LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Apr 14, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Stu Ockman
THEME: Harold Ramis RIP … todays’ themed answer commemorate the work of actor, director and writer Harold Ramis, who passed away in February 2014:

1A. 59-Across role in 27-Across EGON
17A. 1978 film co-written by 59-Across ANIMAL HOUSE
27A. 1984 film co-written and co-starring 59-Across GHOSTBUSTERS
44A. 1993 film co-written and directed by 59-Across GROUNDHOG DAY
59A. This puzzle’s honoree (1944-2014) HAROLD RAMIS
67A. 59-Across was its original head writer SCTV

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 07m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. 59-Across role in 27-Across EGON
Egon Spengler is one of the lead characters in the films “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters II”. Spengler is played by Harold Ramis.

5. Yenta GOSSIP
Yenta (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody.

14. Fish found in a film NEMO
“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

15. Finger-shaped dessert ECLAIR
The name for the pastry known as an éclair is clearly French in origin. The French word for lightning is “éclair”, but no one seems to be too sure how it came to be used for the rather delicious bakery item.

16. __ pro nobis ORA
“Ora pro nobis” translates from Latin as “pray for us”. It is a common term used in the Roman Catholic tradition and is often shortened to “OPN”.

17. 1978 film co-written by 59-Across ANIMAL HOUSE
The very funny 1978 movie “Animal House” has the prefix “National Lampoon’s …” because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in “National Lampoon” magazine. “Animal House” was to become the first in a long line of successful “National Lampoon” films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent “Amadeus”, and Stephen Furst (Flounder), later played a regular role on television’s “Babylon 5”.

19. Ross musical, with “The” WIZ
“The Wiz”, the 1975 musical, was written by Charlie Smalls and is an African-American adaptation of Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The film version of the stage show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. I haven’t seen it, though. “The Wizard of Oz” scares me, as the flying monkeys creep me out. There, I’ve admitted it in public …

Diana Ross is one of the most prolific recording artists in history. She sang with the Supremes from 1959 to 1970 and then launched an incredibly successful solo career. Ross was listed in the 1993 edition of “The Guinness Book of World Records” as the most successful music artist ever, with eighteen #1 records.

21. Zapped LASED
The term “laser” comes from an acronym, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely LOSER …

26. 1997 Home Run Derby winner Martinez TINO
Tino Martinez has retired from Major League Baseball. Martinez played first base for a number of teams including the Mariners, Yankees, Cardinals and Devil Rays. Martinez was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and as a boy he worked in his father’s cigar factory.

27. 1984 film co-written and co-starring 59-Across GHOSTBUSTERS
1984’s “Ghostbusters” really is a fun movie. It stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and was directed by Ivan Reitman (a trio that also worked together on 1981’s “Stripes”). The first draft of the screenplay was written by another star of the movie, Dan Aykroyd. Aykroyd originally envisioned “Ghostbusters” as a vehicle for himself and John Belushi, but sadly Belushi passed away before the project could be realized.

33. “__ la vista, baby!” HASTA
“Hasta la vista!” is Spanish for “goodbye!”, and literally translates as “Until the (next) sighting”.

“Hasta la vista, baby” is a catchphrase used by the Arnold Schwarzenegger title character in the 1991 movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”. In the Spanish soundtrack for the film, the writers dubbed in the term “Sayonara, baby” instead.

36. Stout sleuth, in more ways than one WOLFE
Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

38. Pacers, e.g. AMCS
The AMC Pacer is an iconic car from the seventies. The Pacer has big glass windows leading to it being nicknamed “the Flying Fish Bowl” by “Car and Driver” magazine.

40. “Smiling, petite ball of fire,” to Philbin RIPA
When Kelly Ripa secured the co-host spot on morning television with Regis Philbin, she was still acting in “All My Children” in a role she had been playing for over ten years. After a year of holding down two jobs, she eventually gave up the acting job.

Regis Philbin is an amazingly popular television personality. Philbin is in such high demand and has had such a long career, that he holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera (in excess of 16,000 hours).

41. Not paleo- NEO-
The prefix “paleo-” means “prehistoric, primitive”. It comes from the Greek word “palaios” which means “old, ancient”. The prefix “neo-” would be the opposite, meaning “new, recent”.

43. Assuages to the max SATES
“Sate” is a variant of the earlier word “satiate”. Both can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

44. 1993 film co-written and directed by 59-Across GROUNDHOG DAY
“Groundhog Day” is a 1993 comedy film that has already become a classic. The real star of the movie is Bill Murray, with the lovely Andie MacDowell putting in a great supporting performance. “Groundhog Day” is of course set in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania although it was actually filmed in the town of Woodstock, Illinois.

47. Skye slope BRAE
“Brae” is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.

The Isle of Skye is off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. It is the second largest island in the country, and has been linked to the mainland by a road bridge since 1995. I’ve never been there, but I hear the views are spectacular.

48. Medicinal syrup IPECAC
Syrup of ipecac is a preparation made from the dried roots and rhizomes of the ipecacuanha plant. The syrup is used as an emetic, a substance that induces vomiting. Ipecac accomplishes this by irritating the lining of the stomach.

52. Pastoral poems IDYLS
An “idyll” (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short, poem with a rustic theme.

54. 5th Dimension vocalist Marilyn MCCOO
Marilyn McCoo is best known as the lead female singer with the 5th Dimension, a group that was very successful in the sixties and seventies. McCoo married another member of the 5th Dimension, Billy Davis, Jr. and the couple are still performing, but now as a duo.

57. Horseplayer’s hangout, for short OTB
Off-Track Betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

59. This puzzle’s honoree (1944-2014) HAROLD RAMIS
Harold Ramis was a real all-rounder, working as an actor, director and writer. Indeed, in both “Ghostbusters” and “Stripes” he was a co-writer as well as playing a lead character. Ramis worked as writer-director on “Caddyshack”, “National Lampoon’s Vacation”, “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This”.

62. Funny Philips EMO
Emo Philips is a stand-up comedian from Chicago. He’s had a long and successful career, and listed on his resume is a small acting part in the 1992 hit movie “Meet the Parents” starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. Philips was also the executive producer for that very same film, so, I’d say he made a few pennies …

63. “Lost” actress de Ravin EMILIE
Emilie de Ravin is an Australian actress best known for her television roles playing Tess Harding on “Roswell” and “Claire Littleton” on “Lost”.

65. GI’s address APO
Army Post Office (APO)

66. Bulletin board admins SYSOPS
System Operator (sysop)

67. 59-Across was its original head writer SCTV
“Second City Television” (SCTV) is a sketch show that was produced in Canada from 1976 to 1984. The TV show was a spinoff from the Second City comedy group from Toronto.

Down
1. As a friend, to Fifi EN AMI
“En ami” is French for “as a friend”.

2. “The Balcony” playwright GENET
Jean Genet was a French playwright and novelist. Before he turned to writing, Genet was a homeless person with a criminal record.

4. 2-Down, par exemple NOM
“Nom” is French for “name”.

5. Italian dessert GELATO
Gelato is the Italian version of American ice cream, differing in that it has a lower butterfat content than its US counterpart.

6. Protest singer Phil OCHS
Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War.

7. Gin fizz fruit SLOE
By definition, a cocktail known as a Fizz includes lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the Gin Fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water. There is also a variant known as a sloe gin fizz.

8. King Faisal’s brother SAUD
Saud of Saudi Arabia was the second king of Saudi Arabia and ruled from 1953 to 1964. He was the eldest son of King Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s first monarch. Saud struggled for most of his reign with his younger brother Faisal. Saud became associated with the plundering of oil revenues and living a life of luxury at a time when the nation had large debts. Faisal advocated sobriety, piety and modernization. Faisal eventually forced Saud to abdicate, allowing Faisal to lead the nation into a period of stability and economic growth.

Faisal of Saudi Arabia was the third King of Saudi Arabia. Faisal is noted for having stabilized his country’s bureaucracy and establishing a modern infrastructure that helped Saudi Arabia exploit her oil resources. The King was assassinated in 1975, gunned down by his own nephew. His assassin was beheaded for the crime, in a public square before a crowd of thousands of Saudi citizens.

9. “__ for Innocent”: Grafton novel I IS
Sue Grafton writes detective novels, and her “alphabet series” features the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with “A Is for Alibi” in 1982 and is working her way through the alphabet, most recently publishing “’W’ is for Wasted” in 2009. What a clever naming system!

12. Scary-sounding lake ERIE
Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

18. Don Ho “Yo” ALOHA
The Hawaiian word “Aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

Don Ho apparently had a pretty liberal arrangement with his wife. When Ho was touring with his two backing singers, Patti Swallie and Elizabeth Guevara, all three of them shared a room together. He had two children with each of his roommates, giving a total of ten kids including the six he had with his wife. The arrangement was quite open, it seems, with all ten kids visiting each other regularly. To each his own …

23. Aardvark snack ANT
The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, a nocturnal burrowing animal that is native to Africa. The name “aardvark” is Afrikaans for “earth pig”, although it is not in fact related to the pig. Aardvarks are noted, among other things, for their unique teeth. Their teeth have no enamel and wear away quite readily, but continuously regrow.

26. Titmouse topper, perhaps TUFT
The birds known as chickadees or titmice in North America, are usually called simply “tits” in the rest of the English-speaking world.

29. “Pagliacci” clown TONIO
“Pagliacci” is an opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo, first performed in 1892 in Milan. Included in the opera is one of the most famous arias of all time, “Vesti la giubba” (“put on the costume”).

30. Showy jewelry BLING
Bling-bling is the name given to all the shiny stuff sported by rap stars in particular i.e. the jewelry, watches, metallic cell phones, even gold caps on the teeth. The term comes from the supposed “bling” sound caused by light striking a shiny metal surface.

31. Clue weapon ROPE
Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

34. AMA member?: Abbr. AMER
American Medical Association (AMA)

35. “Ruh-roh!” pooch SCOOBY-DOO
“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, first broadcast in 1969.

40. Comedic Martha RAYE
Martha Raye was a comic actress as well as a singer. Strangely enough, Raye was famous for the size of her mouth, something that she used to her own advantage. As her nickname was “The Big Mouth”, she made a little money appearing in commercials for the Polident denture cleaner in the eighties. Her line was, “So take it from the Big Mouth: new Polident Green gets tough stains clean!”

43. Flavor SAPOR
“Sapor” is another word for a flavor, a quality that can be tasted. “Sapor” is the Latin word for “taste, flavor”.

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

46. Some are light-emitting DIODES
A Light-emitting diode (LED) is a specialized form of semiconductor that when switched on releases photons (light). LEDs are getting more and more popular and have moved from use in electronic equipment to use as a replacement for the much less efficient tungsten light bulb. I replaced all of my tungsten Xmas lights last year and saved a lot on my electricity bill.

49. “Cathy,” for one COMIC
“Cathy” is a comic strip drawn by Cathy Guisewite. The strip was largely based on Guisewite’s own life experiences. For decades, cartoon Cathy was a single woman dealing with food, love, family and work. Cathy married her longtime boyfriend in 2005, and the strip ended its run in 2010 with the revelation that Cathy was expecting a baby girl.

51. “The Amazing Race” network CBS TV
I am not a huge fan of reality television, but I do watch “The Amazing Race” (usually while writing posts for this blog on my laptop!). I love to travel, and enjoy seeing the teams traverse the globe. The show’s host is Phil Keoghan. From his accent, I always thought that Keoghan was from the Boston area. He’s actually from New Zealand! Shows you how much I know about American accents …

54. 3-D images MRIS
A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful causing damage that is cumulative over time. An MRI on the other hand (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

55. USAF Academy home COLO
The US Air Force Academy (USAFA) is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I had the privilege not too long ago of visiting the Academy, and what an impressive campus it is. When the USAF Academy graduated its first class in 1959, it became the youngest of the five service academies to do so. Significantly, female candidates were first accepted by the academy in 1976, and today the graduating classes include over 20% women.

56. Swindle, in slang CLIP
The verb “to clip” can mean “to swindle, cheat”. That usage comes from the old practise of cutting or shaving metal from coins. A related term if “clip-joint”, which describes an establishment that overcharges.

60. March girl AMY
“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of little women is Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy and the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 59-Across role in 27-Across EGON
5. Yenta GOSSIP
11. Sneaky chuckle HEH
14. Fish found in a film NEMO
15. Finger-shaped dessert ECLAIR
16. __ pro nobis ORA
17. 1978 film co-written by 59-Across ANIMAL HOUSE
19. Ross musical, with “The” WIZ
20. Reached, as goals MET
21. Zapped LASED
22. Sly CAGEY
24. Server’s warning IT’S HOT
26. 1997 Home Run Derby winner Martinez TINO
27. 1984 film co-written and co-starring 59-Across GHOSTBUSTERS
33. “__ la vista, baby!” HASTA
36. Stout sleuth, in more ways than one WOLFE
37. Drench SOP
38. Pacers, e.g. AMCS
39. “That’s enough!” CAN IT!
40. “Smiling, petite ball of fire,” to Philbin RIPA
41. Not paleo- NEO-
42. Arrive GET IN
43. Assuages to the max SATES
44. 1993 film co-written and directed by 59-Across GROUNDHOG DAY
47. Skye slope BRAE
48. Medicinal syrup IPECAC
52. Pastoral poems IDYLS
54. 5th Dimension vocalist Marilyn MCCOO
57. Horseplayer’s hangout, for short OTB
58. Turkey DUD
59. This puzzle’s honoree (1944-2014) HAROLD RAMIS
62. Funny Philips EMO
63. “Lost” actress de Ravin EMILIE
64. Fade WILT
65. GI’s address APO
66. Bulletin board admins SYSOPS
67. 59-Across was its original head writer SCTV

Down
1. As a friend, to Fifi EN AMI
2. “The Balcony” playwright GENET
3. Neglects to mention OMITS
4. 2-Down, par exemple NOM
5. Italian dessert GELATO
6. Protest singer Phil OCHS
7. Gin fizz fruit SLOE
8. King Faisal’s brother SAUD
9. “__ for Innocent”: Grafton novel I IS
10. On the nose PRECISE
11. “‘Sup?” HOW GOES IT?
12. Scary-sounding lake ERIE
13. Not clear HAZY
18. Don Ho “Yo” ALOHA
23. Aardvark snack ANT
25. 5’10” and 6’3″: Abbr. HGTS
26. Titmouse topper, perhaps TUFT
28. Mown strip SWATH
29. “Pagliacci” clown TONIO
30. Showy jewelry BLING
31. Clue weapon ROPE
32. Cruise ship conveniences SPAS
33. Chill out HANG
34. AMA member?: Abbr. AMER
35. “Ruh-roh!” pooch SCOOBY-DOO
39. Give up CEDE
40. Comedic Martha RAYE
42. Grinds in anger, maybe GNASHES
43. Flavor SAPOR
45. Modern address URL
46. Some are light-emitting DIODES
49. “Cathy,” for one COMIC
50. Skewed ATILT
51. “The Amazing Race” network CBS TV
52. Flash, perhaps IDEA
53. Get rid of DUMP
54. 3-D images MRIS
55. USAF Academy home COLO
56. Swindle, in slang CLIP
60. March girl AMY
61. Baby-viewing responses AWS

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Apr 14, Thursday”

  1. Definitely a Love/Hate puzzle.

    Loved all of those movies plus his others like Caddyshack and Vacation to name a few.

    Hated the obscure names. Ochs?? McCoo?? The mid South did me in.
    I only watched one or two episodes of Lost and never got into it.

    Have a great day all!

  2. Hello Bill, and friends,

    Rather difficult. Thursday and Friday are 'the troubles' in my mind. Obscure names, as Addict noted, as above.

    I thought Yenta was a matchmaker. A Jewish matchmaker is a Shidduch. 'Yenta' was the name of the matchmaker in 'Fiddler on the roof', one of my favorite movies. Yentl was the name of the movie by Barbra Streisand, about a girl who joins a yeshiva, disguised as a boy.

    Sloe gin fizz sounds delectable – I must try it sometime. The sloe fruit must be pricked with a silver fork prior to the infusion.

    One of my daughters, now 30, once drank a half bottle of Vicks Formula 44, cough medicine, with Codeine Sulphate – while strapped in a child booster car seat, in the back seat of my minivan. When I discovered the empty bottle, I rushed and brought Syrup of Ipecac – which she refused to ingest – but survived, nevertheless … aah, the trials of child rearing.

    It is interesting Mr. Ockman got his name in the puzzle – 'Ochs'.

    I had never heard of Harold Ramis – very impressive life.

    Have a nice day, all.

  3. @Addict
    When I heard about the plot of "Lost", I thought it intriguing. I had always planned to watch it in rerun or on DVD, until I heard about the ending. I'm the kind of guy who likes tight resolution of a story, and apparently the ending to "Lost" was far from that. I'm glad I left it alone!

    @Vidwan
    I was very familiar with Harold Ramis from his work on the screen but didn't fully appreciate his success behind the camera until very recently. Stu Ockman's crossword is a nice tribute, I think.

  4. I found it very interesting how Harold Rambis crossed paths with the actors he used and acted with in his movies.
    *Starting with his being head writer at SCTV, which had as performers Bill Murray, John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd.
    *Animal House's significant character was John Belushi as Bluto.
    *Ghost Busters had Belushi and Bill Murray as well as Dan Ackroyd.
    *Groundhog Day and Stripes were both again with Bill Murray.

    Rambis obviously had great loyalty to and confidence in the comedians he knew in his early days at SCTV.

  5. Hi Bill, Vidwan, Sfingi, Addict, Piano Man, Jeff, Tony!!
    Found the movie titles quickly and I remember reading of Mr. Ramis' passing, but his name was nowhere in my head.
    SYS OPS is too much for my brain.
    GN-S–S just looked too strange for me to see GNASHES. Never saw "Lost" or read "Little Women"
    Nice puzzle, but I was sorely lacking in proper names.

  6. @Piano Man
    There's an interesting visual that underscores your point about the repeating collaborations in the Wikipedia article about Harold Ramis.

    @Pookie
    I'm old enough to remember sysops from the days of CompuServe, before they were replaced by trendy "moderators". Man, that was a long time ago …

  7. Hi there, Diana.

    I checked the dictionary and found that "idyl" is indeed a valid variant spelling for "idyll". Thanks for pointing out the ambiguity. I will amend my little blurb in the post.

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