LA Times Crossword Answers 26 Aug 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Poole
THEME: Make Fun of Stuff … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase that starts with a word or phrase meaning “make fun of”. The clues use this unexpected meaning of the answer:

17A. Make fun of boxing gear? KID GLOVES
25A. Make fun of Harleys? RIDE BIKES
38A. Make fun of sweater styles? MOCK TURTLENECKS
50A. Make fun of tunes? PUT ON AIRS
62A. Make fun of Porky and Petunia? ROAST PIGS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. God with a bow AMOR
Cupid, the Greek god of desire, was also known as Amor. “Cupido” is Latin for “desire” and “amor” is Latin for “love”.

9. Like some elephants ASIAN
There are only three species of elephant living today, with all others being extinct. These are the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant (or “Indian elephant”). As is well known, the African elephant is distinguished from the Asian/Indian elephant by its much larger ears.

14. Jai __ ALAI
Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

15. “Game over,” to Kasparov MATE
Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster and former World Chess Champion. When he first became champion in 1985 he was 22 years old, making him the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion. Kasparov retired in 2005 in order to pursue a career in Russian politics.

16. Forrest’s shrimp-loving friend BUBBA
In the celebrated movie “Forrest Gump”, Forrest befriends Bubba Blue after he enlists in the US Army. The pair make a pact to go into the shrimping business together. Bubba is killed in Vietnam, but Forrest decides to fulfill his promise to his friend and opens the very successful Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Tom Hanks of course plays the title role in the film, and Bubba Blue is played by Mykelti Williamson.

19. Lusitania sinker U-BOAT
U-boat stands for the German “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). Notably, a U-boat sank the RMS Lusitania in 1915, an event that helped propel the US into WWI.

20. StyleBistro and Slate EZINES
StyleBistro is one of three lifestyle websites published by Livingly Media, which is based in San Carlos, California. StyleBistro covers fashion, beauty and style, whereas the sister sites Zimbio and Lonny cover entertainment news and home design respectively.

21. “Into the Woods” (2014) director Marshall ROB
Rob Marshall is a theater and film director who was at the helm for the 2002 movie “Chicago”. Marshall also directed “Memoirs of a Geisha”, the fourth of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, and Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”.

The Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods” was inspired by a book called “The Uses of Enchantment” by Bruno Bettelheim. The musical is a montage of several fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm collection, further developing the characters and situations in the original stories. For example, the song “Agony” is sung by two princes, one from the “Cinderella” story, and the other from “Rapunzel”. The two princes sing about the “agony” they feel in pursuing the women of their dreams. Interesting, huh?

23. Schlep TOTE
Our word “schlep” means “to carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

24. Arles article LES
A few years ago I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and where he painted his famous “Cafe Terrace at Night”, as well as “Bedroom in Arles”.

25. Make fun of Harleys? RIDE BIKES
The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was started up in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

27. “Gigi” novelist COLETTE
The best known work of French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is “Gigi”, the source material for the wonderful film starring Leslie Caron in the title role. The novel that brought Colette celebrity was published in 1920, called “Cheri”. “Gigi” followed much later, in 1944. “Cheri” was adapted into a screen version starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Colette led a very colorful life. She had three marriages, an affair with her stepson, and many affairs with other women.

In the lovely musical film “Gigi”, released in 1958, the title song is sung by Louis Jourdan who plays Gaston. My favorite number though, has to be “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” sung by Maurice Chevalier. Many say that “Gigi” is the last in the long line of great MGM musicals. It won a record 9 Academy Awards, a record that only lasted one year. Twelve months later “Ben Hur” won 11 Oscars. In the 1958 film, Gigi was played by the lovely Leslie Caron. A few years earlier, “Gigi” was a successful stage play on Broadway. Chosen for the title role on stage was the then-unknown Audrey Hepburn.

30. Barcelona-born muralist SERT
Josep Lluís Sert was a Spanish architect from Catalonia. Sert moved from Spain to the US, where he was appointed Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was commissioned to paint a large mural for the west wall of the Grand Lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The work is titled “American Progress”, and features likenesses of Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. Barcelona is the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast. It is also the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

31. MouthHealthy.org org. ADA
American Dental Association (ADA)

34. Ristorante desserts GELATI
Gelato (plural “gelati”) is the Italian version of American ice cream, differing in that it has a lower butterfat content than its US counterpart.

38. Make fun of sweater styles? MOCK TURTLENECKS
The garment that we know as a “turtleneck” here in North America, is called a “polo neck” or “roll-neck” on the other side of the Atlantic, and a “skivvy” in Australia and New Zealand.

43. Roller in Vegas DIE
The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

54. Ga. neighbor ALA
Alabama is known as the Yellowhammer State, in honor of the state bird. Alabama is also called the “Heart of Dixie”.

What is now the US state of Georgia, was the last of the original Thirteen colonies to be established. It was named for King George II of Great Britain.

56. Colorado native UTE
The Ute are a group of Native American tribes that now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups.

57. Human rights advocate Sakharov ANDREI
Andrei Sakharov was a Soviet nuclear physicist, and in his later life a human rights activist. Sakharov participated in the USSR’s program to develop the country’s first atomic bomb, and was an even more crucial contributor to the development of the devastating hydrogen bomb. By the fifties, he was concerned about the consequences of his work, and in the sixties Sakharov started to become active, raising awkward questions not appreciated by the Soviet administration. He was banned from further work with the military as a consequence, and later found himself under constant police surveillance and harassment. He was then moved from Moscow and put into internal exile in Gorky. It was only under Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership, that Sakharov was able to return home to Moscow.

60. “¿Cómo __?” ESTAS
“Cómo estas?” is Spanish for “how are you?”

62. Make fun of Porky and Petunia? ROAST PIGS
Petunia Pig is a cartoon character in the “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” universes. Petunia is the girlfriend of Porky Pig and has been around since 1937.

64. Requests for Friskies, maybe MEOWS
The Friskies brand is known today as a cat food, although it started out as a dry dog food in 1930.

65. Half of zwei EINS
The German for “one, two, three” is “eins, zwei, drei”.

66. Rules, to GIs REGS
The initials “G.I.” stand for “Government Issue” and not “General Infantry” as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

67. Proverbial reason for a break? STRAW
We use the idiom “the straw that broke the camel’s back” to refer to an seemingly inconsequential action that can cause a cataclysmic failure given the pressure on the situation that already exists. Our English idiom comes from an Arabic proverb with a similar wording and meaning.

Down
2. 16th/17th-century Eng. queen ELIZ
The Elizabethan Era, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, is considered by many to be the golden age of English history, the age of Shakespeare and the English Renaissance. Elizabeth I was the last sovereign of the House of Tudor, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

3. Eldorados, e.g. CADILLACS
The Cadillac Eldorado is a two-door luxury car that was produced by GM from 1953 to 2002.

4. One of the Declaration of Independence’s 56 SIGNEE
On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 Jul 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

5. “Famous” cookie guy AMOS
Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name “Famous Amos”. The store was a smash hit and he was able build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually bought up making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf.

6. Big D cager MAV
The Mavericks is the name of the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

“Big D” is a nickname for the city of Dallas, Texas.

In the early days of basketball, when a ball went out of bounds possession was awarded to the player who first retrieved the ball. This led to mad scuffles off the court, often involving spectators. As the game became more organized courts were routinely “caged”, largely because of this out of bounds rule, to limit interaction with the crowd. It’s because of these cages that basketball players are sometimes referred to today as “cagers”.

7. “SNL” alumna Cheri OTERI
Cheri Oteri was the SNL cast member who regularly appeared with Will Farrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

9. __ Dhabi ABU
Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

11. Discontinued Apple laptop IBOOK
From 1996 to 2006 Apple sold a relatively cost-effective line of laptops they called the iBook. Basically, an iBook was a stripped-down version of the high-end PowerBook, in a different form factor and targeted at the consumer and education markets. The iBook was replaced by the MacBook in 2006.

13. Archibald and Thurmond of the NBA NATES
Nate Archibald is a retired basketball player who played mainly for the Kansas City Kings and the Boston Celtics. Archibald could get the ball in the basket, but was also willing pass to a teammate when advantageous. He is only player to lead the league in assists and scoring in the same season.

Nate Thurmond is a retired basketball player who was known to fans as “Nate the Great”.

22. “Saturday Night Fever” group BEE GEES
The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “The Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

“Saturday Night Fever” was a phenomenal movie in its day, but to be honest I don’t think it has aged well. I still love the soundtrack, the third best selling movie soundtrack of all time (number one is “The Bodyguard” and number two is “Purple Rain”, would you believe?). “Saturday Night Fever” was the first film for which the soundtrack was launched before the movie itself, in a cross-marketing exercise designed to hype the movie before its release.

26. Machine gun partly named for the Czech city in which it was designed BREN
The Bren gun is a light machine gun that was used mainly by the British armed forces from the 1930s until the 1990s. The Bren is a modified version of gun designed in the city of Brno in Czechoslovakia. The name “Bren” comes from “Brno” and “Enfield”, where the gun was modified and produced.

28. Take too much of, for short OD ON
Overdose (OD)

29. “Doonesbury” creator TRUDEAU
When cartoonist Garry Trudeau was deciding on a name for his comic strip in 1970, he opted for “Doonesbury”. He combined “doone”, which is slang for a “genial fool”, and the last syllables in “Pillsbury”, the family name of Trudeau’s roommate while he was at Yale.

35. Insurance risk assessors ACTUARIES
In the world of insurance, an actuary is a person who works out the appropriate premium based on risk.

36. Ring stats TKOS
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

39. “Rashomon” director KUROSAWA
Akira Kurosawa was an Oscar-winning Japanese film director. His most famous movie to us in the West has to be “The Seven Samurai”, the inspiration for “The Magnificent Seven” starring Yul Brynner, and indeed a basis for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.

“Rashomon” is a period drama film directed by Akira Kurosawa that was released in 1950. “Rashomon” was the movie that first introduced Kurosawa to western audiences. The film’s title refers to the huge gate to the city of Kyoto.

40. Many a “Divergent” reader TEEN
“The Divergent Series” of movies is based on the “Divergent” novels written by Veronica Roth. The movies and novels are set in a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago called the Divergent Universe. The story is about a citizenry that is divided into five different factions based on personality traits. The critics weren’t crazy about the first movie in the series, but I really enjoyed it …

46. Petrol measures LITRES
Petrol is the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.

50. Sonnets, say POEMS
A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines).

52. Sylvan Learning employee TUTOR
Sylvan Learning is a company that operated franchised learning centers that provide personalized instruction for primary and secondary students. The company was founded in Portland, Oregon in 1979 and was named for the building in which the enterprise was first housed: the Sylvan Hill Medical Center.

58. Frittata ingredients EGGS
A “frittata” is an omelet recipe from Italy. The word “frittata” is Italian, and comes from “fritto” meaning “fried”.

63. 365 días ANO
In Spanish, there are 365 days (días) in a year (año).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Moments, briefly SECS
5. God with a bow AMOR
9. Like some elephants ASIAN
14. Jai __ ALAI
15. “Game over,” to Kasparov MATE
16. Forrest’s shrimp-loving friend BUBBA
17. Make fun of boxing gear? KID GLOVES
19. Lusitania sinker U-BOAT
20. StyleBistro and Slate EZINES
21. “Into the Woods” (2014) director Marshall ROB
23. Schlep TOTE
24. Arles article LES
25. Make fun of Harleys? RIDE BIKES
27. “Gigi” novelist COLETTE
30. Barcelona-born muralist SERT
31. MouthHealthy.org org. ADA
32. Line from the sun RAY
34. Ristorante desserts GELATI
38. Make fun of sweater styles? MOCK TURTLENECKS
42. Came afterward ENSUED
43. Roller in Vegas DIE
44. Low digit TOE
45. Lively dance REEL
47. Adopt, as a cause ESPOUSE
50. Make fun of tunes? PUT ON AIRS
54. Ga. neighbor ALA
55. Numbered musical piece OPUS
56. Colorado native UTE
57. Human rights advocate Sakharov ANDREI
60. “¿Cómo __?” ESTAS
62. Make fun of Porky and Petunia? ROAST PIGS
64. Requests for Friskies, maybe MEOWS
65. Half of zwei EINS
66. Rules, to GIs REGS
67. Proverbial reason for a break? STRAW
68. Schedule opening SLOT
69. Bone, in Rome OSSO

Down
1. Benefit SAKE
2. 16th/17th-century Eng. queen ELIZ
3. Eldorados, e.g. CADILLACS
4. One of the Declaration of Independence’s 56 SIGNEE
5. “Famous” cookie guy AMOS
6. Big D cager MAV
7. “SNL” alumna Cheri OTERI
8. Patches, as a lawn RESODS
9. __ Dhabi ABU
10. Foreign film feature SUBTITLE
11. Discontinued Apple laptop IBOOK
12. Let up ABATE
13. Archibald and Thurmond of the NBA NATES
18. For fear that LEST
22. “Saturday Night Fever” group BEE GEES
25. Raise REAR
26. Machine gun partly named for the Czech city in which it was designed BREN
27. Showed up CAME
28. Take too much of, for short OD ON
29. “Doonesbury” creator TRUDEAU
33. Pay stub abbr. YTD
35. Insurance risk assessors ACTUARIES
36. Ring stats TKOS
37. “Understood” I SEE
39. “Rashomon” director KUROSAWA
40. Many a “Divergent” reader TEEN
41. “It’s all false!” LIES
46. Petrol measures LITRES
48. Huff and puff PANT
49. One who knows the ropes OLD PRO
50. Sonnets, say POEMS
51. Unexpected victory UPSET
52. Sylvan Learning employee TUTOR
53. Work on, as a stubborn squeak REOIL
57. No. 2 ASST
58. Frittata ingredients EGGS
59. “That __ last week!” IS SO
61. Sacramento-to-San Jose dir. SSW
63. 365 días ANO

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 26 Aug 15, Wednesday”

  1. I have to give due credit to the constructor of this puzzle, David Poole for using the Czech machine gun, the Bren instead of the oft used Sten made by the British. Nice to see an off the beaten path clue and answer.

    @Glenn – Can I give you one small idea and see if it helps you? I hope you don't mind. Try this for the next puzzle. Go over the entire grid and fill in only those answers for which you have do doubt about. Look at all the others, but wait. After you've done the ones you are absolutely sure of put the puzzle down for at least an hour, and then when you pick it back up see if you have more success with the remainder of the grid.

  2. MATE is not game over, "checkmate" is. On 50A, why are "airs" equated with tunes? And GELATI should be sent to the penalty box. NATE Archibald was known more by his nickname, "Tiny." Lots of proper names in her today.

  3. Definitely challenging for a Wednesday. Cruel to cross BREN and SERT, however. That's what got me. I had to guess the R in REEL (reel-ly??) and KUROSAWA as well.

    I'd never heard of a MOCK TURTLENECK. I live in Houston; what do I know about turtlenecks? I went online to see what one was. When I read the description, I still had no idea what it was. I had to google an image to see what they were.

    Willie – I'm ok with MATE. A lot of people will say "that's check and mate" when they have checkmate. Unfortunately, it's been said to me after I lost a game before more than once….

    The good end of the week puzzles start tomorrow.

    Best –

  4. @Tony Michaels – actually doing that is what causes problems with grids for me, especially this one.

    Oddly enough, I finished the NYT grid today (07-22) with one minor error, so I guess that's something.

  5. SIGNEE?
    @Willie D, Agree too many proper names.
    @Jeff, A real turtleneck is double the length then folded over.
    Never cared for MOCK TURTLENECKS.
    SERT/BREN was cruel.

  6. As well as in the movie, Bubba Gumps is an actual chain shrimp restaurant. I have seen it in Kona, HI and in Times Square.

    Just to chime in on Mate vs. Checkmate: Mate does not signify "game over" as there may be still ways to avoid defeat by a defensive move. Checkmate is called when there is simply no escape. I suppose if Kasporov achieves a Mate in a game, his opponent might consider the chances effectively "game over" 🙂

  7. Most guys I know don't like old-style turtlenecks because it starts to chafe the bottom of the neck…razor-related issues.

    Piano Man, I know there is also a Bubba Gump near the aquarium on Pier 39 in S.F., and apparently they have a few outlets in Kuala Lumpur. Interesting….

    SERT/BREN borders on a Natick. And I'll have to defer to the chess players on MATE. Just an activity I never picked up. Oh well, another hot day in the desert.

  8. @Piano Man –
    I've always heard "Mate" to mean check mate. If it ever simply means "check", that's a new one on me too.

    @Glenn-
    My hint is more effective than Tony's way. My helpful hint? Cheat….Works every time

    Best –

  9. I had a real tough time with this puzzle – and its only Wednesday. I thought half of Zwei waas Eine, and then wondered why ASET was No. 2 ? The punny clues were very tricky, but much appreciated.

    Jeff, Bob Hope was once asked how he maintained such a youthful appearance. He said,'I lie about my age'.

    When I was a young boy, I only heard of Bren guns and STEN guns and 303 ( three-nought-three )'s. Now, its all about AK- 47's. I guess, thats progress …. of some sort.

    have a good night, all.

  10. An amusing little grid, with sophisticated notes but light-bodied overall. Pairs nicely with the ridiculous heat we've had here in LA the last coupla days.
    I managed to guess wrong on that darned SERT/BREN cross — I put a T instead of the R!! Dang! The rest seemed quite easy– now the REAL fun begins!

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