LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Aug 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin Christian
THEME: SCUBA Diving … each of today’s themed answers ends with some gear used in SCUBA diving:

35A. Underwater activity that requires the ends of 16-, 20-, 53- and 58-Across SCUBA DIVING

16A. Ineffective executive, metaphorically EMPTY SUIT
20A. Flashy ’40s-’60s Cadillac features TAIL FINS
53A. Identity-concealing attire, in a Dumas novel IRON MASK
58A. Brainstorming institution THINK TANK

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Sudden fancy WHIM
“Whim” meaning “sudden fancy” is such a lovely word, and one that we’ve been using in English since the 1640s. “Whim” is actually a shortened form of “whimwham” which has a similar meaning and has been around since the early 1500s.

13. Civil rights icon Parks ROSA
Rosa Parks was one of a few brave women in days gone by who refused to give up their seats on a bus to white women. It was the stand taken by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 that sparked the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. President Clinton presented Ms. Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. When she died in 2005, Rosa Parks became the first ever woman to have her body lie in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda.

14. Scandinavian capital OSLO
Oslo is the capital of Norway. The city of Oslo burns trash to fuel half of its buildings, including all of its schools. The problem faced by the city is that it doesn’t generate enough trash. So, Oslo imports trash from Sweden, England and Ireland, and is now looking to import some American trash too.

15. Ballerina Shearer MOIRA
Moira Shearer was a ballet dancer and actress born Scotland. Shearer’s most famous film role was in 1948’s “The Red Shoes”, in which she played the lead character, a ballet dancer called Vicky Page. She was married to the respected English journalist and broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy.

18. Greek i’s IOTAS
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.

23. “Bad” cholesterol letters LDL
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is one of the compounds responsible for transporting fats around the body. When LDL is combined with cholesterol it can be referred to as “bad cholesterol”. This is because LDL actually transports cholesterol into the inner walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.

24. Acapulco aunt TIA
The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

26. Olden times YORE
We use the word “yore” to mean “time long past” as in “the days of yore”. “Yore” comes from the Old English words for “of years”.

34. Mozart’s “__ kleine Nachtmusik” EINE
Mozart’s Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, is better known as “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, which translates into “a little serenade”, but the more literal English translation of “a little night music” is often used. It is a delightful piece in four, very recognizable movements, although there is much debate about a “lost” fifth movement.

35. Underwater activity that requires the ends of 16-, 20-, 53- and 58-Across SCUBA DIVING
The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

38. TV’s “__-Team” THE A
“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard, ably assisted by Mr. T and Robert Vaughan.

41. Ouija board event SEANCE
“Séance” is a French word meaning “sitting”.

The Ouija board was introduced to America as a harmless parlor game at the end of the 19th century, although variations of the board date back to 1100 BC in China, where it was apparently used to “contact” the spirit world. The name “Ouija” is relatively recent, and is probably just a combination of the French and German words for “yes” … “oui” and “ja”.

44. Mess (with), in slang FUTZ
To futz around is to waste time on trivial matters, to fool around. “Futz” is probably derived from a “not so nice” word that has been merged with “putz”.

45. Saint-Tropez sea MER
Saint-Tropez is a town in southeastern France on the French Riviera. These days, Saint-Tropez is very much associated with the European and American jet set. The town is named for a legendary martyr named Saint Torpes of Pisa. Torpes was supposedly executed on the orders of the Roman Emperor Nero. Having been beheaded, his head was tossed into the river Arno, and his body placed in a boat along with a cock and a dog who were to eat the body. The boat came ashore at the present-day location of Saint-Tropez, with the body untouched by the cock and the dog. The local people named their village in honor of Saint Torpes.

48. End of a bray HAW
Hee-haw!

53. Identity-concealing attire, in a Dumas novel IRON MASK
“The Man in the Iron Mask” is the third part of a novel by Alexandre Dumas called “The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later”. The novel uses characters appearing in the earlier Dumas novel “The Three Musketeers”. In the plot, the musketeers are getting on in years and become involved in the mystery of “the man in the iron mask”, a prisoner locked up in French jails with his identity hidden behind a mask.

57. Composer Ned ROREM
American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical works, but also for his book “Paris Diary of Ned Rorem” that was published in 1966. Rorem talks openly about his sexuality in the book, and also about the sexuality of others including Noel Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, much to some people’s chagrin.

60. City NW of Muskogee TULSA
Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma (after Oklahoma City). Tulsa started out as a settlement established by the Loachapoka and Creek Native American tribes in 1836. These early settlers called their new home “Tallasi” meaning “old town”, and this name morphed into “Tulsa” that we use today.

The Oklahoma city of Muskogee was founded in 1898. Muskogee attracted national attention in 2008 when it elected John Tyler Hammons as the city’s 47th mayor, who was just 19 years old when elected. Hammons served two terms and then stepped down in 2012 in order to attend law school.

64. Med. school subject ANAT
Anatomy (anat.)

Down
1. Citrus-flavored diet drink FRESCA
Fresca is a Coca Cola product introduced in 1966, and is unusual in that it has no Pepsi Cola equivalent. It has always been marketed as a 0-calorie grapefruit drink, and so it’s artificially sweetened.

2. “You’ve Got Mail” genre ROMCOM
“You’ve Got Mail” is a 1998 romantic comedy film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, directed by Nora Ephron. The film is an adaptation of the Miklos Laszlo play “Parfumerie”. The storyline of “Parfumerie” was also used for the movies “The Shop Around the Corner” (from 1940 starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan) and “In the Good Old Summertime” (from 1949 starring Van Johnson and Judy Garland).

3. __ de corps: camaraderie ESPRIT
“Esprit de corps” is the morale of a group, best translated from French perhaps as “team spirit”.

5. Cap’n’s underling BO’S’N
A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. A boatswain is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel. He or she has charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. Boatswain is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bo’s’n” is also very popular.

6. Sch. in Columbus OSU
Ohio State University (OSU) was founded back in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The athletic teams of OSU are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

The city of Columbus, Ohio is a “purpose-built” state capital. The state legislature selected the location for Ohio’s new capital in 1812, choosing dense forestland with no significant settlement, largely due to its strategic location in the center of the state. The name was chosen in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus.

11. Tehran native IRANIAN
Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around an awful long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

15. Pop music’s __ Vanilli MILLI
Milli Vanilli famously won a Grammy and had it revoked when it was discovered that they didn’t even provide the lead vocals for the award-winning recording, and just lip-synced when performing on stage.

21. Boise’s state: Abbr. IDA
Boise, Idaho is the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers named the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

31. Thinker Descartes RENE
The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”.

32. Thom of shoes MCAN
Thom McAn footwear was introduced in 1922 by the Melville Corporation (now CVS Caremark). The brand was named after a Scottish golfer called Thomas McCann. The Thom McAn line is epitomized by the comfortable leather casual and dress shoe, so sales have really been hurt in recent decades by the growing popularity of sneakers.

33. In __: as found SITU
“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

35. San Diego marine mammal park SEAWORLD
The first SeaWorld park was opened in San Diego in 1964. The original plan was build an underwater restaurant with a marine life show. Eventually the founders dropped the idea of the eating establishment and just went with a theme park. SeaWorld has been mired in controversy since the 2013 release of the documentary “Blackfish”, which tells of the involvement of a particular orca (killer whale) in the death of two SeaWorld employees and one SeaWorld visitor.

37. Violinist Perlman ITZHAK
Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-American violinist from Tel Aviv, and a virtuosi who I had the pleasure of hearing perform not too long ago. Little known fact: Perlman is a distant cousin of comedian Howie Mandel.

42. Punctuation in many lists COMMA
Our word “comma” comes into English via Latin from the Greek “komma” meaning “clause in a sentence”.

43. Actress Longoria EVA
Eva Longoria is a fashion model and an actress who had a regular role on TV’s “Desperate Housewives”, playing Gabrielle Solis.

45. Hawaiian thank-you MAHALO
In Hawaiian, “mahalo” means “thank you” and “mahalo nui loa” translates as “thank you very much”.

47. L’Oréal hair care brand REDKEN
L’Oréal is a French cosmetics company, the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world.

50. Stars, to Caesar ASTRA
The most famous Roman known as “Caesar” was Gaius Julius Caesar, the dictator usually referred to as Julius Caesar. It was Julius Caesar’s actions and assassination that ushered in the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire. The name Gaius Julius Caesar was also used by the dictator’s father, and indeed his grandfather.

52. Politician Kefauver ESTES
Estes Kefauver was a Democratic politician from Tennessee. In 1956 Kefauver was the running mate of Adlai Stevenson when Stevenson made a bid for the presidency. The pair lost to the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket.

54. Loch of legend NESS
Loch Ness 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. Kublai __ KHAN
Kublai Khan was leader of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294. Kublai Khan was a grandson of Genghis Khan. Kublai Khan had a summer garden at Kanadu, which famously was the subject of the 1797 poem “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

56. Tech news website CNET
c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

59. Fund for the golden yrs. IRA
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. __ as a bird FREE
5. Marina vessel BOAT
9. Sudden fancy WHIM
13. Civil rights icon Parks ROSA
14. Scandinavian capital OSLO
15. Ballerina Shearer MOIRA
16. Ineffective executive, metaphorically EMPTY SUIT
18. Greek i’s IOTAS
19. Window insert SCREEN
20. Flashy ’40s-’60s Cadillac features TAIL FINS
22. Creates, as a word COINS
23. “Bad” cholesterol letters LDL
24. Acapulco aunt TIA
25. Qty. AMT
26. Olden times YORE
30. Auto collision safety device AIR BAG
32. Ninnies MORONS
34. Mozart’s “__ kleine Nachtmusik” EINE
35. Underwater activity that requires the ends of 16-, 20-, 53- and 58-Across SCUBA DIVING
38. TV’s “__-Team” THE A
40. Move around an axis ROTATE
41. Ouija board event SEANCE
44. Mess (with), in slang FUTZ
45. Saint-Tropez sea MER
48. End of a bray HAW
49. Egg cells OVA
51. Fling with effort HEAVE
53. Identity-concealing attire, in a Dumas novel IRON MASK
56. Got money for, as a check CASHED
57. Composer Ned ROREM
58. Brainstorming institution THINK TANK
60. City NW of Muskogee TULSA
61. Steakhouse request RARE
62. “What __ is new?” ELSE
63. Criteria: Abbr. STDS
64. Med. school subject ANAT
65. In a little while SOON

Down
1. Citrus-flavored diet drink FRESCA
2. “You’ve Got Mail” genre ROMCOM
3. __ de corps: camaraderie ESPRIT
4. All gone, dinnerwise EATEN
5. Cap’n’s underling BO’S’N
6. Sch. in Columbus OSU
7. Landed ALIT
8. Sum TOTAL
9. “Arf!” WOOF!
10. Had a huge success HIT IT BIG
11. Tehran native IRANIAN
12. Part of many a spa package MASSAGE
15. Pop music’s __ Vanilli MILLI
17. “Who me?” reply YES YOU
21. Boise’s state: Abbr. IDA
27. Heavenly sphere ORB
28. Stadium din ROAR
29. __ an era END OF
31. Thinker Descartes RENE
32. Thom of shoes MCAN
33. In __: as found SITU
35. San Diego marine mammal park SEAWORLD
36. Winery container VAT
37. Violinist Perlman ITZHAK
38. Some have V-necks T-SHIRTS
39. Listen to without interrupting HEAR OUT
42. Punctuation in many lists COMMA
43. Actress Longoria EVA
45. Hawaiian thank-you MAHALO
46. Be that as it may EVEN SO
47. L’Oréal hair care brand REDKEN
50. Stars, to Caesar ASTRA
52. Politician Kefauver ESTES
54. Loch of legend NESS
55. Kublai __ KHAN
56. Tech news website CNET
59. Fund for the golden yrs. IRA

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Aug 15, Monday”

  1. So, it turns out my first answer for 44 Across "Mess (with) in slang" which started with an f and ended with a k was not what the puzzle constructor was looking for as the right answer. And yet that was the word that leaped immediately to mind. Probably another good look into the my not very PC mind! (g)

  2. What would possess anyone to try to construct a Monday puzzle? No matter what they do it's bad. Too easy? We say we're bored with Monday puzzles. Too hard? We complain "how dare they put in this word on a Monday". Just right? We give it a communal "meh"… So no matter what they come up with…it's bad.

    All that said, I kind of liked this puzzle for a Monday. However, I really wonder if the constructor was sending us a message. If you take 26A on top of 32A you get "YORE (you're?") MORONS……Hmmmmm

    Best – 🙂

  3. @Jeff – " However, I really wonder if the constructor was sending us a message."

    He was just "messing" with us…

  4. I could do this puzzle w/ my eyes closed, and apparently I did, which gave me Nilli, mahala and Ittzak, Itzack, Itzaak…well, you know who I mean. Eventually I got it all straightened out.
    Who? Me?
    Bella

  5. I recall a story that Xaviera Hollander once hired Bernice Gordon to write a series of X-rated crossword puzzles. When presented with the definitions of some of the terms, she was quite taken aback. I'd love to see a few of those. 😉

  6. Nice, easy puzzle and enjoyed it.
    I still don't think I'll remember the ballet dancer in the future.
    See you all mañana.

  7. Am travelling in New Jersey, hence this late solve. God made parents so that grandparents could conserve their energies. NJ drivers have an awful short fuse, and no patience whatsoever.

    The puzzle was an absolute delight. I finished in record time and knew most of the words except FUTZ. First I put in FUZZ …. pretty close. The 'not-so-nice' word did not even occur to me – in this context.

    In 1976, I had the privilege of listening to Itzhak Perlman perform at The Eastman Theater of the University of Rochester, NY, and ALSO listen to a speech by Golda Meir on the same stage.. Wow.

    Have a happy day, and happy week, all.

  8. @Jeff I think that applies to all grids, not just Mondays. One universal I've found is either they're super-easy or super-impossible (either 1 or 2 or 9 or 10). There's really no "just-right". Unless you look into those puzzle books with the word "easy" on the covers, which is pretty much what you get. This is why Monday and Tuesday are rare/lucrative for grid setters, most who can do good grids will find more profit in being hired for books like that than wing and a prayer NYT or LAT.

    @WillieD I had to look into the idea in general, since you brought it up. Oddly enough, there are a number of "adult" crossword books out there, though their reviews are very average. More interesting, though, was the number of topic-specific grids (British history, Human Anatomy, etc) out there.

    As for this grid, it was a 1 – the pen was smoking at one point for how quick some of the clues went down. Zero errors, of course. Not as easy as those "easy" puzzle books, but pretty close. Tuesday will be similar, I'm sure, and Wednesday will be an 8…such are things. 🙂

  9. LOL you folks are all so funny!
    Sometimes I just love a Monday. This grid was easy and fun. There are times when it's comforting to have a puzzle you can do half asleep.
    That said, however, I managed to confuse 8D and 18A: TOTAL & IOTAS, so for awhile there I had BOAI as a marine vessel….:-D
    I kinda liked having MILLI Vanilli and RENE Descartes side by side — the WHIMsical nature of crossword puzzles!!
    @Vidwan– travel safe!
    See y'all tomorrow!

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