LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Apr 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Julian Lim
THEME: Imagine Dragons … each of today’s themed answers end with a word that brings to mind DRAGONS:

35A. With 38-Across, band with the hit “Radioactive,” and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues IMAGINE
38A. See 35-Across DRAGONS

17A. *Skedaddling TURNING TAIL
27A. *Food often served with ranch dip BUFFALO WINGS
45A. *Weigh, with “at” TIP THE SCALES
59A. *Real ordeal TRIAL BY FIRE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Carrie” Oscar nominee SPACEK
“Carrie” is a 1976 horror film based on a Stephen King novel of the same name. Sissy Spacek plays the title role, a breakthrough role for her. I’m afraid I have never seen movie (I don’t really do “horror”).

7. Letters about time AM/PM
The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in Ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

11. __ Fit: video exercise game WII
Wii Fit is popular, very popular. It’s the third bestselling console “game” in history, with over 20 million sold. Wii Fit uses the Wii Balance Board for much of its functionality, on which the user stands.

14. Acid neutralizer ALKALI
The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are the alkalis, the hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

15. Restaurant chain named for a Mozart opera COSI
Così is a chain of restaurants specializing in sandwiches, soups and salads. The idea for the chain came from a small cafe in Paris. The name of the restaurant comes from Mozart’s opera “Così fan tutte”, which the founder greatly admires.

17. *Skedaddling TURNING TAIL
“Skedaddle ” is a slang term meaning “run away” that dates back to the Civil War.

19. Physician’s org. AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

20. Snack brand creator Wally AMOS
Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name “Famous Amos”. The store was a smash hit and he was able build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually bought up making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf.

21. Karaoke option DUET
“Karate”, means “open hand”, and the related word “karaoke” means “open orchestra”.

24. Half a score TEN
Our verb “to score” meaning “to tally”, comes from the Old Norse “skor”, which is a “mark, notch”. It is likely that items such a livestock were counted by placing a notch in a stick for each set of twenty, hence our use of the noun “score” to mean “twenty”.

26. Lamp emission, if you’re lucky GENIE
The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

27. *Food often served with ranch dip BUFFALO WINGS
There are a few stories about how Buffalo wings were first developed, most of them related to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. If you’re looking for Buffalo wings on a menu in Buffalo, you’ll note that in and around the city they’re just referred to as “wings”.

Ranch dressing has been the best selling salad dressing in the country since 1992. The recipe was developed by Steve Henson who introduced it in the fifties to guests on his dude ranch, Hidden Valley Ranch in Northern California. His ranch dressing became so popular that he opened a factory to produce packets of ranch seasoning that could be mixed with mayonnaise and buttermilk. Henson sold the brand for $8 million in 1972.

30. __ Navidad FELIZ
“Feliz Navidad” is Spanish for “Happy Christmas”.

33. First-line national anthem word SEE
(41A. First-line national anthem word SAY)
“O say can you see by the dawn’s early light” us the opening line of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.

34. Prefix with caching GEO-
Geocaching is a game rather like “hide and seek” that is played outdoors using hi-tech equipment. The idea is that someone places a waterproof container in a specific location with known GPS coordinates. The container has a logbook inside, so that players who find the “cache” can record their discovery along with any notes of interest. The location of the container is listed on special sites on the Internet for anyone to access. You can check out caches near you at www.geocaching.com. You will probably be surprised at how many there are! I know I was …

35. With 38-Across, band with the hit “Radioactive,” and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues IMAGINE
38. See 35-Across DRAGONS
Imagine Dragons is a rock band that formed in 2008 in Las Vegas.

51. Stats for Mike Trout RBIS
Mike Trout plays baseball for the Los Angeles Angels. Trout’s nickname is the “Millville Meteor”, as he grew up in Millville, New Jersey.

52. Meditator’s intonations OMS
“Om” is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. “Om” is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

57. Purveyor of many flat packs IKEA
The furniture chain IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym that stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

62. Part of UCSD: Abbr. CAL
The University of California, San Diego is located in La Jolla. The school was founded in 1960 as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

63. Cheese that’s sometimes stuffed EDAM
The Mexican dish called “queso relleno” comes from the state of Yucatan. The name of the dish translates simply as “stuffed cheese” and it consists of a ball of Edam cheese that is hollowed out and stuffed with ground meat, raisins, capers and olives. The “queso relleno” is braised in chicken stock and served in slices in a sauce made from the stock.

Down
2. Nice pen PLUME
“Plume” is a French word meaning “pen”.

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.

3. Firestone Country Club city AKRON
Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio was established in 1929 as a park for the employees of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Today, the club has three golf courses and is a regular venue on the PGA Tour.

Firestone is a tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900. The Firestone company took off when it was selected by Henry Ford as the supplier of tires for his Model T.

4. Spam holders CANS
Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”.

5. Lilly of pharmaceuticals ELI
Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state of Indiana. The founder, Eli Lilly, was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and a failed Mississippi plantation owner. Later in life he returned to his first profession and opened a pharmaceutical operation to manufacture drugs and sell them wholesale. Under Lilly’s early guidance, the company was the first to create gelatin capsules to hold medicines and the first to use fruit flavoring in liquid medicines.

8. Asset in a castle siege MOAT
A “moat” is a protective trench that surrounds a castle or other fortification. The moat may or may not be filled with water.

9. Chi follower PSI
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

12. Post-apocalyptic Will Smith film I AM LEGEND
“I Am Legend” is a 1955 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson that tells of an apparent sole survivor of a pandemic. The survivor has to fight off zombie-like vampires who come out at night. “I Am Legend” was famously adapted into a 1971 movie called “The Omega Man” starring Charlton Heston, and then into a 2007 film using the same title as the novel, which stars Will Smith.

18. __ of Mexico GULF
The Gulf of Mexico is a notorious site for oil exploration. I just read that there are about 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells on the Gulf’s seabed.

23. Young Darth’s nickname ANI
Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in all six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

– Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
– Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
– Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
– Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
– Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
– Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

25. Singer Quatro SUZI
Suzi Quatro is a rock singer and bass guitar player from Detroit, although she relocated to the UK when she was 21 years old. Quatro had a few great, great hits in the mid-seventies, most famously “Can the Can” (1973) and “Devil Gate Drive” (1974). She also played the character Leather Tuscadero”, a female bass player on the American sitcom “Happy Days”.

31. Phishing scam, e.g. EMAIL HOAX
Phishing is the name given to the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PIN numbers etc.”

32. Church attendees LAYPEOPLE
Anything described is laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

36. “O Holy Night,” for one NOEL
The Christmas carol known in English as “O Holy Night” is also known as “Cantique de Noël” in the original French. The melody was written by French composer Adolphe Adam, and the French lyrics are a poem called “Minuit, chrétiens” written by Placide Cappeau. “O Holy Night” was the second piece of music ever to be broadcast on radio. The Canadian-American inventor Reginald Fessenden made what is thought to be the first AM radio broadcast on Christmas Eve 1906. He included some music, starting with a piece by Handel, followed by “O Holy Night” played on the violin.

40. It’s often bought at an island GAS
You might fill up your car with gas at an island, where the pumps are located.

46. Dam-building org. TVA
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has to be one of America’s great success stories when it comes to economic development. Created in 1933, the TVA spearheaded economic development in the Tennessee Valley at the height of the Great Depression. Central to the success was the federally-funded construction of flood-control and electricity-generation facilities.

48. First fratricide victim ABEL
In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

49. Loosen (up) LIMBER
The limbo dance originated on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. The name “limbo” is an alteration of our word “limber”, which isn’t surprising given what one has to do to get under that bar!

52. 1930s migrants OKIES
“Okies” was a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.

54. Composer Saint-__ SAENS
Camille Saint-Saens was one of the great French composers in my opinion. Saint-Saëns composed during the Romantic Era, and it was he who introduced the symphonic poem to France. Even his light and airy “The Carnival of the Animals” is a lovely work.

55. Org. for strays SPCA
Unlike in most developed countries, there is no “umbrella” organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

56. Place that gave its name to a cat breed SIAM
The exact origins of the Siamese cat aren’t very clear, but it is believed to be from Southeast Asia. The Siamese takes its name from the sacred temple cats of Thailand (once called Siam).

60. No. for the health-conscious RDA
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII and are a set of recommendations for the standard daily allowances of specific nutrients. RDAs were effectively absorbed into a broader set of dietary guidelines in 1997 called Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs). RDIs are used to determine the Daily Values (DV) of foods that are printed on nutrition fact labels on most food that we purchase.

61. Retired NBAer Ming YAO
Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Carrie” Oscar nominee SPACEK
7. Letters about time AM/PM
11. __ Fit: video exercise game WII
14. Acid neutralizer ALKALI
15. Restaurant chain named for a Mozart opera COSI
16. It’s often cured HAM
17. *Skedaddling TURNING TAIL
19. Physician’s org. AMA
20. Snack brand creator Wally AMOS
21. Karaoke option DUET
22. Take one’s sweet time DALLY
24. Half a score TEN
25. Auction cry SOLD!
26. Lamp emission, if you’re lucky GENIE
27. *Food often served with ranch dip BUFFALO WINGS
30. __ Navidad FELIZ
33. First-line national anthem word SEE
34. Prefix with caching GEO-
35. With 38-Across, band with the hit “Radioactive,” and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues IMAGINE
38. See 35-Across DRAGONS
41. First-line national anthem word SAY
42. Pigs out (on) ODS
44. __ attitude CAN-DO
45. *Weigh, with “at” TIP THE SCALES
50. Sensible LEVEL
51. Stats for Mike Trout RBIS
52. Meditator’s intonations OMS
55. Sand bar SHOAL
56. Appear SEEM
57. Purveyor of many flat packs IKEA
58. Burst POP
59. *Real ordeal TRIAL BY FIRE
62. Part of UCSD: Abbr. CAL
63. Cheese that’s sometimes stuffed EDAM
64. Begin gently EASE IN
65. Cut AXE
66. Smashes RAMS
67. They’re often ruled ROOSTS

Down
1. Occupied, as a table SAT AT
2. Nice pen PLUME
3. Firestone Country Club city AKRON
4. Spam holders CANS
5. Lilly of pharmaceuticals ELI
6. In a way KIND OF
7. Played the part of ACTED AS
8. Asset in a castle siege MOAT
9. Chi follower PSI
10. Shower problem MILDEW
11. Beating heavily, as with a sledgehammer WHALING ON
12. Post-apocalyptic Will Smith film I AM LEGEND
13. “Perhaps” I MAY
18. __ of Mexico GULF
23. Young Darth’s nickname ANI
25. Singer Quatro SUZI
26. Church attachment? -GOER
27. Popular BIG
28. Took charge of LED
29. Just fair SO-SO
30. __ bump FIST
31. Phishing scam, e.g. EMAIL HOAX
32. Church attendees LAYPEOPLE
36. “O Holy Night,” for one NOEL
37. Journalism VIPs EDS
39. Far from fails ACES
40. It’s often bought at an island GAS
43. Horror movie sounds SCREAMS
46. Dam-building org. TVA
47. __-skelter HELTER
48. First fratricide victim ABEL
49. Loosen (up) LIMBER
52. 1930s migrants OKIES
53. Worthiness MERIT
54. Composer Saint-__ SAENS
55. Org. for strays SPCA
56. Place that gave its name to a cat breed SIAM
57. “Say that’s true … ” IF SO …
60. No. for the health-conscious RDA
61. Retired NBAer Ming YAO

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Apr 15, Thursday”

  1. I thought the clue for IKEA (purveyor of many flat packs) was a little odd/off but this came together without any real drama or angst. After I figured out the theme I was hoping that Julian Lim could have worked the character from the Eiger Sanction, Yurassis Dragon into the puzzle somehow (g).

    Have a great day all and see you back here at Bill's "Labor of Love" tomorrow.

  2. I suppose I'd rate this "Medium–for a Lim."

    Never been to a Cosi restaurant, never even heard of it. And believe it or not, I've never been inside an Ikea, either. There is a party game where you crack open the Ikea catalog and guess whether the host is reading an actual brand name, or making it up.

    Never heard of Imagine Dragons, either. And when I went to listen to the song, I wish I hadn't. Nothing gives me a headache in the morning like some whiny ADD emo-core band pretending to care about the world. Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers wrote a similar-titled song with their group The Firm in the mid-1980s.

    Grumpy William signing out. :-O

  3. Well, I finished, w/ 1 error, which is great for a Thurs, but had manx for siam for the longest time, and wanted to put dawdle for dally, which also didn't work out well.
    Buy gas on an island? As little as possible, but it's kind of like saying "I breathe on an island" or "I eat dinner on an island"
    Bella

  4. Bella- The gas station pumps sit on an
    ISLAND

    GOL when I saw Julian Lim as constructor, but it went pretty smoothly. SAN Diego for CALifornia. BRIE for EDAM. Didn't help that I kept reading Mediator's intonations. Hah!
    I like those dragon dancers in New Year celebrations! ^o^
    Catch you all later!

  5. I am probably showing my age Bella, but those center areas where the gas pumps are actually located are called islands. Or at least they used to be in the old days when they were ovals of cement raised about 6 inches from the rest of the cement.

  6. Not bad for a Julian Lim puzzle. The southwest corner bogged me down a little, but I enjoyed it overall.

    Second time I've seen geocaching in the last couple of weeks. I remembered it this time.

    Is there any cheese on the planet other than EDAM?

    I was glad to see Coci as the answer for 15A. I'd hate to think Mozart wrote an opera called Applebee's…

    Bracing myself for a Friday debacle. We'll see what happens.

  7. I could swear Mozart wrote an opera called "The Olive Garden" … But then, Mozart was an Austrian not an Italian, right ? I am extremely 'fine'- restaurant-challenged since I'm terrified I'd mispronounce the name of an italian dish …. and draw the sneering contempt of the waiter.

    Thank you Bill, for the difference between a base and an alkali. I did not know that. Just like I did not know the difference between a herb and a spice. Herbs are plants and leaves and spices are seeds, roots, barks and everything else. Like a delightfully fantastic spice I discovered a month ago – a black stone fungus – Kalpasi – simply delightful !

    Bill, two things about alkalis.
    1. For style and classification …. your clue should read … '… hydroxides of alkali metals and of ammonia' …. not ammonium, which is the ion. NH4+.

    2. And that statemnet (1.) is only partly correct, because, alkalis are ALL water soluble products of bases and include soluble oxides ( which become hydroxides, anyway ) , carbonates, bicarbonates like baking soda and washing soda.

  8. Yay, finished a Thursday, and without much grief. Didn't notice it was Mr. Kim's handiwork til I'd finished. That makes 4 completed Thursdays this year…hmm, not a great stat, now that I see it in writing…
    What is that saying? Today we fly, for tomorrow we must Friday? Something like that.
    Peace out, and see you good folks mañana!

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