LA Times Crossword 10 Sep 18, Monday

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Constructed by: Matt McKinley
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: String Trio

We have a TRIO of themed answers today, each starting with a synonym of STRING:

  • 62A. Composition for violin, viola and cello … and what the starts of 17-, 29- and 47-Across comprise : STRING TRIO
  • 17A. Job : LINE OF WORK
  • 29A. Switching from cable TV to streaming, say : CORD CUTTING
  • 47A. Bedsheet buyer’s concern : THREAD COUNT

Bill’s time: 6m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “We Create Music” org. : ASCAP

ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) collects licence fees for musicians and distributes royalties to composers whose works have been performed. BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) provides the same service.

10. Sportscaster Albert : MARV

Marv Albert is television and radio sportscaster who is often referred to as “the voice of basketball”. Marv has two younger brothers who are also sports announcers, and his son Kenny calls baseball and football for New York Rangers games on FOX radio. In addition, Marv’s daughter is a reporter for NBA TV.

16. Jai __ : ALAI

Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

19. Govt. crash investigator : NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for the investigation of major accidents involving transportation. Included in this broad definition is the transportation of fluids in pipelines. The organization is independent in that it has no ties to other government agencies or departments so that its investigations can be viewed as “impartial”. The NTSB also earns a little money for the US as it hires out its investigation teams to countries who don’t have the necessary resources available on their own soil.

20. Weather-affecting current : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

23. __ Strauss, female touring guitarist for Alice Cooper : NITA

Nita Strauss is a rock guitarist who is best known as a member of an all-female Iron Maiden tribute band called the Iron Maidens.

25. Greek “i” : 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.

26. BB-shaped legume : PEA

A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

Plants called legumes are notable in that they work symbiotically with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, microorganisms found in the root nodules that convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium ions. As nitrogen is an essential component of proteins, legumes are exceptionally rich sources of plant protein.

34. Relaxing time in the chalet : APRES-SKI

“Après-ski” is a French term meaning “after skiing”. It refers to the good times to be had after coming off the slopes.

37. Four-time ’60s-’70s A.L. All-Star __ Powell : BOOG

Boog Powell is a retired professional baseball player who turned out for the Cleveland Indians, the LA Dodgers, and most notably the Baltimore Orioles. Powell owns Boog’s Barbecue, a restaurant with two locations in Maryland that sells barbecue sandwiches and ribs.

38. 42-yr.-old skit show : SNL

NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

50. Pop’s Lady __ : GAGA

“Lady Gaga” is the stage name of Stefani Germanotta. Germanotta is a big fan of the band Queen, and she took her stage name from the marvelous Queen song titled “Radio Ga Ga”.

51. 1982 Disney sci-fi film : TRON

Released in 1982, Disney’s “Tron” was one of the first mainstream films to make extensive use of computer graphics. The main role in the movie is played by Jeff Bridges. The original spawned a 2010 sequel called “Tron: Legacy”, as well as a 2012 TV show called “Tron: Uprising”.

57. Hydrocodone, e.g. : OPIATE

Opiates are the narcotic alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant, although some synthetic versions and derivatives of the same alkaloids are also called opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

Hydrocodone is an opioid derived from codeine that is sold under the brand name Vicodin. According to a study released a few years ago, 99% of the world’s supply of hydrocodone is consumed in the US.

61. Like un maníaco : LOCO

In Spanish, “un maníaco” (a maniac) is “loco” (crazy).

64. Color of raw silk : ECRU

The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

65. Sights from la mer : ILES

In French, an “île” (island) is “terre dans la mer” (land in the sea).

66. Longtime senator Specter : ARLEN

Arlen Specter was the US Senator for Pennsylvania, famous for switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party in 2009. In 2010 he lost the Democratic primary and his seat went to Pat Toomey, a Republican. Spector developed a reputation for himself of being hard to work with over the years, earning the nickname “Snarlin’ Arlen”.

67. Vintage Jags : XKES

XK and XKE are models of Jaguar motor car.

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

69. Wall Street’s Standard & __ : POORS

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) is a financial services company, famous for its stock market indices, especially the S&P 500. The company also publishes credit ratings for sovereign governments, and in 2011 famously lowered the rating of the US federal government from AAA to to AA+.

Down

3. Hartford’s st. : CONN

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”.

5. “Hooked on” language teaching method : PHONICS

Hooked on Phonics was first released as a “learn to read” product in 1987. The educational system had been developed earlier in the eighties by a father who wanted to help his son who was having problems learning to read.

7. GI on the run : AWOL

The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

9. Invites to the prom, say : ASKS OUT

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

10. Borough across the Harlem River from the Bronx : MANHATTAN

The island we know as Manhattan was inhabited by the Lenape Indians when the first Europeans explorers arrived in the area. According to the logbook of one of the officers on explorer Henry Hudson’s yacht, the island was called “Manna-hata” in the local language, from which the modern name derives.

The Harlem River is a tidal strait that separates the island of Manhattan from the mainland in New York City. The Harlem connects the East and Hudson Rivers.

The New York City borough known as the Bronx takes its name from the Bronx River that runs through it. The river was named after Jonas Bronck, an early immigrant to the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Bronck’s farm gave rise to the name “Broncksland” and “Bronck’s River”.

22. Bluesy 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.

24. Boats like Noah’s : ARKS

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

26. Brew brand with a blue-ribbon logo : PABST

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

27. Pleistocene period : EPOCH

The Pleistocene epoch lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, and is associated with the most recent period of repeated glaciations. The name “Pleistocene” translates as “newest”. This name was chosen as the name of the preceding Pliocene epoch translates as “newer”. The name of the subsequent Holocene epoch (which extends right up to today) translates as “entirely new”.

30. Down Under dog : DINGO

The dingo is a wild dog of Australia. It is thought to have originated from domesticated dogs that were brought to Australia with humans that settled the land centuries ago.

32. Naples night : NOTTE

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.

33. Golden-egg layer : GOOSE

In the Aesop fable “The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs”, a couple own a hen that lays a golden egg every day. The greedy pair surmise that there is a lump of gold inside the hen, and so they kill her in search of the precious metal. They find nothing, and are left without their daily windfall of a golden egg.

35. Flagrant : EGREGIOUS

Something described as egregious is especially obvious, flagrant. The word “egregious” comes from the Latin “ex grege”, which translates as “rising above the flock”. The original use of the word was very positive, meaning “distinguished, excellent”, but that morphed into a disapproving sense in the late 1700s.

39. Rude dude : LOUT

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

42. Actor Scott or his dad James : CAAN

Scott Caan is the actor who plays “Danno” on the remake of “Hawaii Five-0”. Scott is the son of Hollywood actor James Caan.

James Caan is an actor from The Bronx, New York City. He is noted for his appearances in some very big movies such as “The Godfather”, “Misery”, “A Bridge Too Far”, “Rollerball” and more recently “Elf”. Caan is quite the sportsman. He plays golf with an 8 handicap, and is a 6-Dan Black Belt Master of Gosoku Karate.

45. 2001 scandal company : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

48. Structure protected by a moat : CASTLE

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or a an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

52. The “N” in “TNT” : NITRO

“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

58. Woody Guthrie’s son : ARLO

Singer Arlo Guthrie is known for his protest songs, just like his father Woody Guthrie. The younger Guthrie only ever had one song in the top 40: a cover version of “City of New Orleans”. He has lived for years in the town of Washington, just outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 1976 song “Massachusetts” has been the official folk song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1981.

63. Dead Sea country: Abbr. : ISR

The Middle East’s Dead Sea lies more than 1,400 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point on the Earth’s landmass. It is also one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salt content that is almost ten times that of most oceans.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “We Create Music” org. : ASCAP
6. “You’re a riot” : HA HA
10. Sportscaster Albert : MARV
14. Diner counter alternative : BOOTH
15. Hasn’t paid yet : OWES
16. Jai __ : ALAI
17. Job : LINE OF WORK
19. Govt. crash investigator : NTSB
20. Weather-affecting current : EL NINO
21. Give up all expectations : LOSE HOPE
23. __ Strauss, female touring guitarist for Alice Cooper : NITA
25. Greek “i” : IOTA
26. BB-shaped legume : PEA
29. Switching from cable TV to streaming, say : CORD CUTTING
34. Relaxing time in the chalet : APRES-SKI
36. Skin ink : TATTOO
37. Four-time ’60s-’70s A.L. All-Star __ Powell : BOOG
38. 42-yr.-old skit show : SNL
40. Regarding : AS TO
41. Not at all abundant : SCARCE
44. Totally loses it : GOES NUTS
47. Bedsheet buyer’s concern : THREAD COUNT
49. Observe : SEE
50. Pop’s Lady __ : GAGA
51. 1982 Disney sci-fi film : TRON
53. Most ordinary : PLAINEST
57. Hydrocodone, e.g. : OPIATE
61. Like un maníaco : LOCO
62. Composition for violin, viola and cello … and what the starts of 17-, 29- and 47-Across comprise : STRING TRIO
64. Color of raw silk : ECRU
65. Sights from la mer : ILES
66. Longtime senator Specter : ARLEN
67. Vintage Jags : XKES
68. Not e’en once : NE’ER
69. Wall Street’s Standard & __ : POORS

Down

1. Having the skills : ABLE
2. Window box dirt : SOIL
3. Hartford’s st. : CONN
4. Had food delivered : ATE IN
5. “Hooked on” language teaching method : PHONICS
6. In what way : HOW
7. GI on the run : AWOL
8. Valiant : HEROIC
9. Invites to the prom, say : ASKS OUT
10. Borough across the Harlem River from the Bronx : MANHATTAN
11. Voice above tenor : ALTO
12. Abrasive tool : RASP
13. Hard-to-explain feeling : VIBE
18. Pics : FOTOS
22. Bluesy James : ETTA
24. Boats like Noah’s : ARKS
26. Brew brand with a blue-ribbon logo : PABST
27. Pleistocene period : EPOCH
28. Cheering and yelling, as a crowd : AROAR
30. Down Under dog : DINGO
31. “Who’s there?” response from a couple : IT’S US
32. Naples night : NOTTE
33. Golden-egg layer : GOOSE
35. Flagrant : EGREGIOUS
39. Rude dude : LOUT
42. Actor Scott or his dad James : CAAN
43. Enters sneakily : EDGES IN
45. 2001 scandal company : ENRON
46. Temporary solution : STOPGAP
48. Structure protected by a moat : CASTLE
52. The “N” in “TNT” : NITRO
53. Theater suffix : -PLEX
54. What a key opens : LOCK
55. Farmland measure : ACRE
56. One in a forest : TREE
58. Woody Guthrie’s son : ARLO
59. Stadium section : TIER
60. Many millennia : EONS
63. Dead Sea country: Abbr. : ISR

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