LA Times Crossword Answers 26 May 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: Redundancies … each of today’s themed answers is common phrase starting with a 3-letter initialism. But, the word accompanying the initialism is actually represented by the last of the three letters, and so is REDUNDANT. And I must admit, these redundancies drive me crazy!

17A. Cash source, redundantly ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) MACHINE
28A. 17-Across access code, redundantly PIN (Personal Identification Number) NUMBER
38A. College entrance exam, redundantly SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) TEST
47A. Adobe file spec, redundantly PDF (Portable Document Format) FORMAT
63A. PC linking system, redundantly LAN (Local Area Network) NETWORK

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 14s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. __ noire: dreaded thing BETE
“Bête noire” translates from French as “black beast” and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.

15. Herman’s Hermits frontman Peter NOONE
Peter Noone is a great personality in the entertainment world, most famous as the “Herman” in the sixties group Herman’s Hermits. Noone was only 15-years-old when he started as lead singer with the band.

19. Gull relative TERN
Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …

20. Sweet-talk WHEEDLE
“To wheedle” is to influence by flattery for one’s gain. Such a lovely verb, I think …

21. Ethiopia neighbor ERITREA
Eritrea is a country located in the Horn of Africa, surrounded by Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Red Sea. Some scientists believe that the area now known as Eritrea was the departure point for the first anatomically-modern humans who first left Africa to populate the rest of the world.

23. Refine, as ore SMELT
Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and of course, a greenhouse gas).

26. Half of sechs DREI
In German, half of six (sechs) is three (drei).

35. Sign before Virgo LEO
Leo is the fifth astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is the star sign for people born between July 23rd and August 22nd. Those born between August 23rd and September 22nd are Leos. According to a learned (!) source that I just read, a relationship between a Virgo and a Leo is one that will grow over time …

36. Spanish explorer Hernando de __ SOTO
Hernando de Soto was a Spanish conquistador who led expeditions throughout the southeastern US. De Soto’s travels were unsuccessful in that he failed to bring gold or silver back to Spain, and nor did he found any colonies. What de Soto did achieve was the exposure of local populations to devastating Eurasian diseases. De Soto was the first European to cross the Mississippi River, in 1541. The first European to see the Mississippi (but not cross it) was Alonso Álvarez de Pineda, in 1519.

37. Compact submachine gun UZI
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

38. College entrance exam, redundantly SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) TEST
Today the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the acronym SAT.

42. Tennis great Lacoste RENE
René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. And a “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

44. Apt. coolers ACS
Apartment (apt.) coolers are air-conditioning units (ACs).

45. Large __ Collider: particle accelerator HADRON
The Large Hadron Collider is the world’s largest particle accelerator. It is located on the French-Swiss border near Geneva, in a tunnel that is a whopping 17 miles in circumference.

47. Adobe file spec, redundantly PDF (Portable Document Format) FORMAT
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

52. Drivel TRIPE
“Tripe” is an informal term meaning “rubbish, of little value”. Tripe is actually the rubbery lining of say a cow, that in the UK is traditionally eaten with onions.

54. Dickens miser SCROOGE
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

63. PC linking system, redundantly LAN (Local Area Network) NETWORK
You may have a Local Area Network (LAN) in your house. If you’ve got a PC and a router or switch, likely attached to some modem, then you have a LAN.

66. Novelist Jong ERICA
The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later she wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

69. First name in TV talk ELLEN
Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian in a scene with her therapist, who was played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

70. Longings YENS
The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

Down
1. Wad of tobacco CHAW
“Chaw” is a slang term for a chew, often a plug of tobacco.

2. Clothes closet pest MOTH
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.

4. Luthor and Zod, to Superman NEMESES
Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

Lex Luthor is the arch-nemesis of Superman in comics. Luthor has been portrayed in a number of guises in the comic world as well in movies and on the small screen. For example, he appeared as Atom Man in the 1950 film series “Atom Man vs. Superman”, and was played by actor Lyle Talbot, opposite Kirk Alyn’s Superman.

General Zod is a supervillain and enemy of Superman of DC Comics. Zod is from Krypton, Superman’s home planet, so the two have many of the same superpowers. Zod appeared in the movies “Superman” and “Superman II”, and was played by English actor Terence Stamp.

5. Ben or Sam UNCLE
Uncle Ben’s is a famous brand of rice introduced in 1943. It was the biggest selling brand of rice in the US from the fifties through the nineties. As one might imagine, the name “Uncle Ben” is pretty offensive and Mars, who owns the brand now, have tried to distance themselves from the African-American slave/domestic servant image. In 2007 there was a TV campaign showing “Uncle Ben” as Chairman of the Board of the company. But, he is still called Uncle Ben …

The Uncle Sam personification of the United States was first used during the War of 1812. The “Uncle Sam” term was so widely accepted that even the Germans used it during WWII, choosing the code word “Samland” for “America” in intelligence communiques.

7. “Little ol’ me?” MOI?
“Moi” is the French word for “me”.

8. Author Rice ANNE
Anne Rice is an American author of erotic and Gothic novels. She was born Howard Allen O’Brien (no wonder she changed her name!). Her famous series of novels “The Vampire Chronicles” centers on her character Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman who was turned into a vampire in the 18th century. One of the stories, “Interview with the Vampire”, was adapted for the big screen in 1994 and features Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and others in a star-studded cast. Not my kind of movie though, as I don’t do vampires …

11. Manicurist’s buffer EMERY BOARD
Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

13. Sicilian volcano ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius.

In the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, the “boot” is the mainland of Italy, and the “ball” being kicked by the boot is the island of Sicily.

22. Post-op setting ICU
After being wheeled out of the Operating Room (OR) a patient might spend some time in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

24. Attacks, knight-style TILTS AT
Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used the competition is called “tilting”. Jousting took place in a roped-off enclosure that was called the lists, or list field. In later medieval times, some castles and palaces had purpose-built “tiltyards” that were used for jousting. Do you remember where the Beach Volleyball events were held in the 2012 London Olympics. Well that was Horse Guards Parade, the former tiltyard for the Palace of Whitehall that was used in the time of King Henry VIII.

29. Alumna bio word NEE
“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

An “alumnus” (plural … alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural … alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

30. Small snack NOSH
Our word “nosh”, meaning “snack”, has been around since the late fifties. It derives from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”.

33. Tupperware sound BURP
Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal”, which were provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

34. German coal region SAAR
The Saar is a river that rises on the border between Alsace and Lorraine in France, flows through western Germany and finally enters the Moselle. Historically the Saar river valley was an important source for coal, iron and steel.

39. Film buff’s sta. TCM
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels, delivering just what its name promises: classic movies.

40. Mammoth-preserving locale TAR PIT
A tar pit is an unusual geological feature, leakage of bitumen from below ground to the earth’s surface creating a pool of natural asphalt. One of the most famous of these occurrences is the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirsts. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

48. Oklahoma native OTO
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

55. Florentine farewell CIAO
“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates better as “goodbye”.

Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region in Italy. Something from or related to Florence is described as “Florentine”. The city is known as “Firenze” in Italian.

56. TV musical comedy that ended in 2015 GLEE
The TV show called “Glee” proved to be very popular for the first few years of its run, starting in 2009. That popularity inevitably waned and the series was canceled in 2015. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio called New Directions.

60. Dianetics creator __ Hubbard L RON
L. Ron Hubbard wrote a self-improvement book in 1950 called “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. A few years later the concepts were used in the founding of the Church of Scientology.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Shake a leg!” C’MON!
5. Deprive of one’s nerve UNMAN
10. __ noire: dreaded thing BETE
14. Sharpen HONE
15. Herman’s Hermits frontman Peter NOONE
16. Skip over OMIT
17. Cash source, redundantly ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) MACHINE
19. Gull relative TERN
20. Sweet-talk WHEEDLE
21. Ethiopia neighbor ERITREA
23. Refine, as ore SMELT
25. Flirtatiously shy COY
26. Half of sechs DREI
28. 17-Across access code, redundantly PIN (Personal Identification Number) NUMBER
33. Speaks too well of oneself BOASTS
35. Sign before Virgo LEO
36. Spanish explorer Hernando de __ SOTO
37. Compact submachine gun UZI
38. College entrance exam, redundantly SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) TEST
41. “I thought so!” AHA!
42. Tennis great Lacoste RENE
44. Apt. coolers ACS
45. Large __ Collider: particle accelerator HADRON
47. Adobe file spec, redundantly PDF (Portable Document Format) FORMAT
50. Empties (of) RIDS
51. Frequently, in poems OFT
52. Drivel TRIPE
54. Dickens miser SCROOGE
58. Gracious AMIABLE
62. Berth place PIER
63. PC linking system, redundantly LAN (Local Area Network) NETWORK
65. Los Angeles-to-Phoenix direction EAST
66. Novelist Jong ERICA
67. Lip balm additive ALOE
68. Things to connect DOTS
69. First name in TV talk ELLEN
70. Longings YEN

Down
1. Wad of tobacco CHAW
2. Clothes closet pest MOTH
3. “You can count __” ON ME
4. Luthor and Zod, to Superman NEMESES
5. Ben or Sam UNCLE
6. Like vague hints, usually NO HELP
7. “Little ol’ me?” MOI?
8. Author Rice ANNE
9. __-do-well NE’ER
10. Bell-__: flared pants BOTTOMS
11. Manicurist’s buffer EMERY BOARD
12. Run out of gas TIRE
13. Sicilian volcano ETNA
18. Opens the door to ADMITS
22. Post-op setting ICU
24. Attacks, knight-style TILTS AT
26. Slept for a bit DOZED
27. Amazonian ecosystem RAIN FOREST
29. Alumna bio word NEE
30. Small snack NOSH
31. Cultural values of a group ETHOS
32. Colorful horse ROAN
33. Tupperware sound BURP
34. German coal region SAAR
39. Film buff’s sta. TCM
40. Mammoth-preserving locale TAR PIT
43. Serious attempts EFFORTS
46. Wane DIE AWAY
48. Oklahoma native OTO
49. Hypnotic state TRANCE
53. “In other words …” I MEAN …
54. Risked a ticket SPED
55. Florentine farewell CIAO
56. TV musical comedy that ended in 2015 GLEE
57. British peer EARL
59. Tree trunk BOLE
60. Dianetics creator __ Hubbard L RON
61. Endures hardship to make, with “out” EKES
64. Zero, in soccer NIL

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 26 May 15, Tuesday”

  1. Hi Addict. Bill did inadvertently contribute to the theme of the puzzle by putting in the "La Brea" part of Tar Pits. I like to tell people I'll meet them at the Wilshire Blvd. Tar Pits to keep out of redundancy trouble. But I do note that the puzzle constructor stayed out of trouble by avoiding the use of "La Brea" in his clue and his answer. So we are all good! Hope you and all our other puzzle enthusiasts have a good Tuesday. See you tomorrow I hope.

  2. Really enjoyed the theme. I'm with Bill. ATM machine and PIN number are like fingernails on a chalkboard for me probably because you hear them so often. Another one is when someones asks if someone is STILL ALIVE. The argument is that the word "still" is never necessary as it is redundant. I'm on the fence with that one as there is a matter of emphasis to consider, but I understand the problem with it.

    I'm willing to give La Brea tar pits a pass – at least they are in different languages and you're not repeating the exact word.

    I also thought the guy was named Peter NO ONE (what a pathetic name..) until I read the blog. Noone is better….

    Best –

  3. The puzzle was delightful. A coupla words gave me fits. But still, all in all, delightful.

    The Hadron Collider was Europe's answer to the American penchant for spending big bucks. A collosal, massive (redundant -) and redundant (!) project which requires a nation's worth of electricity and energy to operate. But is keeps 1400 Ph. D.'s busy for their lifetimes … so it can't be all that bad …. and it purchased a Nobel Prize ( for the apparent proof of the Higg's Boson particle – ) so I guess its worth it.

    Meanwhile, I just plunked a hundred dollars on a 'football pool', to predict the exact date that Greece is going to default on its sovereign debt. Probably, in the next 30 days.

    I did not know 'La Brea', itself, meant the Tar Pit(s). Thank you Addict and Tony.

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. The Hadron Collider actually does some amazing stuff. It essentially accelerates particles so fast that when they collide, energy is released and new particles are created. What that accomplishes is too involved to go into here but it searches for the origins of the universe and how it all really works among other things.

    If you want a really neat layman's summary of what happens there and what Higgs Boson really is, check this link out http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120501.html You'll see how the difference between actually proving Higgs Boson and disproving it are remarkably similar…which is fascinating it its own right.

    Best

  5. You guys are all way too smart for me 🙂 In my defense, the folks at La Brea uses the same redundancy in their own marketing materials.

    Redundancies involving "foreign" phrases are tricky, and perhaps more common than we think. How often have said something like "Please RSVP as soon as you can"? The "please" is redundant with the "SVP".

    Just saying … 🙂

  6. My two favorites are (of course) sports related: (a) football announcers who refer to the field in Green Bay as "the frozen tundra," and (b) "RBIs," because "RBI" stands for "runs batted in." No need to make it plural. Others include "cancel out," "brief summary," "HIV virus," and "safe haven." Grr.

  7. OK, I've got a bone to pick with Mr. Bain. Not because one of his grids also ran in today's NY Times, but because he used some of THE SAME WORDS in both puzzles. Not to mention his crutch of reverting to French words in both. If you're gonna make $385 off my brain pan (not to mention having to watch those insipid ads), get more creative!

  8. Growing up in L.A., we always said The La Brea Tar Pits. Boy did our high school Spanish teachers love to set us straight. The The Tar Tar Pits!!
    @Willie — RBI problem solved when people say "ribbies!"
    I always want to say Hadrian Collider, as in the Roman Emperor. No relation, right?
    Peace out–for now!

  9. Here are 2 related redundancies from the cardiology world – when drug-eluting stents were introduced (around 2002) as a a better way to ensure that balloon dilatations of coronary artery narrowings wouldn't tend to clot up, they were (and still are) colloquially referred to as "DES stents" in contrast to the older and reputedly less effective bare-metal stents ("BMS stents" of course). Maybe one can find some justification for the redundancy in the "S" at the end of the abbreviations – the purist plural would have to be "DES's" or "BMS's" – clumsy to to verbalize and to write.

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