LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Apr 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Samuel A. Donaldson
THEME: ‘Twas Tricky … each of today’s themed answers comes from a common phrase, but with a W-sound replaced by a TW-sound:

16A. Nail the Miley Cyrus impression? TWERK LIKE A CHARM (from “work like a charm”)
24A. Permanently deleted electronic message? SHREDDED TWEET (from “shredded wheat”)
41A. Minor trade adjustment? BUSINESS TWEAK (from “Businessweek”)
55A. “The spasm preceded the other symptoms, Doc”? TWITCH CAME FIRST (from “which came first”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 17m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Year in which Salieri was born MDCCL
If you’ve seen the brilliant 1984 movie “Amadeus”, you may recall that the composer Salieri is portrayed as being very envious and resentful of the gifted Mozart. It is no doubt true that two composers fought against each other, at least on occasion, but the extent of the acrimony between the two has perhaps been exaggerated in the interest of theater. Mozart and his wife had six children, but only two survived infancy. The youngest boy was called Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, born just five months before his father died. Franz was to become a gifted composer, teacher, pianist and conductor, helped along the way by lessons from his father’s supposed rival … Antonio Salieri.

6. Spunkmeyer of cookie fame OTIS
Otis Spunkmeyer is a company noted for producing muffins and cookies. Kenneth Rawlings founded the company in 1977 in Oakland, California. “Otis Spunkmeyer” isn’t a real person, and instead is a name that was made up by Rawlings’ 12-year-old daughter.

13. Key artery AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

14. Seattle’s __ Place Market PIKE
The famous Pike Place Market on the Seattle waterfront opened back in 1907. By and large, vendors in the market are all small businesses or people who sell their own wares. The Market’s mission is to allow shippers to “Meet the Producer”.

15. Hazmat suit hazard TEAR
Dangerous goods are commonly referred to as hazardous materials, or HazMat. People working with dangerous goods might wear a HazMat suit.

16. Nail the Miley Cyrus impression? TWERK LIKE A CHARM (from “work like a charm”)
Twerking is a dancing move in which a woman (usually) shakes her hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”.

Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is of course the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

19. “Madam Secretary” star TEA LEONI
Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role, Racine at first base). She also played Sam Malone’s fiancée on “Cheers” and opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni is now playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary”, a show that I really enjoy …

“Madam Secretary” is TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

20. “Family Feud” source SURVEY
Survey says!

“Family Feud” is an American game show that has been remade in countries all over the world. We even make a version in Ireland that we call “Family Fortunes”.

22. “… __ the set of sun”: “Macbeth” ERE
“That will be ere the set of sun” is a line from William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, a line that is spoken by one of the three witches.

23. Disney title girl from Hawaii LILO
“Lilo & Stitch” was released by Disney in 2002. Compared to other Disney feature-length cartoons, “Lilo & Stitch” was relatively cheaply produced, using the voices of lesser-known actors. One interesting change had to take place in the storyline during production, when Lilo was meant to fly a Jumbo Jet through downtown Honolulu in one sequence. This was replaced with a sequence using a spaceship instead, as the producers were sensitive to public sentiment after the September 11 attacks.

24. Permanently deleted electronic message? SHREDDED TWEET (from “shredded wheat”)
Shredded wheat is one of my favorite breakfast cereals. It was invented way back in 1893 by one Henry Perky. Shredded wheat is made by a number of manufacturers, and “shredded wheat” is a generic term. Kellogg and Nabisco fought it out in court, and the decision was that the term could not be trademarked.

30. Cinch SHOO-IN
A “shoo-in” is a surefire winner, especially in politics. Back in the 1920s, a shoo-in was a horse who was pre-arranged to win a race, a race that was fixed.

32. “Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!” poet POE
“Lenore” is a poem written by Edgar Allen Poe that was published in 1843. The name “Lenore” illustrates Poe’s penchant for using a dominant “L” sound in the names for females characters e.g. Annabel Lee, Eulalie and Ulalume. The opening lines of “Lenore” are:

AH, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!—a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear?—weep now or nevermore!

33. GPS suggestion RTE
Route (rte.)

35. Michaels et al. ALS
Al Michaels is a sportscaster who worked with NBC Sports for nearly 30 years. Michaels is best known for his work on “Monday Night Football”.

36. End notes? OBITS
“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

38. Pay extension? -OLA
Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

40. Antarctic transport SNO-CAT
The brand name Sno-Cat is owned by the Tucker company. All “snowcats” are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four, independently-mounted tracks.

41. Minor trade adjustment? BUSINESS TWEAK (from “Businessweek”)
The business magazine “Businessweek” was founded in 1929, only a few weeks before that year’s momentous stock market crash. “Businessweek” was purchased by Michael Bloomberg in 2009, and it is now published as “Bloomberg Business”.

45. Majestic quality HALO
The term “halo” can be used figuratively to describe an atmosphere of glory or majesty.

46. Playboy nickname HEF
Hugh Hefner (often called “Hef”) is from Chicago. His first publishing job was in the military, where he worked as a writer for a US Army newspaper from 1944-46. He went to college after his military service and then worked as a copywriter for “Esquire” magazine. He left “Esquire” to found his own publication that he called “Playboy”, which first hit the newsstands in 1953. “Playboy” has been around ever since.

47. Kentucky Colonels’ org. ABA
The Kentucky Colonels were an American Basketball Association team who played for the nine-year life of the ABA league. Based in Louisville, the team folded when the ABA and NBA merged in 1976.

50. “The Caine Mutiny” Oscar nominee BOGART
Humphrey Bogart’s break-through movie was “The Petrified Forest” released in 1936, but for me nothing beats “Casablanca”. Although the original version of the film “Sabrina” from 1954, that’s a real delight.

Herman Wouk won a Pulitzer in 1951 for his novel “The Caine Mutiny”. The story involves mutiny and court-martial aboard a US Navy vessel and reflected, at least partly, the personal experiences of Wouk as he served in the Pacific in WWII aboard a destroyer-minesweeper. The novel was adapted into a marvelous film released in 1954 starring Humphrey Bogart as Philip Queeg, the harsh captain of the USS Caine.

53. Genealogical record PEDIGREE
A genealogical chart showing the descent from an ancestor is branched, and was once said to look like the footprint of a bird, a crane in fact. The Old French for “foot of a crane” is “pied de gru”, from which we get our word “pedigree”. Interesting …

58. Hendrix hairdo AFRO
Many of his contemporaries regarded Jimi Hendrix as the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music. Hendrix was from Seattle and didn’t really have a really stellar start to his working life. He failed to finish high school and fell foul of the law by getting caught in stolen cars, twice. The courts gave him the option of the army or two years in prison. Hendrix chose the former and soon found himself in the famous 101st Airborne. In the army, his less-than-disciplined ways helped him (as he would have seen it) because his superiors successfully petitioned to get him discharged after serving only one year of his two-year requirement, just to get him out of their hair.

59. Royal __: scheduled 2016 British Open site TROON
Troon is a town on the west coast of Scotland just north of Glasgow. One of Troon’s claims to fame is the Royal Troon golf course which regularly hosts the British Open Golf Championship.

There is a rota of nine courses that are used for the British Open Golf Championship each year. Those courses are:

– The Old Course at St. Andrews
– Carnoustie
– Royal St. George’s
– Royal Lytham & St. Annes
– Royal Birkdale
– Turnberry
– Royal Liverpool
– Muirfield
– Royal Troon

61. The Taj Mahal, e.g. TOMB
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child.

62. Garden plant that thrives in shade HOSTA
The Hosta genus of plant was once classified as a lily, but is now in a family of its own and is described as “lily-like”. The plant was given the name “Hosta” in honor of the Austrian botanist Nicolaus Thomas Host.

Down
1. Lackluster finish MATTE
“Matte”, meaning flat and lusterless, comes from the Old French word “mat” meaning beaten down and withered. In turn, the French “mat” comes from the Latin “maddus”, meaning “maudlin with drink”. Sometimes I wonder about these derivations …

4. Key not used alone CTRL
The control key (Ctrl.) is on a PC keyboard.

5. Bass Islands locale LAKE ERIE
The Bass Islands are three islands in the western part of Lake Erie. They belong to the state of Ohio, but are located just a few hundred yards from the Canadian border.

7. Polynesian carving TIKI
A tiki is a large carving of wood or stone resembling a human form, found in Polynesian cultures. The carvings often mark out boundaries of sites sacred to the locals.

8. Turner of entertainment IKE
Ike and Tina Turner were together as a husband/wife duo recording music for 16 years in the sixties and seventies. Ike and Tina’s biggest hit has to be “Proud Mary”, released in 1971. The partnership ended, along with their marriage, in the late seventies with Tina making accusations of abuse by her drug-addicted husband.

10. Oregon State athlete, for short BEAV
The athletic teams of Oregon State University are known as the Beavers. The big rivals to the Beavers are the Ducks of the University of Oregon, a rivalry that has been dubbed “the Civil War”. The two schools’ football teams play a game every year for the Platypus Trophy.

17. Winner of six David di Donatello acting awards LOREN
Sophia Loren certainly has earned her exalted position in the world of movies. In 1962 Loren won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film “Two Women”, the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English speaking performance. She received a second nomination for Best Actress for her role in “Marriage Italian-Style”, another Italian-language movie, released in 1964.

The David di Donatello Award is the Italian equivalent of the American Oscar, and is awarded by the Academy of Italian Cinema. The trophy itself is a gold statuette in the form of Donatello’s famous bronze sculpture of David.

23. Some August babies LEOS
Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 13 to August 23 are Leos.

27. Fox commentator who was the 1992 N.L. Rookie of the Year ERIC KARROS
Eric Karros is a retired first baseman who played most of his career for the LA Dodgers. After quitting the game, Karros joined Fox Sports as a color commentator.

30. Self-appointed expert 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.

31. Online TV giant HULU
Hulu.com is a website providing streaming video of full television shows. It is a joint venture of NBC and Disney, and so features a lot of their content. The service is free and is supported by advertising, but you can sign up for a premium subscription and get access to more shows. A lot of younger folks seem to use it a lot …

36. Common liquor purchase, once ONE FIFTH
A “fifth” is an American unit of volume used for liquor. It used to be equal to one fifth of a US gallon. Since the seventies we’ve been using a “metric fifth” which is equal to 750 mL, the standard size for wine bottles around the world.

39. Homburg, for one FELT HAT
A homburg is a felt hat that has a single dent in the hat’s crown and slightly rolled brim. The style was popularized by King Edward VII after he brought such a hat back from Bad Homburg in Germany.

40. Nobel, for one SWEDE
Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist and businessman. Nobel is famous for the invention of dynamite during his lifetime, as well as for instituting the Nobel Prizes by providing the necessary funds in his will.

43. Buster? NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs.

49. Insurance giant AETNA
When the health care management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mt. Etna, the European volcano.

50. USAF stealth plane B-TWO
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is more familiarly called the Stealth Bomber. The original plan was for the US Military to buy 132 B-2 bombers but the cost became so high (over a billion dollars each in today’s money) that only 21 were actually ordered. One of these crashed in 2008 and the remaining 20 aircraft are still in service.

52. Prepare, as for action GIRD
The phrase “gird your loins” dates back to Ancient Rome. The expression describes the action of lifting “one’s skirts” and tying them between the legs to allow more freedom of movement before going into battle. Nowadays, “gird your loins” is a metaphor for “prepare yourself for the worst”.

53. Chicken __ PARM
Parmigiana is a dish from southern Italy. The original parmigiana was made with an aubergine filling, with cheese and tomato layers and then baked. Versions originating outside of Italy have replaced the aubergine with breaded cutlets of chicken or veal.

54. Early copter GIRO
“Giro” is a reference to the autogyro, an aircraft that uses an unpowered rotor to create lift, and a powered propeller to provide thrust. The first autogyro was flown in 1923 in Spain, where it was invented.

56. One may be a CPA CFO
A chief financial officer (CFO) might be a certified public accountant (CPA).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Year in which Salieri was born MDCCL
6. Spunkmeyer of cookie fame OTIS
10. Sports __ BRA
13. Key artery AORTA
14. Seattle’s __ Place Market PIKE
15. Hazmat suit hazard TEAR
16. Nail the Miley Cyrus impression? TWERK LIKE A CHARM (from “work like a charm”)
19. “Madam Secretary” star TEA LEONI
20. “Family Feud” source SURVEY
21. Stately tree ELM
22. “… __ the set of sun”: “Macbeth” ERE
23. Disney title girl from Hawaii LILO
24. Permanently deleted electronic message? SHREDDED TWEET (from “shredded wheat”)
30. Cinch SHOO-IN
32. “Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!” poet POE
33. GPS suggestion RTE
34. Prod NUDGE
35. Michaels et al. ALS
36. End notes? OBITS
38. Pay extension? -OLA
39. It goes around in winter FLU
40. Antarctic transport SNO-CAT
41. Minor trade adjustment? BUSINESS TWEAK (from “Businessweek”)
45. Majestic quality HALO
46. Playboy nickname HEF
47. Kentucky Colonels’ org. ABA
50. “The Caine Mutiny” Oscar nominee BOGART
53. Genealogical record PEDIGREE
55. “The spasm preceded the other symptoms, Doc”? TWITCH CAME FIRST (from “which came first”)
57. Used to be WERE
58. Hendrix hairdo AFRO
59. Royal __: scheduled 2016 British Open site TROON
60. Unmatched ODD
61. The Taj Mahal, e.g. TOMB
62. Garden plant that thrives in shade HOSTA

Down
1. Lackluster finish MATTE
2. Wooden pin DOWEL
3. Vanilla treats CREAM SODAS
4. Key not used alone CTRL
5. Bass Islands locale LAKE ERIE
6. Wrote an essay, maybe OPINED
7. Polynesian carving TIKI
8. Turner of entertainment IKE
9. Vacation area SEASIDE
10. Oregon State athlete, for short BEAV
11. Rather red RARE
12. Legion ARMY
15. Lose illegally THROW
17. Winner of six David di Donatello acting awards LOREN
18. __ film CULT
23. Some August babies LEOS
25. Be selfish about, in a way HOG
26. Low grade D-PLUS
27. Fox commentator who was the 1992 N.L. Rookie of the Year ERIC KARROS
28. Singer James ETTA
29. Try TEST
30. Self-appointed expert SNOB
31. Online TV giant HULU
35. Moreover ALSO
36. Common liquor purchase, once ONE FIFTH
37. Scary squeezer BOA
39. Homburg, for one FELT HAT
40. Nobel, for one SWEDE
42. “__ when that happens” I HATE
43. Buster? NARC
44. Tough syndicate THE MOB
48. Get drunk BESOT
49. Insurance giant AETNA
50. USAF stealth plane B-TWO
51. Due OWED
52. Prepare, as for action GIRD
53. Chicken __ PARM
54. Early copter GIRO
56. One may be a CPA CFO

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Apr 15, Friday”

  1. The bottom half of this puzzle went much faster than the top half for me. I got the theme early and that helped.

    I had CREAMSICLE before CREAMSODAS and that led to a whole slew of issues.

    I have played Troon North golf course in Phoenix, but I have never played the "real" one in Scotland. Beautiful fairways, but if you missed the fairways, you were in the dessert – dirt, cacti, bobcats, coyotes…I lost a lot of balls that day.

    The etymology of the word "pedigree" wins the prize in today's blog. Who knew such a thing? That type of tidbit is why we suffer through these late week puzzles as we do…

    Best –

  2. This seemed reasonable for a Friday. I worked most of it early and then after I got me teeth cleaned and came home I finished it. I thought the puns were pretty clever and it was a sure trick that got me on 47 Across (Kentucky Colonels' org) with my first guess being "KFC" and my second wrong guess being "CSA" before finally twigging to the fact that they were looking for the old American Basketball Association! Good one…

    Hope everyone has a great Friday and I look forward to seeing how much sweaty grappling I'll be doing with the grid tomorrow.

  3. Bella, sometimes we get do-overs in life. I just take them, smile, and don't worry.

    It seemed pretty manageable for a Friday grid. Pretty stock fill. I think he took some liberties with BTWO: no one spells out TWO when referring to that plane.

    Tony got me thinking about the Kentucky Colonels. Like other ABA teams, prone to silly promotions. They once signed a female jockey to a one-day contract. They were also pretty good. Among their players were NBA Hall of Famer's Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, and Hubie Brown. They were league champions in 1975.

  4. Just a general question to everyone. At what age did most of the posters on this blog first start doing crossword puzzles? I'm in my mid-30s, and have done crossword puzzles for a couple of years, and I find that there are a decent number of pop cultural references from before the 1990s that make it difficult to complete a puzzle without googling. Thoughts?

  5. Tough puzzle, got the first and fourth theme answers, had shredded and business and couldn't see that I had to put a T after those.
    Duh!
    I had *ARM for Chicken_ so I put in FARM, PARM is no fair! Abbr. please?
    Had Sports BAR, What the heck is BTWO???? Oh, B2.
    Hand up for CREAMSicle, Jeff.
    SURVEY totally eluded me.
    @Henry, around 40. My mom used to do them daily and had a big crossword dictionary.(Pre-Google!)Then I started getting the paper regularly that published the NYT syndicated puzzle. Now I can't STOP!!!!
    I find pop culture references to rock groups and rappers impossible, but that's just me.
    Remember when we actually had to WAIT until the next day to see the solution? Aaack! It used to drive me crazy.
    THANKS, Bill!!!!

  6. Why are we seeing BRA in practically every puzzle these days?!
    This grid was a bit easier for me than most Fridays: I got about half of it on my own.
    @Henry, I've done crosswords off and on since my early 30s, and I'm 57 now. (I know; I look younger!) I'd do a lot better if I'd worked them regularly over the years. However, there's definitely an advantage to age with these puzzles. In particular, I know music and baseball, having been raised to love both. Those two often save me on puzzles. Oh! I'm a teacher too…that probably helps. Jeez I almost forgot my profession!
    Have a FABULOUS weekend, y'all–
    Carrie out! 😀

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