LA Times Crossword Answers 28 May 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Poole
THEME: Patterned Things … each of today’s themed answers melds the name of a pattern with an object:

17A. Digging tool with an abstract pattern? HOUND’S TOOTHPICK (“houndstooth” & “toothpick”)
24A. Mathematical array with a spotted pattern? POLKA-DOT MATRIX (“polka dot” & “dot matrix”)
45A. Fish with a linear pattern? PINSTRIPED BASS (“pinstriped” & “striped bass”)
59A. Volume with a plaid pattern? MADRAS-CHECK BOOK (“Madras check” & “checkbook”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Help with a heist ABET
The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

5. Senate __ RACE
The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the US Senate seats come up for reelection.

14. First name in fashion COCO
Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer. Perhaps because I am a man, clothes design is not my forte. However, if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really liked, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that looked so elegant on a woman.

15. First name in fashion OLEG
Oleg Cassini, the French-born American fashion designer, had two big names particularly associated with his designs. In the sixties he produced the state wardrobe for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and he was also the exclusive designer for Hollywood’s Gene Tierney, who was Cassini’s second wife.

16. Transmission repair franchise AAMCO
AAMCO is named after one of the two founders, Anthony A. Martino (AAM). The company was founded in 1963 in Philadelphia, and opened its first franchise in Newark that same year. There are now about 800 franchises, and AAMCO is the largest chain in the world specializing in automotive transmissions.

17. Digging tool with an abstract pattern? HOUND’S TOOTHPICK (“houndstooth” & “toothpick”)
“Houndstooth” is a pattern found in some two-toned textiles that can be described as a “broken check”. The original houndstooth check was introduced in the Scottish Lowlands in woven woolen cloth. The jagged pattern might be said to resemble the teeth of a dog, hence the name.

22. First and last words of “Green Eggs And Ham” I AM
Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

and ends with:

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am

23. Winter Palace resident TSAR
The Winter Palace is a magnificent building in St. Petersburg in Russia, home to the Russian tsars (and tsarinas). The Winter Palace houses the famous Hermitage Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the Palace and museum some years ago, and I have to say that I have rarely been more impressed by a historical building.

24. Mathematical array with a spotted pattern? POLKA-DOT MATRIX (“polka dot” & “dot matrix”)
A polka dot pattern is one featuring an array of filled circles, usually of the same size and color. There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the name of the pattern and the polka dance, other than both the dance and the pattern gaining popularity around the same time, in the late nineteenth century.

A dot matrix printer works somewhat like an old typewriter. The printer head runs back and forth across the stage striking the paper through an inked ribbon, creating the printed characters from small dots.

31. Champagne label word SEC
“Sec” is a term used in France for “dry”.

Sparkling wines can be classified according to sweetness. These classifications are, from driest to sweetest:

– Brut Nature
– Extra Brut
– Brut
– Extra Dry
– Dry
– Semi-Dry
– Sweet

32. Olympic hawk ARES
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of blood-lust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos, Deimos and Eros. The Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

The dove is a symbol of peace, and the hawk is a symbol of war.

34. 3-Down is in it OPEC
(3D. Besides Chile, the only S.A. country that doesn’t border Brazil ECUA)
Ecuador joined OPEC in 1973, but withdrew at the end of 1992. The government of Ecuador balked at the $2 million membership fee, and also wanted to produce more oil than was was allowed by the OPEC quota system. Ecuador rejoined OPEC in 2007.

36. Arafat of the PLO YASIR
Yasser (also Yasir) Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929, the son of two Palestinians and the second-youngest of seven children. Arafat was beaten by his father as a child and so did not have a good relationship with him. Arafat did not attend his father’s funeral, nor did he visit his grave. The beatings were apparently administered because the young Arafat was repeatedly attending religious services in the Jewish quarter of Cairo. Arafat’s explanation was that he wanted to “study the mentality” of the Jewish people.

39. Broadway feature NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

40. Carne __ ASADA
“Carne Asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

42. Pupil’s place UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.

The pupil of the eye is the “hole” located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

50. Much FAR
Much more, far more …

51. College milieu ACADEME
“Academe” is a term used for the academic world. The expression “the groves of academe” is a reference to the location of Plato’s original “Academy” in a walled-off grove of olive trees just outside Athens.

59. Volume with a plaid pattern? MADRAS-CHECK BOOK (“Madras check” & “checkbook”)
Madras is a lightweight fabric with a plaid design that is often used for summer clothing. The pattern is sometimes referred as “Madrasi checks”. The textile takes its name from Madras, the former name of the city of Chennai in India.

61. Son of Abraham ISAAC
According to the Hebrew Bible, Isaac was the only son of Abraham, born to his wife Sarah when she was beyond her childbearing years and when Abraham was 100 years old. Isaac himself lived until he was 180 years old. When Isaac was just a youth, Abraham was tested by Yahweh (God) and told to build an altar on which he was to sacrifice his only son. At the last minute an angel appeared and stopped Abraham, telling him to sacrifice a ram instead.

64. “Married to the Mob” director DEMME
Jonathan Demme is best known for directing “The Silence of the Lambs” for which he won an Oscar. Demme’s next movie was “Philadelphia”, which won an Oscar for the lead actor, Tom Hanks.

“Married to the Mob” is a 1988 comedy starring Michelle Pfeiffer as a gangster’s widow under investigation by an FBI agent played by Matthew Modine.

Down
1. Twice vier ACHT
In German, four (vier) times two (zwei) is eight (acht).

3. Besides Chile, the only S.A. country that doesn’t border Brazil ECUA
“Ecuador” is the Spanish word for “equator”, which gives the country its name.

4. Neck tissue TONSIL
The palatine tonsils are located at the back of the human throat. The exact role that tonsils play isn’t completely understood, but it is known that they are in the first line of defense in the body’s immune system. They provide some level of protection against pathogens that are ingested and inhaled.

5. Italian cuisine herb ROSEMARY
The herb rosemary is reputed to improve the memory. As such, rosemary has been used as a symbol of remembrance, especially in Europe and Australia. For example, mourners might throw sprigs of rosemary into graves, symbolically remembering the dead. The character Ophelia in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” utters the line “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance”. The name of the herb comes from the Latin “ros marinus” which means “dew of the sea”. The idea is that rosemary can in fact grow in some arid locations with only the moisture that is carried by a sea breeze.

6. Cockpit figs. ALTS
Altitude (alt.)

7. Satya Nadella of Microsoft, e.g. CEO
Satya Nadella is an Indian-American businessman who has served as CEO of Microsoft since 2014. Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992, after having worked with Sun Microsystems. He is only Microsoft’s third CEO, following Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

9. Like nearly one-third of Africa SAHARAN
The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

10. Kirk or Picard: Abbr. CAPT
According to the storyline in “Star Trek”, Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa. The town of Riverside displays a plaque, noting Riverside as the “future birthplace of James T. Kirk.” Kirk was played by William Shatner.

When Gene Roddenberry was creating the “Star Trek” spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I think he chose a quite magnificent name for the new starship captain. The name “Jean-Luc Picard” is imitative of one or both of the twin-brother Swiss scientists Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard. The role of Picard was of course played by the wonderful Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart.

11. Brest friend AMIE
Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.

12. Year in which Frederick II died MCCL
The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II was known as Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (Hohenstaufen was a dynasty of German kings). He was a remarkable man by all accounts, more learned than others of his standing, with a seemingly unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Frederick is believed to have spoken six languages, namely Latin, Sicilian, German, French, Greek and Arabic. He was fascinated by science and was very much a skeptic. However, he is known to have carried out some brutal experiments on humans. He once sealed a prisoner into a cask with a small hole, to see if the soul could be observed leaving through the hole when the poor man died. In another experiment he fed two prisoners and then sent one off to hunt, and one off to bed. He then had both prisoners disemboweled to learn which had digested his meal better.

18. Bangladesh capital DHAKA
Dhaka (once “Dacca”) is the capital city of Bangladesh. Dhaka is known for many things, including production of the finest muslin in the world. It’s also the rickshaw capital of the world, with about 400,000 rickshaws running each day.

24. It was originally named Brad’s Drink PEPSI
The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as “Brad’s Drink”. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name we use today: Pepsi-Cola.

25. Indian __ OCEAN
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the oceans, after the Pacific and Atlantic.

26. Bust gp. DEA
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.

27. Bronze component TIN
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Compare this with bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Copper and bronze are often mistaken for each other.

29. Madonna and Lady Gaga ICONS
Madonna’s full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone. Born in Bay City, Michigan, Madonna was destined to become the top-selling female recording artist of all time.

Lady Gaga is the stage name of Stefani Germanotta. Germanotta is a big fan of the band Queen, and she took her stage name from the marvelous Queen song “Radio Ga Ga”.

30. Gabrielle’s friend XENA
The Xena character, famously played by actress Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that the series “Xena: Warrior Princess” was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the role.

Gabrielle is a character in the TV show “Xena: Warrior Princess” who is played by actress Renee O’Connor.

47. Polar concern ICE CAP
The polar ice cap at the north of our planet is floating pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. The southern polar ice cap is an ice sheet that covers the land mass known as Antarctica. About 70% of all the freshwater on Earth is held in the southern polar ice cap.

48. Oil-rich peninsula ARABIA
The Arabian Peninsula (also “Arabia”) is part of Western Asia that is located just north-east of Africa. The peninsula is bordered to the west by the Red Sea, to the northeast by the Persian Gulf, and to the southeast by the Indian Ocean. Most of the Arabian Peninsula is taken up by Saudi Arabia, but also included are Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen.

54. Eighth of a fluid ounce DRAM
The dram is a confusing unit of measurement, I think. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

55. Fast-spreading Internet phenomenon MEME
A “meme” (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

58. Laboriously earns, with “out” EKES
To “eke out” means to “make something go further or last longer”. For example, you could eke out your income by cutting back on expenses. I always have a problem with the commonly cited definition of “eke out” as “barely get by”. Close but no cigar, I say …

60. Stomach acid, to a chemist HCL
Gastric acid is produced by cells lining the stomach, and is composed of hydrochloric acid (HCl), potassium chloride (KCl) and sodium chloride (NaCl). Other cells lining the stomach produce bicarbonate to ensure the contents of the stomach do not become too acidic. Those same cell also produce mucus that lines the stomach wall to protect it from the acid.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Help with a heist ABET
5. Senate __ RACE
9. Rascal SCAMP
14. First name in fashion COCO
15. First name in fashion OLEG
16. Transmission repair franchise AAMCO
17. Digging tool with an abstract pattern? HOUND’S TOOTHPICK (“houndstooth” & “toothpick”)
20. Wrecks TRASHES
21. How a scolding may be given IRATELY
22. First and last words of “Green Eggs And Ham” I AM
23. Winter Palace resident TSAR
24. Mathematical array with a spotted pattern? POLKA-DOT MATRIX (“polka dot” & “dot matrix”)
31. Champagne label word SEC
32. Olympic hawk ARES
33. Reunion attendee NIECE
34. 3-Down is in it OPEC
36. Arafat of the PLO YASIR
39. Broadway feature NEON
40. Carne __ ASADA
42. Pupil’s place UVEA
44. Letters from your parents? DNA
45. Fish with a linear pattern? PINSTRIPED BASS (“pinstriped” & “striped bass”)
49. Snaps PICS
50. Much FAR
51. College milieu ACADEME
55. Ghoulish MACABRE
59. Volume with a plaid pattern? MADRAS-CHECK BOOK (“Madras check” & “checkbook”)
61. Son of Abraham ISAAC
62. Top ACME
63. Run without moving IDLE
64. “Married to the Mob” director DEMME
65. Appealed PLED
66. Some votes AYES

Down
1. Twice vier ACHT
2. Lout BOOR
3. Besides Chile, the only S.A. country that doesn’t border Brazil ECUA
4. Neck tissue TONSIL
5. Italian cuisine herb ROSEMARY
6. Cockpit figs. ALTS
7. Satya Nadella of Microsoft, e.g. CEO
8. Self-seeker EGOIST
9. Like nearly one-third of Africa SAHARAN
10. Kirk or Picard: Abbr. CAPT
11. Brest friend AMIE
12. Year in which Frederick II died MCCL
13. Snail-paced POKY
18. Bangladesh capital DHAKA
19. Streetcar relative TRAM
23. Hard-to-call contests TOSSUPS
24. It was originally named Brad’s Drink PEPSI
25. Indian __ OCEAN
26. Bust gp. DEA
27. Bronze component TIN
28. Orchestra section REEDS
29. Madonna and Lady Gaga ICONS
30. Gabrielle’s friend XENA
31. Hotel freebie SOAP
35. Collection to burn CDS
37. “Now __ seen everything!” I’VE
38. Embarrassed RED-FACED
41. Tranquil AT PEACE
43. One way to be taken ABACK
46. What some eyeglasses lack RIMS
47. Polar concern ICE CAP
48. Oil-rich peninsula ARABIA
51. Within AMID
52. One taken to court CASE
53. Leading man? ADAM
54. Eighth of a fluid ounce DRAM
55. Fast-spreading Internet phenomenon MEME
56. Murder mystery staple BODY
57. Something to cast ROLE
58. Laboriously earns, with “out” EKES
60. Stomach acid, to a chemist HCL

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 28 May 15, Thursday”

  1. A really good Goldilocks puzzle. It was hard enough to challenge me, but I was able to finish.

    Vidwan – Super collider research must look better after reading about Frederick II's "research". 🙂

    Oh – and just to beat one more horse to death. I heard this one yesterday on tv when someone said they would seek "other alternatives"….yet one more redundancy that drives me crazy…

    Best –

  2. Tough puzzle, but somehow the answers came to me by divine revelation 🙂
    I think the matrix referred to in the puzzle is not the matrix printer but, rather, a mathematical matrix ala the times table etc. (IMHO)

  3. @Piano Man
    Yes, I agree that the clue is referring to the mathematical array. I was just writing about the "dot matrix" element in the melded answer. I figured I could write something intelligible about the printer, and not the mathematical concept! 🙂

  4. ™Willie D – You've given me the idea for a slogan (uttered by a character in a Coen brother's movie most probably) "luego vino la carne" (g)

  5. Had an awful time with the SW. Never heard of DEMME, or DHAKA. Thought "throat" tissue should be TONSIL. Gabrielle who? Anyway, finished although I had my doubts.
    Tony, I don't get it. ^0^

  6. The puzzle floored me. Thats all.

    Jeff: Regarding human experiments by kings of long ago.

    Shah Jahan (1592-1666), the mughal who built the Taj Mahal, once decided to do an experiment. ( this according to Shahjahan- Zafar nama – his official biography – ). Since, Arabic is supposed to be the language given by G-d, (Allah), SJ wondered if a child brought up, from birth, in a cave, with no human sounds or interactions, could instinctively learn to speak Arabic. He decided to test this hypothesis.

    A perfectly normal child grew up to become a completely retarded individual…

    On other matters,

    Speaking from experience, it is normally the poorest grades of white woven cloth that are printed with such a 'busy' design like checks. Because, the design is used to hide the defects in the cloth ( that came about during the weaving process.).

    Bill, you are quite the 'punner', when you typed : on Dhaka, ….. It's also the rickshaw capital of the world, with about 400,000 rickshaws running each day. Rickshaws, both in Dhaka (Dacca) and Kolkatta (Calcutta) do indeed, 'run' – because they are operated mostly, strictly by human power – and their drivers do indeed steer …. and run. Employment comes in many forms.

    Chiao.

  7. @Willie D – that happens to me all the time; in my case, it's called old age. I suspect when the baby boomers get old enough (I'm a war baby), media will start printing larger.

    @Vidwan – how cruel, that Shah. I hoped he proved it for good. An example of the defects of Utilitarianism.

    Nice enough Thurs. puzzle. I had 3 Googles: PEPSI DEMME DRAM. I had Alive before ABACK.

  8. @Tony, I don't get it either! And how did you type that tiny TM?! I do think of your "(g)" as your trademark, but maybe I'm wrong.
    @Vidwan, you share such interesting stuff!
    Oh, and there was a puzzle. Today YOU ALL are more interesting to me!
    ?

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