LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Jul 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: Matt McKinley
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hair Salon

Themed answers each start with an item found at a hair salon:

  • 60A. Permanent place … and where to find the starts of the answers to starred clues : HAIR SALON
  • 17A. *ATM user’s code : PIN NUMBER
  • 38A. *Contact sport on skates : ROLLER DERBY
  • 9D. *Forest threat : BRUSH FIRE
  • 35D. *Business known for overcharging, in slang : CLIP JOINT

Bill’s time: 6m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “__ la Douce” : IRMA

“Irma la Douce” is a wonderful Billy Wilder movie that was released in 1963. It stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. Lemmon plays a maligned Parisian policeman, and MacLaine is the popular prostitute Irma la Douce (literally “Irma the Sweet”). Don’t let the adult themes throw you, as it’s a very entertaining movie …

5. Beat decisively : DRUB

A drubbing is a beating, one given either literally or figuratively. The term “drub” dates back in English to the 17th century when it was imported from the Arabic word for a beating, i.e. “darb”.

15. In __: as placed : SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

16. “Spider-Man” trilogy director Sam : RAIMI

Sam Raimi is a very successful director and producer. He was behind the “Spider-Man” series of films among others, and TV series’ such as “Xena: Warrior Princess”.

17. *ATM user’s code : PIN NUMBER

One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Given that the N in PIN stands for “number”, then “PIN number” is a redundant phrase. And, given that the M in ATM stands for “machine”, then “ATM machine” is a redundant phrase as well. Grr …!

21. Newspapers, collectively : PRESS

We often refer to newspapers and journalists collectively as “the press”. The term comes from the association with the printing press.

26. Play with Iago : OTHELLO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

30. Naval rank: Abbr. : ENS

Ensign (ens.)

38. *Contact sport on skates : ROLLER DERBY

The sport of roller derby has an international footprint, with almost half the world’s teams being located outside of the US. Most of the teams playing the sport are all-female.

40. Garlicky sauce : AIOLI

To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

42. “Fringe on top” carriage of song : SURREY

“The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” is a song from the 1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!”. The “Surrey” in question is fancy horse-drawn carriage.

45. GI’s internet suffix : MIL

The .mil domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

46. Director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

49. Exec’s aircraft : LEARJET

Learjet is a company making business jets that was founded in 1960 by William Powell Lear. The original Learjet was a modified Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft.

51. Elizabeth Warren or Lisa Murkowski, e.g. : SENATOR

54. Elizabeth Warren or Lisa Murkowski, e.g. : WOMAN

Elizabeth Warren is the senior US Senator from Massachusetts, and the first female to hold that office for her state. Warren is a prominent Democratic and is a favorite of the progressive wing of the party.

Lisa Murkowski is the first Alaska senator that was actually born in the state. In 2002 she was appointed to the US Senate, by her father, then Governor Frank Murkowski, but then won the seat in her own right in the 2004 election. In 2010 she narrowly lost the Republican primary election to Joe Miller, a candidate famously supported by former Governor Sarah Palin. Senator Murkowski has put herself forward as a “write-in” candidate in the November 2010 election, meaning that anyone who wants to vote for her may do so by simply writing in her name on the ballot.

56. Bush 43 successor : OBAMA

By tradition, the Secret Service code names used for the US President and family all start with the same letter. For the Obama First Family, that letter is R:

  • Barack Obama: Renegade
  • Michelle Obama: Renaissance
  • Malia Obama: Radiance
  • Sasha Obama: Rosebud

For the Bush First Family, the code names starts with the letter T:

  • George W. Bush: Tumbler (later “Trailblazer”)
  • Laura Bush: Tempo
  • Barbara Bush: Turquoise
  • Jenna Bush: Twinkle

60. Permanent place … and where to find the starts of the answers to starred clues : HAIR SALON

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls. I don’t worry about such things, as it’s a number-one all over for me …

63. Sch. east of Hartford : UCONN

The University of Connecticut (UConn) was founded in 1881 as the Storrs Agricultural School, taking its name from the Storrs brothers who donated the land and provided initial funding.

Hartford is the capital of the state of Connecticut. The city is home to the headquarters of many insurance companies. As such Hartford is nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World”.

64. Grand Ole __ : OPRY

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.

65. Civil wrong : TORT

The word “tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

66. Cake pan trademark : BUNDT

Here in the US, what we know as Bundt cake takes its name from the ring-shaped pan in which it is usually baked. This pan was introduced in 1950 by the company Nordic Ware, at which time the “Bundt” name was trademarked.

Down

3. Classic colorful candies : M AND MS

Forrest Mars, Sr. was the founder of the Mars Company. Forrest invented the Mars Bar while living over in England and then developed M&M’s when he returned to the US. Mars came up with the idea for M&M’s when he saw soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating chocolate pellets. Those pellets had a hard shell of tempered chocolate on the outside to prevent them from melting. Mars got some of the funding to develop the M&M from William Murrie, the son of the president of Hershey’s Chocolate. It is the “M” and “M” from “Mars” and “Murrie” that gives the name to the candy.

5. U.S. Army award : DSM

The Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) is the highest non-valorous decoration awarded for services to the US military.

7. Sch. near the Rio Grande : UTEP

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) was founded in 1914 as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy. To this day, there is a mine shaft on the campus. The mascot of the school’s sports teams is Paydirt Pete, a prospector from the mining industry. The teams are also known as the UTEP Miners and Lady Miners.

8. Grand Canyon critter : BURRO

The wild donkey that we know as a burro was introduced into the Grand Canyon in the late 1800s, where they used the animal to help pack out mined copper, asbestos and lead. When the miners moved on, they left the burros to roam free. Feral burros essentially overran the Grand Canyon in subsequent years, leading to the forced removal of 500 of them in the early eighties by the National Park Service. Burros wreak havoc on the canyon’s ecosystem, and in particular compete with native bighorn sheep. The bighorn sheep population has rebounded since the number of wild donkeys has dropped.

11. Peru airport abbr. : LIM

Peru’s main airport is Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM), and is located just a few miles from the nation’s capital Lima. The facility is named for Jorge Chávez, a pioneering Peruvian aviator who died in 1920 while attempting the first air crossing of the Alps.

12. Thurman of movies : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s “moll” in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from 1998 until 2002, doing very little work in favor of motherhood. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

18. Internet address : URL

An Internet address (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locators (URL).

22. Incoming flight info : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

24. Ice skater’s jump : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

25. Heredity units : GENES

The set of all genes in a particular population is known as the “gene pool”, a term coined in Russian by geneticist Aleksandr Sergeevich Serebrovskii in the 1920s. In general, the larger the gene pool the more diverse and robust the population.

27. Title for Godiva : LADY

In the legend of Lady Godiva, the noblewoman rode naked through the streets of Coventry in England, basically as a dare from her husband in return for relieving the taxes of his tenants. Lady Godiva issued instructions that all the town’s inhabitants should stay indoors while she made her journey. However, a tailor in the town named Tom disobeyed the instructions by boring holes in the shutters on his windows, and “peeped”. As a result, Peeping Tom was struck blind, and the term “peeping Tom” has been in our language ever since.

28. Actress Lucy : LIU

Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I am having fun watching one of Liu’s more recent projects, in which she plays Jane Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

29. “__ to Billie Joe” : ODE

“Ode to Billie Joe” is a hit song written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1967. It tells the tale of a family talking about the day that “Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”

32. Hospital supply : SERUM

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell or a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to some disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

34. Sun emanation responsible for the northern lights : SOLAR WIND

The Sun’s upper atmosphere continually ejects a stream of the charged particles that have such high energy that they can escape the Sun’s gravity. This supersonic plasma consisting of mainly electrons, protons and alpha particles is referred to as the solar wind. The solar wind extends as far as the outer limits of our solar system, and is responsible for phenomena such as the Earth’s northern and southern lights, the geomagnetic storms that affect radio reception, and the plasma tails of comets.

35. *Business known for overcharging, in slang : CLIP JOINT

The verb “to clip” can mean “to swindle, cheat”. That usage comes from the old practise of cutting or shaving metal from coins. A related term “clip joint” describes an establishment that overcharges.

36. Elba of “The Wire” : IDRIS

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.

I didn’t watch the HBO series called “The Wire” when it first aired. We ending up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing a few years ago. It’s is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it. Personally, I think that HBO produces some of the best dramas on American television.

38. Almond __: candy : ROCA

Almond Roca is a brand of chocolate-covered toffee that has a coating of ground almonds, and was invented in 1923.

39. Mystery writer Gardner : ERLE

I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

44. Coll. term : SEM

“Semester” is a German word from the Latin “semestris”, an adjective meaning “of six months”. We use the term in a system that divides an academic year into two roughly equal parts. A trimester-system has three parts, and a quarter-system has four.

50. Lake near Reno : TAHOE

Lake Tahoe (often referred to simply as “Tahoe”) is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and is located right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

55. Golden State wine region : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

“Golden State” has been the official nickname of California since 1968. The nickname reflects the expansion of the state’s economy that followed the discovery of gold in 1848, and also the fields of golden poppies seen growing wild across California in the spring.

58. Puncture prefix : ACU-

Acupressure and acupuncture are related alternative medical techniques. Both aim to clear blockages in the flow of life energy through the body’s meridians. The treatment is given by stimulating “acupoints’ in the body, by applying pressure in the case of acupressure, and by applying needles in the case of acupuncture.

59. Shock jock Imus : DON

Don Imus’s syndicated radio show “Imus in the Morning” used to broadcast from New York City. Imus has been described as a “shock jock”, a disc jockey who deliberately uses provocative language and humor that many would find offensive . I’m not a big fan of shock jocks …

61. Tax form org. : IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

62. Deli bread : RYE

The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “__ la Douce” : IRMA
5. Beat decisively : DRUB
9. High-80s grade : B-PLUS
14. Not nice at all : MEAN
15. In __: as placed : SITU
16. “Spider-Man” trilogy director Sam : RAIMI
17. *ATM user’s code : PIN NUMBER
19. It usually shows AK and HI as insets : US MAP
20. Subordinate to : UNDER
21. Newspapers, collectively : PRESS
23. Lightning-to-thunder interval, e.g. : TIME LAG
26. Play with Iago : OTHELLO
30. Naval rank: Abbr. : ENS
31. Crosses (out) : XES
33. Fearful : AFRAID
34. Start of Act II, say : SCENE I
37. Needs to be submitted by, as a term paper : IS DUE
38. *Contact sport on skates : ROLLER DERBY
40. Garlicky sauce : AIOLI
42. “Fringe on top” carriage of song : SURREY
43. LIKE THIS CLUE : IN CAPS
45. GI’s internet suffix : MIL
46. Director Lee : ANG
49. Exec’s aircraft : LEARJET
51. Elizabeth Warren or Lisa Murkowski, e.g. : SENATOR
54. Elizabeth Warren or Lisa Murkowski, e.g. : WOMAN
56. Bush 43 successor : OBAMA
57. Diameter halves : RADII
60. Permanent place … and where to find the starts of the answers to starred clues : HAIR SALON
63. Sch. east of Hartford : UCONN
64. Grand Ole __ : OPRY
65. Civil wrong : TORT
66. Cake pan trademark : BUNDT
67. Make less difficult : EASE
68. Lambs’ moms : EWES

Down

1. Ascribe (to) : IMPUTE
2. Get control of : REIN IN
3. Classic colorful candies : M AND MS
4. Year in France : ANNEE
5. U.S. Army award : DSM
6. Barbecued piece : RIB
7. Sch. near the Rio Grande : UTEP
8. Grand Canyon critter : BURRO
9. *Forest threat : BRUSH FIRE
10. Ones who may stop to help : PASSERS BY
11. Peru airport abbr. : LIM
12. Thurman of movies : UMA
13. Taste of a drink : SIP
18. Internet address : URL
22. Incoming flight info : ETA
24. Ice skater’s jump : AXEL
25. Heredity units : GENES
27. Title for Godiva : LADY
28. Actress Lucy : LIU
29. “__ to Billie Joe” : ODE
32. Hospital supply : SERUM
34. Sun emanation responsible for the northern lights : SOLAR WIND
35. *Business known for overcharging, in slang : CLIP JOINT
36. Elba of “The Wire” : IDRIS
38. Almond __: candy : ROCA
39. Mystery writer Gardner : ERLE
40. Feel sick : AIL
41. Suffix with hero : -INE
44. Coll. term : SEM
46. Hitting bottom, spirits-wise : AT A LOW
47. “That’ll be enough” : NO MORE
48. Research funding sources : GRANTS
50. Lake near Reno : TAHOE
52. Refusals : NOS
53. Taper off : ABATE
55. Golden State wine region : NAPA
57. Coax (out), as a genie : RUB
58. Puncture prefix : ACU-
59. Shock jock Imus : DON
61. Tax form org. : IRS
62. Deli bread : RYE

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