LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Aug 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alan DerKazarian
THEME: Crossing Guards … we have eight answers in today’s grid that can be described as GUARDS, and these answers are arranged in pairs that CROSS each other. I’ve tried to illustrate that in my grid by adding a little color:

39A. School area workers, and what the four pairs of intersecting starred answers depict CROSSING GUARDS

21A. *Former Ford compact ESCORT
4D. *Hypnotist’s prop WATCH
23A. *Orlando newspaper SENTINEL
10D. *Janitor CUSTODIAN
59A. *German __ SHEPHERD
49D. *Regulation-sized fish KEEPER
66A. *”Heaven Can Wait” (1978) Oscar nominee Jack WARDEN

42D. *Lawyer, at times DEFENDER
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “__ go, into … ” OFF WE
The official song of the US Air Force is entitled “The US Air Force”, and was written in 1938 by Robert MacArthur Crawford. The original title was “Army Air Corps”, and this was changed to “Army Air Force” during WWII when the service changed its name. The current title was adopted in 1947, when the USAF became a separate service.

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder
At ’em boys, Give ‘er the gun!
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!

11. Night school subj. ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

16. Verdi aria ERI TU
Every crossword constructors’ favorite aria “Eri tu” is from Verdi’s opera “Un ballo in maschera” (A Masked Ball). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

19. Terms for a student loan SEMESTERS
“Semester” is a German word from the Latin “semestris”, an adjective meaning “of six months”. We use the term in a system that divides an academic year into two roughly equal parts. A trimester system has three parts, and a quarter system has four.

23. *Orlando newspaper SENTINEL
The “Orlando Sentinel” is the main newspaper circulating in Central Florida.

24. Egyptian symbol of life ANKH
The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

25. March time IDES
There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

27. Put in one’s two cents OPINE
“To put in one’s two cents” is to add one’s opinion. The American expression derives from the older English version, which is “to put in one’s two pennies worth”.

28. Grammar best-seller “Woe __” IS I
Patricia O’Conner has written five books about the English language, including “Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English”. What a great subject for a book! I need to buy it for my kids (and probably should take a peek myself) …

29. Halifax hrs. AST
Atlantic Standard Time (AST) is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. The list of locations that use AST includes Puerto Rico and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Halifax is the capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. The original Town of Halifax was established in 1749 and was named for the British Earl of Halifax. Halifax is a town in West Yorkshire in the North of England.

32. Low island CAY
A “key” (also “cay”) is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

33. Cinque times due DIECI
In Italian, five (cinque) times two (due) is ten (dieci).

45. Duma votes NYETS
“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

A Duma is a representative assembly in Russia. The word “dumat” in Russian means “to think, consider”.

47. Mayall of “Drop Dead Fred” RIK
Rik Mayall is a comedian from England who is noted as half of a double-act with Adrian Edmondson. The pair hit the big times in the hit BBC sitcom “The Young Ones”, a show that was broadcast in the US on MTV. I love Britcoms, but not this one …

“Drop Dead Fred” is one of those cult films that I never seem to get into. It was released in 1991 and is billed as a children’s movie, but it has attracted a large number of adult fans.

50. Arctic bird AUK
Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

54. __ Fighters: Dave Grohl’s band FOO
Foo Fighters are described as an alternative rock band, one formed in 1994 by the drummer from Nirvana, Dave Grohl. The term “Foo fighters” originally applied to unidentified flying objects reported by allied airmen during WWII. Spooky …

55. Millennium-ending year ONE BC
The 1st millennium BC spanned from 1000 BC to 1 BC.

57. Month after Shevat ADAR
Adar is the twelfth month of the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar. Ada is equivalent to February-March in the Gregorian calendar.

Shevat is a winter month of the Hebrew Calendar. Shevat usually occurs in January-February of the Gregorian calendar.

59. *German __ SHEPHERD
The lovely German shepherd breed of dog isn’t one of the older breeds, only dating back to 1899. German shepherds are the second-most popular breed in the US, after the Labrador retriever.

62. Historic Honolulu palace ‘IOLANI
The ‘Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu is unique within this country. It is the only royal palace in the US that was used as an official residence by a reigning monarch. The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893 so the palace was used by successive governments even after Hawaii was awarded statehood in 1959. The palace has been a public museum since 1978.

66. *”Heaven Can Wait” (1978) Oscar nominee Jack WARDEN
Jack Warden was a character actor, with roles in several notable films including “From Here to Eternity”, “While You Were Sleeping” and “All the President’s Men”. In 1957’s classic film “12 Angry Men” Warden played Juror No. 7, the salesman pressing for a quick verdict.

The 1978 comedy “Heaven Can Wait” starring Warren Beatty was the second film adaptation of the stage play of the same name by Harry Segall. The first big screen adaptation was 1941’s “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” with Robert Montgomery heading the cast. There was a third movie adaption called “Down to Earth”, released in 2001 with Chris Rock playing the lead.

68. __ Miss OLE
Ole Miss is the nickname for the University of Mississippi located in Oxford, Mississippi. The name “Ole Miss” dates back to 1897, the first year a student yearbook was published. The graduating class held a competition to name the yearbook and “Ole Miss” emerged as the winner. The name stuck to the yearbook, and also as a nickname for the school itself.

69. Defamatory text LIBEL
The word “libel”, meaning a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation, comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s “libel” was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging meaning arising in the 1600s.

73. “Star Wars” title DARTH
Darth Vader is the main character in the “Star Wars” movies. The villainous adult Vader was portrayed physically by several strapping male actors, the first being English bodybuilder David Prowse. Vader’s wonderful voice was supplies by actor James Earl Jones. However, Jones went uncredited in the first two films released, at his own request. He thought that his contribution to the role was too small to warrant a mention.

Down
1. Shocked letters OMG
OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! or any other G words you might think of …

5. This, in Toledo ESTO
Toledo is a city in central Spain.

6. JFK’s UN ambassador AES
Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were “Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!” followed by “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”

7. Barrette target TRESS
A barrette is a hair clip, a clasp for holding the hair in place. The word is French in origin, with a literal translation of “little bar”.

9. Coast-to-coast hwy. I-TEN
I-10 is the most southerly of the interstate routes that cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I-10 stretches from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida. Various stretches of the route have been given different names, for example, the Rosa Parks Freeway, the Santa Monica Freeway, the San Bernardino Freeway and the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway.

10. *Janitor CUSTODIAN
A janitor is someone who takes care of the maintenance or cleaning of a building. An older definition of the term is “doorman”. Our word comes from the Latin “ianitor” meaning “doorkeeper”.

12. Star sometimes eclipsing Venus? SERENA
Serena Williams is the younger of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. Serena has won more prize money in her career than any other female athlete.

Venus Williams is the older of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. In 2002, Williams became the first black woman to earn the World No. 1 ranking by the Women’s Tennis Association.

13. Stahl of “60 Minutes” LESLEY
Lesley Stahl has worked on “60 Minutes” since 1991. She is married to author “Aaron Latham”. As a journalist, it was Latham who wrote the article that inspired the movie “Urban Cowboy”.

15. Fertile Crescent land SYRIA
The modern state that we know as Syria was established after WWI as a French mandate. Syria was granted independence from France in 1946.

The Fertile Crescent is a large swath of land in the Near East that includes the Nile Valley in the west and the land around the Tigris and Euphrates in the east.

22. NFL six-pointers TDS
In football, a touchdown (TD) scores six points (pts.).

26. Prefix with biology ETHNO-
Ethnobiology is the study of the relationship between plants and animals and the humans of different cultures. The emphasis is on the way animals and plants are treated by different human cultures.

30. URL ending ORG
The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

– .com (commercial enterprise)
– .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
– .mil (US military)
– .org (not-for-profit organization)
– .gov (US federal government entity)
– .edu (college-level educational institution)

31. Actress Joanne DRU
The actress Joanne Dru’s most famous roles were in the movies “Red River” and “All the King’s Men”. Dru had a celebrity younger brother, Peter Marshall, who was the original host of “Hollywood Squares”.

34. Steal … or the one who catches the thief COP
“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

35. War of 1812 commodore ISAAC HULL
Isaac Hull was a commodore in the US Navy. Hull was the commander of the navy frigate Constitution when it engaged and defeated HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812. It was this engagement that earned the Constitution the nickname “Old Ironsides”.

40. “The Simpsons” disco guy STU
On “The Simpsons” the character of Disco Stu is voiced by Hank Azaria, although he was voiced for a while by Phil Hartman. Disco Stu is described as “a black, wrinkly John Travolta”.

46. “Help! We’re sinking!” SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

47. ’70s-’80s tennis star Tanner ROSCOE
Roscoe Tanner is a retired professional tennis player from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Tanner was known for his fast serve, a serve that was clocked at 153 mph in 1978. The service speed was remained the fastest ever recorded until 2004. Sadly, Tanner has had many run-ins with the law since the late nineties.

48. Yoga instructor’s direction INHALE
In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

52. Mai __ TAI
The Mai Tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum.

56. ER vitals BPS
Blood pressure (BP)

57. Carpentry tools ADZES
An adze (also adz) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe’s blade is set in line with the shaft.

58. Cocoon dweller LARVA
The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

60. Director Kazan ELIA
Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

65. “Telephone Line” rock gp. ELO
“Telephone Line” was released as a single in 1977 by the band ELO, and hit the top ten listings on both sides of the Atlantic. ELO stands for the Electric Light Orchestra, a symphonic rock group from the north of England. Their manager was Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “__ go, into … ” OFF WE
6. Top level ATTIC
11. Night school subj. ESL
14. Boggy tract MORASS
16. Verdi aria ERI TU
17. Poor grade DEE
18. Determined GRITTY
19. Terms for a student loan SEMESTERS
21. *Former Ford compact ESCORT
23. *Orlando newspaper SENTINEL
24. Egyptian symbol of life ANKH
25. March time IDES
27. Put in one’s two cents OPINE
28. Grammar best-seller “Woe __” IS I
29. Halifax hrs. AST
30. Not even ODD
32. Low island CAY
33. Cinque times due DIECI
36. Abysmal HORRID
39. School area workers, and what the four pairs of intersecting starred answers depict CROSSING GUARDS
44. Beat PATROL
45. Duma votes NYETS
47. Mayall of “Drop Dead Fred” RIK
50. Arctic bird AUK
51. “Too many to list”: Abbr. ETC
54. __ Fighters: Dave Grohl’s band FOO
55. Millennium-ending year ONE BC
57. Month after Shevat ADAR
58. Optical device LENS
59. *German __ SHEPHERD
62. Historic Honolulu palace ‘IOLANI
64. Condense CAPSULIZE
66. *”Heaven Can Wait” (1978) Oscar nominee Jack WARDEN
68. __ Miss OLE
69. Defamatory text LIBEL
70. Strip, as of rights DIVEST
71. Poetic adverb E’ER
72. Rodeo catcher LASSO
73. “Star Wars” title DARTH

Down
1. Shocked letters OMG
2. Like much court evidence FORENSIC
3. More kittenish FRISKIER
4. *Hypnotist’s prop WATCH
5. This, in Toledo ESTO
6. JFK’s UN ambassador AES
7. Barrette target TRESS
8. “Pencils down!” TIME!
9. Coast-to-coast hwy. I-TEN
10. *Janitor CUSTODIAN
11. Blissful EDENIC
12. Star sometimes eclipsing Venus? SERENA
13. Stahl of “60 Minutes” LESLEY
15. Fertile Crescent land SYRIA
20. Reward in a jar TIP
22. NFL six-pointers TDS
24. Come to the rescue of AID
26. Prefix with biology ETHNO-
30. URL ending ORG
31. Actress Joanne DRU
34. Steal … or the one who catches the thief COP
35. War of 1812 commodore ISAAC HULL
37. Considered figures carefully? OGLED
38. Like some wit or wine DRY
40. “The Simpsons” disco guy STU
41. Rankle IRK
42. *Lawyer, at times DEFENDER
43. Most unemotional STONIEST
46. “Help! We’re sinking!” SOS
47. ’70s-’80s tennis star Tanner ROSCOE
48. Yoga instructor’s direction INHALE
49. *Regulation-sized fish KEEPER
52. Mai __ TAI
53. Get too close to CROWD
56. ER vitals BPS
57. Carpentry tools ADZES
58. Cocoon dweller LARVA
60. Director Kazan ELIA
61. Pokes fun at RIBS
63. Ascribed, as blame LAID
65. “Telephone Line” rock gp. ELO
67. Last degree NTH

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Aug 15, Thursday”

  1. Untypical yet typical for a Thursday. Fairly decent and reasonable grid except for the SW corner which had a number of Naticks that caused my stats. 2 lookups (35-Down, 47-Down) and 2 errors resulting from said Naticks (48-Down, 64-Across).

  2. Does "untypical" mean 16×15? No real problems with it, except I apparently need to learn my Hebrew months. Theme is OK, laid out well.

    Glenn: following up on yesterday, I knew about David Steinberg's project, and I consider it a novelty. I was more focused on the community of builders. The NYT archive actually goes back to 1993. The first weekday grid I found was by Fred Piscop, who still turns out grids today. But you have people like C.C. Burnikel (Zhoquin Burnikel in the NYT) who are turning out multiple grids every week for both of these publication. And they're by and large good efforts.

    As to the "sell-by" date, bear in mind that the previous editor of the NYT, Eugene T. Maleska, was rabid about tradition and propriety. He imperiously lorded over those grids like Newman hung on to the Ukraine in Seinfeld. Having established a small foothold in the cross-world, I bet diving into a series of his grids would inure you to his style, much the same as Will Shortz of Rich Norris.

    But if you want to really test your theory, click here to download the very first NY Times grid from Feb 15, 1942! 🙂

  3. This grid finally came together successfully when I realized that 64 Across "condense" was not "capsulate" which was my first effort, but rather "capsulize" which then gave me "adzes" for 57 Down.

    Have a great day all. I'm a happy man today because after a year I'm finally getting my new front tooth that had to be pulled because of a bicycle accident almost 10 years ago that, over time, made the tooth that hit the ground lose it's root to an abscess that formed. I can finally get rid of this temporary "flipper" as they call it and not worry about forgetting to put it in or having to take it out to enjoy eating (which at a restaurant with other people eating with you isn't really an option!).

  4. @Carrie
    Yes your late night posts get read but usually the next morning – especially here in the central time zone. We should acknowledge them more often than we do.

    I got the theme before I even started the puzzle so the grid went very quickly for me. Just made one foolish error MORASE/EYRIA (thought is was some agricultural term I didn't know..??).

    I-10 spans the southern continental U.S., but fully one third of the whole highway is in the state of Texas. Yikes. In Houston it's an abomination and I avoid it like the plague. Out west in Katy it's something like 26 lanes wide (12 regular lanes, 8 access, 6 high occupancy lanes) – one of the widest in the world – and it's STILL stop and go traffic. Ugh. I can't imagine that commute every day for people who live there.

    In Russian, dumat does mean to think; duma itself means "mind". Could you imagine if our congress was called our nation's "mind"?? What a scary thought..

    Why do they always include mai tai in these late week puzzles. One of these days I'm going to try that recipe that's over half rum….

    Best –

  5. @WillieD By "Untypical, yet typical" I meant more the difficulty level than anything. One that had a degree of challenge, yet not impossible (i.e. the difficulty level didn't get ramped up from 2 to 9). As for builders, I addressed that: Right now, more publishers will be a good thing from what I read, though it might start pulling away people from those "easy" grids that are all over the place into those venues. We'll see. As for the grid you posted (thanks, btw), it was pretty consistent with the ones I linked from 1943. That grid is way past it's sell-by-date, for sure.

  6. Well, Darn! Had everything but DIECi/iSAaCHULL/aUK.
    @Carrie I always look at the late posts from the previous puzzle. We agree on a lot of frustrations!
    I finally looked up ADZE after all this time. 😉
    Let's see what tomorrow brings…..

  7. @ Glenn, perhaps we need to collaborate on a LA Times grid centered on the denizens of our little blog. We'll send the money to Bill so he can go to Alioto's. 😀

  8. Carrie, from early this morning, we always read your posts, – and all posts. Its just not possible to respond to them. I'm glad several of you also responded to her – numbers provide emphasis.

    The puzzle tested my outer limits. But I finished, in my own way, unaided. Clever. ( the construction of thr puzzle, that is – ).

    Louis Stokes, the first and greatest black american congressman ( 30 years – ) from Ohio, died yesterday. R.I.P. His brother Carl, ( died 1996) was the first black mayor of a major city, Cleveland.

    Talking of which, I have an uneasy feeling that crosswords are one of the last bastion of an ( unintended ) racial segregation – both in the constructors and the solvers. I wish I could be or would be proven wrong.

    According to both the Muslim and the Hindu quasi-lunar calenders, it is the 14th of the month ( eve-ides or ide-eves ?) that has the 'full' moon. I know this trivia only because of several songs, poems and movie titles that hint this.

    In India, where most of the major banks are government owned ( don't ask me why !!?! ) a Custodian, of the bank, is the President of the institution …..

    Have a nice day, all.

  9. @Jeff, Pookie, & Vidwan– thanks for that!! I feel like I'm typing in a void sometimes 😀 No need to respond. I also like to check back for comments I miss, tho I rarely find anyone weighing in later than I.
    Nice grid today, but for some reason I didn't feel like working too hard, and so cheated a lot. I could not have gotten CAPSULIZE for any bet.
    FWIW, I think the FOO Fighters are SO mainstream & mediocre–who's with me on that?!
    Happy Friday, noble solvents!

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