LA Times Crossword Answers 13 Apr 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ray Hedrick & C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Paper Towels … each of today’s themed answers starts with a brand of PAPER TOWEL:

59A. Counter wipers, or what the starts of 16-, 23- and 49-Across are PAPER TOWELS

16A. King of ragtime SCOTT JOPLIN
23A. Presley film set in Sin City VIVA LAS VEGAS
49A. One chasing outlaws for money BOUNTY HUNTER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Software versions that probably have bugs BETAS
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the “alpha” version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a “beta” and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right …

Back in 1947, the famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so she has been given credit for popularizing the term.

10. Long-running TV forensic series CSI
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is apparently the most-watched television show worldwide.

13. Reason for some food recalls E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

14. Tractor brand DEERE
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”.

15. Gavel sound RAP
A gavel is a small hammer that one raps on a table or desk to call a meeting to order, or perhaps to signify a sale at an auction.

16. King of ragtime SCOTT JOPLIN
Scott Joplin was a great American composer and pianist, the “King of Ragtime”. Joplin was born poor, into a laboring family in Texas. He learned his music from local teachers and started out his career as an itinerant musician, traveling around the American South. He found fame with the release of his 1899 composition “Maple Leaf Rag”, regarded as the foundation stone on which ragtime music was built. Joplin’s music, and ragtime in general, was rediscovered by the populous in the early seventies when it was used in the very successful movie “The Sting”.

18. California’s Santa __ Mountains ANA
Southern California’s Santa Ana Mountains run southeast of Los Angeles. The range was named by Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà. Don Gaspar camped below the mountains in 1769 on July 26, the Feast of Saint Anne.

19. 2,000 pounds TON
Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton or sometimes a “long ton”. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a “short ton”. To further complicate matters, there is also a “metric ton” or “tonne”, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

20. Lee in the frozen foods section SARA
In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

23. Presley film set in Sin City VIVA LAS VEGAS
“Viva Las Vegas” is an Elvis Presley movie released in 1964, considered to be one of his best films. The good reception for the movie was at least in part due to the performance of the female lead, Ann-Margret.

26. Noisy insect CICADA
Cicadas are insects that are found all over the world. Although they resemble locusts, cicadas are an unrelated family. The name “cicada” is Latin and translated as “tree cricket”. However, the name is imitative of the clicking sound the insect makes using parts of its exoskeleton known as “tymbals”.

29. Seuss’ “Horton __ a Who!” HEARS
Horton the elephant turns up in two books by Dr. Seuss, “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Horton Hears a Who!”

31. Artist Francisco GOYA
Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter, often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

41. The “E” in FEMA: Abbr. EMER
Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

43. Fez and fedora HATS
“Fez” is the name given to the red cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …

46. “Sour grapes” storyteller AESOP
Our expression “sour grapes” is an allusion to one of Aesop’s fables, the story of “The Fox and the Grapes”. In the fable, a squirrel could climb up to grapes high in a tree that a fox was unsuccessful in getting to. On seeing this the fox said, “It’s okay, the grapes were sour anyway”.

49. One chasing outlaws for money BOUNTY HUNTER
We use “bounty” to mean a reward for capturing or killing a criminal. Back in the early 1700s, a bounty was a gratuity given to a military recruit, and before that, a gift from a sovereign or the state. The term comes into English via French from the Latin “bonitatem” meaning “goodness”.

53. Domed home IGLOO
The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”.

54. Zip, as a Ziploc SEAL
Ziploc re-sealable storage bags came on the market in 1968.

58. Bikini top BRA
The origin of the name “bikini”, a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

63. Lanai wreath LEI
Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Lanai was first spotted by Europeans just a few days after Captain Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779. In 1922, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the whole island of Lanai and turned most of it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Since then, Lanai has been known as “The Pineapple Island”. Today, 98% of the island is owned by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, and 2% is owned by the State of Hawaii.

Down
2. Danish shoe company ECCO
I have to say, after owning several pairs, ECCO shoes are the most comfortable in the world …

4. Mountain hgt. ALT
Altitude (alt.)

6. Leaf under a petal SEPAL
In a flower, the sepals are those green, leaf-like structures that are “interleaved” with the petals, providing support. Prior to acting as support for the petals, the sepals protect the flower in bud.

8. Tycoon Onassis ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

9. Swiss convention city GENEVA
The First Geneva Convention is one of four treaties aimed at protecting the victims of armed conflict. The first of these treaties was signed in 1864 by the major European powers at the urging of relief activist Henri Dunant. Dunant also established the Red Cross in 1863, an organization that is specifically called out in First Geneva Convention as an agency that is allowed to provide protection and relief for wounded and sick soldiers. The first treaty was significantly updated and expanded in 1906, 1929 and 1949.

10. Site for online bargain hunters CRAIGSLIST
Craigslist is an online network of communities that features classified advertisements organized geographically. Craigslist was started by Craig Newmark in 1995, originally as an email distribution list for his friends who lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area.

14. Animated kid explorer DORA
“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

17. Morning cup JAVA
Back in 1850, the name “java” was given to a type of coffee grown on the island of Java, and the usage of the term spread from there.

22. For a __ pittance MERE
A “pittance” is a small amount, often a living allowance or remuneration. The term came into English from Old French, and is basically an amount given out of “pity”.

23. Actor Kilmer VAL
Val Kilmer’s first big leading role in a movie was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic “The Doors”. A few years later, Kilmer was chosen for the lead in another big production, “Batman Forever”. Things haven’t really gone as well for Kilmer since then, I’d say. Off the screen, he flirted with the idea of running for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Hollywood actor as a Governor? Would never happen …

25. Caspian and Black SEAS
The Caspian is a landlocked sea lying between Asia and Europe. By some definitions, the Caspian is the largest lake on the planet. The name “Caspian” comes from the Caspi people who lived to the southwest of the sea in South Caucasus.

The Black Sea is in southeastern Europe just south of Ukraine. In the north of the Black Sea is the Crimean Peninsula.

27. Gossip column couple ITEM
An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

28. 17-Down with hot milk CAFE AU LAIT
Café au lait (“coffee with milk”) is usually strong, drip coffee to which one adds steamed milk. At least that’s the way we tend to make in this country.

32. Toronto’s prov. ONT
Beautiful Toronto, Ontario is the largest city in Canada, and the fourth largest city in North America (after New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston).

34. More than trot LOPE
The “natural” gaits of a horse are, in order of increasing speed: walk, trot, canter and gallop. A “canter” can also be called a “lope”.

35. Figure (out), slangily SUSS
The verb “to suss” means “to figure out”. The term originated in the 1950s as police slang, a shortening of “to suspect”.

38. Shout between ships AHOY!
“Ahoy!” is a nautical term used to signal a vessel. When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, he suggested that “ahoy” be used as a standard greeting when answering a call. However, Thomas Edison came up with “hello”, and we’ve been using that ever since.

42. Nevada city RENO
The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the whole world at the time.

45. Word before base or ball AIR
A “air ball” in basketball is a shot that misses, without even touching the rim, net or backboard.

52. Fictional sleuth Wolfe NERO
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.

55. Second of four rhyming Greek letters ZETA
The four rhyming Greek letters are: beta, zeta, eta and theta.

56. Actor Baldwin ALEC
Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin is making a name for himself these days playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey.

61. Pair in a qt. PTS
Two pints make up a quart, which is a “quarter” of a gallon, hence the name.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Software versions that probably have bugs BETAS
6. Deer sir? STAG
10. Long-running TV forensic series CSI
13. Reason for some food recalls E COLI
14. Tractor brand DEERE
15. Gavel sound RAP
16. King of ragtime SCOTT JOPLIN
18. California’s Santa __ Mountains ANA
19. 2,000 pounds TON
20. Lee in the frozen foods section SARA
21. Gives off EMITS
23. Presley film set in Sin City VIVA LAS VEGAS
26. Noisy insect CICADA
29. Seuss’ “Horton __ a Who!” HEARS
30. In any way AT ALL
31. Artist Francisco GOYA
33. Right-angled pipes ELLS
36. Penalty flag thrower REF
37. Sincere EARNEST
40. Promise to repay, for short IOU
41. The “E” in FEMA: Abbr. EMER
43. Fez and fedora HATS
44. Speaks scratchily RASPS
46. “Sour grapes” storyteller AESOP
48. Multi-room accommodations SUITES
49. One chasing outlaws for money BOUNTY HUNTER
53. Domed home IGLOO
54. Zip, as a Ziploc SEAL
55. Static jolt ZAP
58. Bikini top BRA
59. Counter wipers, or what the starts of 16-, 23- and 49-Across are PAPER TOWELS
63. Lanai wreath LEI
64. Preface, briefly INTRO
65. Yeas and nays VOTES
66. Mass. clock setting EST
67. Mix, as a salad TOSS
68. Make into a statute ENACT

Down
1. Unsurpassed, or surpass BEST
2. Danish shoe company ECCO
3. Animated character TOON
4. Mountain hgt. ALT
5. Isn’t used, as machinery SITS IDLE
6. Leaf under a petal SEPAL
7. Phone book no. TEL
8. Tycoon Onassis ARI
9. Swiss convention city GENEVA
10. Site for online bargain hunters CRAIGSLIST
11. Legendary sleigh rider SANTA
12. “Not interested” I PASS
14. Animated kid explorer DORA
17. Morning cup JAVA
22. For a __ pittance MERE
23. Actor Kilmer VAL
24. “Now I remember” AH YES
25. Caspian and Black SEAS
26. Handle with __ CARE
27. Gossip column couple ITEM
28. 17-Down with hot milk CAFE AU LAIT
31. Boardroom diagram GRAPH
32. Toronto’s prov. ONT
34. More than trot LOPE
35. Figure (out), slangily SUSS
38. Shout between ships AHOY!
39. Soul mate TRUE LOVE
42. Nevada city RENO
45. Word before base or ball AIR
47. “Cut that out!” STOP IT!
48. Fantasy baseball datum STAT
49. Holy Scriptures BIBLE
50. Fairy tale baddies OGRES
51. Password creators USERS
52. Fictional sleuth Wolfe NERO
55. Second of four rhyming Greek letters ZETA
56. Actor Baldwin ALEC
57. Hissed “Hey!” PSST!
60. “Is that __?”: “Are you declining?” A NO
61. Pair in a qt. PTS
62. Took first place WON

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 13 Apr 15, Monday”

  1. Hi Bill – Wow, even for a Monday finishing the grid in 4 minutes 40 seconds? I don't think, even if I knew every answer in advance, that I could fill in the grid that quickly!

    One other question. I'm still not understanding why, if the daily puzzle is the same online and in the printed paper (I work the one in the printed paper), is the Sunday puzzle different? I guess I figure if the daily is the same they could make the Sunday one the same.

    Hope everyone has a great day and a great week. See you all back here tomorrow.

  2. @Tony Michaels
    I'm not sure why the LA Times chooses the Merl Reagle puzzle for Sundays, other than the fact that Merl's puzzle is almost always an excellent challenge. I already work and blog two Sunday puzzles, so sadly I don't have the time to work on Merl's puzzle as well.

  3. Hi Bill and all the gang. Had to get our taxes done today. It's not close by. Left at 10:30 and just got back.
    Nice Monday puzzle, no complaints. Only hesitation was BETAS/ECCO. Never heard of the shoes, but if Bill says they're really comfortable, I'm going to look them up!

    ADDICT ! where are you?

  4. Hey all, nice grid today, although I first had BUCK instead of STAG, and I also (like Pookie) got held up a bit by BETAS/ECCO.
    BTW @Pookie, seems we've been missing some other regulars here, along with Addict.
    Happy Tuesday, amigos!

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