LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Jul 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Giant

Themed answers start with words spoken by the GIANT in “Jack and the Beanstalk”, i.e. FEE-FI-FO-FUM:

  • 67A. N.Y. or S.F. athlete known for the beginnings of 21-, 31-, 42-, and 54-Across? : GIANT
  • 21A. In good spirits : FEELING FINE
  • 31A. Natural source of paper or rope : FIBER PLANT
  • 42A. Center of attention : FOCAL POINT
  • 54A. Gridiron goof : FUMBLED BALL

Bill’s time: 5m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Harry Potter’s forte : MAGIC

The incredibly popular “Harry Potter” films make up one of the highest-grossing film franchises of all time, up there with the “Marvel Comics”, “Star Wars” and “James Bond” movies series.

14. Susan’s “All My Children” role : ERICA

“All My Children” was the first daytime soap opera to debut in the seventies. Star of the show was Susan Lucci who played Erica Kane. The show was cancelled in 2011 after being on the air for 41 years.

19. Swamp snapper : GATOR

Crocodiles and alligators do indeed bear a resemblance to each other, although they belong to distinct biological families. One of the main ways used to distinguish them is by their teeth and jaws. Both the upper and lower sets of teeth of a crocodile are visible when its mouth is closed, whereas only the upper teeth of an alligator are visible with the mouth shut.

20. Mantra syllables : OMS

“Om” is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. “Om” is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

24. Cause one’s stomach to turn : NAUSEATE

“Nausea” is a sick feeling in the stomach. The term derives from the Greek “naus” meaning “ship”, and so was originally associated only with seasickness.

36. Actress Vardalos : NIA

Nia Vardalos is an actress and screenwriter whose biggest break came with the 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which she wrote and in which she starred. The film tells the story of a Greek-American woman marrying a non-Greek Caucasian American who converts to the Greek Orthodox Church to facilitate the marriage. The storyline reflects the actual experiences of Vardalos and her husband, actor Ian Gomez. Vardalos and Gomez appeared together as hosts for two season of the reality competition “The Great American Baking Show”.

39. Less extroverted : SHIER

The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung popularized the terms “Introvert” and “extrovert”, although he believed that we all have introverted and extroverted sides to us. Nowadays we tend to think of extroversion and introversion as extremes on a continuum. We sad bloggers, sitting at home glued to our laptops, tend to the introverted end of the scale …

41. QB’s stat : ATT

In football, one statistic (stat) used to track the performance of a quarterback (QB) is attempts (ATT).

44. Japanese straw mats : TATAMIS

A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

47. One-eighty on the road : UEY

Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn, make a 180.

48. Patron saint of Norway : OLAF

Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated, as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or “Olaf the Fat”) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of “Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae”, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

58. Treat like a pariah : AVOID

“Pariah” is an anglicized version of the Tamil word “Paraiyar”. The Paraiyar are a social group of about 9 million people found in some Indian states and in Sri Lanka. The term “pariah” came to be a general term for members of the lowest caste in society, outcasts.

59. Maris, to “the Mick” : ROG

Roger Maris (whose real family name was “Maras”) was the son of Croatian immigrants. It was Maris’s single-season record of 61 home runs that Mark McGwire broke in 1998 (hitting 70 that season). Maris’s own record of 61 runs (from 1961) beat the previous record of 60 set in 1927 by Babe Ruth.

Mickey Mantle only played professional baseball for the one team, spending 18 years with the New York Yankees. Mickey Mantle memorabilia is highly prized, especially since he retired from the game in 1969, and even more so since he died in 1995. The only other player memorabilia said to command a higher price is Babe Ruth’s. Mantle holds the record for the most career home runs by a switch hitter, as well as the most World Series home runs.

67. N.Y. or S.F. athlete known for the beginnings of 21-, 31-, 42-, and 54-Across? : GIANT

The New York Giants (NYG) football team play their home games in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a stadium shared with the New York Jets (NYJ). The Jets are the only team remaining from a group of five that joined the league in 1925. For many years, the Giants shared team names with the New York Giants MLB team, before the baseball franchise moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season.

Today’s San Francisco Giants baseball team was founded in 1883 as the New York Gothams. The team’s name was changed to the Giants in 1885, and the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958.

Down

1. Honeydew or cantaloupe : MELON

What we call honeydew melons are also known as White Antibes, especially in France and Algeria where the cultivar has been grown for many years. Antibes is a commune in southeastern France, located between Nice and Cannes.

The cantaloupe is the most popular type of melon consumed in the US. Apparently the cantaloupe was first cultivated in Cantalupo in Sabina, a town near Rome in Italy.

3. Infomercial knife : GINSU

Ginsu knives are more famous for their hard-sell television ads than they are for their efficacy in the kitchen. The Ginsu phenomenon took off in the seventies when two brothers found a set of knives called “Eversharp” that were being manufactured in Ohio. The brothers changed the brand name to something more exotic, and Japanese in particular (Ginsu), and then produced ads that made references to Japanese martial arts. I think they made a fortune …

5. Regular Martha’s Vineyard arrival : CAR FERRY

Martha’s Vineyard is a relatively large island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. “Martha’s Vineyard” was originally the name of a smaller island to the south, named by English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. The name was eventually transferred to the main island, and is now the eighth-oldest English place-name still used in the US. It is likely that the Gosnold named the island for his daughter Martha.

6. “Glengarry Glen Ross” playwright David : MAMET

David Mamet is best known as a playwright, and indeed won a Pulitzer for his 1984 play “Glengarry Glen Ross”. Mamet is also a successful screenwriter and received Oscar nominations for the films “The Verdict” (1982) and “Wag the Dog” (1997).

“Glengarry Glen Ross” is a 1992 film adapted by David Mamet from his own award-winning stage play of the same name. This is a film with a very strong cast, including Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin and Kevin Spacey. The title comes from two real estate developments being pushed by the sales office, namely Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms.

8. Obi-Wan, for one : JEDI

The Jedi are the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

11. 1960s ecumenical council of the Catholic Church : VATICAN II

The Second Vatican Council was an assembly of high-ranking officials of the Roman Catholic church that was held from 1962 until 1965. Informally known as “Vatican II”, it was the twenty-first ecumenical council of the church, and the second to be held in Vatican City (hence the name “Vatican II”). The focus of the council was the Roman Church and the modern world.

12. MBA subject : ECON

The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

22. Wyatt of the Old West : EARP

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

28. Connecticut Sun’s org. : WNBA

The WNBA’s Connecticut Sun joined the league as an expansion team in 1999 as the Orlando Miracle. The Miracle moved to Uncasville, Connecticut in 2003, changing its name at the Sun. For several years, the Sun were the only WNBA franchise that didn’t share the local market with an NBA team. That distinction ended when the NBA’s Supersonics relocated, leaving the WNBA’s Storm as the only professional team based in Seattle.

29. Nothing, in Nice : RIEN

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.

30. Tavern missile : DART

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

32. Itty bit : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

34. “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” novelist Anita : LOOS

Anita Loos was an American screenwriter and author who was most famous for her novel “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” that was first published in 1925. “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was originally published as a series of short stories in “Harper’s Bazaar”. The heroine of the story was Lorelei Lee, a “flapper” who was less interested in marriage than she was in collecting expensive gifts from her many gentleman admirers.

39. Grade school subject : SPELLING

That was my favorite subject when I attended Hogwarts, my grade schoool …

40. Axton of country : HOYT

Hoyt Axton was a singer-songwriter best known for his folk-style songs. The Axton song most familiar to me is “Joy to the World”, which was a bit hit for Three Dog Night in 1971.

42. Marching band wind : FIFE

A fife is a small flute that is often used in military and marching bands. The name “fife” comes from the German “Pfeife” meaning “pipe”.

45. White mouse, e.g. : ALBINO

An albino is an organism lacking normal pigmentation. The term “albino” comes from “albus”, Latin for “white”.

46. “On the Waterfront” co-star Karl : MALDEN

Karl Malden was the stage name of Serbian-American actor Mladen George Sekulovich. Malden was born in Chicago, the son of a Serbian father and Czech mother. Malden liked to slip his real family name “Sekulovich” into the movies and TV shows in which he appeared. For example, when playing Omar Bradley in “Patton”, he addresses a soldier with “Hand me that helmet, Sekulovich”. Playing a prison warden in “Birdman of Alcatraz”, he includes “Sekulovich” in a roll call of inmates. And then in the seventies cop show “The Streets of San Francisco”, Malden’s character Mike Stone employed a legman named Sekulovich.

The 1954 drama “On the Waterfront”, starring Marlon Brando, told a story of violence and corruption among longshoremen. The movie was based on a series of 24 articles written by investigative journalist Malcolm Johnston and published in “The New York Sun”. The original news stories uncovered mob infiltration on the New York City Waterfront, but the location for the film was chosen as Hoboken, New Jersey.

49. Steakhouse order : T-BONE

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

51. The first Mrs. Trump : IVANA

Ivana Zelníčková was born in Czechoslovakia. She married an Austrian named Alfred Winklmayr, in an arrangement that allowed her to leave Communist Czechoslovakia. The marriage was dissolved within two years, and Zelníčková settled in Canada. She was an excellent skier, and was named as an alternate for the 1982 Czech Olympic Team. She was promoting the Montreal Olympics in New York in 1976 when she met Donald Trump. Ivana and Donald’s marriage was very public and well-covered by the media, but not nearly as well-covered as their very litigious divorce in the early nineties.

52. Runners occupying bases : MEN ON

That would be baseball.

55. Optic layer including the iris : UVEA

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

61. Louis XIV, par exemple : ROI

Louis XIV is perhaps the most famous of the kings (“rois”) of France and was known as the Sun King (“le Roi Soleil”). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715. That reign of over 72 years is the longest reign of any European monarch.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Harry Potter’s forte : MAGIC
6. USAF officer : MAJ
9. Some spouses : WIVES
14. Susan’s “All My Children” role : ERICA
15. Memorable time : AGE
16. Has __ up one’s sleeve : AN ACE
17. Antisocial type : LONER
18. Term start? : MID-
19. Swamp snapper : GATOR
20. Mantra syllables : OMS
21. In good spirits : FEELING FINE
24. Cause one’s stomach to turn : NAUSEATE
26. Monthly util. bill : ELEC
27. Goof up : ERR
28. Off the straight and narrow : WAYWARD
31. Natural source of paper or rope : FIBER PLANT
36. Actress Vardalos : NIA
37. Not hurting for space : ROOMY
38. Heavenly body : ORB
39. Less extroverted : SHIER
41. QB’s stat : ATT
42. Center of attention : FOCAL POINT
44. Japanese straw mats : TATAMIS
47. One-eighty on the road : UEY
48. Patron saint of Norway : OLAF
49. Read a clock : TELL TIME
54. Gridiron goof : FUMBLED BALL
57. Bedevil : VEX
58. Treat like a pariah : AVOID
59. Maris, to “the Mick” : ROG
60. Afghan’s neighbor : IRANI
62. Attend the homecoming game, say : REUNE
63. Inseparable : ONE
64. Things to shun : NO-NOS
65. Use at the table : EAT ON
66. Pricing word : PER
67. N.Y. or S.F. athlete known for the beginnings of 21-, 31-, 42-, and 54-Across? : GIANT

Down

1. Honeydew or cantaloupe : MELON
2. Pleasant smell : AROMA
3. Infomercial knife : GINSU
4. Sign in a hotel hallway : ICE
5. Regular Martha’s Vineyard arrival : CAR FERRY
6. “Glengarry Glen Ross” playwright David : MAMET
7. Nimble : AGILE
8. Obi-Wan, for one : JEDI
9. Like a happy dog’s tail : WAGGLY
10. Shortly, informally : IN A FEW
11. 1960s ecumenical council of the Catholic Church : VATICAN II
12. MBA subject : ECON
13. Dry as a desert : SERE
22. Wyatt of the Old West : EARP
23. Tidy : NEAT
25. “I __ to recall … ” : SEEM
28. Connecticut Sun’s org. : WNBA
29. Nothing, in Nice : RIEN
30. Tavern missile : DART
31. Greek campus group : FRAT
32. Itty bit : IOTA
33. Reach the lowest level : BOTTOM OUT
34. “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” novelist Anita : LOOS
35. Eyebrow shape : ARC
39. Grade school subject : SPELLING
40. Axton of country : HOYT
42. Marching band wind : FIFE
43. Slow period : LULL
45. White mouse, e.g. : ALBINO
46. “On the Waterfront” co-star Karl : MALDEN
49. Steakhouse order : T-BONE
50. Itching to go : EAGER
51. The first Mrs. Trump : IVANA
52. Runners occupying bases : MEN ON
53. Have life : EXIST
54. Cab cost : FARE
55. Optic layer including the iris : UVEA
56. Go down : DROP
61. Louis XIV, par exemple : ROI

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