LA Times Crossword Answers 4 Jun 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Dewey
THEME: Harry Potter … each of today’s themed answers ends with something used by a POTTER:

59A. Fictional wizard, and a hint to who would use the ends of 17-, 25-, 36- and 50-Across HARRY POTTER

17A. Heavyweight who dethroned Sonny Liston CASSIUS CLAY
25A. The London Eye, for one FERRIS WHEEL
36A. Zesty meat coating ORANGE GLAZE
50A. Beer-making device BREWER’S KILN

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Los Alamos projects A-BOMBS
The town of Los Alamos, New Mexico takes its name from the Spanish for “the poplars” or “the cottonwoods”. Famously, it is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory which was founded during WWII to work on the Manhattan Project, the development of the first atomic bomb. The town of Los Alamos didn’t exist as such, until it was planned and constructed to support the employees working on development of the bomb.

7. “A Jug of Wine … ” poet OMAR
Here are some lines by 11th-century poet Omar Khayyam:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread–and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness–
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

14. Hat with a brim FEDORA
A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …

15. Sport for heavyweights SUMO
Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

17. Heavyweight who dethroned Sonny Liston CASSIUS CLAY
Muhammad Ali fought Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Championship twice. The first bout was in 1964 in Miami, and the second in 1965 in Lewiston, Maine. In the first fight, Liston failed to come out of his corner for the seventh round. On seeing this, Ali (or “Cassius Clay” as he was then) ran to the ropes yelling “I’m the greatest!” and “I shook up the world”.

19. NASA transport LEM
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

25. The London Eye, for one FERRIS WHEEL
London Eye is the name of a very large Ferris wheel that sits right beside the River Thames in London. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and was the tallest in the world when it was constructed in 1999. The London Eye is the most-visited, paid tourist attraction in the whole country.

30. Memorable “Richard III” words A HORSE
“Richard III” is one of the more famous of William Shakespeare’s historical plays. A well-known 1955 version of the play was made for the big screen with Laurence Olivier playing the title role. The most oft-quoted words from “Richard III” are probably the opening lines “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York”, and Richard’s plea at the climax of battle “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”

32. One of the Mountain States IDAHO
In the US, the Northwest Mountain States are Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The Southwest Mountain States are Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

35. Some hot rods GTS
GT stands for “Grand Touring” or “Gran Turismo”.

40. Roulette option ODD
The name “roulette” means “little wheel” in French, and the game as we know it today did in fact originate in Paris, in 1796. A roulette wheel bears the numbers 1-36. A French entrepreneur called François Blanc introduced the number “0” on the wheel, to give the house an extra advantage. Legend has it that Blanc made a deal with the devil in order to unearth the secrets of roulette. The legend is supported by the fact that the numbers 1 through 36 add up to a total of “666”, which is the “Number of the Beast”. Spooky …

43. Land of the banshee EIRE
A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, from the Irish “bean sí” meaning “woman of the fairy mounds”. The banshee is supposedly heard wailing in the night, especially when someone is about to die.

46. Home of the NCAA’s Wolf Pack NEVADA
The athletic teams of the University of Nevada, Reno are known as the Nevada Wolf Pack. The name was adopted in in the 1920s, changing from the Sagebrushers.

48. “Tess” Golden Globe winner KINSKI
Nastassja Kinski is a German actress whose breakthrough role was the title character in the 1979 Roman Polanski movie “Tess”. Kinski had a three-year relationship with musician Quincy Jones in the nineties, and the couple have a daughter together.

50. Beer-making device BREWER’S KILN
An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an “oast house”.

54. Slew TON
The terms “slew” and “raft” can be used to mean “large amount”.

55. Level, in London RASE
To “raze” (“rase”, in UK English) is to level to the ground. How odd is it that “raise”, a homophone of “raze”, means to build up??!!

56. Spelunkers CAVERS
Spelunking is an American term for caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

58. Dash widths ENS
In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes. The em dash is about the width of an “m” character, and an en dash about half that, the width of an “n’ character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years. Th em dash seems to be going out of style, and indeed the application I am using to write this paragraph won’t let me show you one!

59. Fictional wizard, and a hint to who would use the ends of 17-, 25-, 36- and 50-Across HARRY POTTER
The author J. K. Rowling tells us that her title character is not based on any real person. There is one link to reality though, in that Harry’s birthday is July 31st, which is the same birthday as the author.

65. Assist badly? 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.

67. Kenan’s TV pal KEL
“Kenan & Kel” is a sitcom that aired on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. It starred Kenan Thompson (now of “Saturday Night Live”), and Kel Mitchell.

69. New York county on Lake Ontario OSWEGO
Oswego is a port city in New York State that lies on Lake Ontario. Oswego bills itself as the “Port City of Central New York”.

Down
1. Browns’ gp. AFC
American Football Conference (AFC)

The Cleveland Browns football team was a charter member of the All-American Football Conference, formed in 1946. Cleveland is the only NFL city that has never hosted nor sent a team to the Super Bowl.

2. Cole Porter’s “__ Clown” BE A
The Cole Porter song “Be a Clown” was first performed by Judy Garland and Gene Kelly in the 1948 movie “The Pirate”.

Cole Porter was a little unusual amongst his peers in that he was one of the few successful songwriters who wrote both lyrics and musics for his compositions. Porter was seriously injured in a riding accident when in his forties and was left disabled and in pain. Despite this, he continued to work and produced his most successful work after the accident.

3. Takes too much, briefly ODS
Overdoses (ODs)

4. Peat component MOSS
When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs.

6. Browns, perhaps SAUTES
“Sauté” is a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

9. Org. with a monthly Journal of Ethics AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

10. Kevin’s “Tin Cup” role ROY
“Tin Cup” is a fun romantic comedy starring Kevin Costner. Costner plays a former golf prodigy who has hit bottom, but who drags himself up by the bootstraps thanks to the influence of the female lead played by the lovely Rene Russo. Costner plays the title character Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy.

11. Disruptive spirit POLTERGEIST
A poltergeist is a spirit or ghost that makes its presence known by making noises or by moving objects. The term “poltergeist” is German, coming from “poltern” meaning “to rumble” or “to make a noise”, and “Geist”, the German for “ghost” or “spirit”.

12. Tibetans call it Chomolungma EVEREST
Mount Everest was named by the Royal Geographical Society in 1865. The peak is named for Welsh surveyor George Everest, who had served as Surveyor General of India from 183o through 1843.

13. They may be hot TAMALES
Hot Tamales are a cinnamon candy made by Just Born. They look like red versions of the other Just Born candy called Mike and Ike. That’s no coincidence as Hot Tamales were developed as a way to make use of rejected Mike and Ike candy. The dark red color and intense cinnamon flavor was added to the Mike and Ike rejects, masking the original flavor and color.

18. Belarus or Ukr., once SSR
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located east of Poland and north of Ukraine. Belarus didn’t exist as an entity until the Russian Revolution when it was created as one of the Soviet Socialist Republics (SSR) that made up the USSR. The Republic of Belarus was formed soon after the USSR dissolved in 1990, but unlike many of the former Soviet Republics, Belarus has retained many of the old Soviet policies. Alexander Lukashenko is the country’s president and he believes in state ownership of the economy. Belarus and Russia have formal agreements in place that pledge cooperation.

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe, a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English we often call the country “the” Ukraine, but I am told that we should just say “Ukraine”.

23. Low número UNO
In Spanish, one might count down to number one (número uno).

26. Humorist Mort SAHL
Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

32. Market chain based in Chicago IGA
IGA stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

34. Insurance fig. AGT
Agent (agt.)

38. Site of Mt. Mitchell, highest Appalachian peak NCAR
Mount Mitchell in North Carolina is the highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains, reaching a height of 6,699 feet. The mountain is named for explorer and geologist Elisha Mitchell who measured the height of the peak in 1835. Sadly, Mitchell fell to his death on the mountain’s slopes in 1857 while confirming his measurements.

39. __ master ZEN
Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

44. “King Kong” studio RKO
“King Kong” really is a classic movie. It stars Fay Wray as the young woman (Ann Darrow) with whom Kong falls in love. Wray was very interested in the role as she was told that she would be playing opposite the “tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood”. She thought it might be Clark Gable. At least that’s how the story goes …

45. Cologne article EIN
Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is known as “Koln” in German.

48. Heavy lifter, for short? KLEPTO
Kleptomania is the compulsion to steal, whether or not one is need of what is stolen. The term derives from the Greek word for “to steal”, “kleptein”, with the suffix “-mania”.

52. Super Mario racers KARTS
Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

59. Uris novel, with “The” HAJ
Leon Uris as an American writer. His most famous books are “Exodus” and “Trinity”, two excellent stories, in my humble opinion …

60. Old sports org. with a red-white-and-blue ball ABA
The American Basketball Association (ABA) merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976. The ABA used a ball with the colors red, white and blue. The NBA uses a more traditional orange ball.

63. Vintage auto REO
The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom E. Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Los Alamos projects A-BOMBS
7. “A Jug of Wine … ” poet OMAR
11. Shelter acquisition PET
14. Hat with a brim FEDORA
15. Sport for heavyweights SUMO
16. Fertility lab supply OVA
17. Heavyweight who dethroned Sonny Liston CASSIUS CLAY
19. NASA transport LEM
20. Attacks SETS AT
21. Other, to Orlando OTRA
22. Happy hour site PUB
25. The London Eye, for one FERRIS WHEEL
28. Exception lead-in UNLESS …
30. Memorable “Richard III” words A HORSE
31. Disadvantaged POOR
32. One of the Mountain States IDAHO
35. Some hot rods GTS
36. Zesty meat coating ORANGE GLAZE
40. Roulette option ODD
42. “Sorry” I CAN’T
43. Land of the banshee EIRE
46. Home of the NCAA’s Wolf Pack NEVADA
48. “Tess” Golden Globe winner KINSKI
50. Beer-making device BREWER’S KILN
54. Slew TON
55. Level, in London RASE
56. Spelunkers CAVERS
58. Dash widths ENS
59. Fictional wizard, and a hint to who would use the ends of 17-, 25-, 36- and 50-Across HARRY POTTER
64. __ limit AGE
65. Assist badly? ABET
66. Words before “Happy New Year!” TWO ONE
67. Kenan’s TV pal KEL
68. Chats JAWS
69. New York county on Lake Ontario OSWEGO

Down
1. Browns’ gp. AFC
2. Cole Porter’s “__ Clown” BE A
3. Takes too much, briefly ODS
4. Peat component MOSS
5. Legal filings BRIEFS
6. Browns, perhaps SAUTES
7. Word before nod or buzz OSCAR
8. Millionaire starter? MULTI-
9. Org. with a monthly Journal of Ethics AMA
10. Kevin’s “Tin Cup” role ROY
11. Disruptive spirit POLTERGEIST
12. Tibetans call it Chomolungma EVEREST
13. They may be hot TAMALES
18. Belarus or Ukr., once SSR
21. “Looky here!” OHO!
22. Small seal PUP
23. Low número UNO
24. Circulation need BLOOD VESSEL
26. Humorist Mort SAHL
27. “Hold it!” WHOA!
29. Bobble the ball ERR
32. Market chain based in Chicago IGA
33. Room with a recliner DEN
34. Insurance fig. AGT
37. Helper AIDE
38. Site of Mt. Mitchell, highest Appalachian peak NCAR
39. __ master ZEN
40. Taking five or ten ON BREAK
41. Drive up the wall DERANGE
44. “King Kong” studio RKO
45. Cologne article EIN
47. Blow away AWE
48. Heavy lifter, for short? KLEPTO
49. Aligned IN ROWS
51. Head-turner’s hardware? SCREW
52. Super Mario racers KARTS
53. One climbing the walls IVY
57. Stash STOW
59. Uris novel, with “The” HAJ
60. Old sports org. with a red-white-and-blue ball ABA
61. Piggy TOE
62. Writer’s coll. major, often ENG
63. Vintage auto REO

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 4 Jun 15, Thursday”

  1. Boy, did I have problems with the SW corner for a time. And it all started innocently enough when I put in "red" for the 40 Across clue "roulette option." Now that I had that "r" going down for 40 "Taking 5 or 10" I naturally put in "resting" and then I was off and running (like Roy Riegles in the 1929 Rose Bowl) in the wrong direction. I finally got it sorted out, but the ink was flying fast and thick with strike overs!

    Hope everyone has a great day. I had dinner out at a little local "Hawaiian" food joint last night with a friend. Love those breakfast bowls they do with Portuguese sausage, rice, broccoli and over easy eggs on top. Yum!

  2. I did the exact same thing. I put RED and RESTING so the SW took forever to figure out. I was also thinking of NC State as the Wolf Pack and Mohammed Ali rather than Cassius Clay. In retrospect, it's a miracle I finished. Some squares are black with write overs, however…

    A common misconception is that when Richard III is saying "..my kingdom for a horse..", he is offering his kingdom if only someone would give him a horse. What he is really saying is he is lamenting the fact that he is losing his kingdom over the lack of a horse. One of the few things I remember from high school….

    Mentioning the LEM reminds me that yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Ed White's spacewalk – the first by an American. The biggest significance of that walk is that it finally pulled us even with the Soviets in the space race. The sad part is that Ed White was rewarded by being selected to be one of the first Apollo astronauts. He died in the fire inside the command module on the launch pad during a training run.

    Best –

  3. I was thinking NC State too. Don't worry, Jeff. I was an ENG major in college, and haven't picked up Shakespeare since. And as I recall, the Apollo I disaster occured partly because the command module was pressurized with almost 100% oxygen, which burns quickly. It forced NASA to alter the composition to have more nitrogen when it finally got off the pad.

    Grid was OK, about the same as yesterday.

  4. What are today, TRIPLETS?

    I put in RED and RESTING as well. RASE was the only clue that I was wrong. Lots of guesses today. I saw Piggy and guessed TOE and then HARRY POTTER right away. "Oh no!
    I don't know anything about Harry Potter"….
    Rather smug that I got POLTERGEIST really quickly. Turns out I didn't have to know anything about Harry.
    Never heard of KEL.
    Have a great day!

  5. Red and Resting were only two of many wrong starts for me. Just kept erasing until I got it squared away.

    I know a lot about Harry Potter (just finished reading all the books) but it took me forever to think of that answer! Doh!

  6. Hey – for NCAR (38 down). Isn't the clue supposed to have an abbreviation if the answer has one? I was stuck with N_AR and couldn't think of anyplace that would fit.

  7. Hey Pookie, Jeff, Mtn West, & Tony, make it quintuplets… I ALSO had RED and RESTING! Great minds, etc.
    Good puzzle, and finished most of it but it took a LONG time. Made me hungry, and now I'm craving that dish you describe, Tony!
    'Bye for now! May call in sick for the week's remaining grids 🙁

  8. @Anonymous
    Re the need for an abbreviation, I think you're right in general. That said, there's no need to put "abbr." in the clue, although that sometimes happens. There just needs to be another abbreviation including in the clue's wording. In this cast, the abbreviation "Mt." is used for "Mount".

    Hope that helps!

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