LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Apr 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Harald Hornung
THEME: For a Start … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with the letters FOR- added at the start:

20A. Advice to a shaken quarterback? FORGET THE SACK (for + “get the sack”)
27A. Eschew a potassium source? FORGO BANANAS (for + “go bananas”)
43A. Excuse that last jeer? FORGIVE A HOOT (for + “give a hoot”)
53A. Take a vow of silence? FORSWEAR WORDS (for + “swear words”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 30s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Hogwarts co-founder Hufflepuff HELGA
In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

14. Betelgeuse’s constellation ORION
The very recognizable constellation of Orion is of course named after the Greek God Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion’s “right shoulder”, the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don’t want to miss that …

17. Rue Morgue killer ORANG
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is a short story by Edgar Allen Poe, and is recognized as the first “detective story” ever written. The murder is solved when it is determined that the murderer was actually an orangutan.

20. Advice to a shaken quarterback? FORGET THE SACK (for + “get the sack”)
The phrase “get the sack” means “get dismissed from work”. One suggestion if that the expression derives from a worker leaving his place of employ with his or her tools in a bag.

23. Prom attendees: Abbr. SRS
A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

24. Language of Southeast Asia LAO
Lao, the language of Laos, does not use spaces between words (or periods!), although this is apparently changing. Spaces are used between sentences and clauses.

31. King’s downfall MATE
In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

35. Grissom on “CSI” GIL
The actor William Petersen is best known for portraying forensic scientist Gil Grissom on the “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Petersen quit acting in the show after nine seasons, but continues as an executive producer.

36. Where some natives speak Azeri or Luri IRAN
Azeri is the language of many of the people from Azerbaijan. The language of North Azerbaijani is the official language of the country.

Luri is a language from southwestern Iran that is spoken by the Lur and Bakhtiari peoples. Luri is quite similar to modern Persian.

37. Feudal lord LIEGE
A liege was a feudal lord, one to whom service or allegiance was owed under feudal law. “Liege” was also the term used for one who owed allegiance or service to a lord. Very confusing …

39. Singer commonly seen wearing sunglasses BONO
Irish singer Bono is the lead singer of the band U2. He is a Dubliner, born Paul David Hewson. As a youth, Hewson was given the nickname “Bono Vox” by a friend, a Latin expression meaning “good voice”, and so the singer has been known as Bono since the late seventies. Famously, Bono wears sunglasses even while indoors. Apparently the practise is no affectation and is because he has suffered from glaucoma for over twenty years.

40. Site for aspiring idols FOX
Fox’s “American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. I can’t abide either program(me) …

41. “Star Trek” race BORG
The cyborgs known as the Borg first showed up in the “Star Trek” universe as the villains in the movie “Star Trek: First Contact”, and then spread to other “Star Trek” productions. “Cyborg” is an abbreviation for “cybernetic organism”, a being that is made up of both organic and synthetic parts.

48. Big fight MELEE
Our word “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

50. Indian state known for its beaches GOA
Goa is the smallest state in India, and is located in the southwest of the country. The Portuguese landed in Goa in the early 1500s, at first peacefully carrying out trade, but then took the area by force creating Portuguese India. Portugal held onto Portuguese India even after the British pulled out of India in 1947, until the Indian Army marched into the area in 1961.

57. Musical souvenir STUB
After attending a musical, or perhaps a concert, one might keep one’s ticket stub as a souvenir.

A “souvenir” is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported the word from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.

59. Russell’s “Tombstone” role EARP
The legendary Western gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp has been portrayed on the big and small screen many, many times. Kevin Costner played the title role in 1994’s “Wyatt Earp”, and Val Kilmer played Earp in 2012’s “The First Ride of Wyatt Earp”. Joel McCrea had the part in 1955’s “Wichita”, and Kurt Russell was Earp in 1993’s “Tombstone”.

60. They’re heavier than foils EPEES
The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, both of which are also thrusting weapons. However, the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

62. Luyendyk of auto racing ARIE
Arie Luyendyk is a racing driver from the Netherlands, winner of the Indianapolis 500 on two occasions. Luyendyk’s son, also called Arie, is following in his father’s footsteps and is also an auto racer.

Down
3. Humbugs LIARS
A humbug is an impostor.

5. San __, Texas ANGELO
San Angelo is a city in West Central Texas.

6. SLR buff PHOTOG
SLR stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

A “buff” or a “nut” is one who is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject.

7. Mother of Judah LEAH
In the Torah, the Israelites are traced back to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob had twelve sons, six with each of his concurrent wives Leah and Rachel. The sons became the ancestors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The sons were:

– Reuben
– Simeon
– Levi
– Judah
– Dan
– Naphtali
– Gad
– Asher
– Issachar
– Zebulun
– Joseph
– Benjamin

8. Paul’s “The Prize” co-star ELKE
Elke Sommer is a German-born actress who was at the height of her success on the silver screen in the sixties. Sommer won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer Actress for her role opposite Paul Newman in 1964’s “The Prize”. She also sings and has released several albums. Now Sommer focuses on painting, producing artwork that is strongly influenced by the work of Marc Chagall.

12. Gun designer __ Gal UZI
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

13. Porky’s longtime voice MEL
Mel Blanc was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. We’ve all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc’s tombstone are … “That’s All Folks”.

21. It’s on the road TAR
“Tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.

22. Last Stuart queen ANNE
The Royal House of Stewart (also Stuart) came to power in Scotland in the late 14th century, starting with Robert II of Scotland. The Stewarts extended their power to England and Ireland when the Tudor line became extinct as Queen Elizabeth I died without issue. James VI of Scotland became James I of England at that time. The last Stuart monarch was Anne, Queen of Great Britain who also died without issue, despite going through seventeen pregnancies. Assuming Prince William, Duke of Cambridge becomes the British Monarch one day, then there will be a Stewart descendant on the throne again. William is the son of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Diana was descended from the Stewart monarchs.

28. Horseshoe-shaped letter OMEGA
Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron meaning “little O” (O-micron).

30. Liquor-flavoring fruit SLOE
The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin.

32. Woolf’s “__ of One’s Own” A ROOM
Virginia Woolf was an English author active in the period between the two World Wars. Woolf’s most famous novels were “Mrs. Dalloway”, “To the Lighthouse” and “Orlando”. She also wrote a long essay entitled “A Room of One’s Own” in which she states “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

39. Cricket __ BAT
Cricket is the national game of England. The term “cricket” apparently comes from the Old French word “criquet” meaning “goalpost, stick”.

41. Oktoberfest quaff BIER
“Bier” is the German word for “beer”.

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve been there twice, and it really is a great party …

47. Creator of the language Newspeak ORWELL
“Newspeak” is a language created by the totalitarian state in George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Newspeak is grammatically identical to English, but there is a limited vocabulary that is designed limit freedom of thought.

50. “On the Record” host Van Susteren GRETA
I remember watching Greta Van Susteren as a legal commentator on CNN during the celebrated O. J. Simpson murder trial. she parlayed those appearances into a permanent slot as co-host of CNN’s “Burden of Proof”, before moving onto her current gig as host of her own show on the Fox News Channel called “On the Record”.

51. Pope’s “__ Solitude” ODE ON
Alexander Pope was an English poet, famous for his own compositions as well as for a translation of Homer’s works. One of Pope’s most notable poems is “Ode on Solitude” that opens with:

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Pope wrote that when he was just twelve years old!

55. City seen from Presque Isle State Park ERIE
Presque Isle State Park is off the coast of Erie, Pennsylvania and sits on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie. The name “Presque Isle” translates from French as “peninsula”, or more literally “almost an island”.

56. Old sitcom redhead OPIE
Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier. Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

57. Hotel amenity SPA
The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

58. Little TAD
Back in the 1800s “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this morphed into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Hogwarts co-founder Hufflepuff HELGA
6. Claimed in court PLED
10. In a funk GLUM
14. Betelgeuse’s constellation ORION
15. Pad opening HELI-
16. Exude OOZE
17. Rue Morgue killer ORANG
18. Stout trees OAKS
19. Considerable effort TOIL
20. Advice to a shaken quarterback? FORGET THE SACK (for + “get the sack”)
23. Prom attendees: Abbr. SRS
24. Language of Southeast Asia LAO
25. Square UNHIP
27. Eschew a potassium source? FORGO BANANAS (for + “go bananas”)
31. King’s downfall MATE
34. Style MODE
35. Grissom on “CSI” GIL
36. Where some natives speak Azeri or Luri IRAN
37. Feudal lord LIEGE
39. Singer commonly seen wearing sunglasses BONO
40. Site for aspiring idols FOX
41. “Star Trek” race BORG
42. Throw in a chip ANTE
43. Excuse that last jeer? FORGIVE A HOOT (for + “give a hoot”)
48. Big fight MELEE
49. Balancing aid EAR
50. Indian state known for its beaches GOA
53. Take a vow of silence? FORSWEAR WORDS (for + “swear words”)
57. Musical souvenir STUB
59. Russell’s “Tombstone” role EARP
60. They’re heavier than foils EPEES
61. You may look through one PANE
62. Luyendyk of auto racing ARIE
63. Discovered accidentally LIT ON
64. Puts in ADDS
65. Put up, in a way TEED
66. Isn’t straight LEANS

Down
1. Legs (it) HOOFS
2. Slip ERROR
3. Humbugs LIARS
4. Big ringer GONG
5. San __, Texas ANGELO
6. SLR buff PHOTOG
7. Mother of Judah LEAH
8. Paul’s “The Prize” co-star ELKE
9. Convince not to DISSUADE
10. Prankster’s cry GOTCHA!
11. Gawking, perhaps LOOKING ON
12. Gun designer __ Gal UZI
13. Porky’s longtime voice MEL
21. It’s on the road TAR
22. Last Stuart queen ANNE
26. Coat material PAINT
27. Swampy area FEN
28. Horseshoe-shaped letter OMEGA
29. Swampy area BOG
30. Liquor-flavoring fruit SLOE
31. Rile MIFF
32. Woolf’s “__ of One’s Own” A ROOM
33. Source of extra spending money TAX REFUND
37. Place where three’s a crowd LOVE SEAT
38. Snit cause IRE
39. Cricket __ BAT
41. Oktoberfest quaff BIER
44. Geography aids GLOBES
45. Supplied in abundance HEAPED
46. Boat propeller OAR
47. Creator of the language Newspeak ORWELL
50. “On the Record” host Van Susteren GRETA
51. Pope’s “__ Solitude” ODE ON
52. Gps. with similar goals ASSNS
54. Kitchen attachment -WARE
55. City seen from Presque Isle State Park ERIE
56. Old sitcom redhead OPIE
57. Hotel amenity SPA
58. Little TAD

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Apr 15, Friday”

  1. Goa is 'famous' for the same reasons that Macau is famous. It's not just beaches but nudist beaches, free flow of liqour ( and drugs -), legalized gambling, a tolerant attitude towards sexuality and the whole slew of european mores in general.

    You can take the europeans out of India, but the liberal attitudes last a lot longer.

    The puzzle was so difficult, I feel I have no right to comment.

  2. I finished with a mess of inked over letters, especially trying to get the long answer to 53 Across "Take a vow of silence?" in which I went back and forth more than a few times before finally getting it. That also gave me 37 Down "Where threes a crowd?" which eluded me up to the point where I saw the ending was "seat" – phew!

    @Vidwan827 – I always figured that the home of the Kama Sutra predated any influence of "European mores" and the whole freedom of sexuality was flowing in the other direction? (g)

  3. I actually had an easier time with this compared to most Friday puzzles. LIT ON (discover accidentally?) is new to me; the cluing for STUB is weak!! Get the sack? That's a common saying? I don't even know what it means.

    I find Poe so depressing that I haven't read much of his work, but I did read the Murder of the Rue Morgue. It's a bizarre story. The orang isn't being vicious when committing the murder, he's imitating his owner shaving. By imitating this shaving, he accidentally slits a woman's throat.

    I never understood the point of the book except that he's trying to prove an accused man's innocence. I'll let others figure out the profound meaning in that story. It escapes me.

    CSI was a better show when they had Grissom on it. Oh well – weekend time!

    Best –

  4. One of the best LAT puzzles I have seen in a while. Good theme, solid fill, challenging but fair clues, and entertaining to complete.

    Hats off to the creator, and to the editor for printing it.

  5. I have toi agree with Jeff on GETTHESACK…that's very abstruse.

    But the grid was well-done, I thought. EPEES notwithstanding. Tough but not maddeningly so.

    See you all in GOA! 😀

  6. I think the quarterback is shaken because he was sacked, as in tackled before getting rid of the ball.

  7. DNF today. LOOKING ON? LIT ON? HUMBUGS? HARRY POTTER, POE,FEN…
    Fridays are getting to be as difficult as Saturdays.
    Willie D. almost got his two favorites.
    EPEE/ ALIT (LIT ON ^o^

  8. Living in New England, I only knew of Presque Isle in Maine (way up in the NE corner), so was not happy with that clue..otherwise OK.

  9. Well done grid, although I of course did not finish without my usual Friday cheating. The theme helped me once I got it.
    Other than that, a house on the block behind me caught fire today. I found that even scarier than the thought of a Friday puzzle. Fortunately it was put out quickly, no one was hurt, and the flames didn't reach my yard. Some fun!
    Till tomorrow, solvents! =-O

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