LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Apr 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jim Quinlan
THEME: A Doubled Letter … each of the themed answers is a common phrase that starts with a two-letter word, but the second letter of that word has been repeated to give us a three-letter word instead:

18A. Quibble about accommodations? INN DISPUTE (from “in dispute”)
27A. Marshmallow that’s been toasted too long? GOO UP IN FLAMES (from “go up in flames”)
48A. Small group of tiny monarchs? WEE THREE KINGS (from “We Three Kings”)
63A. Worthless buzzer? BEE OF NO USE (from “be of no use”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Spell JINX
A jinx is a charm or a spell, and the word “jinx” comes from an older word “jyng” from the 17th-century. A “jyng” was another word for the wryneck, a type of bird much used in witchcraft.

5. Traitor JUDAS
A “judas” is a treacherous person, and a term derived from the disciple named Judas Iscariot. Judas was paid thirty pieces of silver to identify Jesus so that he could be arrested. He did so with a kiss, at which point he was taken by the soldiers of the High Priest Caiaphas and handed over to Pontius Pilate, the prefect of the Roman province of Judea.

10. Letters causing a rush ASAP
As soon as possible (ASAP)

16. Bonkers LOCO
In Spanish, if one isn’t sane (sano) one might be described as crazy (loco).

The word “bonkers” meaning “crazy” originated in the fifties. The term might come from navy slang meaning “slightly drunk”, behaving as though one received a “bonk” on the head.

20. Zeus’ beginning? ZETA
One might surmise that the word “Zeus” starts with the Greek letter zeta.

Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the name “zed”, which became “zee”, the pronunciation that we use here in the US.

In Greek mythology, Zeus was the ruler of the gods of Mount Olympus. He was also the god of the sky and thunder. The Roman equivalent of Zeus was Jupiter.

22. Director Burton TIM
Movie director and producer Tim Burton makes my least favorite types of movie: dark, gothic, horror fantasies. The list of his titles includes “Edward Scissorhands”, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Sweeney Todd”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Alice in Wonderland”. Also included in each of these movies is Johnny Depp in a starring role, as Depp and Burton are good friends and frequent collaborators. Another frequent star in Burton movies is English actress Helena Bonham Carter, who has been his domestic partner since 2001.

25. “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” duettist MATHIS
Johnny Mathis had to face a tough choice in 1956. Mathis was a talented high jumper in college and was invited to try out for the US Olympic team destined for the Melbourne Games. At the same time he was scheduled to make his first recordings, in New York. Mathis opted to go to the Big Apple.

“Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” was a hit duet released in 1978 by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams. It was a comeback song for Johnny Mathis to some extent, as it was his first chart topper in over two decades.

27. Marshmallow that’s been toasted too long? GOO UP IN FLAMES (from “go up in flames”)
Marshmallow was originally made from a paste from the root of the mallow plant. The mallow plant grows near salt marshes, and is sometimes called the “marsh mallow”. Hence the name of the confection. Unexpected, but interesting …

33. 4×4, e.g. ATV
All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

34. “1984” worker PROLE
George Orwell introduced us to the “proles”, the working class folk in his famous novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Collectively, the proles make up the section of society known as the proletariat.

42. Start of Operation Overlord D-DAY
The Allied Invasion of Normandy during WWII was given the codename “Operation Overlord”. The Normandy landings that kicked off the invasion on D-Day (6 June 1944) were given the codename “Operation Neptune”.

48. Small group of tiny monarchs? WEE THREE KINGS (from “We Three Kings”)
The Christmas carol “We Three Kings” is a favorite of mine. The carol was written in 1857 by the rector of an Episcopal church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania called John Henry Hopkins, Jr. Hopkins composed “We Three Kings” for a Christmas pageant in New York City.

51. Google, say SEARCH
The search engine “Google” was originally called “BackRub” would you believe? The name was eventually changed to Google, an intentional misspelling of the word “googol”. A googol is a pretty big number, 10 to the power of 100. That would be the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros.

54. “A Bug’s Life” extra ANT
“A Bug’s Life” is a 1998 animated feature film from Pixar. The storyline is based on the film “The Seven Samurai” and the fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper”.

67. Bridge expert on some “Sports Illustrated” covers GOREN
Charles Goren was a world champion bridge player from Philadelphia. Goren published many books on the subject, and had a daily bridge column that appeared in almost 200 newspapers. He even had a weekly column in “Sports Illustrated”. Goren introduced several techniques and systems that eventually became part of the modern Standard American bidding system that is used by many bridge players today (including me!).

68. Mozart’s “a” EINE
“Eine” is the German indefinite article, used with feminine nouns.

The composer Mozart’s full name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The name “Wolfgang” translates literally as “wolf journey”. Amadeus translates as “love god”!

69. Soft-spoken painter Bob ROSS
Bob Ross was an artist and art instructor. Ross created and appeared in the long-running PBS show “The Joy of Painting”, a show which provided instructions for budding artists.

70. Irish hero, briefly ST PAT
There is a fair amount known about St. Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as St. Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

71. Pringles competitor STAX
Stax is a brand name of potato snack made by Lay’s. Stax are similar to its famous competitor, Pringles.

Down
1. Now hyphen-less rapper JAY Z
Jay Z, as well as being a successful and very rich rap artist, is married to singer Beyonce.

2. “Dies __” IRAE
“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

3. Spotted aquarium dweller NEWT
No, not Mr. Gingrich …

4. Film estate with a championship golf course XANADU
In the 1941 film “Citizen Kane”, the newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane builds himself an immense and opulent estate on the Florida coast called Xanadu. Xanadu boasts a Venetian-style canal, complete with gondolas, and a well-stocked zoo. There is also a championship golf course. The estate was inspired by Hearst Castle, the California mansion owned by William Randolph Hearst.

6. __ Reader UTNE
The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The “Utne Reader” was founded in 1984, with “Utne” being the family name of the couple that started the publication.

9. Stain STIGMA
A stigma (plural “stigmata), in a social sense, is a distinguishing mark of disgrace. For example, one might have to suffer the stigma of being in prison. The term derives from the Greek “stigma”, which was a mark or brand.

10. European attraction ALP
There are eight Alpine countries in total:

– Austria
– Slovenia
– France
– Switzerland
– Liechtenstein
– Germany
– Monaco
– Italy

11. Independent country since 2011 SOUTH SUDAN
South Sudan is an African country that gained her independence in 2011, after a split with Sudan. Sadly, the new nation has been ravaged by a civil war since 2013.

12. When Hamlet says, “The play’s the thing … ” ACT II
In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, the title character speaks the lines:

I’ll have grounds
More relative than this—the play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.

Prince Hamlet is trying to prove to himself that King Claudius murdered the former king, Hamlet’s father. He decides to insert a few lines about regicide into a play that is to be performed at court. The hope is that Claudius will react to the reference, hence convincing Hamlet of the new king’s guilt.

13. Dickinson output POEMS
On a roadtrip around the country a few years ago, my wife and I had a very disappointing stop in Amherst, Massachusetts intending to visit the old home of Emily Dickinson. We hadn’t done our homework and failed to note that the home was only open for tours on certain days of the week, and not the day we were there (so be warned!). Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily’s younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and it was published in batches over the coming decades.

24. Trivia Crack, e.g. APP
Trivia Crack is a trivia game played on smartphones that was launched in 2013. The app was developed by a company in Buenos Aires and originally focused on a Latin American audience. Trivia Crack is now available in ten different languages, including English, and became the most downloaded game in Apple’s App Store in December 2014.

28. One of the Ringling brothers OTTO
The Ringling Brothers started their circus in 1884 when Barnum & Bailey already had a popular circus that was touring the Midwest. There were six Ringling Brothers in all, and they grew their business at a phenomenal rate. The circus moved from town-to-town by train, extending their reach to the eastern seaboard. So great was their success that the Ringling Brothers purchased the Barnum & Bailey operation in 1907.

30. __ Star NORTH
Because the orientation of the Earth’s axis shifts, albeit very slowly, the position of north relative to the stars changes over time. The bright star that is closest to true north is Polaris, and so we call Polaris the North Star or Pole Star. 14,000 years ago, the nearest bright star to true north was Vega, and it will be so again in about 12,000 years time.

31. Circular FLIER
A fly sheet is a piece of paper on which information is printed, usually to be distributed. A fly sheet is also known as a “flier”.

32. Chevy’s “American Pie” destination LEVEE
In his iconic song “American Pie”, Don McLean “drove [his] Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry”. These lines are reference to a series of TV commercials for Chevrolet in the fifties in which Dinah Shore sang the words:

Drive your Chevrolet through the USA,
America’s the greatest land of all.
On a highway or a road along a levee …
… life is completer in a Chevy.
So make a date today to see the USA
And see it in your Chevrolet.

36. Woolen yarn RAGG
Ragg wool is a yarn made from one strand of dyed wool and one strand of undyed wool.

44. Joe sans jolt DECAF
It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.

46. Take on moguls SKI
Moguls are the series of bumps in the surface of snow that arise naturally as a succession of skiers make turns on a slope.

49. The Cat in the Hat’s numbered cohorts THINGS
“The Cat in the Hat” is a Dr. Seuss book that was first published in 1957. The Cat in the Hat is a six-foot tall creature wearing a red-and-white striped hat who arrives in the house of girl named Sally. The Cat in the Hat brings with him two animals with blue hair and red suits that are called Thing One and Thing Two.

51. Word with tooth or saw SABER
The extinct creature that we often refer to as the saber-toothed tiger wasn’t a tiger at all, and is more properly known as the saber-toothed cat.

52. Año starter ENERO
In Spanish, the year (el año) starts in January (enero) and ends in December (diciembre).

56. Repeated word in “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” ROOT
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is a 1908 song that is traditionally sung during the seventh inning stretch of a baseball game. Even though the song has is now inextricably linked to baseball, neither of the two composers had ever been to a game before they wrote it.

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Just buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.

61. Radius neighbor ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

64. ’40s spy org. OSS
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Spell JINX
5. Traitor JUDAS
10. Letters causing a rush ASAP
14. Property measurement AREA
15. Flopped financially ATE IT
16. Bonkers LOCO
17. Response to a drone YAWN
18. Quibble about accommodations? INN DISPUTE (from “in dispute”)
20. Zeus’ beginning? ZETA
21. Forgives LETS GO
22. Director Burton TIM
23. Little bit DAB
25. “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” duettist MATHIS
27. Marshmallow that’s been toasted too long? GOO UP IN FLAMES (from “go up in flames”)
33. 4×4, e.g. ATV
34. “1984” worker PROLE
35. Get used (to) INURE
38. Assembly stage STEP
40. Hit from a tee DRIVE
42. Start of Operation Overlord D-DAY
43. Scrutinized, with “over” PORED
45. Abounds TEEMS
47. Generation AGE
48. Small group of tiny monarchs? WEE THREE KINGS (from “We Three Kings”)
51. Google, say SEARCH
53. Canyon part RIM
54. “A Bug’s Life” extra ANT
55. It might blow up in a crash AIRBAG
59. Shade at the shore AQUA
63. Worthless buzzer? BEE OF NO USE (from “be of no use”)
65. [I’m doomed] GULP
66. Goes wrong ERRS
67. Bridge expert on some “Sports Illustrated” covers GOREN
68. Mozart’s “a” EINE
69. Soft-spoken painter Bob ROSS
70. Irish hero, briefly ST PAT
71. Pringles competitor STAX

Down
1. Now hyphen-less rapper JAY Z
2. “Dies __” IRAE
3. Spotted aquarium dweller NEWT
4. Film estate with a championship golf course XANADU
5. “Avian” for whom flight is often futile JAILBIRD
6. __ Reader UTNE
7. It may be hammered out DENT
8. Help providers AIDS
9. Stain STIGMA
10. European attraction ALP
11. Independent country since 2011 SOUTH SUDAN
12. When Hamlet says, “The play’s the thing … ” ACT II
13. Dickinson output POEMS
19. “Amen!” SO AM I!
24. Trivia Crack, e.g. APP
26. Mind TEND
27. Horrified reaction GASP
28. One of the Ringling brothers OTTO
29. Drowns in the garden OVERWATERS
30. __ Star NORTH
31. Circular FLIER
32. Chevy’s “American Pie” destination LEVEE
36. Woolen yarn RAGG
37. Socket set EYES
39. Review target PEER
41. Newly formed EMERGENT
44. Joe sans jolt DECAF
46. Take on moguls SKI
49. The Cat in the Hat’s numbered cohorts THINGS
50. Visuals IMAGES
51. Word with tooth or saw SABER
52. Año starter ENERO
56. Repeated word in “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” ROOT
57. Do a new mom’s job BURP
58. On a cruise ASEA
60. Gave notice QUIT
61. Radius neighbor ULNA
62. Pinnacle APEX
64. ’40s spy org. OSS

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Apr 15, Friday”

  1. Again with the "one stinking letter" away from solving this puzzle. Not being much, if any, of a smart phone user I had no clue that 24 Down "Trivia Crack e.g." was looking for "app" as the answer. So I had a "t" in the middle making 24 Down wrong and 27 Across wrong with that damn "t"!

    Oh, well…I'll get 'em tomorrow…(g)

    Hope everyone has a great weekend, or at least a good one.

  2. Not a bad puzzle even though the subject of torque never came up 🙂 I had one hiccup that kept me from completing it. A few other issues slowed me down e.g. SUV instead of ATV and ICE T instead of JAYZ..rappers are not my forte. Give the setter credit for finding crosses for X, Z and Q the way he did. The theme definitely helped me finish.

    I read 1984 a long time ago….i.e. when 1984 was still in the future. I Googled the book when I finished the puzzle to remind me of a few things about it. The scary part of it is that what Orwell warns of is every bit as relevant today as it was back then – perhaps even more so. Yikes.

    Speaking of Orwellian experiences, I get to go renew my drivers license now. Oh boy!!

    Best-

  3. Tough puzzle!
    I really thought I was going nowhere. "Look Up" for SEARCH. NEon for NEWT. Liked the theme and favorite was GOO UP IN FLAMES.
    Total WAG for THINGS/GOREN.
    Have a good weekend, all!

  4. Definitely tougher than yesterday. The theme was OK, and I agree with Jeff about giving credit for crossing x'es and q's. Unfortunately some of the resulting fill was pretty weak.

    I fact checked GOREN, and he actually appeared on a Sports Illustrated cover in 1957. And I hope by now everyone knows STPAT didn't drive real snakes from Ireland. It's a metaphor. There's also a school of thought that Patrick was actually a Gaul named Palladius, who was sent by the Pope to convert Ireland in 431–the same year legend says Patrick arrived to begin his mission. Oh, well.

    I presume this grid appeared because of JUDAS.

  5. Wow, pretty easy for a Friday, I thought. I only peeked at 4 answers — definitely a personal best for Fridays. Good puzzle, and the theme helped me too. Will likely pass over Saturday's puzzle, tho (see what I did there?! 😉 )
    Enjoy the weekend, all– Carrie out!

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