LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Jan 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Moving Van

Each of today’s themed answers contains the hidden word “VAN”. That VAN MOVES from left to right as we progress down the grid:

  • 19A. Deliberately damage : VANDALIZE
  • 24A. Smoke from Cuba : HAVANA CIGAR
  • 35A. Milk : TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
  • 43A. Some Downton Abbey staff : MENSERVANTS
  • 52A. Starting at 19-Across and ending here, vehicle making its way through five long answers : MOVING VAN

Bill’s time: 5m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Lighthouse emission : BEAM

The oldest lighthouse still in use is the Tower of Hercules located in the coast of Galicia in northwest Spain. Renovated in 1791, this magnificent lighthouse was built by the Romans in 2nd century CE and has been in constant use since that time. It is believed that the structure’s design is based on the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World.

10. Mystery novelist Paretsky : SARA

Sara Paretsky is an American author of detective fiction. Paretsky’s most famous character is a female private investigator called V.I. Warshawski. Warshawski was played by Kathleen Turner in a big screen adaptation of one of her stories in 1991.

14. “Sesame Street” giggler : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” is Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

15. How cut-up raw veggies are often served : ON A PLATTER

Crudités are a French appetizer made up of sliced and whole raw vegetables that are dipped into a sauce. The French word “crudité” simply means “raw vegetable”, and derives from the Latin word “crudus” meaning “raw”.

17. “Bridge of Spies” spy Rudolf __ : ABEL

“Rudolf Abel” was one of the names used while living in the US by Soviet intelligence officer and spy Willie Fisher. Abel was arrested by the FBI in 1957 based on information provided by KGB officer and spy Reino Häyhänen, who defected to the US earlier that year. Abel was sentenced to 30 years in jail, but only served just over 4 years. Famously, he was exchanged for American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers in 1962.

“Bridge of Spies” is a 2015 historical thriller directed by Steven Spielberg and starring his friend Tom Hanks. The story is all about the arrest and trial of U-2 pilot Gary Powers, who was shot down over the Soviet Union while on a spying mission for the CIA. Hanks plays lawyer James B. Donovan, the lawyer who negotiates Powers’ release. Powers was actually exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, with the exchange taking place at the bridge connecting Potsdam with Berlin, the “Bridge of Spies”.

18. “Casablanca” actor : PETER LORRE

The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. Lorre’s real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. Lorre found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.

The movie “Casablanca” was released in January of 1943, timed to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, the high-level meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. The film wasn’t a box-office hit, but gained critical acclaim, winning three Oscars including Best Picture. The signature song “As Time Goes By” was written many years earlier for a 1931 Broadway musical called “Everybody’s Welcome”, and was a hit in 1931 for Rudy Vallee. But today we all remember the Casablanca version, sung by Dooley Wilson (who played “Sam” in the film). Poor Dooley didn’t get to record it as a single, due to a musician’s strike in 1943. The 1931 Rudy Vallee version was re-released that year and became an even bigger hit second time round.

19. Deliberately damage : VANDALIZE

A vandal is someone who destroys something beautiful or valuable. The term comes from the Germanic tribe called the Vandals who sacked Rome in the year 455. Our contemporary term “vandalism” was coined by Henri Grégoire in 1794, when he was describing the destruction of artwork during the French Revolution.

21. Some running shoes : AVIAS

The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

23. Bingo-like game : BEANO

The game called Beano is a precursor to Bingo. Beano was so called as dried beans were used to cover the called numbers on a card.

24. Smoke from Cuba : HAVANA CIGAR

The production of all cigars and cigarettes in Cuba is managed by a state tobacco company called Cubatabaco. The marketing and distribution of all Cuban tobacco products is handled by Habanos, which is subsidiary of Cubatabaco. Habanos works with just one company in each country that it sells products. So, customers seeking out genuine Cuban cigars know that there is a limited and defined list of suppliers around the world.

30. Euro pop? : PERE

In French, a “père” (father) is a “membre de la famille” (member of the family).

31. Go from pillar to post : ROAM

The phrase “from pillar to post” usually means “from one bad situation to another”. It is widely suggested that the expression derives from medieval times, and that the “post” is a whipping post and the “pillar” is a pillory. A punishment of the day might be to whip a person at a whipping post and then put the poor soul on display in the pillory to receive ridicule from a crowd. A pillory was device constructed for such a purpose, a post with a split crossbeam and holes through which the hands and head could be held. A more general usage of the phrase is to describe wandering aimlessly from place to place.

32. Gaza Strip gp. : PLO

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

43. Some Downton Abbey staff : MENSERVANTS

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no son. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

47. 38th-parallel land : KOREA

Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

52. Starting at 19-Across and ending here, vehicle making its way through five long answers : MOVING VAN

The vehicle we call a “van” takes its name from “caravan”, and is a shortened version of the older term. Back in the 1600s, a caravan was a covered cart. We still used the term “caravan” in Ireland to describe what we call a mobile home or recreational vehicle here in the US.

58. Expressed with only gestures : PANTOMIMED

Our word “pantomime” comes from the Greek word “pantomimos” meaning “actor”. The literal translation of the Greek is “imitator of all”, from “panto-” (all) and “mimos” (imitator). We use the term today to describe communication by means of facial expression and physical gestures. On the other side of the Atlantic, pantomimes (often “pantos”) are also very popular Christmas entertainments based on nursery tales like “Mother Goose”, “Aladdin” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Great, great stuff …

62. Mess setting : BASE

“Mess” first came into English about 1300, when it described the list of food needed for a meal. The term comes from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything, from the concept of “mixed food”. The original usage, in the sense of a food for a meal, surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

64. Like giraffes and horses : MANED

The giraffe is the tallest terrestrial animal on the planet. The giraffe’s main source of food is acacia leaves that they eat from high, high up in trees, where other herbivores cannot reach.

There are seven living species of mammals in the genus Equus, each of which is referred to as “equine”. The seven species include all horses, asses and zebras. All equine species can crossbreed. For example, a mule is a cross between a male donkey and a female horse, and a zorse is a cross between a zebra and a horse.

Down

1. Young Cleaver, for short : BEAV

We used to see a lot of American television programming growing up in Ireland, but “Leave It to Beaver” was one show that didn’t make it across the Atlantic. I’ve seen a couple of episodes, and I am not sure it would travel well. The show went on the air for the first time the day that Sputnik was launched by the Russians, and aired its last show just a few months before President Kennedy was assassinated. An iconic series, by all accounts.

2. Idris of “Luther” : ELBA

The English actor Idris Elba is probably best known in North America for playing the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally appears as a disk jockey using the name DJ Big Driis.

“Luther” is a British television series starring in the title role as Detective Chief inspector John Luther. There has been talk about developing a US version of “Luther”, and a Russian version first broadcast in 2016 using the title “Klim”.

3. Service call? : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

4. Penicillin source : MOLD

The antibiotic called penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. He noted that a blue-green mold growing in a Petri dish produced a substance that inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus bacteria, which was growing on the same substrate. The mold was Penicillium notatum, and Fleming named the antibiotic penicillin after the mold.

5. She sang about McGee : JOPLIN

Janis Joplin recorded the song “Me and Bobby McGee” just a few days before she died in 1970. The song was released anyway, and it became Joplin’s only number one single. There have been just two posthumous number one singles: Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee”, and Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay”.

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
And nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free
Feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues
And buddy, that was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

6. Iroquois tribe : ONEIDA

The Iroquois Confederacy was also known as the Five Nations and was comprised of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca nations.

7. Willy or Lenny of Manhattan deli fame : KATZ

Katz’s of New York City is a famous delicatessen in Manhattan, New York City. Ever since WWII, Katz’s has had a promotion called “send a salami to your boy in the army”. Katz’s has shipped a lot of salamis in gift packages to Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.

8. Pentathlon sword : EPEE

The original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic games consisted of a foot race, wrestling, long jump, javelin and discus. When a new pentathlon was created as a sport for the modern Olympic Games, it was given the name the “modern pentathlon”. First introduced in 1912, the modern pentathlon consists of:

  1. pistol shooting
  2. épée fencing
  3. 200m freestyle swimming
  4. show jumping
  5. 3 km cross-country running

9. 35mm camera type : SLR

Single lens reflex (SLR)

10. Russell __ Candies : STOVER

Russell Stover and a partner started in business in 1921. Their company’s initial product was the world’s first chocolate-dipped ice cream bar that they called an Eskimo Pie. When competition for the ice cream product became too intense, Russell and his wife formed a new company to make boxed chocolates. That enterprise was formed in 1923, and the chocolates were originally known as Mrs. Stover’s Bungalow Candies. They were renamed to Russell Stover Candies in 1943.

11. Heart chambers : ATRIA

The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze the blood into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

16. Selma’s state : ALABAMA

The Alabama city of Selma was settled in 1815. It was named in 1820 by Alabama politician William R. King, who would later serve briefly as US Vice President under President Franklin Pierce. Meaning “high seat, throne”, King chose the city’s name from the Ossianic poem “The Songs of Selma”. Today, the city is perhaps best known for the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches, which ultimately led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

24. Torso topper : HEAD

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

25. Torah chests : ARKS

The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which are stored the Torah scrolls. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching”, I am told.

26. One of a vivacious pair? : VEE

There is a pair of letters V (vee) in the word “vivacious”.

27. Origami bird : CRANE

Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane. The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).

28. Discontinued Saturn model : ION

The Saturn Ion was produced by GM from 2003 to 2007. It was the longest (in length) of any car sold in North America to be marketed as a compact.

29. Noir weapon : GAT

“Gat” is a slang term for a gun that is derived from the Gatling gun, the precursor to the modern machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …

30. School support org. : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

33. Co-worker of Clark : LOIS

Lois Lane has been the love interest of Superman/Clark Kent since the comic series was first published in 1938. Lois and Clark both work for the big newspaper in the city of Metropolis called “The Daily Planet”. The couple finally got hitched in the comics (and on television’s “Lois and Clark”) in 1996. But never mind all that … one has to wonder how challenging the crossword is in “The Daily Planet” …

34. “The good is __ interred with their bones”: Antony : OFT

There is a famous speech made by Mark Antony in William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that starts with:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.

38. Jettas, e.g. : VWS

“Jetta” is one in a series of names related to winds that has been used by Volkswagen. “Jetta” comes from the German for “jet stream”, and the model name “Passat” comes from the German for “trade wind”.

43. Protégé : MENTEE

A mentor is a wise counselor, and the person receiving the advice is the mentee. In Greek mythology, Mentor was a friend to Odysseus, the hero of Homer’s “Odyssey”.

We use the term “protégé” for someone whose career is helped along and guided by a more experienced person, a mentor. “Protégé” is French for “protected”.

44. Midnight rider : REVERE

Paul Revere is famous for having alerted the Colonial militia when the British military arrived in the build up to the battles of Lexington and Concord. Revere earned his living as a silversmith. After the war, Revere returned to his trade and diversified into other metalwork. Revere was the first American to develop a process to roll copper into sheets so that the metal could be used to sheathe the hulls of naval vessels.

46. Taylor of fashion : ANN

There was no actual person called Ann Taylor associated with the Ann Taylor line of clothes. The name was chosen by the marketing professionals because “Ann” was considered to be “very New England” back in 1954 when the stores first opened, and “Taylor” suggested that clothes were carefully “tailored”.

47. On the blink : KAPUT

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

When something has broken down, it might be described as “on the fritz” here in North America. The phrase “on the blink” has the same meaning, and is more likely to be used in the British Isles and in Australia.

48. Maureen of “The Quiet Man” : O’HARA

The beautiful and talented Maureen O’Hara was an Irish actress, someone famous for films made with fellow actor John Wayne and director John Ford. Soon after color films hit the theaters, O’Hara earned the nickname “Queen of Technicolor”. This was because the combination of her vivid red hair and bright green eyes showed off the new technology to full advantage. O’Hara was born in a suburb of Dublin called Ranelagh, where many of my own ancestors were born …

“The Quiet Man” is a marvelous 1952 romantic comedy set in Ireland that was directed by John Ford and stars John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara as the romantic leads. There’s a great fight-scene in this movie that is only rivaled, in my mind, by the fight scene in “Bridget Jones’s Diary”. Both brawls go on a while, and both are hilarious …

52. Layered mineral : MICA

Mica is a silicate mineral. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes’ in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

53. Arabian Sea sultanate : OMAN

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

The Arabian Sea is an arm of the Indian Ocean that lies off the south coasts of Oman, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran, and is bounded in the west by Somalia, and in the east by India.

55. Vaccine holder : VIAL

A vaccine is a modified virus that causes a particular disease, which is administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity. British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

57. Politburo no : NYET

The first politburo was formed by the Bolshevik Party in Russia in 1917, during that year’s Russian Revolution. The name is a contraction of “Politicheskoye Byuro” meaning “Political Bureau”. The original politburo had seven members, including Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin.

59. “Newhart” production co. : MTM

MTM Enterprises was a television production company founded in 1969 by Mary Tyler Moore, originally to produce the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The company subsequently produced the likes of “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Rhoda”, “WKRP in Cincinnati”, “Hill Street Blues” and “St. Elsewhere”. That’s a lot of great television …

“Newhart” is a very entertaining sitcom starring Bob Newhart and Mary Frann as innkeepers in rural Vermont. The show is remembered by many for its last episode, which aired in 1990. In that final episode, Bob Newhart wakes up in bed and suggests that the whole of the show’s eight-year run was just a dream. He is lying beside actress Suzanne Pleshette who played his wife in the earlier sitcom “The Bob Newhart Show”. Very, very clever …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Lighthouse emission : BEAM
5. Routine material : JOKES
10. Mystery novelist Paretsky : SARA
14. “Sesame Street” giggler : ELMO
15. How cut-up raw veggies are often served : ON A PLATTER
17. “Bridge of Spies” spy Rudolf __ : ABEL
18. “Casablanca” actor : PETER LORRE
19. Deliberately damage : VANDALIZE
21. Some running shoes : AVIAS
22. Made oneself scarce : HID
23. Bingo-like game : BEANO
24. Smoke from Cuba : HAVANA CIGAR
30. Euro pop? : PERE
31. Go from pillar to post : ROAM
32. Gaza Strip gp. : PLO
35. Milk : TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
40. Classified postings : ADS
41. Word with hall or house : TOWN …
42. __ pricing : UNIT
43. Some Downton Abbey staff : MENSERVANTS
47. 38th-parallel land : KOREA
50. Many millennia : EON
51. Just enough to taste, with “of” : A HINT
52. Starting at 19-Across and ending here, vehicle making its way through five long answers : MOVING VAN
58. Expressed with only gestures : PANTOMIMED
60. Greasy : OILY
61. Walk-in emergency center : URGENT CARE
62. Mess setting : BASE
63. Zap with a weapon : TASE
64. Like giraffes and horses : MANED
65. Token receiver : SLOT

Down

1. Young Cleaver, for short : BEAV
2. Idris of “Luther” : ELBA
3. Service call? : AMEN!
4. Penicillin source : MOLD
5. She sang about McGee : JOPLIN
6. Iroquois tribe : ONEIDA
7. Willy or Lenny of Manhattan deli fame : KATZ
8. Pentathlon sword : EPEE
9. 35mm camera type : SLR
10. Russell __ Candies : STOVER
11. Heart chambers : ATRIA
12. Played over : RERAN
13. “You __ cool!” : ARE SO
16. Selma’s state : ALABAMA
20. “So that’s the puzzle theme!” : AHA!
24. Torso topper : HEAD
25. Torah chests : ARKS
26. One of a vivacious pair? : VEE
27. Origami bird : CRANE
28. Discontinued Saturn model : ION
29. Noir weapon : GAT
30. School support org. : PTA
32. Cooped (up) : PENT
33. Co-worker of Clark : LOIS
34. “The good is __ interred with their bones”: Antony : OFT
36. Stuffed one’s face : ATE A TON
37. Throw on : DON
38. Jettas, e.g. : VWS
39. Rev : GUN
43. Protégé : MENTEE
44. Midnight rider : REVERE
45. Like a ripped-up check : VOIDED
46. Taylor of fashion : ANN
47. On the blink : KAPUT
48. Maureen of “The Quiet Man” : O’HARA
49. Wedding bands : RINGS
52. Layered mineral : MICA
53. Arabian Sea sultanate : OMAN
54. Loads : GOBS
55. Vaccine holder : VIAL
56. “Not only that … ” : ALSO …
57. Politburo no : NYET
59. “Newhart” production co. : MTM

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