LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Apr 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeffrey Wechsler
THEME: Sniff … each of our themed answers today is clued with a [sniff], with the answer being what one might say on making that [sniff].

20A. [sniff] I’VE CAUGHT A COLD
37A. [sniff] THIS IS REALLY SAD
56A. [sniff] WHAT’S THAT SMELL?

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … MIA (Mya), MILORD (My Lord)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Bit of plankton ALGA
Plankton are organisms that float in water and are incapable of swimming against a current. There are three general classifications of plankton:

– Phytoplankton, which live on the surface and use light for photosynthesis.
– Zooplankton, small animals that mainly feed on other plankton.
– Bacterioplankton, the bacterial component of plankton.

5. Venus and Mars ORBS
The planet Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, after our Moon.

The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!

9. Actress Thompson of “Veronica Mars” TESSA
Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”.

“Veronica Mars” is a TV show starring Kristen Bell in the title role. Mars is a student who also works as a private investigator.

14. Small deer ROES
Roe deer are found mainly in Europe. They would be the deer shown on television and in movies when Robin Hood was out hunting in Sherwood Forest.

15. Roman numerals may be seen on one DIAL
Strangely enough, when Roman numerals are used on the face of a clock, the number 4 is represented “incorrectly” as IIII, rather than IV. However, the number 9 is represented “correctly” as IX. There are a number of theories to explain this, and no matter which is correct, I still find the dichotomy quite interesting!

16. Coveted annual honor OSCAR
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

19. Caroler’s wear, often SCARF
The word “carol” came into English via the Old French word “carole”, which was a “dance in a ring”. When “carol” made it into English, about 1300 AD, the term was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

20. [sniff] I’VE CAUGHT A COLD
The common cold is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are over 200 strains of virus that are known to cause the disease.

22. Sun. speech SER
A sermon (ser.) is a Sunday (Sun.) message.

23. Expressive music genre EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

24. Sport fishing quarry MARLIN
The fish called a marlin takes its name from the sailor’s took called a marlinspike. The long nose of the marlin might indeed be described as a “spike”. A marlinspike is used by sailors when working with rope, untying knots or perhaps splicing. The name of the tool comes from the practice of “marling”, which is the winding of twine around the ends of a larger piece of rope to prevent it from unravelling.

26. Way around London TRAM
A tram is a means of public transportation that runs on rails laid along the length of streets in cities and towns. Trams might also be referred to as trolleys or streetcars.

Trams were a common form of transport in London starting with horse-drawn versions in 1860. Trams were gradually replaced by diesel buses after WWII, with the last tram running in 1952. Even though the trams disappeared in the early fifties, many of the rails that carried the trams remained in some streets for many years afterwards (I remember them well as a child). A new generation of tram, a so-called light-rail system, was introduced in London in 2000.

28. Debatable skill ESP
Extrasensory perception (ESP)

36. Shepherd’s __ PIE
Shepherd’s pie, also known as cottage pie, is one of my favorite dishes. It is a meat pie (although my wife makes a vegetarian version), with a crust made from mashed potato.

41. “Jingle Bells” contraction O’ER
The traditional Christmas song “Jingle Bells” was first published in 1857, penned by James Lord Pierpont. We associate the song with Christmas, although in fact Pierpont wrote it as a celebration of Thanksgiving.

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

42. Some road signals BLINKERS
A car’s turn signals are more formally referred to as “directional indicators”, and indeed in Ireland we usually just called them “indicators”. Other casual terms used here in North America seem to be “blinkers” and “flashers”.

45. Otoscope user, for short ENT
An otoscope is that instrument that an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT) uses to look into the interior of your ears.

46. Hurricane __ LAMP
A hurricane lamp is a kerosene lantern that is portable and designed for outdoor use.

52. Inflation meas. PSI
Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

55. “Alice in Wonderland” (2010) star Wasikowska MIA
Mia Wasikowska is an Australian actress. Wasikowska’s breakthrough role was playing the title character in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010. The only movie I’ve seen her in though is 2011’s “Jane Eyre”, a pretty good adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic, I thought …

64. NYC-to-Montauk system 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.

67. Cocker spaniel of film LADY
“Lady and the Tramp” is a classic animated feature from Walt Disney, released in 1955. Who can forget the scene where the Tramp and Lady are “on a date” and together eat that one strand of spaghetti? So cute!

The Cocker Spaniel originated in the UK, where the breed was developed for hunting the Eurasian Woodcock. It is the hunting of the woodcock that led to the breed’s name.

Down
3. Canis and Felis GENERA
Biological classification is a method used to group organisms by biological type. The method uses a hierarchy of nested classes, with an organism being classified with reference to evolutionary traits. The major taxonomic ranks used are:

– Life
– Domain
– Kingdom
– Phylum (plural “phyla”)
– Class
– Order
– Family
– Genus (plural “genera”)
– Species

The genus Canis includes dogs, wolves, coyotes and jackals. “Canis” is Latin for “dog”.

The genus Felis includes the domestic cat and other small, wild cats. The Latin word for “cat” is “feles”.

5. Disgust ODIUM
“Odium” is a strong dislike or aversion. The term is Latin in origin and relates to the Latin word “odi” meaning “I hate”.

6. “Don’t Pass Me By” songwriter RINGO
“Don’t Pass Me By” is a 1968 song recorded by the Beatles. Unusually enough, the song was written by drummer Ringo Starr, several years before its first release on the White Album. In fact, while pulling together the White Album, the song’s working title was simply “Ringo’s Tune”.

7. Bad thing to take in Vegas? BATH
In old gambling slang, if you lost all of your money you were “cleaned out”. This expression evolved into the phrase “to take a bath”, meaning “to lose everything”.

8. Pinball machine feature SLOT
Our modern game of pinball evolved from an earlier table game called bagatelle which used balls, pins and holes (and I remember playing bagatelle as boy in a pub in Ireland). The first “pinball” machine was made by a British inventor who settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. He modified the game of bagatelle, adding a coiled spring and a plunger to introduce balls at the end of the table, a device that is still in use today. From there, manufacturers developed coin-operated versions of pinball, which became popular during the depression as they provided a little entertainment for a few pennies. One distributor of the coin-operated pinball machines started manufacturing them himself as he couldn’t source new games fast enough. He called his pinball game Ballyhoo, and eventually named his company Bally, a brand name well known in the gambling industry to this day.

9. 1900 Teatro Costanzi premiere TOSCA
Unlike so many operas, “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America, although I’ve only seen it once myself.

11. Food often served seared SCALLOPS
A scallop is a marine mollusk that is served as seafood. Scallops are often served baked in milk and this method of preparation has become known as “scalloping”. So, scalloped potatoes are potatoes baked in milk.

12. Autonomous region of Italy SARDINIA
Sardinia is an autonomous region of Italy, an island in the Mediterranean off the west coast of the country. It lies to the south of the French island of Corsica. Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean (Sicily is the largest).

18. Actor Daniel __ Kim DAE
Daniel Dae Kim is an American actor who is famous for playing Jin-Soo Kwon on “Lost”. Kim now plays one of the leads on the CBS remake of “Hawaii Five-O”, portraying the character Chin Ho Kelly.

21. Pharmaceutical container AMPULE
An ampule is a sealed vial that is commonly used to hold pharmaceuticals. Ampoules are usually made from glass, and are opened by snapping off the neck of the container.

27. Classic two-seated roadsters MGS
My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG acronym standing for “Morris Garages”.

33. The Skerries in the 39-Down, e.g. ISLETS
The Skerries are a group of islets of the coast of Wales in the Irish Sea. “Skerry” is mainly a Scottish word meaning “small, rocky island”. There’s a lot of SCUBA diving around the Skerries as they were the site of many shipwrecks over the centuries. Because of the dangerous landfall, there has been a Skerries Lighthouse on the largest island since 1716. I remember that lighthouse as a welcome sight when crossing the Irish Sea in my sailing days, many, many moons ago …

34. Yeats’ home ERIN
Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.

35. Camera shop offering, briefly SLR
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.

37. “The Wind in the Willows” figure TOAD
“The Wind in the Willows” is a classic children’s novel first published in 1908. Featured in the story are characters such as Mole, Ratty, Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger. The story’s author was Kenneth Grahame, a man who held the exalted position of Secretary of the Bank of England.

39. View from Liverpool IRISH SEA
Liverpool is a large port city in the northwest of England, located on the estuary of the River Mersey. With a sense of humor that is typical of the area, people from Liverpool are often called “Liverpudlians”. The term comes from the jocular “Liver-puddle”, a diminutive of “Liver-pool”.

40. Fashion monogram YSL
Yves Saint-Laurent was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint-Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint-Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from prison, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

44. Crown jewels item DIADEM
A diadem is a type of crown that is worn as a sign of royalty. The original “diadem” wasn’t made of metal and was simply an embroidered silk ribbon that was worn by a king as a symbol of his authority.

47. First name in aviation history AMELIA
Amelia Earhart is as famous today as she was during her lifetime. When she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress, and the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government. She made two attempts to circumnavigate the globe by air (not solo). Her first attempt in March 1937 had to be abandoned when her aircraft was damaged during takeoff. The second attempt in June/July of the same year ended when Earhart and her navigator disappeared flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island in the Central Pacific.

54. NetZero, e.g.: Abbr. ISP
NetZero was launched in 1998 and was the first free Internet Service Provider (ISP). NetZero’s idea was to provide targeted advertising to users, based on what users liked to view online. It’s a little like Google’s business model, providing advertising based on Internet surfing patterns.

60. Ed.’s pile MSS
An editor (ed.) might be faced with a pile of manuscripts (MSs).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bit of plankton ALGA
5. Venus and Mars ORBS
9. Actress Thompson of “Veronica Mars” TESSA
14. Small deer ROES
15. Roman numerals may be seen on one DIAL
16. Coveted annual honor OSCAR
17. Very aware of TUNED INTO
19. Caroler’s wear, often SCARF
20. [sniff] I’VE CAUGHT A COLD
22. Sun. speech SER
23. Expressive music genre EMO
24. Sport fishing quarry MARLIN
26. Way around London TRAM
28. Debatable skill ESP
30. Manner of speaking TONE
31. Rueful GRIEVOUS
36. Shepherd’s __ PIE
37. [sniff] THIS IS REALLY SAD
41. “Jingle Bells” contraction O’ER
42. Some road signals BLINKERS
43. Desertlike ARID
45. Otoscope user, for short ENT
46. Hurricane __ LAMP
50. Knock it off DESIST
52. Inflation meas. PSI
55. “Alice in Wonderland” (2010) star Wasikowska MIA
56. [sniff] WHAT’S THAT SMELL?
60. Botch MISDO
61. Cockpit option AUTOPILOT
62. Expensive STEEP
63. Not at all pleasant GRIM
64. NYC-to-Montauk system LIRR
65. Frauds SHAMS
66. Barnyard meal SLOP
67. Cocker spaniel of film LADY

Down
1. Recording __ ARTIST
2. Vent opening LOUVER
3. Canis and Felis GENERA
4. “Give me __” A SEC
5. Disgust ODIUM
6. “Don’t Pass Me By” songwriter RINGO
7. Bad thing to take in Vegas? BATH
8. Pinball machine feature SLOT
9. 1900 Teatro Costanzi premiere TOSCA
10. Go with ESCORT
11. Food often served seared SCALLOPS
12. Autonomous region of Italy SARDINIA
13. Dog’s declaration ARF!
18. Actor Daniel __ Kim DAE
21. Pharmaceutical container AMPULE
25. Grant factor NEED
27. Classic two-seated roadsters MGS
28. It happens EVENT
29. Overcharge SOAK
32. Barbecue morsel RIB
33. The Skerries in the 39-Down, e.g. ISLETS
34. Yeats’ home ERIN
35. Camera shop offering, briefly SLR
37. “The Wind in the Willows” figure TOAD
38. Legalese adverb HEREWITH
39. View from Liverpool IRISH SEA
40. Fashion monogram YSL
44. Crown jewels item DIADEM
47. First name in aviation history AMELIA
48. Upper-class address MILORD
49. Insignificant PALTRY
51. Conductor’s calls STOPS
52. Cookout site PATIO
53. Tread heavily STOMP
54. NetZero, e.g.: Abbr. ISP
57. Puts (out) TAGS
58. Throw hard HURL
59. Paper or pepper source MILL
60. Ed.’s pile MSS

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7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Apr 15, Thursday”

  1. Good Morning everyone!

    I know, I haven't been here
    for a while.

    This one started out real slow.
    I made the same mistake as Bill,
    putting in a "Y" for Milord.

    Of course the proper names didn't help.
    They are always my downfall.

    As for my absence I can only offer
    this Excuse 🙂
    Have a great day all!

  2. Hello Addict ! Glad to have you back.

    Rather difficult, so I limped slowly. I can't believe, even Bill makes mistakes…

    Couldn't sleep (long story -) so tried the crosswords. I enjoyed Bill's blog and learnt a lot.

    Just like the query about the symbols, IV and IIII on a clock dial, – I have a question –

    Why do the number keys appear on most, typical, caculator keypad, in the descending order, while the ones on a telephone touch tone keypad, in the ascending order ?

    Have a nice day, all.

  3. My last day in the Big Easy will be punctuated with a giant dinner at Commander's Palace.

    LIRR has been used 3 times in the past 5 days (5 if you include the NYT). If this doesn't indicate collusion, sell me that bridge in Brooklyn. I think we all had the same error at MIA/MILORD. Other groaners include ALGA and ROES.

    Lazily yours.

  4. I finally completed this puzzle. I began with the NW corner like I always do. Nothing. Went to the N top. Nothing. At some point I felt like if I got half of this sucker done I'd be happy. But really, again with putting the grid down for a while while I started a load of laundry and cleaned up in the kitchen and then I began to make some headway.

    Have a great Thursday everyone and I am both living vicariously through Willie D's NOLA visit and turning bright green with envy!

  5. Had a hard time getting any traction at all in this puzzle. I find the more stressed I am about my day, the worse I do at these things.

    My paper had 27D as classic two seated roadster (i.e. singular) so MGS (plural) made no sense to me. Mark that ONE down as not my fault.

    Groaner of the day for me was Inflation meas. PSI…I had CPI – Consumer Price Index. Wrong inflation….

    Best –

  6. On 7 down, "bad thing to take in Vegas" my first thought was OATH, as in "I do." The cross word doesn't work, but I still like my answer better! 🙂

  7. Hi Bill and all the gang!
    ADDICT!!!! You're baaaack!
    Haven't heard from you since the end of the year. Didn't you hear me calling you? (March 30, 2015)
    I don't get your excuse, sorry. Anyway, you're OK.

    Jeffrey Wechsler's clues are of no help whatsoever,IMO.I only had a handful of answers and was hopelessly stymied by this bear.
    20A had I*********COLD.
    Had OSCAR, SCALLOPS,PIE, TOSCA, AMELIA & ARF!
    I wasn't in the mood to do anything except go to the answers and Groan(OUT LOUD).

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