LA Times Crossword 12 Sep 18, Wednesday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Monsters, Inc

Themed answers INCORPORATE a type of MONSTER, using it as the first word:

  • 49A. 2001 Pixar hit, and a hint to the start of 19-, 22- and 24-Down : MONSTERS, INC
  • 19D. 1989 Al Pacino thriller : SEA OF LOVE (giving “sea monster”)
  • 22D. Website’s list of browser data rules : COOKIE POLICY (giving “Cookie Monster”)
  • 24D. Magic ring-wielding superhero : GREEN LANTERN (giving “Green Monster”)

Bill’s time: 6m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Los Angeles player : RAM

The St. Louis Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936-45, Los Angeles from 1946-94, St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and back in Los Angeles from 2016. The Rams have only won the Super Bowl once, i.e. Super Bowl XXXIV at the end of the 1999 season. The Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-16.

4. Dancer Charisse : CYD

Actress Cyd Charisse was famous for her dancing ability and the many roles she played opposite Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Charisse carved out a career based on dance despite the fact that she suffered from polio as a child. In fact, she took up ballet at the age of twelve to help build up her strength as she recovered from the disease.

7. 1938 “The War of the Worlds” radio broadcaster : CBS

Orson Welles is perhaps best-remembered in the world of film for his role in 1941’s “Citizen Kane”. In the world of radio, Welles is known for directing and narrating 1938’s famous broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”, a broadcast that convinced many listeners that the Earth was indeed being invaded by aliens.

CBS used to be known as the Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951. That logo is based on a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign.

10. Chewed-over material : CUD

Ruminants are animals that “chew the cud”. Ruminants eat vegetable matter but cannot extract any nutritional value from cellulose without the help of microbes in the gut. Ruminants collect roughage in the first part of the alimentary canal, allowing microbes to work on it. The partially digested material (the cud) is regurgitated into the mouth so that the ruminant can chew the food more completely exposing more surface area for microbes to do their work. We also use the verb “to ruminate” in a figurative sense, to mean “to muse, ponder, chew over”.

14. Cube that rolls : DIE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

15. “The Murders in the __ Morgue” : RUE

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, and is recognized as the first “detective story” ever written. The murder is solved when it is determined that the murderer was actually an orangutan.

16. Harlem Globetrotters promoter Saperstein : ABE

Abe Saperstein founded and coached the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team in 1926. In the early days, the team was focused on touring to play other teams, and making a little money from their share of the gate. But even back then, the Globetrotters were showmen, and likes to show off their ball-handling skills. One of Saperstein’s claim to fame is that he’s the shortest male member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, at 5 ft. 3 in.

21. Not of the clergy : LAIC

Anything described as laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

23. Peaceful ’60s protest : LIE-IN

A die-in (also “lie-in”) is a protest in which those demonstrating lie on the ground and pretend to be dead. One of the more famous die-ins was held in Washington D.C. in 2007 to protest the Iraq War. There were several thousand protesters, almost two hundred of whom were arrested, including ten veterans of the Iraq War.

24. Sandwich with tzatziki sauce : GYRO

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).

25. Vermeer, notably : OLD MASTER

Johannes (also “Jan”) Vermeer was born in the city of Delft in 1632, and died there some 43 years later. I just love Vermeer’s paintings, and his wonderful use of light. A great example of such a work is his “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. If you haven’t seen it, I thoroughly recommend the 2003 movie “Girl with a Pearl Earring” starring Scarlett Johansson as the girl in the painting, and Colin Firth as Vermeer. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, so it’s all just a great story as opposed to a documentary. The way the movie is shot really reflects the qualities of a Vermeer work of art.

31. Actor Pesci : JOE

Joe Pesci got his big break in movies with a supporting role in “Raging Bull” starring Robert De Niro, earning Pesci an Oscar nomination early in his career. There followed a string of gangster roles played alongside De Niro, namely “Once Upon a Time in America”, “Goodfellas” and “Casino”. But I like Pesci’s comedic acting best of all. He was marvelous in the “Home Alone” films, the “Lethal Weapon” series, and my personal favorite, “My Cousin Vinny”. Pesci gets a mention in the stage musical “Jersey Boys”, which isn’t too surprising as he is one of the show’s producers.

32. __ Free: caffeine-free soda : PEPSI

Pepsi Free was introduced in 1982 and became the first caffeine-free cola beverage. The drink’s name was changed to “caffeine-free Pepsi” in 1987.

37. CIO partner : AFL

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

38. Hides from animals : PELTS

A pelt is the skin of a furry animal.

40. 10% of MDX : CLI

In Roman numerals, MDX/10 = CLI (1510/10 = 151)

41. Poky one : SNAIL

“Poky” means slow, dawdling or puttering.

42. London gallery : TATE

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

43. Unisex fragrance : CK ONE

CK One is a fragrance that was developed for Calvin Klein and launched in 1994. It was to become the first really successful unisex fragrance.

45. Strings for Orpheus : LYRE

Orpheus is a figure from Greek mythology, very often associated with poetry, singing, music and the lyre in particular. In ancient Greece there was even an Orphic cult that in effect adopted the poetry ascribed to Orpheus as central to the cult’s belief system. The adjectives “Orphic” and “Orphean” describe things pertaining to Orpheus, and because of his romantic, musical bent, the term has come to describe anything melodious or enchanting.

49. 2001 Pixar hit, and a hint to the start of 19-, 22- and 24-Down : MONSTERS, INC

The animated feature “Monsters, Inc.” was released in 2001, and was Pixar’s fourth full-length movie. It’s about cute monsters, and that’s all I know other than that the voice cast included the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.

52. Spanish surrealist : DALI

The artist Salvador Dalí liked to make a splash in public. He was known to walk an anteater on a lead around Paris. He also brought an anteater on stage to an interview on “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1970.

53. Poker variety : STUD

Stud poker is the name given to many variants of poker, all of which are characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing upwards are called “upcards”. The cards facing downwards are called “hole cards”, cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”, a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

62. Ceramic casserole dish : TERRINE

A terrine (also “tureen”) is a cooking dish with a tightly-fitting lid made from glazed earthenware. A terrine is used for cooking in an oven, and for serving soups and stews.

63. Ancient land in the Fertile Crescent : ASSYRIA

Assyria was an ancient kingdom located on the Upper Tigris river in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), named for its capital city of Assur. According to the Bible, of the original Twelve Tribes of Israel, Ten Tribes “disappeared” when the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians in 720 BCE.

The Fertile Crescent is a large swath of land in the Near East that includes the Nile Valley in the west and the land around the Tigris and Euphrates in the east.

Down

2. Diva’s moment : ARIA

The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

3. West African country : MALI

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa located south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.

4. Atlanta-based health agcy. : CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …

6. Guess apparel : DENIM JACKET

GUESS? is a company producing a whole line of clothing, although it was originally very much associated with the production of denim jeans.

9. “Capisce?” : SEE?

“Capeesh?” is a slang term meaning “do you understand?” It comes from the Italian “capisce” meaning “understand”.

19. 1989 Al Pacino thriller : SEA OF LOVE (giving “sea monster”)

“Sea of Love” is a 1989 thriller starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. Pacino plays an alcoholic NYPD detective who investigates murders in which the bodies are left beside a gramophone playing the song “Sea of Love”, hence the title.

Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

22. Website’s list of browser data rules : COOKIE POLICY (giving “Cookie Monster”)

When you visit a website, often it will leave a little piece of text information called a “cookie” on your computer. As a cookie is a text file, and not executable, it is relatively harmless. However, as browsers routinely read these text files, cookies can be used as “spyware”. Basically, the browser can read the cookie and tell a lot about your browsing habits. This can be a good thing, so when you go back to your favorite websites you will be recognized and this can help you. For example, you may have shopped at a site and you’ll find that your shopping cart still has the items you were looking at, often because the items were stored in a cookie. However, they can be “bad” as some spyware uses the cookies to detect your browsing habits and can direct the browser to do things you may not want it to do. I do accept cookies, as they do enhance the browsing experience, but only from sites that I trust …

Cookie Monster is a beloved Muppet on the TV show “Sesame Street”. He is a big eater, and is especially fond of cookies, which he eats while grunting out “Om nom nom nom”.

24. Magic ring-wielding superhero : GREEN LANTERN (giving “Green Monster”)

The Green Lantern is a comic book superhero who has had a number of alter egos through the life of the character. The Green Lantern is a member of the Justice League of America superhero team. Other members of the League include Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

The left field wall in Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, is the tallest encountered in Major League ballparks. The wall was built that high to prevent viewing of games from outside of the park for free. The height also prevents home runs that would be possible in other ballparks, and so, given its color and reputation, it is called the Green Monster.

27. “House” actor Omar : EPPS

Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Forman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Forman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Gant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

29. Sir Arthur __ Doyle : CONAN

The Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is most closely associated with his wonderful character Sherlock Holmes. Doyle also wrote a series of science fiction stories featuring the character Professor Challenger. The first book in which Challenger appears is the famous “The Lost World”, a story about prehistoric creatures that are found living in the modern age on an isolated plateau in South America.

30. Spicy Mexican wraps : HOT TAMALES

A tamale is a traditional dish from Central America composed of a starchy dough that is steamed or boiled in a wrapper made from a corn husk or banana leaf. The dough is called masa, and can include many different ingredients including meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables.

33. Serves as matchmaker : PLAYS CUPID

Cupid was the god of love in Roman mythology. Cupid’s name comes from the Latin verb “cupere” meaning “to desire”. Cupid’s Latin name was Amor, and his Greek counterpart was Eros.

43. Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle, by pos. : CFS

Center fielder (CF)

Mike Trout debuted as a professional baseball player for Los Angeles Angels in 2011. Trout’s nickname is “the Millville Meteor”, as he grew up in Millville, New Jersey.

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.

51. Grenoble’s river : ISERE

The Isère river gives its name to the French Department of Isère, located partly in the French Alps. In turn, Isère gave its name to a somewhat famous ship called the Isère, which in 1885 delivered the Statue of Liberty from France to America in 214 shipping crates.

Grenoble is a city at the foot of the French Alps. Grenoble hosted the 1968 Winter Olympic Games.

52. British bombshell Diana : DORS

I remember Diana Dors in the movies of my youth. Dors was considered the English equivalent of the “blonde bombshell” of Hollywood in the fifties. She was so successful early in her career that at the age of 20 she became the UK’s youngest registered owner of a Rolls Royce car.

54. Use the good china, say : DINE

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

56. Despot portrayed by Forest : IDI

“The Last King of Scotland” is a 2006 film adaptation of a 1998 novel of the same name by Giles Foden. The story tells of a Scottish doctor (played by James McAvoy) who was employed by Idi Amin (played by Forest Whitaker). The title of the piece comes from the fact that Idi Amin offered his services as King of Scotland, should he ever be needed.

A despot is a ruler with absolute power, often one who wields that power oppressively. “Despot” is an old French term from the 14th century, ultimately derived from the Greek “despotes” meaning “master of a household, absolute ruler”.

58. “The Simpsons” disco guy : STU

On “The Simpsons”, the character of Disco Stu is voiced by Hank Azaria, although he was voiced for a while by Phil Hartman. Disco Stu is described as “a black, wrinkly John Travolta”.

59. Cariou of “Blue Bloods” : LEN

Len Cariou is a Canadian actor who is famous for his Broadway portrayal of “Sweeney Todd”. I most recognize Cariou from supporting roles in “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Thirteen Days”, two great movies.

“Blue Bloods” is a police drama series about a family of police officers led by Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck. The show has been on the air since 2010.

60. Actor Beatty : NED

Actor Ned Beatty is possible best remembered for the rather disturbing “squeal like a pig” scene in the movie “Deliverance”. Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Los Angeles player : RAM
4. Dancer Charisse : CYD
7. 1938 “The War of the Worlds” radio broadcaster : CBS
10. Chewed-over material : CUD
13. The Obama years, e.g. : ERA
14. Cube that rolls : DIE
15. “The Murders in the __ Morgue” : RUE
16. Harlem Globetrotters promoter Saperstein : ABE
17. Feel out of sorts : AIL
18. Official reproach : CENSURE
20. Diamond, for one : GEM
21. Not of the clergy : LAIC
23. Peaceful ’60s protest : LIE-IN
24. Sandwich with tzatziki sauce : GYRO
25. Vermeer, notably : OLD MASTER
28. Cold response? : ACHOO!
31. Actor Pesci : JOE
32. __ Free: caffeine-free soda : PEPSI
36. They’re bound to sell : BOOKS
37. CIO partner : AFL
38. Hides from animals : PELTS
39. Remove, as a knot : UNTIE
40. 10% of MDX : CLI
41. Poky one : SNAIL
42. London gallery : TATE
43. Unisex fragrance : CK ONE
45. Strings for Orpheus : LYRE
46. “Just like that!” sound : SNAP!
47. High temperature : FEVER
48. Abbr. in job titles : ASST
49. 2001 Pixar hit, and a hint to the start of 19-, 22- and 24-Down : MONSTERS, INC
52. Spanish surrealist : DALI
53. Poker variety : STUD
55. Formally ask for : SOLICIT
58. Ignore the alarm clock : SLEEP IN
61. Come before : PRECEDE
62. Ceramic casserole dish : TERRINE
63. Ancient land in the Fertile Crescent : ASSYRIA
64. Still going on : UNENDED

Down

1. Authentic : REAL
2. Diva’s moment : ARIA
3. West African country : MALI
4. Atlanta-based health agcy. : CDC
5. Traffic directive : YIELD
6. Guess apparel : DENIM JACKET
7. Luxury voyage vessel : CRUISE LINER
8. Seriously overcooked : BURNT
9. “Capisce?” : SEE?
10. Shrewd : CAGY
11. Car service app : UBER
12. Floor sample : DEMO
19. 1989 Al Pacino thriller : SEA OF LOVE (giving “sea monster”)
22. Website’s list of browser data rules : COOKIE POLICY (giving “Cookie Monster”)
24. Magic ring-wielding superhero : GREEN LANTERN (giving “Green Monster”)
26. Get beaten : LOSE
27. “House” actor Omar : EPPS
28. Borders on : ABUTS
29. Sir Arthur __ Doyle : CONAN
30. Spicy Mexican wraps : HOT TAMALES
33. Serves as matchmaker : PLAYS CUPID
34. Uses a swizzle stick : STIRS
35. Daysail destination : ISLET
43. Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle, by pos. : CFS
44. Hectic hosp. areas : ERS
50. More pleasant : NICER
51. Grenoble’s river : ISERE
52. British bombshell Diana : DORS
54. Use the good china, say : DINE
55. Healthful getaway : SPA
56. Despot portrayed by Forest : IDI
57. Drink from a kettle : TEA
58. “The Simpsons” disco guy : STU
59. Cariou of “Blue Bloods” : LEN
60. Actor Beatty : NED

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