LA Times Crossword Answers 14 May 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin Christian
THEME: Ban Ben, and Bin Bon Bun … each of today’s themed clues is a 3-letter word in the format BxN, where x progresses alphabetically through all five vowels. And each of the answers to those themed clues contains 15 letters that span the whole grid:

17A. BAN LEGALLY PROHIBIT
22A. BEN SEQUEL TO WILLARD
36A. BIN TRASH RECEPTACLE
45A. BON AC/DC SINGER SCOTT
53A. BUN BREAD FOR A HOTDOG

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Charms MOJOS
The word “mojo”, meaning magical charm or magnetism, is probably of Creole origin.

6. 60-Across, e.g. CZAR
(60A. “Terrible” ruler IVAN)
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

10. 1992 Matchbox acquirer TYCO
The brand name Matchbox toy cars were introduced in 1953, and how I loved them growing up. They were called Matchbox cars because they were packed in boxes that looked liked regular matchboxes. The brand was English, but the name spread around the world. The brand was so popular that the term “matchbox car” came to mean any small, die-cast toy car, regardless of who made it.

14. Candy message I LUV U
The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.

20. ’70s Sonny & Cher label KAPP
Kapp Records was a record label founded in 1954 by David Kapp. David was a brother of Jack Kapp who had established Decca Records in the US in 1934.

Sonny Bono was a recording artist who later moved into the world of politics. As a musical entertainer, Bono was most famous for his recordings as a duo with Cher, who later became his second wife. The couple divorced, but continued to work together. Bono went into politics, first as the mayor of Palm Springs, California and later as a representative for a California district in the US House of Representatives. Sadly, Bono was killed in a skiing accident in 1998. Coincidently, Michael Kennedy (son of Robert F. Kennedy) had died in a similar skiing accident just one week earlier. The epitaph on Bono’s gravestone reads “And the Beat Goes On”, a reference to the 1967 Sonny & Cher hit “The Beat Goes On”, which was written by Sonny.

Cher’s real name is Cherilyn Sarkisian, born in 1946. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1998 and won the Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

21. Dramatist with three Pulitzers and three Tonys ALBEE
Playwright Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:

-1967: “A Delicate Balance”
-1975: “Seascape”
-1994: “Three Tall Women”

Albee also won three Tony Awards:

-1963: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Best Play)
-2002: “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
-2005: Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

22. BEN SEQUEL TO WILLARD
“Ben” is a horror film released in 1972, about a young boy and his pet rat called Ben. “Ben” is a sequel to an equally horrific film called “Willard”, that was released the prior year and was also about a rat. The theme song to “Ben” was recorded by Michael Jackson and was a big hit for him.

28. Spiral-horned antelope ELAND
An eland is a large African antelope, in fact the largest on the continent. Both male and female elands have horns, and those horns have a steady spiral ridge along their length.

29. Skunk River city AMES
The city of Ames, Iowa is famous for holding the Ames Straw Poll in advance of most presidential elections. The poll in question is used to gauge the level of support for two or more Republican candidates, although non-Republicans are allowed to cast a vote. To vote one has to be an Iowa resident and one must buy a ticket to the fundraising dinner at which the vote is taken. The event gets a lot of coverage, so it boosts the local economy as journalists hit the town. It is a very successful fundraiser for the Republican Party in Iowa as well, but the usefulness of the straw poll in predicting the eventual winner of the nomination is less clear. There have been five straw polls since 1979, and just 2 out of 5 times the poll winner went on to capture the party’s nomination.

The Skunk River in Iowa is a tributary of the Mississippi. The etymology of the river’s name is a little unclear, and is probably a mistranslation of the Sauk and Meskwaki name “Shecaqua”, which means “strong and obnoxious smell”. The headwaters of the Skunk River was known for its wild onions along the banks, hence the “odoriferous” reference. A better translation might have been “Onion River”.

30. Tornado survivor of film TOTO
Toto is Dorothy’s dog in the film “The Wizard of Oz”. Toto was played by a dog called Terry, but Terry’s name was soon changed to Toto in real life, due to the success of the film.

In the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, the tornado scene ended up costing more money than any other special effect in the whole film. The tornado itself was a 35′ tall muslin sock suspended from a gantry that could move the “twister” during the shoot. The bottom of the sock could also be moved, as it was attached to a rod below the sound-stage. Fuller’s earth was poured into the sock and was blown around by compressed air creating the dust storm effect, and hiding the muslin sock.

31. Shakespeare’s “__ Andronicus” TITUS
“Titus Andronicus” is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, perhaps even the first that he wrote. I’ve never seen the play and apparently it is very gory, perhaps the reason why it was quite popular in Shakespeare’s own lifetime. Over the decades, sensibilities have changed and a result “Titus Andronicus” is performed less often today than his other works.

33. Edwards, e.g.: Abbr. AFB
Edwards Air Force Base is in a desert area in Southern California. Edwards is a flight test center for the Air Force, and it was here that Chuck Yeager famously broke the sound barrier for the first time. And of course, Edwards was used for many landings of the Space Shuttle.

40. Greek org. SOR
Sorority (sor.)

41. Lash LaRue vehicle OATER
The term “oater” that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

Alfred LaRue was an actor who appeared in a lot of western movies in the forties and fifties. He was very adept with the bullwhip, earning him the nickname “Lash”. Years after his onscreen career ended, LaRue was the guy who trained Harrison Ford how to use a bull whip for his role in the “Indiana Jones” series of films.

42. Branch of Islam SHIA
The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

43. “Deal __ Deal” OR NO
The TV game show that is called “Deal or No Deal” in the US is shown all around the world in local versions. The original version of the show was developed in the Netherlands as “Miljoenenjacht” (Hunt for Millions).

44. Very long time AEONS
Aeon is a variant spelling of “eon”. In astronomical terms, an aeon is defined as one thousand million years.

45. BON AC/DC SINGER SCOTT
Bon Scott was the lead singer for the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. Despite his success on stage, Scott led a troubled life by all accounts. In his youth, he spent time in “juvy”, and an attempt to join the Australian Army was met with rejection as he was deemed to be “socially maladjusted”. Scott was found dead in 1980 in a Renault 5 car in London after a night of drinking. The cause of death was determined to be alcohol poisoning.

51. Eastern garment SAREE
The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

52. Eastern nurse AMAH
“Amah” is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture and yet it actually comes from the Portuguese “ama” meaning “nurse”. Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an amah.

53. BUN BREAD FOR A HOT DOG
A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

60. “Terrible” ruler IVAN
The Grand Prince of Moscow Ivan IV became known as Ivan the Terrible. The name “terrible” is a translation from Russian, and perhaps creates the wrong impression about the man. The Russian word is “Grozny”, which is more akin to “strict” and “powerful” rather than “cruel” or “abominable”.

64. “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” co-screenwriter DAHL
Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s novel “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car”, which was made into a cute movie titled “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002. The script for the 1968 was co-written by Roald Dahl, who authored “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach”.

65. Gas brand with a red-white-and-blue logo EXXON
The Exxon Corporation was a descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. Exxon merged with Mobil (yet another descendant of Standard Oil) in 1999 to form ExxonMobil.

Down
1. Grand squared MIL
“A mil” is slang for “a million dollars”.

“One G” is one grand, one thousand dollars …

2. Encouraging word OLE!
“Ole Ole Ole!” is chanted at soccer games by many Spanish-speaking (or -shouting) fans. I am very proud to claim that the fans of the Irish national team have adopted the chant as their own, and it can be heard practically non-stop when Ireland is playing (with some inventive melody behind it!).

7. Youngest Marx brother ZEPPO
The five Marx Brothers were born to “Minnie” and “Frenchy” Marx in New York City. The more famous older boys were Chico, Harpo and Groucho. Zeppo was the youngest brother, and he appeared in the early Marx Brothers movies. The fifth son was called Gummo, and he decided to pursue a different career off the stage.

8. __ Lingus AER
Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline called Ryanair.

9. “Citizen Kane” studio RKO
The RKO Pictures studio was formed when RCA (RADIO Corporation of America) bought the KEITH-Albee-ORPHEUM theaters (and Joe Kennedy’s Film Booking Offices of America). The RKO initialism then comes from the words “Radio”, “Keith” and “Orpheum”.

“Citizen Kane” was the first film made by Orson Welles, one considered by many to be the finest film ever made. It’s a remarkable achievement by Wells, as he played the lead, and also produced and directed. Despite all the accolades for “Citizen Kane” over the decades, the movie was far from a commercial success in its early run and actually lost money at the box office.

10. Denim and chino TWILLS
The verb “to twill” means to weave a cloth (called a twill) that has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs.

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (from Nimes) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.

Chino is a twill cloth most often used to make hard-wearing pants. The pants have come to be referred to as chinos. Chino cloth was originally developed for use by the military, but quickly became popular with civilians.

11. Start of a ’60s TV toon yell YABBA
“Yabba-dabba-doo!” is one of Fred Flintstone’s catchphrases.

I once had the privilege of spending an afternoon in the room (Bill Hanna’s den) where Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera came up with the idea of “The Flintstones” …

12. Old-time news source CRIER
Town criers make public announcements on the streets, usually shouting “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” to attract attention. The term “oyez” derives from the Anglo-Norman word for “listen” and is used in this instance to me “Hear ye!”

18. California NBAers, on a scoreboard LAL
The Los Angeles Lakers basketball team started out in 1947 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team chose the Lakers name in honor of the nickname of Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. The Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960.

19. Least infirm HALEST
“Hale” is an adjective meaning “healthy”. Both the words “hale” and “healthy” derive from the the Old English “hal” meaning healthy.

22. Paving stones SETTS
A sett is a small rectangular paving stone with a rounded top used to make a road surface. It’s like a cobblestone, I think …

23. What Mexican Olympians go for EL ORO
In Spanish, an athlete in the Olympics goes for the gold (el oro).

24. Doha is its capital QATAR
Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry.

Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar located on the Persian Gulf. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

25. Pizzeria chain, familiarly UNO’S
The chain of pizza parlors known today as Uno Chicago Grill used to be called Pizzeria Uno, or just “Uno’s”. Apparently Uno’s created the world’s first deep dish pizza.

31. Grand __ National Park TETON
Grand Teton National Park is located just south of Yellowstone NP, and a must-see if you are visiting the latter. The park is named after the tallest peak in the magnificent Teton Range known as Grand Teton. The origins of the name “Teton” is not very clear, although my favorite story is that it was named by French trappers, as the word “tetons” in French means “breasts”!

33. “Gesundheit!” trigger ACHOO!
“Gesundheit” is the German word for “health”, and is used in response to a sneeze in Germany, as indeed it is here in the US quite often.

34. Spark producer FLINT
Flint is a form of the mineral quartz. Flint can be used to start a fire. The hard edge of flint when struck against steel can shave off a particle of the metal. The particle of steel contains exposed iron that reacts with oxygen in the air creating a spark that can light dry tinder.

35. Sixth-day creation BEAST
According to the Book of Genesis, on the sixth day God created the living creatures on the land, including humanity.

38. Eastern royal RANI
A ranee (also spelled rani) is a queen or a princess, the female equivalent of a raja in India.

48. Recurring Dana Carvey “SNL” character GARTH
Dana Carvey, along with the likes of Phil Hartman and Kevin Nealon, was part of the new breed of “Saturday Night Live” comedians credited with resurrecting the show in the late eighties. One of Carvey’s most popular characters was the Church Lady, and he became so associated with her that among fellow cast members Carvey was often referred to simply as “the Lady”. Another favorite Carvey character was Garth Algar who went to feature in the “Wayne’s World” movies. Carvey had open-heart surgery in 1997 to clear a blocked artery, but the surgical team operated on the wrong blood vessel. To recover, he had to have five more procedures. He ended up suing for medical malpractice and donated his $7.5 million compensation payment to charity.

49. Some spam EMAIL
Apparently the term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

57. New Jersey fort DIX
Fort Dix is the name commonly used for what is now more correctly called Joint Base McGuire -Dix-Lakehurst, a US Army base located near Trenton, New Jersey. Fort Dix was established in 1917 by the Army, and was consolidated with nearby Air Force and Navy facilities in 2009.

58. Lennon collaborator ONO
Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. Ono actually met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

59. Dr. for women GYN
Gynecologist (gyn.)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Charms MOJOS
6. 60-Across, e.g. CZAR
10. 1992 Matchbox acquirer TYCO
14. Candy message I LUV U
15. Offend, in a way REEK
16. Old record problem WARP
17. BAN LEGALLY PROHIBIT
20. ’70s Sonny & Cher label KAPP
21. Dramatist with three Pulitzers and three Tonys ALBEE
22. BEN SEQUEL TO WILLARD
28. Spiral-horned antelope ELAND
29. Skunk River city AMES
30. Tornado survivor of film TOTO
31. Shakespeare’s “__ Andronicus” TITUS
33. Edwards, e.g.: Abbr. AFB
36. BIN TRASH RECEPTACLE
40. Greek org. SOR
41. Lash LaRue vehicle OATER
42. Branch of Islam SHIA
43. “Deal __ Deal” OR NO
44. Very long time AEONS
45. BON AC/DC SINGER SCOTT
51. Eastern garment SAREE
52. Eastern nurse AMAH
53. BUN BREAD FOR A HOT DOG
60. “Terrible” ruler IVAN
61. Histamine opener ANTI-
62. Wet RAINY
63. Prized possessions GEMS
64. “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” co-screenwriter DAHL
65. Gas brand with a red-white-and-blue logo EXXON

Down
1. Grand squared MIL
2. Encouraging word OLE!
3. __ wine JUG
4. Reproductive cells OVA
5. Moped SULKED
6. Burial chamber CRYPT
7. Youngest Marx brother ZEPPO
8. __ Lingus AER
9. “Citizen Kane” studio RKO
10. Denim and chino TWILLS
11. Start of a ’60s TV toon yell YABBA
12. Old-time news source CRIER
13. Elected OPTED
18. California NBAers, on a scoreboard LAL
19. Least infirm HALEST
22. Paving stones SETTS
23. What Mexican Olympians go for EL ORO
24. Doha is its capital QATAR
25. Pizzeria chain, familiarly UNO’S
26. Liquid 32-Down WATER
27. “My turn!” I’M UP!
31. Grand __ National Park TETON
32. Solid 26-Down ICE
33. “Gesundheit!” trigger ACHOO!
34. Spark producer FLINT
35. Sixth-day creation BEAST
37. Fooled (around) HORSED
38. Eastern royal RANI
39. “Just __!” A SEC
43. Loads OCEANS
44. One way to be washed ASHORE
45. Comparable to a house? AS BIG
46. Use a pocketknife, perhaps CARVE
47. Fantasize DREAM
48. Recurring Dana Carvey “SNL” character GARTH
49. Some spam EMAIL
50. Encouraging word RAH!
54. __ diet FAD
55. __ diet ON A
56. Strain TAX
57. New Jersey fort DIX
58. Lennon collaborator ONO
59. Dr. for women GYN

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 14 May 15, Thursday”

  1. A challenge (at least for me) but I finished. Bill's time to completion is once more in the "unreal" category. A little time straightening out "Czar" after starting with "Tsar" and having to cope with it not working with the down answers.

    Hope everyone has a good day and I look forward to "joining" you all right badk here tomorrow.

  2. Yeah, Bill cut my time in half. A very eclectic set of clues, to be sure. As usual, reading Bill's blog filled in some of the ???s I had. I'd love to hear the story about Bill Hanna. Slainte.

  3. Very tough puzzle for me. It seemed more Friday-ish. The theme took me a while to figure out. The caps threw me off and I was making it more complicated than it needed to be.

    IMHO "grozny" actually means "threatening" or "menacing" or even "frightening". It is used in Russian often to describe bad storms, for example. Strict and powerful might be too nice of a translation of the word. Terrible is not entirely accurate either. So to me it's in between those translations.

    Best

  4. Terrible time for me in the south.
    Had BREAD ****HOTDOG. IN A?
    SETTS? Had to look up BEAST.
    AC/DC SINGLE?
    Very tough today.
    Were those the real given names of the Marx brothers?

  5. Just looked it up. Chico-Leonard,
    Harpo-Adolph/Arthur, Groucho-Julius,
    Gummo-Milton, Zeppo-Herbert.

  6. Bill, HOW do you do it??!
    This was a tough one, bit I finished most of it without help. My only real complaint is with HALEST. That's a real stretch.
    Also didn't know SETTS, and I bet I'd get some confused looks if I asked for them at Home Depot.
    Peace out, gang!

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