LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Apr 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Robert E. Lee Morris
THEME: Spare Change … today’s themed answers contain a string of letters that are circled. Each of these strings of letters is an anagram of the word SPARE:

54A. Pocketful of coins, and what literally occurs in the circled letters in five puzzle answers SPARE CHANGE

17A. Airport security indignity STRIP-SEARCH
32A. Flour packaging PAPER SACK
38A. Diva’s big moment OPERA SOLO
11D. Social gathering at a home HOUSE PARTY
29D. Region beyond our atmosphere OUTER SPACE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 23s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Tennessee senator Alexander LAMAR
Lamar Alexander is one of the US Senators representing Tennessee. Alexander is a great classical and country piano player, and you can actually hear him playing on a re-recording that Patti Page made of her 1950 hit “Tennessee Waltz”.

11. Summary on a timecard: Abbr. HRS
Hours (hrs.)

14. Olds model ALERO
The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made under the Oldsmobile brand. The Alero was produced from 1999 to 2004.

16. OPEC commodity OIL
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

19. Charlottesville sch. UVA
The University of Virginia (UVA) was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who sat on the original Board of Visitors alongside former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus was built on land that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

The city of Charlottesville, Virginia was named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of King George III. George’s queen consort also lent her name to the city of Charlotte, North Carolina.

20. “Mazel __!” TOV
“Tov” is the Hebrew word for “good”, as in “mozel tov”, meaning “good luck”.

21. Flair ELAN
Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours i.e “style” or “flair”.

24. Father of Cain and Abel ADAM
According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

25. “The Maltese Falcon” novelist HAMMETT
Dashiell Hammett was an American author known for his detective fiction. Hammett was the creator of such enduring characters as Sam Spade from “The Maltese Falcon” as well as Nick and Nora Charles from “The Thin Man”. Outside of writing, Hammett was also politically active and serves as the president of a group the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) after WWII. The CRC was deemed to be a Communist front group and was listed as a subversive organization by the US government. At one point, he even served time in jail for contempt of court, after refusing to answer some questions in a trial in which the CRC was involved.

35. Bon __: witticism MOT
“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean a quip, a witticism.

36. Animal skins PELTS
The “pelt” is the skin of a furry animal.

37. __ v. Wade ROE
Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

38. Diva’s big moment OPERA SOLO
“Diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

43. Citizens under Caesar ROMANS
The most famous Roman known as “Caesar” was Gaius Julius Caesar, the dictator usually referred to as Julius Caesar. It was Julius Caesar’s actions and assassination that ushered in the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire. The name Gaius Julius Caesar was also used by the dictator’s father, and indeed his grandfather.

47. Quaint dagger DIRK
“Dirk” is a Scots word for dagger, and is the name given to a knife that is worn hanging from a belt in traditional dress that includes a kilt. The dagger worn in a Scotsman’s sock isn’t a dirk (a popular misconception) but rather is called a “sgian dubh”, which translates as “a black or hidden knife”.

48. Controversial Nixon records TAPES
Famously, there is a gap of 18½ minutes in the Nixon White House tapes. Rose Mary Woods, President Nixon’s secretary, reported that she was reviewing one of the tapes when she accidentally hit record instead of the stop button, causing about 5 minutes of erasure. There is an additional 13 minutes of “buzzing” that she could not explain. There has been much speculation about what actually happened, as a review of notes made in the meeting covered by the tape show that the arrests made at the Watergate were discussed.

53. Actress Thurman UMA
Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

58. Mo. with the shortest day of the year DEC
A solstice occurs twice in every year. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year (has the most daylight), and the winter solstice is the shortest.

59. Elaborate display ECLAT
“Éclat” can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

60. The “A” in “CAT scan” AXIAL
A CT (or CAT, Computed Axial Tomography) scan produces, via computer manipulation, a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful causing damage that is cumulative over time.

61. Fair-hiring abbr. EOE
Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)

62. Thick-furred dog SPITZ
Spitz-type dogs are those with long thick fur that is usually white. Most spitz-type dogs seem to have originated in the Arctic and/or East Asia. Examples of breed described as spitz-type are the Alaskan Malamute and the Canadian Eskimo Dog.

63. Colorful tank fish TETRA
The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

Down
1. “The __ of the Mohicans” LAST
“The Last of the Mohicans” is an 1826 novel by James Fenimore Cooper. It is the second in a series of five novels that comprise the “Leatherstocking Tales”. All five titles are:

– “The Deerslayer” (1841)
– “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826)
– “The Pathfinder” (1840)
– “The Pioneers” (1823)
– “The Prairie” (1827)

3. “Jeopardy!” creator Griffin MERV
Merv Griffin was quite the entertainer, truly a mogul in the business. He started his career as a singer on the radio during the big band era. In the sixties he hosted his own talk show, and then famously developed such great game shows as “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”.

4. The D-backs, on scoreboards ARI
The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

7. Meg of “You’ve Got Mail” RYAN
Meg Ryan is the stage name of the actress Margaret Mary Hyra. Ryan’s big break came with the excellent 1989 movie “When Harry Met Sally” from which she went on to star in some of the greatest romantic comedies ever made.

“You’ve Got Mail” is a 1998 romantic comedy film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, directed by Nora Ephron. The film is an adaptation of the Miklos Laszlo play “Parfumerie”. The storyline of “Parfumerie” was also used for the movies “The Shop Around the Corner” (from 1940 starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan) and “In the Good Old Summertime” (from 1949 starring Van Johnson and Judy Garland).

8. Bruin legend Bobby ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

9. Attack, to Rover SIC
“Sic ’em” is an attack order given to a dog, instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with “sic” being a variation of “seek”.

23. Don of morning radio IMUS
Don Imus’s syndicated radio show “Imus in the Morning” broadcasts from New York City. Imus has been described as a “shock jock”, a disc jockey who deliberately uses provocative language and humor that many would find offensive . I don’t like shock jocks …

24. Auto financing abbr. APR
Annual percentage rate (APR)

26. Greek god of war ARES
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of blood-lust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos, Deimos and Eros. The Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

27. Japanese wrestling SUMO
Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

28. ‘Vette roof option T-TOP
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The Corvette has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

29. Region beyond our atmosphere OUTER SPACE
The exploration and use of outer space is governed by the Outer Space Treaty that came into force in 1967. The initial signatories were the US, UK and USSR, and now 102 nations are party to the treaty. For the purposes of the treaty, outer space begins at the Kármán line, a theoretical sphere that lies at an altitude of 100km about the Earth’s sea level.

30. Niagara __ FALLS
The mighty Niagara River flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, and forms part of the border between the US and Canada. The river is only about 35 miles long (so some describe it as a “strait”) and has a drop in elevation of 325 feet along its length, with 165 feet of that drop taking place at Niagara Falls.

32. Showy flower PEONY
The flowering plant called a peony is named for Paean, the mythical physician to the Greek gods.

33. Crooner Perry COMO
Perry Como is still my mother’s favorite singer. Como was born about 20 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Famously, his first career was barbering. He learned the trade from a local hairdresser and soon had his own shop in a Greek coffee house, at the age of 14!

36. “The more you know” TV ads, e.g. PSAS
“The More You Know” is a series of public service announcements (PSAs) that have been broadcast by NBC since 1989. Usually, the spots feature personalities from NBC shows who deliver some sort of educational message. President Barack Obama participated in 2010 and 2011, as did President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush.

42. Bic filler INK
Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

44. Newspaper sales no. CIRC
A newspaper’s sales figures are referred to as its circulation (circ.).

45. Technique-mastering piano piece ETUDE
An étude is a small instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

46. Short film role CAMEO
Even in my day, a cameo role was more than just a short appearance in a movie (or other artistic piece). For the appearance to be a cameo, the actor had to playing himself or herself, and was instantly recognizable. With this meaning it’s easy to see the etymology of the term, as a cameo brooch is one with the recognizable carving of the silhouette of a person. Nowadays, a cameo is any minor role played by a celebrity or famous actor, regardless of the character played.

47. “Legion of the Damned” series writer William DIETZ
William C. Dietz is an author of military science fiction. One of Dietz’s more famous works if the “Legion of the Damned” series of novels, which now has a prequel series called “Andromeda’s Fall”. There’s also a “Legion of the Damned” video game available for which he wrote the storyline.

50. Cranky state SNIT
The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Booth Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.

51. Biology lab gel AGAR
Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

52. Fashion’s Oscar __ Renta DE LA
Oscar de la Renta is a fashion designer who really came to prominence in the sixties when his designs were worn by Jacqueline Kennedy.

55. Narc’s find, briefly PCP
Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as PCP or “angel dust”.

“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated illegal drugs.

56. Boxing immortal ALI
One of Muhammad Ali’s famous most famous lines is “I am the greatest!” So famous is the line that in 1963, Ali released an album of spoken word that had the title “I Am the Greatest!”

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Tennessee senator Alexander LAMAR
6. Disgusting GROSS
11. Summary on a timecard: Abbr. HRS
14. Olds model ALERO
15. Emotionally expressive, as poetry LYRIC
16. OPEC commodity OIL
17. Airport security indignity STRIP-SEARCH
19. Charlottesville sch. UVA
20. “Mazel __!” TOV
21. Flair ELAN
22. NFL Network talk show host Rich EISEN
24. Father of Cain and Abel ADAM
25. “The Maltese Falcon” novelist HAMMETT
27. “That’s enough!” STOP IT!
30. Get started, as a grill FIRE UP
31. One-eighty U-TURN
32. Flour packaging PAPER SACK
35. Bon __: witticism MOT
36. Animal skins PELTS
37. __ v. Wade ROE
38. Diva’s big moment OPERA SOLO
41. “Another card, dealer” HIT ME
43. Citizens under Caesar ROMANS
44. Gorge CANYON
45. Pure joy ECSTASY
47. Quaint dagger DIRK
48. Controversial Nixon records TAPES
49. Blue jay or oriole BIRD
50. Down in the dumps SAD
53. Actress Thurman UMA
54. Pocketful of coins, and what literally occurs in the circled letters in five puzzle answers SPARE CHANGE
58. Mo. with the shortest day of the year DEC
59. Elaborate display ECLAT
60. The “A” in “CAT scan” AXIAL
61. Fair-hiring abbr. EOE
62. Thick-furred dog SPITZ
63. Colorful tank fish TETRA

Down
1. “The __ of the Mohicans” LAST
2. Choir voice ALTO
3. “Jeopardy!” creator Griffin MERV
4. The D-backs, on scoreboards ARI
5. Tricked by a scam ROPED IN
6. Sparkle GLEAM
7. Meg of “You’ve Got Mail” RYAN
8. Bruin legend Bobby ORR
9. Attack, to Rover SIC
10. One with a devious plan SCHEMER
11. Social gathering at a home HOUSE PARTY
12. Metal fastener RIVET
13. Bias SLANT
18. Bed support SLAT
23. Don of morning radio IMUS
24. Auto financing abbr. APR
25. Aware of HIP TO
26. Greek god of war ARES
27. Japanese wrestling SUMO
28. ‘Vette roof option T-TOP
29. Region beyond our atmosphere OUTER SPACE
30. Niagara __ FALLS
32. Showy flower PEONY
33. Crooner Perry COMO
34. Sharp KEEN
36. “The more you know” TV ads, e.g. PSAS
39. Repetitive learning ROTE
40. Builds up AMASSES
41. Construction site headgear HARD HAT
42. Bic filler INK
44. Newspaper sales no. CIRC
45. Technique-mastering piano piece ETUDE
46. Short film role CAMEO
47. “Legion of the Damned” series writer William DIETZ
49. Naughty kid BRAT
50. Cranky state SNIT
51. Biology lab gel AGAR
52. Fashion’s Oscar __ Renta DE LA
55. Narc’s find, briefly PCP
56. Boxing immortal ALI
57. Firefighter’s tool AXE

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Apr 15, Tuesday”

  1. Greetings from rainy New Orleans. Long, lazy afternoon in store at Galatoire's, i.e., the 4 hour lunch. 🙂

    The theme didn't do much for me today. The word "spare" tossed around like a few pennies? The bottom third of the grid seemed harder, not sure why. But I'll forgive and forget since there's (finally) a Dashiell HAMMETT reference.

    Slainte.

  2. NOLA and long, lazy, Sazerac infused lunches go together like the proverbial soup and sandwich (hey, that makes me want a poorboy right now!).

    Agreed about the due south part of this puzzle being definitely harder than the rest.

    Hope everyone has a great day. See you all tomorrow.

  3. I had to guess the "D" at the DIRK/DIETZ nexus. Isn't a "quaint dagger" a bit of an oxymoron?

    We're clearing up today in Houston and will be sunny the rest of the week, Willie, so you should get better weather starting tomorrow. Are you there for jazz fest?

    There are good hurricanes and bad hurricanes in New Orleans. I assume you'll just be seeing the good kind. Touristy as it is, I still love Pat O'Brien's. I met Nancy Kerrigan there once circa 2000 or so. The guy I was speaking to said, "wow if that girl behind you was a foot taller, she'd be Nancy Kerrigan."

    I turned and saw it was indeed her. Figure skaters are even shorter than they appear on tv. She was in town for some ice show. We spoke for about 60 seconds. End of story.

    Best –

  4. Well DIETZ and EISEN were unknowns.
    ECSTASY and ECSTACY were like the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other in old cartoons. ^o^
    Public Service Announcements "S"?
    What does the "S" stand for? Oh duh…plural.
    We've had DIRK before, but I still wasn't 100% sure.
    How about a puzzle with OLIVER TWISTed?
    Willie D. are you on vacation or business?
    I am NEVER ever going to fly again.
    Period.

  5. Yikes, glad I wasn't the only one to get bogged down in the South here! (I mean the puzzle, not NOLA lol.)
    Clue for 62D should a been "Gold medal swimmer Mark." I mean it's TUESDAY right? And what the heck is ECLAT?!
    The rest of the grid went quickly, although I had HEARD at first instead of HIP TO. Who says THAT?!
    Hasta mañana, amigos! Hope we hear from the rest of the gang soon…
    =-O

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