LA Times Crossword 6 Oct 18, Saturday

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Constructed by: Gareth Bain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Soap-drop indicator : PLOP

That would be dropping the soap into the bath, say.

5. Prepared for pie, in a way : CORED

That would be coring apples for baking into a pie.

14. Buddhist priest : LAMA

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

15. The “A” in the Tokyo studio AIC : ANIME

Anime International Company (AIC) is an animation studio based in Tokyo.

18. Retro filter choice : SEPIA

Sepia is that rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish. Sepia ink was commonly used for writing and drawing as far back as Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

20. Spin-off with a bluesy theme song by John Lee Hooker : NCIS: NEW ORLEANS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

John Lee Hooker was a blues singer and songwriter. One of Hooker’s more memorable compositions is the song “Boom Boom”, which he wrote and recorded himself in 1961. A version of “Boom Boom” performed by Big Head Todd and the Monsters serves as the theme song for the TV drama “NCIS: New Orleans”.

23. 2000s political slogan : YES WE CAN

The 2008 campaign that resulted in the election of President Barack Obama used the slogan “Change we can believe in”, along with the associated chant “Yes We Can”. The words “Yes We Can” were perhaps borrowed from the United Farm Workers, which organization uses the motto “Sí, se puede”. “Sí, se puede” translates as “Yes, it is possible” and is a phrase very much associated with labor leader Cesar Chavez.

26. European hub : ORLY

Orly is a town on the outskirts of Paris to the south of the city. It is home to the Paris-Orly Airport, the second busiest international airport for the city after the more recently built Charles de Gaulle Airport. That said, Orly is home to more domestic flights than Charles de Gaulle.

33. Rapper will.__ : I.AM

“Will.i.am” is the stage name of rap artist and singer William Adams Jr., who is famous as the lead member of the Black Eyed Peas.

35. Chaparral plant : SHRUB

Chaparral is shrubland, found mainly in California, comprising plants that thrive in dry summers and relatively wet winters. The term “chaparral” comes from the Spanish “chaparro” meaning “evergreen oak”.

37. Longfellow’s “The Bell of __” : ATRI

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Sicilian’s Tale; The Bell of Atri”, a narrative poem set in the small town of Atri in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

38. Iwo Jima flag-raiser Hayes : IRA

Ira Hayes was one of the six US Marines appearing in the celebrated photograph of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima during WWII, which was taken by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal. Hayes has been portrayed by several actors in movies that include scenes reproducing the flag-raising, but he got to play himself in the 1949 John Wayne classic “Sands of Iwo Jima”. The 1961 film “The Outsider” is a biopic about Hayes, with Tony Curtis playing the title role.

39. Half a classic cowboy nickname : KEMO-

“Kemosabe” is a term used by the Tonto character in the iconic radio and television program “The Lone Ranger”. “Kemosabe” doesn’t really mean anything outside of the show, and in fact was written as “ke-mo sah-bee” in the original radio show scripts. The term was created by longtime director of “The Lone Ranger”, Jim Jewell. To come up with the term, Jewell used the name of a boy’s camp that his father-in-law established called Kamp Kee-Mo Sah-Bee.

42. DNA units : STRANDS

Famously, James Watson and Francis Crick worked out that the structure of DNA is a double helix. Well, it turns out that some strands of DNA can twist into different shapes. For example, the DNA at the ends of our chromosomes can form a rectangular structure called a triplex or quadruplex.

44. 1990s game console release, initially : SNES

The name Super NES (or SNES) stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

45. Strong feeling : THROE

Our contemporary word “throe”, meaning a spasm of pain, has been around since the early 1600s. It is a different spelling of the word “throwe” that had been around since around 1200 AD and which meant pain, particularly a pang of childbirth or the agony of death. Pain, from cradle to grave …

46. ’60s-’70s singer born Ellen Cohen : MAMA CASS

Cass Elliot (born “Ellen Cohen”) was one of the four singers in the Mamas and the Papas, a sensational group from the sixties. “Mama Cass” was performing sold-out concerts in London in 1974 when she was found dead one morning, having had a heart attack. She was only 32 years old. Eerily, Elliot died in the same flat (on loan from Harry Nilsson) in which the Who’s drummer Keith Moon would die just four years later.

53. Circumstances, idiomatically : BOAT

We crossword solvers are all in the same boat.

56. Certain something : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

59. Highland language : ERSE

There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country not classified as the Lowlands(!). The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.

60. Irritations found in clouds : GNATS

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

61. Iowa Department of Transportation city : AMES

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is located in the city of Ames. Iowa DOT was set up in 1904 as the Iowa State Highway Commission, and back then was part of Iowa State College. That unique arrangement was due to the fact that the state’s first highway commissioner was dean of engineering at the school.

Down

1. “Naturalis Historia” author : PLINY

Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger were important figures in Ancient Rome. Pliny the Elder was a scientist and historian, the author of “Naturalis Historia”, commonly referred to as “Pliny’s Natural History”. Pliny the Younger was the nephew and adopted son of Pliny the Elder. Pliny the Younger was a noted Roman statesman, orator and writer.

3. Old Dodges : OMNIS

The Dodge Omni is basically the same car as the Plymouth Horizon, and was produced by Chrysler from 1978-90. The Omni is a front-wheel drive hatchback, the first in a long line of front-wheel drive cars that were very successful for Chrysler. The Omni was actually developed in France, by Chrysler’s Simca division. When production was stopped in the US in 1990, the tooling was sold to an Indian company that continued production for the Asian market for several years.

6. Like turnpike ramps : ONE-WAY

Back in the 15th century, a turnpike (tpk.) was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travelers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike was the name given to a road with a toll.

7. Wisconsin college : RIPON

Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin was founded 1851. One of Ripon’s claims to fame is that it is home to the National Speech and Debate Association, which was founded there as the National Forensic League in 1925.

8. Abu Dhabi bigwig : EMIR

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

9. Shaking event : DEAL

That would be a handshake.

10. Prolonged list, as of complaints : LITANY

We use the term “litany” in general speech to describe a sizeable series of items. This meaning comes from the older religious use of the same term, to describe a series of prayers that usually involves a repeated response from the congregation.

12. Onetime accessory for Britney Spears and Keri Russell : MOUSE EARS

The Mickey Mouse Club was created by Walt Disney in 1955, and it’s still going strong today. Over the years the show has given some famous names their start in “the business”, especially in recent times. Included in the list are Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.

Britney Spears was the best-selling female artist in the first decade of the 21st century. I didn’t buy one song of hers, and I couldn’t even name one …

Actress Keri Russell got her big break on television when she was cast in the title role in the drama show “Felicity” that ran from 1998 from 2002. The lead character in the show is Felicity Porter, a young lady introduced to the audience with a head of long curly blonde hair. Famously, Russell cut her hair extremely short at the start of the second season, an action that was associated with a significant drop in the show’s viewership. Russell had to grow out her hair over the season. I haven’t seen “Felicity”, but I really do enjoy Russell playing one of the leads in the entertaining Cold War drama called “The Americans” that is aired by FX.

13. Nonkosher sandwich, usually : BLT

According to Jewish dietary law, kosher food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as treif (or “tref”). The usage of “kosher” has extended to include anything considered legitimate.

22. “Hakuna Matata” lifestyle : EASE

“Hakuna matata” is a Swahili phrase, with a literal translation of “there are no worries”, or more colloquially perhaps, “no problem”. The phrase is used as the title for a hit song from the musical “The Lion King”.

27. Mitt Romney’s alma mater: Abbr. : BYU

Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah has about 34.000 students on campus making it the largest religious university in the country. The school was founded in 1875 by Brigham Young, then President of the Mormon Church.

Mitt Romney was born Willard Mitt Romney in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. Romney’s parents named him after J. Willard Marriott (the hotel magnate) who was the father’s best friend, and after Milton “Mitt” Romney who was the father’s cousin and quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

29. Card game played by Phileas Fogg : WHIST

Whist is an English card game that involves the taking of tricks. Whist is a derivative of the earlier game of Trump or Ruff that was played in the 16th century. Back in Ireland, where I come from, whist tournaments are extremely popular and are known as “whist drives”.

“Around the World in 80 Days” is just a wonderful adventure story written by French author Jules Verne and first published in 1873. There have been some great screen adaptations of the story, including the 1956 movie starring David Niven as the protagonist Phileas Fogg. In almost all adaptations, a balloon is used for part of the journey, and is perhaps the most memorable means of transportation on Fogg’s trip around the world. However, if you read the book, Fogg never uses a balloon at all.

30. Annual observance celebrating commitment to the planet : EARTH HOUR

Earth Hour is an annual event in which individuals, businesses and communities turn off non-essential lights for one hour in an act symbolizing commitment to the planet. The concept was developed by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWY) in Australia, and the first event was held in Sydney in 2007.

32. __ tem : PRO

“Pro tempore” can be abbreviated to “pro tem” or “p.t.” “Pro tempore” is a Latin phrase that best translates as “for the time being”. It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior. The President pro tempore of the US Senate is the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President of the US. It has been tradition since 1890 that the president pro tem is the most senior senator in the majority party. The president pro tem ranks highly in the line of succession to the presidency, falling third in line after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.

36. Darwin’s __ Beagle : HMS

Englishman Charles Darwin studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland but neglected his studies largely due to his interest in nature and natural history. In the early 1830s, a friend put forward Darwin’s name as a candidate for the post of “collector” on the voyage of HMS Beagle. The Beagle was intending to spend two years at sea primarily charting the coast of South America. The voyage ended up taking five years, during which time Darwin sent back copious letters describing his findings. Back in Britain these letters were published as pamphlets by a friend and so when Darwin eventually returned home in 1836, he had already gained some celebrity in scientific circles. It was while on the Beagle that Darwin developed his initial ideas on the concept of natural selection. It wasn’t until over twenty years later that he formulated his theories into a scientific paper and in 1859 published his famous book “On the Origin of the Species”. This original publication never even mentioned the word “evolution” which was controversial even back then. It was in 1871 that Darwin addressed head-on the concept that man was an animal species, in his book “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex”.

37. Graph point’s x-coordinate : ABSCISSA

When something is plotted on a graph with x- and y-coordinates, the x-coordinate is called the “abscissa”, and the y-coordinate is the “ordinate”. Those same terms are rarely used in 3-dimensional plots. If so, then the z-coordinate is referred to as the “applicate”.

41. Turtle’s mouth : BEAK

The mouth of a turtle is actually a beak. They don’t have any teeth, and use their jaws to cut and chew food. Those jaws are covered by horny ridges.

43. Vital vessels : AORTAE

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

46. Crete’s highest elev. : MT IDA

Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. Crete figures heavily in Greek mythology. Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island. Crete was also home to the Labyrinth where the Minotaur was slain by Theseus. Icarus and Daedalus, after having crafted the Labyrinth, escaped from the island using wings that they crafted.

48. Martin or Miller : STEVE

Comedian, actor and writer Steve Martin is from Waco, Texas. Martin’s entertainment career started to take off with success as a writer for the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour”. He then turned to stand-up comedy and often appeared on “The Tonight Show”. He was, and still is, a popular guest host on “Saturday Night Live”. He is so popular on “SNL” that many mistakenly believe that he was a permanent member of the “Saturday NIght Live” cast.

Steve Miller is guitarist and lead musician of the Steve Miller Band. He formed the band in 1966 at the Steve Miller Blues Band. The band’s repertoire evolved from blues more into pop in the mid-seventies.

49. “I’ma Be Me” stand-up comic Wanda : SYKES

Wanda Sykes is a very successful American comedian and comic actress. Interestingly, Sykes spent her first five years out of school working for the NSA. I saw her perform in Reno not that long ago, and she is very, very funny.

51. Kodos’ alien cohort on “The Simpsons” : KANG

Kang and Kodos are recurring characters in “The Simpsons”. They are one-eyed, green aliens from the planet Rigel VII.

53. Honey, in slang : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Soap-drop indicator : PLOP
5. Prepared for pie, in a way : CORED
10. Trunk extension : LIMB
14. Buddhist priest : LAMA
15. The “A” in the Tokyo studio AIC : ANIME
16. Stargazing subject? : IDOL
17. Rural stopovers : INNS
18. Retro filter choice : SEPIA
19. Importunate solicitor : TOUT
20. Spin-off with a bluesy theme song by John Lee Hooker : NCIS: NEW ORLEANS
23. 2000s political slogan : YES WE CAN
24. Initial payments : ANTES
26. European hub : ORLY
27. Industrious type : BUSY BEE
29. Nut : WEIRDO
32. Ritual heap : PYRE
33. Rapper will.__ : I.AM
34. Half a piano duo? : HAND
35. Chaparral plant : SHRUB
37. Longfellow’s “The Bell of __” : ATRI
38. Iwo Jima flag-raiser Hayes : IRA
39. Half a classic cowboy nickname : KEMO-
40. Top of the order? : ABBESS
42. DNA units : STRANDS
44. 1990s game console release, initially : SNES
45. Strong feeling : THROE
46. ’60s-’70s singer born Ellen Cohen : MAMA CASS
50. Catcall? : HERE KITTY KITTY!
53. Circumstances, idiomatically : BOAT
54. Hilarious : A RIOT
55. Look for : SEEK
56. Certain something : AURA
57. “Obviously!” : NO DUH!
58. Put away : SAVE
59. Highland language : ERSE
60. Irritations found in clouds : GNATS
61. Iowa Department of Transportation city : AMES

Down

1. “Naturalis Historia” author : PLINY
2. Poker for knights? : LANCE
3. Old Dodges : OMNIS
4. It often looks like gibberish : PASSWORD
5. “No more discussion” : CASE CLOSED
6. Like turnpike ramps : ONE-WAY
7. Wisconsin college : RIPON
8. Abu Dhabi bigwig : EMIR
9. Shaking event : DEAL
10. Prolonged list, as of complaints : LITANY
11. “It’s safe to sit next to me” : I DON’T BITE
12. Onetime accessory for Britney Spears and Keri Russell : MOUSE EARS
13. Nonkosher sandwich, usually : BLT
21. Techie stereotype : NERD
22. “Hakuna Matata” lifestyle : EASE
25. Ones in it for the long haul : SEMIS
27. Mitt Romney’s alma mater: Abbr. : BYU
28. Modern folklore : URBAN MYTHS
29. Card game played by Phileas Fogg : WHIST
30. Annual observance celebrating commitment to the planet : EARTH HOUR
31. Behind : IN ARREARS
32. __ tem : PRO
36. Darwin’s __ Beagle : HMS
37. Graph point’s x-coordinate : ABSCISSA
39. Low joint : KNEE
41. Turtle’s mouth : BEAK
43. Vital vessels : AORTAE
44. Didn’t play : SAT OUT
46. Crete’s highest elev. : MT IDA
47. Top squad : A-TEAM
48. Martin or Miller : STEVE
49. “I’ma Be Me” stand-up comic Wanda : SYKES
51. Kodos’ alien cohort on “The Simpsons” : KANG
52. It can be pumped : IRON
53. Honey, in slang : BAE

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