LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Nov 2017, Friday

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Constructed by: Leonard Williams
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Going Up

Each of today’s themed clues is a down-answer. But, those answers are written in the up-direction. This is apt, as each answer refers to an act of “going up”.

  • 3D. Government revenue generator, aptly : TAX INCREASE
  • 13D. Hillary’s feat, aptly : EVEREST ASCENT
  • 15D. Retailer’s increase, aptly : PRICE HIKE
  • 23D. What Red Bull provides, aptly : ENERGY BOOST
  • 27D. Scale a cliff, aptly : ROCK CLIMB

Bill’s time: 8m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Old AT&T rival : GTE

GTE was a rival to AT&T, the largest of the independent competitors to the Bell System. GTE merged with Bell Atlantic in 2000 to form the company that we know today as Verizon. Verizon made some high-profile acquisitions over the years, including MCI in 2005 and AOL in 2015.

4. __ Na Na : SHA

Do you remember the band “Johnny Casino & The Gamblers” in the movie “Grease”? That was actually the real-world group named Sha Na Na. Johnny Casino & the Gamblers sang “Those Magic Changes” at the high school dance, in between “Rock’N Roll Is Here to Stay” and “Hound Dog”. Sha Na Na got together in the sixties and are still performing today.

11. Least used : RUSTIEST

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

16. “Collages” author : ANAIS NIN

“Collages” is a 1964 work by French author Anaïs Nin, and the last novel that she had published.

17. Grammy winner for “I Believe I Can Fly” : R KELLY

R. Kelly is the stage name of R&B singer Robert Kelly from Chicago. R. Kelly was named by “Billboard” as the most successful R&B singer in the past 25 years, and so I guess he has earned his nickname “King of R&B”. Kelly ran into some problems in the press when it was revealed that he had married singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 and Kelly was 27-years-old.

“I Believe I Can Fly” is a 1996 hit that was written and performed by R&B singer R. Kelly. Notably, the song was used in the 1996 film “Space Jam”.

18. Part of a Requiem Mass : DIES IRAE

“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

20. Ukr. and Georgia, once : SSRS

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English, we often call the country “the Ukraine”, but I am told that we should say just “Ukraine”.

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

23. Even prime : TWO

A prime number is a number greater than 1 that can only be divided evenly by 1 and itself. There are still some unanswered questions involving prime numbers, perhaps most notably Goldbach’s Conjecture. This conjecture dates back to the 1740s and is assumed to be true, but has never been proven. It states that every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers.

26. 2016 World Series Champions : CUBS

The Chicago Cubs baseball team was supposedly subject to the “curse of the Billy Goat” from 1945 until 2016. Billy Sianis, the owner of a Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, took his pet goat with him to a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley Field. Fans sitting nearby didn’t like the smell of the goat, and so the owner was asked to leave. As he left, Sianis yelled out, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” And that is how a curse is born …

29. Con target : SAP

“Sap” is slang for a fool, someone easily scammed. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain, when it was short for in “saphead” and “sapskull”.

30. “The Hunger Games” nation : PANEM

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

32. Pianist Templeton : ALEC

Alec Templeton was a composer and pianist from Cardiff in Wales. Active from the 1930s to the early 1960s, Templeton played mainly classical and jazz music. He was also blind, and had been so from birth.

33. Estadio shout : OLE!

In Spain, one might hear a shout of “ole!” in “un estadio” (a stadium).

34. Formal reply to “Who’s there?” : IT IS I

The much debated statement “it is I” is actually grammatically correct, and should not be “corrected” to “it is me”. Traditionally, pronouns following linking verbs, such as “is”, “appear” and “seem”, are written in the nominative case. Examples are:

  • It is I (who called)
  • It was he (who did it)
  • It is we (who care)

35. Foul line shots: Abbr. : FTS

Free throws (FTs)

39. “__ and the Real Girl”: 2007 film : LARS

“Lars and the Real Girl” is a pretty weird film about a shy young man who develops a relationship with an anatomically-correct, life-size doll.

42. Altar constellation : ARA

The constellation of Ara takes its name from the Latin word for “altar”.

43. Hudson Bay native : CREE

Hudson Bay in northern Canada is the second largest bay in the world, after the Bay of Bengal. Hudson Bay was named by English explorers after Henry Hudson who explored the area in 1610 on his ship “Discovery”. Hudson’s crew mutinied during that voyage and set Hudson and his officers adrift in a small boat. It is presumed that the castaways didn’t survive for very long.

45. Honda subcompact : FIT

The Honda Fit (“Honda Jazz” in some markets) is a subcompact hatchback. We looked at the Fit when shopping for a new car not that long ago, but opted for the larger Toyota Prius instead, a choice that we have not regretted …

46. Actor Culkin : KIERAN

Kieran Culkin began his acting career alongside his older brother Macaulay in the 1990 film “Home Alone”. Kieran’s most lauded performance was the title role in 2002’s “Igby Goes Down”, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

48. Some NCOs : SGTS

A sergeant (Sgt) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO).

51. Nipper’s brand : RCA

Nipper is the name of the dog that appeared in the RCA logo. Nipper was a real dog, actually from England. His owner, Francis Barraud, made a painting of Nipper listening to a gramophone. Barraud then approached several gramophone manufacturers in the hope they would be interested in using the image for advertising. Nipper’s likeness was indeed picked up, and around that time it was Barraud himself who came up with the slogan “His Master’s Voice”.

52. Saint of “On the Waterfront” : EVA MARIE

Eva Marie Saint is an American actor, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing Edie Doyle in the 1954 movie “On the Waterfront”. My favorite of Saint’s movies is the 1959 Hitchcock classic, “North by Northwest”, in which she starred opposite Cary Grant. She ratcheted back her career at its height, right after her success in “North by Northwest”. Saint opted instead to spend more time with her husband and children, taking very few acting roles. That marriage is still going strong, and she has two children and three grandchildren.

The 1954 drama “On the Waterfront”, starring Marlon Brando, told a story of violence and corruption among longshoremen. The movie was based on a series of 24 articles written by investigative journalist Malcolm Johnston and published in “The New York Sun”. The original news stories uncovered mob infiltration on the New York City Waterfront, but the location for the film was chosen as Hoboken, New Jersey.

57. Particularly noxious : VIRULENT

Something described as virulent is very poisonous or highly infective. The term “virulent” comes from the Latin word “virus” meaning “poison”.

58. Cialis competitor : VIAGRA

Cialis and Viagra are not just brands competing against each other, they also have differing active ingredients. Viagra is a trade name for Sildenafil citrate, and Cialis is tadalafil. Both drugs are used to treat erectile dysfunction, and more recently to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

59. Periodic table listing : ELEMENTS

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Element number 101 is mendelevium and was named after Mendeleev.

60. Numbered piece : OPUS

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes use the plural “opuses” in English.

62. That, in Tijuana : ESA

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

Down

1. Alumni : GRADS

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

2. North African capital : TUNIS

Tunis is the capital of Tunisia, and gives the country her name. Tunis is on the Mediterranean coast, and is located just a few miles from the site of ancient Carthage.

4. Emphatic Acapulco assent : SI SI!

The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

5. Rousseau et al. : HENRIS

Henri Rousseau was a French Post-Impressionist painter. He was self-taught, only starting to paint seriously in his forties. He worked as a tax collector until he was 49 years old, when he retired to focus on his art. Rousseau’s most famous painting is “The Sleeping Gypsy”, a celebrated work that depicts a lion standing beside a sleeping woman in the moonlight. You can take a look at it in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

6. Like many elephants : ASIAN

There are only three species of elephant living today, with all others being extinct. These are the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant (or “Indian elephant”). As is well known, the African elephant is distinguished from the Asian/Indian elephant by its much larger ears.

7. Eins und zwei : DREI

The German for “one, two, three” is “eins, zwei, drei”.

8. Google find : URL

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

9. Basic chem. unit : MOL

A molecule (mol.) is a basic chemical (chem.) unit.

13. Hillary’s feat, aptly : EVEREST ASCENT

Mount Everest was first summited in 1953 by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hillary and Norgay were part of an expedition from which two pairs of climbers were selected to make a summit attempt. The first pair were Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, and they came within 330 feet of their goal but had to turn back. The expedition sent up the second pair two days later, and history was made on 29 May 1953.

14. Sad, to Sartre : TRISTE

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. Sartre also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. He was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. Sartre was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

23. What Red Bull provides, aptly : ENERGY BOOST

Red Bull is a drink from Austria that was introduced in 1987. Red Bull is the most popular “energy drink” in the world. There was some controversy in 2009 when it was discovered that Red Bull imported from Austria contained trace amounts of cocaine.

24. Pixar title robot : WALL-E

“WALL-E” is a very cute Pixar movie, released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot called WALL-E, who loves his “Hello Dolly”, and who falls in love with another robot called EVE.

25. Slanted pieces : OP-EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

30. Rice dish : PILAF

“Pilaf” is a Persian word, one that we use for rice that is browned in oil and then cooked in a seasoned broth.

31. Longtime video game name : ATARI

Back in 1983, it was rumored that Atari buried a huge stash of unsold video games in a New Mexico landfill. The game in question was called “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, widely panned as perhaps the worst video game ever produced. Partly because the burial took place close to the site of the Roswell UFO incident, and also because Atari denied that the event ever occurred, the destruction of the games became somewhat of an urban legend.

40. Singer Grande : ARIANA

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

44. Certain drums : SNARES

Snare drums are so called because they have a set of wire strands (snares) stretching across the bottom surface of the drum. When the drum is struck, the snares vibrate against the bottom drumhead producing a unique sound.

47. Walled Spanish city : AVILA

Avila is famous for the walled defenses around the old city, which date back to 1090. They were constructed out of brown granite, and are still in excellent repair. There are nine gateways and eighty-towers in all. Even the cathedral built between the 12th and 14th centuries is part of the city’s defenses, so it looks like an imposing fortress.

53. Fall bloomers : MUMS

Chrysanthemums are perennial flowering plants that are often called “mums”.

54. Lacto-__ vegetarian : OVO

A lacto-ovo vegetarian is someone who does not consume meat or fish, but does eat eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto) products.

55. Domino depression : PIP

A pip is a dot on a die or a domino, or a mark on a playing card.

56. Sigma follower : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Old AT&T rival : GTE
4. __ Na Na : SHA
7. Pigsty : DUMP
11. Least used : RUSTIEST
14. Nightmare reaction : TERROR
16. “Collages” author : ANAIS NIN
17. Grammy winner for “I Believe I Can Fly” : R KELLY
18. Part of a Requiem Mass : DIES IRAE
19. Name suffix : III
20. Ukr. and Georgia, once : SSRS
21. With legal tender : IN CASH
23. Even prime : TWO
26. 2016 World Series Champions : CUBS
28. Locale : SITE
29. Con target : SAP
30. “The Hunger Games” nation : PANEM
32. Pianist Templeton : ALEC
33. Estadio shout : OLE!
34. Formal reply to “Who’s there?” : IT IS I
35. Foul line shots: Abbr. : FTS
36. “Too rich for my blood” : I FOLD
38. Loose : LAX
39. “__ and the Real Girl”: 2007 film : LARS
41. Judicial attire : ROBES
42. Altar constellation : ARA
43. Hudson Bay native : CREE
44. Like kittens : SPRY
45. Honda subcompact : FIT
46. Actor Culkin : KIERAN
48. Some NCOs : SGTS
51. Nipper’s brand : RCA
52. Saint of “On the Waterfront” : EVA MARIE
54. Something to exercise : OPTION
57. Particularly noxious : VIRULENT
58. Cialis competitor : VIAGRA
59. Periodic table listing : ELEMENTS
60. Numbered piece : OPUS
61. Obstinate critter : ASS
62. That, in Tijuana : ESA

Down

1. Alumni : GRADS
2. North African capital : TUNIS
3. Government revenue generator, aptly : TAX INCREASE
4. Emphatic Acapulco assent : SI SI!
5. Rousseau et al. : HENRIS
6. Like many elephants : ASIAN
7. Eins und zwei : DREI
8. Google find : URL
9. Basic chem. unit : MOL
10. Ask too many questions : PRY
12. Cold sufferer’s boxful : TISSUES
13. Hillary’s feat, aptly : EVEREST ASCENT
14. Sad, to Sartre : TRISTE
15. Retailer’s increase, aptly : PRICE HIKE
22. Is out sick, say : AILS
23. What Red Bull provides, aptly : ENERGY BOOST
24. Pixar title robot : WALL-E
25. Slanted pieces : OP-EDS
27. Scale a cliff, aptly : ROCK CLIMB
30. Rice dish : PILAF
31. Longtime video game name : ATARI
35. For the taking : FREE
37. On the market : FOR SALE
40. Singer Grande : ARIANA
44. Certain drums : SNARES
47. Walled Spanish city : AVILA
49. Colors : TINTS
50. __ precedent : SETS A
51. Fixes, in a way : RIGS
53. Fall bloomers : MUMS
54. Lacto-__ vegetarian : OVO
55. Domino depression : PIP
56. Sigma follower : TAU

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