LA Times Crossword 5 Nov 18, Monday

Advertisement

Advertisement

Constructed by: Frank Virzi
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Bedspread

Themed answers include circled letters that spell out a size of BED. Those letters are SPREAD throughout each themed answer:

  • 66A. Quilt, e.g. … and a hint to the circled letters : BEDSPREAD
  • 17A. What “bosun” is short for : BOATSWAIN (hiding “TWIN”)
  • 24A. Necessities : REQUIREMENTS (hiding “QUEEN”)
  • 40A. Maxwell Smart catchphrase : WOULD YOU BELIEVE? (hide “DOUBLE”)
  • 52A. October holiday in Canada : THANKSGIVING (hiding “KING”)

Bill’s time: 5m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Gillette razor introduced several years after the Trac II : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

5. Sleety road concern : SKID

Apparently, “sleet” is a term used to describe two different weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets, smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls.

14. Cook, as cavatelli : BOIL

Cavatelli is a type of pasta. It comprises small pasta shells that are shaped so that they look a little like miniature hot dog buns. The name “cavatelli” comes from the Italian verb “cavare” meaning “to hollow”.

15. Alien-seeking org. : SETI

“SETI” is the name given to a number of projects that are searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

16. “SNL” producer Michaels : LORNE

Lorne Michaels is a television producer who is best known as the creator of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). We can get some insight into Michaels’ character and demeanor by watching the show “30 Rock”. The character Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, is inspired by Michaels.

17. What “bosun” is short for : BOATSWAIN (hiding “TWIN”)

A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. He or she is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel, and instead is in charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. “Boatswain” is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bo’s’n” is also very popular.

20. God of the Quran : ALLAH

The name “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So “Allah” can be translated as “God”.

The Koran is also known as the Qur’an in English, a transliteration of the Arabic name for the holy text of the Muslim faith. The literal translation of “Koran” is “the recitation”.

21. Minute part of a min. : NSEC

“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns” (as opposed to “nsec”) and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

27. Town mentioned in “Sloop John B” : NASSAU

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, and used to be called Charles Town. Located on the island of New Providence, the original settlement was burnt to the ground by the Spanish in 1684. It was rebuilt and named Nassau in honor of King William III of England (“William of Orange”), a Dutchman from the House of Orange-Nassau. Nassau is a favored location for the James Bond series of movies. The city and surroundings feature in “Thunderball”, “Never Say Never Again”, “Casino Royale” and “For Your Eyes Only”. Bond portrayer Sean Connery has lived for many years at Lyford Cay, which is just a 30-min drive from the center of Nassau.

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.

31. CPR expert : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

32. Kind of sax : ALTO

The saxophone was invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

40. Maxwell Smart catchphrase : WOULD YOU BELIEVE? (hide “DOUBLE”)

The satirical comedy series called “Get Smart” was the creation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and starred Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. Agent 86 worked for the spy agency CONTROL, alongside the lovely Agent 99. CONTROL’s sworn enemy was the criminal organization called KAOS. Smart’s shoe phone was a hilarious prop used in almost every episode. When Smart dialed the number 117, the shoe converted into a gun. Cool stuff …

44. Knee-to-ankle bone : TIBIA

The tibia is the shin bone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

45. Elevator name : OTIS

Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

46. A half-dozen : SIX

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for “twelve” is “douze”, and for “dozen” is “douzaine”.

47. Cinnabar or hematite : ORE

Cinnabar is an ore from which mercury is extracted. It is a bright red or scarlet mineral in its natural form.

Iron ore comes in a number of different forms, like magnetite (the most magnetic of all minerals) and hematite (the most commonly exploited iron ore).

52. October holiday in Canada : THANKSGIVING (hiding “KING”)

The Canadian Thanksgiving holiday predates the related celebration in the US. The first Canadian Thanksgiving was held in 1578 by an explorer from England named Martin Frobisher. Frobisher was giving thanks for his safe arrival in the New World, and made the observance in the month of October as this was a tradition in England. All this happened 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

58. Draws a bead on, with “at” : AIMS

To draw a bead on something is to take aim at it. The “bead” in question is the front sight of a gun.

59. Centers of activity : LOCI

“Locus” (plural “loci”) is Latin for “place”, and is used in English with the same meaning. The term can also be used to describe a center of power or activity.

60. Ventricular outlet : AORTA

The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze the blood into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

68. Sagal of “8 Simple Rules” : KATEY

Katey Sagal played Peggy Bundy on “Married … with Children”. Later she took over as star of the show “8 Simple Rules” in the middle of its run, when John Ritter passed away unexpectedly in 2003. Sagal then appeared on the FX drama “Sons of Anarchy”. In 2004, she married Kurt Sutter who created the “Sons of Anarchy” series.

The sitcom “8 Simple Rules” started out with John Ritter and Katey Sagal playing the leads as the parents of three teenage kids. Tragically, Ritter became ill while rehearsing for a second-season episode, and died in hospital later that same day. “8 Simple Rules” immediately went on hiatus and returned two months later with a tribute to Ritter’s character, who was also deemed to have passed. The idea for the show came from the book “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter” by W. Bruce Cameron.

69. Vicinity : AREA

A vicinity is an area surrounding a place. The term “vicinity” ultimately comes from the Latin “vicus” meaning “group of houses, village”.

71. “Goosebumps” author R.L. : STINE

“Goosebumps” is a series of children’s horror novels written by author R.L. Stine. The novels have been adapted into a television series shown on Canadian TV.

72. U.K. mil. medals : DSOS

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a British military award that is usually presented to officers with the rank of major or higher.

73. “The Americans” FBI agent Beeman : STAN

Actor Noah Emmerich is best known on the big screen for his key supporting role in the 1998 movie “The Truman Show”. On the small screen, Emmerich plays FBI Agent Stan Beeman on the spy drama “The Americans”. For several years, he was married to actress Melissa Fitzgerald, who portrayed assistant press secretary Carol Fitzpatrick on “The West Wing”.

“The Americans” is a very engaging drama series set during the Cold War that features two KGB spies living as a married couple just outside Washington, D.C. The show was created by Joe Weisberg, who is a novelist and former CIA officer. The lead roles in “The Americans” are played by real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.

Down

1. Palindromic Swedish band : ABBA

Only three members of the quartet that made up the pop group ABBA were born in Sweden. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born in Norway just after the end of WWII, the daughter of a Norwegian mother and a father who was German soldier and a member of the German occupying force during the war. The father returned to Germany with the army, and in 1947, Anni-Frid was taken with her family to Sweden. They left fearing reprisals against those who dealt with the German army during the occupation.

3. Iranian money : RIAL

Rial is the name of the currency of Iran (as well as Yemen, Oman, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

6. Reeves of “John Wick” : KEANU

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.

7. Formal answer to “Who’s there?” : IT IS I

The much debated statement “it is I” is actually grammatically correct, and should not be “corrected” to “it is me”. Traditionally, pronouns following linking verbs, such as “is”, “appear” and “seem”, are written in the nominative case. Examples are:

  • It is I (who called)
  • It was he (who did it)
  • It is we (who care)

9. Suffix with Cray- : -OLA

In the year 2000, the Crayola company held the “Crayola Color Census 2000”, in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

10. “Goblin Market” poet Christina : ROSSETTI

Christina Rossetti was a poet from England who is perhaps best known for narrative poem “Goblin Market”. The poem first appeared in an 1862 collection of her poetry titled “Goblin Market and Other Poems”, which was illustrated by her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, co-founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

11. “Monty Python’s Life of __” : BRIAN

“Monty Python’s Life of Brian” is a religious comedy satire film released by the Python team in 1979. It tells the story of Brian, a young man born on the same day as Jesus Christ but in the house next door. The film was controversial because of its subject matter and was actually banned in my home country of Ireland, and indeed in Norway. The marketing team promoting the film used the controversy to advantage by adding the tagline “So funny it was banned in Norway!” on the movie posters. “Life of Brian” was the most successful British film in the US in 1979.

13. Monopoly cards : DEEDS

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

18. Mr. Met’s former stadium : SHEA

Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York was named after William A. Shea, the man credited with bringing National League baseball back to the city in the form of the New York Mets. Shea Stadium was dismantled in 2008-2009, and the site now provides additional parking for the new stadium nearby called Citi Field.

Mr. Met is the mascot of the New York Mets. He is a guy with a large baseball as a head, and has been elected to the Mascot Hall of Fame.

22. Cartoon frame : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

26. Word after Happy or square : … MEAL

The McDonald’s Happy Meal was introduced in 1977. The Happy Meal was inspired by a selection of food designed in a Guatemalan McDonald’s to suit children that was called “Menu Ronald”. The toys in Happy Meals often tie-in with some movie and so are part of an advertising campaign.

A square meal is one that is substantial and nourishing. According to some sources, the phrase “square meal” originated with the Royal Navy, and the square wooden plates on which meals were served. However, this centuries-old practice is an unlikely origin as the phrase is first seen in print in the US, in 1856. An advertisement for a restaurant posted in a California newspaper offers a “square meal” to patrons, in the sense of an “honest, straightforward meal”. The “honest” meaning of “square” was well-established at the time, as in “fair and square”, “square play” and “square deal”.

27. Politico Gingrich : NEWT

“Newt” … what a name! Newt Gingrich was born Newton Leroy McPherson in 1943, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Newt’s mother remarried when he was very young and his new father, Robert Gingrich, adopted Newt and hence giving him the Gingrich name.

28. Mine, in Amiens : A MOI

Amiens is a city in the north of France in the region known as Picardy. Amiens lies on the River Somme, and is the capital city of the Somme department.

33. Canterbury commode : LOO

Canterbury is a city in the southeast of England, in the county of Kent. Canterbury is famous for Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170, making it a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It was one of these pilgrimages that was the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” written in the 14th century.

A commode is a toilet. Back in the 1700s, a commode was a chest of drawers, a name derived from the French word “commode” meaning “convenient”. In the mid-1800s, the term was applied to a chamber pot, which was regarded as a “convenience”.

35. Kimono sash : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

37. Hardy’s “__ of the D’Urbervilles” : TESS

The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.

38. Songwriter Sands : EVIE

Evie Sands is a singer from Brooklyn, New York. Sands is also a noted songwriter, having penned songs that have been recorded by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Gladys Knight, Karen Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt and Dusty Springfield.

41. Simba’s home : LION’S DEN

Among the group of lions at the center of “The Lion King” story, young Simba is the heir apparent and the lion cub destined to take over as leader of the pride. His uncle is jealous of Simba, and plots with a trio of hyenas to kill Simba, so that he can take his position. The uncle was originally named Taka (according to books) but he was given the name Scar after being injured by a buffalo. The trio of hyenas are called Shenzi, Banzai and Ed.

43. Morales of “La Bamba” : ESAI

The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

“La Bamba” is a folk song from Veracruz, Mexico that became a huge hit for Ritchie Valens in 1958. The most notable cover version of the Valens hit was recorded by Los Lobos in 1987 as the title track of 1987 movie “La Bamba”.

48. Immigrant’s subj. : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

51. Old Greek gathering places : AGORAS

In early Greece, the agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

53. Drum kit cymbals : HI-HAT

In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

54. Valuable viola : AMATI

The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolamo’s son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

57. YouTube clip : VIDEO

YouTube is a video-sharing website that was launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

63. Yemeni seaport : ADEN

Aden is a seaport in Yemen that is located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

67. Flier to Oslo : SAS

SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.

Advertisement

[ad_below_googlies]

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Gillette razor introduced several years after the Trac II : ATRA
5. Sleety road concern : SKID
9. Spherical : ORBED
14. Cook, as cavatelli : BOIL
15. Alien-seeking org. : SETI
16. “SNL” producer Michaels : LORNE
17. What “bosun” is short for : BOATSWAIN (hiding “TWIN”)
19. Words to the audience : ASIDE
20. God of the Quran : ALLAH
21. Minute part of a min. : NSEC
23. Voiced : SAID
24. Necessities : REQUIREMENTS (hiding “QUEEN”)
27. Town mentioned in “Sloop John B” : NASSAU
30. Give permission to: LET
31. CPR expert : EMT
32. Kind of sax : ALTO
36. When some news shows air : AT TEN
40. Maxwell Smart catchphrase : WOULD YOU BELIEVE? (hide “DOUBLE”)
44. Knee-to-ankle bone : TIBIA
45. Elevator name : OTIS
46. A half-dozen : SIX
47. Cinnabar or hematite : ORE
49. How dishes are often sold : AS A SET
52. October holiday in Canada : THANKSGIVING (hiding “KING”)
58. Draws a bead on, with “at” : AIMS
59. Centers of activity : LOCI
60. Ventricular outlet : AORTA
64. Bronze or beige : SHADE
66. Quilt, e.g. … and a hint to the circled letters : BEDSPREAD
68. Sagal of “8 Simple Rules” : KATEY
69. Vicinity : AREA
70. First chip in the pot : ANTE
71. “Goosebumps” author R.L. : STINE
72. U.K. mil. medals : DSOS
73. “The Americans” FBI agent Beeman : STAN

Down

1. Palindromic Swedish band : ABBA
2. Saw, for one : TOOL
3. Iranian money : RIAL
4. Rite sites : ALTARS
5. Opposite of NNE : SSW
6. Reeves of “John Wick” : KEANU
7. Formal answer to “Who’s there?” : IT IS I
8. Home fries server : DINER
9. Suffix with Cray- : -OLA
10. “Goblin Market” poet Christina : ROSSETTI
11. “Monty Python’s Life of __” : BRIAN
12. Split up : END IT
13. Monopoly cards : DEEDS
18. Mr. Met’s former stadium : SHEA
22. Cartoon frame : CEL
25. Wharf : QUAY
26. Word after Happy or square : … MEAL
27. Politico Gingrich : NEWT
28. Mine, in Amiens : A MOI
29. Retained part of a paycheck : STUB
33. Canterbury commode : LOO
34. Tsk relative : TUT
35. Kimono sash : OBI
37. Hardy’s “__ of the D’Urbervilles” : TESS
38. Songwriter Sands : EVIE
39. Bakery call : NEXT!
41. Simba’s home : LION’S DEN
42. Like the night, usually : DARK
43. Morales of “La Bamba” : ESAI
48. Immigrant’s subj. : ESL
50. Easy thing to do : SNAP
51. Old Greek gathering places : AGORAS
52. “Honey do” list items : TASKS
53. Drum kit cymbals : HI-HAT
54. Valuable viola : AMATI
55. Spoil : GO BAD
56. Cupcake-topping workers : ICERS
57. YouTube clip : VIDEO
61. __-a-car : RENT
62. “Later,” stylishly : TA-TA
63. Yemeni seaport : ADEN
65. Watching organ : EYE
67. Flier to Oslo : SAS

Advertisement

[ad_below_clue_list]