LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Aug 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Janice Luttrell
THEME: Tail End … each of today’s themed answers starts with a word that can be the END of a two-part word or phrase starting with TAIL:

41A. Caboose locale … and a hint to what the first word of the answers to starred clues can be TAIL END

17A. *Sentry GATEKEEPER (giving “tailgate”)
64A. *Crafty press agent SPIN DOCTOR (giving “tailspin”)
11D. *Wishful thinking PIPE DREAM (giving “tailpipe”)
34D. *Music-maker activated by a breeze WIND CHIME (giving “tailwind”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Tiny insect MITE
Mites are tiny arthropods in the arachnid (spider) class. Mites are (annoyingly!) very successful creatures that have adapted to all sorts of habitats, and being so small, they generally pass unnoticed. Ick …

14. Indigo dye source ANIL
Anil is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name for the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue. The main coloring agent in indigo dye is a crystalline powder called indigotin.

16. Fillable bread PITA
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools. The pockets were a big hit in the seventies when someone came up with the idea of using them for fillings hence creating pita sandwiches or “pita pockets”.

19. Apple tablet IPAD
Apple’s iPad has really pervaded our lives since it was introduced in 2010. We probably won’t see many pilots walking around airports burdened with briefcases chock full of paperwork anymore. Alaska Airlines replaced all that paperwork in 2011 so that now each pilot carries an iPad weighing 1½ pounds instead of a briefcase weighing perhaps 25 pounds.

20. City with Heat and Hurricanes MIAMI
The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

The Miami Hurricanes are the sports teams fielded by the University of Miami. Also known as the “Canes”, the team has a mascot called Sebastian the Ibis. “The Ibis” was chosen as the name of the school’s yearbook in 1926, and was adopted as the mascot decades later in the eighties. The ibis was selected by the Hurricanes as the bird is known for its bravery when a hurricane approaches.

21. Copter’s forerunner GIRO
“Giro” is a reference to the autogyro, an aircraft that uses an unpowered rotor to create lift, and a powered propeller to provide thrust. The first autogyro was flown in 1923 in Spain, where it was invented.

22. Strike from the text DELE
“Dele” is the editorial instruction to delete something from a document, and is often written in red.

23. Gulf War journalist Peter ARNETT
Peter Arnett is an American journalist, originally from New Zealand. I mainly remember him from his coverage of the Gulf War for CNN, although Arnett was awarded his Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for his work in Vietnam during the war there.

27. Light on the Vegas strip NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

32. Grocery box amt. NT WT
Net weight (Nt. Wt.)

35. Electrician on a film set GAFFER
Apparently, the word “gaffer” is a contraction of “godfather”, and so originally was used to me “old man”. This usage extended to a foreman or supervisor, and is used most often today to mean the chief electrician on a film set. That said, back in my part of the world we often refer to the “boss” at work as “the gaffer”.

39. Academic URL suffix EDU
The .edu 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)

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

40. Sushi tuna AHI
Yellowfin tuna is usually marketed as “ahi”, its Hawaiian name. Yellowfin tuna is one big fish, often weighing over 300 pounds.

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.

41. Caboose locale … and a hint to what the first word of the answers to starred clues can be TAIL END
The word “caboose” originally came from Middle Dutch and was the word for a ship’s galley. When the last car in a train in North America was given a stove for the comfort of the crew, it took on the name “caboose”. The term has also become slang for a person’s backside.

44. Staten or Manhattan ISLAND
Staten Island is part of New York City and is the least populous of the city’s five boroughs. The island was originally called Staaten Eylandt by Henry Hudson and was named after the Dutch parliament, the Staaten Generaal.

The island we know as Manhattan was inhabited by the Lenape Indians when the first Europeans explorers arrived in the area. According to the logbook of one of the officers on explorer Henry Hudson’s yacht, the island was called “Manna-hata” in the local language, from which the modern name derives.

45. License-issuing agcys. DMVS
In most states, the government agency responsible for vehicle registration and the issuing of driver’s licenses is called the DMV. This initialism usually stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles, but there are “variations on the theme”. For example, in Arizona the responsible agency is called the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and in Colorado the familiar abbreviation “DMV” stands for Division of Motor Vehicles.

46. Tennis great Agassi ANDRE
Renowned tennis professional Andre Agassi wrote an autobiography called “Open”, published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi’s famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

54. Skype need WEBCAM
The main feature of the Skype application is that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called “Sky peer-to-peer” so the first commercial name for the application was “Skyper”. This had to be shortened to “Skype” because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

58. “Come Fly With Me” lyricist Sammy CAHN
Sammy Cahn wrote for them all, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Doris Day. Cahn’s most famous song was probably “Three Coins in the Fountain”. He also wrote “All the Way”, made famous by Frank Sinatra.

“Come Fly With Me” is a song written in 1957 by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn. The songwriting duo wrote “Come Fly With Me” specifically for Frank Sinatra, and he used it as the title track of a 1958 album. The lyrics of the song take us to such wonderful locales as Bombay, Peru and Acapulco Bay.

62. Spaghetti topper SAUCE
The term “spaghetti” is a plural diminutive form of the Italian word “spago”, which means “thin string, twine”.

64. *Crafty press agent SPIN DOCTOR (giving “tailspin”)
“Spin doctor” is a slang term for a professional in the field of public relations.

67. Mombasa’s country KENYA
Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya (after the capital, Nairobi). Mombasa is located on the east coast of the country, on the Indian Ocean.

68. Penn Sta.-to-Suffolk County train system LIRR
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the commuter rail service that runs all over Long Island, New York with 124 stations and 700 miles of track. More people use the LIRR than any other commuter railroad in the US. It is also the only commuter railroad in the country that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

70. Golf’s Slammin’ Sammy SNEAD
Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball, by teeing off from home plate. Snead’s best-remembered nickname was “Slammin’ Sammy”.

71. __, meeny … EENY
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

Down
2. “… bombs bursting __” IN AIR
The words “bombs bursting in air” come from “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with the Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.

4. Periodic table item ELEMENT
Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Element number 101 is mendelevium and was named after Mendeleev.

5. West of “My Little Chickadee” MAE
Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the “sexy” side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. One of the first plays in which West starred on Broadway was called “Sex”, a work she penned herself. The show was a sell-out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of “corrupting the morals of youth”. She started in movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really she was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.

“My Little Chickadee” was a catchphrase used by comic actor W. C. Fields. Fields first used it on film in the 1932 movie “If I Had a Million”. Years later in 1940, the phrase was used as the title of a film starring Fields opposite Mae West.

6. Couturier Cassini OLEG
Oleg Cassini, the French-born American fashion designer, had two big names particularly associated with his designs. In the sixties he produced the state wardrobe for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and he was also the exclusive designer for Hollywood’s Gene Tierney, who was Cassini’s second wife.

8. Warm month in Chile ENERO
In Spanish, the year (el año) starts in January (enero) and ends in December (diciembre).

The land of Chile has a very distinctive shape. It is a narrow strip that runs up the west coast of South America. The average width of the country is only a little over 100 miles, and yet its length is about 2,700 miles. Chile is touted as the longest country in the world, although I am not so sure what that means exactly. I mean, Russia extends about 4,800 miles from east-to west, so maybe “longest” implies long in the north-south direction, as opposed to “widest”?

9. “Vive __!”: “Long live the king!” LE ROI
“Vive le roi!” is French for “Long live the king!”

10. Kiddie-lit’s Charlotte, e.g. SPIDER
“Charlotte’s Web” is a children’s novel by author E. B. White. Charlotte is a barn spider, who manages to save the life of a pig named Wilbur. Wilbur is a pet pig, owned by the farmer’s daughter, Fern Arable. The story also includes a gluttonous rat named Templeton who provides some light and comical moments.

11. *Wishful thinking PIPE DREAM (giving “tailpipe”)
In common parlance, a “pipe dream” is a vain hope for something that is unlikely to take place. The original pipe dreams were visions that were experienced after taking opiates.

12. And others, in Lat. ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

13. 20-Across’ former county DADE
The residents of Florida’s Dade County voted to change its name to Miami-Dade County in 1997, in recognition of its most populous and recognized city.

24. Frat party robes TOGAS
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

30. 1999 Ron Howard satire EDTV
“EDtv” is a comedy film directed by Ron Howard starring Matthew McConaughey, released in 1999. The plot has a “Big Brother” feel to it, as it is about a TV show broadcasting someone’s life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

32. Astronaut’s org. NASA
The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

36. St. Augustine’s state: Abbr. FLA
The city of St. Augustine in northeast Florida was founded as San Agustín in 1565 by the Spanish. That makes St. Augustine the oldest continuously-occupied, European-established settlement in the whole of the US. The Spanish maritime expedition first sighted land in the area on August 28, 1565. As August 28 was the feast day of Augustine of Hippo, San Agustín was chosen as the name for the new territory.

47. Pro pretending to be an amateur RINGER
A “ringer” was originally a fast horse that was substituted surreptitiously into a race for a slower one. The term was derived from the verb “to ring in”, meaning to substitute. We now use “ringer” to describe anything or anyone that participates in competition using false representation of ability. We also use the phrase “dead ringer” to describe an exact duplicate.

49. Tijuana money PESO
The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

53. “Goosebumps” author R.L. STINE
The author R. L. Stine is sometimes referred to as the Stephen King of children’s literature as he writes horror stories for young people.

“Goosebumps” is a series of children’s horror novels written by author R. L. Stine. The novels have been adapted into a television series shown on Canadian TV.

59. Singer India.__ ARIE
India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson.

61. Irish folk singer ENYA
Enya’s real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career. She sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Tiny insect MITE
5. Road trip stop MOTEL
10. Zipped SPED
14. Indigo dye source ANIL
15. Solo ALONE
16. Fillable bread PITA
17. *Sentry GATEKEEPER (giving “tailgate”)
19. Apple tablet IPAD
20. City with Heat and Hurricanes MIAMI
21. Copter’s forerunner GIRO
22. Strike from the text DELE
23. Gulf War journalist Peter ARNETT
25. Invented, as a word COINED
27. Light on the Vegas strip NEON
29. Made a boo-boo ERRED
32. Grocery box amt. NT WT
35. Electrician on a film set GAFFER
39. Academic URL suffix EDU
40. Sushi tuna AHI
41. Caboose locale … and a hint to what the first word of the answers to starred clues can be TAIL END
42. Wolfed down ATE
43. Transgress SIN
44. Staten or Manhattan ISLAND
45. License-issuing agcys. DMVS
46. Tennis great Agassi ANDRE
48. Info DOPE
50. Show with clowns CIRCUS
54. Skype need WEBCAM
58. “Come Fly With Me” lyricist Sammy CAHN
60. Poker stake ANTE
62. Spaghetti topper SAUCE
63. Copies are made from one: Abbr. ORIG
64. *Crafty press agent SPIN DOCTOR (giving “tailspin”)
66. Street artist in a striped shirt, stereotypically MIME
67. Mombasa’s country KENYA
68. Penn Sta.-to-Suffolk County train system LIRR
69. Tapped brew BEER
70. Golf’s Slammin’ Sammy SNEAD
71. __, meeny … EENY

Down
1. Molten rock MAGMA
2. “… bombs bursting __” IN AIR
3. Business big shot TITAN
4. Periodic table item ELEMENT
5. West of “My Little Chickadee” MAE
6. Couturier Cassini OLEG
7. Subject matter TOPIC
8. Warm month in Chile ENERO
9. “Vive __!”: “Long live the king!” LE ROI
10. Kiddie-lit’s Charlotte, e.g. SPIDER
11. *Wishful thinking PIPE DREAM (giving “tailpipe”)
12. And others, in Lat. ET AL
13. 20-Across’ former county DADE
18. Toy on a string KITE
24. Frat party robes TOGAS
26. Unhip sort NERD
28. Finger or toe part NAIL
30. 1999 Ron Howard satire EDTV
31. Association fees DUES
32. Astronaut’s org. NASA
33. Like wafers THIN
34. *Music-maker activated by a breeze WIND CHIME (giving “tailwind”)
36. St. Augustine’s state: Abbr. FLA
37. Ward (off) FEND
38. Provide with funds ENDOW
41. Tall-cake layer TIER
45. Complete failure DEBACLE
47. Pro pretending to be an amateur RINGER
49. Tijuana money PESO
51. Winery containers CASKS
52. Set free, as pigs UNPEN
53. “Goosebumps” author R.L. STINE
55. Term of affection CUTIE
56. Nut under an oak ACORN
57. “__ Christmas!” MERRY
58. Hair-parting tool COMB
59. Singer India.__ ARIE
61. Irish folk singer ENYA
65. Family guy DAD

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7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Aug 15, Monday”

  1. Smooth Monday puzzle, indeed. Enjoyed it very much. Before I forget, Pookie, thank you for your good wishes on the 27th.

    Ohio has the BMW – Bureau of Motor Vehicles, but the individual registration and drivers license offices are privately owned, and handed out as patronage plums to the supporters of the political party in power in the state house. I am not making this up – the 'process', BTW, has the "support" of both parties …. Since most Ohioans have a problem spelling 'bureau', the checks may please be made out to 'Ohio, Treasurer of State'. The offices also sell overpriced screws, plate holders, plate covers and other paraphernalia to those of us not smart enough to know where the nearest Home Depot is located.

    RE: Element. the story goes that Enrico Fermi got a Nobel Prize for discovering a new 'element' which was later proved, to be merely (!) an isotope. Not with standing, the fact, that he probably deserved 2 of 'em, the prize money served as fare money, and enabled him to flee Italy for his contributions to the US.

    Have a nice day all.

  2. The puzzle went quickly as most Monday puzzles do. At the very end however I ran into a cross of CAHN and ARIE where I had to guess the "A"…could have been an "O" or "U" as well for all I knew. I guessed correctly luckily.

    Also – in the paper this morning there was no clue listed for 65D so I had to get DAD on crosses as I was clueless…..literally….on that one.

    Glad to finally know what a gaffer is. I've seen the word enough in credits, but I never knew what one was.

    Best –

  3. Just realized the first 2 words at the top of the grid are MITE MOTEL. I think I stayed there a few times in college…..

  4. @Anonymous — LOL!
    Easy Monday puzzle, altho I had to start in the middle–it took me awhile to get the start-off answers MITE/MAGMA, and I don't know why I blanked on those.
    It is finally a bit cooler here in LA, thank goodness!!
    Happy September, all!

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