LA Times Crossword Answers 7 May 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: CIA Plot Arranged … each of today’s themed answers starts with an anagram of “CIA PLOT”.

17A. Washington landmark CAPITOL BUILDING
38A. Escher’s “Relativity” is an example of it OPTICAL ILLUSION
61A. 9-Across treatments TOPICAL STEROIDS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. __ of Cleves ANNE
Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. It seems that Anne’s arranged marriage to Henry was doomed from the day the two met soon after she arrived in England. Henry just wasn’t attracted to her, but the couple went ahead with the wedding. The marriage was annulled six months later on the grounds that it had not been consummated. Anne lived the rest of her life in England, and in fact outlived Henry’s five other wives.

5. Ink, so to speak TATS
The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”.

14. “How much wood __ a woodchuck chuck …” WOULD
The woodchuck is also known as the groundhog, and is one in a group of large ground squirrels called marmots.

Repeat after me:

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

16. “__ Wood sawed wood”: tongue twister opening ESAU
The whole text of the Esau Wood tongue twister is (all together now!):

Esau Wood sawed wood. Esau Wood would saw wood. All the wood Esau Wood saw, Esau Wood would saw. In other words, all the wood Esau saw to saw, Esau sought to saw. Oh, the wood Wood would saw! And, oh the wood-saw with which Wood would saw wood! But one day, Wood’s wood-saw would saw no wood, and thus the wood Wood sawed was not the wood Wood would saw if Wood’s wood-saw would saw wood. Now, Wood would saw wood with a wood-saw that would saw wood, so Esau sought a saw that would saw wood. One day, Esau saw a saw saw wood as no other wood-saw Wood saw would saw wood. In fact, of all the wood-saws Wood ever saw saw wood, Wood never saw a wood-saw that would saw wood as the wood-saw Wood saw saw wood would saw wood, and I never saw a wood-saw that would saw as the wood-saw Wood saw would saw until I saw Esau Wood saw wood with the wood-saw Wood saw saw wood. Now Wood saws wood with the wood-saw Wood saw saw wood.

17. Washington landmark CAPITOL BUILDING
The United States Capitol is home to the US Congress, and sits on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. It was Pierre Charles L’Enfant who laid out the nation’s new capital city. L’Enfant’s plans called for a “Congress House” as home for the legislative branch of the government. It was Thomas Jefferson who insisted that the name be changed to “Capitol”.

22. Pianist Dame Myra __ HESS
Myra Hess was a British pianist who earned the title of Dame due to her efforts to uphold morale in WWII. During the war all concerts were suspended due to blackout restrictions, so Myra Hess organized 1700 concerts that took place at lunchtimes throughout the conflict.

25. Site of South America’s westernmost mainland point PERU
The extreme points of the South American mainland are:

– Northernmost point: Punta Gallinas, Colombia
– Southernmost point: Cape Forward, Chile
– Westernmost point: Punta Pariñas, Peru
– Easternmost point: Ponta do Seixas, Brazil

26. Fairy tale patriarch PAPA BEAR
The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837, in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

30. Latin dances SALSAS
The genre of music called salsa is a modern interpretation of various Cuban traditional music styles.

34. Saccharide suffix -OSE
Sugars are usually named using the “-ose” suffix e.g. glucose, fructose, sucrose.

“Saccharide” is an alternative name for “carbohydrates”. Monosaccharides and disaccharides are mainly sugars, and the term “saccharide” comes from the Greek “sákkharon” meaning “sugar”.

37. Elizabethan strings LUTE
A lute player is a “lutenist”. I did not know that …

38. Escher’s “Relativity” is an example of it OPTICAL ILLUSION
M. C. Escher was a graphic artist from the Netherlands. Escher was noted for creating works inspired by mathematics, often works that were physical impossibilities. ONe famous such works is “Drawing Hands” (1948) in which a pair of hands emerge from a piece of paper and actually draw themselves. He also created a drawing in which a group of red ants are crawling around a Möbius strip, never reaching the end.

44. Many corp. logos TMS
Trademarks (TMs)

45. Apollo home HARLEM
The Apollo Theater in the Harlem district of Manhattan, New York was opened in 1914 as Hurtig & Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater. The original facility was a “whites-only” venue. When it was opened to African Americans in 1934, the name was changed to the Apollo.

48. “The Wolf of Wall Street” director SCORSESE
The movie director Martin Scorsese is very much a New York City native, and is well-known for directing movies set in the Big Apple. Among the list of great Scorsese films are “Taxi Driver”, “Raging Bull”, “Goodfellas”, “Cape Fear”, “Casino” and “The Departed”.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is an entertaining 2013 biographical film about a corrupt New York City stockbroker. The movie is based on a memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort. Directed by Martin Scorsese, it is his highest-grossing movie to date.

57. Bandleader Shaw ARTIE
Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and a jazz clarinetist. Shaw’s real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. One of his many claims to fame is that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then. Artie Shaw was married eight times in all. The list of his wives includes the actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, as well Betty Kern, daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern.

61. 9-Across treatments TOPICAL STEROIDS
Topical steroids are typically used on rashes and dermatitis to reduce inflammation.

64. NASCAR route OVAL
NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. NASCAR is very, very popular and commands the second largest television audience of any professional sport in America, second only to football.

68. James of jazz ETTA
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

69. James portrayer SEAN
Sean Connery is most famous for playing the original James Bond in the successful series of movies. Back in his native Scotland, Connery is very active in politics and is a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party. He actively campaigns for Scottish independence from Britain and has stated that he believes Scotland will achieve that goal within his own lifetime. That seems less likely now, given the result of the recent Scottish referendum on independence.

Down
1. Hammer-throw trajectories ARCS
There are usually four throwing events in a track and field competition:

– hammer
– discus
– shot put
– javelin

3. Popular wine source NAPA
The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

4. Prophet in 2 Kings ELISHA
The prophet Elisha is mentioned both in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur’an. In the Islamic tradition, Elisha is usually known by his Arabic name, Alyasa.

5. “Tea for __” TWO
The 1925 musical “No, No, Nanette” spawned two famous songs: “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy”.

9. Popular energy drinks RED BULLS
Red Bull is a drink from Austria, created in 1987. Red Bull is the most popular “energy drink” in the world. There was controversy in 2009 when it was discovered that Red Bull imported from Austria contained trace amounts of cocaine.

11. Comic __: typeface SANS
Comic Sans MS is a font that looks a bit like that used in old comic books. Comic Sans was released by Microsoft in 1994. If you live in the Netherlands, you are lucky enough to enjoy Comic Sans Day on the first Friday of July each year.

15. Places to see FDR DIMES
President Roosevelt was a major driver in the founding of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The Foundation’s most successful fund raising campaign was to encourage the public to just send a dime to support the charity, so that even before the Foundation officially changed its name, the public were already calling it March of Dimes. After President Roosevelt passed away in office, Congress passed legislation calling for a new design for the dime, one featuring the image of FDR. The Roosevelt dime was introduced in 1946, on the day that would have been the President’s 64th birthday.

18. “Doctor Who” broadcaster THE BBC
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 newer show is about the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute which investigates incidents involving extraterrestrials (ETs).

19. Constellation named for an instrument LYRA
Lyra is a constellation that includes the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The constellation Lyra is surrounded by the neighboring constellations of Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula and Cygnus.

23. Shot contents SERA
Blood serum is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell or a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to some disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”. We also use the term “serum” for any drug derived from animal’s blood or serous fluid.

27. Shelter org. ASPCA
Unlike in most developed countries, there is no “umbrella” organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

28. Hero in a Prokofiev work PETER
As is the case for many I am sure, Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” was my introduction to the world of classical music, as it was played for us at school many, many moons ago. Prokofiev wrote the piece as a commissioned work for the Central Children’s Theater in Moscow, in 1936. He loved the idea of the project, and wrote the story and music in just four days!

39. New York airport name until 1963 IDLEWILD
The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at La Guardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

40. “On Golden Pond” bird LOON
The bird known as a loon here in North America is called a diver in the British Isles. The name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of swimming calmly and then suddenly diving below the surface to catch a fish. The name “loon” comes from an Old English word meaning “clumsy” and reflects the awkward gait of the bird when walking on land.

“On Golden Pond” was originally a play, written by Ernest Thompson. It was adapted into the famous movie in 1981, with Henry Fonda playing Norman Thayer, and Katherine Hepburn as his wife Ethel. There was also a television adaptation of the play released in 2001, with another distinguished cast that included Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer as the leads.

47. Mythical gold maker MIDAS
King Midas of Greek mythology might be termed an alchemist as he had the power to turn everything he touched into gold i.e. the Midas touch. Of course the power that he was given became be a curse, as everything he touched turned to gold, including his food and drink, and even his children.

51. Bridal shop netting TULLE
Tulle is a lightweight net fabric often used in veils, wedding gowns and ballet tutus.

54. “All you need,” in a Beatles song LOVE
John Lennon wrote the 1967 Beatles hit “All You Need Is Love” as a commission for the BBC. It was the UK’s contribution for the first ever global television broadcast, a collaboration between broadcasters from many countries including Britain’s BBC.

55. Australian export OPAL
97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, about 80%.

56. Hurdle for a jr. PSAT
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

58. Flag TIRE
Our verb “to flag” meaning “to tire” was originally used in the sense of something flapping about lazily in the wind. From this it came to mean “to go limp, droop”, and then “to tire”.

60. “World Series of Poker” channel ESPN
The World Series of Poker is an annual event held in Las Vegas. The winner of each event is given a much-coveted World Series of Poker bracelet.

62. Explosive initials 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.

63. Greek vowel ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. __ of Cleves ANNE
5. Ink, so to speak TATS
9. Skin problem RASH
13. Genuine REAL
14. “How much wood __ a woodchuck chuck …” WOULD
16. “__ Wood sawed wood”: tongue twister opening ESAU
17. Washington landmark CAPITOL BUILDING
20. Hidden supply STASH
21. Major installation? ARMY BASE
22. Pianist Dame Myra __ HESS
25. Site of South America’s westernmost mainland point PERU
26. Fairy tale patriarch PAPA BEAR
30. Latin dances SALSAS
34. Saccharide suffix -OSE
35. Legal write-up BRIEF
37. Elizabethan strings LUTE
38. Escher’s “Relativity” is an example of it OPTICAL ILLUSION
42. Provided with an email dupe CCED
43. Poke around SNOOP
44. Many corp. logos TMS
45. Apollo home HARLEM
48. “The Wolf of Wall Street” director SCORSESE
50. Prominent theater sign EXIT
52. Suture securer KNOT
53. Impeded SLOWED UP
57. Bandleader Shaw ARTIE
61. 9-Across treatments TOPICAL STEROIDS
64. NASCAR route OVAL
65. Incline SLANT
66. __ school PREP
67. Use a blowtorch on WELD
68. James of jazz ETTA
69. James portrayer SEAN

Down
1. Hammer-throw trajectories ARCS
2. With 59-Down, “Very clever!” NEAT
3. Popular wine source NAPA
4. Prophet in 2 Kings ELISHA
5. “Tea for __” TWO
6. Former Time Warner division AOL
7. Big wind TUBA
8. Drink noisily SLURP
9. Popular energy drinks RED BULLS
10. China setting ASIA
11. Comic __: typeface SANS
12. Whopping HUGE
15. Places to see FDR DIMES
18. “Doctor Who” broadcaster THE BBC
19. Constellation named for an instrument LYRA
23. Shot contents SERA
24. Some voyages SAILS
26. Shelter resident POOCH
27. Shelter org. ASPCA
28. Hero in a Prokofiev work PETER
29. Rider’s handful REINS
31. Hotel choice SUITE
32. Elemental bits ATOMS
33. “Common” asset SENSE
36. Congregation FLOCK
39. New York airport name until 1963 IDLEWILD
40. “On Golden Pond” bird LOON
41. Big fuss UPROAR
46. Suit EXEC
47. Mythical gold maker MIDAS
49. Barbershop sharpeners STROPS
51. Bridal shop netting TULLE
53. Put in the overhead bin STOW
54. “All you need,” in a Beatles song LOVE
55. Australian export OPAL
56. Hurdle for a jr. PSAT
58. Flag TIRE
59. See 2-Down IDEA
60. “World Series of Poker” channel ESPN
62. Explosive initials TNT
63. Greek vowel ETA

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 May 15, Thursday”

  1. I thought this was a pretty fair and not overly hard puzzle for a Thursday. I finished in something at least approaching Bill's time, which for me is a stellar effort.

    Let's see what the morrow brings! Hope all my puzzle solving compatriots have a good Thursday as we head for the weekend.

  2. It's been a good week for me, puzzle-wise. I should probably quit while I'm ahead. Looked up Escher to see if he/it was what I thought it was. Fun mesmerizing art, but I hadn't remembered his name.
    Bella

  3. I agree with Tony–a fair challenge for today. I never heard "ESAU wood sawed wood" before. I had "straps" at 49D for a while until I realized STERIODS. IDLEWILD airport, scene of several great scenes from Goodfellas, which is now 25 years old. Wow.

  4. Got almost the whole thing, but shot myself in the foot with BCCD, not CCED. I think I'm getting worse at crosswords.
    Sigh.

  5. Well, I'm kicking myself… missed it by just two letters, and stupid mistakes at that. Yikes!! I couldn't for the life of me figure out EXIT. And, I spelled IDLEWILD with a Y– Isn't that how the CA town is spelled?! IDYLWILD, as in idyllic.
    Guess I better look it up…
    Enjoy your Friday, everyone! :-

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