LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Jul 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kurt Krauss
THEME: Omnidirectional … today’s themed answers are in pairs, and contain a DIRECTIONAL word. One answer in each pair is read in one direction, and the other in the opposite direction. To help us out, the direction that we need to read the answers is included in that answer:

40A. Like the answers to eight starred clues … and a hint as to how to fill them in OMNIDIRECTIONAL

12A. *Ring punch RIGHT HOOK
19A. *Manhattan neighborhood EAST HARLEM
57A. *Liberia locale ACIRFA TSEW (reverses to “WEST AFRICA”)
68A. *Ring punch SSORC TFEL (reverses to “LEFT CROSS”)
4D. *Animated TV series set in the Rockies SOUTH PARK
9D. *Promising GNIMOC-DNA-PU (reverses to “UP-AND-COMING”)
23D. *Level-headed DOWN-TO-EARTH
38D. *Challenge to Eiger climbers ECAF HTRON (reverses to “NORTH FACE”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. Star Wars, initially SDI
One of the positive outcomes of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, also “Star Wars”) was a change in US defense strategy. The new approach was to use missiles to destroy incoming hostile weapons, rather than using missiles to destroy the nation attacking the country. The former doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction went by the apt acronym of MAD …

7. Go fishing ANGLE
We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.

16. IQ test pioneer BINET
The first usable intelligence test was invented by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Binet collaborated with Théodore Simon and together they produced the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale that is still in use today for IQ tests.

17. Start of the line before “Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!” ET TU, BRUTE?
In William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”, Caesar is stabbed by a group of conspirators, with Brutus delivering the final blow. Caesar’s last words are “Et tu, Bruté?—Then fall, Caesar.” After Caesar dies, the conspirators celebrate. Cinna declares, “Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead! Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.” After which, Cassius continues with “Some to the common pulpits, and cry out, ‘Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!’”

18. Bluebloods ELITE
The idiomatic phrase “blue blood” applies to someone of noble descent. The phrase is a translation from the Spanish “sangre azul”, which was applied to the royal family in Spain. The notion is that someone of noble birth does not have to work outdoors in the fields, and so has untanned skin. The veins showing in the skin had “blue blood”, whereas those veins were masked by the darker skin of the peasant classes.

19. *Manhattan neighborhood EAST HARLEM
The Manhattan district of Harlem is sometimes divided into Central Harlem, West Harlem and East Harlem. East Harlem is also known as Spanish Harlem.

21. 1965 Sophia Loren comedy LADY L
“Lady L” is a comedy film released in 1965 that stars Sophia Loren in the title role, appearing with Paul Newman and David Niven. Loren plays a the wife of a Bavarian prince. although she had humble beginnings in Corsica. Niven plays the prince, and Newman plays Lady L’s lover, the family’s chauffeur. The film was directed by the marvelous Peter Ustinov.

24. Gas sign in green letters HESS
The Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them every since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.

25. Line of work: Abbr. OCC
Occupation (occ.)

29. Talladega unit LAP
The Talladega Superspeedway is the longest oval on the NASCAR circuit with a length of 2.66 miles. It also has seating for a whopping 175,000 spectators. The track opened in 1969, built on an abandoned airfield north of the city of Talladega, Alabama. The circuit is renowned for its supposed Talladega Jinx, which is said to have caused a number of accidents and incidents over the years. There has been a relatively high number of fatalities and crashes, including the death of driver Larry Smith in what was apparently a minor wreck, and the death of driver Davey Allison in a helicopter crash in the raceway’s infield. In another strange occurrence, driver Bobby Isaac left his car on the 90th lap of a race as he claims he heard voices that told him to park and get out of his vehicle.

31. Result of a 1955 merger AFL-CIO
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

43. Role for Dustin RATSO
Enrico Salvatore “Ratso” Rizzo is one of the characters in the groundbreaking 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy”. Rizzo is a down-and-out con man, played by Dustin Hoffman.

The 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy” is a Hollywood adaptation of a novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It’s a pretty depressing story about a young Texan (played by Jon Voight) who heads to New York City to make money as a hustler, hiring himself out to women for sex. Pretty soon the young man ends up selling his body for sex with males as well. Prior to release the MPAA gave the movie an R-rating, but the United Artists studio took advice and decided to release it with an X-rating. When “Midnight Cowboy” won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1969, it became the only X-rated film to be so honored.

44. “The Bridge on the River __” KWAI
The river referred to in the movie (and novel) “The Bridge on the River Kwai” is actually called the Khwae Yai River, and is in western Thailand. The original novel by Pierre Boulle was published in French in 1952, and the wonderful movie released in 1957. Both tell the story of construction of part of the Burma Railway and a bridge over the river, using prisoners of war as laborers. The film stars William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.

45. Marquis de __ SADE
The Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat with a reputation for a libertine lifestyle. De Sade was also a writer, well known for his works of erotica. He fell foul of the law for some of his more extreme practices and for blaspheming the Catholic church. On an off, de Sade spent 32 years of his life in prison and in insane asylums.

48. Fraud watchdog org. FTC
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 with the mission of protecting consumers. The FTC runs the National Do Not Call Registry which can limit the amount of telemarketing calls that consumers receive. To register your number, simply go to the website www.donotcall.gov.

52. Ness, for one LOCH
Loch Lomond is one of the two most famous lakes in Scotland. Loch Ness is famous for its “monster”, and Loch Lomond is famous for the lovely song “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond”. Oh, ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road …

55. Castro and others RAULS
Raul Castro is the younger brother of Fidel Castro. Raul has been President of Cuba since 2008, when Fidel stepped aside.

*Liberia locale ACIRFA TSEW (reverses to “WEST AFRICA”)
Liberia is a country in West Africa. The country was founded in 1847 by former American slaves who were repatriated to Africa. As a result, the Liberian flag resembles the US flag, and the country’s motto is “The love of liberty brought us here”.

61. Don Diego de la Vega, familiarly ZORRO
The character Zorro was created by Johnston McCulley in 1919 for a series of stories and pulp fiction, the first title being “The Curse of Capistrano”. The name “Zorro” is the secret identity of a Spanish colonial nobleman called Don Diego de la Vega.

67. The Bradford kids of ’70s-’80s TV, e.g. OCTET
“Eight Is Enough” is a comedy drama that originally ran from 1977 to 1981 on ABC. Star of the show was Dick Van Patten who played Tom Bradford, a newspaper columnist and father of eight children. The show was inspired by the real life situation of journalist Tom Braden who wrote a book called “Eight is Enough”. Braden co-hosted CNN’s “Crossfire” for ten years with Pat Buchanan and then Robert Novak.

69. Milo of “Barbarella” O’SHEA
Milo O’Shea was a great Irish character actor from Dublin who has appeared in everything from “Romeo and Juliet” to “The West Wing”. Sadly, O’Shea passed away in 2013, in New York City.

“Barbarella” is a cult classic 1968 film that was directed by Roger Vadim. Vadim’s wife at the time was Jane Fonda, and she plays the title character.

Down
2. Young beaver KIT
Beavers are monogamous and mate for life. The offspring of a beaver couple are called kits.

3. Pepper, for one: Abbr. SGT
When the Beatles released their groundbreaking “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” album in 1967, the typical cost for cover art was about fifty UK pounds. The Beatles’ album cover cast a staggering three thousand pounds. The idea for the artwork came from Paul McCartney, who provided an ink drawing to pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth who came up with the final design. The cover was photographed by Michael Cooper, who was famous for photographing the Rolling Stones. In the “Sgt. Pepper” cover photo, the band members are surrounded by 9 waxworks and 57 life-size cardboard cut-outs of famous people, a group carefully chosen by the Beatles. Elvis isn’t included in the mix, as he was considered “too important”. Also left out were Adolf Hitler and Jesus Christ, both of whom had been suggested by John Lennon.

4. *Animated TV series set in the Rockies SOUTH PARK
“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

6. Some furniture stores IKEAS
The IKEA furniture stores use the colors blue and yellow for brand recognition. Blue and yellow are the national colors of Sweden, where IKEA was founded and is headquartered.

7. Biblical brother ABEL
In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

8. Juba’s “White” river NILE
Juba is a city on the White Nile in Africa and the capital of the Republic of South Sudan.

11. Juillet’s season ETE
One might spend the summer (été) under the sun (le soleil) in France, and “juillet” is French for July (note that the name of months aren’t capitalized in French).

13. One of three cartoon nephews HUEY
Donald Duck’s nephews are identical triplets called Huey, Dewey and Louie, and they first appeared on the screen in 1938. Once in a while, due to errors in production, a fourth duck can be seen in the background. This little “mistake” is affectionately called “Phooey Duck” by folks in the industry.

15. Little League belts: Abbr. HRS
Home run (HR)

20. Soweto’s home: Abbr. RSA
Republic of South Africa (RSA)

Soweto is an urban area in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. The name comes from SOuth WEstern TOwnship, a black township that was set up the days of apartheid. The famous Soweto Uprising took place in 1976, triggered by government policy forcing education to be given in Afrikaans rather than in English.

26. Stronghold CITADEL
A citadel is a fortress built to protect a town or a city. Both the words “city” and “citadel” come from the Latin word “civis” meaning “citizen”.

30. Brest friend AMI
Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.

32. Govt. group that began in 1908 FBI
What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

33. Where kip are spent LAOS
The kip has been the unit of currency in Laos since 1952. One kip is divided into 100 att.

35. Sylvester’s problem LISP
Sylvester J. Pussycat was also known as Puddy Tat, and was a character who appeared in “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons. Sylvester was the cat who was often trying to get the better of Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales and Hippety Hopper. Sylvester’s trademark line is the exclamation “Sufferin’ succotash!”, which emphasizes the characters pronounced lisp.

37. London’s __ Gardens KEW
Kew Gardens is a beautiful location in southwest London that was formerly known as the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew Gardens has the world’s largest collection of living plants.

38. *Challenge to Eiger climbers ECAF HTRON (reverses to “NORTH FACE”)
The Eiger is a mountain in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. It is a noted peak for mountain climbing, with its treacherous north face being the most famous approach to the summit. Over sixty climbers have died since 1935 on that north face.

41. Fawn’s mom DOE
A fawn is a young deer, usually less than a year old.

47. Canon offering, briefly SLR
SLR stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

The Japanese company called Canon is largely known in the US for producing quality cameras. The company started out as Precision Optical Industry Laboratory in 1937 making camera bodies. The name was changed in 1947 to Canon.

49. Dimin.’s opposite CRESC
Crescendo (cresc.) is an Italian word meaning “gradually becoming louder”, and is often seen on a musical score. The term with the opposite meaning is “diminuendo” (dim.).

56. Mad as __ hen A WET
Someone described as “mad as a wet hen” is “very angry”.

58. Algonquian language CREE
The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

59. Bit IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

60. Sun. message SER
Our word “sermon” comes from the Latin “sermonem” meaning “discourse, talk”. The literal translation of “sermonem” is “a stringing together of words”, from the Latin “serere” meaning “to join”, as in the related word “series”.

62. It turns out lts. OCS
Officer Candidate School (OCS)

The word “lieutenant” come from French, with “lieu” meaning “in place” and “tenant” meaning “holding”. “Lieutenant” then means somebody holding a position in the absence of his or her superior. In America of course “lieutenant” is pronounced loo-tenant, whereas on the other side of the Atlantic we say “lef-tenant”.

64. Nats’ former stadium RFK
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was opened in 1961 as the District of Columbia Stadium, and is actually owned by the District of Columbia. The stadium was renamed in 1969, a few months after Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Kennedy had been instrumental the racial integration of the Washington Redskins who played in the stadium for 36 seasons. As Attorney General, Kennedy threatened to oust the Redskins from the federally-owned stadium unless the team agreed to sign African American players.

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. Symbol of peace VEE
One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V for victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

66. Eastern Nevada city ELY
Ely is a city in eastern Nevada. The city was founded as a Pony Express stagecoach station. One of Ely’s former residents was First Lady Pat Nixon, who was born there in 1912.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Blesses OKS
4. Star Wars, initially SDI
7. Go fishing ANGLE
12. *Ring punch RIGHT HOOK
16. IQ test pioneer BINET
17. Start of the line before “Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!” ET TU, BRUTE?
18. Bluebloods ELITE
19. *Manhattan neighborhood EAST HARLEM
21. 1965 Sophia Loren comedy LADY L
24. Gas sign in green letters HESS
25. Line of work: Abbr. OCC
28. Year in Mexico ANO
29. Talladega unit LAP
31. Result of a 1955 merger AFL-CIO
34. Postseason game BOWL
36. Pull in MAKE
39. Treating poorly BAD TO
40. Like the answers to eight starred clues … and a hint as to how to fill them in OMNIDIRECTIONAL
43. Role for Dustin RATSO
44. “The Bridge on the River __” KWAI
45. Marquis de __ SADE
46. Chooses the window instead of the aisle? ELOPES
48. Fraud watchdog org. FTC
50. For each PER
51. Shade provider DYE
52. Ness, for one LOCH
55. Castro and others RAULS
57. *Liberia locale ACIRFA TSEW (reverses to “WEST AFRICA”)
61. Don Diego de la Vega, familiarly ZORRO
63. Frankness UNRESERVE
67. The Bradford kids of ’70s-’80s TV, e.g. OCTET
68. *Ring punch SSORC TFEL (reverses to “LEFT CROSS”)
69. Milo of “Barbarella” O’SHEA
70. Long time EON
71. Major KEY

Down
1. Natural resource ORE
2. Young beaver KIT
3. Pepper, for one: Abbr. SGT
4. *Animated TV series set in the Rockies SOUTH PARK
5. Words before dances DO THE …
6. Some furniture stores IKEAS
7. Biblical brother ABEL
8. Juba’s “White” river NILE
9. *Promising GNIMOC-DNA-PU (reverses to “UP-AND-COMING”)
10. Betray, with “down” LET
11. Juillet’s season ETE
13. One of three cartoon nephews HUEY
14. Little League precursor T-BALL
15. Little League belts: Abbr. HRS
20. Soweto’s home: Abbr. RSA
21. Toiled LABORED
22. Rule exception ANOMALY
23. *Level-headed DOWN-TO-EARTH
26. Stronghold CITADEL
27. Beach party staples COOLERS
30. Brest friend AMI
32. Govt. group that began in 1908 FBI
33. Where kip are spent LAOS
35. Sylvester’s problem LISP
37. London’s __ Gardens KEW
38. *Challenge to Eiger climbers ECAF HTRON (reverses to “NORTH FACE”)
41. Fawn’s mom DOE
42. Tiny songbird TIT
47. Canon offering, briefly SLR
49. Dimin.’s opposite CRESC
53. Handy OF USE
54. Playground retort CAN SO!
56. Mad as __ hen A WET
58. Algonquian language CREE
59. Bit IOTA
60. Sun. message SER
61. Animal house ZOO
62. It turns out lts. OCS
64. Nats’ former stadium RFK
65. Symbol of peace VEE
66. Eastern Nevada city ELY

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Jul 15, Friday”

  1. Good morning everyone.

    Puzzle fell rather easy once I got the
    theme at "Up and coming".
    Not quite near Bill's time 🙁

    Favorite Clue was 46A "Chooses the window instead
    of the aisle". Now that's a misdirection.

    Have a great day all!

  2. Yeah, I did this nugget in :09 also…plus :20. And that was even with googling LADYL (never heard of it). I know there's some decent symmetry in these theme clues, but that doesn't make me feel any better. UNRESERVE? Huh?

    Bill, didn't the term "hanging judge" come from a guy at Fort Smith?

    But to show there is some mirth to be had regarding ETTUBRUTE, I present Monty Python's Julius Caesar On An Aldis Lamp. Have a pleasant Friday, everyone.

  3. …somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
    but there is no joy in Smugville – as I have struck out…

    Just missed this Friday. It would have been 3 of 4 unaided Friday (smug) solves….operative word being "would". Had to google LADY L too as I just couldn't make sense of that area. Hated the theme – at least it's implementation. Just personally I think it diminishes the puzzle. ELOPES was indeed very clever and incarceration should ensue for that one, but the theme…not so much.

    Bill – That WWII museum you saw yesterday is great. I had a few hours to spend there a few years ago before my flight home, but I felt like I could have spent a few days there. I believe the late great author Stephen Ambrose had a lot to do with the creation of that museum. Your trajetory sounds like it will take you to the Truman and Eisenhower museums as well. Enjoy.

    Feeling much better. I actually had coffee this morning, but a cold beer will probably have to wait until some other weekend. And thanks Willie for the extra crosswords. I'm just waiting for Bill to do all the extra write ups for them 🙂 I can walk without much a limp now, but only VERY slowly. I just need patience…not exactly my forte.

    Best –

  4. Boy, what a difficult puzzle. A tough time was had by all, in my house. And clues running backwards and upside down ? Where is Stephen Hawking when you need him …. ?

    The successor of the Binet-Simon IQ test, was the now, ubiquitous, Stanford-Binet set of I.Q. tests. Last month I tested myself, to see if I was even, sub-par MENSA material. I am sorry to inform you that I scored sub-par. Maybe, thats why I have to cheat, occasionally, when I try to solve crossword puzzles. C'est la vie – such is life. A fascinating book on IQ testing,'A troublesome inheritance', by Nicholas Wade. I recommend it highly.

    When I was growing up, 'The Citadel' by A.J.Cronin was one of my favorite books.

    'North Face' or Nordwand is a recent 2008, german movie, about the pre- WW II ascent of the mountain Eiger, from the north face.

    I recently read that the word, 'Canon' for the Canon camera company, comes not from some corruption of the english word, cannon, but, as its logo and title, in japanese indicates, from the boddhisatva japanese Goddess, Kannon – alternate name. a very popular Chinese goddess Guan jin / Kwan yin/ Ava-loki-teshvara .

    Have a good weekend, all. Happy trails, Bill.

  5. I peeked at the theme early on, and am glad I did. I might have wasted the whole morning on this. Reverse spelling? You're kidding.
    Matt

  6. @Willie D
    Yes, Isaac "Hanging Judge" Parker of Fort Smith. We toured his jail and courthouse yesterday. Very, very interesting.

    @Jeff
    Yep, the NOLA WWII Museum is fabulous. The tour included a spectacular "4D" movie narrated by Tom Hanks that has to be to be believed. Regarding the presidential libraries, we were in Eisenhower's and Truman's a few years ago. We found President Eisenhower's Library to be particularly interesting (and beautiful). We've been to them all now, bar President Jimmy Carter. And, I hope you feel better soon.

  7. Also loved 46A, especially as hubby and I chose that method 26 years ago. We were paying for the wedding ourselves and found that we could have a very expensive party or a fabulous honeymoon, but not both. So we decided to "elope" to Galway. I put elope in quotes because I not sure that's the actual definition when you have to get passports and wait months for official paperwork to traverse the oceans before you can buy tickets and fly to the country where you wish to marry.

    But in the end it was worth it and we have fond memories of Galway, Canon Forrest, St. Nicolas Church and the lovely inhabitants of that tiny fishing village.

    As to the puzzle, the bottle of wine we were enjoying did not help in the solving of the themed answers. But we had a lovely time, nonetheless.

  8. Hey, nice to see some new names here–welcome!
    HATED this puzzle. I can't deal with the backwards stuff, and of course did not finish. I did catch the theme at some point, and wrote in WEST AFRICA– in the correct order. That got me nowhere. I believe I'll call in sick for tomorrow's grid —
    Cheers all!

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