LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Jun 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeffrey Wechsler
THEME: No F at the End … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase ending in the letter F, but that F has been removed:

18A. USDA-approved cheese? LEGAL BRIE(F)
24A. Query when a certain queen goes missing? WHERE’S THE BEE(F)?
40A. Plow one’s recently purchased field? TURN OVER A NEW LEA(F)
50A. Revolutionary as a successful businessman? EXECUTIVE CHE(F)
62A. Improved sci-fi computer? BETTER HAL(F)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Activities for seniors PROMS
A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

6. Cinematographer’s deg. MFA
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

On a film set, a cinematographer is also called the director of photography (DP).

9. __ Summer: U.S. Naval Academy training program PLEBE
New candidates entering the US Naval Academy go straight into an intensive 6-week training program called Plebe Summer. The intent of the program is to “turn civilians into midshipmen”.

“Plebe” is a slang term for a freshman in the US military and naval academies. Plebe is probably short for “plebeian”, an adjective describing someone of the common class in Ancient Rome, one of the “plebs” (a singular collective noun). “Pleb” is a shortened version of plebeian, and is a term used outside of the military schools to mean “commoner”.

14. “Service at the Speed of Sound” franchise SONIC
SONIC Drive-In is a fast-food restaurant chain that is noted for its carhops who serve patrons on roller skates. SONIC was founded in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1953 as Top Hat Drive-In. The restaurant introduced curbside speakers to hasten the ordering process. This led to the adoption of the slogan “Service at the Speed of Sound”, and renaming of the chain to SONIC.

17. Selassie of Ethiopia HAILE
Emperor Haile Selassie I ruled Ethiopia until he was removed from power in a revolution in 1974. Selassie died in 1975 under suspicious circumstances and it is widely believed that he was assassinated.

18. USDA-approved cheese? LEGAL BRIE(F)
Brie is a soft cheese, named after the French region from which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) camembert.

22. King David’s predecessor SAUL
According to the Hebrew Bible, Saul was the first King of Israel and ruled from 1049 BC to 1007 BC. Saul’s story is mainly recounted in the Books of Samuel.

23. Gothic novelist Radcliffe ANN
Ann Radcliffe was an English author famous for her Gothic novels, a genre that she helped to pioneer in the late 18th century.

24. Query when a certain queen goes missing? WHERE’S THE BEE(F)?
“Where’s the Beef” was a slogan used by the Wendy’s fast food chain in 1984. Famously, the phrase was picked up by presidential candidate Walter Mondale and he used it to argue that his rival Gary Hart had policies with no substance.

27. Head of the Greek Titans? TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

The Titans were a group of twelve older deities in Greek mythology. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the Olympians, who were twelve younger gods.

36. Atomic theory pioneer BOHR
Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist, who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb.

39. North Sea feeder ELBE
The River Elbe rises in the Czech Republic and travels over a thousand kilometers before emptying into the North Sea near the port of Hamburg in Germany.

43. Obi-Wan portrayer ALEC
Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered (sadly) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”.

44. Early romantic figure EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor.

50. Revolutionary as a successful businessman? EXECUTIVE CHE(F)
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

57. Org. concerned with smog EPA
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

60. Firm bosses CEOS
Chief executive officer (CEO)

62. Improved sci-fi computer? BETTER HAL(F)
In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

66. London __ BROIL
London Broil is purely an American dish, and has nothing to do with London in England. That said, the origin of the same seems unclear. London Broil is usually grilled, marinated flank steak, that is then cut into thin slices. It’s important to cut across the grain, in order render more tender a relatively tough cut of meat.

67. Source of pride EGO
Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The super-ego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

68. Wrapped on a set ENDED
When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to “wrap”, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

Down
2. Orkin target ROACH
Orkin is a pest-control company. If you want to learn more about insects, you might want to visit the O. Orkin Zoo, a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The exhibit has over 300 live insects, all displayed in their natural habitats.

7. Crayola color renamed Peach in 1962 FLESH
In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, held the “Crayola Color Census 2000” in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

8. Some microflora ALGAE
Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

9. Floral dispersion POLLEN
The pollen of ragweed is the greatest allergen of all pollens. It seems that the pollen season has been lengthening in recent years, probably due to global warming.

10. Part of an alley-oop play LOB
An “alley-oop” is a play in basketball in which one player throw the ball close to the basket for a teammate who usually scores with a slam dunk.

11. Book of __ EZRA
Ezra the Scribe, also called Ezra the Priest, is the central character in the Book of Ezra in the Hebrew Bible.

12. Flower children’s gathering BE-IN
Just before 1967’s “Summer of Love” in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, a Human Be-In was held in the city’s Golden Gate Park. The Be-In is described as a “happening”, a gathering triggered by a new state law banning the use of LSD. The term “Human Be-In” is a play on “humanist sit-in”.

13. “Gates of __”: Bob Dylan song EDEN
“Gates of Eden” is a Bob Dylan song that he wrote in 1964 and released the following year.

President Obama used the words “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music” when awarding musician Bob Dylan the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dylan was in good company. On the same day, the president awarded the medal to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Justice John Paul Stevens, former Israeli President Shimon Peres and astronaut John Glenn.

19. Georgia rival since 1892 AUBURN
Auburn University in Alabama was chartered in 1856, as the East Alabama Male College. The school was renamed when it was granted university status in 1960.

21. Org. that issues “Known Traveler” numbers TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks. TSA personnel carry out the baggage and body searches at US airports. The TSA has a Trusted Traveler program that allows certain passengers to move more quickly through security screening. These passengers pay the TSA a one-time fee that covers a background check after which successful applicants are issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN).

25. River floater TUBER
In the activity of river tubing, participants free-float down a river in inflated inner tubes.

26. “Maid of Athens, __ part”: Byron ERE WE
Lord Byron wrote his poem “Maid of Athens, ere we part” while living in Athens in 1810, and dedicated it to the daughter of his landlady.

29. Self-titled 1969 jazz album ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

30. Five-spots ABES
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

31. Genesis wife LEAH
According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

32. LAX postings ETAS
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

33. Humdinger LULU
We call a remarkable thing or a person a “lulu”. The term is used in honor of Lulu Hurst, a stage magician active in the 1880s who was also known as the Georgia Wonder.

A “humdinger” or a “pip” is someone or something outstanding. Humdinger is American slang dating back to the early 1900s, originally used to describe a particularly attractive woman.

34. “The Song of Old Lovers” songwriter BREL
Jacques Brel was a songwriter from Belgium whose songs were most popular in France, although English translations of his works became hits for artists all around the world. One of the more famous English translations was for the song “Season in the Sun”, a big hit in 1974 for Canadian singer Terry Jacks.

35. Rouen relative ONCLE
In French, an uncle (oncle) is married to an aunt (tante).

Rouen is the major city in Normandy in northern France. During the days of Norman Britain, Rouen was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties. Rouen was also where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431.

37. Valuable elemento ORO
In Spanish, gold (oro) is an element (elemento).

49. USO show audience GIS
The initials “G.I.” stand for “Government Issue” and not “General Infantry” as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

51. “Hallelujah” songwriter Leonard COHEN
I’ve never been a big fan of the music of Canadian singer Leonard Cohen (don’t all yell at me at the same time!). That said, his 1984 song “Hallelujah” is superb, particularly the version recorded by Jeff Buckley in 1994.

54. ___ Lou, Who girl who interrupted the Grinch’s burglary CINDY
Whoville is where the Whos live in Dr. Seuss’ children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

55. Travelocity option HOTEL
Travelocity is my favorite online travel agency, although it’s not the only one I use (one must shop around!). The feature I most like on Travelocity is “Top Secret Hotels”, where one can find hotel rooms at below the regular published online rates, but … the booking is made without knowing the hotel’s name. You get the general location, star-rating, facilities etc. and then “take a chance”. I booked a room in a 4-star hotel in San Jose recently for $120 for the night, when the best online quote I could find for the same hotel was $359. We book Top Secret Hotels (usually way cheaper than that one in San Jose!) on our road trips for I’d say one night in three …

59. Familiar gamut A TO Z
In medieval times, the musical scale was denoted by the notes “ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la”. The term “gamma ut”, shortened to “gamut”, was used to describe the whole scale. By the 1620s, “gamut” was being used to mean the entire range of anything, the whole gamut.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Activities for seniors PROMS
6. Cinematographer’s deg. MFA
9. __ Summer: U.S. Naval Academy training program PLEBE
14. “Service at the Speed of Sound” franchise SONIC
15. Not just some ALL
16. Ran very slowly OOZED
17. Selassie of Ethiopia HAILE
18. USDA-approved cheese? LEGAL BRIE(F)
20. Actor’s study, perhaps ACCENT
22. King David’s predecessor SAUL
23. Gothic novelist Radcliffe ANN
24. Query when a certain queen goes missing? WHERE’S THE BEE(F)?
27. Head of the Greek Titans? TAU
28. “I can’t believe my eyes!” UNREAL!
32. Angled pipe ELBOW
36. Atomic theory pioneer BOHR
39. North Sea feeder ELBE
40. Plow one’s recently purchased field? TURN OVER A NEW LEA(F)
43. Obi-Wan portrayer ALEC
44. Early romantic figure EROS
45. Controlling chain LEASH
46. Morose SULLEN
48. Named period AGE
50. Revolutionary as a successful businessman? EXECUTIVE CHE(F)
57. Org. concerned with smog EPA
60. Firm bosses CEOS
61. One who delivers SAVIOR
62. Improved sci-fi computer? BETTER HAL(F)
65. :50, another way TEN TO
66. London __ BROIL
67. Source of pride EGO
68. Wrapped on a set ENDED
69. Family and economy SIZES
70. Big top item NET
71. Way STYLE

Down
1. “Baloney!” PSHAW!
2. Orkin target ROACH
3. In abeyance ON ICE
4. Track competitor MILER
5. Theatrical division SCENE TWO
6. Wrong at the start? MAL-
7. Crayola color renamed Peach in 1962 FLESH
8. Some microflora ALGAE
9. Floral dispersion POLLEN
10. Part of an alley-oop play LOB
11. Book of __ EZRA
12. Flower children’s gathering BE-IN
13. “Gates of __”: Bob Dylan song EDEN
19. Georgia rival since 1892 AUBURN
21. Org. that issues “Known Traveler” numbers TSA
25. River floater TUBER
26. “Maid of Athens, __ part”: Byron ERE WE
29. Self-titled 1969 jazz album ELLA
30. Five-spots ABES
31. Genesis wife LEAH
32. LAX postings ETAS
33. Humdinger LULU
34. “The Song of Old Lovers” songwriter BREL
35. Rouen relative ONCLE
37. Valuable elemento ORO
38. Attacks HAS AT
41. Dental treatment VENEER
42. Improves ELEVATES
47. Has no peer EXCELS
49. USO show audience GIS
51. “Hallelujah” songwriter Leonard COHEN
52. Dictionary information USAGE
53. Relay or dash EVENT
54. ___ Lou, Who girl who interrupted the Grinch’s burglary CINDY
55. Travelocity option HOTEL
56. Slowly reduce ERODE
57. Recedes EBBS
58. Prefix with meter PERI-
59. Familiar gamut A TO Z
63. Clip-on, maybe TIE
64. Studio __ LOT

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Jun 15, Friday”

  1. It took some (a ton) of concentrated staring and a few false starts, but I finally just finished and came to Bill's blog to make sure I hadn't done something idiotic, which for a change I did not! Ha! I was hung up for a while in the NE corner because I had "legal whiz" instead of "legal brie" (another example of why my lack of trying to figure out the theme continues to bite me in the butt).

    Hope everyone has a great Friday. See you all tomorrow.

  2. I had fun with this puzzle even though it took me forever and it was full of the usual Jeffrey Wechsler treachery. I had to get a lot of answers via crosses, and I had to make one google (ERE WE) to finish.

    I was part of the trusted traveler program. I thought it was a great idea…. Until I found out my name was the same as some criminal/terrorist/something?? (they never told me the actual reason). I was detained twice to ascertain my identity. I went to complain at the immigrations office, they gave me the most oblique answers you could imagine. Ultimately their advice was to tell me to write a letter in hopes they could eventually clear this up, but that I should see if this happens more than once or twice more first. WHAT??

    I have never had a problem before or since I was part of that "expedited" service. It was a nightmare, but try fighting the U.S. government…good luck. And BTW – my surname is of English heritage so there was nothing obvious as to why it was flagged other than someone else with my name is some nefarious character.

    On a lighter note, I love London broil, but I never see it on menus anywhere anymore. TGIF's of all places used to make a good one, but they stopped years ago.

    Weekend time. Best –

  3. Darn! One letter. This took a very long time, as Mr. Wechsler's clues are hard to discern. (Floral dispersion?)(Family and economy?)
    I finally got the theme.
    Have never heard of a TUBER, so that and Mr. BOHR did me in.

  4. Yeah, it took a few extra minutes. But it's Friday, so I expected that. When I saw Wechsler's name, I thought Pookie might have titled this grid, "F Off!" 🙂

    Pardon my French. Enjoy Friday.

  5. Gosh, that was durned hard. This is where you separate the boys from the men, or the girls from the wummin. I am dead beat. And so frustrated.

    Hi Pookie. I thought a tuber was meant to be eaten, like a jerusalem artichoke….

    I think Neils, sorry Niels Bohr was the first atomic guy I ever heard of. He 'predicted', the element Hafnium ( named after his beloved Denmark ) and has an trans Ur. element, Bohrium named after him. His son, Aage Bohr also won a Nobel Prize, in his father's footsteps. Hope I haven't bo(h)red anyone.

    I have never used Travelocity or Orbit …. maybe I am not used to the fancy hotels, even at discount prices. I generally opt for the stable down the street.

    Have a nice day, and a good weekend folks. I will follow your near future efforts, vicariously.

  6. @ Willie D When I saw Wechsler's name, I thought Pookie might have titled this grid, "F Off!" 🙂
    ROTFLMAO!
    Close… get the "F" out!
    @Vidwan I thought a tuber was meant to be eaten, like a jerusalem artichoke….
    I could swear my river floater was an OTTER, but it wouldn't fit.
    I just have never heard that someone riding on an inner tube was a TUBER.
    And yes, the only tuber I know is that to which you refer. Alas…but tomorrow looms in the distance.
    Dum, da dum dum.

  7. @Jeff, OK, that's a rather disturbing story!! :-
    @Pookie, good on you for only missing one letter!!
    And I'm in awe that some of you finished this thing! I cheated, of course, but at least all the little squares were duly filled in, one way or another. I REALLY hate TUBER. I imagined floating vegetables.
    Houseguest arriving tomorrow — wish me luck!

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