LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Dec 2017, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Grant Boroughs
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: C Major Scale

Each of today’s themed answers comprises two words. If we take the first letter of each of those 2-word answers in sequence we come up with the C MAJOR SCALE:

  • 58A. When strung together, musical sequence represented by the initials of 17-, 24-, 38 and 48-Across : C MAJOR SCALE
  • 17A. Music medium that succeeded the cassette tape : COMPACT DISC (giving “C, D”)
  • 24A. Music legend known as the First Lady of Song : ELLA FITZGERALD (giving “E, F”)
  • 38A. Equipment for rock bands : GUITAR AMPLIFIER (giving “G, A”)
  • 48A. Lennon-McCartney collection whose publishing rights were once owned by Michael Jackson : BEATLES CATALOG (giving “B, C”)

Bill’s time: 4m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. “__, all ye faithful … ” : O COME

The lovely Christmas hymn “Adeste Fideles” (entitleD “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in English) was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time. A kind blog reader pointed out to me that the English translation is in fact a little “off”. The term “adeste” best translates from Latin as “be present, attend”, rather that “come”. The verb “come” appears later in the lyrics in “venite adoremus”, meaning “come, let us worship”.

14. Companion of reduce and recycle : REUSE

The so called “waste hierarchy” can be restated as the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The preferences are in order:

  1. Reduce consumption
  2. Reuse manufactured products
  3. Recycle raw materials

16. Composer Rorem : NED

American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical compositions, but also for his book “Paris Diary of Ned Rorem” that was published in 1966. Rorem talks openly about his sexuality in the book, and also about the sexual orientation of others including Noël Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, much to some people’s chagrin.

17. Music medium that succeeded the cassette tape : COMPACT DISC (giving “C, D”)

The compact disc was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

19. Martini liquor : GIN

The term “martini” probably takes it name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

20. Confer knighthood on : DUB

Kneel, and a monarch might “dub thee a knight” if you’re lucky. “Dub” is a specific term derived from Old English that was used to mean “make a knight”. As the knight was also given a knightly name at the same time, “dub” has come to mean “give someone a name”.

21. Camping gear retailer : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

22. Verdi creation : OPERA

Giuseppe Verdi was an Italian composer, mainly of operas, who was active during the Romantic era. Equally as famous as Verdi’s operas, are arias from those operas such as “La donna è mobile” from “Rigoletto”, “The Drinking Song” from “La Traviata” and “The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from “Nabucco”.

24. Music legend known as the First Lady of Song : ELLA FITZGERALD (giving “E, F”)

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

29. Yale grads : ELIS

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

31. Gelatin dish : ASPIC

Aspic is a dish in which the main ingredients are served in a gelatin made from meat stock. “Aspic” is a French word meaning “jelly”.

Gelatin is a foodstuff that is used as a gelling agent in cooking, and for the shells of pharmaceutical capsules. Over 800 million pounds of gelatin are produced every year worldwide. It is produced from by-products of the meat and leather industries. Gelatin is basically modified collagen derived from pork skins and the bones of cattle, pigs and horses. So, vegans usually avoid things like gummy bears and marshmallows.

33. Lucy’s old sitcom partner : DESI

Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

38. Equipment for rock bands : GUITAR AMPLIFIER (giving “G, A”)

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

43. Grandson of Adam : ENOS

Enos was the son of Seth, and therefore the grandson of Adam and Eve. According to the ancient Jewish work called the Book of Jubilees, Enos married his own sister Noam.

45. Test for an aspiring atty. : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

47. Anti-fur-farming 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

48. Lennon-McCartney collection whose publishing rights were once owned by Michael Jackson : BEATLES CATALOG (giving “B, C”)

Songs written by the partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney were owned by Northern Songs Ltd., a company founded in 1963 in which Lennon and McCartney had a substantial, but not controlling, interest. The two songwriters (and later Lennon’s widow) tried over the years to gain full control over the Beatles catalogue, but failed. Famously, Michael Jackson purchased the company that owned the Beatles’ songs in 1985, for almost 25 million pounds sterling. The man who sold Jackson the catalogue was Australian entrepreneur and corporate raider Robert Holmes à Court. Interestingly, Jackson picked up the rights to all of the Lennon-McCartney songs except “Penny Lane”. Holmes à Court kept that song for his 16-year-old daughter as it was her favorite. Catherine Holmes à Court-Mather still owns that song today.

54. South Beach city : MIAMI

South Beach is a neighborhood in Miami Beach, Florida that is often referred to by the nickname “SoBe”. SoBe is known for its active and vibrant LGBT community. The title of marvelous 1996 film “The Birdcage” refers to a fictional Birdcage drag nightclub located in South Beach.

55. __ Baba : ALI

There is some controversy about the story “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” in that it has been suggested it was not part of the original collection of Arabic tales called “One Thousand and One Nights”. The suggestion is that the Ali Baba tale was added by one of the European translators of the collection.

56. Michelle of the LPGA : WIE

Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. Wie began playing golf at the age of four and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday …

57. Bath’s land: Abbr. : ENG

Bath is a beautiful city in South West England of which I have very fond memories. Bath is an old Roman spa town, and the city’s name comes from the Roman baths that have been excavated and restored.

58. When strung together, musical sequence represented by the initials of 17-, 24-, 38- and 48-Across : C MAJOR SCALE

C major is a key signature that is commonly used in western music. The C major scale might be described as the “simplest” of scales in that its pitches (C, D, E, F, G, A, and B) include neither flats nor sharps.

64. Gold purity unit : KARAT

A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

68. Stockholm native : SWEDE

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and most populous city in the country. Over one fifth of all Swedish residents live in Stockholm.

Down

1. Paris’ __ Triomphe : ARC DE

L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile in Paris was built to honor those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. It is the second largest triumphal arch in the world, after the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, North Korea. If you are visiting Paris, don’t just take a picture of the arch, be sure to go inside and see the marvelous chambers and carvings, and wander around on top of the arch so that you can enjoy the magnificent view.

2. South Korean capital : SEOUL

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

3. Comeuppance that’s “eaten” : HUMBLE PIE

The phrase “humble pie” derives from a medieval meat dish called “umble pie”. The filling in umble pie usually contained the offal (heart, liver, lungs and kidneys) of deer. The name “umble” came from the French “nomble” meaning “deer’s innards”.

4. Seer’s claim : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

7. Spanish port city : CADIZ

Cádiz is a port city in southwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz is a remarkable city geographically in that it sits on a thin spit of land that juts out into the sea.

8. __-Wan Kenobi : OBI

Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

10. “Play more music!” : ENCORE!

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

13. Flamboyant Dame : EDNA

Dame Edna Everage is the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I saw him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater, and what a great show it was …

18. NFL sportscaster Collinsworth : CRIS

Cris Collinsworth is a sportscaster for several broadcasting organizations. Collinsworth played as a wide receiver in the NFL for eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

26. Pay stub acronym : FICA

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) was introduced in the 1930s as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. FICA payments are made by both employees and employers in order to fund Social Security and Medicare.

32. Daylight provider : SUN

Our sun is a sphere of hot plasma that forms the center of our solar system. The Sun’s mass has two main components, with almost three quarters made up by hydrogen, and a quarter by helium. The continual nuclear fusion reaction in the Sun’s core converts hydrogen into helium, and generates a lot of energy. We should all be pretty grateful to the Sun for generating that energy …

33. “Divine Comedy” poet : DANTE

Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is “Inferno”, which is the Italian word for “Hell”. In the poem, Dante is led on a journey by the poet Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell on which are written the famous words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

34. Revealing rock genre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

37. Surgery ctrs. : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

40. “Law & Order: SVU” actor : ICE-T

Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles (I know I am!). Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about breakdancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

41. Greek cheese : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

45. Go on the __: skip town : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

47. Au __: live-in nanny : PAIR

An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

50. “Wheel of Fortune” host : SAJAK

Pat Sajak took over the hosting of “Wheel of Fortune” from Chuck Woolery back in 1983 and has been doing the job ever since. Sajak had a short run as a talk show host in 1989/1990 and used to sub quite often for Larry King and Regis Philbin.

53. Birds in a gaggle : GEESE

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

59. Sassy West : MAE

Comic actress Mae West can be quoted so easily, as she had so many great lines delivered so well. Here are a few:

  • When I’m good, I’m very good. When I’m bad, I’m better.
  • When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.
  • I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
  • Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet.
  • I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
  • Why don’t you come on up and see me sometime — when I’ve got nothin’ on but the radio.
  • It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.
  • To err is human, but it feels divine.
  • I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I’m a woman, but loose enough to show I’m a lady.
  • I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
  • Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

60. “Roses __ red” : ARE

As little kids we used to taunt each other with:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
God made me beautiful
What happened to you?

We weren’t very nice …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Fire remnants : ASHES
6. “__, all ye faithful … ” : O COME
11. Dazzle : AWE
14. Companion of reduce and recycle : REUSE
15. Log dwelling : CABIN
16. Composer Rorem : NED
17. Music medium that succeeded the cassette tape : COMPACT DISC (giving “C, D”)
19. Martini liquor : GIN
20. Confer knighthood on : DUB
21. Camping gear retailer : REI
22. Verdi creation : OPERA
24. Music legend known as the First Lady of Song : ELLA FITZGERALD (giving “E, F”)
29. Yale grads : ELIS
30. State strongly : AVER
31. Gelatin dish : ASPIC
33. Lucy’s old sitcom partner : DESI
35. 42-Across doubled : TWO
38. Equipment for rock bands : GUITAR AMPLIFIER (giving “G, A”)
42. 35-Across halved : ONE
43. Grandson of Adam : ENOS
44. Formally gives up : CEDES
45. Test for an aspiring atty. : LSAT
47. Anti-fur-farming org. : PETA
48. Lennon-McCartney collection whose publishing rights were once owned by Michael Jackson : BEATLES CATALOG (giving “B, C”)
54. South Beach city : MIAMI
55. __ Baba : ALI
56. Michelle of the LPGA : WIE
57. Bath’s land: Abbr. : ENG
58. When strung together, musical sequence represented by the initials of 17-, 24-, 38- and 48-Across : C MAJOR SCALE
63. Birthday count : AGE
64. Gold purity unit : KARAT
65. Lives like a nomad : ROVES
66. Partner of neither : NOR
67. Searches for : SEEKS
68. Stockholm native : SWEDE

Down

1. Paris’ __ Triomphe : ARC DE
2. South Korean capital : SEOUL
3. Comeuppance that’s “eaten” : HUMBLE PIE
4. Seer’s claim : ESP
5. Watery expanse : SEA
6. Group of eight : OCTET
7. Spanish port city : CADIZ
8. __-Wan Kenobi : OBI
9. Prefix with spell : MIS-
10. “Play more music!” : ENCORE!
11. Heavenly being : ANGEL
12. Really out there : WEIRD
13. Flamboyant Dame : EDNA
18. NFL sportscaster Collinsworth : CRIS
23. Golf course standard : PAR
25. Came down to earth : ALIT
26. Pay stub acronym : FICA
27. Surprised sounds : GASPS
28. Rotten to the core : EVIL
31. Before now : AGO
32. Daylight provider : SUN
33. “Divine Comedy” poet : DANTE
34. Revealing rock genre : EMO
35. Coastal flooding cause : TIDAL WAVE
36. Tiny : WEE
37. Surgery ctrs. : ORS
39. Genuine : REAL
40. “Law & Order: SVU” actor : ICE-T
41. Greek cheese : FETA
45. Go on the __: skip town : LAM
46. Hangs (around) : STICKS
47. Au __: live-in nanny : PAIR
48. “You got it!” : BINGO!
49. Raring to go : EAGER
50. “Wheel of Fortune” host : SAJAK
51. Coagulates : CLOTS
52. Quieted, as noisy hinges : OILED
53. Birds in a gaggle : GEESE
54. Not at all nice : MEAN
59. Sassy West : MAE
60. “Roses __ red” : ARE
61. H.S. grads-to-be : SRS
62. Dairy farm animal : COW

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