LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Nov 14, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Data Mining … we can MINE the hidden word “DATA” from within each of today’s themed answers:

61A. NSA surveillance activity … or, the process needed to dig out the info hidden in 17-, 25-, 37- and 50-Across? DATA MINING

17A. Progressive Era muckraker IDA TARBELL
25A. “Pretty darn good” NOT BAD AT ALL
37A. Assume a military posture STAND AT ATTENTION
50A. Waved from the curb, perhaps HAILED A TAXI

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Sing like Joe Cocker RASP
Joe Cocker is an English rock and blues singer from Sheffield in the North of England (a city in which I attended school many moons ago). Cocker has had many hits, a lot of which are cover versions of songs. Included in the list is “With a Little Help from My Friends”, “Cry Me a River”, “You Are So Beautiful” and of course “Up Where We Belong”.

9. Cowl wearer MONK
A cowl is a long garment with a hood that is primarily worn by monks in the the Christian tradition.

13. ’90s-’00s Lakers great O’NEAL
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he’s a big guy … 7 foot 1 inch tall.

15. Kevin’s “A Fish Called Wanda” role OTTO
The actor Kevin Kline stars in many of my favorite films, like “French Kiss” (in which he had a very impressive French accent) and “A Fish Called Wanda.” Kline also appeared in the romantic comedy “In & Out”, another favorite. “In & Out” is perhaps best remembered for it’s dramatic “interaction” between Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck … if you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil it for you by saying any more!

The 1988 comedy “A Fish Called Wanda” is a favorite of mine. The film was co-written by and stars John Cleese, and has an exceptional cast including Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Cleese’s friend from “Monty Python”, Michael Palin. Kevin Kline won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. The “fish” in the film is the con artist Wanda, played by Curtis.

17. Progressive Era muckraker IDA TARBELL
Ida Tarbell was a teacher and what we would call today an “investigative journalist”, although back in her day she was known as a “muckraker”. Her most famous work is her 1904 book “The History of the Standard Oil Company”. This exposé is credited with hastening the breakup of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil in 1911.

The Progressive movement had the goal of eliminating corruption in government in the US. The movement gave its name to the Progressive Era that lasted from the 1890s to the 1820s. Journalists who investigated and exposed corruption were given the name “muckrakers”. The term “muckraker” was popularized by President Theodore Roosevelt when he referred to “the Man with the Muck-rake”, a character in John Bunyan’s allegory “The Pilgrim’s Progress”.

21. Grain Belt st. KAN
The Corn Belt (sometimes “Grain Belt”) is a region in the Midwest where, since the mid-1800s, corn has been the major crop. Geographically, the Corn Belt covers Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and parts of Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri. About 40% of the world’s corn production comes from the region, and most of that production is used for the feeding of livestock.

23. TV diner owner MEL
The TV sitcom “Alice” ran from 1976 to 1985, a story about a widow named Alice who takes a job at Mel’s Diner. The show was based on a very successful 1974 movie called “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” directed by Martin Scorsese (his first Hollywood production) and starring Ellen Burstyn and Kris Kristofferson.

24. “Spring forward” letters DST
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (i.e. “spring forward”) and backwards in the fall (i.e. “fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight.

28. Carte start A LA
On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice.

31. Hobby shop wood BALSA
Balsa is a very fast growing tree that is native to parts of South America. Even though balsa wood is very soft, it is actually classified as a hardwood, the softest of all the hardwoods (go figure!). Balsa is light and strong, so is commonly used in making model airplanes. Amazingly, in WWII a full-size British plane, the de Havilland Mosquito, was built largely from balsa and plywood. No wonder they called it “The Wooden Wonder” and “The Timber Terror”.

34. With 26-Down, fashionable footwear UGG
(26D. See 34-Across BOOTS)
Uggs are sheepskin boots that originated in Australia and New Zealand. Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. Ugg is a generic term down under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

42. Child-care writer LeShan EDA
Eda LeShan wrote “When Your Child Drives You Crazy”, and was host of the PBS television show “How Do Your Children Grow?”

44. Sunburn-causing emission, for short UV RAY
At either end of the visible light spectrum are the invisible forms of radiation known as infrared (IR) light and ultraviolet (UV) light. IR light lies just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, and UV light lie just below the violet end.

47. Readers of MSS. EDS
An editor (ed.) might be faced with a pile of manuscripts (MSs).

49. Corp.-partnership hybrid LLC
A limited liability company (LLC) is a company structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners.

54. One of four in Minnesota: Abbr. SYL
There are four syllables (syls.) in the word “Minnesota”.

55. Chicago trains ELS
The Chicago “L” is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The “L” is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the “L” (originally short for “elevated railroad”), although the term “El” is also in common use (especially in crosswords as “ELS”). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

56. Sun. address SER
One might listen to a sermon (ser.) on a Sunday (Sun).

57. Balthazar, Caspar, and Melchior THE MAGI
“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, magi is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

– Melchior: a scholar from Persia
– Caspar: a scholar from India
– Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

61. NSA surveillance activity … or, the process needed to dig out the info hidden in 17-, 25-, 37- and 50-Across? DATA MINING
The process of data mining is used to extract information from a database and present it in a form that facilitates further use.

66. Proofreader’s mark CARET
The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

Down
1. Louis XIV, par exemple ROI
Louis XIV is perhaps the most famous of the kings (“rois”) of France and was known as the “Sun King” (le Roi Soleil”). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715. That reign of over 72 years is the longest reign of any European monarch.

5. Cocktail named for a Scottish hero ROB ROY
Rob Roy was a folk hero in Scotland from the 18th century. He was a sort of Scottish Robin Hood, an outlaw who had the support of the populace. Rob Roy’s full name was Robert Roy MacGregor, itself an anglicization of the Scottish Raibeart Ruadh. He gave his name to a famous cocktail called a Rob Roy, a relative of the Manhattan that is made with Scotch instead of bourbon.

6. Bikini tryout A-TEST
The testing of US nuclear weapons by the US at Bikini Atoll in the middle of 1946 went by the codename “Operation Crossroads”. The tests used A-bombs and were designed to measure the effect of blasts on navy vessels. There were three tests planned, but the third had to be cancelled as the Navy couldn’t decontaminate the ships used in the second test.

7. Mo. town STL
The city of Saint Louis, Missouri was founded by French explorers in 1763. Sitting on the Mississippi River it grew into a very busy port, and by the 1850s was the second busiest in the country, with only New York moving more freight.

8. Bikini feature in a 1960 hit POLKA DOT
“Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” was first released in 1960, and was a number one hit that year for Brian Hyland. At the time, bikini bathing suits were considered very risque in society, but their popularity grew dramatically, with the song getting a lot of the credit for the new-found acceptance.

9. Field fare, briefly MRE
The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) comes in a lightweight package that’s easy to tote around. The MRE replaced the more cumbersome Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) in 1981, a meal-in-a-can. In turn, the MCI had replaced the C-ration in 1958, a less sophisticated meal-in-a-can with a more limited choice.

10. 2009 Peace Nobelist OBAMA
President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the fourth US president to be so honored. He is the only one of the four to have been awarded the prize during his first year of office. The Nobel committee gave the award citing President Obama’s work towards a new climate in international relations, particularly in reaching out to the Muslim world.

11. Orange variety NAVEL
Navel oranges are the ones with the small second fruit that grows at the base, at the “navel”. The navel orange has been traced back to a single mutation that took place in an orange tree in Brazil many years ago. The mutation also rendered the fruit seedless and hence sterile, so it is propagated using grafts.

12. Mournful ring KNELL
The word “knell” is used for a solemn ring from a bell, often associated with death or a funeral. “Knell” comes the Old English “cnell” and is probably imitative in origin, sounding like a peal from a large bell.

14. Fast flight LAM
To be “on the lam” is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

16. Radii-paralleling bones ULNAE
The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm. The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”.

18. Gossipy Barrett RONA
Rona Barrett is a gossip columnist originally from New York City but who plies her trade in Southern California. Barrett started out as with a gossip column that was syndicated in newspapers but then made a successful transition to television. She made regular appearances in news broadcasts and on her entertainment shows in the sixties and seventies.

27. Network with the slogan “Not Reality. Actuality.” TRUTV
truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network, launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name was changed to truTV in 2008.

35. Unlikely tomboy GIRLY GIRL
Back in the 1550s “tomboy” was used to describe a male, a boy that was rude or boisterous. A few years later the term was being used for a bold or perhaps immodest girl. By 1600 a tomboy was being used to describe a girl who acts like a spirited boy, just as we’d say today.

38. “Storage Wars” network A AND E
“Storage Wars” is a reality TV show about buyers looking for great deals when storage lockers are opened due to non-payment of rent.

39. Boston Bruins’ home TD GARDEN
TD Garden is a sports arena that was built in the 1990s to replace the aging Boston Garden as home for the Boston Celtics basketball team and the Boston Bruins hockey team.

40. Letters after mus NUS
The Latin equivalent of the Greek letter nu is “N”. An uppercase nu looks just like the Latin capital N, however, the lowercase nu looks like our lowercase “v”. Very confusing …

41. Lincoln Ctr. site NYC
The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts takes its name from the neighborhood in which it is situated, Lincoln Square in New York City. .

46. Man of fables AESOP
Aesop is remembered today for his famous fables. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

48. Carpe __ DIEM
“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of Ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”.

54. Capital of Yemen SANAA
Sana (also Sanaa) is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site.

62. Bird: Pref. AVI-
The prefix “avi-” means “bird-related” as in “aviculture”, the breeding of birds.

63. Sporty Pontiac GTO
The Pontiac GTO was was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Union foes REBS
5. Sing like Joe Cocker RASP
9. Cowl wearer MONK
13. ’90s-’00s Lakers great O’NEAL
15. Kevin’s “A Fish Called Wanda” role OTTO
16. __ sprawl URBAN
17. Progressive Era muckraker IDA TARBELL
19. Walk away LEAVE
20. Charms ENAMORS
21. Grain Belt st. KAN
23. TV diner owner MEL
24. “Spring forward” letters DST
25. “Pretty darn good” NOT BAD AT ALL
28. Carte start A LA
29. Settle up PAY
30. More unusual ODDER
31. Hobby shop wood BALSA
33. “Terrific!” COOL!
34. With 26-Down, fashionable footwear UGG
37. Assume a military posture STAND AT ATTENTION
42. Child-care writer LeShan EDA
43. Stirs in ADDS
44. Sunburn-causing emission, for short UV RAY
45. Driving __ RANGE
47. Readers of MSS. EDS
49. Corp.-partnership hybrid LLC
50. Waved from the curb, perhaps HAILED A TAXI
54. One of four in Minnesota: Abbr. SYL
55. Chicago trains ELS
56. Sun. address SER
57. Balthazar, Caspar, and Melchior THE MAGI
59. In again RETRO
61. NSA surveillance activity … or, the process needed to dig out the info hidden in 17-, 25-, 37- and 50-Across? DATA MINING
64. Sink down DROOP
65. Villainous EVIL
66. Proofreader’s mark CARET
67. Store STOW
68. “Good shot!” NICE!
69. “One more thing …” ALSO …

Down
1. Louis XIV, par exemple ROI
2. Ran over ENDED LATE
3. Vegetarian side BEAN SALAD
4. Occupied, as a booth SAT AT
5. Cocktail named for a Scottish hero ROB ROY
6. Bikini tryout A-TEST
7. Mo. town STL
8. Bikini feature in a 1960 hit POLKA DOT
9. Field fare, briefly MRE
10. 2009 Peace Nobelist OBAMA
11. Orange variety NAVEL
12. Mournful ring KNELL
14. Fast flight LAM
16. Radii-paralleling bones ULNAE
18. Gossipy Barrett RONA
22. Bewilder ADDLE
26. See 34-Across BOOTS
27. Network with the slogan “Not Reality. Actuality.” TRUTV
28. Core muscles ABS
29. Knee protector PAD
32. Traffic problem SNARL
33. Officer-to-be CADET
35. Unlikely tomboy GIRLY GIRL
36. Pair on a football field GOAL LINES
38. “Storage Wars” network A AND E
39. Boston Bruins’ home TD GARDEN
40. Letters after mus NUS
41. Lincoln Ctr. site NYC
46. Man of fables AESOP
47. Sigh with relief, say EXHALE
48. Carpe __ DIEM
50. Grazing groups HERDS
51. Wide awake ALERT
52. Insistent words from a sandbox IS TOO!
53. Commonly dusty room ATTIC
54. Capital of Yemen SANAA
58. Open __ night MIC
60. Ticket word ROW
62. Bird: Pref. AVI-
63. Sporty Pontiac GTO

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4 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Nov 14, Wednesday”

  1. I thought this was a pretty straight forward puzzle without too much trickery. I admit to misreading the beginning of the clue to 61 Across as "NBA" instead of "NSA" and for a while I was trying to figure out why "data mining" was associated with the National Basketball League. Doh!

    See you all tomorrow.

  2. Hi Bill and solvers!
    All that work for DATA?
    Unbelievable amount of abbreviations that got REALLY tiresome.KAN,DST,EDS,LLC, SYL, STL!!!
    MRE, ABS, GTO, AVI,MIC, NYC, A AND E, and so on. Ugh.

  3. I saw Joe Cocker at Woodstock in 1969. He had a very spastic way of singing, holding his hands in a peculiar way and jerking them up and down sporadically. I later learned that he learned to sing in his room as a kid playing an imaginary guitar (air guitar) and performing those motions made him the most comfortable while singing. Cocker really made popular his type of open throat singing which is described in the puzzle as a rasp.

    Ida Tarbell is covered extensively in Doris Kearns Goodwin's latest book, The Bully Pulpit. She was a real ground breaker for female journalists and contributed significantly to the Progressive Era identified with Teddy Roosevelt.

    Found the puzzle pretty easy for a Wed. with the exception of SYL, a little tricky 🙂

  4. @Piano – Cocker sure is spastic. So, that's why!

    Anyway, didn't have to Google, but was hung up on NOT BADATALL, wanting HAD A BALL, and the modern pronunciation of MIC as "mike" rather than "micK." My old age is showing.

    .

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