LA Times Crossword 18 Oct 18, Thursday

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Constructed by: Roger & Kathy Wienberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Card Shuffler

Themed answers each include the letter string C-A-R-D, with the order of the letters changed, SHUFFLED:

  • 55A. Vegas device used literally in three puzzle answers : CARD SHUFFLER
  • 20A. They may be added to soup : SODA CRACKERS
  • 32A. Recognition event : AWARD CEREMONY
  • 40A. Camp activities : ARTS AND CRAFTS

Bill’s time: 7m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Cartman on “South Park” : ERIC

“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

5. John follower : ACTS

The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the Christian New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

9. European farewell : ADIEU

“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye” or “farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

14. Default takeback : REPO

Repossession (repo)

16. Two-time Argentine president : PERON

Nowadays, President Juan Perón of Argentina is perhaps less well-known than his second wife, Eva Perón of “Evita” fame. Juan and Eva Perón were overthrown in a military coup in 1955, although Juan Perón was returned to power in 1973 after which he served for only nine months before he passed away. Juan was succeeded in office by his third wife, Isabel Perón.

17. Famous __ : AMOS

Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name “Famous Amos”. The store was a smash hit and he was able build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually purchased, making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf. Wally Amos also became an energetic literacy advocate. He hosted 30 TV programs in 1987 entitled “Learn to Read” that provided reading instruction targeted at adults.

18. Keys for Elton : GRAND PIANO

A grand piano is one with the frame supported horizontally on three legs. An upright piano has the frame and strings running vertically. Grand pianos come in many sizes. For example, the length of a concert grand is about 9 feet, a parlor grand is about 7 feet, and a baby grand is about 5 feet.

“Elton John” is the stage name of English singer and pianist Reginald Dwight. John is an avid football (soccer) supporter, and is especially enthusiastic about Watford Football Club, which was his local team growing up. After he achieved financial success, John was able to purchase Watford FC, and owned the club from 1976 to 1987, and again from 1997 until 2002.

22. Tennis’ Open __ : ERA

In the sport of tennis, the Grand Slam tournaments were opened up to professional players, and not just amateurs, in 1968. So, the period since 1968 has been called the “Open Era”.

28. “25” album maker : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

30. Federal URL ending : GOV

The .gov 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)

31. Lennon’s lady : ONO

Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. Ono actually met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

36. Prop for Frosty : PIPE

“Frosty the Snowman” is a song that was recorded first by Gene Autry, in 1950. The song was specifically written in the hope that it would become a follow-up hit to Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that topped the charts the previous year.

38. Crown installer’s org. : ADA

American Dental Association (ADA)

39. Short strings? : UKES

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

45. Inventor’s monogram : TAE

Thomas Alva Edison (TAE) was nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, a name that stuck. He was indeed a wizard, in the sense that he was such a prolific inventor. The Menlo Park part of the moniker recognizes the location of his first research lab, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

46. Head for Vegas? : LAS …

Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows (“las vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”) present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city’s tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in “the mob”, as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).

47. Carpenter’s joint : MITER

A miter joint is one in which two pieces of wood are joined at ninety degrees, with the ends of each individual piece of wood cut at 45 degrees. The four joints in the corners of a picture frame are often miter joints.

49. Like Justice League members : HEROIC

The Justice League is a team of superheroes in the DC Comics universe. The team first appeared in 1960, as the Justice league of America. Membership of the league changed over the years, but the original lineup was:

  • Aquaman
  • Batman
  • The Flash
  • Green Lantern
  • Martian Manhunter
  • Superman
  • Wonder Woman

53. Stroke that doesn’t count : LET

That might be tennis, for example.

64. Destructive Greek god : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

Down

2. Rider on a shark : REMORA

Remoras are also called “suckerfish”, which name is descriptive of one of the fish’s basic behaviors. One of the remoras dorsal fins is in the shape of a “sucker”, allowing it to take a firm hold on a larger marine animal, hitching a ride.

6. Color named for a sea animal : CORAL

Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles. Some polyps cluster into groups called stony corals, with stony corals being the building blocks of coral reefs. The structure of the reef comprises calcium carbonate exoskeletons secreted by the coral polyps.

7. Detective role for Beatty : TRACY

“Dick Tracy” is a 1990 based on the comic strip of the same name that debuted in 1931. The title role is played by Warren Beatty, who also produced and directed the film.

10. Reason-based faith : DEISM

Deism (from the Latin “deus” meaning god) is the belief that a supreme being created the universe, a belief based on observation and reason and without the need for faith. Further, a deist does not accept divine intervention and rather believes that the supreme being, having created the universe, leaves the world to it own devices.

11. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA

Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess”. After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, and worked with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

12. Many ages : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

13. Mattel game since 1992 : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the “shedding” family of card games, in that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

Mattel is the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Mattel was founded by Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler in 1945, and they chose the company name by combining “Matt” with “El-liot” giving “Matt-el”.

21. Root beer alternative : COLA

The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years.

Root beer is a beverage that is very North American, and is rarely found elsewhere in the world. Root beer originated in the 1700s and was made from the root of the sassafras plant. The traditional root beer was a beverage with a very low alcohol content, and today there are many versions that contain no alcohol at all. The sassafras root was used as the primary flavor ingredient right up until 1960, when the FDA banned its use as tests determined that it was a carcinogen.

26. Diarist Frank : ANNE

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in the attic of Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

33. Root beer since 1937 : DAD’S

Dad’s root beer was developed by Ely Klapman and Barney Berns in 1937, and was given the name “Dad’s” in honor of Klapman’s father who used to make root beer for his family at home.

34. Epidemic-fighting 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 …

35. You won’t see one at Westminster : MUTT

The first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was held in 1877, which makes it the second oldest sporting event in the country (narrowly beaten out by the Kentucky Derby that was first run in 1875). The show was originally limited to gun dogs and was established by a group of hunters who routinely met at the Westminster Hotel in Manhattan, New York.

37. Requiem Mass hymn word : IRAE

“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

42. Mother-of-pearl : NACRE

Nacre is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed.

44. Feudal estate : FIEF

Feudalism was a legal and military system that flourished in medieval Europe. Central to the system were the concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. Lords would grant fiefs (land or rights) to vassals in exchange for allegiance and service.

48. John Wick portrayer : REEVES

Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor whose most celebrated roles were a metalhead in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989), a cop in “Speed” (1994) and the protagonist Neo in “The Matrix” series of films. Although Reeves is a Canadian national, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Reeves has some Hawaiian descent, and the name “Keanu” is Hawaiian for “the coolness” or “cool breeze”..

“John Wick” is a 2014 action movie starring Keanu Reeves in the title role. Reeves plays a retired hitman who goes on a killing spree to avenge the murder of his dog.

50. Natural clay pigment : OCHRE

Ocher is a light, yellowy-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

54. Secret rendezvous : TRYST

In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

56. Title for Helen Mirren : DAME

Helen Mirren, one of my favorite English actresses, has played three different queens on film and television. She played Queen Elizabeth II on the 2006 film “The Queen”, the title role in the TV drama “Elizabeth I”, and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of the title character in the 1994 film “The Madness of King George”. Mirren won the “Triple Crown of Acting” for playing:

  • Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen” (winning Best Actress Oscar)
  • Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience” (winning Best Actress in a Play Tony)
  • Detective Jane Tennison in “Prime Suspect” (winning Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Cartman on “South Park” : ERIC
5. John follower : ACTS
9. European farewell : ADIEU
14. Default takeback : REPO
15. Formal agreement : NOR I
16. Two-time Argentine president : PERON
17. Famous __ : AMOS
18. Keys for Elton : GRAND PIANO
20. They may be added to soup : SODA CRACKERS
22. Tennis’ Open __ : ERA
23. Smooth-talking : OILY
24. Fight : COMBAT
28. “25” album maker : ADELE
30. Federal URL ending : GOV
31. Lennon’s lady : ONO
32. Recognition event : AWARD CEREMONY
36. Prop for Frosty : PIPE
38. Crown installer’s org. : ADA
39. Short strings? : UKES
40. Camp activities : ARTS AND CRAFTS
45. Inventor’s monogram : TAE
46. Head for Vegas? : LAS …
47. Carpenter’s joint : MITER
49. Like Justice League members : HEROIC
51. Stub __ : A TOE
53. Stroke that doesn’t count : LET
55. Vegas device used literally in three puzzle answers : CARD SHUFFLER
58. Prime hotel time : HIGH SEASON
61. Assessment : LEVY
62. Comforting words : I CARE
63. Support at sea : MAST
64. Destructive Greek god : ARES
65. Genres : TYPES
66. Watch pair? : EYES
67. Sly attention-getter : PSST!

Down

1. Rub out : ERASE
2. Rider on a shark : REMORA
3. Audio system connector : IPOD ADAPTER
4. Cuban thing : COSA
5. Hotter : ANGRIER
6. Color named for a sea animal : CORAL
7. Detective role for Beatty : TRACY
8. Cleaning area : SINK
9. Say yes : APPROVE
10. Reason-based faith : DEISM
11. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA
12. Many ages : EON
13. Mattel game since 1992 : UNO
19. Furnishings and such : DECOR
21. Root beer alternative : COLA
25. Proprietors for word lovers : BOOKSELLERS
26. Diarist Frank : ANNE
27. Elves’ output : TOYS
29. Ram fans? : EWES
30. Camping stuff : GEAR
33. Root beer since 1937 : DAD’S
34. Epidemic-fighting agcy. : CDC
35. You won’t see one at Westminster : MUTT
36. Trail : PATH
37. Requiem Mass hymn word : IRAE
41. They’re assumed : ALIASES
42. Mother-of-pearl : NACRE
43. Bottom lines : AMOUNTS
44. Feudal estate : FIEF
48. John Wick portrayer : REEVES
50. Natural clay pigment : OCHRE
51. Evaluate : ASSAY
52. More of that : THOSE
54. Secret rendezvous : TRYST
56. Title for Helen Mirren : DAME
57. Flutter : FLAP
58. Baseball stat : HIT
59. Standoffish : ICY
60. Mountain pass : GAP

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