LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Feb 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Bruce Venzke
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Intestinal : ILEAC

The human ileum (plural “ilea”) is the lowest part of the small intestine, and is found below the jejunum and above the cecum of the large intestine.

14. 1966 N.L. batting champ Matty : ALOU

Matty Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Jesus and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

15. Drag-racing fuel, briefly : NITRO

Laughing gas is the common name for nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic, particularly by dentists. It is also used in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. Laughing gas was first synthesized by the English chemist Joseph Priestley, but it was Humphry Davy who discovered its potential as an anesthetic. Once it was realized that the gas could give the patient a fit of the giggles, “laughing gas parties” became common among those could afford them.

17. Costner role : NESS

Eliot Ness was the Treasury agent charged with the task of bringing down the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone. When Ness took on the job in 1930, Chicago law-enforcement agents were renowned for being corrupt, for being on the take. Ness handpicked 50 prohibition agents who he thought he could rely on, later reducing the group to a cadre of 15 and ultimately just 11 trusted men. That group of 11 earned the nickname “The Untouchables”, the agents who couldn’t be bought.
“The Untouchables” is a 1957 memoir by famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness. The book was adapted into a TV show of the same name that in the late fifties and early sixties, starring Robert Stack as Ness. The same memoir was the basis of the 1987 film, again of the same name, with Kevin Costner in the lead role.

18. What tots might go after? : TATER

Ore-Ida’s founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!

19. Many an RPI grad : ENGR

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

24. He served the fewest 20th-century days (83) as U.S. VP : HST

There were four individuals who served as US Vice President for less than 100 days:

  1. John Tyler succeeded President William Henry Harrison (died from pneumonia) after 32 days as VP
  2. Andrew Johnson succeeded President Abraham Lincoln (assassinated) after 43 days as VP
  3. William R. King died in office from tuberculosis after 46 days as VP
  4. Harry S. Truman succeeded President Franklin D. Roosevelt (died from a cerebral hemorrhage) after 83 days as VP

34. Somali-born model : IMAN

Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a supermodel from Somalia who goes simply by the name “Iman” these days. “Iman” is an Arabic word for “faith”. Iman is smart cookie. Imam has a degree in Political Science and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English. Iman was married to English rock star David Bowie from 1992 until his death in 2016.

35. Things for one to do : SOLOS

A solo is done by one person.

36. Blücher’s title in “Young Frankenstein” : FRAU

Frau Blücher was played by the zany Cloris Leachman in the Mel Brooks classic “Young Frankenstein”. You may recall that every time Frau Blücher’s name was mentioned, any horse within earshot would be terrified. Leachman auditioned to reprise the Blücher role in the stage production of “Young Frankenstein” in 2007, but she didn’t get the part. Mel Brooks thought Leachman was just too old to play Frau Blücher, saying “We’re afraid the show…could kill [her]…We don’t want her to die onstage.” Wow!

37. Swing improvisation? : TIRE

A relatively simply swing might be made using a rope and a rubber tire hanging from a tree limb.

38. Move like Miley : TWERK

Twerking is a dancing move in which a woman (usually) shakes her hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”. The term may have been coined back in the early 2000s with the song “Whistle While You Twurk” released by the Ying Yang Twins. Twerking became a real phenomenon in 2013 when Miley Cyrus posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit to the 2011 song “Wop” by J. Dash. That video went viral on YouTube, amassing over 4 million views in no time at all.
Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

39. “__ it up and spit it out”: “My Way” lyric : I ATE

The song “My Way” has lyrics that were written by Paul Anka in 1969, but the tune itself was composed two years earlier by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. The song had been released with completely different lyrics in France as “Comme d’habitude” (“As Usual”). When Anka heard the song on television in Paris he sought out and obtained the rights to use it himself, for free. Supposedly, “Comme d’habitude” has been recorded in more languages, by more artists, than any other song in the contemporary repertoire.

40. Learning ctr. : ACAD

Academy (acad.)

41. “Peg Woffington” novelist : READE

Charles Reade was an English author who came to public attention with a two-act comedy play called “Masks and Faces”. Reade turned the play into a prose story in 1852 that he called “Peg Woffington”. Reade also wrote a historical novel called “The Cloister and the Hearth” about a married man who becomes a Dominican friar on hearing that his wife has died. Years later he discovers that his wife is in fact still living and a struggle develops between the man’s obligation to family and his obligation to the Roman Catholic Church.

43. Charter acquisition : TIME WARNER CABLE

Time Warner Cable was a division of Time Warner that operated from 1992 until 2009, when it was spun off as an independent company. Time Warner Cable was purchased in 2016 by Charter Communication.

47. H.S. hurdle : SAT

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

48. Markings on gridirons : MIDFIELD STRIPES

We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for taking two decades as a US resident to work out that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking!

57. Assorted mixture : OLIO

“Olio” is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.

58. __ Bruni-Sarkozy, former French first lady : CARLA

The very glamorous Carla Bruni is the wife of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. She is Sarkozy’s third wife, and this is the first marriage for Bruni. The couple met at a dinner party in November 2007 and were married just three months later. Bruni was born in Italy and was granted French nationality not long after the marriage.

59. “Chocolat” actress : OLIN

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.
The movie “Chocolat” released in 2000 is a big screen adaption of the novel of the same name by Joanne Harris. “Chocolat” tells the story of a young mother with a six-year-old daughter who opens up a chocolate shop in a French village. The mother is played by the talented Juliette Binoche.

60. Title derived from “Caesar” : TSAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

61. Early seal hunter : ALEUT

The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

64. Member of a 1969 MLB expansion team : PADRE

The San Diego Padres baseball team was founded in 1969, and immediately joined the ranks of Major League Baseball as an expansion team. The Padres took their name from a Minor League team that had been in the the city since 1936. The name is Spanish for “fathers” and is a reference to the Franciscan Friars from Spain who founded San Diego in 1769.

Down

1. Value for your money, idiomatically : BANG

The idiomatic phrase “bigger bang for one’s buck” means “more value for one’s money spent”. Apparently, the phrase was coined by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defense Charles Erwin Wilson. In referring to the administration’s national security policy as seeking “more bang for the buck”.

2. Film apiarist : ULEE

“Ulee’s Gold” is a highly respected film from 1997 in which Peter Fonda plays the title role of Ulee. Ulee’s “gold” is the honey that Ulee produces. It is a favorite role for Peter Fonda and he has shared that playing Ulee brought to mind his father Henry Fonda, who himself kept a couple of hives. So if you see Peter Fonda in “Ulee’s Gold” you’re witnessing some characteristics that Peter saw in his father.
An apiary is an area where bees are kept, and apiculture is beekeeping, the maintenance of honey bee colonies. The Latin word for “bee” is “apis”.

5. Usury protection : INTEREST RATE CAP

“Usury” was originally the name given to the practice of lending money at interest, but the term now refers to lending at excessive rates of interest.

6. He played Oskar in “Schindler’s List” : LIAM

Irish actor Liam Neeson got his big break when he played Oskar Schindler in the Spielberg epic, “Schindler’s List”. Neeson was in the news a few years ago when he lost his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in a tragic skiing accident in 2009.
Oskar Schindler is the protagonist in the Steven Spielberg movie “Schindler’s List”. Schindler was a real person who survived WWII. During the Holocaust, Schindler managed to save almost 1,200 Jews from perishing by employing them in his factories. After the war, Schindler and his wife were left penniless having used his assets to protect and feed his workers. For years the couple survived on the charity of Jewish groups. Schindler tried to make a go of it in business again but never had any real success. He died a pauper in 1974 in Hildesheim, not far from Hanover. His last wish was to be buried in Jerusalem. Schindler was the only former member of the Nazi Party to be buried on Mount Zion.

8. Realtor’s measure : AREA

“Real estate agent” is a general, generic term. “Realtor” is the name given to a member of the trade association known as the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR has gone so far as the trademark the term “Realtor” in the US.

9. Land of Lincoln? : CORNHUSKER STATE

The state of Nebraska got its “Cornhusker State” nickname from the University of Nebraska athletic teams (and not the other way round). In turn, the university teams’ name comes from the prevalence of corn as a crop, and the harvesting process known as “cornhusking”, removal of the outer husk from the ear of corn.
The city of Lincoln is the second-largest in Nebraska, and is the state capital. In the days of the Nebraska Territory, the capital was the larger city of Omaha. When the territory was being considered for statehood, most of the population (which lived south of the River Platte) was in favor of annexation to Kansas. The pro-statehood legislature voted to move the capital nearer to that population in a move intended to appease those favoring annexation. As this conflict was taking place just after the Civil War, a special interest group in Omaha arranged for the new capital to be named Lincoln, in honor of the recently-assassinated president. The thought was that the populace south of the River Platte had been sympathetic to the Confederate cause and so would not pass the measure to move the capital if the Lincoln name was used. But the measure passed, the capital was moved, and Nebraska became the thirty-seventh State of the Union in 1867.

11. Flash Gordon foe : MING

In the “Flash Gordon” comic strip, the main bad guy is Ming the Merciless, the evil emperor who rules the planet Mongo. Ming has been around quite a while, first appearing in print way back in 1934.

12. Mythical vessel : ARGO

In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts sailed on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. The vessel was called the “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

13. Random House co-founder : CERF

I remember Bennett Cerf as a regular panelist on the great television game show “What’s My Line?” Cerf was a publisher and co-founder of Random House, and was the man responsible for winning publishing contracts with authors such as Eugene O’Neill, Truman Capote and James Michener. He was hilarious on “What’s My Line?”, appearing in almost every episode of the show which ran from 1951 to 1967. He had such a gentlemanly way of making the most puerile puns.
The Random House publishing house was founded in 1925 by Donald Klopfer and the marvelous Bennett Cerf of TV’s “What’s My Line”. Apparently, Klopfer and Cerf originally resolved to “publish a few books on the side at random”, and hence came up with the name “Random House”.

26. Firenze friends : AMICI

“Amici” is the Italian word for “friends” (singular “amico, amica”).
Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region in Italy. Something from or related to Florence is described as “Florentine”. The city is known as “Firenze” in Italian.

27. 2016 NFL returnee : LA RAM

The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

29. City in southwestern New York : OLEAN

Olean is a city in New York State located on the Allegheny River. Louie Zamperini, the subject of the book and film titled “Unbroken”, was born in Olean.

30. 2013 Grammy winner for “Royals” : LORDE

“Lorde” is the stage name of singer-songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor from New Zealand. Lorde’s cover version of the great Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was used in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013). Her song “Yellow Flicker Beat” is included in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”.

31. Sonicare rival : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.
Sonicare is a brand of electric toothbrush made Dutch electronics giant Philips. I’ve been using my Sonicare for years now, which earns me a pat on the back from my dentist every time I visit him …

32. South African province KwaZulu-__ : NATAL

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is a South African province created in 1994 with the merger of the Zulu homeland of KwaZulu and Natal Province. KZN is located in the southeast of the country, on the Indian Ocean.

33. Kid stuff? : SUEDE

Suede is leather made from the underside of the skin, mainly from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called “gants de Suede” in France, or “gloves of Sweden”. So, the name “suede” comes from the French word for Sweden.

44. __ Chess: video game : WII

Wii Chess is the only Wii game that has never been released here in North America. One has to wonder why …?

48. Clothes consumer? : MOTH

The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below 8 degrees centigrade.

49. Victor Laszlo’s wife, in a classic film : ILSA

Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …
Victor Laszlo was played by Austrian-born actor Paul Henreid in 1942’s “Casablanca”. Apparently, Henreid didn’t mix well with his co-stars. He referred to Humphrey Bogart as “a mediocre actor”, and Ingrid Bergman referred to Henreid as a “prima donna”.

51. Like a fantasy land? : LA-LA

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

52. Historic plaintiff Scott : DRED

The landmark case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford came before the US Supreme Court in 1857. Scott had been born a slave, but lived with his owner in a free state for several years before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott’s argument was that living in a free state entitled him to emancipation. A divided US Supreme Court sided with Scott’s owner John Sandford. The decision was that no African American, free or enslaved, was entitled to US citizenship and therefore Scott was unable to petition the court for his freedom. The decision heightened tensions between the North and South, and the American Civil War erupted just three years later.

53. Musical connector : SLUR

In the world of music, a “slur” is curved line that connects neighboring notes that are to be played smoothly, without separation.

55. Strauss’ “__ Alpensinfonie” : EINE

“An Alpine Symphony” (“Eine Alpensinfonie” in German) is a 1915 tone poem by German composer Richard Strauss. The piece depicts daybreak to nightfall climb of an Alpine mountain. “An Alpine Symphony” comprises just one movement, but it takes about 50 minutes to perform, and calls for an orchestra of 125 musicians.

56. Buffalo feature, often? : SNOW

Buffalo is the second most-populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Borrows without returning : BUMS
5. Intestinal : ILEAC
10. Apple that’s inedible : IMAC
14. 1966 N.L. batting champ Matty : ALOU
15. Drag-racing fuel, briefly : NITRO
16. Very serious : DIRE
17. Costner role : NESS
18. What tots might go after? : TATER
19. Many an RPI grad : ENGR
20. Grasp : GET THE MEANING OF
23. Atmo- kin : AER-
24. He served the fewest 20th-century days (83) as U.S. VP : HST
25. Some drips : SALINE SOLUTIONS
34. Somali-born model : IMAN
35. Things for one to do : SOLOS
36. Blücher’s title in “Young Frankenstein” : FRAU
37. Swing improvisation? : TIRE
38. Move like Miley : TWERK
39. “__ it up and spit it out”: “My Way” lyric : I ATE
40. Learning ctr. : ACAD
41. “Peg Woffington” novelist : READE
42. Covered, in a way : CLAD
43. Charter acquisition : TIME WARNER CABLE
46. Tailor’s concern : FIT
47. H.S. hurdle : SAT
48. Markings on gridirons : MIDFIELD STRIPES
57. Assorted mixture : OLIO
58. __ Bruni-Sarkozy, former French first lady : CARLA
59. “Chocolat” actress : OLIN
60. Title derived from “Caesar” : TSAR
61. Early seal hunter : ALEUT
62. It’s off-limits : NO-NO
63. Cease : HALT
64. Member of a 1969 MLB expansion team : PADRE
65. Difficult situation : STEW

Down

1. Value for your money, idiomatically : BANG
2. Film apiarist : ULEE
3. A majority : MOST
4. Unrelenting attempt : SUSTAINED EFFORT
5. Usury protection : INTEREST RATE CAP
6. He played Oskar in “Schindler’s List” : LIAM
7. Diminutive suffix : -ETTE
8. Realtor’s measure : AREA
9. Land of Lincoln? : CORNHUSKER STATE
10. Airport agents see a lot of them : IDENTIFICATIONS
11. Flash Gordon foe : MING
12. Mythical vessel : ARGO
13. Random House co-founder : CERF
21. Layer : HEN
22. Tour finish? : -IST
25. Occupy, as a table : SIT AT
26. Firenze friends : AMICI
27. 2016 NFL returnee : LA RAM
28. Planter : SOWER
29. City in southwestern New York : OLEAN
30. 2013 Grammy winner for “Royals” : LORDE
31. Sonicare rival : ORAL-B
32. South African province KwaZulu-__ : NATAL
33. Kid stuff? : SUEDE
44. __ Chess: video game : WII
45. Train part : CAR
48. Clothes consumer? : MOTH
49. Victor Laszlo’s wife, in a classic film : ILSA
50. Retro calling aid : DIAL
51. Like a fantasy land? : LA-LA
52. Historic plaintiff Scott : DRED
53. Musical connector : SLUR
54. One may be hatched : PLOT
55. Strauss’ “__ Alpensinfonie” : EINE
56. Buffalo feature, often? : SNOW

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