LA Times Crossword Answers 25 May 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Memorial Day … each of today’s themed answers is the name of a notable American memorial:

17A. *Cause championed by Martin Luther King, Jr. CIVIL RIGHTS (giving “Civil Rights Memorial”)
26A. *Military branch AIR FORCE (giving “Air Force Memorial”)
51A. *Five-sided figure PENTAGON (giving “Pentagon Memorial”)
61A. Late-May observance, whose first word can follow each answer to a starred clue MEMORIAL DAY
18D. *Bearded Mount Rushmore president LINCOLN (giving “Lincoln Memorial”)
35D. *Iconic WWII flag-raising island IWO JIMA (giving “Iwo Jima Memorial”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. “A Fish Called __”:1988 Cleese film WANDA
The 1988 comedy “A Fish Called Wanda” is a favorite of mine. The film was co-written by and stars John Cleese, and has an exceptional cast including Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Cleese’s friend from “Monty Python”, Michael Palin. Kevin Kline won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. The “fish” in the film is the con artist Wanda, played by Curtis.

10. Jordan Spieth’s org. PGA
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

Jordan Spieth is a young golfer from Dallas who made a name for himself in 2015 by becoming the second-youngest person to win the Masters, with only Tiger Woods being younger.

13. Hair-removal brand NAIR
Nair is a hair removal product that has some pretty harsh ingredients. The most important active constituents are calcium hydroxide (“slake lime”) and sodium hydroxide (“caustic soda”). Other Nair components seem to be there to soothe the skin after the harsher chemicals have done their job. The name “Nair” probably comes from combining “no” and “hair”.

16. Onassis nickname ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

17. *Cause championed by Martin Luther King, Jr. CIVIL RIGHTS (giving “Civil Rights Memorial”)
Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 35 years old when he won the Nobel Peace Prize, making him the youngest person to be so honored. King was given the award for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination using non-violent means. The following year he was awarded the American Liberties Medallion by the American Jewish Community.

The Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama remembers forty people who died over the years in the struggle for equal rights between the years 1954 (the year of the Brown v. Board of Education decision) and 1968 (the year Martin Luther King was assassinated). The memorial was designed by Maya Lin, whose most famous work is the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.

19. Nintendo’s Super __ NES
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era.

20. Somme summer ETE
The Somme is a department in the very north of France, in the Picardy region. The Somme is famous as the site of devastating battles during WWI.

21. “Love __ Open Door”: “Frozen” duet IS AN
“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. It is the highest-grossing animated film of all time.

22. Paris tower designer EIFFEL
Gustave Eiffel was the French civil engineer who famously designed the Eiffel Tower.

The Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) of 1900 was held in Paris, France. The 1900 fair is remembered for the magnificent entrance arch that was constructed for visitors. That entrance arch was to remain standing for only nine years, but the city decided to keep it and you can visit it today. Today we call that entrance arch the Eiffel Tower.

26. *Military branch AIR FORCE (giving “Air Force Memorial”)
The US Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia was unveiled in 2006. It was designed by James Ingo Freed, who also designed the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Air Force Memorial consists of three stainless steel spires that arc into the sky, reminding us of the contrails of demonstration planes as they peel back in a “bomb burst” maneuver.

29. Cold War CIA foe KGB
The Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d’état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

The phrase “Cold War” was coined by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch.

31. Capital of Libya TRIPOLI
Tripoli is the capital city of Libya and sits on the Mediterranean Coast. The city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was originally called Oea.

37. On the __: escaping LAM
To be “on the lam” is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

38. Like steak tartare RAW
What we now call steak tartare was first served in French restaurants in the early 1900s, and back then was called steak à l’Americaine, would you believe? It was basically raw, seasoned beef mixed with egg yolk. A later version of l’Americaine, without the egg yolk and with tartar sauce served on the side, was called steak tartare. Over time the two versions became one, and the steak tartare moniker won out. By the way, if you order steak tartare in Switzerland, I believe you are served horse meat …

43. Newman song played after a Dodgers home victory I LOVE LA
“I Love L.A.” is a song written and recorded by Randy Newman in 1983.

Randy Newman is a singer/songwriter, most famous for his movie scores in the past three decades. Film scores included on his resume include “The Natural”, “Meet the Parents” and all the “Toy Story” movies from Pixar. Also on his resume are songs that he wrote, but were made hits by others. Included in this list are “You Can Leave Your Hat On” (Joe Cocker & Tom Jones) and “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (Three Dog Night).

48. Long or Peeples NIA
Nia Long is an American actress, probably best known for playing Will Smith’s sometime girlfriend and fiancee Lisa Wilkes on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.

Actress Nia Peeples played the character Nicole Chapman in the TV series “Fame”.

50. “The Grapes of Wrath” family JOADS
John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” is set during the Great Depression. The novel tells the story of the Joad family from Oklahoma, farmers who had to leave their home and head for California due to economic hardship.

51. *Five-sided figure PENTAGON (giving “Pentagon Memorial”)
The incredible building known as the Pentagon was built during WWII, and dedicated on January 15, 1943. It is the largest office building in the world (by floor space) covering an area of about 6.5 million square feet. As it was built during the war years, a major requirement was that it use a minimum amount of steel. So the steel shortage dictated that the building be no more than four stories in height, covering an awful lot of real estate.

The Pentagon Memorial is a memorial to the 184 people who died as a result of the September 11 attack on the building in 2001. The memorial is located on the grounds of the Pentagon, and was opened in 2008. It features 184 illuminated benches, with each bench engraved with the name of a victim.

54. Mottled mount PINTO
A “pinto” is a horse with patchy markings of white mixed with another color. “Pinto” means “painted” in American Spanish.

56. Old MacDonald’s place FARM
There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

60. Brian of ambient music ENO
Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the “ambient” genre of music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks somewhat inventively: 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.

61. Late-May observance, whose first word can follow each answer to a starred clue MEMORIAL DAY
The US’s Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the men and women who fell serving their country in the armed forces. The holiday is held on the last Monday in May. It was originally known as Decorations Day and was established after the Civil War to commemorate both the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that conflict. Memorial Day is also the traditional start of the summer season, with the end of the season being Labor Day.

64. Org. with narcs DEA
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

65. Buffalo NHL team SABRES
The Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League in the 1970-71 season. The team took the name “Sabres” following a fan contest.

66. “__ Dinah”: Frankie Avalon hit DEDE
“Dede Dinah” was a 1958 hit for Frankie Avalon.

Frankie Avalon is a singer and actor who was a famous teen idol. Notably, he teamed up with actress and singer Annette Funicello in a series of “Beach Party” movies in the sixties.

67. Moth-eaten OLD
The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below 8 degrees centigrade.

69. Vietnam neighbor LAOS
The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country’s name is “Meuang Lao”. The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.

Down
1. __ in a blue moon ONCE
As there is a full moon once every four weeks, approximately monthly, there are usually twelve full moons in any given year. However, every 2-3 years, depending on the phase of the moon at the beginning of the calendar year, there may be a thirteenth full moon. The “extra” full moon is called a “blue moon”, although no one seems to really know why the term “blue” is used, as far as I can tell. Which of the thirteen full moons that is designated as the blue moon varies depending on tradition. My favorite definition is from the Farmer’s Almanac. It states that as each of the seasons normally has three full moons (twelve divided by the four seasons), then the season with four full moons is designated as “special”, then the THIRD (and not the fourth) full moon in that “special” season is the blue moon. Complicated, huh?

4. __ Lanka SRI
The name Sri Lanka translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

5. German sausage WURST
“Wurst” is simply a German word for “sausage”.

6. Japan’s locale ASIA
The Japanese names for “Japan” are “Nippon” and “Nihon”. These translate literally as “the sun’s origin”, but the more ornate translation of “Land of the Rising Sun” is often cited.

7. Words from a beleaguered spouse NAG NAG
Something described as “beleaguered” is beset with troubles. More literally, the term means “besieged”, from the Dutch or Low German word for “camp around”.

9. Daisylike flower ASTER
Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall.

11. Plato’s country GREECE
Plato was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was a student of the equally famous and respected Socrates, and Plato in turn was the teacher and mentor of the celebrated Aristotle.

18. *Bearded Mount Rushmore president LINCOLN (giving “Lincoln Memorial”)
The Lincoln Memorial is my favorite place to visit in the whole of Washington D.C. The memorial was designed by Henry Bacon, and the sculptor of the magnificent statue of President Lincoln was Daniel Chester French. I spent a wonderful afternoon a few years ago touring the workshop and home of French, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The workshop is stunning, with miniature studies for his magnus opus, the Lincoln Statue, as well as many other beautiful works.

The four presidents whose faces are carved in the granite face of Mount Rushmore are (from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Each of the presidents is about 60 feet in height, although they might have been larger. The original intent was for the presidents to be depicted from head to waist, but the project lost funding.

23. Stable baby FOAL
There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

– Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
– Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
– Filly: female horse under the age of four
– Colt: male horse under the age of four
– Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
– Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
– Mare: female horse four years or older

25. Guacamole, e.g. DIP
Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes, and is made by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

27. Spain and Portugal IBERIA
The Iberian Peninsula in Europe is largely made up of Spain and Portugal. However, also included is the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrenees, a small part of the south of France, and the British Territory of Gibraltar. The name “Iberian” comes from the Latin “Iber”, the name the Romans used for Ebro, the longest river in Spain.

28. NFL linemen RTS
In American football, linemen specialize in playing in the line of scrimmage. RT stands for Right Tackle. That’s about all I know, and even that I am unsure about …

29. Japanese robe KIMONO
The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

34. Actor Kilmer VAL
Val Kilmer’s first big leading role in a movie was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic “The Doors”. A few years later, Kilmer was chosen for the lead in another big production, “Batman Forever”. Things haven’t really gone as well for Kilmer since then, I’d say. Off the screen, he flirted with the idea of running for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Hollywood actor as a Governor? Would never happen …

35. *Iconic WWII flag-raising island IWO JIMA (giving “Iwo Jima Memorial”)
Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since.

The Marine Corps War Memorial at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery is often referred to as the Iwo Jima Memorial. Famously, the memorial is a statue depicting six serviceman raising a US flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima of WWII. The statue is based on a memorable photograph taken during the battle by Joe Rosenthal. The memorial was dedicated by President Eisenhower in 1954.

40. Legendary city of gold EL DORADO
The original El Dorado was a Muisca chief who was covered with gold dust in a tribal ritual and then dove into Lake Guatavita in present-day Colombia. Later, “El Dorado” was adopted as the name for a mythical “Lost City of Gold” that became a quest from many Spanish Conquistadors who explored the Americas.

44. Maria __ Trapp VON
“The Sound of Music” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, made into a celebrated movie in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The musical is based on “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”, a memoir by Maria von Trapp. The von Trapp family ended up in Stowe, Vermont after the war, and one family descended from the Vermont von Trapps lives here in the same town in which I live in California.

45. Skimpy swimwear brand SPEEDO
Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago, I guess …

57. Pi r squared, for a circle AREA
By definition, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is the mathematical constant known as pi. The same constant shows up as the ratio of a circle’s area to its radius squared.

62. CEO’s degree MBA
The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

63. “Bad” cholesterol letters LDL
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is one of the compounds responsible for transporting fats around the body. When LDL is combined with cholesterol it can be referred to as “bad cholesterol”. This is because LDL actually transports cholesterol into the inner walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.

HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is a compound that is used to transport fats around the body. When HDL is combined with (i.e. is transporting) cholesterol, it is often called “good cholesterol”. This is because HDL seems to remove cholesterol from where it should not be, say on the walls of arteries, and transports it to the liver for reuse or disposal. Important stuff …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Barn birds OWLS
5. “A Fish Called __”:1988 Cleese film WANDA
10. Jordan Spieth’s org. PGA
13. Hair-removal brand NAIR
14. Olympics chant USA! USA!
16. Onassis nickname ARI
17. *Cause championed by Martin Luther King, Jr. CIVIL RIGHTS (giving “Civil Rights Memorial”)
19. Nintendo’s Super __ NES
20. Somme summer ETE
21. “Love __ Open Door”: “Frozen” duet IS AN
22. Paris tower designer EIFFEL
24. “I __ noticed” HADN’T
26. *Military branch AIR FORCE (giving “Air Force Memorial”)
28. Archaeological artifact RELIC
29. Cold War CIA foe KGB
30. Assents at sea AYES
31. Capital of Libya TRIPOLI
33. Morally bad EVIL
36. “Catch my drift?” SEE?
37. On the __: escaping LAM
38. Like steak tartare RAW
39. Unused NEW
42. Reverse, as a computer operation UNDO
43. Newman song played after a Dodgers home victory I LOVE LA
45. Pass up SKIP
48. Long or Peeples NIA
50. “The Grapes of Wrath” family JOADS
51. *Five-sided figure PENTAGON (giving “Pentagon Memorial”)
54. Mottled mount PINTO
55. Sign up ENROLL
56. Old MacDonald’s place FARM
58. Seething state IRE
60. Brian of ambient music ENO
61. Late-May observance, whose first word can follow each answer to a starred clue MEMORIAL DAY
64. Org. with narcs DEA
65. Buffalo NHL team SABRES
66. “__ Dinah”: Frankie Avalon hit DEDE
67. Moth-eaten OLD
68. Papas’ partners MAMAS
69. Vietnam neighbor LAOS

Down
1. __ in a blue moon ONCE
2. “Don’t move until I get back” WAIT HERE
3. Be habitually dishonest LIVE A LIE
4. __ Lanka SRI
5. German sausage WURST
6. Japan’s locale ASIA
7. Words from a beleaguered spouse NAG NAG
8. “Boy, am I dumb!” DUH!
9. Daisylike flower ASTER
10. Cook in a skillet PAN-FRY
11. Plato’s country GREECE
12. Theater walkways AISLES
15. “Yeah, right!” AS IF!
18. *Bearded Mount Rushmore president LINCOLN (giving “Lincoln Memorial”)
23. Stable baby FOAL
25. Guacamole, e.g. DIP
27. Spain and Portugal IBERIA
28. NFL linemen RTS
29. Japanese robe KIMONO
32. Young fellow LAD
34. Actor Kilmer VAL
35. *Iconic WWII flag-raising island IWO JIMA (giving “Iwo Jima Memorial”)
39. “Clever thought!” NEAT IDEA!
40. Legendary city of gold EL DORADO
41. “What __ I thinking?” WAS
42. At most UP TO
44. Maria __ Trapp VON
45. Skimpy swimwear brand SPEEDO
46. Hound hotel KENNEL
47. Damaging encroachment INROAD
49. Break the news to INFORM
52. Charitable gift ALMS
53. Sparkle GLEAM
54. Overly proper type PRISS
57. Pi r squared, for a circle AREA
59. Baby blues EYES
62. CEO’s degree MBA
63. “Bad” cholesterol letters LDL

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3 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 25 May 15, Monday”

  1. ARRRGH!

    I had a Y crossing Tripol(i) and K(i)mono and just couldn't see the mistake.

    The rest was a quick and enjoyable solve.

    Have a great and safe end of the weekend!
    No rest for the weary here.

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