LA Times Crossword Answers 2 May 15, Saturday

Share today’s solution with a friend:
FacebookTwitterGoogleEmail

Quicklink
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Caret-shaped letter LAMBDA
The letter L in our modern Latin alphabet is equivalent to the Greek letter lambda. The uppercase lambda resembles the caret character on a keyboard (over the number 6 key).

The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

7. Entertainer whose name is Spanish for “churches” IGLESIAS
The Spanish singer Julio Iglesias’s real name is Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva. He took up playing the guitar as a young man while recovering from a devastating car accident that injured his spinal cord. “Immediate” recovery took three years, but he still receives therapy for his weakened legs.

15. Film set in 2035 I, ROBOT
“I, Robot” is an interesting 2002 science fiction film starring Will Smith that is loosely based on the excellent collection of short stories of the same name by Isaac Asimov.

17. Chinese discipline TAI CHI
More properly called tai chi chuan, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

18. Hood GANGSTER
“Hood” is a slang term for “gangster”, a shortening of “hoodlum”.

19. Duke collaborator ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

Duke Ellington was a bandleader and composer believed by many to have elevated jazz to the same level as other respected genres of music. Ellington tended not to use the word “jazz” to describe his compositions, preferring the term “American Music”.

20. Sign of a spill SLICK
Perhaps at sea, an oil slick is a sign of an oil spill.

22. __ Chicago EAST
East Chicago is a city in Indiana, in the very northwest of the state. The city was named for its location “east of Chicago”.

26. Fast sports cars GTS
GT stands for “Grand Touring” or “Gran Turismo”.

27. Capital that starts with a month JUNEAU, ALASKA
Given that it’s the capital of the vast state of Alaska, it is perhaps not surprising to learn that the municipality of Juneau is almost as big as the area of the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined, and yet has only a population of about 31,000 people!

32. 2009 MTV Generation Award winner STILLER
Ben Stiller is the son of actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Ben is perhaps as well-known as a director as he is an actor. He made his debut as a director in the film “Reality Bites” in 1994.

36. Carol kings MAGI
“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, magi is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born.

37. Stud site LOBE
One might put a stud in the lobe of one’s ear(s).

45. Capital that starts with a month AUGUSTA, MAINE
As well as being the easternmost state capital, Augusta, Maine is the third smallest, with a population of under 20,000.

47. Pay stub? -OLA
“Payola” is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

53. One of four Holy Roman emperors OTTO I
Otto I the Great, ruled the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th century.

58. Item required to be included on Nutrition Facts labels since 2003 TRANS FAT
Trans fat is an ingredient in some of our food that is known to greatly increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Trans fats are very difficult to find in nature and instead are the product of the hydrogenation process that many oils undergo in making some of our less healthy foodstuffs.

62. Walter White on “Breaking Bad,” for one ANTIHERO
An “antihero”, perhaps in a movie or novel, is the “hero” of the piece, but someone who doesn’t exhibit the qualities associated traditionally with a hero, such as bravery or moral fortitude.

Walter White is a protagonist on the hit TV drama “Breaking Bad”. Played by Bryan Cranston, White is a high school chemistry teacher who resorts to manufacturing high-grade crystal meth in order to ensure his family’s security after his death.

Down
2. Sea ruined by extensive irrigation projects ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

3. Work like a dog MOIL
“To moil” is to toil or to slave away. The verb originally applied to laboring in the mire, swamp. The term comes from the Old French “moillier” meaning “to wet”, as in getting wet in the mire.

4. “Doctor Who” airer BBC AMERICA
BBC America is one of my favorite television networks (as you might imagine!). It is owned by the BBC, although it shows more that just BBC shows, and includes shows bought from other British networks and a little American programming as well. Some of my favorites on BBC America are: “Law and Order UK”, “The Graham Norton Show”, “Doctor Who” and “The Tudors”.

The iconic science-fiction television show “Doctor Who” was first aired in 1963, and relaunched in 2005 by the BBC. The relaunched series is produced in-house by the BBC in Cardiff in Wales, the location that is the setting of the successful “Doctor Who” spin-off called “Torchwood”. The new show is about the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute which investigates incidents involving extraterrestrials (ETs).

7. Certain media darling IT-GIRL
Clara Bow was a fabulous star of silent film, with her most famous movie being “It” from 1927. Clara Bow’s performance was so celebrated in the movie that she was forever to be known as the “It-girl”. The term “it” was a euphemism for “sex appeal”, and that is what Clara Bow was known to “exude”. Bow applied her red lipstick in the shape of a heart, and women who copied this style were said to put on a “Clara Bow”.

8. Word of thanks GRACIAS
“Gracias” is Spanish for “thank you”.

9. Most long and slender LANKEST
The term “lank” can describe something that is straight and flat, particularly hair. The usage was extended in the early 1800s (especially in the form “lanky”) to mean “awkwardly tall and thin”.

10. Hosp. readout ECG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

11. Zaire’s Mobutu __ Seko SESE
Mobutu Sese Seko was the longtime President of Zaire (later to be called the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Mobutu was known to be a very corrupt dictator and it is believed that he embezzled over $5 billion from his country. On a lighter note, Mobutu was the money man behind the famous 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman known as “The Rumble in the Jungle”. Mobutu was anxious to expand the image of Zaire so he used his nation’s funds to entice the fighters to have a go at each other in his homeland.

13. Blast from the past A-TEST
Atomic test (A-test)

The first detonation of a nuclear weapon was code named “Trinity”, and was conducted on July 16, 1945 as part of the Manhattan Project. The detonation took place at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range located about 25 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.

24. Sum, to Claudius I AM
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

25. Footwear item for Bode Miller SKI
Bode Miller is the most successful male American Alpine ski racer of all time. Miller is married to professional volleyball player and model Morgan Beck.

28. Article in El Sol UNAS
“Unos” and “unas” are plural indefinite articles in Spanish.

“El Sol” is Spanish for “The Sun”, and is a popular name for a newspaper.

29. ’90s Cleveland Indians pitching standout Charles NAGY
Charles Nagy is a former MLB pitcher who played for the Cleveland Indians and the San Diego Padres. Nagy retired from the game in 2003, but did serve as pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2011 to 2013.

33. California’s self-proclaimed “Zinfandel Capital of the World” LODI
Lodi, California may not be as well known a wine producer as Sonoma and Napa counties, but has been given the moniker “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.

Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wine varietals. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel.

34. “… crafty seer, with __ wand”: Pope EBON
“… crafty seer, with ebon wand” is from “The Dunciad”, a satire by Alexander Pope.

Alexander Pope was an English poet, famous for his own compositions as well as for a translation of Homer’s works. One of Pope’s most notable poems is “Ode on Solitude” that opens with:

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Pope wrote that when he was just twelve years old!

35. Kevin’s “Tin Cup” co-star RENE
The lovely and very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to highschool (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as Rene Russo is one of my favorite actresses …

Kevin Costner attributes some of his motivation to pursue an acting career to the great Welsh actor, Richard Burton. Back when Costner was taking acting classes, and was undecided about whether to continue chasing his dream, he ran into Burton on a flight from Puerto Vallarta. Burton agreed to chat with him for a little while, and so Costner was able to ask him if acting meant tolerating the kind of personal drama that had plagued Burton’s own life. Burton told him, “You have green eyes. I have green eyes. I think you’ll be fine”.

“Tin Cup” is a fun romantic comedy starring Kevin Costner. Costner plays a former golf prodigy who has hit bottom, but who drags himself up by the bootstraps thanks to the influence of the female lead played by the lovely Rene Russo.

39. Horde member HUN
The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila’s death in 453 AD.

A “horde” is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” that means “camp, army”.

42. Early Bee Gees label ATCO
Atco Records is an American record label founded in 1955, taking its name from the parent company Atlantic Corporation.

The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “The Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

43. Bean expert BARISTA
The person who serves coffee in a coffee shop is often called a “barista”. “Barista” is the Italian for “bartender”.

44. Soul, to Sartre AME
“Ame” is the French word for “soul”.

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. He also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. Sartre was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. He was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

48. Daughter of Lady Dugal, as it turns out, in an 1869 novel LORNA
The novel “Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor” was written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. R. D. Blackmore was an English novelist, very celebrated and in demand in his day (the late 1800s). His romantic story “Lorna Doone” was by no means a personal favorite of his, and yet it is the only one of his works still in print.

49. Violin pioneer AMATI
The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolamo’s son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

52. Two-part poem in “Idylls of the King” ENID
“Idylls of the King” is a cycle of twelve poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that retells the tale of King Arthur. One of the “idylls” is the story of Geraint and Enid. This story is told in two parts: “The Marriage of Geraint” and “Geraint and Enid”. Tennyson’s Enid gave her name to the city of Enid, Oklahoma.

55. Convenient encl. SASE
A self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) might be an enclosure (encl.) sent with a letter.

56. Video file format MPEG
The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym MPEG.

59. “Homeland” sta. SHO
“Homeland” is a psychological drama shown on Showtime about a CIA officer who is convinced that a certain US Marine is a threat to the security of the United States. The show is based on a series from Israeli television called “Hatufim” (Prisoners of War”). I saw the first series of this show and highly recommend it …

61. Dopey picture? CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic animated film from Walt Disney called “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

– Doc (the leader of the group)
– Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
– Happy
– Sleepy
– Bashful
– Sneezy
– Dopey

Share today’s solution with a friend:
FacebookTwitterGoogleEmail

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Caret-shaped letter LAMBDA
7. Entertainer whose name is Spanish for “churches” IGLESIAS
15. Film set in 2035 I, ROBOT
16. Connected with TRACED TO
17. Chinese discipline TAI CHI
18. Hood GANGSTER
19. Duke collaborator ELLA
20. Sign of a spill SLICK
22. __ Chicago EAST
23. Torments MISERIES
26. Fast sports cars GTS
27. Capital that starts with a month JUNEAU, ALASKA
31. Lacking heat? UNARMED
32. 2009 MTV Generation Award winner STILLER
36. Carol kings MAGI
37. Stud site LOBE
38. Medium PSYCHIC
42. Desert ABANDON
45. Capital that starts with a month AUGUSTA, MAINE
47. Pay stub? -OLA
50. Common knowledge NO SECRET
51. “__ again?” COME
53. One of four Holy Roman emperors OTTO I
54. “A Few Good Men” gp. USMC
58. Item required to be included on Nutrition Facts labels since 2003 TRANS FAT
60. Predicament SCRAPE
62. Walter White on “Breaking Bad,” for one ANTIHERO
63. Rode TEASED
64. Placed a confident bet LAID ODDS
65. Claim ALLEGE

Down
1. Like some salad dressing LITE
2. Sea ruined by extensive irrigation projects ARAL
3. Work like a dog MOIL
4. “Doctor Who” airer BBC AMERICA
5. “Am I an idiot!” DOH!
6. Debatable AT ISSUE
7. Certain media darling IT-GIRL
8. Word of thanks GRACIAS
9. Most long and slender LANKEST
10. Hosp. readout ECG
11. Zaire’s Mobutu __ Seko SESE
12. Security aid ID TAG
13. Blast from the past A-TEST
14. Thing that’s no fun to be out of SORTS
21. Pet controller LEAD
24. Sum, to Claudius I AM
25. Footwear item for Bode Miller SKI
27. __ shot JUMP
28. Article in El Sol UNAS
29. ’90s Cleveland Indians pitching standout Charles NAGY
30. Label on some whole foods ALL NATURAL
33. California’s self-proclaimed “Zinfandel Capital of the World” LODI
34. “… crafty seer, with __ wand”: Pope EBON
35. Kevin’s “Tin Cup” co-star RENE
39. Horde member HUN
40. Embarrassed admission I GOOFED
41. Tart filling CUSTARD
42. Early Bee Gees label ATCO
43. Bean expert BARISTA
44. Soul, to Sartre AME
46. Dustups SET-TOS
47. In base eight OCTAL
48. Daughter of Lady Dugal, as it turns out, in an 1869 novel LORNA
49. Violin pioneer AMATI
52. Two-part poem in “Idylls of the King” ENID
55. Convenient encl. SASE
56. Video file format MPEG
57. Turn over CEDE
59. “Homeland” sta. SHO
61. Dopey picture? CEL

Return to top of page

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 2 May 15, Saturday”

  1. It felt OK for a Saturday themeless. Enough easier answers to fill in the rest. Never heard of the novel referenced in 48D LORNA. I wonder how many people got the "Carol king" allusion to singer Carole King.

    Now it's time to get started on the Kentucky Derby party. 🙂

  2. Not at all bad for a Saturday. We needed the relief after yesterday's fiasco.

    I had DUH instead of DOH for a while making the NW corner more difficult than it should have been. Is a SKI actually footwear? It's attached to a boot which is footwear, but does that make the ski footwear?

    Seinfeld reference…adjacent to refuse IS refuse..

    Best –

  3. I my strange manner of cross-think, I thought of Napa, but it seemed too easy. I jumbled around for 4-letter wine towns, LODI was the only one I thought of.

  4. 28A: clue should have been plural, not singular, as in Articles, not Article. I think this was flat out wrong.

  5. 28D: clue should have been plural, not singular, as in Articles, not Article. I think this was flat out wrong.

  6. Unas in Spanish means a few. There is no direct word for word translation for it. If "a" had a plural, it would translate to Unas. Unas horas…a few hours.

    So the cluing is correct. It's a (ie one) plural indefinite article.

    Best

  7. This almost makes up for yesterday (Jeff said "fiasco" and I'm adding "travesty" to his word!) and the Titanic headache it gave me.

    @ RestMyCase – Unless I'm wrong (and that occurs on a daily basis) I think "unas" means "some" in English which takes care of the singular/plural problem.

  8. I know Spanish. The clue did not say Articles. It said Article. That is not a few, not some, not more than one. Article would be una. If they wanted unas as the answer, the clue should have said Articles.

  9. Hi RestMyCase – I thought, and still think, that this clue was talking about the part of speech which is an indefinite article (masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural and feminine plural). Unas is an article (the part of speech), is it not? That's how I took the clue and the answer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.