LA Times Crossword Answers 13 Dec 2017, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Brian Gubin
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Downward Dog

Today’s themed answers are written in the DOWNWARD direction. Each contains a hidden word, the name of a fictional DOG:

  • 26D. Common yoga pose … and a hint to hidden names in the answers to starred clues : DOWNWARD DOG
  • 3D. *Friendly words to departing guests : GLAD YOU CAME (hiding “LADY”)
  • 10D. *Like medicine that works quickly : FAST-ACTING (hiding “ASTA”)
  • 21D. *Extremely retro food regimen? : PALEO DIET (hiding “ODIE”)
  • 30D. *”Cruel Summer” band : BANANARAMA (hiding “NANA”)

Bill’s time: 5m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8. Campus eatery, for short : CAF

Cafeteria (caf)

11. Flying Solo? : HAN

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

14. Brewpub brew : PALE ALE

Pale ale is a beer made using mainly pale malt, which results in a relatively light color for a malted beer.

15. Auburn University home : ALABAMA

Auburn University in Alabama was chartered in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College. The school was renamed when it was granted university status in 1960. Auburn’s sports teams are known as the Tigers, for which supporters use the battle cry “War Eagle!”

17. #2 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time : CLAPTON

Can you believe that the great Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974, Clapton released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic “I Shot the Sheriff” and ended up selling more copies of that song than Bob Marley did himself. Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: once as a member of the Yardbirds, once as a member of the supergroup Cream, and once as a solo artist.

In 2015, “Rolling Stone” magazine compiled a list of their 100 Greatest Guitarists. The top five are:

  1. Jimi Hendrix
  2. Eric Clapton
  3. Jimmy Page
  4. Keith Richards
  5. Jeff Beck

20. Usual people in a roundup? : SUSPECTS

“The Usual Suspects” is somewhat of a cult film now, released in 1995. The cast is amazing, including Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak and Kevin Spacey. The title comes from one of the most memorable lines in movie history, from the film “Casablanca”. The Claude Rains character, Major Renault, pronounces, “Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects.”

22. Small dogs : TOYS

The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest of the small breeds are sometimes called teacup breeds.

24. Trafficking org. : DEA

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

29. Gaming rookie, in slang : NOOB

“Noob” is a not-so-nice slang term for a “newbie”, often someone who is new to an online community.

31. “Treasure Island” author’s initials : RLS

I’d say that Robert Louis Stevenson’s (RLS) most celebrated work is “Treasure Island”, which was originally written as a series for a children’s magazine in 1881. I remember “Treasure Island” as the first “real” novel I read as a youngster …

34. Six-sided state : UTAH

When viewed on a map of the US, the state of Utah has six sides. It’s almost shaped like a rectangle, but there is a “bite” out of that rectangle in the northeast corner of the state.

36. Steinbeck’s “__ of Eden” : EAST

John Steinbeck considered “East of Eden” his magnus opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of where I live here in the Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron Trask, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

39. Pal of Sleepy : DOC

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

41. “Taras Bulba” novelist Gogol : NIKOLAI

Nikolai Gogol was a Russian writer, born in Ukraine. Gogol wrote a lot of satirical pieces that attacked corrupt bureaucracy in Russia, which led to his being exiled. His most famous work is probably “Taras Bulba”, from 1836.

43. Org. with Thunder and Heat : NBA

The Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team arrived in the city in 2008 after relocating from Seattle, where they were named the SuperSonics. The “Thunder” name was chosen as a reference to Oklahoma City’s exposure to the storms of Tornado Alley, and to the 45th Infantry Division “Thunderbirds” who were headquartered there until 1968.

The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

45. Amino __ : ACID

Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

50. Uncle, in Mexico : TIO

In Spanish, a “tio” (uncle) is the “hermano del padre o de la madre” (brother of the father or the mother).

56. U.K. country : ENG

The terms “United Kingdom”, “Great Britain” and “England” can sometimes be confused. The official use of “United Kingdom” originated in 1707 with the Acts of Union that declared the countries of England and Scotland as “United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain”. The name changed again with the Acts of Union 1800 that created the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” (much to the chagrin of most of the Irish population). This was partially reversed in 1927 when the current name was introduced, the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, in recognition of an independent Irish Free State in the south of the island of Ireland.

58. Palm smartphone : TREO

The Treo is a smartphone that was originally developed by a company called Handspring. Handspring was bought by Palm Inc. Subsequently, the Treo was phased out and replaced by the Palm Pre.

63. Car seller’s employer: Abbr. : DLR

Dealer (dlr.)

69. Salaries : INCOMES

It has been suggested that out term “salary” comes from the Latin “sal” meaning “salt”. The idea is that a Roman soldier’s “salarium” might have been an allowance to purchase salt.

70. Composer Puccini : GIACOMO

Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer, famous for his operas that are so often performed all over the world. Included in the list of his works are “La bohème”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly” and “Turandot”. Puccini died in Brussels, Belgium in 1924 having suffered from throat cancer. An audience attending a performance of “La bohème” in Rome heard of the composer’s death in the middle of the performance. At the news, the opera was stopped, and the orchestra instead played Chopin’s “Funeral March”.

Down

1. Spaceship Earth locale : EPCOT

EPCOT Center (now just called “Epcot”) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away without that vision being realized.

Spaceship Earth is perhaps the structure that comes to mind when we think of Epcot in the Walt Disney World Resort. It is the large, white, 18-story geodesic sphere.

2. Unit at the pumps : GALLON

The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.

We pay about 50 cents a gallon in federal and state taxes of gasoline. I’ve always considered ourselves very lucky as to me this a low tax rate as we pay about $3.50 a US gallon in taxes in Ireland. Yep, $3.50 a gallon in tax alone …

3. *Friendly words to departing guests : GLAD YOU CAME (hiding “LADY”)

“Lady and the Tramp” is a classic animated feature from Walt Disney that was released in 1955. The title characters are a female American Cocker Spaniel and a male stray mutt. Who can forget the scene where the Tramp and Lady are “on a date” and together eat that one strand of spaghetti? So cute!

9. Smart guys? : ALECS

Apparently the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

10. *Like medicine that works quickly : FAST-ACTING (hiding “ASTA”)

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

12. Zion Church letters : AME

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) Church was formed in New York City. The church was established by African American Christians who faced discrimination when attending other churches. Initially the African American congregations were led by Caucasian Methodist ministers, with the first African American being ordained in 1820.

13. “One Mic” rapper : NAS

“One Mic” is a 2002 song recorded by rap singer Nas. Nas is a big fan of singer Phil Collins, and sampled the Collins song “In the Air Tonight” for “One Mic”.

16. Pasta sauce herb : BASIL

Traditionally, basil is considered “the king of herbs”. And in fact, the herb’s name comes from the Greek “basileus” meaning “king”.

21. *Extremely retro food regimen? : PALEO DIET (hiding “ODIE”)

The paleolithic or caveman diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

Odie is Garfield’s best friend, and is a slobbery beagle. Both are characters in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.

23. Drunkard : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

26. Common yoga pose … and a hint to hidden names in the answers to starred clues : DOWNWARD DOG

The downward-facing dog pose in yoga is more properly known as “adho mukha svanasana”.

27. Former Swedish automaker : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.

28. Southern veggie : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for it edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

30. *”Cruel Summer” band : BANANARAMA (hiding “NANA”)

Bananarama is a female singing group that formed in London in 1979. Their biggest hit was the 1986 hit “Venus” that topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. “Venus” was originally a number-one hit for the Dutch band Shocking Blue, back in 1969/1970.

In J.M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Peter takes Wendy Darling and her two brothers on adventures on the island of Neverland. Back in the real world, the Darling children are taken care of by a nanny, a Newfoundland dog called Nana. It is Nana who takes Peter Pan’s shadow away from him as he tries to escape from the Darling house one night.

32. Mineo of movies : SAL

The actor Sal Mineo’s most famous role was John “Plato” Crawford, the kid who was in awe of the James Dean character in “Rebel Without a Cause”. Sadly, Mineo was murdered in 1976 when he was just 37 years old. He was attacked in the alley behind his Los Angeles apartment and stabbed through the heart. When an arrest was made it was discovered that the murderer had no idea that his victim was a celebrity, and that his plan was just to rob anyone who came along.

35. Hyphenated fruit drink brand : HI-C

Hi-C orange drink was created in 1946, and introduced to the market in 1948, initially in the south of the country. The name Hi-C was chosen to emphasize the high vitamin C content in the drink, as it contained added ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

39. Qatar’s capital : DOHA

Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar located on the Persian Gulf. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

42. Young fox : KIT

Kits are the young of several mammalian species, including the ferret and the fox. “Kit” is probably a shortened form of “kitten”.

49. Prefix with Saxon : ANGLO-

Germanic tribes invaded Great Britain from the early 5th century and created the nation that we now call England. The Anglo-Saxons (sometimes simply “Saxons”), as these tribes came to be called, held sway in the country until the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Anglo-Saxons were descendants of three Germanic tribes:

  • The Angles, from Angeln in Northern Germany (and the tribe that gave the name “England”).
  • The Saxons, from Lower Saxony and Holland.
  • The Jutes, from the Jutland peninsula in Denmark.

53. Remove calcium deposits from : DELIME

The name of the element “calcium” comes from the Latin “calcis” meaning “lime”. “Quicklime” is a common name for calcium oxide.

55. Tennis great Monica : SELES

Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents, in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

59. Cookie bits in some Milka chocolate bars : OREOS

The Milka brand of chocolate was introduced to the market in 1901 by Swiss chocolatier Philippe Suchard. Suchard had been using milk in some of his chocolate for about 10 years. He named the Milka line of milk chocolate as a homage to popular Croatian soprano Milka Ternina.

61. “Born Free” lioness : ELSA

The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when Elsa was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book “Born Free” about Elsa, and then “Living Free” which tells the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on “Born Free”, Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.

65. Rock producer Brian : ENO

Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno’s most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “startup jingle”, the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:

I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Brainiac : EGGHEAD
8. Campus eatery, for short : CAF
11. Flying Solo? : HAN
14. Brewpub brew : PALE ALE
15. Auburn University home : ALABAMA
17. #2 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time : CLAPTON
18. Burger bun flavorings : SESAMES
19. Out-of-date : OLD
20. Usual people in a roundup? : SUSPECTS
22. Small dogs : TOYS
24. Trafficking org. : DEA
25. Insisted on it : SAID SO
29. Gaming rookie, in slang : NOOB
31. “Treasure Island” author’s initials : RLS
33. Cape : CLOAK
34. Six-sided state : UTAH
36. Steinbeck’s “__ of Eden” : EAST
38. Simple card game : WAR
39. Pal of Sleepy : DOC
41. “Taras Bulba” novelist Gogol : NIKOLAI
43. Org. with Thunder and Heat : NBA
44. Eggs in a lab : OVA
45. Amino __ : ACID
46. Chew (on) : GNAW
48. Male bodybuilder : HE-MAN
50. Uncle, in Mexico : TIO
52. Homecoming figure : GRAD
54. Rock show venues : ARENAS
56. U.K. country : ENG
58. Palm smartphone : TREO
60. Welcomers at the church door : GREETERS
63. Car seller’s employer: Abbr. : DLR
64. Like some celebrity memoirs : TELL-ALL
67. Desperate : DO-OR-DIE
69. Salaries : INCOMES
70. Composer Puccini : GIACOMO
71. 28-Down, essentially : POD
72. Solid __ rock : AS A
73. Steams up : ENRAGES

Down

1. Spaceship Earth locale : EPCOT
2. Unit at the pumps : GALLON
3. *Friendly words to departing guests : GLAD YOU CAME (hiding “LADY”)
4. Old-school “cool” : HEP
5. Has : EATS
6. Spoken : ALOUD
7. More heavily populated : DENSER
8. Attorney’s assignment : CASE
9. Smart guys? : ALECS
10. *Like medicine that works quickly : FAST-ACTING (hiding “ASTA”)
11. Smoked meat : HAM
12. Zion Church letters : AME
13. “One Mic” rapper : NAS
16. Pasta sauce herb : BASIL
21. *Extremely retro food regimen? : PALEO DIET (hiding “ODIE”)
23. Drunkard : SOT
26. Common yoga pose … and a hint to hidden names in the answers to starred clues : DOWNWARD DOG
27. Former Swedish automaker : SAAB
28. Southern veggie : OKRA
30. *”Cruel Summer” band : BANANARAMA (hiding “NANA”)
32. Mineo of movies : SAL
35. Hyphenated fruit drink brand : HI-C
37. Droop : SAG
39. Qatar’s capital : DOHA
40. Done : OVER
42. Young fox : KIT
47. Hotel lobby hangings : ART
49. Prefix with Saxon : ANGLO-
51. Nervous : ON EDGE
53. Remove calcium deposits from : DELIME
55. Tennis great Monica : SELES
57. Area below the abdomen : GROIN
59. Cookie bits in some Milka chocolate bars : OREOS
61. “Born Free” lioness : ELSA
62. Fly high : SOAR
64. Gratuity : TIP
65. Rock producer Brian : ENO
66. HDTV choice : LCD
68. HDTV brand : RCA

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