LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski
THEME: Bad, Bed, Bid, Bod, Bud … each of today’s themed answers contains 15 letters and spans the grid. Also, as kind blog readers are pointing out, each answer starts with the the letter sequence BxD, with x being the vowels AEIOU in alphabetical order, from top to bottom of the grid:

17A. Shuttlecock swatter BADMINTON RACKET
23A. Footwear with pajamas BEDROOM SLIPPERS
40A. Competitive struggles at Sotheby’s BIDDING CONTESTS
50A. Collective expertise in a field BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
62A. Spending plan approximations BUDGET ESTIMATES

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Hooked on Bach” record co. K-TEL
K-Tel was founded in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by one Philip Kives. K-Tel’s recipe for success was the sale of inexpensive goods with a simple sales pitch and mail-order distribution.

I know that a lot of people detested the “Hooked on Classics” albums, but to be honest, I found them to be a lot of fun. But then again, I liked disco! The original “Hooked on Classics” album was recorded in 1981 by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from London. The music was a selection of recognizable extracts from the world of classical music played over a continuous, disco beat.

14. “Rule, Britannia” composer Thomas ARNE
Thomas Arne was an English composer from London. Arne wrote some iconic compositions including “Rule, Britannia!” He also wrote a version of “God Save the King” that became the British national anthem.

“Rule, Britannia!” was a poem by James Thomson, for which Thomas Arne composed the famous music.

16. Scrumptious TASTY
Seba Smith was a humorist and writer from Maine whose most popular works featured his character Major Jack Downing, a man who used American vernacular in his humor. Smith is credited with coining the adjective “scrumptious” meaning very delectable, pleasing to the senses. “Scrumptious” is probably an alteration of “sumptuous”. Smith perhaps also coined the phrase “there is more than one way to skin a cat”, or was at least the first author to use the phrase in a publication.

17. Shuttlecock swatter BADMINTON RACKET
The game of badminton was developed in the mid-1700s by British military officers in India. There was already an old game called battledore and shuttlecock, so the creation of badminton was essentially the addition of a net and boundary lines for play. The game was launched officially as a sport in 1873 at Badminton House in Gloucestershire in England, hence the name that we now use.

A “shuttlecock” is the conical, feathered projectile used in the game of badminton. Previously referred to as a “shuttlecork”, the object is probably so named because it is “shuttled” back and forth over the net, and because the feathers resemble those on a cockerel.

20. Concert hall ODEUM
In Ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

22. “I’m underwhelmed” MEH
“Meh!” is one of those terms unfamiliar to me outside of crosswords. It is a modern colloquialism meaning “I’m not great, but not bad”. A friendly reader of this blog tells me that the usage of the term increased dramatically after it started to appear regularly in “The Simpsons” starting in the early nineties.

23. Footwear with pajamas BEDROOM SLIPPERS
Our word “pajamas” comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is “pyjamas”.

The shoes known as “slippers” as so called because they are “slipped on”.

27. Org. for marksmen NRA
The National Rifle Association (NRA) used the slogan “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands”. These words became quite famous when they were used at an NRA convention in 2000 by Charlton Heston, who was then president of the NRA. Heston ended a speech he made with the words “From my cold, dead hands!” while holding up into the air a replica of a Sharps rifle.

28. Last word of “Gone With the Wind” DAY
The last lines in Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone With the Wind” are spoken by Scarlett O’Hara:

“Tara! Home. I’ll go home, and I’ll think of some way to get him back! After all, tomorrow is another day!”

29. French lady friend AMIE
A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

40. Competitive struggles at Sotheby’s BIDDING CONTESTS
Sotheby’s is one of the world’s oldest auction houses, having opened its doors for business in 1744 in London. However, the company is now headquartered in New York City. The ticker symbol for Sotheby’s on the New York Stock Exchange is quite apt: BID.

43. Online business ETAIL
“Etail” is the term used these days for online shopping. Etail is often compared to regular shopping in the “real world” by juxtaposing it with a “brick and mortar” store.

44. Capital of 42-Down OSLO
(42D. Neighbor of Swed. NORW)
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.

45. TV warrior princess XENA
The Xena character, famously played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

46. Sunshine State rapper __ Rida FLO
Rapper Tramar Dillard is better known as rapper Flo Rida. As one might guess, Flo Rida was born in the state of Florida, in Carol City, a neighborhood of Miami Gardens.

48. Tax-collecting agcy. IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

59. Bird: Pref. AVI-
The prefix “avi-” means “bird-related” as in “aviculture”, the breeding of birds.

60. Actress Sorvino MIRA
Mira Sorvino is an American actress, winner of an Oscar for her supporting role in the 1995 Woody Allen movie “Mighty Aphrodite”. Sorvino also played a title role opposite Lisa Kudrow in the very forgettable “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”.

61. Figure skating leaps AXELS
An Axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. It was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

68. “__ Lisa” MONA
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece that we know in English as the “Mona Lisa” is called “La Gioconda” in Italian, the language of the artist. It’s also known as “La Joconde” by the Government of France which owns the painting and displays it in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title comes from the name of the subject, almost certainly Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Giocondo was a wealthy silk merchant in Florence who commissioned the painting for the couple’s new home to celebrate the birth of their second son.

70. Sommer of Hollywood ELKE
Elke Sommer is a German-born actress who was at the height of her success on the silver screen in the sixties. Sommer won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer Actress for her role opposite Paul Newman in 1964’s “The Prize”. She also sings and has released several albums. Now Sommer focuses on painting, producing artwork that is strongly influenced by the work of Marc Chagall.

71. PlayStation maker SONY
Sony introduced the PlayStation line of video game consoles in 1994.

Down
1. Shish __ KABOB
The name “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

4. Madagascar tree climber LEMUR
Lemurs are the most unusual-looking creatures, native to the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa. With their white fur and dark eyes that are very reflective at night, they have a “ghostly” appearance. Indeed, the animals takes their name from Roman mythology in which “lemures” were spirits of the restless dead.

Madagascar is the large island country lying off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The main island of Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world (after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo).

5. Actress Garner, familiarly JEN
Jennifer Garner is an actress who garnered (pun!) attention for her recurring role as the lead in the thriller series “Alias” on ABC. Garner is married to fellow actor Ben Affleck.

9. 1765 statute imposing a tax on printed documents STAMP ACT
A “stamp act” is a law requiring that taxes be paid when certain documents are “stamped” to make them legal. Such taxes are known as “stamp duty”. The infamous Stamp Act of 1765 was a tax imposed by Britain on the American colonies. The colonies famously rejected the Act declaring “No Taxation without Representation”, and the disagreement became a significant factor in the decision to declare independence.

10. Oregon’s ocean: Abbr. PAC
The Pacific Ocean was given its name by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. When Magellan sailed into the ocean on his 1521 circumnavigation of the globe, he encountered favorable winds and so called it “Mar Pacifico” meaning “peaceful sea”.

Oregon’s most widely-known nickname is the Beaver State. However, it is also called the Union State, the Pacific Wonderland, the Sunset State and the Webfoot State.

12. Range rover STEER
A steer is a male bovine that was castrated when young and is then raised for beef. The term comes from the Old English “steor” meaning “bullock”.

24. Algerian seaport ORAN
Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

26. Oven-safe glassware PYREX
Pyrex glassware is brand name owned by Corning. As well as being used in bakeware and laboratory glassware, Pyrex is often the material of choice for optics in large telescopes used in astronomy. Pyrex is made from borosilicate glass, the main ingredients of which at silica and boron trioxide.

29. Civil War prez ABE
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the US, elected in 1860 as the first president from the Republican Party. Lincoln’s electoral support came almost exclusively from the north and west of the country, winning only two out of 996 counties in the Southern slave states. Lincoln led the country through Civil War, and then was assassinated in 1865 just a few days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his army of Northern Virginia. President Lincoln was succeeded in office by Vice President Andrew Johnson.

30. Cambridge sch. MIT
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

31. State east of Wash. IDA
Idaho has the nickname the Gem State, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state.

32. Spiritually enlighten EDIFY
“To edify” is to provide instruction in order to improve spiritually, morally or intellectually. The intent is to “build up” someone’s faith or morality, and so “edify” comes from the Latin “aedificare” meaning “to build, construct”. This Latin root also gives us our word “edifice”.

34. Apt. coolers ACS
Air conditioning units (ACs) are room coolers.

35. Salk vaccine target POLIO
Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher, famous for developing the first safe polio vaccine. In the fifties, especially after the 1952 epidemic, polio was the biggest health fear in the US because it killed thousands, left even more with disabilities and most of the victims were children. The situation was dire and the authorities immediately quarantined the family of any polio victim, and that quarantine was so strict that in many cases the families were not even permitted to attend the funeral of a family member who died from the disease.

38. Dot on an MTA map STN
Station (stn.)

The MTA is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). MTA might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as the Metro and sometimes the MTA.

39. Bag-screening org. TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks. TSA personnel carry out the baggage and body searches at US airports.

42. Neighbor of Swed. NORW
Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. Norway is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

50. Elephant in picture books BABAR
“Babar the Elephant” originated in France, a creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was “Histoire de Babar”, a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father’s work.

51. Elementary seed OVULE
As we all remember from botany class, an “ovule” is a small structure in many plants that develops into the seed after fertilization. We do remember, don’t we?

53. Doughnut brand word KREME
The Krispy Kreme chain of doughnut stores was founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The company introduced the Whole Wheat Glazed doughnut in 2007, which is great for folks looking to eat a healthy diet, I am sure …

56. Artoo’s “surname” DETOO
Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2. R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the “Star Wars” movies.

57. “Fatal Attraction” actress Close GLENN
Glenn Close a wonderful actress who has played many varied roles, but is well known for her portrayals of less than wholesome characters. She play the crazy Alex Forrest in “Fatal Attraction”, and Cruella de Vil in “101 Dalmatians”. More recently, Close had a regular role on a TV show called “Damages”. Glenn Close is an avid fan of the New York Mets and regularly sings the national anthem before games.

“Fatal Attraction” is a an exceptional thriller released in 1987, starring Micheal Douglas and Glenn Close. The movie is about a married man who has a brief affair with a woman who then obsessively stalks him. There’s a famous scene where the Michael Douglas character discovers that his stalker has killed the family pet rabbit and left it stewing in a pot on his stove. In the British Isles “bunny boiler” is now a common enough term used to describe a crazed woman …

63. H.S. equivalency test GED
The General Educational Development (GED) tests are a battery of five tests designed to demonstrate that a student has the academic skills of someone who has graduated from an American or Canadian high school.

65. Cold War prez IKE
General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Ike”) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII. If you’re a WWII buff like me, then I recommend you take a look at a great, made-for-TV movie starring Tom Selleck as Eisenhower called “Ike: Countdown to D-Day” that came out in 2004.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Hooked on Bach” record co. K-TEL
5. Cool cat’s music JAZZ
9. Sudden muscle contraction SPASM
14. “Rule, Britannia” composer Thomas ARNE
15. Suffix with sock or smack -EROO
16. Scrumptious TASTY
17. Shuttlecock swatter BADMINTON RACKET
20. Concert hall ODEUM
21. Hat tipper’s word MA’AM
22. “I’m underwhelmed” MEH
23. Footwear with pajamas BEDROOM SLIPPERS
27. Org. for marksmen NRA
28. Last word of “Gone With the Wind” DAY
29. French lady friend AMIE
33. Take __: doze A NAP
36. Pie cover CRUST
40. Competitive struggles at Sotheby’s BIDDING CONTESTS
43. Online business ETAIL
44. Capital of 42-Down OSLO
45. TV warrior princess XENA
46. Sunshine State rapper __ Rida FLO
48. Tax-collecting agcy. IRS
50. Collective expertise in a field BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
59. Bird: Pref. AVI-
60. Actress Sorvino MIRA
61. Figure skating leaps AXELS
62. Spending plan approximations BUDGET ESTIMATES
66. Otherworldly ALIEN
67. Face hider MASK
68. “__ Lisa” MONA
69. Rips to shreds RENDS
70. Sommer of Hollywood ELKE
71. PlayStation maker SONY

Down
1. Shish __ KABOB
2. Baseball transaction TRADE
3. Wrapped up ENDED
4. Madagascar tree climber LEMUR
5. Actress Garner, familiarly JEN
6. Museum display ART
7. Goes like heck ZOOMS
8. Broken into regions ZONAL
9. 1765 statute imposing a tax on printed documents STAMP ACT
10. Oregon’s ocean: Abbr. PAC
11. “I welcome your questions” ASK ME
12. Range rover STEER
13. Urban legends, e.g. MYTHS
18. “That’s my cue!” I’M ON!
19. Fridge foray RAID
24. Algerian seaport ORAN
25. Tropical fruit MANGO
26. Oven-safe glassware PYREX
29. Civil War prez ABE
30. Cambridge sch. MIT
31. State east of Wash. IDA
32. Spiritually enlighten EDIFY
34. Apt. coolers ACS
35. Salk vaccine target POLIO
37. Draw upon USE
38. Dot on an MTA map STN
39. Bag-screening org. TSA
41. Foreboding phenomena ILL OMENS
42. Neighbor of Swed. NORW
47. “Think nothing __” OF IT
49. Close with force SLAM
50. Elephant in picture books BABAR
51. Elementary seed OVULE
52. Brought to ruin DID IN
53. Doughnut brand word KREME
54. Twangy-voiced NASAL
55. Academic hurdles EXAMS
56. Artoo’s “surname” DETOO
57. “Fatal Attraction” actress Close GLENN
58. Opinion piece ESSAY
63. H.S. equivalency test GED
64. “That’s a no-no” TSK
65. Cold War prez IKE

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Aug 15, Monday”

  1. Knocked this one down with zero errors, but took too much time. Like a lot of grids of late, MEH pretty much covers it.

  2. I had one unforced error that killed the SW corner for me. I had BASE OF KNOWLEDGE instead of BODY… at which point I was DID IN.

    FLO Rida? You gotta be kidding me. Rappers are running out of names. Wonder if there's one from Texas here named TEX A**??? Mrs. Ippi, perhaps?? Ida Ho? …I could do this all day, but I'll take mercy on everyone (Virginia could take all day by itself, for example…)

    Krispy Kreme left Houston a few years ago. I miss it, but it's probably for the best. Best doughnuts I've ever had..

    Best –

  3. This was the most fun for a Monday in a long time.
    Some challenges, lots of abbrv.s, but an enjoyable puzzle nonetheless!

  4. Jeff, did FLO Rida give you Mis-ouri? 😉 Maybe a Mini-soda from George Uhh at the Coca-Cola plant would help out. Then visit a horse farm with Kent Uckee and his friend Callie Fornia.

  5. Quite easy puzzle. Thank you Mondays.

    I had DDE ( for IKE ) and I was wondering why that was wrong.;-D)

    I thought the last words in Gone with the Wind, were … Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn ?

    I thought Odeum was what I would feel in a concert hall, listening to a Wagner opera ….

    Was the 'Mona Lisa' stolen from Italy by Napoleon ? I just saw the movie.'The lady in Gold', three times in 4 days, so I can't help wondering ….

    'The Stamp Act' did succeed in India. Even today, all important documents must have stamped paper ( of various denominations -, as the first page, ) on important agreements and sales, in India, to have any validity.

    Have a nice day, all.

  6. @Vidwan827

    "I thought the last words in Gone with the Wind, were … Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn?"

    No, after Rhett delivered that line and walked away into the fog, Scarlett went into histrionics. After she was done with that, she realized the land was her destiny, and the ending sentence was what Bill quoted.

  7. Thanks Glenn for answering that query. Its been so long ago since I saw the movie, and the book is far too fat and intimidating to be read.

    I did some 'research' on the Mona Lisa. Apparently, Leonardo DaVinci was in his later years, hired by King Francis ( or Francois) the First of France. But Leonardo did not part with the painting and kept it with him, 'refining it constantly', …. until his death. Upon his death it was willed to Mr. DaVinci's assistant Salai, who later sold it to the King Francis I for 4,000 ecus. So, the painting was obtained by France legitimately.

    However, the painting's only connection with Napoleon is that it did hang in his bedroom for a short period. There is no truth to the myth that it gave Napoleon some sense of virility. (!)

  8. Grilk!! I chose the wrong KABOB variation, so I had ERNE til I came here!! Didn't know I'd made an error.
    Has anyone else heard the story of Jackie Kennedy getting the Mona Lisa to the States? She insisted on having it on exhibit here, and it was kinda scandalous. The painting was transported by ship, with all these extensive & costly precautions in place. I think they wrapped it in five quilts and put it in a steel crate or some such. The painting is so fragile; it could have been destroyed. Or stolen.
    @Vidwan, hope you decide to read Gone With the Wind sometime! Wonderful book with great historical accuracy, despite the melodrama.
    Cheers all, and see you mañana!

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