LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Jun 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Matt McKinley
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): What a Blow!

Themed answers end with synonyms of blow, in the sense of “airflow”:

  • 17A. “That was easy!” : WHAT A BREEZE!
  • 26A. Move to Canada to avoid military service : DODGE THE DRAFT
  • 45A. Top-10 1978 hit for Kansas : DUST IN THE WIND
  • 61A. Girl who went to Oz : DOROTHY GALE

Bill’s time: 5m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. NBA coach Pat who trademarked “three-peat” : RILEY

Pat Riley is a former professional basketball player and NBA head coach. Off the court, Riley is quite the celebrity and is noted as a snappy dresser. He is friend of Giorgio Armani and wears Armani suits at all his games. Riley even modeled suits at an Armani fashion show.

A “three-peat” is the winning of a sports championship three seasons in a row.

16. Hole-in-one : ACE

One well-documented hole in one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes in one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes in one in his one and only round of golf.

19. “__ Loves You”: Beatles : SHE

The Beatles song “She Loves You” was released in 1963. It was one of five songs that together achieved an amazing feat in the US charts. At one point that year, those five songs were in the top five positions. The top five songs were:

  1. “Can’t Buy Me Love”
  2. “Twist and Shout”
  3. “She Loves You”
  4. “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
  5. “Please Please Me”

Further down the charts, and still in the top 100, were seven more Beatles songs.

20. Beethoven’s “Moonlight,” e.g. : SONATA

Beethoven subtitled his “Piano Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No. 2” as “Quasi una fantasia”, or “sonata in the manner of a fantasy” in English. Five years after Beethoven died, a music critic wrote that the (superb!) first movement of the piece had an effect like that of moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne. Since then, the work has been known as the “Moonlight Sonata”.

25. Actor Cage, in tabloids : NIC

The actor Nicolas “Nic” Cage was born Nicolas Coppola. Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, both of whom are his father’s siblings.

26. Move to Canada to avoid military service : DODGE THE DRAFT

Many young American men moved to Canada in order to evade the draft during the Vietnam War. After the end of the war in 1975, those choosing to return to the US faced imprisonment or forced military service. In 1974, President Gerald Ford offered amnesty to draft dodgers in return for 6-24 months of alternative service. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter offered pardons to those who evaded the draft and admitted the crime.

33. Sea of __: Black Sea arm : AZOV

The Sea of Azov lies east of the Crimean Peninsula and is linked to the larger Black Sea via the narrow Strait of Kerch. The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world, with the depth never going above forty-six feet.

35. Midwestern tribe : OTOE

The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

37. Smart-alecky : CUTE

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

40. Policy expert : WONK

A wonk is an overly studious person. It is an American slang term that has been around at least since 1954. More recently, “wonk” has acquired an air of respectability as it has come to mean someone who has studies a topic thoroughly and become somewhat expert.

43. NASCAR’s Yarborough : CALE

Cale Yarborough is a former NASCAR driver and owner. Yarborough was the first NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of “Sports Illustrated”.

45. Top-10 1978 hit for Kansas : DUST IN THE WIND

Kansas is a rock band that formed in 1970s in Topeka, Kansas. The group’s biggest hits were “Carry on Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind”, both of which charted in the mid-seventies.

48. Nest egg acronym : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

50. Longtime bubble gum wrap : WAX PAPER

Chewing gum has been around for thousands of years, but bubblegum only dates back to 1928. It was developed by one Walter Diemer of the Fleer Chewing Gum Company. Diemer was a Fleer accountant, and apparently an accountant who liked to mess around with gum recipes in his spare time.

61. Girl who went to Oz : DOROTHY GALE

Dorothy Gale is the protagonist in L. Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, and indeed a major character in almost all of the “Oz” series of novels. There is a suggestion that the young heroine was named for Baum’s own niece Dorothy Gage, who died as an infant.

65. George’s fiancée on “Seinfeld” : SUSAN

Susan Ross was George Costanza’s fiancee for a while on “Seinfeld”. George bought cheap, toxin-laden envelopes for Susan to mail out wedding invitations, and she died from licking the glue in them. Susan was played by actress Heidi Swedberg.

67. Brand for nasal congestion : SINEX

Vicks Sinex is a nasal decongestant with the active ingredient Oxymetazoline. Oxymetazoline is a little scary to me. Although it opens up nasal passages effectively, excessive use can lead to dependence in which the nasal passages remain blocked without further doses of the drug.

68. Australian gems : OPALS

The largest opal ever found, and the most valuable, is the Olympic Australis. It was discovered in South Australia in 1956. That same year, the Summer Olympics were being held in Melbourne so the newly discovered stone was given the name “Olympic Australis”.

Down

2. Texter’s “As I see it … ” : IMHO …

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

4. Soul singer James : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

6. LAX incoming flight : ARR

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

11. Corned beef concoction : HASH

Hash, meaning a dish of beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American dish and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. “Hash” just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name “hash” in this context comes from the French “hacher” meaning “to chop”. Back in the early 1900s the dish called “hashed browned potatoes” was developed, which quickly morphed into “hash browns”. From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.

18. Maine city : BANGOR

Bangor is the third-most populous city in the state of Maine (after Portland and Lewiston). The city was given its name in 1791, after the hymn “Antiphonary of Bangor” that was written at Bangor Abbey in Northern Ireland.

28. Hebrew scroll : TORAH

A Torah scroll (also “Sefer Torah”) is a handwritten copy of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures.

31. Dejected spell : FUNK

“Funk” is ill-humor, and is a word that dates back to the mid-1700s. “Funk” is probably a term that came from Scottish and northern English.

32. Toll rds. : TPKS

Back in the 15th century, a turnpike (tpk.) was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travelers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike was the name given to a road with a toll.

33. Air Force sch. : ACAD

The US Air Force Academy (USAFA) is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I had the privilege not too long ago of visiting the Academy, and what an impressive campus it is. When the USAF Academy graduated its first class in 1959, it became the youngest of the five service academies to do so. Significantly, female candidates were first accepted by the academy in 1976, and today the graduating classes include over 20% women.

34. NATO alphabet ender : ZULU

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

42. Long rants : TIRADES

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

46. City SE of Roma : NAPOLI

Naples (“Napoli” in Italian) is the third largest city in Italy. The name “Napoli” comes from the city’s Ancient Greek name, which translates as “New City”. That’s a bit of a paradox as today Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.

50. “For __ the Bell Tolls” : WHOM

“For Whom the Bell Tolls” is a 1940 novel by author Ernest Hemingway that tells the story of an American fighting for a republican guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. The novel is based on Hemingway’s own experiences during the conflict. The title is taken from a work by metaphysical poet John Donne called “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions”.

52. Marvel Comics superheroes : X-MEN

In the Marvel Comics universe, mutants are beings with an X-gene. Such mutants are humans who naturally develop superhuman powers. The most celebrated of these mutants are known as the X-Men.

53. The Emerald Isle : ERIN

Ireland is often referred to as the “Emerald Isle” (and described as “green”) because of all that green grass that grows due to the seemingly non-stop rain.

56. Scrolling PC key : PGUP

PGUP (Page Up) and PGDN (Page Down) are two navigation keys found on a PC keyboard.

57. “¿Qué __?” : PASA

In Spanish, “qué pasa?” translates literally as “what happened?” But, it is used to mean “how have things been going with you?”.

58. Airline with only kosher meals : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

According to Jewish dietary law, kosher food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as treif (or “tref”). The usage of “kosher” has extended to include anything considered legitimate.

62. One of two sts. with bordering panhandles : TEX

Those would be the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Speechless performers : MIMES
6. Love to bits : ADORE
11. Hem and __ : HAW
14. Overplay the scene : EMOTE
15. NBA coach Pat who trademarked “three-peat” : RILEY
16. Hole-in-one : ACE
17. “That was easy!” : WHAT A BREEZE!
19. “__ Loves You”: Beatles : SHE
20. Beethoven’s “Moonlight,” e.g. : SONATA
21. Lawn mower housing : TOOLSHED
23. Come to a close : END
25. Actor Cage, in tabloids : NIC
26. Move to Canada to avoid military service : DODGE THE DRAFT
33. Sea of __: Black Sea arm : AZOV
35. Midwestern tribe : OTOE
36. Finalize, as a deal : SEW UP
37. Smart-alecky : CUTE
38. Aired again on TV : RERAN
40. Policy expert : WONK
41. Give a heads-up : ALERT
43. NASCAR’s Yarborough : CALE
44. Bothers a lot : IRKS
45. Top-10 1978 hit for Kansas : DUST IN THE WIND
48. Nest egg acronym : IRA
49. Prefix with appear : DIS-
50. Longtime bubble gum wrap : WAX PAPER
55. Slowly diminished, as strength : SAPPED
60. Smooth machinery sound : HUM
61. Girl who went to Oz : DOROTHY GALE
63. Mine extraction : ORE
64. Cream of the crop : ELITE
65. George’s fiancée on “Seinfeld” : SUSAN
66. Fellow : MAN
67. Brand for nasal congestion : SINEX
68. Australian gems : OPALS

Down

1. Kitten cries : MEWS
2. Texter’s “As I see it … ” : IMHO …
3. Pained sound : MOAN
4. Soul singer James : ETTA
5. Helped by an usher : SEATED
6. LAX incoming flight : ARR
7. Food restriction : DIET
8. Toast topper : OLEO
9. Change the district boundaries of : REZONE
10. Peepers’ closers : EYELIDS
11. Corned beef concoction : HASH
12. Pain : ACHE
13. Lawn invader : WEED
18. Maine city : BANGOR
22. Attach to a light bulb socket : SCREW IN
24. Find out about : DETECT
26. Showers affection (on) : DOTES
27. Be exorbitant with the gratuity : OVERTIP
28. Hebrew scroll : TORAH
29. Restored to health : HEALED
30. “I need to tell you something” : A WORD
31. Dejected spell : FUNK
32. Toll rds. : TPKS
33. Air Force sch. : ACAD
34. NATO alphabet ender : ZULU
39. Fairly recent : NEWISH
42. Long rants : TIRADES
46. City SE of Roma : NAPOLI
47. Mom’s emphatic words after “Because” : … I SAY SO
50. “For __ the Bell Tolls” : WHOM
51. Surrounding glow : AURA
52. Marvel Comics superheroes : X-MEN
53. The Emerald Isle : ERIN
54. Mechanical learning method : ROTE
56. Scrolling PC key : PGUP
57. “¿Qué __?” : PASA
58. Airline with only kosher meals : EL AL
59. TV-watching rooms : DENS
62. One of two sts. with bordering panhandles : TEX

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