LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Jul 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Poole
THEME: Revolving Door … we have four circled letters in each of the four corners of the grid. The circled letters spell the word DOOR, and the position of the letters REVOLVES as we go round the grid:

49A. Hotel entrance, often, and, literally, what each set of four puzzle 35-Across contains REVOLVING DOOR
23A. How a 49-Across goes ROUND AND ROUND
35A. Paths described when things go 23-Across CIRCLES

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Rope-a-__: Ali boxing style DOPE
The Rumble in the Jungle was that celebrated fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, broadcast from Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight was set in Zaire because of financial arrangements between promoter Don King and Zaire’s President Mobutu Seko. “Rope-a-dope” was the term coined by Ali to describe his incredibly successful strategy in the contest. From the second round onwards, Ali adopted a protected stance on the ropes, letting Foreman pound him with blows to the body and head, using his arms to take most of the punches. He kept this up until the eighth round, then opened up, and downed the exhausted Foreman with a left-right combination. I hate boxing, but have to say, that was an interesting fight.

5. French wine valley LOIRE
The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north and then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet.

14. Agile deer ROES
Roe deer are found mainly in Europe. They would be the deer shown on television and in movies when Robin Hood was out hunting in Sherwood Forest.

16. “Typee” sequel 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”).

17. Craggy outcroppings TORS
A tor is a high rocky hill. “Tor” comes from the Old English “torr”, the word for a tower or rock, which in turn comes from the Old Welsh “twrr” meaning a heap or a pile.

20. Nautical distance unit SEA MILE
A nautical mile (sometimes “sea mile”) is a distance measurement that is about a one-minute arc of longitude at the equator. A nautical mile is also equal to about a one-minute arc of latitude along any meridian. The accepted length today is 1,852 meters. The unit of speed known as a “knot” is equal to one nautical mile per hour.

22. Twyla Tharp forte DANCE
I love Twyla Tharp’s choreography, and her patented “moves”. Tharp was born in Portland, Indiana in 1941. She was named after Twila Thornburg, the “Pig Princess” of the 89th Annual Muncie Fair in Indiana. That’s one to tell to the grandkids …

26. Weaver turned into a spider by Athena ARACHNE
In Greek and Roman mythology, Arachne was a mortal woman who was a great weaver. Arachne boasted that her weaving was greater than that of the goddess Athena (or Minerva in Roman myth), and this was proven true in a contest. As a result, Arachne was turned into a spider by Athena. “Arachne” is the Greek word for spider.

27. Zodiac division SIGN
Many of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are animals. This fact relates to the etymology of the term “zodiac”, which comes from the Greek “zodiakos kyklos”, literally “circle of animals”.

28. Roping and riding contest RODEO
“Rodeo” is a Spanish word, which is usually translated as “round up”.

30. Height: Pref. ACRO-
Our prefix “acro-” comes from the Greek “akros” meaning “at the top”. Examples are “acrophobia” (fear of heights) and “Acropolis” (“city at the top”).

40. Flag maker Betsy ROSS
Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first Stars and Stripes.

42. Bon __: quip MOT
“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean a quip, a witticism.

43. Much of Santa’s mail LISTS
If you want to send a note to Santa in Canada, he has his own special postal code: “North Pole, HOH OHO”. The US Postal Service suggests that we send mail for Santa to zip code 99705, which directs it to the city of North Pole, Alaska.

45. Big name in hair trimmers WAHL
The Wahl Clipper Corporations is a company based in Sterling, Illinois that makes grooming clippers for both humans and animals.

47. Marshmallowy treat MOON PIE
Marshmallow cream was developed in 1927. Soon after, workers in the coal mines around Chattanooga, Tennessee started dipping graham crackers in marshmallow cream as a snack. Then a local baker jumped on the idea, and came up with a sandwich made with a marshmallow filling between two round graham crackers. His young grandson remarked that the popped bubbles in the marshmallow (from baking) looked like moon craters, and the Moon Pie was born. I used to love them as a kid, although we called them “Wagon Wheels” in our part of the world.

51. Actress Kelly of “The Cutting Edge” MOIRA
Moira Kelly is an actress from Queens, New York. Kelly provided the voice for the female lion cub Nala in “The Lion King” and its sequel. I mostly remember her for playing a White House media consultant in the first series of the wonderful TV drama “The West Wing”.

“The Cutting Edge” is a 1992 romantic comedy film about a couple of ice skaters who are paired for an Olympic figure skating event. One is a rich, spoiled figure skater, and the other is an injured hockey player. “The Cutting Edge” was directed by Paul Michael Glaser, who played Detective David Starsky in the seventies cop show “Starsky and Hutch”.

55. Some plum tomatoes ROMAS
The Roma tomato isn’t considered to be an heirloom variety, but it is very popular with home gardeners, especially those gardeners that don’t have a lot of space. It is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.

60. China company based in Stoke-on-Trent SPODE
Spode is a brand of pottery made in Stoke-on-Trent in the north of England. The company was founded by Josiah Spode in 1770. Spode is noted for its fine bone china, and indeed Josiah Spode came up with the first successful formulation for bone china. Bone china is so called because one of the main components is bone ash derived from animal bones.

61. Jordan’s Queen __ NOOR
Queen Noor is the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. Queen Noor was born Lisa Halaby in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Najeeb Halaby. Her father was appointed by President Kennedy as the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, and later became the CEO of Pan Am. Lisa Halaby met King Hussein in 1977, while working on the design of Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport. The airport was named after King Hussein’s third wife who had been killed that year in a helicopter crash. Halaby and the King were married the next year, in 1978.

62. Prohibitionists DRYS
There were concerted efforts to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages in the US from the 1840s right up until the lobbyists achieved success with ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution in 1919. While there were several factors that influenced legislators at that time, one was the perceived need to take political power away from German-based brewing industry during WWI.

63. The “A” in YMCA: Abbr. ASSOC
The YMCA is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

64. Yankee who passed Willie Mays on the career HR list on 5/7/2015 A-ROD
Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just A-Rod. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them and hot when he leaves. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez now seems to be in a world of hurt for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. As a result, another moniker that has been applied to him is “A-Roid”.

Down
1. “__ & the Women”: 2000 Gere film DR T
The 2000 movie “Dr. T & the Women” is a pretty good film, starring Richard Gere in the title role. There can’t be many romantic comedies about gynecologists …

2. “Hollywood Squares” win O-O-O
The popular game show “Hollywood Squares” was first aired in 1965, in glorious black and white.

10. Hallelujah kin HOSANNA
“Hosanna” is derived from Hebrew, probably from the term “hoshi’ah-nna” meaning “save, we pray”.

The interjection “hallelujah!” means “praise ye the Lord!” The term comes from the Hebrew “halălūyāh” meaning “praise ye Yahweh”.

12. Campus recruiting org. ROTC
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

21. Like a specially formed committee AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”.

24. University of Maine town ORONO
The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation.

25. Seine tributary OISE
The River Oise rises in Belgium and joins up with the River Seine just outside Paris.

33. Skater Brian ORSER
Brian Orser is a retired Canadian figure skater. Orser was one of the “combatants” in the Battle of the Brians, the name given to the rivalry between Brian Orser and US skater Brian Boitano.

36. “As I see it,” in textspeak IMHO
IMHO In my humble opinion (IMHO)

44. State whose name is part of its capital INDIANA
Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, and is the state capital. The state of Indiana was formed in 1816, with the state capitol being named as Corydon. The capital was changed to Indianapolis in 1825. Indianapolis is the closest of all capitals to the center of its state.

46. Actress Gardner AVA
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

47. Operetta set in Japan, with “The” MIKADO
“The Mikado” is a wonderful comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, set in the exotic location of Japan. “Mikado” is a former term for the “Emperor of Japan”. In the opera, Nanki-Poo is the Mikado’s son, who falls in love with Yum-Yum.

50. “Let’s go, amigo!” VAMOS!
“To vamoose” is to “to leave”, and comes from the Spanish “vamos” meaning “let’s go”.

55. Pres. Mandela’s land RSA
Republic of South Africa (RSA)

As a young man, Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela was eventually arrested and admitted to charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964. He remained behind bars for 27 years, mainly in the infamous prison on Robben Island. As the years progressed, Mandela became a symbol of the fight against apartheid. He was released in 1990, and immediately declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s white minority population. Mandela was elected president of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) in 1994, an office that he held until 1999. Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Rope-a-__: Ali boxing style DOPE
5. French wine valley LOIRE
10. Tough HARD
14. Agile deer ROES
15. Widish computer key ENTER
16. “Typee” sequel OMOO
17. Craggy outcroppings TORS
18. Fielder’s gear GLOVE
19. Goes down in the west SETS
20. Nautical distance unit SEA MILE
22. Twyla Tharp forte DANCE
23. How a 49-Across goes ROUND AND ROUND
26. Weaver turned into a spider by Athena ARACHNE
27. Zodiac division SIGN
28. Roping and riding contest RODEO
29. Daddies PAS
30. Height: Pref. ACRO-
34. L.A.-to-N.Y. direction ENE
35. Paths described when things go 23-Across CIRCLES
39. Rowing need OAR
40. Flag maker Betsy ROSS
42. Bon __: quip MOT
43. Much of Santa’s mail LISTS
45. Big name in hair trimmers WAHL
47. Marshmallowy treat MOON PIE
49. Hotel entrance, often, and, literally, what each set of four puzzle 35-Across contains REVOLVING DOOR
51. Actress Kelly of “The Cutting Edge” MOIRA
53. Earns TAKES IN
54. Airing, as a miniseries ON TV
55. Some plum tomatoes ROMAS
56. Concerning AS TO
59. Move like sludge OOZE
60. China company based in Stoke-on-Trent SPODE
61. Jordan’s Queen __ NOOR
62. Prohibitionists DRYS
63. The “A” in YMCA: Abbr. ASSOC
64. Yankee who passed Willie Mays on the career HR list on 5/7/2015 A-ROD

Down
1. “__ & the Women”: 2000 Gere film DR T
2. “Hollywood Squares” win O-O-O
3. Convinces PERSUADES
4. Basic nature ESSENCE
5. Errand runner LEGMAN
6. Ready to chat, nowadays ONLINE
7. “__ you so!” I TOLD
8. Unfavorable change of fortune REVERSAL
9. Before, in verse ERE
10. Hallelujah kin HOSANNA
11. Improve AMEND
12. Campus recruiting org. ROTC
13. Medicinal measure DOSE
21. Like a specially formed committee AD HOC
22. Grooved on DUG
23. Not as well-done RARER
24. University of Maine town ORONO
25. Seine tributary OISE
29. Cut for an agt. PCT
31. Jointly underwrite COSPONSOR
32. Math relationship RATIO
33. Skater Brian ORSER
36. “As I see it,” in textspeak IMHO
37. Popular antique desks ROLL TOPS
38. Trudges (through) SLOGS
41. Tries to avoid a pothole SWERVES
44. State whose name is part of its capital INDIANA
46. Actress Gardner AVA
47. Operetta set in Japan, with “The” MIKADO
48. “Be right there!” ONE SEC!
49. Swanky RITZY
50. “Let’s go, amigo!” VAMOS!
51. Frame of mind MOOD
52. __ about: approximately ON OR
55. Pres. Mandela’s land RSA
57. Also TOO
58. Command from a maj. ORD

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Jul 15, Tuesday”

  1. A really nice puzzle for a Tuesday. Some obscure and long entries, but the perps and cluing were such that I finished with a normal Tuesday time. I could have done without LEGMAN though. I have never heard of it in this context.

  2. One of my favorite pieces of music: Aaron Copeland's RODEO.

    Otherwise, a rather so-so grid today. I suppose there is some grace in having the "D" in the corner of the puzzle, but the fill is average. SEAMILE (as noted before) is weak. OMOO is getting overused these days, so are directionals like ENE.

  3. Bleh grid for me here. 2 errors amidst all the oddities (PCT? Really?), and amazing it's not more. Weak entries as well like LEGMAN and SEAMILE.

  4. This puzzle felt awkward from the start. I never felt comfortable even with all the familiar crosswordese – MIKADO, OMOO, SPODE, ORONO – that I know only from past crosswords. Took me closer to a Wed or Thurs time. Maybe I was off rather than the puzzle being off….wouldn't be the first time. I did finish, however.

    VAMOS is one of those strange words along with VAMONOS. Ask 10 different Spanish speakers their meaning and you're likely to get 10 different answers. My experience is that VAMOS means "let's go" somewhere specific – as in let's go to the beach. VAMINOS is really what means "let's go" as in let's leave…i.e. indefinitely. However, in Spain they are used interchangeably, and I've had others say that neither of those explanations are entirely correct. They go on to explain that they are different, but they can't explain how….uhh…ok. The wonders of language…

    Best –

  5. It took forever to see PERSUADES.
    Had ROAN and knew it was wrong, so then I had ROEN/ENSENCE and knew it was wrong also. Wasn't thinking deer as plural. Duh.
    I just hope I remember ROE in the future, but it'll probably be forgotten like the Tolkien creatures, whatever they are.
    Took a long time to get a foothold anywhere. NW did me in.

  6. I finished unaided – hence I enjoyed the puzzle. Words are getting a little more difficult. 'Persuade' also took me a long time. Otherwise no complaints.

    I learnt 3 new words yesterday –

    Parlous ( = Perilous, precarious ). First I thought it was a typo in the NYT, about the Greek fiscal crisis. I was so excited when I thought I detected a typo ….

    Fleek – (= cute, sweet, to the point – especially as in "eyebrows are fleek" ??*#@ ) – an internet, twitter word that has gone viral from an otherwise meaningless video, by an amateur rap artist Peaches Monroe.

    bae – ( Dutch word for poop, = babe, baby, sweetheart ) – used in huge numbers by twitters …. twitterists ??@#* Probably used by those who are incapable of spelling 'babe', anyway.

    Had heard of 'vamoose' ( = Get out of here ? ) but was unfamiliar with Vamos.

    Have a nice day, all.

  7. Hey y'all!!
    @Jeff from yesterday — I want to add OMOO to the database of overused words!
    Yes, "Vamos" just means "we go," but depending on context could be "Let's go." "Vamos al cine" = "Let's go to the movies." "Vamos al cine todos los fines de semana" = "We go to the movies every weekend."
    "Vámonos" means "Let's get outta here!" and is very common slang. It would have been better for this clue, IMHO.
    Meanwhile, I had DR J for awhile. And I didn't even notice the DOORs in circles til I was almost finished. Weird! I just looked right past the circles!
    Oh well. Finished pretty quickly anyway.

  8. @Glenn from yesterday re Gareth slumming — interesting! I bet you're right: a puzzle is needed, and some setters can't quite make the adjustment.

  9. @Jeff Nos is a pronoun that accompanies the conjugated form of certain 1st person plural verbs. So for the verb "to leave," which is irse in its unconjugated form, "we leave" is "nos vamos." But, you can also say "nos vamos" a different way. You can add the pronoun to the end of the verb in this example, after dropping the s, and say "Vamonos." "Vamonos" = "Nos Vamos." Vamos translates to "we go," so depending on the context, you can interchangeable say either vamos or vamonos. But, the two verbal expressions derive from different verbs, so they are not strictly interchangeable. Vamos comes from the verb ir (without the se at the end).

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