LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Nov 2017, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Claire Muscat & David Steinberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Nesting Doll, Stacked

Themed answers today get shorter and shorter as we progress down the grid. Each of the answers starts with DO- and ends with -LL, which gives us a STACK of NESTING DOLLS:

  • 45D. Arranged like the 68-Acrosses in the answers to starred clues are designed to be : STACKED
  • 42D. With 68-Across, each successive one of a set graphically depicted by this puzzle’s circles : NESTING …
  • 68A. *See 42-Down : … DOLL
  • 18A. *Is unsuitable : DOESN’T FIT THE BILL
  • 32A. *Literary character with an evil alter ego : DOCTOR JEKYLL
  • 50A. *Threshold : DOORSILL
  • 68A. *See 42-Down : … DOLL

Bill’s time: 7m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Schooner features : MASTS

By definition, a schooner is sailing vessel with two or more masts, but one on which the foremast is shorter than the rear mast(s).

6. Frosty coating : RIME

Rime is that beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

15. Advil competitor : ALEVE

Aleve is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

16. __ of March : IDES

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” a soothsayer warns the doomed emperor to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

17. EVE’s companion, in a 2008 Pixar film : WALL-E

“WALL-E” is a very cute Pixar movie that was 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.

22. “Back to the Future” vehicle : DELOREAN

John DeLorean was an American engineer and executive who worked at General Motors for many years, and who was responsible for the design of the Pontiac GTO in particular. His career in the automotive industry really took off, and he began to lead the jet-setter lifestyle. DeLorean left GM in 1973 and formed his own company, eventually manufacturing the famous “DeLorean” car in Northern Ireland. The DeLorean was a V6 with a distinctive stainless steel body and two gull wings (and was chosen as the car for the “Back to the Future” movies). But the DeLorean was a flop, and the company went in receivership. In a bid to save his company, DeLorean spent three months trying to set up a deal that involved smuggling cocaine. He fell foul of an FBI sting operation and was arrested. He was found not guilty though, due to entrapment.

24. Rays or Jays : TEAM

The Tampa Bay Rays are a relatively young franchise, having been formed in 1998. The initial name of the franchise was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. While known as the Devil Rays, the team finished last in the league in almost every year. The name was changed to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and I am told the Rays started into a streak of winning seasons soon after.

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

26. RAM part : MEMORY

Random-access memory (RAM) is a form of computer storage.

28. Egyptian snake : ASP

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in Ancient Egypt.

32. *Literary character with an evil alter ego : DOCTOR JEKYLL

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story including one that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.

38. Anti-cruelty org. : PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a very large animal rights organization, with 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:

  • Factory farming
  • Fur farming
  • Animal testing
  • Use of animals in entertainment

44. BFFs : FAVES

Best friend forever (BFF)

49. Canonized Mlle. : STE

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

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.

The act of creating a saint is known as “canonization”. The term derives from the process of placing someone in the canon (or “calendar”) of saints.

50. *Threshold : DOORSILL

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term for a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Windowsills and doorsills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of a window and door openings.

55. Bus depot: Abbr. : STA

Our term “depot”, meaning a station or warehouse, comes from the French word “dépôt”. The French term translates into English as “deposit” or “place of deposit”.

56. Corrida opponent : TORO

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, or literally “race of bulls”.

59. Hank’s job on “Breaking Bad,” briefly : NARC

Hank Schrader is a DEA agent in the hit TV show “Breaking Bad”. Portrayed by actor Dean Norris, Schrader is the brother-in-law of Walter White, the protagonist in the story. The twist is that Hank is chasing down a notorious meth “cook”, and he doesn’t realise that his quarry is his own brother-in-law Walter.

60. Modern-day Persian : IRANI

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was called Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

63. Former One Direction singer Zayn __ : MALIK

Zayn Malik is singer from Yorkshire in the north of England who found fame with the boy band One Direction. Malik quit the band in 2015 to launch a solo career. A year later, Malik became the first male artist to hit the number-one spot in both the UK and US charts with both a debut single (“Pillowtalk”) and a debut album (“Mind of Mine”).

64. Frequent presidential candidate Ralph : NADER

Ralph Nader has run as a third-party candidate for the office of President of the United States four times now, in every election from 1996 to 2008. Nader’s name was first first linked with the presidential race in 1971, when the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock offered to stand aside as candidate in the 1972 race if Nader would agree to run, but he declined.

Down

8. Way around D.C. : METRO

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) provides transit service within and around Washington, D.C. The service generally goes by the name “Metro”. The authority’s two main services are Metrorail and Metrobus.

9. Perfume compound : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

10. No Doubt lead singer Stefani : GWEN

Gwen Stefani is the lead singer for the rock band No Doubt. She joined the band in 1986, focused on a solo career from 2004-2008, but is now back singing and working with No Doubt.

11. Chocolate dog : LAB

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

12. “My Fair Lady” heroine : ELIZA

Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins’ speech student in George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”. “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

14. Fruit that’s still a fruit when two of its letters are switched : MELON

“Melon” is an anagram of “lemon”.

19. What sirens may do : TEMPT

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were seductive bird-women who lured men to their deaths with their song. When Odysseus sailed closed to the island home of the Sirens he wanted to hear their voices, but in safety. He had his men plug their ears with beeswax and then ordered them to tie him to the mast and not to free him until they were safe. On hearing their song Odysseus begged to be let loose, but the sailors just tightened his bonds and and the whole crew sailed away unharmed. We sometimes use the term “siren” today to describe a seductively charming woman.

20. Actress Salma : HAYEK

Salma Hayek is a Mexican actress. Hayek was the first Mexican national to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, for her portrayal of artist Frida Kahlo in the 2002 movie “Frida”.

25. Chinese liquor brand : MAOTAI

Maotai is a Chinese liquor that is distilled from fermented sorghum. It is named for the the town of Maotai in Guizhou Province, where there is a long history of distilling alcoholic spirits in volume.

27. San Diego suburb : DEL MAR

“Del Mar” translates into English as “of the sea” aptly enough. Also aptly enough, the upscale beach town of Del Mar in San Diego County, California started out as a purpose-built resort in 1885 developed for the rich and famous. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball had a house there for many years, as did Burt Bacharach. Also, skateboarder Tony Hawk grew up in Del Mar.

31. The Eiffel Tower, aptly? : EYEFUL

“Eiffel” sounds like “eyeful”.

“The “”Exposition Universelle”” (World’s Fair) of 1889 was held in Paris, France. The 1900 fair is remembered for the magnificent entrance arch that was constructed for visitors. That entrance arch was to remain standing for only nine years, but the city decided to keep it and you can visit it today. Today we call that entrance arch the Eiffel Tower. The tower is sometimes referred to in French “La Dame de Fer”, meaning “the Iron Lady”.”

35. Irish dance : JIG

The dance known as a “jig” is most associated with Ireland and Scotland. In traditional Irish dancing, the jig is second in popularity only to the reel. The most famous Irish jig is probably “The Irish Washerwoman”. I may not dance a jig, but I sure do know the tune of “The Irish Washerwoman” …

36. “Close Encounters” beings : ETS

A close encounter is an occasion when a person witnesses an unidentified flying object (UFO). The term was introduced to us in a 1972 book by Allen Hynek called “The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry”. The population became really aware of the concept with the release of the excellent 1977 Steven Spielberg movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.

52. Fab Four drummer : RINGO

Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles, replacing drummer Pete Best, Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

The Beatles were described on the sleeve notes of their 1963 album “With the Beatles” as the “fabulous foursome”. The press picked up on the phrase and morphed it into “the Fab Four”.

57. Dollar bills : ONES

The nation’s first president, George Washington, is on the US one-dollar bills produced today. However, when the first one-dollar bill was issued in 1863, it featured a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury.

59. Condé __ : NAST

Condé Nast is a mass media corporation that has a very large portfolio of publications, including “Vogue”, “GQ”, “House and Garden”, “Golf Digest”, “Wired”, “Vanity Fair” and “The New Yorker”.

61. Recipient of much Apr. mail : IRS

April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

63. More, in Madrid : MAS

Madrid is the largest city in Spain and the capital. Madrid is located very close to the geographical center of the country. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (after London and Paris). People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Schooner features : MASTS
6. Frosty coating : RIME
10. Shine : GLEAM
15. Advil competitor : ALEVE
16. __ of March : IDES
17. EVE’s companion, in a 2008 Pixar film : WALL-E
18. *Is unsuitable : DOESN’T FIT THE BILL
21. “__ ideas?” : ANY
22. “Back to the Future” vehicle : DELOREAN
23. Wild place : ZOO
24. Rays or Jays : TEAM
26. RAM part : MEMORY
27. First light : DAWN
28. Egyptian snake : ASP
30. Wide shoe spec : EEE
32. *Literary character with an evil alter ego : DOCTOR JEKYLL
38. Anti-cruelty org. : PETA
39. “Hold up!” : WAIT!
40. Radiate : EMIT
42. Twangy-voiced : NASAL
43. Breakfast order : EGGS
44. BFFs : FAVES
46. Gets a glimpse of : ESPIES
48. Most innocent : PUREST
49. Canonized Mlle. : STE
50. *Threshold : DOORSILL
55. Bus depot: Abbr. : STA
56. Corrida opponent : TORO
58. Paddock sound : WHINNY
59. Hank’s job on “Breaking Bad,” briefly : NARC
60. Modern-day Persian : IRANI
62. Tiny annoyance : GNAT
63. Former One Direction singer Zayn __ : MALIK
64. Frequent presidential candidate Ralph : NADER
65. Fairy tale baddie : OGRE
66. In reserve : ASIDE
67. Skim (over) : GLOSS
68. *See 42-Down : … DOLL
69. Knight’s horse : STEED

Down

1. Angry with : MAD AT
2. Without assistance : ALONE
3. “Later!” : SEE YA!
4. Family room sets : TVS
5. Final email step : SEND
6. Search quickly through : RIFLE
7. Figure of speech : IDIOM
8. Way around D.C. : METRO
9. Perfume compound : ESTER
10. No Doubt lead singer Stefani : GWEN
11. Chocolate dog : LAB
12. “My Fair Lady” heroine : ELIZA
13. Let happen : ALLOW
14. Fruit that’s still a fruit when two of its letters are switched : MELON
19. What sirens may do : TEMPT
20. Actress Salma : HAYEK
25. Chinese liquor brand : MAOTAI
27. San Diego suburb : DEL MAR
29. Climbed : SCALED
31. The Eiffel Tower, aptly? : EYEFUL
32. Western outlaw : DESPERADO
33. Be indebted to : OWE
34. Cleaning cloth : RAG
35. Irish dance : JIG
36. “Close Encounters” beings : ETS
37. Hides one’s true self : LIVES A LIE
38. Idyllic : PASTORAL
41. Take for a first drive : TEST RIDE
42. With 68-Across, each successive one of a set graphically depicted by this puzzle’s circles : NESTING …
45. Arranged like the 68-Acrosses in the answers to starred clues are designed to be : STACKED
47. Farm mom : SOW
48. Tissue layer : PLY
51. “What a nightmare!” : OH GOD!
52. Fab Four drummer : RINGO
53. [Don’t touch my bone!] : SNARL!
54. Info a spy might gather : INTEL
57. Dollar bills : ONES
59. Condé __ : NAST
61. Recipient of much Apr. mail : IRS
63. More, in Madrid : MAS

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