LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Apr 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: Happy “Easter” … each of today’s themed answers finishes with “HAPPY” version of the word EASTER, a version in which the letters are all mixed up in an anagram:

57A. Words spoken often this time of year, one of which is anagrammed four times in this puzzle HAPPY EASTER

17A. Holy woman sculpted by Bernini SAINT TERESA
25A. It may call for lateral thinking BRAIN TEASER
35A. Van Gogh painting depicting peasants THE POTATO EATERS
48A. Many a sofa THREE-SEATER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Sweet Spanish wine MALAGA
Malaga is a fortified sweet wine from the city of Málaga in Spain.

The city of Malaga is on the Costa del Sol in the South of Spain, as are the famous European tourist destinations of Torremolinos and Marbella. The Costa del Sol was made up of sleepy little fishing villages until the 1980s when the European sunseekers descended on the region. I wouldn’t recommend it for a holiday quite frankly …

7. Work unit: Abbr. FT LB
The foot-pound is an imperial unit of work or energy. One foot-pound is the amount of work in applying a one pound-force over a distance of one foot.

11. Mendel’s sci. BOT
Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk, and a scientist who achieved fame after his passing when his work in the field of genetics was rediscovered. The conclusions he drew from his studies of garden peas led to him earning the moniker “father of modern genetics”.

16. Protein-building molecule RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

17. Holy woman sculpted by Bernini SAINT TERESA
“Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is a 17th-century sculpture by the artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The piece depicts a religious experience reported by Saint Teresa of Avila. It can be seen the Cornaro Chapel of the Santa Maria della Vittoria church in Rome. The work had been commissioned by Cardinal Federico Cornaro to adorn his burial chapel.

19. Battleship letters USS
The acronym “USS” stands for “United States Ship”. The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

28. Iconic figure with an anchor tattoo POPEYE
Popeye first appeared in 1929 in a comic strip called “Thimble Theatre”. The strip, created by E. C. Segar, ran for ten years before Popeye made an appearance. Popeye received such a great welcome from readers that he soon “took over” the strip, and eventually even hogged the strip’s title. Before Popeye turned up, Olive Oyl was the main character.

30. Tenochtitlán natives AZTECS
Tenochtitlán was a city-state that was the capital of the Aztec Empire in the 15th century. It was located in on an island in Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico. After Tenochtitlán was captured by the Spanish in 1521, they leveled the city and their own settlement, which grew into today’s Mexico City.

31. Zenith APEX
The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith.

32. Chanted phrase MANTRA
A “mantra” is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating.

35. Van Gogh painting depicting peasants THE POTATO EATERS
“The Potato Eaters” is a Vincent van Gogh painting that you can see in the Vincent van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. “The Potato Eaters” was stolen from the museum in 1991, along with nineteen other paintings. Luckily, all of the stolen works were recovered extremely quickly as the robbers abandoned them only 35 minutes after the theft.

42. Toe loop kin AXEL
An Axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. It was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

A toe loop is a relatively simple jump in figure skating (not that I could do one!). In a toe loop, the skater uses the toe pick on the skate to lift off on a backward outside edge, landing on the same backward outside edge.

48. Many a sofa THREE-SEATER
“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.

52. Common animal in “The Far Side” comics COW
“The Far Side” is a cartoon series drawn by Gary Larson. It ran from 1980 to 1995, and continues today in reruns in many papers. A lot of “The Far Side” cartoons feature animals, often in outrageous, human-like situations. Larson was so popular with people working with animals that in 1989 a newly discovered insect species was named Strigiphilus garylarsoni. How cool is that?

53. Participated in a poetry slam READ
A poetry slam is a competition in which poets read their own work (usually), with winners being chosen by members of audience. Apparently the first poetry slam took place in Chicago in 1984. Now there is a Nation Poetry Slam that takes place each year, with representatives from the US, Canada and France.

54. Holey reef dweller SPONGE
Sponges are multicellular organisms that live underwater. They are animals with bodies that are full of holes and channels through which seawater freely circulates. Sponges have no digestive or circulatory system as such and instead rely on the movement of water to supply food and oxygen, and to remove waste material.

63. __ nitrate AMYL
Amyl nitrite is intended for use as a vasodilator, but it is also psychoactive when inhaled, so it has been abused as a recreational drug.

65. Lush SOT
“Lush” is a slang term for a heavy drinker. Back in the 1700s, “lush” was slang for “liquor”.

Down
3. Island souvenir LEI
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

4. Years in the Roman legion ANNI
Anno (plural “anni”) is the Latin for “year”.

7. Physics Nobelist of 1938 FERMI
The physicist Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy. Fermi moved to the US just before WWII, largely to escape the anti-Semitic feelings that were developing in Italy under Mussolini. It was Fermi’s work at the University of Chicago that led to the construction of the world’s first nuclear reactor. Fermi died at 53 years of age from stomach cancer. Cancer was a prevalent cause of death among the team working on that first nuclear pile. The synthetic element Fermium was discovered in 1952 and is named in his honor.

8. Typical “Divergent” reader TWEEN
The term “tween” is now used to describe preadolescence, the years between 10 and 12 years of age. A “tween” is too old to be considered a child, yet too young to be teenager.

“The Divergent Series” of movies is based on the “Divergent” novels written by Veronica Roth. The movies and novels are set in a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago called the Divergent Universe, and are aimed at young adults. The story is about a citizenry that is divided into five different factions based on personality traits. The critics weren’t crazy about the first movie in the series, but I really enjoyed it …

9. Guitar man Paul LES
Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

10. Beach 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!

23. Junior-to-be SOPH
The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

24. Sport with double touches EPEE
In the sport of épée fencing, a double-touch is scored when two touches are registered almost at the same time.

26. Museum that awards the Turner Prize TATE
The Turner Prize is awarded annually by the Tate gallery in the UK to visual artists. The prize is named for the painter J. M. W. Turner.

27. Biblical scribe EZRA
Ezra the Scribe, also called Ezra the Priest, is the central character in the Book of Ezra in the Hebrew Bible.

32. “Nixon in China” tenor role MAO
“Nixon in China” is an opera by John Adams, libretto by Alice Goodman. The piece was inspired by President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972.

37. Half of seis TRES
In Spanish, two x three (dos x tres) equals six (seis).

39. Slots spot 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.

44. Chintzy CHEAPO
Chintz is a calico fabric that is very florid, and which originated in India. Indian chintz was in such great demand in Europe in the 17th-century, and so much was sold, that both England and France banned its import. This contributed to the term “chintz” being applied derogatively to a fabric, and from there to anything cheap or gaudy.

45. Turkish peak ARARAT
Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

47. “Star Wars” surname ORGANA
The full name of the character played by Carrie Fisher in the “Star Wars” series of films is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, and later Leia Organa Solo. Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) and Padmé Amidala. Leia is raised by her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa. She eventually marries Han Solo.

49. Best Angler and Best Jockey, e.g. ESPYS
The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

55. Actor Morales ESAI
Esai Morales is best known for his role in the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai).

57. Harrison role HAN
Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

58. Ovid’s “I love” AMO
The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil. Ovid was very popular in his day, but somehow he fell foul of Emperor Augustus. For a reason unknown today, Augustus banished Ovid to Tomis, an island in the Black Sea. He lived there for about ten years, until he died.

59. CNN launcher TBS
The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979, to WTBS, and in 1981 adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

CNN (Cable News Network) was launched in 1980 by the Turner Broadcasting System, and was the first television channel in the world to provide news coverage 24 hours a day.

60. Wearer of a “Y” sweatshirt ELI
Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

61. Stimpy’s chum REN
“The Ren and Stimpy Show” is an animated television show that ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Sweet Spanish wine MALAGA
7. Work unit: Abbr. FT LB
11. Mendel’s sci. BOT
14. Place to surf THE NET
15. Washbowl partner EWER
16. Protein-building molecule RNA
17. Holy woman sculpted by Bernini SAINT TERESA
19. Battleship letters USS
20. Self-conscious question IS IT ME?
21. Preceder of old age? RIPE
22. Peoria-to-Decatur dir. SSE
25. It may call for lateral thinking BRAIN TEASER
28. Iconic figure with an anchor tattoo POPEYE
30. Tenochtitlán natives AZTECS
31. Zenith APEX
32. Chanted phrase MANTRA
35. Van Gogh painting depicting peasants THE POTATO EATERS
41. Hostile advance INROAD
42. Toe loop kin AXEL
43. Not around much SCARCE
46. Campaign ad urging VOTE NO
48. Many a sofa THREE-SEATER
52. Common animal in “The Far Side” comics COW
53. Participated in a poetry slam READ
54. Holey reef dweller SPONGE
56. Give __: pay attention EAR
57. Words spoken often this time of year, one of which is anagrammed four times in this puzzle HAPPY EASTER
62. Whirlpool site SPA
63. __ nitrate AMYL
64. Allow ENABLE
65. Lush SOT
66. In the wrong business? NOSY
67. Scone fruit RAISIN

Down
1. High pts. MTS
2. “So that’s the answer!” AHA!
3. Island souvenir LEI
4. Years in the Roman legion ANNI
5. Manages GETS BY
6. It’s worn ATTIRE
7. Physics Nobelist of 1938 FERMI
8. Typical “Divergent” reader TWEEN
9. Guitar man Paul LES
10. Beach top BRA
11. Banana blemish BRUISE
12. How many artists work ON SPEC
13. Police weapons TASERS
18. Greek vowel ETA
21. Gangster film sound effect RAT-A-TAT!
22. Cross words SPAT
23. Junior-to-be SOPH
24. Sport with double touches EPEE
26. Museum that awards the Turner Prize TATE
27. Biblical scribe EZRA
29. No longer valid EXPIRED
32. “Nixon in China” tenor role MAO
33. __ moment’s notice AT A
34. Auction bid, often NOD
36. Formerly ONCE
37. Half of seis TRES
38. Board member, usually EXEC
39. Slots spot RENO
40. Impede SLOW
43. Overachiever’s concern STRESS
44. Chintzy CHEAPO
45. Turkish peak ARARAT
46. Thin layer VENEER
47. “Star Wars” surname ORGANA
49. Best Angler and Best Jockey, e.g. ESPYS
50. Ask (for), as a job APPLY
51. First car, for many TOY
55. Actor Morales ESAI
57. Harrison role HAN
58. Ovid’s “I love” AMO
59. CNN launcher TBS
60. Wearer of a “Y” sweatshirt ELI
61. Stimpy’s chum REN

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Apr 15, Thursday”

  1. Normally, I would excoriate Gareth for EPEE, EASI, and the like. But he pointed out this is Easter time, so all is forgiven.

    I had no clue Princess Leia has a last name, though it stands to reason. And when did she marry HAN Solo? 7A FTLB – is that the same as torque? And thank you for the Far Side reference. I have one of his early cartoons, which he submitted in high school. It shows an astronaut in space walk. Larson took a mouth full of red paint and spit it on to the astronaut's helmet. He titled it "AaaChoo!" 😉

  2. An early Easter present for Pookie – a Gareth Bain puzzle..I guess EPEE and ELI were presents for Willie too.

    This was a Thursday puzzle? I was pressed for time and cheated a few times earlier than I normally would have. Thank you, Google. But overall I really liked the puzzle. Dr. Bain hasn't given us one like this in a while. NOSY for "In the wrong business" wins the prize.

    I thought the clue for SOPH should have been Jr to be, but the abbreviation crossword law has been stretched a lot recently.

    A FTLB is a unit of work. Torque is simply the rotational application of a force to produce work. So yes Willie -torque is measured in ft-lbs (newton-meters in the metric system), but it's just the rotational vector being applied to something (like a bolt)rather than a straight line force. The math is different because the direction is continuously changing, but you get the idea…

    Best –

  3. Well, the first thing I said after looking at the constructor's name was an audible, "Oh no…."
    MALAGA total unknown as well as FTLB.
    Sparse before SCARCE. Stop before SLOW (impede).
    There are two bruised bananas out there in the kitchen that want to grow up to be banana bread.
    I plan on accommodating them.
    Catch you all later!

  4. Difficult, but somewhat doable puzzle. That was Gareth Bain ? Wow – he is mellowing down ….

    I thought it was Saint THeresa … but, I guess not.

    Amyl Nitrate is a lesser known drug or chemical than Amyl Nitrite. ( One oxygen atom less in the nitrite … ) Amyl Nitrite is the vasodilator and (was) used to be used for certain 'recreational' purposes.

    An American, Louis Ignarro shared a Nobel prize (1998), with other Americans, for the effect of such nitrite drugs on the human body blood vessels and muscles. (The effect and importance of Nitric Oxide -).

    Yes, that also led, later, to the development of our 'family friendly' drugs Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. So the socalled, 'Father of Viagra' (Ignarro – but he was not the inventor – ) actually did win a Nobel Prize …. who says you can't have your cake, and eat it too.

    Have a nice day, all.

  5. Jeff, thank you for the difference between force and torque.

    As I read …. Force = m x a = mass times acceleration

    = (say) one pound x one foot per sec., per sec.

    = one pound force = lb(subscript f)

    Work = F x d = Force times distance

    = lb(subsc.f) times one foot = Foot-pound ?

    so really a pound-foot-foot or a foot-pound-foot.

    and Torque = Force ( with a (rotational -)vector factor) …..

    and then I spin around, and get a headache ….

  6. Indeed – to make it even more confusing, what we refer to as "torque" isn't really torque. For example, if you apply a force to a bolt using a torque wrench and are pushing as hard as you can but the bolt isn't moving, technically that is not a torque. Torque is time rate of change of angular momentum so either the angular velocity or the moment of inertia (how hard you are pushing essentially) must be changing to be a torque. A static system with no change in force or speed of rotation is not really a torque. But by convention we here in the U.S. refer to any rotational force as a torque. But that is why it is correctly measured in ft-lbs rather than lbs.

    How's your head now? 🙂

  7. I now officially "torqued" off after reading the comments today! (g).

    The bottom of the puzzle had me going for a while. I kept thinking "tax time" instead of Easter for some strange reason. Ha!

    Hope everyone has a great day. See you tomorrow for more "puzzle postmortem."

  8. Like @Jeff, I sweat bullets when I see Bain, but like @Vidwan, was surprised that I did not need a Google. ALso, like @Jeff, I believe SOPH is an abbrev.

    I was shocked to see AMYL – but Vidwan straightened me out.

    Got the theme right away from POTATO EATERS. Though I finished, I didn't really "Know" ORGANA or MALAGA.

    @Vidwan – TH is not used in Italian, so for Bernini, it would be Teresa.

  9. These technical comments remind me of a line from the movie "Airplane": " What's your vector, Hector?"
    And another from the old Bob Newhart Show": "Apply the mucilage to the fuselage…"
    Meanwhile, this gal is having a tooth extracted tomorrow (make that today…) so wish me luck. When next you see me I'll have a holy smile!
    =-O
    Happy holidays, all!

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