LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Sep 12, Wednesday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: THE JETSONS … the theme answers are celebrities who share their first name with a character on the television cartoon show “The Jetsons”:

17A. Leader for whom Houston’s airport is named GEORGE BUSH
24A. “The Chimpanzees of Gombe” writer JANE GOODALL
34A. “Superfudge” novelist JUDY BLUME
49A. Pro Football Hall of Famer nicknamed “Crazylegs” ELROY HIRSCH

58A. TV series that first aired 9/23/1962 whose family shares first names with 17-, 24-, 34- and 49-Across THE JETSONS

COMPLETION TIME: 8m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. 1983 movie about a taxi company DC CAB
“D.C. Cab” is a comedy movie released in 1983 starring Mr. T. I don’t hear many good things about the film, although there is a special appearance by Irene Cara of “Fame” fame …

6. Place for a sala CASA
A room (sala) is found in a house (casa), in Spanish.

14. Kukla’s dragon friend OLLIE
“Kukla, Fran and Ollie” is an early television show that aired from 1947-1957. Kukla and Ollie (Oliver J. Dragon) were puppets and Fran was Fran Allison, usually the only human on the show.

15. Israeli weapons UZIS
The first Uzi sub-machine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel Gal, who gave his name to the gun.

16. Optic layer UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.

17. Leader for whom Houston’s airport is named GEORGE BUSH
George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas is the busiest hub for United Airlines, with about 800 departures per day.

President George H. W. Bush served in the US Navy during WWII. Future President Bush postponed his entry into college after the attack on Pearl Harbor and enlisted in the navy instead. When he earned his wings, he was the youngest aviator in the US Navy at that time.

21. Narrow-bodied river fish GAR
The fish known as a gar is very unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What is interesting about gar is that their swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. So many species of gar can be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that must rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

22. Intrinsically PER SE
“Per se” is a Latin phrase, and it translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning “in itself, intrinsically”.

24. “The Chimpanzees of Gombe” writer JANE GOODALL
Jane Goodall is a British anthropologist, famous for studying wild chimpanzees in Africa for 45 years. Working at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, Goodall made many discoveries. She was the first to see chimps constructing and using tools, an activity thought to be limited to the human species. She also found out that chimpanzees are vegetarians.

33. Bit of background in a Road Runner cartoon MESA
“Mesa” is the Spanish for “table” and is of course is how we get the term “mesa” that describes a geographic feature.

34. “Superfudge” novelist JUDY BLUME
Judy Blume writes novels for children and young adults. Blume’s novels for teens were groundbreaking when first published, tackling such difficult subjects as racism, divorce and bullying.

38. Nick and Nora’s pooch ASTA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb movie “The Thin Man” starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

41. Cold War agcy. AEC
The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was set up right after WWII in 1946, with the aim of promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy. Establishing the AEC was a significant move made by President Truman, as it passed control of atomic energy from the military to the civilian sector. The AEC continued to operate until 1974 when its functions were divided up into two new agencies: the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

42. Shell propellers OARS
A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell.

46. WWII craft LST
LST stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were the large vessels used mainly in WWII that had doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles could roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.

49. Pro Football Hall of Famer nicknamed “Crazylegs” ELROY HIRSCH
Running back Elroy Hirsch was famous for his unusual running style, earning him the nickname “Crazylegs”. Hirsch starred in a biopic about his life released in 1953, and called “Crazylegs”. That wasn’t his only acting role, as he also appeared in a 1957 airline disaster movie called “Zero Hour!”.

53. Traffic cops gp.? DEA
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.

56. Speaker with a .345 career batting average TRIS
Tris Speaker was a Major League Baseball player, the holder of the record for the most doubles hit in a career. He led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships, in 1912 and 1915.

58. TV series that first aired 9/23/1962 whose family shares first names with 17-, 24-, 34- and 49-Across THE JETSONS
“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it was debuted in 1963 by ABC, it was the network’s first ever color broadcast.

61. Henry VIII’s fourth ANNE
Famously, King Henry VIII had six queens consort. There is a rhyme that is commonly used to help remember the fates of each of his wives, which goes:

King Henry the Eighth, to six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded.

The use of the term “divorce” isn’t quite accurate though, as in fact Henry had two of his marriages annulled. His wives (and their fates) were:

– Catherine of Aragon (Annulled),
– Anne Boleyn (Beheaded),
– Jane Seymour (Died)
– Anne of Cleves (Annulled),
– Catherine Howard (Beheaded),
– Catherine Parr (Survived).

62. Verdi slave AIDA
“Aida” is the famous opera by Giuseppe Verde, actually based on a scenario written by a French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, who also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first performed in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course, complications arise!

66. Some McFlurry ingredients OREOS
The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

The McFlurry is the ice cream dessert from McDonald’s. Cleverly, a McFlurry is mixed on a machine with the mixing blade then doubling as a spoon with which one eats it.

Down
4. Snob’s affectations AIRS
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasised their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

7. Clear blue AZURE
The word “azure” came in to English from Persian via Old French. The French word “l’azur” was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called “Lazheward” which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and “azure” has been describing this color since the 14th century.

18. “I say!” EGAD
“Egad” developed as a polite way of saying “oh God” in the late 1600s and is an expression of fear or surprise somewhat like “good grief!”.

24. Savior in a Bach cantata JESU
The Bach cantata “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben” (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life) has ten movements. The most famous of these movements is the last one, a chorale titled “Jesus bleibet meine Freude”, usually translated as “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”.

26. Interstate H-1 locale O’AHU
The westernmost and southernmost “interstate” highway in the US is the H-1 on the island of Hawaii.

O’ahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that O’ahu is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator that first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley called the O’ahu Plain.

28. __ vu DEJA
“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

32. “Modern Family” network ABC
“Modern Family” is a marvelous television show shown on ABC since 2009. The show’s format is that of a “mockumentary”, with the cast often addressing the camera directly. In that respect “Modern Family” resembles two other excellent shows: “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”.

36. Himalayan myth YETI
A yeti is a beast of legend, also called an abominable snowman. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

37. Dance in a pit MOSH
Moshing is the pushing and shoving that takes place in the audience at a concert (usually a punk or heavy metal concert). The area directly in front of the stage is known as the mosh pit. When a performer does a “stage dive”, it is into (or I suppose “onto”) the mosh pit. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. Injuries are common in the mosh pit, and deaths are not unknown.

39. Zoe of “Avatar” SALDANA
American actress Zoe Saldana played the Na’vi princess in “Avatar”, and Uhura in the 2009 movie “Star Trek”. Saldana seems to pick the right movies, as she is the only actress to have three different films in the top twenty at the box office for three consecutive weeks (“Avatar”, “The Losers” and “Death at a Funeral”).

46. Caustic stuff LYE
Today, when we purchase what is labelled as “lye”, it is caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely divided aluminum reacts with water creating tremendous heat so that that mixture boils and churns, then any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain almost always does the job …

47. Part of a Molière comédie ACTE
Molière was the stage name of French actor and playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. It is amazing how well the comedies of Molière, written in the 1600s, entertain us on stage today. Among his best-known plays are “The Misanthrope”, “The School for Wives” and “Tartuffe or the Hypocrite”.

50. Arches with pointed tops OGEES
An ogee is like an s-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

51. Oboist’s supply REEDS
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”. When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you’ll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”. Oh, and if you want to read a fun book (almost an “exposé”) about life playing the oboe, you might try “Mozart in the Jungle” by oboist Blair Tindall. I heard recently that the folks at HBO are working towards a pilot based on the book, and I can’t wait to see it!

52. Noted vowel seller SAJAK
Pat Sajak took over the hosting of “Wheel of Fortune” back in 1983, and has been doing the job ever since. He had a short run as a talk show host in 1989/1990, and has subbed quite often for Larry King and Regis Philbin.

56. Nicholas II, e.g. TSAR
The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 1983 movie about a taxi company DC CAB
6. Place for a sala CASA
10. Home on the range CAMP
14. Kukla’s dragon friend OLLIE
15. Israeli weapons UZIS
16. Optic layer UVEA
17. Leader for whom Houston’s airport is named GEORGE BUSH
19. Really tired BEAT
20. Highlands honey LASS
21. Narrow-bodied river fish GAR
22. Intrinsically PER SE
23. Christmas __ EVE
24. “The Chimpanzees of Gombe” writer JANE GOODALL
27. Fixed, in a way GELDED
29. Farm feed item OAT
30. Salon supply GEL
31. Saloon orders RYES
32. Hot tub reaction AAH
33. Bit of background in a Road Runner cartoon MESA
34. “Superfudge” novelist JUDY BLUME
38. Nick and Nora’s pooch ASTA
41. Cold War agcy. AEC
42. Shell propellers OARS
45. Starfish arm RAY
46. WWII craft LST
47. Not a good thing to be at the wheel ASLEEP
49. Pro Football Hall of Famer nicknamed “Crazylegs” ELROY HIRSCH
53. Traffic cops gp.? DEA
54. Maxim ADAGE
55. Do lunch, e.g. EAT
56. Speaker with a .345 career batting average TRIS
57. Stallion feature MANE
58. TV series that first aired 9/23/1962 whose family shares first names with 17-, 24-, 34- and 49-Across THE JETSONS
61. Henry VIII’s fourth ANNE
62. Verdi slave AIDA
63. Squander WASTE
64. Ponies up PAYS
65. Office furnishing DESK
66. Some McFlurry ingredients OREOS

Down
1. Zigzag hole feature DOGLEG
2. Chop chopper CLEAVER
3. __ held: in few hands, as stock CLOSELY
4. Snob’s affectations AIRS
5. Avoid, as an issue BEG
6. Like many Miamians, by birth CUBAN
7. Clear blue AZURE
8. Girl sib SIS
9. Campfire remains ASH
10. Like ice or dice CUBED
11. Run-of-the-mill AVERAGE
12. Spotty condition? MEASLES
13. Kneecap PATELLA
18. “I say!” EGAD
22. Patio planter POT
24. Savior in a Bach cantata JESU
25. Purpose GOAL
26. Interstate H-1 locale O’AHU
28. __ vu DEJA
32. “Modern Family” network ABC
33. Square food? MEAL
35. Salt sprinkle DASH
36. Himalayan myth YETI
37. Dance in a pit MOSH
38. Visitors center handout AREA MAP
39. Zoe of “Avatar” SALDANA
40. Abuse of power TYRANNY
43. Flower for one’s honey RED ROSE
44. Foreknow, as the future SEE INTO
46. Caustic stuff LYE
47. Part of a Molière comédie ACTE
48. Avoids an F PASSES
50. Arches with pointed tops OGEES
51. Oboist’s supply REEDS
52. Noted vowel seller SAJAK
56. Nicholas II, e.g. TSAR
58. Wee bit TAD
59. Hotfoot it, old-style HIE
60. Pair TWO

Return to top of page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.