LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Sep 13, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Donna S. Levin
THEME: I bet … three of today’s themed answers start with a hidden word that’s a bet one might place on a horse race, with the fourth themed answer neatly wrapping up the series of three wagers:

17A. Oenophile WINE CONNOISSEUR (“to win” means finishing 1st)
27A. Response to snake oil, perhaps PLACEBO EFFECT (“to place” means finishing 1st or 2nd)
43A. Privacy protector of a sort SHOWER CURTAIN (“to show” means finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd)
55A. Has a big track payday (and a hint to hidden words that begin 17-, 27- and 43-Across) HITS THE TRIFECTA (predicted the 1st, 2nd and 3rd horses in the right order)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 07m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Uniformed figure in the National Toy Hall of Fame GI JOE
G.I. Joe was the original “action figure”, the first toy to carry that description. G.I. Joe first hit the shelves in 1964. There have been a few movies based on the G.I. Joe figure, but, more famous than all of them I would say is the 1997 movie “G.I. Jane” starring Demi Moore in the title role. I think this movie had some potential, to be honest, but it really did not deliver at all.

The National Toy Hall of Fame was established in Salem. Oregon in 1998, but was relocated to Rochester, New York in 2002. There were seventeen original inductees, including:

– Barbie
– Etch A Sketch
– Frisbee
– Hula Hoop
– Marbles
– Monopoly

6. Corp. fiscal execs CFOS
Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

14. Epps and Sharif OMARS
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.

Omar Sharif is the great Hollywood actor from Egypt, an actor who played major roles in memorable movies such as “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”. But to me he is my bridge hero (the card game). In his heyday Sharif was one of the best bridge players in the world.

16. 43,560 square feet ACRE
At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land one furlong long (660 feet) and one chain wide (66 feet). The word “furlong” is actually derived from the Old English words meaning “furrow long”, the length of the furrow plowed by the oxen.

17. Oenophile WINE CONNOISSEUR (“to win”” means “finishing 1st”)
In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oen-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

20. Indianapolis-to-Fort Wayne dir. NNE
Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, and is the state capital. The state of Indiana was formed in 1816, with the state capitol being named as Corydon. The capital was changed to Indianapolis in 1825. Indianapolis is the closest of all capitals to the center of its state.

Fort Wayne is in northeastern Indiana, and is the second-largest city in the state (after Indianapolis). The location was first settled by the Miami Native American people, in the mid-1600s. French traders came along in the late 1600s, and in 1697 built Fort Miamis at the confluence of the Maumee, St. Joseph and St. Marys Rivers. The US Army built a new fort at the site in 1794, naming it Fort Wayne in honor of General “Mad Anthony” Wayne who was instrumental in the US victory in the Northwest Indian War of 1785-1795.

21. Sleepover wear, briefly PJS
Our word “pajamas” comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is “pyjamas”.

23. Lone Ranger’s pal TONTO
On the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels.

“The Lone Ranger” was both a radio and television show, dating back to its first radio performance in 1933 on a Detroit station. The most-remembered radio actor who played the title role was Brace Beemer. The best-known TV Lone Ranger was Clayton Moore. The line “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!” was a device used in the storyline to signal that a riding sequence was starting, so cue the music!

26. iPhone’s voice-activated personal assistant SIRI
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads!

27. Response to snake oil, perhaps PLACEBO EFFECT (“to place” means finishing 1st or 2nd)
A “placebo” is a medical treatment that is ineffective, but that is deliberated formulated to deceive the patient into thinking it is real. Placebos can be given as control treatments in trials, and so the level of deception can be relatively low, as the patients are aware of the possibility of being given an ineffective treatment. The term “placebo” is the Latin word for “I shall please”. The idea is that the treatment is given more to please than to benefit the patient.

31. Steering system component TIE ROD
Tie rods are part of the rack and pinion steering mechanism in a car.

33. GM labor gp. UAW
The United Auto Workers (UAW) was founded to represent workers in auto plants in the Detroit area in 1935. Nowadays the UAW’s membership extends into the aerospace, agriculture and other industries.

General Motors (GM) is still the largest manufacturer of cars in the world, at least in terms of numbers of cars sold. GM was established in 1908 in Flint, Michigan as a holding company for Buick, which in turn had been founded in 1899. GM’s Buick brand is the oldest, still-active automotive brand in the US.

35. Redding of soul OTIS
Otis Redding is often referred to as the “King of Soul”, and what a voice he had. Like so many of the greats in the world of popular music it seems, Redding was killed in a plane crash, in 1967 when he was just 26 years old. Just three days earlier he had recorded what was to be his biggest hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”.

36. FG’s three PTS
In American football, three points (pts.) are awarded for a field goal (FG).

37. Hockey great Phil, familiarly ESPO
Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

39. Feng __: decorating philosophy SHUI
Feng shui is the ancient Chinese tradition of arranging objects, buildings and other structures in a manner that is said to improve the lives of the individuals living in or using the space. “Feng shui” translates as “wind-water”, a reference to the belief that positive and negative life forces ride the wind and scatter, but are retained when they encounter water.

55. Has a big track payday (and a hint to hidden words that begin 17-, 27- and 43-Across) HITS THE TRIFECTA (predicted the 1st, 2nd and 3rd horses in the right order)
To win a bet called an exacta, the person betting must name the horses that finish first and second and in the exact order. The related bet called the trifecta requires naming of the first, second and third-place finishers in the right order.

60. Dutch cheese EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

62. Info DOPE
Our use of the word “dope” to mean “inside information” probably comes from horse racing. The idea is that a better might have information about which horse has been drugged (doped) to influence its performance.

Down
3. “Psycho” Oscar nominee JANET LEIGH
My guess is that the actress Janet Leigh’s most remembered performance is as the woman who gets killed in the shower in the Hitchcock classic “Psycho”. Leigh’s third husband was the actor Tony Curtis, and their daughter is the lovely Jamie Lee Curtis.

The classic Alfred Hitchcock suspense film “Psycho” released in 1960 is based on a 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The Bloch novel in turn is loosely based on actual crimes committed by murderer and grave robber Ed Gein. When “Psycho” was making its initial run in theaters, latecomers were not granted admission, a policy instigated by Hitchcock himself. He felt that anyone missing the opening scenes would not enjoy the film.

6. Grifter’s game CON JOB
A grifter is a confidence trickster, although the term has been used for non-violent criminals in general.

8. Artist who lives across from Central Park’s Strawberry Fields ONO
“Strawberry Fields” is a memorial in Central Park in New York City. The memorial is a triangular piece of land found directly across from the Dakota Apartments where Lennon lived and was murdered. At the center of the triangle of land is a circular pathway mosaic of stones with the word “Imagine” in the middle. Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, contributed over one million dollars to help pay for the memorial’s design and upkeep.

10. Heroic TV dog LASSIE
We owe the character Lassie to one Eric Knight who wrote a short story that he expanded into a novel called “Lassie Come Home”, published in 1940. “Lassie Come Home” was turned into a movie three years later, the first of a very successful franchise. The original Lassie (a female) was played by a dog called Pal, a male dog. In fact, all of the dogs that played Lassie over the years were males, because they looked better on camera, retaining a thick coat even during the summer months.

11. Rapper-turned-actor ICE-T
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not … Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about break-dancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

12. “Mötley” group CRUE
Mötley Crüe is an American rock band, from Los Angeles. They’ve been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band was drinking bottles of “Löwenbräu” beer!

13. Actress Deborah KERR
The lovely Deborah Kerr was a Scottish actress who made a real name for herself on the American stage and in Hollywood movies. Despite all her success, and six nominations for a Best Actress Oscar, Kerr never actually won an Academy Award. In 1967 she appeared in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” at the age of 46, making her oldest Bond Girl of all time.

24. Some regatta equipment OARS
The word “regatta” is Venetian dialect and was originally used to describe boat races among the gondoliers of Venice on the Grand Canal back in the mid-1600s.

25. Cpl., for one NCO
An NCO is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant.

27. Greek deli stockpile PITAS
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools. The pockets were a big hit in the seventies when someone came up with the idea of using them for fillings hence creating pita sandwiches or “pita pockets”.

29. Pillow-shaped diamond style CUSHION-CUT
Diamonds can be cut in various shapes. The most common cuts are:

– Princess
– Cushion
– Heart
– Pear
– Marquise
– Radiant
– Asscher
– Emerald
– Oval

37. Those gals, in Guadalajara ESAS
Guadalajara is a populous city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Mexican city is named after the Spanish city of the same name in the center of Spain.

42. ABA member ATT
The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

44. Layette suit ONESIE
A newborn baby’s collection of clothing and accessories is called a layette.

49. Spanish lad NINO
In Spanish, a padre’s (father’s) boy is a “niño”, and his girl is a “niña”.

50. URL opener HTTP
“http” are the first letters in most Internet link addresses. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

53. French 101 infinitive ETRE
The French for “to be” is “être”.

54. Mascara applicator WAND
Variations of mascara have been around a long time, and certainly there was a similar substance in use in Ancient Egypt.

56. University URL ending EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

– .com (commercial enterprise)
– .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
– .mil (US military)
– .org (not-for-profit organization)
– .gov (US federal government entity)
– .edu (college-level educational institution)

58. H-like Greek vowel ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Uniformed figure in the National Toy Hall of Fame GI JOE
6. Corp. fiscal execs CFOS
10. Kiss from 10-Down LICK
14. Epps and Sharif OMARS
15. Sow’s squeal OINK
16. 43,560 square feet ACRE
17. Oenophile WINE CONNOISSEUR (“to win”” means “finishing 1st”)
20. Indianapolis-to-Fort Wayne dir. NNE
21. Sleepover wear, briefly PJS
22. Shiny finish LUSTER
23. Lone Ranger’s pal TONTO
26. iPhone’s voice-activated personal assistant SIRI
27. Response to snake oil, perhaps PLACEBO EFFECT (“to place” means finishing 1st or 2nd)
31. Steering system component TIE ROD
32. Caresses PETS
33. GM labor gp. UAW
35. Redding of soul OTIS
36. FG’s three PTS
37. Hockey great Phil, familiarly ESPO
38. Tails and tongues do it WAG
39. Feng __: decorating philosophy SHUI
41. Redeem CASH IN
43. Privacy protector of a sort SHOWER CURTAIN (“to show” means finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd)
46. Close to NEAR
47. “Incorrect!” NOT SO!
48. Ready to mate, animal-wise IN HEAT
51. Pouch SAC
52. Just minted NEW
55. Has a big track payday (and a hint to hidden words that begin 17-, 27- and 43-Across) HITS THE TRIFECTA (predicted the 1st, 2nd and 3rd horses in the right order)
59. Against ANTI
60. Dutch cheese EDAM
61. A driver who forgets something might make one U-TURN
62. Info DOPE
63. Toupees RUGS
64. Evaluated RATED

Down
1. Graduation wear GOWN
2. Poker declaration I’M IN
3. “Psycho” Oscar nominee JANET LEIGH
4. Prospector’s quest ORE
5. “Never mind” PC key ESC
6. Grifter’s game CON JOB
7. Swimming aids FINS
8. Artist who lives across from Central Park’s Strawberry Fields ONO
9. Way up the slope SKI LIFT
10. Heroic TV dog LASSIE
11. Rapper-turned-actor ICE-T
12. “Mötley” group CRUE
13. Actress Deborah KERR
18. Went (for) OPTED
19. Pokes around on the Internet SURFS
24. Some regatta equipment OARS
25. Cpl., for one NCO
26. Takes in, as a movie SEES
27. Greek deli stockpile PITAS
28. Vision-related OPTIC
29. Pillow-shaped diamond style CUSHION-CUT
30. Golfer’s gimme TAP-IN
31. __ truck TOW
34. Took the cup WON
36. Sound from a contented kitty PURR
37. Those gals, in Guadalajara ESAS
39. “Don’t __ the small stuff!” SWEAT
40. Moor flora HEATHER
41. Early spring blooms CROCI
42. ABA member ATT
44. Layette suit ONESIE
45. Strips of weapons UNARMS
48. “If __ my way …” I HAD
49. Spanish lad NINO
50. URL opener HTTP
51. Deer dad STAG
53. French 101 infinitive ETRE
54. Mascara applicator WAND
56. University URL ending EDU
57. Pelt FUR
58. H-like Greek vowel ETA

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5 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Sep 13, Tuesday”

  1. Bill, very nice blog, and very informative, as usual.
    I had a pleasant time with Donna Levin's puzzle …. So thank you, very much, Ms. Levin. I really enjoyed it.

    Not much to muse about – I wondered why an artist living nearby the Central Park, could be so important .to hit the crossword puzzle …..

    After all, we are not all from NY City…. ..what do we know, or are expected to know about its famous or infamous denizens ?? …. .. Thanks for your explanation….

    Siri has a hard time understanding my accent – so we are not on 'speaking' terms …. I cut her off, right away…. Wouldn't mind having her picture on my IPhone though ….

    Have a great day, and a great week… Chiao.

    Now to prove I'm a robot … Beep, beep, twirl, whirr … cheep.

  2. Hi there, Vidwan.

    I'm sure that you know that the "Strawberry Fields" name comes from the Beatles song. Here's my blurb about "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields" …

    When in their teens, Paul McCartney and John Lennon would often head into the center of Liverpool together on the bus. The convenient place for them to meet was at the end of Penny Lane. Years later, Paul McCartney wrote the song “Penny Lane”, which was a big hit in 1967. “Penny Lane” was released as a double A-side record with "Strawberry Fields Forever" penned by John Lennon. Coincidentally, Strawberry Field was also a real location, not far from Penny Lane in Liverpool. Strawberry Field was a Salvation Army Children's Home in the garden of which Lennon would play as a child. I don't think Lennon and McCartney ever really forgot their roots …

    I don't use a smartphone and instead have a very, very basic pay-as-you-go phone. As a result, cell phone service costs me and my wife $5-10 a month in total. I found those cell phone plans to be too much money for what we got out of them.

    Good luck with tomorrow's puzzle, Vidwan!

  3. I had to buy, er, get an Apple, IPhone, just last month, because my wife had to get one ….and she wouldn't get one, unless I got one …. and she 'had' to get one, because people were ribbing her, at work, that she was a "century behind". ( our phones were 12 years old – ). So, we had to update our plan, to 3 times the monthly cost, and with all sorts of useless bells and whistles, …. and enable massive data transfer protocols, and enable massive picture memory, 32Gb, which we will never use, never take pictures, have never taken pictures, and don't intend to use or even try to understand half the stuff.

    But, we're in the 'current century' now, …. Whatever that means…. Even if it kills us …..

    People will do a lot of things for their ego, …. At least I don't have a rug or a toupee … Yet. One of these days ….

    My kids want us to get Twitter and get onto Facebook. Over my dead body.

  4. Hi Vidwan and Bill-

    I'm Gen X and sadly my phone never leaves my hand. My advice is don't get addicted, it is horrible! And you're right Bill, monthly charges can rival car or appliance payments. I don't think we Xers have it as bad as the millenials.
    I do take pride in never having succumbed to Facebook, Vidwan. Nice to meet a fellow holdout.

    Heard on the news today that Ed Asner has weighed in on the Syria debate. I found it amusing that he is still politically active in light of yesterday's trivia.

    The lower right quad was a bit a sticky wicket for me. Good fun muddling through til the end. Did have to look up the spelling of the word connoisseur. Always reminds me of a guy I once knew nicknamed Jonno. But I am rambling. Good luck tomorrow everyone!

  5. @Vidwan

    I held out from Facebook for as long as I could, but have had to experiment with it for my NYTCrossword.com blog. I will probably be introducing a Facebook page for this LAXCrossword.com blog some time soon as well. I have to get the word out about the blog somehow! 🙂

    @Brooke
    Sorry to hear about that sticky wicket. Keep plugging away 🙂 And hold onto that smartphone. I did yield a little a few months back and bought myself a Kindle Fire HD. I use it as a poor man's substitute for a smartphone. Well, my pay-as-you-go phone is my phone, and my Kindle is useful for Internet access when I have a WiFi signal. Always trying to save a buck … that's me!! Good luck with tomorrow's puzzle, Brooke.

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