LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Aug 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Magic Kingdom … each of today’s themed answers ends with a word that often follows MAGIC:

55A. Disney theme park … and a place for the ends of 20-, 29- and 47-Across? MAGIC KINGDOM

20A. Suffer from unexpectedly slow sales, say HIT A DRY SPELL (giving “magic spell”)
29A. Pollution control legislation CLEAN AIR ACT (giving “magic act”)
47A. Hub of the Broadway theater district TIMES SQUARE (giving “magic square”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. June celebrants DADS
Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the Bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.

5. Biblical birthright seller ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

14. “Rent-__”: Reynolds/Minnelli film A-COP
“Rent-a-Cop” is a 1988 movie starring Burt Reynolds and Liza Minnelli. Minnelli plays a prostitute who falls in love with security guard, and one-time police officer, who is played by Reynolds. Interestingly, even though the storyline is set in Chicago, most of the filming was done in Italy. “Rent-a-Cop” wasn’t received well by the critics and both lead actors ended up that years as nominees for a Golden Raspberry Award.

15. Hip ’60s Brits MODS
“Mod” is short for “modernist”, and describes a subculture that originated in London in the late fifties. Young men who called themselves mods tended to wear tailored suits, listen to pop music and drive around on Italian motor scooters. Mods came into conflict with another subculture that emerged at the same time in the UK called the rockers. Rockers were into rock and roll music, and drove motorcycles I remember as a young kid in school having to declare myself as either a mod or a rocker. I don’t think our “gangs” back then were quite the same as they are today though …

23. Anticipated landing hr. ETA
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

24. “Mayday!” 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.

The term “Mayday” is an emergency codeword that is used internationally as a distress signal, especially when making a radio transmission. “Mayday” comes from the French phrase “venez m’aider” meaning “come to help me”. When used properly, the term is repeated three times in a row: “Mayday Mayday Mayday”.

27. “Snow White” frame CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

Disney’s 1937 masterpiece “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the first cel-animated feature film. It is still one of the top ten box office hits in North America, adjusting for inflation. The film was a massive, expensive undertaking in the 1930s, and Walt Disney even had to mortgage his house to help with financing.

33. Thurman of “Playing for Keeps” (2012) UMA
Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

“Playing for Keeps” is a 2012 romantic comedy starring Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel. Butler plays a former soccer player from Scotland who is trying to make it as a sports announcer in the US. Not a great film, I thought …

34. Binged (on), as chips ODED
Overdose (OD)

35. Snorkel user DIVER
Our word “snorkel” comes from German navy slang “Schnorchel” meaning “nose, snout”. The German slang was applied to an airshaft used for submarines, due to its resemblance to a nose, in that air passed through it and it made a “snoring” sound. “Schnorchel” comes from “Schnarchen”, the German for “snore”.

36. Icy cover RIME
Rime is that beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

38. Kilt, for one SKIRT
The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.

41. Market section DELI
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

42. Motrin alternative ALEVE
Aleve is a Bayer brand name for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

Advil and Motrin are brand names for the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen.

47. Hub of the Broadway theater district TIMES SQUARE (giving “magic square”)
Times Square in New York City isn’t a square at all, but rather a triangle. When the New York Times newspaper opened new headquarters in the area in 1904, the city agreed to the name “Times Square”, changing it from Longacre Square.

A magic square is a series of numbers arranged in a square so that all lines of numbers, including diagonals, add up to the same total. Such squares have been used for centuries to create talismans designed to bring good luck.

50. 6’1″, 5’7″, etc.: Abbr. HTS
Height (ht.)

51. Fair-hiring letters EOE
Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)

52. Frat “T” TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

53. City in NW Pennsylvania ERIE
Erie is a city in the very north of Pennsylvania, right on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area.

55. Disney theme park … and a place for the ends of 20-, 29- and 47-Across? MAGIC KINGDOM
The Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Florida receives more visitors annually than any other theme park in the whole world. The Magic Kingdom alone received about 17½ million visitors in 2012, and that’s not including the visitors to Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

66. Elevator name OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

67. Campus books TEXTS
We sue the word “campus” to describe the collection of buildings making up an institution,often a college or school. “Campus” is a Latin word meaning “field” and it was first used to describe the grounds of the College of New Jersey, in the 1700s. That college is now called Princeton University.

68. Ollie’s chum STAN
Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.

69. Multi-vol. library references OEDS
The “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) contains over 300,000 “main” entries and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb “set”. When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb “put”. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).

Down
1. Recipe smidgen DASH
In cooking, a “dash” is a very small measure, one that is often undefined. However, you can in fact buy some measuring spoons that define not only a dash but also a “pinch” and a “smidgen”, as follows:

– a dash is 1/8 teaspoon
– a pinch is 1/16 teaspoon
– a smidgen is 1/32 teaspoon

Our word “smidgen”, meaning a small amount, might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

2. Berry from the Amazon rainforest ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

5. May birthstones EMERALDS
The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different, semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. The source of the green color is mainly chromium.

Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:

January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Pearl or Moonstone
July: Ruby
August: Sardonyx or Peridot
September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
November: Topaz or Citrine
December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

6. Cyber-shot camera maker SONY
Sony was founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka. The two partners met in the Japanese Navy during WWII.

Sony introduced their Cyber-shot line of digital point-and-shoot cameras in 1996.

8. Tournament in which Phil Mickelson was runner-up a record six times US OPEN
Phil Mickelson is probably the most famous left-handed golfer currently playing on the PGA Tour. Less well know is the fact that outside of golf, he is right-handed. Despite his great success as a golfer, the US Open championship has always eluded him. He has finished runner-up six times, more times than any other player.

11. Bath bathroom LOO
When I was growing up in Ireland, a “bathroom” was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called “the toilet” or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term closet was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a “closet”, as a closet was the right size to take the commode. It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo” in which the pot was called the loo!

Bath is a beautiful city in South West England of which I have very fond memories. Bath is an old Roman spa town, and the city’s name comes from the Roman baths that have been excavated and restored.

12. White wine apéritif KIR
Kir is a French cocktail, made by adding a teaspoon or so of creme de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife (expensive tastes!) is particularly fond of a variant called a Kir Royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

An apéritif is an alcoholic drink served before a meal, to stimulate the palate. A digestif is an alcoholic drink served after a meal, to aid digestion.

19. Spanakopita cheese FETA
Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

Spanakopita is a savory pastry from Greece. The term “spanakopita” translates from Greek as “spinach pie”. The pie’s filling includes feta cheese, onions and egg, along with the spinach.

21. Like Erté’s art DECO
Art deco is the name given to a style of design and architecture of the 1920s that actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of art deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of Rockefeller Center also in New York City, with the address of “30 Rock”.

Erté was the pseudonym of French artist (Russian born) Romain de Tirtoff. Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.”

25. Spotted cat OCELOT
The ocelot is found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far north as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn’t look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he carried around everywhere with him.

28. Actor Estevez EMILIO
Emilio Estevez is one of the members of Hollywood’s famous “Brat Pack”, having appeared in “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo’s Fire”. Estevez’s father (and can’t you tell it from looking at him?) is actor Martin Sheen. Estevez decided to keep his father’s real name, and not the stage name of “Sheen”. Charlie Sheen is Emilio’s brother, and Charlie’s real name is Carlos Estevez.

39. Nutritionist’s abbr. RDA
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII and are a set of recommendations for the standard daily allowances of specific nutrients. RDAs were effectively absorbed into a broader set of dietary guidelines in 1997 called Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs). RDIs are used to determine the Daily Values (DV) of foods that are printed on nutrition fact labels on most food that we purchase.

45. Seagull kin TERN
Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …

48. Mint family herb SAGE
In Britain, sage is listed as one of the four essential herbs. And those would be “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme”.

54. Arctic abode IGLOO
The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”.

55. “The __ Beautiful Girl”: 1973 #1 hit for Charlie Rich MOST
Charlie Rich was a country singer whose most famous recording were probably “Behind Closed Doors” and “The Most Beautiful Girl”, both of which were released in 1973.

56. Lit __ CRIT
Literary studies, also called literary criticism (lit. crit.), is the evaluation and interpretation of literature.

57. Soft drink nut KOLA
The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Here in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

58. Ancient Roman poet OVID
The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil. Ovid was very popular in his day, but somehow he fell foul of Emperor Augustus. For a reason unknown today, Augustus banished Ovid to Tomis, an island in the Black Sea. He lived there for about ten years, until he died.

59. Sunday service MASS
The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. June celebrants DADS
5. Biblical birthright seller ESAU
9. Gets the most out of MILKS
14. “Rent-__”: Reynolds/Minnelli film A-COP
15. Hip ’60s Brits MODS
16. How spring rolls are often cooked IN OIL
17. All there SANE
18. “There’s no more to say” END OF STORY
20. Suffer from unexpectedly slow sales, say HIT A DRY SPELL (giving “magic spell”)
22. Spanish tar BREA
23. Anticipated landing hr. ETA
24. “Mayday!” SOS
27. “Snow White” frame CEL
29. Pollution control legislation CLEAN AIR ACT (giving “magic act”)
33. Thurman of “Playing for Keeps” (2012) UMA
34. Binged (on), as chips ODED
35. Snorkel user DIVER
36. Icy cover RIME
38. Kilt, for one SKIRT
41. Market section DELI
42. Motrin alternative ALEVE
44. Work on copy EDIT
46. One-up TOP
47. Hub of the Broadway theater district TIMES SQUARE (giving “magic square”)
50. 6’1″, 5’7″, etc.: Abbr. HTS
51. Fair-hiring letters EOE
52. Frat “T” TAU
53. City in NW Pennsylvania ERIE
55. Disney theme park … and a place for the ends of 20-, 29- and 47-Across? MAGIC KINGDOM
60. Mistake in the cockpit PILOT ERROR
63. Fiery flow LAVA
64. Backspace, on a computer ERASE
65. Unit in an evidence locker KILO
66. Elevator name OTIS
67. Campus books TEXTS
68. Ollie’s chum STAN
69. Multi-vol. library references OEDS

Down
1. Recipe smidgen DASH
2. Berry from the Amazon rainforest ACAI
3. “It’s not my fault!” DON’T BLAME ME!
4. Thrown weapon SPEAR
5. May birthstones EMERALDS
6. Cyber-shot camera maker SONY
7. Sums ADDS
8. Tournament in which Phil Mickelson was runner-up a record six times US OPEN
9. Put in the wrong spot MISLAID
10. Not domestic, flight-wise: Abbr. INTL
11. Bath bathroom LOO
12. White wine apéritif KIR
13. Shifty SLY
19. Spanakopita cheese FETA
21. Like Erté’s art DECO
24. “Put this on your calendar” SAVE THE DATE
25. Spotted cat OCELOT
26. Bacon pieces STRIPS
27. Oversee, as a museum exhibit CURATE
28. Actor Estevez EMILIO
30. Cartoon scream EEK!
31. Bye that’s “bid” ADIEU
32. Get __ of: discard RID
37. Holiday lead-in EVE
39. Nutritionist’s abbr. RDA
40. Flat-changing tool TIRE IRON
43. Ritzy properties ESTATES
45. Seagull kin TERN
48. Mint family herb SAGE
49. Idiosyncrasies QUIRKS
54. Arctic abode IGLOO
55. “The __ Beautiful Girl”: 1973 #1 hit for Charlie Rich MOST
56. Lit __ CRIT
57. Soft drink nut KOLA
58. Ancient Roman poet OVID
59. Sunday service MASS
60. Adopt-a-thon adoptee PET
61. Mad state IRE
62. Opposite of strict LAX

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Aug 15, Tuesday”

  1. The online version I used (at the LAT) has FINI at 1A. Obviously someone messed this up. Also, if you're gonna have long answers at 18A and 60A, should they not also go with the theme (which they obviously don't).

  2. Typical early week puzzle. The most remarkable thing about it was how unremarkable it was. Then again maybe I'm just becoming a Friday elitist….

    I didn't get the theme at all. Even after seeing it in the blog, the wording of it all seemed a bit off to me.

    How could a puzzle with CEL, SOS, IRE,TAU, UMA, ERIE, and OTIS not have epee in it??

    Best –

  3. The answer for 60 Across made me chuckle a bit. "Pilot Error" at first read as "Pilot Terror" and it made me think of the description that commercial airline pilots use to give non pilots a glimpse into what their job is like at times; "Hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror." That phrase was first attributed to WWI trench warfare soldiers who used "months" instead of "hours" for the time frame.

  4. Nice and easy puzzle. Enjoyed it very much.

    Laws to further "restraint of trade" ….

    A. In the EU – European Union, the only FETA cheese that can be marketed, requires that the cheese be made, ONLY in Greece. So also, 284 other different names of cheese, are limited to their traditional areas of manufacture …. Edam, Romano, Provolone etc.

    B. Despite numerous US federal court decisions to the contrary, the US has signed an agreement with the french, that the only ( U.S. ) CHAMPAGNE made and marketed in the US, prior to 2006, will be allowed and will continue, to do so. No new US champagne, ( from other manufacturers or new branding – ) is allowed to made and marketed in the US, since that date.

    Have a nice day, all.

  5. In honor of today's date – the 25 th, here is a Super MAGIC SQUARE that adds to, …. yes, 25, in 22 different ways.

    …….. 8 …….. 11 ……… 5 ………. 1

    …….. 4 …….. 2 ……… 7 ………. 12

    …….. 3 …….. 7 ……… 9 ………. 6

    …….. 10 …….. 5 ……… 4 ………. 6

    Now, the 'ways',
    A. 4 ways – adds Horizontally
    B. 4 ways – adds Vertically
    C. 2 ways = adds diagonally

    d. 4 ways – adds as the four quadrants 8+11+2+4 etc.,
    e. 1 way – center quadrant 2+7+ 9 + 7 = 25
    f. 1 way – adding all the edge tiles 8 + 1 + 6 + 10 = 25

    G. 2 ways – 'central' edges 11+5+ 4+5 = 4+3+ 12+6 = 25
    H. 2 ways – 'minor' diagonals 11+4+ 6+4 = 5+12+ 3+5 = 25
    I. 2 ways – secondary diagonal + corresponding edge tile 11+7+6+ 1 = 4+7+4+ 10 = 25

    so, 22 ways, in all.
    Astute puzzle aficionados will easily realize that this super magic square can be used for all numbers, from 19 to 99 ( or more – ) …..

    enjoy.

  6. @Jeff, Pookie and Anon. – I also didn't get the theme until I came here. Wanted to see some Disney stuff, but it was words that went with MAGIC.

    Also, where is my oreo?

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