LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Oct 12, Wednesday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark Skoczen
THEME: TEAR APART … each of the theme answers is made up of two words, with the letters “TEAR” straddling both:

62A. Rip to pieces, and a hint to what’s hidden in the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues TEAR APART

17A. *Role in the films “Wichita” and “Tombstone” WYAT(T EAR)P
3D. *Protection for jousters PLA(TE AR)MOR
9D. *2000s documentary whose first episode was “From Pole to Pole” PLANE(T EAR)TH
24D. *One who was held up, most likely LA(TE AR)RIVAL
30D. *Indoor antenna RABBI(T EAR)S

COMPLETION TIME: 7m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Aphid’s meal SAP
Aphids are called “greenfly” back in the British Isles where I come from. The most effective way to control them in my experience is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called ladybirds in Ireland!).

4. Marsh bird EGRET
At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women’s hats.

9. Neil Simon’s “__ Suite” PLAZA
“Plaza Suite” is a wonderful play by Neil Simon, first performed in 1968. The action is set in Suite 719 of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. In each of the three acts, the suite accommodates three different couples. The twist is that the same two actors play the lead parts in each act.

14. Communication at Gallaudet U. ASL
It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

Gallaudet University is a school focused on educating the deaf and hard of hearing. Gallaudet is located in Washington, D.C. and was founded there in 1864.

16. Bona fide LEGIT
Bona fide(s), translates from the Latin as “in good faith”, and is used to indicate honest intentions. It can also mean that something is authentic, like a piece of art that is represented in good faith as being genuine.

17. *Role in the films “Wichita” and “Tombstone” WYAT(T EAR)P
The legendary Western gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp has been portrayed on the big and small screen many, many times. Keven Costner played the title role in 1994’s “Wyatt Earp”, and Val Kilmer played Earp in 2012’s “The First Ride of Wyatt Earp”. Joel McCrea had the part in 1955’s “Wichita”, and Kurt Russell was Earp in 1993’s “Tombstone”.

19. Opposite of après AVANT
In French, “avant” (before) comes ahead of “après” (after).

20. Place for un chapeau TETE
“Chapeau” is the French word for hat.

“Tête” is the French word for “head”.

23. Opera featuring Iago OTELLO
Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Otello” was first performed in 1887 at La Scala Theater in Milan. The opera is based on Shakespeare’s play “Othello” and is considered by many to be Verdi’s greatest work.

33. Nautical pole SPRIT
A sprit is a pole that extends out from a mast, often supporting a special sail called a spritsail.

37. Will Smith title role ALI
“Ali” is a 2001 biographical movie about Muhammad Ali, with Will Smith in the title role. Among other things, the film is noted for its realistic fight scenes. The scenes were realistic because Smith was really being hit, as hard as his opponents could manage.

38. French noble COMTE
“Comte” is the French word for “count”, as in “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexander Dumas.

48. “Hotel Rwanda” tribe TUTSI
The Tutsi are the second largest population of people in Rwanda, with the Hutu being the largest group. The bloody conflict that has existed between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples dates back to about 1880 when Catholic missionaries arrived in the region. The missionaries found that they had more success converting the Hutus than the Tutsi, and when the Germans occupied the area during WWI they confiscated Tutsi land and gave it to Hutu tribes in order to reward religious conversion. This injustice fuels fighting to this very day.

“Hotel Rwanda” is a very disturbing 2004 film that is based on a real account of events in 1994 in the Rwandan Genocide. “Hotel Rwanda” has been compared to “Schindler’s List” in that it tells the tale of one man fighting to save as many people as he can from the genocide taking place in his country. Don Cheadle has the starring role.

50. Compote ingredient FRUIT
A compote is a fruit mixture stewed in syrup. The word “compote” comes to us from French and has the same etymology as our word “compost”! “Composte” is an Old French word for “mixture”.

55. __ of Gibraltar STRAIT
The Strait of Gibraltar is the very narrow strait connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. On one side of the strait is Spain (and the tiny British Territory of Gibraltar), and on the other is Morocco. At its narrowest point, the strait is only 9 miles wide, that’s just 9 miles of water separating the continents of Europe and Africa.

58. Source of lean red meat EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

61. Pope after Sergius II LEO IV
Pope Leo IV succeeded Pope Sergius II in the year 847 AD. After his death in 855 AD, Leo IV was succeeded by Benedict III, although there was a medieval tradition that he was followed by Pope Joan, a woman disguising herself as a man.

64. Lexus competitor ACURA
Acura is a division of the Honda Motor Company, and is Honda’s luxury brand. Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

65. Malady with swelling MUMPS
Mumps is a painful viral disease that causes swelling of the salivary glands. The disease is a little more serious for males than females as there can also be a swelling of the testes, which can lead to infertility.

66. “Norma __” RAE
“Norma Rae” is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called “Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance”.

69. Part of DOS: Abbr. SYS
Disk Operating System (DOS) was the first computer operating system to be widely installed on personal computers. DOS was a development by the young Bill Gates.

Down
3. *Protection for jousters PLA(TE AR)MOR
Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used the competition is called “tilting”.

4. “Mangia!” EAT
Mangia! is Italian for “eat!” and is often used in the names of Italian restaurants or in brand names of Italian foods.

5. Genetics pioneer Mendel GREGOR
Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk, and a scientist who achieved fame after his passing when his work in the field of genetics was rediscovered. The conclusions he drew from his studies of garden peas led to him earning the moniker “father of modern genetics”.

7. 2001 bankruptcy filer ENRON
After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty and before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

9. *2000s documentary whose first episode was “From Pole to Pole” PLANE(T EAR)TH
“Planet Earth” is a spectacular nature documentary first aired in 2006 by the BBC. It was also shown in the US on the Discovery Channel in 2007. The eleven episodes of “Planet Earth” are not only fascinating because of the content, but are also a visual delight as the marvelous cinematography used high-definition technology. Well worth a rental …

11. Ice cream thickener AGAR
Agar is a jelly extracted from seaweed and has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

28. Mozambique neighbor MALAWI
Malawi is in southeast Africa and is one of the least-developed countries in the world. The Malawi population has a low life expectancy and a high infant mortality rate. HIV/AIDS is a major killer. The British colonized the area in 1891, at which point it was called Nyasaland. Malawi became independent in 1964.

30. *Indoor antenna RABBI(T EAR)S
Remember the television antenna called a “rabbit ears”? I don’t recall being told this when I was younger, but to get the best reception the length of the “ears” needs to be set at about one half of the wavelength of the signal of the target channel. If only I had known …

31. Lotion addition ALOE
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

32. Gibson __ GIRL
The illustrator Charles Dana Gibson created some drawings of young women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that came to personify the ideal of feminine beauty. As such, this “standard” for beauty came to be known as the Gibson Girl. The Gibson Girl was a little like a Barbie doll in that she had an unrealistic figure. She was tall and thin with ample proportions and an unnaturally slender waist.

34. Comic strip possum POGO
“Pogo” is a comic strip that was launched in 1948, the creation of cartoonist Walt Kelly. The story centers on animals that live in the Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia-Florida border, with the title character “Pogo Possum” being an anthropomorphic opossum.

36. Beetle juice? GAS
You need gasoline to keep a VW Beetle running.

50. Renaissance __ FAIRE
Renaissance Faires are usually set in the time of Elizabeth I of England, although other eras are often represented, and often at the same fair.

54. Big name in raingear TOTES
Totes Isotoner is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company is the world’s largest supplier of umbrellas and other rainwear items.

57. Cad ROUE
“Roue” is a lovely word, I think, describing a less then lovely man. A roue could otherwise be described as a cad, someone of loose morals. “Roue” comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

59. Cass’s title MAMA
Cass Elliot was one of the four singers in the Mamas and the Papas, the sensational group from the sixties. Elliot 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, she died in the same flat (on loan from Harry Nilsson) in which the Who’s drummer, Keith Moon, would die just four years later.

62. “Spare me the details,” in brief TMI
Too Much Information!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Aphid’s meal SAP
4. Marsh bird EGRET
9. Neil Simon’s “__ Suite” PLAZA
14. Communication at Gallaudet U. ASL
15. Concert venue ARENA
16. Bona fide LEGIT
17. *Role in the films “Wichita” and “Tombstone” WYAT(T EAR)P
19. Opposite of après AVANT
20. Place for un chapeau TETE
21. Miracle-__ -GRO
22. Get-up-and-go ENERGY
23. Opera featuring Iago OTELLO
25. Lint collector NAVEL
27. It may be set or set off ALARM
29. Glowing, perhaps LIT
30. Cleaning closet item RAG
33. Nautical pole SPRIT
35. Spry AGILE
37. Will Smith title role ALI
38. French noble COMTE
39. Trail behind LAG
40. Grape-growing spot ARBOR
42. Back when AGO
43. Put to shame ABASH
45. Mutineer REBEL
46. Neither mate NOR
47. Noisy quarrel ROW
48. “Hotel Rwanda” tribe TUTSI
50. Compote ingredient FRUIT
52. Fired on SHOT AT
55. __ of Gibraltar STRAIT
58. Source of lean red meat EMU
60. Pertaining to planes AERO-
61. Pope after Sergius II LEO IV
62. Rip to pieces, and a hint to what’s hidden in the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues TEAR APART
64. Lexus competitor ACURA
65. Malady with swelling MUMPS
66. “Norma __” RAE
67. Potter’s apparatus WHEEL
68. “Count me out” I PASS
69. Part of DOS: Abbr. SYS

Down
1. Managed SAW TO
2. So far AS YET
3. *Protection for jousters PLA(TE AR)MOR
4. “Mangia!” EAT
5. Genetics pioneer Mendel GREGOR
6. Derrière REAR
7. 2001 bankruptcy filer ENRON
8. Brew source TAP
9. *2000s documentary whose first episode was “From Pole to Pole” PLANE(T EAR)TH
10. Video game stage LEVEL
11. Ice cream thickener AGAR
12. Criticize with barbs ZING
13. DOJ employee ATTY
18. “We want to hear the story” TELL IT
22. Devil’s work EVIL
24. *One who was held up, most likely LA(TE AR)RIVAL
26. Land ALIGHT
28. Mozambique neighbor MALAWI
30. *Indoor antenna RABBI(T EAR)S
31. Lotion addition ALOE
32. Gibson __ GIRL
33. Diagnostic test SCAN
34. Comic strip possum POGO
36. Beetle juice? GAS
41. Lather again RESOAP
44. Flu fighter’s episode BOUT
49. Seizes unlawfully USURPS
50. Renaissance __ FAIRE
51. Start a hole TEE UP
53. Variety ARRAY
54. Big name in raingear TOTES
55. Picnic side SLAW
56. One helping after a crash TECH
57. Cad ROUE
59. Cass’s title MAMA
62. “Spare me the details,” in brief TMI
63. Backpacked beast ASS

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