LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Jul 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: TB Test … each of today’s themed answers comprises two words, with the initials TB:

60A. Diagnostic skin injection, and, based on the initials of their answers, what the starred clues represent TB TEST

18A. *Military bigwigs TOP BRASS
58A. *Home mortgage payer’s benefit TAX BREAK
6D. *Off-road two-wheeler TRAIL BIKE
10D. *Fairy tale porridge eaters THREE BEARS
27D. *Salon device for one who wants color but not sun TANNING BED
35D. *”Beetlejuice” director TIM BURTON

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 52s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Decorate, as a Christmas tree TRIM
The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

17. Ancient region ruled by Athens ATTICA
Greece is divided into 13 peripheries, regional administrative divisions. The capital of Greece, Athens, is located in the periphery of Attica.

20. Section of town, for short NABE
A “nabe” is a neighborhood, or a familiar term for a local movie theater. Although I’ve never heard “nabe” used in this neighborhood …

25. Be overly sweet CLOY
“To cloy” is to cause distaste by oversupplying something that would otherwise be pleasant, especially something with a sweet taste.

26. “Glee” cheerleading coach SUE
In the TV show “Glee”, actress Jane Lynch plays the school cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester. Well, Sylvester is the cheerleading coach for the first four seasons. She gets promoted to high school principal for the last two seasons.

27. Marching band member TUBA
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

28. Black, in poesy EBON
Ebony is another word for the color black (often shortened to “ebon” in poetry). Ebony is a dark black wood that is very dense, one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand so the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It is in such short supply that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish to look like ebony, so be warned …

“Poesy” is an alternative name for poetry, often used to mean the “art of poetry”.

37. Chief Norse god ODIN
According to Norse mythology, the god Odin had a pair of ravens that flew all over the world each day to get him information. The ravens were named Huginn and Muninn.

38. Dull uniform color KHAKI
“Khaki” is an Urdu word, translating literally as “dusty”. The word was adopted for its current use as the name of a fabric by the British cavalry in India in the mid-1800s.

41. __ the Pooh WINNIE
A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh” has been translated into many languages, and is one of the few modern titles for which there is a Latin version. Alexander Lenard had “Winnie ille Pu” published in 1958, and two years later it made it to the New York Times Best Seller List, the only book in the Latin language ever to get that honor.

45. Frau’s refusal NEIN
“Nein” is the German for “no”.

In Germany, the lady of the house (haus) is the wife (frau).

50. UV-blocker rating syst. SPF
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

53. Cheap cigar STOGIE
A “stogie” (also “stogy”) is both a “rough, heavy shoe” and a “long, cheap cigar”. Both items were favored by the drivers of the covered wagons called “Conestogas” that wended their way across the Midwest in days gone by. The term “stogie” is derived from the name of the wagon, which itself is named after the area in which the wagons were built: Conestoga, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

58. *Home mortgage payer’s benefit TAX BREAK
Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. The idea was that a pledge to repay a loan dies when the debt is cleared.

60. Diagnostic skin injection, and, based on the initials of their answers, what the starred clues represent TB TEST
A test for TB involves injecting an extract, taken from the bacterium that causes TB, under the outer layer of skin of the patient. Any sign of a reaction on the skin is an immune response indicating that the patient has previously been exposed to TB.

63. Revolutionary Guevara CHE
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.

67. Port in southwestern Italy NAPLES
Naples (“Napoli” in Italian) is the third largest city in Italy. The name “Napoli” comes from the city’s Ancient Greek name, which translates as “New City”. That’s a bit of a paradox as today Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.

Down
1. GE competitor AMANA
The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa.

2. The devil SATAN
Satan is the bringer of evil and temptation in the Abrahamic religions. The name “Satan” is Hebrew for “adversary”.

5. Part of a min. SEC
The hour is subdivided into 60 parts, each of which was known as a “pars minuta prima” in Medieval Latin, translating as “first small part”. This phrase “pars minuta prima” evolved into our word “minute”. The “pars minuta prima” (minute) was further divided into 60 parts, each called a “secunda pars minuta”, meaning “second small part”. “Secunda pars minuta” evolved into our term “second”.

9. Spanish bar snacks TAPAS
“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

10. *Fairy tale porridge eaters THREE BEARS
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.

12. The “I” in VMI: Abbr. INST
The Virginia Military Institute is one of the six senior military colleges in the country, and is located in Lexington, Virginia. The sports teams of VMI are known as the Keydets, southern slang for “cadets”.

25. __-de-sac CUL
Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom of the bag” in French, the term cul-de-sac is of English origin (the use of “cul” in French is actually quite rude). The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.

27. *Salon device for one who wants color but not sun TANNING BED
It has been well-established that the use of tanning beds increases the risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Such is the level of risk that since 2014, the use of tanning beds is banned in my native Ireland. Not good for fair skin …

29. 1847 Melville novel OMOO
Herman Melville mined his own experiences when writing his novels. Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for “Moby Dick”). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later and lived with natives on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for “Typee”). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate that was bound for Boston (a source for “Omoo”).

30. Taboo NO-NO
The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

32. Game point, in tennis AD IN
In tennis, if the score reaches “deuce” (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the “advantage”. If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that’s two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. If the one of the players is calling out the score then if he/she has the advantage then that player announces “ad in” or more formally “advantage in”. If the score announcer’s opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is “ad out” or “advantage out”. Follow all of that …?

33. Yellow-striped pool ball NINE
In a game of eight-ball pool, the solid-colored balls are numbered 1 through 7, and the striped balls are numbered 9 through 15. The “eight-ball” is solid black in color.

35. *”Beetlejuice” director TIM BURTON
Movie director and producer Tim Burton makes my least favorite types of movie: dark, gothic, horror fantasies. The list of his titles includes “Edward Scissorhands”, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Sweeney Todd”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Alice in Wonderland”. Also included in each of these movies is Johnny Depp in a starring role, as Depp and Burton are good friends and frequent collaborators. Another frequent star in Burton movies is English actress Helena Bonham Carter, who has been his domestic partner since 2001.

“Beetlejuice” is a 1988 comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton in the title role. Beetlejuice is an underworld character who tries to scare away the new inhabitants of a house that is haunted by the ghosts of a deceased couple (played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis).

36. Sleep stage letters REM
REM is an acronym standing for Rapid Eye Movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

39. Cuddly-looking Australian marsupial KOALA
The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

42. ” … bombs bursting __” IN AIR
The words “bombs bursting in air” come from “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with the Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.

44. Heart exam: Abbr. ECG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

48. Tree that sounds like a sandy shore BEECH
Beech wood is prized as firewood as it burns for many hours with a bright flame and is easily split.

51. Old West search party POSSE
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

54. Scotch __ TAPE
Scotch Tape is a brand of adhesive tape made by 3M. “Scotch Tape” is one of those brand names that has become so used widely that it has become a generic term for the product. The equivalent brand name of product that we use over in Ireland is Sellotape. This British brand also has become a generic term, and is our equivalent to “Scotch tape”.

61. Maidenform garment BRA
Maidenform is a manufacturer of underwear for women that was founded in 1922. The three co-founders were driven to defy the norms of the day that dictated a flat-chested look for women. They produced items that fit the female body, hence the name “Maidenform”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Hockey stat ASSIST
7. Hill-building insect ANT
10. Decorate, as a Christmas tree TRIM
14. Post office patron MAILER
15. Podded plant PEA
16. Sharpen HONE
17. Ancient region ruled by Athens ATTICA
18. *Military bigwigs TOP BRASS
20. Section of town, for short NABE
21. Not well ILL
23. Notifies ALERTS
24. Indefinite number ANY
25. Be overly sweet CLOY
26. “Glee” cheerleading coach SUE
27. Marching band member TUBA
28. Black, in poesy EBON
31. Triteness BANALITY
35. Earthquake aftershock TREMOR
37. Chief Norse god ODIN
38. Dull uniform color KHAKI
40. Top-shelf A-ONE
41. __ the Pooh WINNIE
43. Roll call setting, for most teens HOMEROOM
45. Frau’s refusal NEIN
46. Basic lessons ABCS
47. Slap the cuffs on NAB
49. Electrical outlet insert PLUG
50. UV-blocker rating syst. SPF
53. Cheap cigar STOGIE
56. Blade that makes a wake OAR
57. Slip-on, e.g. SHOE
58. *Home mortgage payer’s benefit TAX BREAK
60. Diagnostic skin injection, and, based on the initials of their answers, what the starred clues represent TB TEST
62. Olympian’s blade EPEE
63. Revolutionary Guevara CHE
64. Threat-ending words OR ELSE
65. __ one’s way: proceed WEND
66. Squirreled away HID
67. Port in southwestern Italy NAPLES

Down
1. GE competitor AMANA
2. The devil SATAN
3. Show indifference SIT BY
4. “Would __ to you?” I LIE
5. Part of a min. SEC
6. *Off-road two-wheeler TRAIL BIKE
7. In a fitting way APTLY
8. Prefix with natal NEO-
9. Spanish bar snacks TAPAS
10. *Fairy tale porridge eaters THREE BEARS
11. Sound of the surf ROAR
12. The “I” in VMI: Abbr. INST
13. Sloppy situation MESS
19. More deeply colored, as a clear sky BLUER
22. Reluctant LOATH
25. __-de-sac CUL
27. *Salon device for one who wants color but not sun TANNING BED
29. 1847 Melville novel OMOO
30. Taboo NO-NO
31. Gift decoration BOW
32. Game point, in tennis AD IN
33. Yellow-striped pool ball NINE
34. Slangy agreement YAH
35. *”Beetlejuice” director TIM BURTON
36. Sleep stage letters REM
39. Cuddly-looking Australian marsupial KOALA
42. ” … bombs bursting __” IN AIR
44. Heart exam: Abbr. ECG
48. Tree that sounds like a sandy shore BEECH
49. Elbowed POKED
50. Snail’s protection SHELL
51. Old West search party POSSE
52. Big celebrations FETES
53. Hearty meal STEW
54. Scotch __ TAPE
55. Plow-pulling team OXEN
57. Staircase part STEP
59. Yellowfin tuna AHI
61. Maidenform garment BRA

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Jul 15, Monday”

  1. Terrible puzzle, especially for a Monday.

    20-Across – "Although I've never heard "nabe" used in this neighborhood …" You and me both. Was nonsense to me… I erred on the side of caution this time as nonsense in these puzzles turns out to be right too often…

    65-Across – What? Dictionary says it's an archaic word that almost no one knows. (I had "find")

    1-Down – "GE competitor" – in which industry? Clue needed to be more specific.

    29-Down – "1847 Melville novel" Typical crosswordese.

    32-Down – "Game point, in tennis" Confusing Natick type clue to anyone who doesn't play tennis or read Wikipedia pages for fun, as the term never even shows up when you watch it on TV. "When the server is the player with the advantage, the score may be stated by him or her before the next point as "advantage in." When the server's opponent has the advantage, the server may state the score as "advantage out." These phrases are sometimes shortened to "ad in" and "ad out." Alternatively, the server may simply use players' names; in professional tournaments the umpire announces the score in this format (e.g., "advantage Federer" or "advantage Murray")." (Source)

    44-Down As Bill notes, much more exceedingly known as an EKG (and I picked it up as that, hanging around heart health situations and heart wards), made worse with 46-Across.

    And all of that adds up to 2 errors, and 3 spots unfilled…

    DNF.

  2. I had Ithaca instead of Attica. I think the creator made up nabe.
    I've never heard anyone announce "ad-in" either.
    Thank goodness I know all abt "epee".
    There! I got my Monday crab out of the way!
    Bella

  3. I vowed a long time ago never to travel on holiday weekends again. So what do I do?? I go to Mexico for the weekend. I have no words as to what the immigration and customs lines were like. Imagine the longest lines you've ever seen there…then double them. What a nightmare. Never again. To be fair the lines moved remarkably fast. But tempers were flaring. I saw 2 or 3 near fights with people trying to butt into the lines….Unreal. Wow I'm an idiot for traveling this weekend!!

    OK – we need to start a database of everyone's least favorite clue/answers. EPEE has Willie all over it. Glenn now has WEND and a few others. We ALL have OOHS and AHHS etc on hte list. Others?

    Having Gareth Bain do a Monday puzzle is like sending in the Marines to subdue a group of shoplifting teens. His talents are better spent elsewhere…like Fridays and Saturdays. That said I liked the puzzle. WEND and NABE were new to me, but crosses saved the day. I'm just glad I'm through customs.

    Best –

  4. Not the greatest Monday grid ever, but not terribly difficult either.

    [sarcasm] BTW, big props to the L.A. Times for not having a single IndependenceDay/patriotic-themed puzzle all weekend. [/sarcasm]

  5. Jeff, you haven't seen immigration lines at Dubai airport – 2 miles long, and no sitting areas. That's for the rest-of-the-world. Its like their consular offices have a permanent shop after the hapless passengers have been already allowed into the country ….

    US passport holders have a queue of 5 people, and 'first class' passengers have no queues at all – just 'walk on by'.

    No customs inspection, because the UAE doesn't tax anything, no way, no how.

    When I saw the name of today's constructor, I knew this would be challenging – and I was not disappointed. He is serious business and very punny. But, it is still Monday, so the clues had to be easier. I enjoyed the puzzle. One of my few joys.

    Have a great day, and week ahead, all.

  6. The TB skin test also called the Tuberculin test, is a small injection of the attenuated ( weakened -) TB virus, injected into your forearm (generally).

    If you have a 'reaction', a small red pimple – then you are safe, you have no TB… because your body doesn't have TB antibodies to fight the induced virus.

    But, if you do not have a reaction – that means your body already has antibodies to counter the virus – and therefore you MAY already have active TB …. or may have had TB in your past. The TB test which is used extensively in the USA is not used in most of the countries around the world.

    In Britain, France, and almost all under developed countries like many, many African nations and the Indian subcontinent etc., the children are rountinely vaccinated with the B.C.G. Vaccine to prevent the TB virus from ever attacking them.

    This means they already have developed antibodies, while in school and therefore if the Tuberculin test performed on them ( say at a later date , in the USA – ) will give a 'false positive'. So, they may be suspected of having TB when it is actually not so.

    The patients will need additional X-Rays, and chest tomographs and more detailed blood analysis to check whether they actually have active TB. I know this, because this is precisely what happened to me.

  7. Well "hockey stat" got me right off the bat.
    GE competitor could be anybody, except AMANA shows up a lot.
    Jeff, I'm getting tired of TAPAS.
    Glenn, when the freeways are jammed, I take to the streets and WEND my way home.
    MAILER,I LIE, SEC,INST, ABCS,SPF, ECG, REM, YAH!
    Couldn't you-know-who come up with better theme and better fill?
    NABE is outright stupid.

  8. Well, gee, I liked this puzzle. True, it was a bit more challenging than a usual Monday but I was able to finish. I never heard of NABE. Had to go through the whole alphabet before settling on the B.

    Jeff – I'm with you. We stopped traveling on holiday weekends years ago when it took us 5 hours just to get out of the LA area the day before Thanksgiving.

  9. What's Gareth doing here on a Monday, slumming?!
    @Jeff, for the database: I really hate those made-up adjectives beginning with A — just can't think of one now. They're like "awash" but they're not actual words, despite the fact that they probably appear in dictionaries somewhere. I'll think of one. Wish I could say OBOE, but I don't mind its frequent use since it's a lovely instrument!
    In other news, I'm sure glad I didn't head to Mexico this weekend, tho I kinda wanted to!

  10. Not a bad puzzle for a Monday. The NW puzzle was a bit too tough for the day of the week, and NABE and AMANA is almost a Natick. I've heard NABE at least a few times before, but never in print. The answer never comes to mind immediately, as it is extremely uncommon. I've seen OMOO a lot recently, which is fitting for me as I'm reading Moby Dick.

  11. @Jeff, @Carrie WEND was an okay word, just better for a later week puzzle, and needed to be better clued, e.g. add an "arch." or "Shak." to at least clue that it's an old-timey word that died in the language along with thee and thou.

    (Re Gareth slumming) From the reading I did to try to answer the initial questions I had a few months ago when trying to start into this, Sunday-Tuesday are the most marketable days of the week if you want to sell a grid, at least according to Will Shortz in one of his interviews. I'm sure if one of the editors gets real tight on available good grids, the later ones get re-purposed, but I'm sure not always done well, as these last two seem to indicate. Or the grid makers figured this out but aren't quite able to make the transition themselves? Hard telling.

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