LA Times Crossword Answers 6 May 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Dewey
THEME: Breaking “Even” … each of today’s themed answers consists of the word EVEN, BROKEN up by a string of letters inside, so that letters EVEN are distributed between the beginning and end of the answer:

55A. Neither ahead nor behind … and what 20-, 35- and 45-Across are literally doing BREAKING EVEN

20A. Toy with a heating element EASY-BAKE OVEN
35A. Fairy tale villain EVIL QUEEN
45A. 1961 Rick Nelson hit EVER LOVIN

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … AGENA (Arena), EVIGAN (Eviran)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Half an Evergreen State city WALLA
The Walla Walla Valley is a wine-growing region in Washington that extends into the northeast of Oregon. The valley is named after the Walla Walla people who lived in the area. I have a few bottles of excellent wine from the region that I picked up there on a recent road trip with my wife.

Washington has been nicknamed “the Evergreen State” since 1890, when the moniker was proposed by journalist turned real estate tycoon Charles Tallmadge Conover. The nickname has never been adopted officially, although it does appear on Washington state license plates. The name is a reference to the abundance of evergreen trees in the state’s forests.

17. Bit of dental work INLAY
“Inlay” is another word for a filling in dentistry. An “onlay” is similar to an inlay. An onlay not only fills a hole in the tooth but it is also built up to replace a missing cusp. It’s sort of halfway between a filling and a crown, I suppose.

20. Toy with a heating element EASY-BAKE OVEN
Kenner Products of Cincinnati, Ohio introduced the Easy-Bake Oven in 1963 and they are still produced today, but now by Hasbro. The original design called for an incandescent light bulb as the oven’s heat source, but I just learned that current models actually include a real heating element.

23. Like “las” in Sp. FEM
In general, the definite article is “el” for masculine nouns (plural “los”), and “la” for feminine nouns (plural “las”).

27. Country where Quechua is an official language PERU
Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.

Quechua was the existing Native American language that was adopted by the Incan Empire and favored over other dialects. Today, Quechua is one of the official languages in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, alongside Spanish.

30. Erstwhile TV ministry PTL
“The PTL Club” was a daily television show hosted by TV evangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. PTL is short for both “Praise the Lord” and “People that Love”. The show ended its run of over ten years in 1987 when it was revealed that Jim Bakker was involvement in financial and sexual scandals. Bakker served 5 years in jail, part of an 18-year sentence.

Erstwhile means “in the past” or “once upon a time”.

33. White Label Scotch maker DEWAR’S
Dewar’s is a blended Scotch whisky introduced in 1846 by John Dewar. Dewar’s White Label is the company’s most popular Scotch, first created in 1899, with a taste that is described as “heather and honey”. Dewar’s also make some single malts, under the labels Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21. Today, Dewar’s is owned by Bacardi.

38. Camera setting F-STOP
Varying the f-stop in a lens varies how big the lens opening (the aperture) is when a photograph is taken. Smaller apertures (higher f-stop values) admit less light, but result in sharper photographs.

39. Carol contraction ‘TIS
The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “tra-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in 19th century. “‘Tis the season to be jolly …”

42. Hoppy brew, briefly IPA
India Pale Ale (IPA) is a style of beer that comes from England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

43. Satellite-launching rocket stage AGENA
The RM-81 Agena was an upper-stage rocket designed and built by Lockheed, first used in 1959. After 365 launches, it was retired in 1987.

45. 1961 Rick Nelson hit EVER LOVIN’
As most people are well aware here in the US (but not us immigrants!), Ricky Nelson started his career playing himself on the radio in “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”, starting in 1949. Soon after he starred in a feature film “Here Come the Nelsons”, and then started recording albums. In an effort to shake his childhood nickname “Ricky”, Nelson officially changed his stage name to “Rick” on his 21st birthday in 1961. Sadly, he was one of the long list (it seems) of singing stars who died in plane crashes. Nelson was traveling on a private plane that he leased on the day after Christmas in 1985 when it crashed just northeast of Dallas. Seven people were killed, including Nelson and his fiancée.

51. Public figure? NOTARY
A notary public is a public officer licensed to perform specific legal actions in non-contentious legal matters. The main duties are to administer oaths, take affidavits and witness the execution of documents.

61. Clown of renown BOZO
Bozo the Clown is a character created in 1946 by Alan Livingston. Bozo was introduced in the first ever “record reader”, a children’s illustrated read-along book that came with a vinyl recording of the story. The book/record was so successful that Bozo moved to television, and he has been around ever since.

64. Met or Nat NLER
The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962, a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

The Washington Nationals baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

65. Jazz singer O’Day ANITA
Anita O’Day was the stage name of the jazz singer Anita Colton. O’Day had problems with heroin and alcohol addiction leading to erratic behavior and earning her the nickname “The Jezebel of Jazz”.

67. 2013-’14 Magic Johnson Award winner Nowitzki DIRK
Dirk Nowitzki is an NBA player from Northern Bavaria in Germany. Nowitzki has scored more points in the NBA than any other foreign-born player in the league’s history. He also turns out for the German national team, for which is the captain. Indeed, Nowitzki was named German Sports Personality of the Year in 2011.

The Magic Johnson Award recognizes excellence on the basketball court along with cooperation and dignity in dealing with the media and the public. The award is presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

70. Urges 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!

71. Writer Zora __ Hurston NEALE
Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. Like the author, the main character in the novel is an African American woman, a part played by Halle Berry in a television movie adaptation that first aired in 2005.

Down
6. Nyctophobe’s fear DARK
Nyctophobia is a fear of the dark or of the night. The term ultimately derives from “nyx”, the Greek word for “night”.

7. “Dies __”: hymn IRAE
“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

8. Low-paying position, in slang MCJOB
“McJob” is a slang term for a low-paying position that offers little chance for advancement. The term of course comes from front-line jobs at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant.

10. Gathers choice parts from WINNOWS
We use the verb “to winnow” in a figurative sense to describe the separation of something good from a collection of worthless things. The more literal meaning is the freeing of grain from the lighter chaff by blowing on the mixture, or by throwing it in the air.

11. Celebrated pilot ACE
A flying ace is an aviator who has shot down a number of enemy planes during combat. The qualifying number of kills seems to vary, but five is common. The first use of “ace” was during WWI when the French newspapers dubbed pilot Adolphe Pegoud “l’as” (French for “the ace”) when he shot down his fifth German plane.

13. Demolition aid TNT
TNT is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

25. Hardy’s “The Return of the __” NATIVE
“The Return of the Native” is a novel by English author Thomas Hardy. The storyline deals with illicit sexual relations and created quite a stir when it was published in Victorian England.

27. “She loves me not” piece PETAL
She loves me, she loves me not …

28. Greg of “B.J. and the Bear” EVIGAN
Greg Evigan is a former teen idol, best known for playing the lead in the comedy show “B. J. and the Bear” that originally aired from 1979 to 1981. As well as playing B. J. in the series, Evigan also performed the show’s theme song.

31. Béret bearer TETE
A Frenchman would place his beret (béret) on his head (tête).

32. Pope after John X LEO VI
Pope Leo VI was in office for just 9 months, spanning the years 928 and 929. Leo VI apparently wasn’t his own man, and fell under the control of a wealthy Roman noblewoman called Marozia. Marozia had allegedly been the mistress of Pope Sergius III, had ordered the imprisonment and death of Pope John X, then making Leo VI head of the Roman Catholic church.

36. Deep-space energy source QUASAR
Back in the sixties, astronomers started to use radio telescopes to detect radio wave emanating from stars. At that time, they also discovered objects that they could not explain, which were small and incredibly bright (in terms of radio wave emissions). They called these objects “quasi-stellar radio sources”, or “quasars”. It turns out that quasars are extremely distant objects in the universe, and the farthest objects that we can see from our galaxy. It is believed that they are actually supermassive black holes surrounded by disk-like structures made up of gases that are spiralling into the black hole.

37. Duma vote NYET
“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

A Duma is a representative assembly in Russia. The word “dumat” in Russian means “to think, consider”.

41. Director Welles ORSON
George Orson Welles (known as “Orson”) is perhaps best-remembered in the world of film for his role in 1941’s “Citizen Kane”. In the world of radio, Welles is known for 1938’s famous broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”, a broadcast that convinced many listeners that the Earth was indeed being invaded by aliens.

44. Tablet relative NETBOOK
A netbook is in effect a stripped-down laptop. It is a small machine without a hard drive that is intended for use with an Internet connection. Netbooks were largely pushed out of the market by tablet computers.

52. New England collegian YALIE
Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

56. “Show Boat” composer KERN
Jerome Kern was truly a great in the world of theater music. He wrote so many classics, including “Ol’ Man River”, “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “The Way You Look Tonight”.

“Show Boat” is a musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, first staged in New York in 1927. It is based on a 1926 novel of the same name by Edna Ferber. The story is about a show boat called the “Cotton Blossom”. Show boats were floating theaters which navigated the rivers of the US from the 1870s to the 1930s, moving from town to town with the performers living on board. “Show Boat” was famously adapted for the big screen in 1936, with stars Irene Dunne, Allan Jones and Paul Robeson.

58. TV handyman Bob VILA
“This Old House” first aired in 1979, on PBS, with Bob Vila as host. After ten years on the show, Vila was able to make extra income with commercial endorsements. These earnings caused conflict with commercial-free PBS, and so Vila was replaced by Steve Thomas.

59. List-shortening abbr. ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

62. Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist ORU
Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ORU was founded relatively recently, in 1963 by the late televangelist Oral Roberts. The campus includes a Prayer Tower at its center, a spectacular glass and steel structure designed by architect Frank Wallace. The tower includes an observation deck, and is a popular tourist attraction.

63. “__ in the Art of Writing”: Ray Bradbury collection ZEN
Ray Bradbury was an author of fantasy and science fiction, best known perhaps for his 1953 novel “Fahrenheit 451”. Bradbury also wrote “The Martian Chronicles” (1950) and “The Illustrated Man” (1951).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Common lunch hr. end ONE PM
6. Lowers, as lights DIMS
10. Drift gently WAFT
14. Half an Evergreen State city WALLA
15. Fancy entrance ARCH
16. Clickable image ICON
17. Bit of dental work INLAY
18. Indian noble RAJA
19. On deck NEXT
20. Toy with a heating element EASY-BAKE OVEN
23. Like “las” in Sp. FEM
24. Out of the reach of BEYOND
27. Country where Quechua is an official language PERU
30. Erstwhile TV ministry PTL
33. White Label Scotch maker DEWAR’S
35. Fairy tale villain EVIL QUEEN
38. Camera setting F-STOP
39. Carol contraction ‘TIS
40. “Not my decision” UP TO YOU
42. Hoppy brew, briefly IPA
43. Satellite-launching rocket stage AGENA
45. 1961 Rick Nelson hit EVER LOVIN’
47. Nightly news fodder, with “the” LATEST
49. “__ only a game” IT’S
50. Marshy areas FENS
51. Public figure? NOTARY
53. Bungler OAF
55. Neither ahead nor behind … and what 20-, 35- and 45-Across are literally doing BREAKING EVEN
61. Clown of renown BOZO
64. Met or Nat NLER
65. Jazz singer O’Day ANITA
66. Crumbled ice cream topping OREO
67. 2013-’14 Magic Johnson Award winner Nowitzki DIRK
68. Eastern faith ISLAM
69. Sticky goo GUNK
70. Urges YENS
71. Writer Zora __ Hurston NEALE

Down
1. Baby’s boo-boo OWIE
2. Family nickname NANA
3. Plumbing joints ELLS
4. Lighthearted PLAYFUL
5. “I’ll think it over” MAYBE
6. Nyctophobe’s fear DARK
7. “Dies __”: hymn IRAE
8. Low-paying position, in slang MCJOB
9. Cut off SHAVED
10. Gathers choice parts from WINNOWS
11. Celebrated pilot ACE
12. Cunning critter FOX
13. Demolition aid TNT
21. Stimulate AMP UP
22. Good-looker EYEFUL
25. Hardy’s “The Return of the __” NATIVE
26. Pop over DROP IN
27. “She loves me not” piece PETAL
28. Greg of “B.J. and the Bear” EVIGAN
29. Take on successfully, as a challenge RISE TO
31. Béret bearer TETE
32. Pope after John X LEO VI
34. Bridge measures SPANS
36. Deep-space energy source QUASAR
37. Duma vote NYET
41. Director Welles ORSON
44. Tablet relative NETBOOK
46. Side with the ball OFFENSE
48. Hot, for now TRENDY
52. New England collegian YALIE
54. Born-__ AGAIN
56. “Show Boat” composer KERN
57. Really gets to IRKS
58. TV handyman Bob VILA
59. List-shortening abbr. ET AL
60. Reputation NAME
61. Marshy area BOG
62. Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist ORU
63. “__ in the Art of Writing”: Ray Bradbury collection ZEN

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 6 May 15, Wednesday”

  1. Hi Bill and the gang!
    18 blank squares. Yep, 18!
    QUASAR, AGENA, FEM.,EVIGAN, AMP UP,LEO,QUEEN…etal
    Shoulda stayed in bed. Hope you all did way better than I did.
    Sheesh.

  2. DNF for my time limit as well. Middle of the grid stuck me. I guess I'm not good on TV ministries that beg for money so they can spend millions buying the minister a house in Boca. The theme was also inconsistently applied.

  3. The theme was not inconsistently applied; it was progressive and in order. First E with VEN then EV with EN and then EVE with N. I thought it was clever and well constructed.

  4. This puzzle came together really quickly for me. The one answer that I had no clue (ha) about was 28 Down "Greg of B.J. and the Bear" but got it from across answers. I too thought the theme was clever. See everyone back here tomorrow. Have a nice evening.

  5. Wow, I missed the same items our Bill did! I also had ARENA, purely a guess, instead of AGENA. I got tripped up on EVERLOVIN, forgetting to apply the theme I'd already gotten. Oh well–
    Stay dry if you're in So Cal–thunderstorms due Thursday! =-O

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