LA Times Crossword 2 Nov 18, Friday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fall Back

Themed answers are common phrases in which TIMES HAVE CHANGED, in which a particular HOUR has FALLEN BACK by one:

  • 61A. “Things are different now” … and an apt hint to three other answers : TIMES HAVE CHANGED
  • 36A. With 37-Across, an apt reminder : FALL …
  • 37A. See 36-Across : … BACK
  • 18A. Commonly bristly covering : FOUR O’CLOCK SHADOW (from “five o’clock shadow”)
  • 29A. Christmas celebration : ELEVEN PM MASS (from “Midnight Mass”)
  • 51A. Last-minute deadline : THE TENTH HOUR (from “the eleventh hour”)

Bill’s time: 8m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Service calls : AMENS

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

11. Sonic the Hedgehog maker : SEGA

Sonic the Hedgehog is a title character in a videogame and the mascot of Sega, the computer game developer. Sonic was set up as a rival to Nintendo’s mascot “Mario”.

15. Miller’s salesman : LOMAN

“Death of a Salesman” is a famous play by Arthur Miller that was first produced in 1949. “Death of a Salesman” won a Pulitzer and several Tony Awards over the years. The “Salesman” is the famous character Willy Loman. The play originally opened up on Broadway and ran for 724 performances. The lead role was played by veteran actor Lee J. Cobb.

18. Commonly bristly covering : FOUR O’CLOCK SHADOW (from “five o’clock shadow”)

A male might shave to remove his five o’clock shadow.

22. Watch name : OMEGA

Omega is a manufacturer of high-end watches based in Switzerland. An Omega watch was the first portable timepiece to make it to the moon.

23. Black shade : JET

The color jet black takes its name from the minor gemstone jet. The gemstone and the material it is made of takes its English name from the French name “jaiet”.

29. Christmas celebration : ELEVEN PM MASS (from “Midnight Mass”)

Midnight Mass is a liturgy celebrated on the night of Christmas Eve in many Christian churches around the world, especially in the West. The ceremony is held to honor the birth of Jesus.

34. Ginsburg colleague : ALITO

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later.

36. With 37-Across, an apt reminder : FALL …

37. See 36-Across : … BACK

On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (“spring forward”), and backwards in the fall (“fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight.

48. SHO sister channel : TMC

The Movie Channel is owned by Showtime, which in turn is subsidiary of CBS. The channel’s name is often abbreviated to “TMC”, although this is informal usage.

51. Last-minute deadline : THE TENTH HOUR (from “the eleventh hour”)

Something that happens at “the eleventh hour” happens late in the day. The expression originates in the Gospel of Matthew in the Christian New Testament. In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, the owner of the vineyard hires laborers throughout the day, even at “the eleventh hour”.

56. Narrow inlets : RIAS

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, with both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

57. Friend of Frodo : SAM

Samwise Gamgee is the sidekick to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. “Sam” is portrayed by American actor Sean Astin in the Peter Jackson big screen adaptations of the novels.

59. World Heritage Site org. : UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is better known by the acronym “UNESCO”. UNESCO’s mission is help build peace in the world using programs focused on education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. The organization’s work is aimed in particular at Africa, and gender equalization. UNESCO also administers a World Heritage Site program that designates and helps conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to humanity across the world.

67. Long-billed wader : IBIS

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

68. Like Stout’s Wolfe : OBESE

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

69. Former National Endowment for the Humanities chair Cheney : LYNNE

Lynne Cheney is the wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Ms. Cheney was actually mentioned as a possible running mate on the George W. Bush ticket in 2000. Dick Cheney headed up the nominating committee for the VP nominee, and ended up getting the slot.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is a federal agency of the US government that was formed in 1965 to support programs in the humanities. One celebrated example of a NEH-sponsored program was “The Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibition that toured the US in the 1970s. Another successful project sponsored by the NEH was the 1990 Ken Burns documentary “The Civil War”, which was the most-watched program ever to air on PBS.

70. Great balls of fire : SUNS

Our sun is a sphere of hot plasma that forms the center of our solar system. The Sun’s mass has two main components, with almost three quarters made up by hydrogen, and a quarter by helium. The continual nuclear fusion reaction in the Sun’s core converts hydrogen into helium, and generates a lot of energy. We should all be pretty grateful to the Sun for generating that energy …

71. Herd butters : GOATS

Male goats are called “bucks” or “billies”, although castrated males are known as “wethers”. Female goats are called “does” or “nannies”, and young goats are referred to as “kids”.

Down

1. 1980s TV ET : ALF

“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. The title character is a hand-puppet, and supposedly an alien named Gordon Shumway from the planet Melmac. The alien crash-landed into the house of amateur radio enthusiast Willie Tanner. Tanner renamed the intruder “ALF”, standing for “alien life form”.

2. Call from Mrs. O’Leary’s barn : MOO!

The Great Chicago Fire blazed for almost three full days in October of 1871. By the time it was extinguished, hundreds of people had died and four square miles of the city had been destroyed. It is known that the fire started in or near a small barn owned by an Irish immigrant, a Mrs. Catherine O’Leary. A reporter called Michael Ahern wrote in the “Chicago Tribune” that the fire was ignited when a cow in the barn kicked over a lantern. Years later, Ahern admitted that he made up the story about the cow and the lantern, as he felt it made colorful copy. Supposedly Mrs. O’Leary died a heartbroken woman as she spent the rest of her life with the public blaming her on the tragic loss of life and property.

3. Dingo prey : EMU

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.

4. Cop making a traffic stop? : NARC

“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

6. Mustang’s rate of speed, at times : GALLOP

A mustang is a free-roaming horse, and a descendent from a once-domesticated animal. The English term comes from the Spanish “mesteño“ meaning “stray livestock animal”.

11. Ponzi schemes, e.g. : SCAMS

Charles Ponzi was born in Luigi, Italy in 1882 and arrived in the US in 1903, flat broke having gambled away all his money on the voyage to Boston. Ponzi devised a scheme to buy what were known as “international reply coupons” through friends in Italy, which he had sent to him in the US so that he could redeem them on this side of the Atlantic. As the value in the US was greater than that in Italy, he could make a handsome profit. This was in itself an “illegal” transaction, buying an asset in one market at a low price, then immediately selling it in another market at a higher price. But it’s what he did next that became known as a Ponzi Scheme. He couldn’t redeem his coupons quickly enough due to red tape so he approached other investors, initially friends, and had them give him cash so that he could buy more coupons in Italy. He promised the investors he would double their money, which they did initially. Many people wanted to get in on the scheme seeing that Ponzi was able to make the new investors a profit and double the money of the original investors. Eventually, somebody did the math and word started to get out that the investment was risky, so the number of new investors started to fall. Without sufficient new investors Ponzi couldn’t double the money of his latest investors, and the whole scheme unraveled.

13. Like lovestruck eyes : GOO-GOO

Goo-goo eyes are amorous or loving eyes. The term “goo-goo” is often applied with tongue in cheek.

14. Pop-up source : ADWARE

Adware is “advertising-supported software”, an application that includes ads in some form so that the developed can generate revenue. Sometimes deceptive practices can be used to entice a user to install such programs, so adware can sometimes be classed as malware (malicious software).

20. Verb in the song “Sloop John B” : HOIST

The Beach Boys hit “Sloop John B” is a traditional folk song from the West Indies, originally titled “The John B. Sails”. The John B. was a real boat, one used for collecting sponges. The John B. foundered and sank in Governor’s Harbor on the Bahamas on or about 1900. The folk song was around as far back is 1927, with recordings being made as early 1935. The Kingston Trio recorded a version in 1958, as did Johnny Cash in 1959. The Beach Boys version of the song made it to #3 in the US charts in 1966. We liked it even more in Ireland and sent it to the top of the Irish charts.

23. Mutt’s companion : JEFF

“Mutt and Jeff” is a newspaper cartoon strip that was drawn by Bud Fisher. “Mutt and Jeff” first appeared in 1907 and is regarded as the first daily comic strip (as opposed to a single panel cartoon).

24. “First Lady of Song” : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

25. Colorful duck : TEAL

The beautiful color of teal takes it name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

27. Polio vaccine pioneer : SALK

Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher who developed the first safe polio vaccine. In the fifties, especially after the 1952 epidemic, polio was the biggest health fear in the US because it killed thousands, left even more with disabilities and most of the victims were children. The situation was dire and the authorities immediately quarantined the family of any polio victim, and that quarantine was so strict that in many cases the families were not even permitted to attend the funeral of a family member who died from the disease.

28. TV forensic series : 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”

31. Cheese go-with : MAC

Thomas Jefferson’s name is associated with the dish we known today as “mac ‘n’ cheese”. The future president discovered baked macaroni with Parmesan cheese while in Paris and in northern Italy. He started serving the dish to guests in the US, and even had a machine imported to make the macaroni locally. Whether or not Jefferson was the first to bring mac ‘n’ cheese to America isn’t entirely clear, but it has been popular ever since.

40. Genesis grandson : ENOS

Enos was the son of Seth, and therefore the grandson of Adam and Eve. According to the ancient Jewish work called the Book of Jubilees, Enos married his own sister Noam.

41. Water en un lago : AGUA

In Spanish, “un lago” (a lake) contains “agua” (water).

42. Salon offering : PERM

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls. I don’t worry about such things, as it’s a number-one all over for me …

44. Scintillas : ATOMS

A scintilla is a small amount. The term can also be used to describe a spark or a flash (as in “to scintillate”). The term came into English from Latin, in which language it means “spark, particle of fire, atom”.

47. Range on which 7 denotes neutrality : PH SCALE

As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

49. “Two and a Half Men” beach setting : MALIBU

Malibu is a beach city in Southern California that is known as home to many Hollywood movie stars.

“Two and a Half Men” is a TV sitcom that had a remarkably successful original run despite being fraught with controversy. The eighth season had to be suspended when the show’s star Charlie Sheen went into drug rehab and made disparaging comments about the show’s producers. Sheen was fired, and his role was taken over by a new character played by Ashton Kutcher. In 2012, Angus T. Jones who plays young Jake urged fans not to watch the show as it was “filth”. Jones had recently converted to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the show’s themes clashed with the church’s standards. Well, I enjoy the show …

52. First name of a literary “Papa” : ERNEST

Apparently, the author Ernest Hemingway picked up the moniker “Papa” on the birth of his first child (as one might expect!). Hemingway seemed to the like the nickname, and welcomed its use outside of the family, and his admirers obliged.

59. Pigmented eye area : UVEA

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

60. Black shade : ONYX

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

62. “Sooey!” responder : HOG

“Sooey!” is a shout used to call pigs.

63. Blood classification letters : ABO

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

64. Beast that rhymes with zoo : GNU

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

66. When doubled, a Ramone : DEE

The Ramones were an American punk rock band. The group formed in Forest Hills, New York in the mid-seventies. The band members took on the stage names Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny Ramone, even though they were not related. Arguably, the Ramones were the first punk rock group, defining the genre. Something else that’s not my cup of tea …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Service calls : AMENS
6. Emotionally bother : GET TO
11. Sonic the Hedgehog maker : SEGA
15. Miller’s salesman : LOMAN
16. Audibly awed : AGASP
17. Dirt handful : CLOD
18. Commonly bristly covering : FOUR O’CLOCK SHADOW (from “five o’clock shadow”)
21. “Settle down!” : COOL IT!
22. Watch name : OMEGA
23. Black shade : JET
26. Positive aspects : PROS
27. Make the cut? : SCISSOR
29. Christmas celebration : ELEVEN PM MASS (from “Midnight Mass”)
32. Sock part : TOE
33. Innate abilities : FLAIRS
34. Ginsburg colleague : ALITO
36. With 37-Across, an apt reminder : FALL …
37. See 36-Across : … BACK
39. Pile : HEAP
43. Off the plate : EATEN
46. Mooch : SPONGE
48. SHO sister channel : TMC
51. Last-minute deadline : THE TENTH HOUR (from “the eleventh hour”)
54. Whaling weapon : HARPOON
56. Narrow inlets : RIAS
57. Friend of Frodo : SAM
58. Red flag : ALARM
59. World Heritage Site org. : UNESCO
61. “Things are different now” … and an apt hint to three other answers : TIMES HAVE CHANGED
67. Long-billed wader : IBIS
68. Like Stout’s Wolfe : OBESE
69. Former National Endowment for the Humanities chair Cheney : LYNNE
70. Great balls of fire : SUNS
71. Herd butters : GOATS
72. Radiate : EXUDE

Down

1. 1980s TV ET : ALF
2. Call from Mrs. O’Leary’s barn : MOO!
3. Dingo prey : EMU
4. Cop making a traffic stop? : NARC
5. Nosy sort : SNOOPER
6. Mustang’s rate of speed, at times : GALLOP
7. Selfishness : EGOISM
8. Delicacy : TACT
9. Sound of disapproval : TSK!
10. Special __ : OPS
11. Ponzi schemes, e.g. : SCAMS
12. Firstborn : ELDEST
13. Like lovestruck eyes : GOO-GOO
14. Pop-up source : ADWARE
19. Reasons to take painful steps? : CORNS
20. Verb in the song “Sloop John B” : HOIST
23. Mutt’s companion : JEFF
24. “First Lady of Song” : ELLA
25. Colorful duck : TEAL
27. Polio vaccine pioneer : SALK
28. TV forensic series : CSI
30. Nasty : VILE
31. Cheese go-with : MAC
35. “Trouble ahead!” : OH-OH!
37. “It’s __ fun” : BEEN
38. Farm crawler : ANT
40. Genesis grandson : ENOS
41. Water en un lago : AGUA
42. Salon offering : PERM
44. Scintillas : ATOMS
45. Short still? : THO’
46. Squirrel away : STASH
47. Range on which 7 denotes neutrality : PH SCALE
48. Strictly speaking : THAT IS
49. “Two and a Half Men” beach setting : MALIBU
50. Pack without an inch to spare : CRAM IN
52. First name of a literary “Papa” : ERNEST
53. Family reunion attendees : NIECES
55. Persist, with “on” : PRESS
59. Pigmented eye area : UVEA
60. Black shade : ONYX
62. “Sooey!” responder : HOG
63. Blood classification letters : ABO
64. Beast that rhymes with zoo : GNU
65. Word with living or dead : … END
66. When doubled, a Ramone : DEE

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