LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jun 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Daniel Nierenberg
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. NASA program for aspiring explorers SPACE CAMP
The US Space Camp was founded in 1982 largely at the suggestion of Wernher von Braun. The original Space Camp was opened in Huntsville, Alabama and it still operates today. There followed Space Camp Florida and Space Camp California, but they’ve since closed their doors.

10. Subject of a 1964 Time article subtitled “Pictures That Attack the Eye” OP ART
Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

16. Nikon competitor RICOH
Ricoh is a Japanese company that started out in 1936 and by the year 2000 was the biggest manufacturer of copiers in the world. The company is also well known as a supplier of cameras. The most successful of Ricoh’s lines of cameras is the compact model called a Caplio.

Nikon was founded in 1917, a merger of three companies making various optical devices. After the merger, the company’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun unintended!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

18. Western formation BUTTE
“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide.

19. Furniture wood RED ELM
The Slippery Elm is a species of elm native to North America that is also known as the Red Elm. The inner bark of the slippery elm can used in a medicinal tea. Elm bark tea is said to ease a sore throat or irritated stomach.

20. Clergyman’s deg. THD
Doctor of Theology (Th.D.)

23. “Peer Gynt” widow ASE
“Ase’s Death” is a movement in Edvard Grieg’s beautiful “Peer Gynt” suite. The suite is a collection of incidental music that Grieg composed for Ibsen’s play of the same name. Ase is the widow of a peasant, and the mother of Peer Gynt.

24. Runner-up before RMN AES
Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were “Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!” followed by “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

26. Short-tailed weasel ERMINE
Ermine is another name for the stoat. The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is reserved for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

28. Singer with the 2002 debut hit “Complicated” AVRIL LAVIGNE
Avril Lavigne is a Canadian musician. Lavigne was the youngest female solo artist to reach number one in the charts in the UK, which she did at 17 years of age in 2002 with her debut album “Let Go”.

31. Dow 30 company APPLE
Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today, the company’s most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day, including the renowned Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), also known as the “Dow 30”.

34. Focus of many a botanical festival TULIP
Tulip festivals are held in a few cities around the world. The largest of these is the Canadian Tulip Festival that is held every year in the capital city of Ottawa. The tradition of growing tulips in Ottawa really started at the end of WWII. The Dutch royal family presented the city with 100,000 tulip bulbs as an act of thank for having sheltered Princess Juliana and her children while the Nazis occupied the Netherlands. The first Canadian Tulip Festival took place in 1953.

35. Ottoman bigwig BEY
Bey is a Turkish title for a chieftain. In the days of the Ottoman Empire, the term “bey” was used for many different officials, but traditionally it referred to the leader of a small tribal group. Today “bey” is used very much like “mister”.

36. Farm newborn FOAL
There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

– Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
– Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
– Filly: female horse under the age of four
– Colt: male horse under the age of four
– Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
– Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
– Mare: female horse four years or older

39. Hogwarts redhead RON
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are the principal characters in the “Harry Potter” series of fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling.

In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

40. 1979 sci-fi classic ALIEN
The 1979 sci-fi horror movie “Alien” was the big break for Sigourney Weaver as it was her first lead role, and her character ended up as central to a whole set of sequels. The movie’s producers made a very conscious decision to cast a female in the lead role so as to have the film stand out in the male-dominated genre of science fiction. Famously, the film was publicized with the tagline “In space no one can hear you scream”.

41. Gibson’s “Lethal Weapon” role RIGGS
The “Lethal Weapon” series of film features Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the lead roles as Sergeants Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh. All four films in the series were directed by Richard Donner.

42. Constitution nickname OLD IRONSIDES
“Old Ironsides” was a nickname given to the USS Constitution even though she is actually a wooden-hulled ship. The Constitution was launched in 1797 and can still be seen at sea today. She is the oldest commissioned naval vessel in the world. You can visit Old Ironsides at the Boston Navy Yard, where I had the privilege of touring her in 2011. As an old sailor, I’d say she is the best-maintained ship I’ve ever been on and paradoxically, she is also the oldest. Really, really beautiful …

47. Place to see sea monsters, once MAP
Medieval maps frequently included images of monsters, almost invariably sea monsters. Some experts believe that these sea monsters were actually representations of what the cartographer actually believed was living in the oceans.

50. “¿Quién __?” SABE
“Quién sabe?” is Spanish for “who knows?”

51. Announcer Hall EDD
Edd Hall is most famous as the former announcer for Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show”. Hall replaced Ed McMahon when Johnny Carson retired from the show.

53. Dead Sea stronghold MASADA
The name Masada comes from the Hebrew word for fortress, and is a plateau in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. It is home to the ruins of ancient palaces and fortifications that date back to the days of Herod the Great, father of Herod who figured in the lives of Jesus of Nazareth and John the Baptist. After the Romans invaded Jerusalem, Jewish extremists settled on the mountaintop using it as a base to harass the invaders. Eventually Romans mounted an attack on the elevated fortress, building an elaborate wall and rampart to get to the encampment with some cover. After months of preparation, the Romans breached the walls only to discover the inner buildings all ablaze, and the 1,000 rebels and their families dead after a mass suicide.

57. Cepheus neighbor URSA MINOR
Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”.

Cepheus is a constellation in the northern sky that is named for a ruler of Aethiopia in Greek mythology. The constellation Cepheus is home to the most massive black hole in the known universe.

59. Floor in the Louvre ETAGE
In France, the ground floor (étage) of a building isn’t called the first floor, but rather the ground floor. The first floor is the floor above the ground floor.

The Musée du Louvre has the distinction of being the most visited art museum in the whole world. The collection is housed in the magnificent Louvre Palace which used to be the seat of power in France, until 1682 when Louis XIV moved to Versailles.

61. Corning creation PYREX
Pyrex glassware is brand name owned by Corning. As well as being used in bakeware and laboratory glassware, Pyrex is often the material of choice for optics in large telescopes used in astronomy.

62. Hog support? KICKSTAND
“Hog” is a nickname for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was started up in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Down
1. 1978 Toyota debut SUPRA
The Supra is a sporty car made by Toyota from 1979 to 2002. The Supra is in effect a longer and wider Celica.

3. Tot’s song starter ABCDE …
“The Alphabet Song” was copyrighted in 1835 in the US. The tune that goes with the words is the French folk song “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman”, used by Mozart for a set of piano variations. The same tune is used for the nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

5. Lesotho, for instance ENCLAVE
An enclave is a portion of a country, or sometimes a whole country, that is completed surrounded by another.

Lesotho is an enclaved country that is completely surrounded by South Africa.

9. Like the ancient Olympic Games PANHELLENIC
“Ellas” is the Greek word for “Greece”, the name of the country. Greece is also known as the “Hellenic” Republic.

10. Blake’s eye ORB
William Blake was an English poet and artist, considered now have been a powerful force in his fields during the Romantic Age. One of Blake’s more famous poems is “The Tyger”, which has the celebrated lines:

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

11. 15th-century pope PIUS II
Pope Pius II was in charge of the Roman Catholic church from 1458 until he died in 1464. Pope Pius II wrote lots of books, and his most enduring title is “Commentaries”, a 13-volume work that was his autobiography. It was published long after his death, in 1584. Pius II is the only pope to have written an autobiography.

28. Tide alternative ALL
All is a laundry detergent made by Sun Products.

Tide is a Procter & Gamble brand of laundry detergent that was introduced in 1946.

29. Tambur relatives LUTES
A tambur is a stringed instrument associated with Turkey and the former Ottoman Empire. There are two variants of tambur, one that is played with a plectrum and one with a bow.

33. Sichuan native PANDA BEAR
Taxonomic classification of the giant panda has been a subject of great debate for years, the main question being whether it belongs to the bear or raccoon family. The accepted opinion these days, based on molecular studies, seems to be that the panda is in fact a true bear.

Sichuan (also Szechuan) is a province in southwest China. Sichuan is noted for its cuisine, which is hot and spicy as it uses plenty of garlic, chili peppers and the Sichuan peppercorn. A famous Szechuan dish in the US is Kung Pao chicken.

40. Name from the Hebrew for “lion” ARI
The name “Ari” appears in several languages. In Hebrew “ari” translates as “lion”. However, in Azerbaijani “ari” means “bee”, in Albanian it means “gold”, in German it means “eagle” and in Hindi it means “not of sin”.

43. 2002 film with a mammoth co-star ICE AGE
“Ice Age” is a 2002 animated film that has spawned a whole series of movies: “Ice Age: The Meltdown” (2006), “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” (2009) and “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (2012).

44. Table linen fabric DAMASK
Damask was originally a weaving technique associated with the Byzantine and Islamic weaving centers of the Middle Ages. “Damask” comes from the name of Damascus which was a major trading city at that time.

52. Square root of neun DREI
In German, three (drei) is a third of nine (neun).

56. ’60s-’70s soul singer Joe TEX
Joe Tex was the stage name of musician Joseph Arrington, Jr. from Rogers, Texas. Joe Tex converted to Islam in 1966 and changed his name to Yusuf Hazziez.

58. Ink __ SAC
Octopuses and squid have the ability to release a dark pigment into the water as a means of escape. The dark pigment is called cephalopod ink (the squid and octopus belong to the class cephalopod). The dark color is created by melanin, the same substance that acts as a pigment in human skin.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. NASA program for aspiring explorers SPACE CAMP
10. Subject of a 1964 Time article subtitled “Pictures That Attack the Eye” OP ART
15. Crowded locale URBAN AREA
16. Nikon competitor RICOH
17. Empty entirely PICK CLEAN
18. Western formation BUTTE
19. Furniture wood RED ELM
20. Clergyman’s deg. THD
22. Building __ SITE
23. “Peer Gynt” widow ASE
24. Runner-up before RMN AES
26. Short-tailed weasel ERMINE
28. Singer with the 2002 debut hit “Complicated” AVRIL LAVIGNE
31. Dow 30 company APPLE
34. Focus of many a botanical festival TULIP
35. Ottoman bigwig BEY
36. Farm newborn FOAL
37. When many retire AT TEN
38. Great HUGE
39. Hogwarts redhead RON
40. 1979 sci-fi classic ALIEN
41. Gibson’s “Lethal Weapon” role RIGGS
42. Constitution nickname OLD IRONSIDES
45. Sign of anxiety PACING
46. Allowance holder, perhaps CAN
47. Place to see sea monsters, once MAP
50. “¿Quién __?” SABE
51. Announcer Hall EDD
53. Dead Sea stronghold MASADA
55. Pay TREAT
57. Cepheus neighbor URSA MINOR
59. Floor in the Louvre ETAGE
60. Quiet break CEASEFIRE
61. Corning creation PYREX
62. Hog support? KICKSTAND

Down
1. 1978 Toyota debut SUPRA
2. Looks closely PRIES
3. Tot’s song starter ABCDE …
4. Decorator’s target CAKE
5. Lesotho, for instance ENCLAVE
6. Comparatively still CALMER
7. Exist ARE
8. Essence MEAT
9. Like the ancient Olympic Games PANHELLENIC
10. Blake’s eye ORB
11. 15th-century pope PIUS II
12. Drive on the way to Hollywood? ACTING BUG
13. Stinker, in more ways than one ROTTEN EGG
14. Old Testament pronoun THEE
21. Backup site DRAIN
25. One who’s easy to take SITTING DUCK
27. NBA honor MVP
28. Tide alternative ALL
29. Tambur relatives LUTES
30. Most spiders have eight EYES
31. High style AFRO
32. Place to make a splash POOL PARTY
33. Sichuan native PANDA BEAR
37. Separate ALONE
38. __ Honor HIS
40. Name from the Hebrew for “lion” ARI
41. Alters on a desktop, maybe RENAMES
43. 2002 film with a mammoth co-star ICE AGE
44. Table linen fabric DAMASK
47. Fanaticism MANIA
48. Dress ADORN
49. Cut off PARED
50. Short distance STEP
52. Square root of neun DREI
54. Recipe direction SIFT
56. ’60s-’70s soul singer Joe TEX
58. Ink __ SAC

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jun 15, Saturday”

  1. When I started this puzzle, I think I knew close to nothing off the top of my head. I only googled 3 or 4 times to finish the puzzle. A few letters here and there help immensely. I wound up being surprised by my "success"

    Those Supras back then also had 6 cylinders while the Celicas only had 4. I bought a used 1979 Supra with 67k miles on it when I went to college. It made it thrugh college and grad school and ended up with about 200k of very unkind miles on it. I'm not sure of the mileage as the odometer stopped working at about 180k. I sold it for $300, but what a great car to have for those years.

    I think ENCLAVE can also have a more generic meaning – any environment different from its surrounding environment….like this blog is an enclave of civility compared to the rest of the internet…

    Best –

  2. Thought Western formation was a POSSE.
    Allowance "holder" perhaps was DAD.
    Short distance was a hop SKIP and a jump.
    Looks closely PEERS.
    OTOH, OLD IRONSIDES, (been there too, Bill.Everything was very small as I suppose the crew was shorter then.)SPACE CAMP and KICKSTAND were gimmes.
    AMY WINEHOUSE fit, but I should have known it was AVRIL.
    DNF, but a a can't complain. I just didn't know certain answers.

  3. Sigourney Weaver is one of my favorite actresses. She had good connections in show business since her father was Pat Weaver, once president of NBC and the creator of the Today Show and others. The original story for Alien was with a male hero. She auditioned for the role of Lambert, a lesser character, but her performance was so good they decided to give her the lead. As they say, the rest is history. This wasn't so much a victory for women in Sci Fi movies (almost all heroes up to then were men) as it was to the notion that no-one would expect a female character to come out as the hero and it would be a great twist.

    Old Ironsides is indeed a terrifically well kept ship and well worth visiting. To keep it "ship shape", each year the it is sailed out into Boston Harbor just a short distance and then brought back to the dock. This keeps it technically sea worthy even after all these years.

  4. One letter from a clean solve…and I knew it was Avril and not, as I idiotically put in, "April" Double Doh!!

    See you Monday.

  5. DNF, but rather encouraging as I got a lot more than usual (and found I suspected more once I read this). Oddly enough, first one was AVRILLAVIGNE, as I happened to have that particular CD. She was very much a young girl in 2002 as evidenced by the lyrics there (and her attempted image as a punk rocker chick), but like many of that time tend to hide their talent in service of that image. AVRIL wasn't an exception, as especially evidenced by a couple of the other songs on that CD.

    Good news for me is I actually managed to finish the Sunday LA Times Puzzle, as I got it in today's paper – I can get it Saturday if I go to the right place (3 errors, 8 lookups). Figured with the look-ups that I was close enough to finishing that I might as well. Main gripe with the puzzle is how constructors try to be cute sometimes (themes and all that) and you can't figure out what they're going for, even if you figure the theme out.

    I may try Reagle's puzzle (got this week's too) later. Until Monday, for sure.

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