LA Times Crossword Answers 4 Apr 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Lieb
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 21m 16s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 7 … PALE HOSE (Paleh One!), FAC (TAC), NEREUS (Nereos), UNO DOS (I no dos!!!), ESS (Ens.), MIKE TROUT (Mike Troot), FUN SPONGE (tin sponge) … sports and pop culture is my downfall … a disaster!

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Franchise spawned in the ’60s STAR TREK
When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, TNG is the best of the whole franchise …

15. White Sox nickname, with “the” PALE HOSE
The Chicago White Sox have been nicknamed “the Pale Hose” since the early 20th century. The moniker is simply a play on “white” (pale) “socks” (hose).

16. Longtime Ottoman Empire territory BOSNIA
Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of six federal units in former Yugoslavia that gained independence after the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. There are three main ethnic groups in Bosnia. The largest group are the Bosniaks, the second the Bosnian Serbs, and the third the Bosnian Croats. The

17. Donkey in “Shrek” et al. ANIMAL SIDEKICKS
Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

21. Worked (up) HET
Someone who is “het up” is “worked up, angry”. “Het” is an archaic word meaning “heated”.

24. NFLer Ronnie for whom a defensive award is named LOTT
Ronnie Lott is a former NFL footballer who played most of his professional career with the San Francisco 49ers. After Lott retired, he co-founded the investment firm HRJ Capital with Harris Barton and Joe Montana (the H and J in “HRJ”). HRJ was in business for nine years but collapsed in 2009.

27. Land overseas TERRE
“Terre” is French for “ground, earth”.

28. Univ. staff FAC
Here in North America, the academic staff of a university are known as “faculty”.

32. Organization level ECHELON
We use the word “echelon” (ech.) to describe a rank or level, particularly in the military. The term comes from French, in which language it has the same meaning, although the original meaning in Old French is “rung of a ladder”.

34. Sam Samudio’s spoken opening in “Wooly Bully” UNO, DOS …
“Wooly Bully” was a hit in 1965 for the outrageous rock and roll band Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. The song was written by the band’s lead singer, Sam Samudio. “Wooly Bully” was the first million-selling American single after the onset of the British Invasion.

36. Sea-dwelling Greek god NEREUS
The Greek sea god named Nereus was the son of Pontus, the personification of the sea, and Gaia, the personification of the Earth. Nereus lived in the Aegean Sea with Doris. With Doris, Nereus fathered fifty daughters who were collectively known as the Nereids. There was also one son, named Nerites.

37. Most populous OPEC nation NIGERIA
Nigeria is in West Africa, and it takes its name from the Niger River which flows through the country. Nigeria is the most populous country on the continent, with over 170 million inhabitants. It is also the most populous member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

40. It merged with Sprint in 1983 GTE
The company that we know today as Sprint has a history that is linked with the Southern Pacific railroad company. Southern Pacific developed a microwave communication system for its internal use across its network using rights-of-way associated with the company’s extensive railway lines. In the early seventies, the company laid huge lengths of fiber optic cable in those rights-of-way, alongside the tracks, primarily for internal use. The railroad sold excess fiber capacity to private companies, allowing those company’s to operate long distance telephone service outside of AT&T, which at that time had a long-distance monopoly. Southern Pacific took advantage of changing FCC regulations and started offering voice service directly to consumers. That service was offered under the name SPRINT, an acronym that stood for Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Networking Telephony. Very interesting …

42. Treated for traction, in a way SALTED
A road or path might be salted to improve traction, to avoid slipping.

45. Cocktail party fare PATE
Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made up of a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, made from the fattened livers of geese (“foie gras” means “fat liver” in French).

47. Overseas denials NEINS
“Nein” is the German for “no”.

51. Taxonomic suffix -OTA
I think the reference here is to Eukaryota, but I’m often wrong …

In taxonomic terms, life is divided into three main categories, the three domains called Eukaryota, Bacteria and Archaea. Eukaryotes are all organisms whose cells contain a nucleus within which genetic material is contained. The domain Eukaryota includes unicellular organisms such as protozoa, and all multicellular organisms including animals, plants and fungi. The organisms in the domains Bacteria and Archaea all lack a nucleus, and as such are known as prokaryotes.

52. “The Secret of __”: 1982 animated movie NIMH
“The Secret of NIMH” is the 1982 screen adaptation of a book written by Robert C. O’Brien. The novel’s title is “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH”. “Mrs. Frisby” doesn’t actually appear in the movie version, at least not under the same name. In the film her character is called Mrs. “Brisby”, with the name change being made due to concerns about a potential trademark dispute with “Frisbee” discs.

53. “Working Class Hero” songwriter LENNON
“Working Class Hero” is a 1971 song by John Lennon that was released as the B-side to the phenomenal hit “Imagine”. The song was pretty controversial at the time as the lyrics include the use of the so called “f-bomb” a couple of times.

54. “Been there, done that” NOT MY FIRST RODEO
The phrase “not my first rodeo” means “not the first time I’ve done this”. The phrase started to be used after country singer Vern Gosdin released the song “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” in 1990. Gosdin said that he’d first heard the idiom from a workman who added an extra room over his garage.

57. “Brighton Rock” author GREENE
Graham Greene was a writer and playwright from England. Greene wrote some of my favorite novels, including “Brighton Rock”, “The End of the Affair”, “The Confidential Agent”, “The Third Man”, “The Quiet American” and “Our Man in Havana”. Greene’s books often feature espionage in exotic locales. Greene himself worked for MI6, the UK’s foreign intelligence agency. In fact, Greene’s MI6 supervisor was Kim Philby, the famed Soviet spy who penetrated high into British intelligence.

59. Lamb treats ESSAYS
Charles Lamb published a famous collection of essays simply entitled “Essays of Elia”. Elia was actually a clerk and co-worker of Charles Lamb, whereas Lamb was the author.

60. Hoodwinks MISLEADS
“Hoodwink” has had the meaning “to deceive” since about 1600. Prior to that it meant simply “to blindfold”, a sort of portmanteau word from “hood” and “wink”.

Down
2. Second-longest-serving Chief Justice TANEY
Roger B. Taney was Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court from 1836 until 1864 (when he passed away). Taney’s most notable decision was in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, in which he delivered the majority opinion that African Americans could not be considered citizens of the US. Taney was the second-longest serving Chief Justice (Chief Justice John Marshall served for 34 years, from 1801 to 1835).

4. Suckerfish REMORA
Remoras are also called suckerfish, which name is descriptive of one of the fish’s basic behaviors. One of the remoras dorsal fins is in the shape of a “sucker”, allowing it to take a firm hold on a larger marine animal, hitching a ride.

5. Song featured in “Moonstruck” THAT’S AMORE
“That’s Amore” is a pop standard written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks in 1952. “That’s Amore” became the signature song for Dean Martin after he sang it (with some help from Jerry Lewis) in the 1953 comedy film “The Caddy”. “When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore …”

“Moonstruck” is a 1987 movie, a romantic comedy starring Cher and Nicolas Cage. There’s a bit of a love triangle in the storyline, with Danny Aiello playing the man who loses the girl. “Moonstruck” won three Oscars and was a huge success, and somehow, I’ve never seen it …

7. Mariner cap insignia ESS
The Seattle Mariners baseball team members have the letter S (ess) as their cap insignia.

8. “Reservoir Dogs” actor KEITEL
Harvey Keitel is an actor from New York City who grew up in Brighton Beach. He is best known for playing “tough guy” roles, as he did in “Reservoir Dogs”, “Pulp Fiction” and “Taxi Driver”.

“Reservoir Dogs” was the first film directed by Quentin Tarantino and was released in 1992. I really don’t like Tarantino movies as I just cannot take all the violence. I checked the cast listing for “Reservoir Dogs” and it is a “men only” production. There are no named characters in the film played by women. All I can see is Linda Kaye who played “Shocked Woman”, and Suzanne Celeste who played “Shot Woman” …

9. Disables the alarm, say ABETS
The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

10. Tip in Vegas TOKE
“Toke” is an informal term for a tip given to a dealer or other employee at a casino.

11. TV franchise since 2000 CSI
The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to be winding down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, is still going strong and has been doing so since 2000. There’s third spin-off show called “CSI: Cyber” that is just starting its run. It sounds intriguing …

13. 2014 A.L. MVP MIKE TROUT
Mike Trout plays baseball for the Los Angeles Angels. Trout’s nickname is the “Millville Meteor”, as he grew up in Millville, New Jersey.

18. His epitaph includes “knight” and “man of letters” DOYLE
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the author who created the character Sherlock Holmes. Doyle also wrote a pamphlet justifying the UK position in the Second Boer War, at a time when the UK was universally criticized for action taken in South Africa. Doyle believed that it was this pamphlet that earned him his knighthood. Doyle died in 1930. His gravestone reads:

Steel true/Blade straight/Arthur Conan Doyle/Knight/Patriot, Physician, and man of letters.

26. Mozart title starter COSI …
Mozart’s comic opera “Così fan tutte” is also known in English as “The School for Lovers”. The literal translation of the opera’s title is “Thus do all (women)”, or “Women are like that”.

27. 1927 Buster Keaton film THE GENERAL
Buster Keaton was a comic actor, most famous for his work during the silent era. Keaton starred in and co-directed the 1927 silent comedy “The General”, lauded by some as the greatest movie of all time.

28. Wet blanket, in modern lingo FUN SPONGE
I guess that a person described as a “fun sponge” is regarded as someone who sucks the fun out of an occasion …

33. “For a life gone digital” news source CNET
c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as a host on a c|net show.

35. Editor’s mark DELE
“Dele” is the editorial instruction to delete something from a document, and is often written in red.

39. Deli order BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

43. Hindu community ASHRAM
“Ashram” is a Hindu term that traditionally describes a place of spiritual retreat, one that is typically located in a remote location conducive to spiritual instruction and meditation.

46. High winds FIFES
A fife is a small flute that is often used in military and marching bands. The name “fife” comes from the German “Pfeife” meaning “pipe”.

48. Bhopal locale INDIA
Bhopal is a city in India that garnered international attention in 1984 as the site of the perhaps the worst industrial disaster the world has ever witnessed. A Union Carbide pesticide plant leaked deadly methyl isocyanate gas into the air resulting in the deaths of thousands of local residents.

50. Makes out, across the Pond SNOGS
“Snogging” is British slang of unknown origin that dates back to the end of WWII. The term is used for “kissing and cuddling”, what we call “making out” over here in the US.

The Atlantic Ocean has been referred to as “the Pond” for quite a long time. The expression dates back to the 1640s.

52. Part of a Fifth Ave. address NY, NY
Fifth Avenue in New York is sometimes referred to as the “most expensive street in the world” as the section that runs through Midtown Manhattan is home to upscale stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue.

55. Apology opener MEA
Many Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase “mea culpa” meaning “my fault”, as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term “mea maxima culpa” translates as “my most grievous fault”.

56. Dante’s half-dozen SEI
“Sei” is Italian for “six”.

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for twelve is “douze”, and a dozen is “douzaine”.

Dante Alighieri (usually just “Dante”) was an Italian poet of the Middle Ages. Dante’s “Divine Comedy” is widely considered to be the greatest literary work ever written in the Italian language.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Franchise spawned in the ’60s STAR TREK
9. Away for the summer, maybe AT CAMP
15. White Sox nickname, with “the” PALE HOSE
16. Longtime Ottoman Empire territory BOSNIA
17. Donkey in “Shrek” et al. ANIMAL SIDEKICKS
19. Dedicate DEVOTE
20. Lug TOTE
21. Worked (up) HET
22. They’re just looking EYERS
23. Cries for attention HEYS
24. NFLer Ronnie for whom a defensive award is named LOTT
25. Remote power source AA CELL
27. Land overseas TERRE
28. Univ. staff FAC
31. Prevent from going to seed MOW
32. Organization level ECHELON
34. Sam Samudio’s spoken opening in “Wooly Bully” UNO, DOS …
36. Sea-dwelling Greek god NEREUS
37. Most populous OPEC nation NIGERIA
39. Ask to be excused, with “off” BEG
40. It merged with Sprint in 1983 GTE
41. Command before a click SMILE
42. Treated for traction, in a way SALTED
45. Cocktail party fare PATE
46. Securely FAST
47. Overseas denials NEINS
51. Taxonomic suffix -OTA
52. “The Secret of __”: 1982 animated movie NIMH
53. “Working Class Hero” songwriter LENNON
54. “Been there, done that” NOT MY FIRST RODEO
57. “Brighton Rock” author GREENE
58. Doing a lawn job AERATING
59. Lamb treats ESSAYS
60. Hoodwinks MISLEADS

Down
1. Garden aid SPADE
2. Second-longest-serving Chief Justice TANEY
3. Not out of the game ALIVE
4. Suckerfish REMORA
5. Song featured in “Moonstruck” THAT’S AMORE
6. Break for a certain wannabe ROLE
7. Mariner cap insignia ESS
8. “Reservoir Dogs” actor KEITEL
9. Disables the alarm, say ABETS
10. Tip in Vegas TOKE
11. TV franchise since 2000 CSI
12. Relay part ANCHOR LEG
13. 2014 A.L. MVP MIKE TROUT
14. Acceptable form of back talk? PAST TENSE
18. His epitaph includes “knight” and “man of letters” DOYLE
23. Fell HEW
24. Creepy look LEER
26. Mozart title starter COSI …
27. 1927 Buster Keaton film THE GENERAL
28. Wet blanket, in modern lingo FUN SPONGE
29. Some film artists ANIMATORS
30. Ponders COGITATES
33. “For a life gone digital” news source CNET
35. Editor’s mark DELE
38. “Same here” AS AM I
39. Deli order BLT
43. Hindu community ASHRAM
44. Represent DENOTE
46. High winds FIFES
48. Bhopal locale INDIA
49. Continuously NO END
50. Makes out, across the Pond SNOGS
52. Part of a Fifth Ave. address NY, NY
53. A and P, e.g.: Abbr. LTRS
55. Apology opener MEA
56. Dante’s half-dozen SEI

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 4 Apr 15, Saturday”

  1. I do this puzzle every day & you are my "go to" guy when I get stuck, which is happening more & more. These new puzzles are so full of cliches, remarks & text words that I am almost to the point of no longer working them. It's like the writers (programmers) have no knowledge of history, science, geography, etc. anymore. Whats your take? BTW..Dell PennyPress is just as bad.

  2. Too much I did not know and not enough that I did know to overcome everything with crosses. However, it was a very educational puzzle for me, and I always appreciate that. I actually got the sports references, but it wasn't enough in my case.

    I had no idea Sprint was an acronym. Interesting background there. Thanks, Bill, for reminding me why I read this blog every day.

    Poor Nerites with 50 sisters. Wow. I bet he never was able to use the bathroom his entire childhood….

    Best –

  3. 2 hours, but I finished this puzzle without any (final) errors. A lot (tons) of strike overs) but a terrific sense of satisfaction. Now I can forget yesterday's "one letter" DNF!

    I actually saw Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs in concert at the Earl Warren Showgrounds back in the 60's ('66 or '67 IIRC?).

  4. I (allegedly) know pop culture and sports, and I still felt like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.

    I knew I had errors in here, and I finally gave up trying to correct them after a half hour. Some of the fill makes me want to choke on my Cheerios. I lived in Chicago five years, never heard them called the (15A) PALEHOSE. (28D) FUNSPONGE is completely unknown. (59A) ESSAYS made me wanna dig out my eyes with a spork. HET, EYERS, OTA, and ESS should be taken out back and executed.

    Some strange things I read about "Wooly Bully" (a) Sam apparently had a cat of the same name (b) The "L7" in the lyrics was 60's slang for a square. Make an L with your left hand, a 7 with the other. Yeah, real clever.

  5. Hey Cindy, I agree! There's a lot of drivel in these puzzles, although I don't remember well enough how they looked years ago. At least one usually finds a couple of literature and music references.
    Meanwhile, like any Saturday, I just cheated my way thru most of this thing…
    @Tony — hearty congrats for finishing this bear of a puzzle!

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