LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Apr 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Marti DuGuay-Carpenter
THEME: Inside Dope … each of today’s themed answers includes the hidden word DOPE:

58A. Skinny, so to speak, or what’s hidden in 18-, 23-, 37- and 52-Across INSIDE DOPE

18A. Genre that often includes a ballet GRAND OPERA
23A. TV teaser before the first commercial COLD OPENING
37A. James Bond and others FIELD OPERATIVES
52A. “Great” 1975 Redford role WALDO PEPPER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 36s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Windfall BOON
A windfall is a piece of good fortune, like a piece of fruit that has fallen from the tree when the wind blows.

15. “The Salt-N-__ Show” PEPA
“The Salt-N-Pepa Show” is a reality show on VH-1 that peeps in on the lives of the members of the hip hop trio Salt-n-Pepa.

Salt-n-Pepa are an all-female hip hop trio from New York, made up of “Salt” (Cheryl James), “Pepa” (Sandra Denton) and “DJ Spinderella” (Deidra Roper). Their 1991 song “Let’s Talk Sex” created quite a fuss as the lyrics explored the subject of sex, and safe sex in particular. A later version addressed the dangers of AIDS.

16. Trojan War figure PARIS
According to Greek mythology, Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda. When Helen reached the age of marriage, she had many suitors as she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Menelaus was chosen as her husband, and he took her back to his home of Sparta. Paris, a Trojan prince, seduced Helen, as she eloped with him and travelled to Troy. This event sparked the Trojan War that waged between the city of Troy and Greece. Because of this war, Helen was said to have “the face that launched a thousand ships”. And because of this phrase, it has been suggested, probably by author Isaac Asimov, that the amount of beauty needed launch a single ship is one “millihelen”.

17. Roman god of the sky JOVE
Jupiter, also known as Jove, was the king of the gods in the Roman tradition, as well as the god of sky and thunder. He was the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Zeus.

18. Genre that often includes a ballet GRAND OPERA
Grand opera is opera on a large scale, with an extensive cast, a full orchestra, lavish sets and four or five acts. Many a grand opera includes an elaborate ballet that occurs at or near the beginning of the second act.

20. Utopias EDENS
The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More for his book “Utopia” published in 1516 describing an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

23. TV teaser before the first commercial COLD OPENING
A “cold open” of a TV show or movie is a scene that is shown before the title sequence or opening credits. Cold opens became quite the rage on television starting in the mid-sixties.

26. Côte d’Azur sight MER
In French, the Mediterranean (La Méditerranée) is a sea (mer).

The Côte d’Azur is on the Mediterranean coast of France and stretches from Saint Tropez in the west and to the Italian border in the east. In English we often refer to the area as the French Riviera. It’s a little crowded for me (okay, “expensive”), especially in the summer

30. Nasser’s confed. UAR
Gamal Abdel Nasser was the second president of Egypt, from 1956 until he died in 1970. He stood alongside Muhammad Naguib, Egypt’s first president, during the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 that overthrew the ruling monarchy of Egypt and Sudan. Nasser was an advocate of Pan-Arabism, an ideology promoting unification of Arab peoples and countries. President Nasser went so far as forming the United Arab Republic (UAR), a union between Egypt and Syria that started in 1958 but fell apart in 1961 when Syria withdrew.

37. James Bond and others FIELD OPERATIVES
James Bond is the creation of the writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”.

42. Open org. USGA
The United States Golf Association (USGA) was formed in 1894. The need for a governing body for the sport became evident that year when both the Newport Country Club and the St. Andrew’s Golf Club in Yonkers declared that the winner of a tournament at each of their courses was the “national amateur champion”. The first president of the USGA was Theodore Havemeyer. To this day, the one and only US Amateur Trophy bears his name.

43. Second book in Clavell’s “Asian Saga” TAI-PAN
“Tai-Pan” is a novel by James Clavell, the second in his famous “Asian Saga” suite of six titles. The six books are:

– “King Rat”
– “Tai-Pan”
– “Shōgun”
– “Noble House”
– “Whirlwind”
– “Gai-Jin”

48. Time zone word: Abbr. STD
Local solar time was replaced with standard time zones due to the increasing use of rail travel and telecommunications as the variations in local solar times became somewhat inconvenient. Time zones in the US vary in hourly increments, but in some parts of the world a 30-minute or even 15-minute difference can apply.

51. Buddhist branch ZEN
Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

52. “Great” 1975 Redford role WALDO PEPPER
“The Great Waldo Pepper” is a 1975 movie about a WWI pilot who missed out on combat and who has a post-war career barnstorming. Robert Redford plays the title role. I hear that aviation enthusiasts love this movie …

56. Free-for-all MELEE
Our word “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

57. Savanna heavyweight RHINO
There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, and the smaller Javan Rhino is the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

A savanna (also savannah) is a grassland. If there are any trees in a savanna, by definition they are small and widely spaced so that light can get to the grasses allowing them to grow unhindered.

58. Skinny, so to speak, or what’s hidden in 18-, 23-, 37- and 52-Across INSIDE DOPE
Our use of the word “dope” to mean “inside information” probably comes from horse racing. The idea is that a better might have information about which horse has been drugged (doped) to influence its performance.

The use of the word “skinny” meaning information, comes from WWII military slang for “the truth”, probably a derivative of the expression “the naked truth” (and skinny-dipping).

Down
2. Jinx HOODOO
Hoodoo is a traditional African-American folk magic and spirituality that has West African, Native American and European roots. Hoodoo is sometimes confused with Voodoo, especially as they both have West African connections. However, the two practices are very different.

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.

3. King output NOVELS
Stephen King is a remarkably successful author having sold over 350 million copies of his books, many of which have been made into hit movies. I’ve tried reading two or three, but never finished one. I really don’t do horror …

5. EPA sticker stat MPG
Miles per gallon (mpg)

8. Capital NE of Vientiane HANOI
Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. After the conflict ended, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City.

Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, situated on the famous Mekong River. The city was originally called the “city of sandalwood” by Buddhist monks, naming after the valued trees that grew in the area. The French took the Pali words for “city of sandalwood” and rewrote it as the French-sounding “Vientiane”.

10. “Dragnet” force, briefly LAPD
“Dragnet” was a very successful police drama that developed into quite a franchise. The show started out on radio in 1949, and then also ran on television from 1952. There were even a couple of movies. Star of the show, and the producer, was Jack Webb who played Sgt. Joe Friday.

12. Orbiter for 15 years MIR
The Russian Mir Space Station was a remarkably successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001.

19. Pressures for payment DUNS
“To dun” is to insist on payment of a debt.

24. When doubled, a South Pacific capital PAGO
Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa in the South Pacific. The island was used by the US Navy during WWII and it managed to escape most of the conflict. The only military incident of consequence was the shelling of the city’s harbor by a Japanese submarine. A more devastating event was the tsunami that hit Pago Pago and surrounding areas in 2009, causing widespread damage and numerous deaths.

26. First name in game shows 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”.

27. Iroquoian people ERIE
The Erie were an early tribe of Native Americans that lived on lands on the south shore of Lake Erie. The Iroquois tribe waged war with the Erie, basically wiping out the tribe, but for a few survivors. Some of these survivors were adopted into Iroquois tribes, particularly the Seneca nation.

28. Cabs and syrahs REDS
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc grapes.

The Iranian city of Shiraz has long been associated with wine, but there is no proven link between the city and the wine/grape we know today as “Shiraz” (also called “Syrah”). Having said that, some clay jars were found just outside of the city of Shiraz that contained wine; wine that was 7,000 years old!

32. “You’re So ___”: 1973 #1 hit VAIN
“You’re So Vain” is a Carly Simon song that was released in 1972. The song is about self-absorbed man and is supposedly one of Simon’s former lovers. The subject of the song has led to much speculation for decades. Simon agreed to reveal the name of the subject to the highest bidder in a charity auction in 2003. The president of NBC Sports Dick Ebersol won that auction, and he has pledged never to reveal what he was told. Simon did allow him to give one clue to the public, that the name contains the letter E.

33. Carrier that doesn’t fly on the Sabbath EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies” or “skyward”.

34. Where to hear maas and baas LEA
“Maa” is the call of a goat, and “baa” is the call of a sheep.

35. Popular chip FRITO
The Frito Corporation was started in 1932 by Elmer Doolin, basically in his mother’s kitchen. Doolin paid $100 for a corn chip recipe from a local restaurant and started producing Fritos at the rate of 10 pounds per day.

37. __ bass FUZZ
“The 2,000 Pound Bee – Part 2” is a 1962 song recorded by the Ventures. For this recording, the Ventures had a device created that distorted the electric guitar signal, so that it made a buzzing sound. “The 2,000 Pound Bee – Part 2” was the first song recorded to use the so-called “fuzz bass” or “fuzz guitar”, which was to become a staple in sixties rock music.

39. Eddie __, detective involved in the actual “French Connection” EGAN
New York cop Eddie Egan was responsible for breaking up an organized crime ring in the city in 1961, and the seizing of a record amount of heroin (112 pounds). His exploits were chronicled in a book by Robin Moore, which in turn was the basis of the movie “The French Connection” released in 1971. Gene Hackman played Popeye Doyle in the movie, the character based on Egan. Paradoxically, when Egan retired from the police force he started acting and played small roles in 22 movies and television shows.

48. Fusilli shape SPIRAL
Rotini is the corkscrew-shaped pasta that is often used in pasta salads. Fusilli is also a corkscrew-shaped pasta, but is much longer.

49. Mortise partners TENONS
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In a dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

54. Golden, in Guadalajara DE ORO
Guadalajara is a populous city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Mexican city is named after the city of the same name in the center of Spain.

55. Full moon, e.g. PHASE
The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

– New moon
– Waxing crescent moon
– First quarter moon
– Waxing gibbous moon
– Full moon
– Waning gibbous moon
– Third quarter moon
– Waning crescent moon
– Dark moon

58. 2010 GM financial event IPO
General Motors (GM) is still the largest manufacturer of cars in the world, at least in terms of numbers of cars sold. GM was established in 1908 in Flint, Michigan as a holding company for Buick, which in turn had been founded in 1899. GM’s Buick brand is the oldest, still-active automotive brand in the US. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009, and emerged from that bankruptcy just one month later, with a lot of help from the US taxpayer. In order to do so, GM had to shut down its Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn operations. The revamped General Motors then had a huge Initial Public Offering in 2010 that raised $23 billion.

61. One might keep you from seeing the show PAN
To pan something is to criticize it harshly.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “That’s terrible!” OH NO!
5. Like some stockings MESH
9. Guck SLIME
14. Windfall BOON
15. “The Salt-N-__ Show” PEPA
16. Trojan War figure PARIS
17. Roman god of the sky JOVE
18. Genre that often includes a ballet GRAND OPERA
20. Utopias EDENS
22. Excited, with “up” WOUND
23. TV teaser before the first commercial COLD OPENING
26. Côte d’Azur sight MER
29. Lean-__ TOS
30. Nasser’s confed. UAR
31. Harsh SEVERE
33. Swamp ENGULF
36. Bone-dry ARID
37. James Bond and others FIELD OPERATIVES
42. Open org. USGA
43. Second book in Clavell’s “Asian Saga” TAI-PAN
44. Fanatic ZEALOT
47. One-up TOP
48. Time zone word: Abbr. STD
51. Buddhist branch ZEN
52. “Great” 1975 Redford role WALDO PEPPER
56. Free-for-all MELEE
57. Savanna heavyweight RHINO
58. Skinny, so to speak, or what’s hidden in 18-, 23-, 37- and 52-Across INSIDE DOPE
63. Lined up, with “in” A ROW
64. Movers’ challenge PIANO
65. Degree holder GRAD
66. Without SANS
67. Choose to join OPT IN
68. Ages and ages EONS
69. Choice word ELSE

Down
1. Protest OBJECT
2. Jinx HOODOO
3. King output NOVELS
4. Upright ON END
5. EPA sticker stat MPG
6. Adverb in odes E’ER
7. Produce SPAWN
8. Capital NE of Vientiane HANOI
9. Quick learner SPONGE
10. “Dragnet” force, briefly LAPD
11. Rage IRE
12. Orbiter for 15 years MIR
13. Spanish “that” ESA
19. Pressures for payment DUNS
21. Ting or ping SOUND
24. When doubled, a South Pacific capital PAGO
25. Blow ERUPT
26. First name in game shows MERV
27. Iroquoian people ERIE
28. Cabs and syrahs REDS
32. “You’re So ___”: 1973 #1 hit VAIN
33. Carrier that doesn’t fly on the Sabbath EL AL
34. Where to hear maas and baas LEA
35. Popular chip FRITO
37. __ bass FUZZ
38. Words of understanding I SEE
39. Eddie __, detective involved in the actual “French Connection” EGAN
40. Each A POP
41. Slender candle TAPER
45. Was in debt regarding OWED ON
46. Yarn TALE
48. Fusilli shape SPIRAL
49. Mortise partners TENONS
50. Nod DROWSE
53. Pigeon’s place LEDGE
54. Golden, in Guadalajara DE ORO
55. Full moon, e.g. PHASE
56. Thigh-high attire MINI
58. 2010 GM financial event IPO
59. Little bite NIP
60. Did nothing SAT
61. One might keep you from seeing the show PAN
62. Magazine VIPs EDS

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4 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Apr 15, Thursday”

  1. I'm on a roll this week. This came together in about the same time it took Bill to solve it…which never happens for me. All I can think is that tomorrow and Saturday will probably pummel me into oblivion.

    See you tomorrow!

  2. Rats! One letter. USTA/ETAN.
    USGA and USTA both have Opens, don't they?
    Never heard of COLD OPENING.
    Should have known EGAN, but 20/20 hindsight.
    Had BORA before PAGO. TAIWAN before TAI PAN.
    Fixed those, but shoot, ONE LETTER! (sigh)
    Congrats, Tony!

  3. I brain-cramped on Steven KING for so long, and HOODOO was new to me. Otherwise a decent grid. Between MESH stockings and a few others, my brain is going in some funky directions now.

    Eddie Van Halen plays "ERUPTion".

    SPIRAL = andatory Seinfeld reference with Kramer's art masterpiece, the Fusilli Jerry.

  4. Well, you all put me to shame. I managed about 70% on my own. And this was going to be my Year of the Thursdays!!
    I wouldn't use "teaser" to describe COLD OPENING, since it's usually just the first scene, at least in a drama or sitcom.
    Good job Tony and Pookie! Willie, as soon as I saw FUSILLI I just KNEW you'd reference that Seinfeld episode…

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