LA Times Crossword 1 Sep 18, Saturday

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Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 21m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Reality show whose Dutch version was called “Now or Neverland” : FEAR FACTOR

“Fear Factor” is really obnoxious (my opinion!) reality show that originally aired from 2001 to 2006. Contestants had to do some pretty disgusting things in order to win. “Fear Factor” is a remake of a Dutch show called “Now or Neverland”.

16. “Hairspray” mom : EDNA

In the musical “Hairspray”, Edna Turnblad is one of the main characters. “Hairspray” was originally a John Waters movie, from 1988. In that film Edna was played by Divine, a famous drag queen who featured in many Waters films. In the stage musical that opened in 2002, the original Broadway cast featured Harvey Fierstein as Edna. The 2007 movie adaptation of the musical had John Travolta in the role.

18. Film noir crime fighters : T-MEN

A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (T stands for “Treasury”).

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

19. Calendar abbr. : THU

The days of the week are named for celestial bodies and gods

  • Sunday — Sun’s Day
  • Monday — Moon’s Day
  • Tuesday — Tiu’s day
  • Wednesday — Woden’s day
  • Thursday — Thor’s day
  • Friday — Freya’s day
  • Saturday — Saturn’s day

20. “__: Cyber” : CSI

The “CSI” TV show franchise uses hits from the Who as theme music:

  • “Who Are You” … “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
  • “Baba O’Riley” … “CSI: New York”
  • “Won’t Get Fooled Again” … “CSI: Miami”
  • “I Can See for Miles” … “CSI: Cyber”

23. Marsh growth : SEDGE

Sedges are a family of plants that resemble grasses and rushes. Sedges are more properly called Cyperaceae.

25. Dinette piece with cupboards : CREDENZA

In modern terms, a credenza can be a wooden sideboard in a dining room from which buffet meals can be served. Back in 16th century Italy, the act of “credenza” was the tasting of food and drink by by a servant to test for poison.

27. City on the Oka : OREL

Orel (also “Oryol”) is a city lying on the Oka River, just over 200 miles SSW of Moscow. Orel was one of the cities occupied by Germany during WWII. It was liberated in 1943, but had been almost completely destroyed.

28. Org. in “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” : MPAA

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

“This Film Is Not Yet Rated” is a fascinating 2006 documentary film about the rating system used by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The film is largely critical of the MPAA rating system, and makes some pretty good arguments, in my humble opinion …

30. Starts to slip and slide? : ESSES

The words “slip” and “slide” start with letters S (esses).

34. Chrysler Building style : ART DECO

The Chrysler Building in Manhattan is a magnificent Art Deco structure that was opened in 1930. Standing at over 1,000 feet tall, it was the tallest building in the world for almost a year, until the Empire State Building was completed in 1931. The building was constructed for use of the Chrysler Corporation, but the company never owned it. The car manufacturer’s founder decided to pay for the Chrysler Building out if his personal wealth, so that he could pass it on to his children.

47. Enjoying the Smithsonian, briefly : IN DC

The Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 as the United States National Museum. The institution was renamed in honor of British scientist James Smithson who indirectly provided the initial funding. The funds were collected from England on the orders of President Andrew Jackson, and arrived in the form of 105 sacks containing 104,960 gold sovereigns.

48. Pirates rival : PHILLIES

Philadelphia’s baseball team was founded in 1883 as the Quakers, with the name changing to the Philadelphias and Phillies not long into the team’s history. The Phillies have been based in the same city using the same team name longer than any other team in US professional sports.

The Pittsburgh Pirates (nicknamed the Bucs or Buccos) joined baseball’s National League in 1887 just six years after the league was formed. The Pirates played in the first ever World Series in 1903, and won their first World Series in 1909.

51. Drama set in ’60s Manhattan : MAD MEN

“Mad Men” was the flagship show on the AMC television channel for several seasons. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

60. British weapon acronym : STEN

The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The S and the T comes from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

Down

4. Cal.’s 101, e.g. : RTE

US Route 101 runs in the north-south direction along the west coast of the country, through California, Oregon and Washington. US 101 is an important thoroughfare here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but along most of its length, traffic tends to use the parallel Interstate 5.

5. Thrust and parry : FENCE

In competitive fencing, a parry is a maneuver that blocks an attack by an opponent. There are actually nine defined ways to execute a parry.

6. Words between partners? : ANDS

My favorite would probably be Ben and Jerry …

7. Starbucks tea : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in Herman Melville’s book “Moby Dick”.

8. Common base : TEN

Our base-10 numeral system is also known as the decimal (sometimes “denary”) numeral system. Another common numeral system is base-2, which is also known as the binary system.

9. Mordor menace : ORC

According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth (also called “Mordor”). They are very ugly and dirty, and are fond of eating human flesh.

10. “The Canterbury Tales” estate manager : REEVE

A reeve was a senior official in the days of Anglo-Saxon England, and might perhaps have been a chief magistrate of a town. Famously, a reeve appears in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”. “The Reeve’s Tale” is the third tale in the book.

“The Canterbury Tales” is a collection of stories penned by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. Written in MIddle English, the tales are presented as a storytelling contest held by a group of pilgrims as they travel from London to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. “The Canterbury Tales” is often cited as a landmark piece of English literature as it popularized the use of vernacular English, as opposed to the French or Latin works that were commonly published up to that time.

11. Liverpool lengths : METRES

Liverpool is a large port city in the northwest of England located on the estuary of the River Mersey. With a sense of humor that is typical of the area, people from Liverpool are often called “Liverpudlians”. The term comes from the jocular “Liver-puddle”, a diminutive of “Liver-pool”.

14. “The Wizard of Oz” setting : KANSAS

The famous line “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” from 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz” was ranked no. 5 in a list of top movie quotes compiled by “The Hollywood Reporter”. The top of the list makes interesting reading, with the following comprising the top five:

  1. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” from “Gone With the Wind” (1939)
  2. “Here’s looking at you, kid.” from “Casablanca” (1942)
  3. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” from “Jaws” (1975)
  4. “May the Force be with you.” from “Star Wars” (1977)
  5. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

24. Rags or bags lead-in : GLAD

“Glad rags” is a slang term for one’s best clothes.

Glad is a company making plastic products, especially food containers and trash bags. Glad was launched in 1963 to make Glad Wrap, a polyethylene wrap used to preserve food.

28. Mineral in thin sheets : MICA

Mica is a silicate mineral. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes’ in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

29. Smart dog : POODLE

The standard poodle breed of dog is considered to be the second most intelligent breed, after the border collie. The name “poodle” comes from a Low German word meaning “to splash about”, reflecting the original use of the breed as a water retriever.

32. Mayan structure : TEMPLE

The Maya civilization held sway in Central America and Mexico from about 350 AD, until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s.

33. Landlocked Normandy department : ORNE

Orne is a department and river in the northwest of France. Perhaps one of the most famous locations in Orne is the village of Camembert, the home of the famous (and delicious!) cheese.

37. Garment in a Gilbert and Sullivan title : PINAFORE

“H.M.S. Pinafore” is one of my favorite of the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas (a production we staged at high school, many moons ago). “Pinafore” was one of the first big hits for Gilbert & Sullivan (in their native Britain, and in America), and they followed it up with “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Mikado”.

39. Syncopated rhythmic element : BACKBEAT

In the world of music, syncopation is the expected emphasis away from the normally accented beat, producing an unexpected rhythm, an “offbeat” rhythm. Syncopation is a characteristic of many genres of music, notably ragtime and jazz.

41. Frozen Wasser : EIS

In German, “Eis” (ice) is frozen “Wasser” (water).

43. Cosmic energy, in Hinduism : SHAKTI

In the Hindu tradition, Shakti is the cosmic energy that pervades the entire universe. Shakti is sometimes referred to as “the Great Divine Mother”.

44. Tiny Tootsie Roll : MIDGEE

Tootsie Rolls were developed by an Austrian candy maker called Leo Hirschfeld in New York City in 1896. Hirschfeld named the candy after his daughter, who had the nickname “Tootsie”. A couple of derivative products have become quite popular, namely Tootsie Pops and Tootsie Roll Midgees.

50. One of four … and of thirteen : SPADE

Spades is one of the four suits in a standard deck of cards. The spade symbol represents the pike, a medieval weapon.

52. Service with painted nails : PEDI

Pedicure (pedi)

53. Gp. with many barrels : OPEC

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

The volume of one oil barrel is equivalent to 42 US gallons. A barrel is correctly abbreviated to “bbl”. Barrels aren’t really used for transporting crude oil anymore. Instead, oil moves in bulk through pipelines and in tankers. “Barrel” is just used as a unit of volume these days.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Reality show whose Dutch version was called “Now or Neverland” : FEAR FACTOR
11. Conceal : MASK
15. “Now, look … ” : LISTEN HERE …
16. “Hairspray” mom : EDNA
17. Ballpark figure : ATTENDANCE
18. Film noir crime fighters : T-MEN
19. Calendar abbr. : THU
20. “__: Cyber” : CSI
21. Fluctuates : VARIES
23. Marsh growth : SEDGE
25. Dinette piece with cupboards : CREDENZA
27. City on the Oka : OREL
28. Org. in “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” : MPAA
30. Starts to slip and slide? : ESSES
31. Collection area : DONATION BOX
34. Chrysler Building style : ART DECO
35. Source of suds : BREWPUB
40. Label on some foreign goods : MADE IN CHINA
42. Colorful almanac pg. : US MAP
46. For calorie counters : LITE
47. Enjoying the Smithsonian, briefly : IN DC
48. Pirates rival : PHILLIES
50. Fire starter : SPARK
51. Drama set in ’60s Manhattan : MAD MEN
52. Music genre : POP
54. Spare a friend’s feelings, maybe : FIB
55. “Your turn” : OK, GO
56. One level higher than : A STEP ABOVE
60. British weapon acronym : STEN
61. Source of shade : WOODED AREA
62. Like apron strings : TIED
63. Temptation : ENTICEMENT

Down

1. Result of a gas shortage? : FLAT SODA
2. Must-choose situation : EITHER/OR
3. Top performer : A-STUDENT
4. Cal.’s 101, e.g. : RTE
5. Thrust and parry : FENCE
6. Words between partners? : ANDS
7. Starbucks tea : CHAI
8. Common base : TEN
9. Mordor menace : ORC
10. “The Canterbury Tales” estate manager : REEVE
11. Liverpool lengths : METRES
12. Online forum VIPs : ADMINS
13. Eyes-closed event : SNEEZE
14. “The Wizard of Oz” setting : KANSAS
22. 51-Across bigwig : AD EXEC
24. Rags or bags lead-in : GLAD
25. Fire : CAN
26. Multiplication symbol? : RABBIT
28. Mineral in thin sheets : MICA
29. Smart dog : POODLE
32. Mayan structure : TEMPLE
33. Landlocked Normandy department : ORNE
36. Light and fluffy dessert : WHIP
37. Garment in a Gilbert and Sullivan title : PINAFORE
38. Like a car in storage : UNDRIVEN
39. Syncopated rhythmic element : BACKBEAT
41. Frozen Wasser : EIS
42. Loftiest : UPMOST
43. Cosmic energy, in Hinduism : SHAKTI
44. Tiny Tootsie Roll : MIDGEE
45. __ butter : ALMOND
49. Amazed : IN AWE
50. One of four … and of thirteen : SPADE
52. Service with painted nails : PEDI
53. Gp. with many barrels : OPEC
57. Youngster’s address : SON
58. Youngster : TOT
59. Loud sound : BAM!

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