LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Jul 13, Wednesday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Maryellen Uthlaut
THEME: Board Games … each of today’s themed answers is the name of a famous board game:

17A *Vessel with heavy armor: BATTLESHIP
30A *Rodent catcher: MOUSETRAP
47A *Military campaign: OPERATION
24D *Professional pursuits: CAREERS
26D *Shakespeare play that inspired a Verdi opera: OTHELLO

64A What the answers to starred clues are: BOARD GAMES

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 08m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Small thicket COPSE
A copse is a small stand of trees. The term “copse” originally applied to a small thicket that was specifically grown for cutting.

14. Like many who tweet AVIAN
“Avis” is the Latin word for a bird, giving rise to our adjective “avian” meaning “relating to birds”.

15. John’s love YOKO
John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a very public honeymoon in a hotels in Amsterdam and then Montreal, when they staged their famous “bed-in” for peace. In answering questions from reporters Lennon found himself often repeating the words “give peace a chance”. While still in bed, he composed his famous song “Give Peace a Chance” and even made the original recording of the song in the Montreal hotel room, with reporters present, and with a whole bunch of friends. The song was released later in 1969 and became a smash hit.

16. “Compliments guaranteed” corn syrup KARO
Karo is a brand of corn syrup, an industrially manufactured sweetener derived from corn.

17. *Vessel with heavy armor BATTLESHIP
Battleship was a game that we used to play as kids using pencil and paper. The game had been around at least since WWI, and was eventually turned into a board game by Milton Bradley in 1967.

23. Suffix with malt -OSE
Maltose, also known as malt sugar, is a disaccharide made up of two glucose units.

25. Bridge over the Arno, e.g. PONTE
“Ponte” is the Italian word for “bridge”.

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, passing through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

27. 61-Down prison GULAG
(61D. Cold War inits. USSR)
The Gulag was a government agency in the Soviet Union that administered forced labor camps. The term “gulag” was used for the camps themselves, especially when used for political dissidents. “GULag” is actually an acronym for the Russian “Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies”.

30. *Rodent catcher MOUSETRAP
Mouse Trap is a board game that was introduced in 1963 by the Ideal Toy Company. The game is based on drawings created by Rube Goldberg.

36. __ Cucamonga, California RANCHO
Jack Benny had a running gag going on his radio show, “The Jack Benny Program”, in which he made fun of the city name “Rancho Cucamonga”. He had Mel Blanc (also famous as the voice of Bugs Bunny and other cartoon characters) make a fake train station announcement, faltering over the name “Cuc …. amonga”. The city loved the publicity, and named a street there Jack Benny Way. Outside the city’s minor league baseball stadium, on Jack Benny Way, they also erected a bronze statue of Jack Benny. The statue has since been moved, so if you are in town, it’s in now in the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center,

40. Continental capital EURO
The European Union (EU) today stands at a membership of 27 states. The Euro is the official currency of only 16 of the 27. The list of states in the EU that don’t use the Euro includes the UK, Denmark and Sweden.

43. Ranking angel SERAPH
A seraph is a celestial being found in Hebrew and Christian writings. The word “seraph” (plural seraphim) literally translates as “burning one”.

47. *Military campaign OPERATION
The game called Operation was invented by John Spinello and was first produced in 1965 by Milton Bradley. The game is based on the old electric wire loop game where players had to guide a loop along a winding wire without touching it. Touching the wires completed a circuit causing a buzzer to go off and/or a light to come on.

51. Versifier’s art POESY
“Poesy” is an alternative name for poetry, often used to mean the “art of poetry”.

52. Varied mixture OLIO
Olio is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.

54. “The Fox and the Hound” fox TOD
Disney’s 1981 animated feature “The Fox and the Hound” is based on a novel of the same name by Daniel P. Mannix. Both the novel and movie tell the tale of a young fox and a young hound who are good friends. The fox and hound struggle to maintain their friendship as they grow older and their animal instincts kick in, and social pressures demand that they become adversaries. Heavy stuff!

55. Very hot and dry SAHARAN
The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

59. Big bird 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 …

66. Ad writer’s award CLIO
The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

67. Actress Petty LORI
Lori Petty is the actress who played the character Kit Keller in the fabulous movie “A League of Their Own”. Petty also played the title role in a 1995 science fiction film called “Tank Girl”.

70. Omar of “House” EPPS
Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Foreman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

I think that “House” is one of the best shows made by Fox television. It is fun for me to see English actor Hugh Laurie in the title role as coming from the other side of the Atlantic I have been watching him in various comedic roles for decades. Famously, Laurie played Bertie Wooster opposite Stephen Fry in P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves & Wooster”. He also played one of the bumbling “bad guys” in “101 Dalmatians” (the version starring Glenn Close).

Down
1. Fare dealers? CABS
A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, a prior design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

2. Like Humpty Dumpty OVAL
Humpty Dumpty is a character in a nursery rhyme, actually an egg although that isn’t specifically called out in the original rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

3. “No beast so fierce but knows some touch of __”: “King Richard III” PITY
“Richard III” is one of the more famous of William Shakespeare’s historical plays. A well-known 1955 version of the play was made for the big screen with Laurence Olivier playing the title role. The most oft-quoted lines from “Richard III” are probably:

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York

6. Part of DOS SYSTEM
MS-DOS was the main operating system used by IBM-compatible PCs in the eighties and for much of the nineties.

I always think of an operating system as that piece of software that sits between the hardware on my computer and the programs that I choose to run. Developers of application programs don’t really have to worry about being able to “talk to” the countless different types of hardware found in the wide variety of computers that are manufactured, they just need to talk to the handful of operating systems that are out there, like Windows, MAC and Unix. The operating system takes care of the rest.

7. “Jem” sci-fi author Frederik POHL
Frederik Pohl is an American science-fiction writer, a winner of three Hugo awards. Pohl started off his career as a literary agent, and was the only agent ever hired by Isaac Asimov.

8. Migrant on the Mother Road OKIE
“Okies” was a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.

The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the “Main Street of America”. The road gained notoriety because of Nat King Cole’s song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, and also because of the sixties TV show called “Route 66”.

10. APB letters AKA
Also known as (aka).

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

11. Southern capital with a French name BATON ROUGE
Baton Rouge is the capital city of the state of Louisiana. The name “Baton Rouge” is French for “red stick or staff”. The exact reason why such a name was given to the city isn’t really clear.

12. Record label owned by Sony ARISTA
Arista Records was set up as part of Columbia Pictures by one Clive Davis. Davis chose “Arista” as it was the name of the New York City Honor Society to which he belonged.

13. Crook carrier of rhyme BO PEEP
The lines that are most commonly quoted for the rhyme about “Little Bo Peep” are:

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can’t tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, And they’ll come home,
Wagging their tails behind them.But, there are actually four more verses, including this one:
It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side,
All hung on a tree to dry.

18. Present, Cockney-style ‘ERE
The East End of London is home to the Cockney, and Cockneys are famous for dropping their aitches, as in “here” becoming “‘ere”.

24. *Professional pursuits CAREERS
The board game called “Careers” has been around since 1955, and was designed by a sociologist called James Cooke Brown.

26. *Shakespeare play that inspired a Verdi opera OTHELLO
The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name Othello was chosen as a nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

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.

27. Clock std. GST
GST is Greenwich Standard Time.

A meridian is a line of longitude, and the Prime Meridian is that line of longitude defined as 0 degrees. The Prime Meridian is also called the Greenwich Meridian as it passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in southeast London. Of course the line of longitude that is used to represent 0 degrees is an arbitrary decision. 25 nations formally decided in 1884 to use the Greenwich Meridian as 0 degrees as it was already a popular choice. That is all except the French, who abstained from the vote and used the Paris Meridian as 0 degrees on French charts for several decades.

28. News org. UPI
United Press International (UPI) was one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists but with only a handful of employees.

29. Flax product used in paint LINSEED OIL
Linseed oil is also known as flaxseed oil, as it is extracted from the dried seeds of the flax plant. Linseed oil is described as a “drying oil”, meaning that it can dry out into a solid, polymerized form. This property led to it being used in varnish and oil paints.

32. Old Mideast gp. UAR
The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria made in 1958 and dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

33. Condescending one SNOB
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 emphasized 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.

41. Color in a Crayola eight-pack RED
In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, 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”.

42. Has too much, for short ODS
Overdoses (ODs)

48. Curly-haired dog POODLE
The standard Poodle breed of dog is considered to be the second most intelligent breed, after the Border Collie. The name “poodle” comes from a Low German word meaning “to splash about”, reflecting the original use of the breed as a water retriever.

49. Chuck of “The Delta Force” NORRIS
Chuck Norris is a martial artist and an actor from Ryan, Oklahoma. Norris’s first real exposure to martial arts was in the US Air Force when he was serving in South Korea. When he left the service Norris opened up a chain of karate schools, and among his clients were Steve McQueen and his son, as well as Donny and Marie Osmond.

57. Cager’s target HOOP
In the early days of basketball, when a ball went out of bounds possession was awarded to the player who first retrieved the ball. This led to mad scuffles off the court, often involving spectators. As the game became more organized courts were routinely “caged”, largely because of this out of bounds rule, to limit interaction with the crowd. It’s because of these cages that basketball players are sometimes referred to today as “cagers”.

58. 50-and-up group AARP
AARP is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

59. Arabian chieftain EMIR
An emir is a prince or chieftain, most notably in the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written as “amir” and “ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

61. Cold War inits. USSR
The term “Cold War” was first used by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch.

63. Texter’s chuckle LOL
LOL is an abbreviation used in Instant Messages and phone texting, an abbreviation for “Laughing Out Loud”.

65. Gasteyer of “SNL” ANA
Ana Gasteyer is an actress best known for being a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” from 1996 to 2002. Gasteyer was famous on SNL for playing Martha Stewart … topless!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Small thicket COPSE
6. Dry cleaner’s target SPOT
10. Simple rhyme scheme ABAB
14. Like many who tweet AVIAN
15. John’s love YOKO
16. “Compliments guaranteed” corn syrup KARO
17. *Vessel with heavy armor BATTLESHIP
19. “Take __ from me!” A TIP
20. Foxy SLY
21. Without pretense ARTLESS
23. Suffix with malt -OSE
24. Algonquian language CREE
25. Bridge over the Arno, e.g. PONTE
27. 61-Down prison GULAG
30. *Rodent catcher MOUSETRAP
34. Having a steeple SPIRED
36. __ Cucamonga, California RANCHO
37. Trident part TINE
38. Evoking the past RETRO
40. Continental capital EURO
43. Ranking angel SERAPH
45. Protruded BULGED
47. *Military campaign OPERATION
50. Snow coasters SLEDS
51. Versifier’s art POESY
52. Varied mixture OLIO
54. “The Fox and the Hound” fox TOD
55. Very hot and dry SAHARAN
59. Big bird EMU
62. Megastar IDOL
64. What the answers to starred clues are BOARD GAMES
66. Ad writer’s award CLIO
67. Actress Petty LORI
68. Military divisions UNITS
69. Get rid of, in a way SELL
70. Omar of “House” EPPS
71. Peeling device PARER

Down
1. Fare dealers? CABS
2. Like Humpty Dumpty OVAL
3. “No beast so fierce but knows some touch of __”: “King Richard III” PITY
4. Emulated Humpty Dumpty SAT
5. Swell ENLARGE
6. Part of DOS SYSTEM
7. “Jem” sci-fi author Frederik POHL
8. Migrant on the Mother Road OKIE
9. First-rate TOPS
10. APB letters AKA
11. Southern capital with a French name BATON ROUGE
12. Record label owned by Sony ARISTA
13. Crook carrier of rhyme BO PEEP
18. Present, Cockney-style ‘ERE
22. Design detail, briefly SPEC
24. *Professional pursuits CAREERS
26. *Shakespeare play that inspired a Verdi opera OTHELLO
27. Clock std. GST
28. News org. UPI
29. Flax product used in paint LINSEED OIL
31. Gardener’s brand ORTHO
32. Old Mideast gp. UAR
33. Condescending one SNOB
35. “Oh, fudge!” DRAT!
39. Prefix with center EPI-
41. Color in a Crayola eight-pack RED
42. Has too much, for short ODS
44. Light beams RAYS
46. Consuming entirely USING UP
47. Eye doctor’s science OPTICS
48. Curly-haired dog POODLE
49. Chuck of “The Delta Force” NORRIS
53. Youngster LAD
56. Not all thumbs ABLE
57. Cager’s target HOOP
58. 50-and-up group AARP
59. Arabian chieftain EMIR
60. Dole (out) METE
61. Cold War inits. USSR
63. Texter’s chuckle LOL
65. Gasteyer of “SNL” ANA

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4 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Jul 13, Wednesday”

  1. I had BrAnD nAMES before BOARD GAMES.

    Had GMT before GST (m for mean).

    Didn't know route 66's nickname.

    Loved Laurie in Jeeves, especially the singing at the piano.

    As always, complete and researched write-up.

  2. @Mac
    Thanks!

    @Sfingi
    "Mother Road" was new to me as well. Glad to hear someone else saw the "Jeeves" show. Great stuff!

    @Addict
    You just need to get there, Addict, any which way but loose 🙂

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