LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Apr 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: “J” Hosts Tonight … each of today’s themed answers starts with the given name of a host of “The Tonight Show”. Only those hosts whose names begin with the letter J are listed, and they’re in chronological order:

60A. With “The,” post-prime time fare since the ’50s, whose last four regular hosts appear in sequence in the answers to starred clues TONIGHT SHOW

17A. *Knave in a black suit JACK OF CLUBS (giving “Jack Paar”)
24A. *Griddle-cooked corn bread JOHNNYCAKE (giving “Johnny Carson”)
38A. *Symbol of nakedness JAYBIRD (giving “Jay Leno”)
48A. *Like a well-made lock JIMMY-PROOF (giving “Jimmy Fallon”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 06m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Russia-Manchuria border river AMUR
The Amur is a river that serves as the border between Russia and China in Manchuria. On one side of the border is Outer Manchuria (in Russia) and on the other is Inner Manchuria (in China).

11. Simile center AS A
A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

14. Esoteric ARCANE
Something that is “arcane” is something that is understood by only a few, something that might be described as mysterious.

Something described as “esoteric” is meant only for a select few with special knowledge. The term comes from the Greek “esoterikos” meaning “belonging to an inner circle”.

16. Amendments 1-10 subj. RTS
Rights (rts.)

The Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787. There have been 27 amendments to the constitution, the first ten of which are collectively called the Bill of Rights. In essence the Bill of Rights limits the power of the Federal Government and protects the rights of individuals. For example, the First Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

17. *Knave in a black suit JACK OF CLUBS (giving “Jack Paar”)
Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

We’ve been using “knave” to mean a cad since about 1200, and as an alternative name for the jack in a deck of cards since the mid-1500s. “Knave” comes from the Old English word “cnafa”, a “boy, male servant”.

20. Maldives landform ATOLL
An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring and enclosing a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.

The Maldives is an island nation consisting of two chains of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The population of over 300,000 people is distributed over 192 of inhabited islands, with about 1,000 island remaining uninhabited. The Maldives is one of the countries in the world that is most endangered by rising sea levels.

23. Tofu source SOYA
Tofu is another name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has “curdled”. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she absolutely hates it …

24. *Griddle-cooked corn bread JOHNNYCAKE (giving “Johnny Carson”)
Johnnycake is a flatbread made from cornmeal that is associated with the Atlantic coast. There are claims that johnnycake originated in Rhode Island.

Johnny Carson hosted “The Tonight Show” for thirty years, from 1962 to 1992. Although Carson was the first choice to take over the show from Jack Paar, he initially declined. Carson eventually took the job, after it had also been refused by Bob Newhart, Jackie Gleason, Groucho Marx and Joey Bishop.

28. Former Yankee manager who’s now an MLB exec TORRE
As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I’d guess that was quite a thrill for him …

29. Comedy team who voiced the Piel Brothers of beer fame BOB AND RAY
“Bob and Ray” were a comedy team who worked together for over 40 years, performing mainly on radio and television. Bob Elliott started out as disk jockey, and Ray Goulding as a news reader.

Piels Beer ran a successful ad campaign during the late fifties that featured two animated characters, brothers Bert and Harry Piel. The brothers were voiced by comedy team “Bob and Ray”. Such was the success of the campaign that Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding launched a second career for themselves as voice-over artists, and ran their own advertising voice-over company called Goulding Elliott Greybar.

37. Goya’s year ANO
Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter, often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

38. *Symbol of nakedness JAYBIRD (giving “Jay Leno”)
The phrase “naked as a jaybird” dates back at least to 1943. Before that, back into the late 1800s, the equivalent phrase was “naked as a robin”. Going back further in time, the phrase “naked as a needle” was used in the late 1500s.

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

40. Clinker in a Glas EIS
In German, there may be some ice (Eis) clinking in the glass (Glas).

41. India’s first prime minister NEHRU
Jawaharlal Nehru was the very first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor, Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru’s only daughter, Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi, though she was no relation to Mahatma).

43. Pulitzer-winning WWII journalist ERNIE PYLE
Ernie Pyle was a journalist, truly a roving reporter, never happy unless he was filing stories from some remote part of the country or some far-flung corner of the globe. Pyle was noted for his intimate style of reporting, emphasizing the human element of the story. His reports written during WWII in Europe, stressing the experiences of soldiers in the front lines, won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1944. After Germany surrendered he decided to follow the war in the Pacific. One day towards the end of the war, Pyle was traveling in a jeep on the island of le Shima in the Okinawa Islands when he was hit by enemy machine gun fire and was killed. Pyle was one of very few civilians killed during WWII who was awarded the Purple Heart.

48. *Like a well-made lock JIMMY-PROOF (giving “Jimmy Fallon”)
“Jimmy” is a variant of the word “jemmy” that is used for a type of crowbar, one associated with burglars back in the 1800s.

A crowbar is a wonderful tool, one that can be used to pry open things, and to remove nails. The claw at one or both ends of the tool aids in that nail removal, and it is likely this “claw” was said to resemble that of a crow, giving us the name “crowbar”. Back in Elizabethan times. the same tool was called an “iron crow”. There’s a line in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” that reads “Get me an iron crow and bring it straight/Unto my cell.”

Jimmy Fallon was a cast member for a number of years on “Saturday Night Live” before getting his own talk show in 2009, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”. Fallon took over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in 2014.

56. Big name in elevators OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

57. N.Y. commuter line with a Hempstead Branch LIRR
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the commuter rail service that runs all over Long Island, New York with 124 stations and 700 miles of track. More people use the LIRR than any other commuter railroad in the US. It is also the only commuter railroad in the country that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

58. Malia’s sister SASHA
Sasha is the younger of the two Obama children, born in 2001. She is the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr. moved in with his parents as a small infant. Sasha’s Secret Service codename is “Rosebud”, and her older sister Malia has the codename “Radiance”.

Malia is the oldest of the two daughters in the Obama First Family. Malia was born on Independence Day, 1998, July 4th.

59. Flight-tracking fig. ETA
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

60. With “The,” post-prime time fare since the ’50s, four of whose regular hosts appear in sequence in the answers to starred clues TONIGHT SHOW
Here’s a list of the hosts of the iconic late-night talk show, NBC’s “The Tonight Show” …

– Steve Allen (1954-57)
– Jack Paar (1957-62)
– Johnny Carson (1962-92)
– Jay Leno (1992-2009, 2010-14)
– Conan O’Brien (2009-10)
– Jimmy Fallon (2014-present)

62. Craving YEN
The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

63. Some Alcan Highway pumps ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

The Alaska Highway is also known as the Alaska-Canadian Highway or ALCAN Highway. A highway connecting the contiguous United States to Alaska was proposed in the twenties, but the Canadian authorities didn’t believe the project had much merit as the road would be used by very few of its citizens. The perceived importance of the route increased during WWII and President Roosevelt deemed the road a strategic necessity so he made a deal with Canada. The cost of construction would be born by the US, but the road and related facilities were to be handed over to Canada at the end of the war. The project was accelerated when the Japanese invaded and occupied Kiska and Attu Islands in the Aleutians. The road of course has been improved and is still in use today. The ALCAN Highway forms part of what is popularly known as the Pan-American Highway, which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the south of Argentina or Chile depending on how the route is defined.

67. “__ End”: 1970-’71 Streisand hit STONEY
“Stoney End” is a track on the album of the same name, released by Barbra Streisand in 1971. Streisand’s recording of “Stoney End” is a cover version of a song written by Laura Nyro and originally released by Peggy Lipton.

Down
1. Subjects of two Goya paintings MAJAS
María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.

2. Muse for Millay ERATO
In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of Lyric Poetry.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American poet and playwright, the third woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (in 1923 for “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver”). Millay was noted not only for her work, but also for the open arrangement that she and her husband had in their marriage. Millay took many lovers, including the poet George Dillon for whom she wrote a number of sonnets.

3. Kelley’s “Star Trek” role MCCOY
The actor DeForest Kelley is best known for playing Bones McCoy in the original “Star Trek” cast. The show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, originally offered Kelley the role of Spock, but Kelly refused it and so was given the part of the ship’s medical officer.

4. Syrup-topped pastry BAKLAVA
Baklava is a very sweet and rich (and delicious) dessert pastry made from layers of filo dough filled with nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup. The name “baklava” comes from the Ottoman Turkish name for the pastry.

5. Organic compound ENOL
An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, sort of part-alkene and part-alcohol. The term “enol” therefore, is a portmanteau of “alkene” and “alcohol”.

7. God of Islam ALLAH
The term “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So “Allah” translates as “God”.

Over 50% of the world’s population consider themselves to be adherents of the “big three” Abrahamic religions: Christianity (2-2.2 billion), Islam (1.6-1.7 billion) and Judaism (14-18 million).

11. Ed Norton player ART CARNEY
Art Carney was best known as the actor who played Ed Norton on the fifties television show “The Honeymooners”.

18. Fiscal exec CFO
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

22. Phobia lead-in ACRO-
Our prefix “acro-” comes from the Greek “akros” meaning “at the top”. Examples are “acrophobia” (fear of heights) and “Acropolis” (“city at the top”).

24. Actress Pinkett Smith JADA
Jada Pinkett Smith is an actress from Baltimore, Maryland. Pinkett Smith’s most famous role is the human rebel Niobe in “The Matrix” series of movies. Back in 1990, she auditioned for the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, to play the girlfriend of the character played by Will Smith. She didn’t get the role but did get Will Smith, as the couple were married in 1997.

31. Dvorák and Smetana BOHEMIANS
Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.

Antonín Dvořák was a composer from Czechoslovakia who spent three years working and composing in the United States. He was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York from 1892 to 1895. Certainly here in the US, Dvořák’s best known work is his Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”, which is often referred to as “The New World Symphony”.

Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer, known as the father of Czech music. Just like Beethoven, Smetana was still composing at the end of his life even though he was totally deaf.

32. Deli option RYE
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

33. Like many dicts. ABR
Abridged (abr.)

34. Feminine force YIN
The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

39. Jazz solo RIFF
A “riff” is a short rhythmic phrase in music, especially one improvised on a guitar.

44. Artist who had a Blue Period PICASSO
Picasso’s Blue Period refers to his works completed between 1901 and 1904. All his paintings in the era were basically monochromatic, using different shades of blue. HIs best-known work from the period is “The Old Guitarist”, which you can see at the Art Institute of Chicago.

48. Young hoppers JOEYS
“Joey” is the name given to all infant marsupials, not just kangaroos. No one really seems to know for sure what the etymology is of the term “joey”.

50. Hunter seen at night ORION
The very recognizable constellation of Orion is 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 …

51. Kin of gov ORG
The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

– .com (commercial enterprise)
– .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
– .mil (US military)
– .org (not-for-profit organization)
– .gov (US federal government entity)
– .edu (college-level educational institution)

54. French wine region RHONE
The Rhône wine region of France is home to my favorite appellation, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

58. Editor’s mark STET
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

60. Vietnamese holiday TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Senate electee MEMBER
7. Russia-Manchuria border river AMUR
11. Simile center AS A
14. Esoteric ARCANE
15. Without help LONE
16. Amendments 1-10 subj. RTS
17. *Knave in a black suit JACK OF CLUBS (giving “Jack Paar”)
19. Prefix with state TRI-
20. Maldives landform ATOLL
21. Taxi pickup FARE
22. Corrosive compound ACID
23. Tofu source SOYA
24. *Griddle-cooked corn bread JOHNNYCAKE (giving “Johnny Carson”)
26. By way of VIA
28. Former Yankee manager who’s now an MLB exec TORRE
29. Comedy team who voiced the Piel Brothers of beer fame BOB AND RAY
35. Things to avoid NO-NOS
37. Goya’s year ANO
38. *Symbol of nakedness JAYBIRD (giving “Jay Leno”)
40. Clinker in a Glas EIS
41. India’s first prime minister NEHRU
43. Pulitzer-winning WWII journalist ERNIE PYLE
45. Learns HEARS
47. Casual day, perhaps: Abbr. FRI
48. *Like a well-made lock JIMMY-PROOF (giving “Jimmy Fallon”)
52. Low-__ diet CARB
56. Big name in elevators OTIS
57. N.Y. commuter line with a Hempstead Branch LIRR
58. Malia’s sister SASHA
59. Flight-tracking fig. ETA
60. With “The,” post-prime time fare since the ’50s, four of whose regular hosts appear in sequence in the answers to starred clues TONIGHT SHOW
62. Craving YEN
63. Some Alcan Highway pumps ESSO
64. Email again RESEND
65. Soon-to-be grads: Abbr. SRS
66. Afterwards THEN
67. “__ End”: 1970-’71 Streisand hit STONEY

Down
1. Subjects of two Goya paintings MAJAS
2. Muse for Millay ERATO
3. Kelley’s “Star Trek” role MCCOY
4. Syrup-topped pastry BAKLAVA
5. Organic compound ENOL
6. One who whistles while he works REF
7. God of Islam ALLAH
8. Grieve MOURN
9. Not having yielded UNBENT
10. Hi-__ image RES
11. Ed Norton player ART CARNEY
12. Drill successfully STRIKE OIL
13. Parenthetical comment ASIDE
18. Fiscal exec CFO
22. Phobia lead-in ACRO-
24. Actress Pinkett Smith JADA
25. Over there YONDER
27. Strain or sprain INJURY
29. Interdict BAN
30. Game that’s close to perfect ONE-HITTER
31. Dvorák and Smetana BOHEMIANS
32. Deli option RYE
33. Like many dicts. ABR
34. Feminine force YIN
36. Kalamazoo-to-Cincinnati dir. SSE
39. Jazz solo RIFF
42. Lambs’ kin RAMS
44. Artist who had a Blue Period PICASSO
46. Jumping-in-puddles sound SPLOSH
48. Young hoppers JOEYS
49. Car wash cycle RINSE
50. Hunter seen at night ORION
51. Kin of gov ORG
53. Pale ASHEN
54. French wine region RHONE
55. Off-color BAWDY
58. Editor’s mark STET
60. Vietnamese holiday TET
61. Billing nos. HRS

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5 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Apr 15, Wednesday”

  1. This seemed unusually easy for a Wednesday. I'm not convinced about "naked as a jaybird" having anything to do with "naked as a Robin" – just saying! (g)

  2. The theme was easy enough and it definitely helped solve the puzzle.

    When I first read the main theme clue, I thought there might be something about late night talk shows in general. With David Letterman retiring in a couple of weeks, I was kind of disappointed he wasn't mentioned at all. It was a Tonight Show only theme…

    Back at it tomorrow

  3. What's up with that "game that's close to perfect" clue!??!
    A perfect game means NO ONE reaches base; no walks, no base on errors. How many perfect games have there been in baseball, like 12??! Really mad at that clue!!
    Especially since I SAW a perfect game once — the Expos' Dennis Martinez against the Dodgers, about 1994. Now THAT was a game! Had great seats too.
    Oh well…

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