LA Times Crossword Answers 5 Feb 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Jeff Eddings
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: The Bee Gees

Themed answers each comprise two words starting the letters BG:

  • 59A. Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb … and a hint to 17-, 25-, 38- and 46-Across : THE BEE GEES
  • 17A. Nonconformist Harley-riding groups : BIKER GANGS
  • 25A. Rose and Orange : BOWL GAMES
  • 38A. Places where critters procreate : BREEDING GROUNDS
  • 46A. Honey Ryder and Mary Goodnight : BOND GIRLS

Bill’s time: 6m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Closest pal, in IM shorthand : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

4. Fish-eating raptor : OSPREY

The osprey is also known as the sea hawk or fish eagle.

“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.

15. Put a new flannel layer in, as a coat : RELINE

Flannel is a fabric, originally woven using worsted wool, and nowadays mainly using regular wool, cotton or a synthetic fiber. The softness of flannel makes it ideal for blankets, bed sheets and sleepwear.

17. Nonconformist Harley-riding groups : BIKER GANGS

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was started up in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

20. Chief Norse god : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, and his name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday”, from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.

21. “Hulk” director Lee : ANG

The comic book hero called “the Hulk” first made an appearance in 1962. The Hulk is the alter ego of reserved and withdraw physicist Bruce Banner. Banner mutates into the Hulk when he gets angry.

22. Photoshop creator : ADOBE

Adobe Systems is a San Jose-based enterprise that is best known for developing Photoshop image editing software and the Portable Document Format (PDF). The company was founded in 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, in Warnock’s garage. The Adobe Creek ran behind that garage, and the founders borrowed the name of the waterway for the company’s moniker.

23. Longtime “SNL” announcer Don : PARDO

Don Pardo’s distinctive voice announced the show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), and did so from the premiere episode that aired in 1975 until his death in 2014. Pardo was the announcer for all the SNL shows except for the 1981-82 season. Pardo retired from NBC in 2004 and moved to Tucson, Arizona, but the producers of “Saturday Night Live” persuaded him to stay on as announcer for their show. He had a lifetime contract, one of only two people ever to have such an arrangement with NBC (the other was Bob Hope!). Pardo celebrated his 90th birthday on air, blowing out candles on his birthday cake at the end of an episode of SNL.

25. Rose and Orange : BOWL GAMES

The Orange Bowl is an annual college football game played in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Rose Bowl is the oldest of the bowl games (inaugurated in 1902), but the Sun Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl come in second. The first Orange Bowl was played on New Year’s Day 1935.

28. Hoppy brews, for short : IPAS

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

The foodstuff that we call “hops” are actually the female flower of the hop plant. The main use of hops is to add flavor to beer. The town in which I live here in California used to be home to the largest hop farm in the whole world. Most of the harvested hops were exported all the way to the breweries of London, where they could fetch the best price.

34. Demeanor : MIEN

One’s mien is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.

35. “__ on a Grecian Urn” : ODE

Here’s the first verse of the poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats:

THOU still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

41. Camera initials : SLR

The initialism “SLR” stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually, cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

43. Gulf War reporter Peter : ARNETT

Peter Arnett is an American journalist who is originally from New Zealand. I mainly remember him from his coverage of the Gulf War for CNN, although Arnett was awarded his Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for his work in Vietnam during the war there.

44. Cancún house : CASA

Cancún is a city and island on the east coast of Mexico, on the other side of the Yucatan Channel from Cuba. The city is growing rapidly due to its booming tourist business. Cancún is the center of what’s often called “The Mexican Caribbean” or the “Mayan Riviera”.

46. Honey Ryder and Mary Goodnight : BOND GIRLS

The actress Ursula Andress was quite the sex symbol in the sixties, and famously played Honey Ryder in the first James Bond movie “Dr. No”. Andress was born in Switzerland and is fluent in English, French, Italian, German as well as her native Swiss-German.

Mary Goodnight is a “Bond girl” appearing in the film “The Man with the Golden Gun”, and was portrayed by actress Britt Ekland. In the original Ian Fleming novels, the Mary Goodnight character was Bond’s personal secretary in the books “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and “You Only Live Twice”. Goodnight had moved into the field as an active agent by the time she appears in the novel “The Man with the Golden Gun”.

55. Unit of resistance : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm’s Law.

57. Lost fish in a Pixar film : NEMO

“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

Pixar Animation Studios started out as part of Lucasfilm in 1979, George Lucas’s production company. Lucas sold what was to become Pixar to Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 1986. Pixar produced its first feature film in 1995, the fabulous “Toy Story”, and followed up with a string of hits. The company was then sold to Walt Disney in 2006, when valued at $7.4 billion. That transaction resulted in Steve Jobs becoming the biggest shareholder in Walt Disney.

58. Letter before eta : ZETA

Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the letter name “zed”, which became “zee”, the term that we use here in the US.

59. Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb … and a hint to 17-, 25-, 38- and 46-Across : THE BEE GEES

The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “The Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

63. Pine secretions : RESINS

Resinous trees have evolved the ability to secrete resins in response to an injury. The resin serves as a barrier, protecting the tree from insects and pathogens that might otherwise exploit the site of the injury.

64. Antonym of post- : PRE-

An antonym is an “anti-synonym”. A synonym is word having the same sense as another, and an antonym the opposite. For example, “love” is an antonym of “hate”, and “stop” is an antonym of “go”.

65. Gin fizz fruit : SLOE

By definition, a cocktail known as a Fizz includes lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the Gin Fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water. There is also a variant known as a sloe gin fizz.

67. The “S” in iOS: Abbr. : SYS

“iOS” is what Apple now call their mobile operating system. It was previously known as iPhone OS.

Down

1. Jazz style : BEBOP

The jazz term “bebop” probably came from “Arriba! Arriba!”, which were words of encouragement uttered by Latin American bandleaders to their musicians.

2. Mexican artist Kahlo : FRIDA

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who was famous for her self-portraits. She was married to the equally famous artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo was portrayed by the actress Salma Hayek in a film about her colorful life called “Frida” released in 2002.

3. Fire-walking mystic : FAKIR

A fakir (also “faqir”) is an ascetic in the Muslim tradition. The term “fakir” is derived from “faqr”, an Arabic word for “poverty”.

4. Bruin legend Bobby : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking.

5. Nintendo rival : SEGA

Sega is a Japanese video game company headquartered in Tokyo. Sega actually started out 1940 in the US as Standard Games and was located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The owners moved the operation to Tokyo in 1951 and renamed the company to Service Games. The name “Sega” is a combination of the first two letters of the words “Se-rvice” and “Ga-mes”.

7. Drummer Starr : 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”.

8. London’s land: Abbr. : 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.

10. Graffiti creator, perhaps : VANDAL

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.

“Graffiti” is the plural of “graffito”, the Italian for “a scribbling”. The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

18. Curly salad green : ENDIVE

Endive is a leaf vegetable belonging to the chicory genus, and is in the daisy family. Endive is also known as escarole.

24. Where to find columns with views : OP-ED PAGE

“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.

26. Millard Fillmore, partywise : WHIG

The Whig Party (in the US) was active from 1833 to 1856, and was the opposition party to the Democrats at that time. One of the tenets of the Whig Party was the supremacy of Congress over the Executive branch. Prominent members of the party included Presidents Zachary Taylor and John Tyler. Abraham Lincoln was also a Whig while he served a two-year term as a US Representative for the state of Illinois. By the time he became President, Lincoln was a member of the Republican Party.

Vice President Millard Fillmore took over the US Presidency when Zachary Taylor died after only 16 months in office. Fillmore was born in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, but grew up around Buffalo. He was one of the founders of the University of Buffalo and served as chancellor there after he left office in 1853. He was also the last Whig to occupy the White House, as the party broke up after Fillmore’s presidency.

29. Melodic passages : ARIOSI

An arioso (plural “ariosi”) is a solo vocal piece in a classical work such as an opera or an oratorio. An arioso’s structure lies somewhere between that of a full-blown aria and speech-like recitative.

32. Internet address : URL

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

33. __ Lingus: Irish carrier : AER

Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline called Ryanair.

34. Roaring-lion studio : MGM

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio was founded in 1924 by Marcus Loew. Loew was already a successful movie theater owner when he purchased Metro Pictures Corporation in 1919, and then Goldwyn Pictures in 1924. Later in 1924, Loew also purchased Louis B. Mayer Pictures, mainly so that Louis B. Meyer could merge all three studios and run them himself as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn’t until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

35. Washington’s bill : ONE

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.

36. Banned pesticide : DDT

DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

37. Winter hrs. in most of Michigan : EST

On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (“spring forward”), and backwards in the fall (“fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight.

44. Jewel box : CD CASE

A CD case is also known as a jewel box, and I am not sure why …

46. Obnoxious clowns : BOZOS

A bozo is a man with a low IQ, and one who is usually quite muscular. We’ve been using the term since the early 1900s and it possibly comes from the Spanish “bozal” that was used to describe someone who spoke Spanish poorly.

47. Basketball’s Shaq : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality show: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

48. Part of TNT : NITRO

“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

49. Rich soil : LOESS

Loess is a wind-blown accumulation of silt. The word is German in origin and was first used to describe silt along the Rhine Valley.

52. Nail-filing board : EMERY

Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

53. Kentucky Derby flowers : ROSES

The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875, and is a race modeled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, the Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses, and so the Derby is nicknamed “Run for the Roses”. The race is held on the first Saturday in May each year, and is limited to 3-year-old horses.

56. “American Beauty” actress Suvari : MENA

Mena Suvari’s most famous role to date is probably “the beauty” in the 1999 movie “American Beauty”. She played the teenage girl with whom the Kevin Spacey character becomes infatuated. Suvari also plays Heather in the “American Pie” films.

While I found the film “American Beauty” to be an enjoyable and interesting film (loved Annette Bening in it), I also found it very depressing. If you haven’t seen it, the main story is about a man having a midlife crisis (played by Kevin Spacey) and developing an infatuation for his teenage daughter’s flirtatious friend (played by Mena Suvari, and whom I guess is the “American Beauty”). The movie is definitely worth watching, and received huge accolades when released in 1999.

59. __TV: Turner channel : TRU

truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network, launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name was changed to truTV in 2008.

61. Telepathy, e.g. : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Closest pal, in IM shorthand : BFF
4. Fish-eating raptor : OSPREY
10. Wretched : VILE
14. Period of history : ERA
15. Put a new flannel layer in, as a coat : RELINE
16. Fruit punches : ADES
17. Nonconformist Harley-riding groups : BIKER GANGS
19. Picky details : NITS
20. Chief Norse god : ODIN
21. “Hulk” director Lee : ANG
22. Photoshop creator : ADOBE
23. Longtime “SNL” announcer Don : PARDO
25. Rose and Orange : BOWL GAMES
28. Hoppy brews, for short : IPAS
30. Dog command : HEEL
31. Shake, as with fear : QUAVER
34. Demeanor : MIEN
35. “__ on a Grecian Urn” : ODE
38. Places where critters procreate : BREEDING GROUNDS
41. Camera initials : SLR
42. 35-Across, e.g. : POEM
43. Gulf War reporter Peter : ARNETT
44. Cancún house : CASA
45. Quick cash sources, initially : ATMS
46. Honey Ryder and Mary Goodnight : BOND GIRLS
50. “Fantastic!” : SUPER!
54. Like beer in a cooler : ON ICE
55. Unit of resistance : OHM
57. Lost fish in a Pixar film : NEMO
58. Letter before eta : ZETA
59. Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb … and a hint to 17-, 25-, 38- and 46-Across : THE BEE GEES
62. Rowing tools : OARS
63. Pine secretions : RESINS
64. Antonym of post- : PRE-
65. Gin fizz fruit : SLOE
66. Remove, as a chin strap : UNSNAP
67. The “S” in iOS: Abbr. : SYS

Down

1. Jazz style : BEBOP
2. Mexican artist Kahlo : FRIDA
3. Fire-walking mystic : FAKIR
4. Bruin legend Bobby : ORR
5. Nintendo rival : SEGA
6. Backup strategies : PLAN BS
7. Drummer Starr : RINGO
8. London’s land: Abbr. : ENG
9. “Okay” : YES
10. Graffiti creator, perhaps : VANDAL
11. Figure of speech : IDIOM
12. Do not disturb : LET BE
13. Letters before tees : ESSES
18. Curly salad green : ENDIVE
22. Child psychologists’ benchmarks : AGE NORMS
24. Where to find columns with views : OP-ED PAGE
26. Millard Fillmore, partywise : WHIG
27. Ogle : LEER AT
29. Melodic passages : ARIOSI
31. NFL play callers : QBS
32. Internet address : URL
33. __ Lingus: Irish carrier : AER
34. Roaring-lion studio : MGM
35. Washington’s bill : ONE
36. Banned pesticide : DDT
37. Winter hrs. in most of Michigan : EST
39. Not far : NEAR
40. Like heroes deserving more recognition : UNSUNG
44. Jewel box : CD CASE
45. Hearth receptacle : ASH BIN
46. Obnoxious clowns : BOZOS
47. Basketball’s Shaq : O’NEAL
48. Part of TNT : NITRO
49. Rich soil : LOESS
51. Pals, in slang : PEEPS
52. Nail-filing board : EMERY
53. Kentucky Derby flowers : ROSES
56. “American Beauty” actress Suvari : MENA
59. __TV: Turner channel : TRU
60. Farm layer : HEN
61. Telepathy, e.g. : ESP

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