EPA

The UV Index is a measure of the strength of ultraviolet radiation (UV) at a particular location and on a particular day.

65. Sugar amt. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Draw forth : EVOKE
6. Vitello __ parmigiana: ristorante offering : ALLA
10. Map out : PLAN
14. Jeans material : DENIM
15. Porky Pig or Elmer Fudd : TOON
16. Hawaiian dance : HULA
17. *Degree earner’s celebration : GRADUATION PARTY
20. “Life of Pi” author __ Martel : YANN
21. Cookie containers : TINS
22. Fields of study : AREAS
23. Off base sans permission, in the mil. : AWOL
25. Italian volcano : ETNA
27. *Math student’s pad : GRAPH PAPER
31. Big galoots : OAFS
35. Vermouth bottle name : ROSSI
36. Dazed and confused : IN A WHIRL
38. “Lost” network : ABC
39. Pop’s pop … or, divided into three parts, what the answers to starred clues have in common : GRANDPA (or “GR AND PA”)
42. Foe of Chiang : MAO
43. ’40s coat-and-trousers outfit : ZOOT SUIT
45. Quickly looks over : SCANS
47. Jazz legend James : ETTA
48. *Lawn repair piece : GRASS PATCH
51. Dick Tracy’s love __ Trueheart : TESS
53. Thin stream of smoke : WISP
54. Is __: likely will : APT TO
57. Many a freshman : TEEN
59. Triangle ratio : SINE
63. *More promising job, say : GREENER PASTURES
66. Crowd sound : ROAR
67. Casting-off place : PIER
68. The John B, e.g. : SLOOP
69. Requests : ASKS
70. Tarzan raisers : APES
71. Coin with Lincoln : PENNY

Down

1. Like avant-garde art : EDGY
2. Aloe __ : VERA
3. __ empty stomach : ON AN
4. Snatches for ransom : KIDNAPS
5. Flightless Aussie bird : EMU
6. Number one Hun : ATTILA
7. Pork cut : LOIN
8. Bit of unfinished business : LOOSE END
9. Cape NNW of Cod : ANN
10. Exodus tyrant : PHARAOH
11. Attract : LURE
12. Opposite of baja : ALTA
13. Those opposed : NAYS
18. Perched on : ATOP
19. Searing utensil : PAN
24. Taylor and Fillmore, politically : WHIGS
26. Ensnare : TRAP
27. Enjoy the field, as cattle do : GRAZE
28. Automaton : ROBOT
29. Neckwear for Fred in “Scooby-Doo” : ASCOT
30. Ship of 1492 : PINTA
32. Set one’s sights on : AIM AT
33. Swiss coin : FRANC
34. Trudge through water : SLOSH
37. Hornets and yellow jackets : WASPS
40. Persians on the floor : RUGS
41. Local landing location : AIRSTRIP
44. Ragged clothes : TATTERS
46. Time-release med : CAPSULE
49. Takes an oath : SWEARS
50. Reasons to repent : SINS
52. Waiting time at the DMV, seemingly : EON
54. Taj Mahal city : AGRA
55. Golf instructors : PROS
56. Shipbuilding wood : TEAK
58. Sport with swords : EPEE
60. Cold War curtain material? : IRON
61. Bright sign : NEON
62. Catch sight of : ESPY
64. UV index monitor: Abbr. : EPA
65. Sugar amt. : TSP

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