LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Aug 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight,
THEME: PC Keyboard … each of today’s themed answer starts with a key found on a PC keyboard:

58A. Place to see part of 17-, 29- and 45-Across PC KEYBOARD

17A. DVD extras, perhaps ALT (alternative) ENDINGS
29A. Ones getting away often ESC (escape) ARTISTS
45A. Hardly team players CTRL (control) FREAKS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

10. Mennen skin product AFTA
Afta is an aftershave in the Mennen range of products that is owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

14. That ol’ boy’s HISN
“Hisn” is a nonstandard pronoun, replacing “his”.

15. PABA part AMINO
Vitamin B-10 is also known as para-aminobenzoic acid, shortened to pABA. It is a chemical produced by some plants and bacteria and finds its way into several foods. However, pABA is best known as a sunblock.

17. DVD extras, perhaps ALT (alternative) ENDINGS
The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.

19. Allen contemporary PAAR
Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

Steve Allen was a television personality who always seemed to be on air in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Famously, Allen was the original host of “The Tonight Show”. He also played a little piano and composed over 10,000 songs, perhaps more than anyone in history. His best known song is probably “This Could Be the Start of Something Big”.

20. Court long shots THREES
Those would be “three-point shots” on a basketball court.

21. Order BOSS
To boss someone is to order him or her around.

23. SEC concern IPO
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and has primary responsibility for enforcing federal securities law. The first chairman of the SEC was Joe Kennedy, father of future president John F. Kennedy.

25. Wave catcher? EAR
The ear picks up sound waves.

26. Aftermarket item ADD-ON
Aftermarket merchandise is sold to a consumer who has already purchased some “seed” product. I suppose a warranty on DVD player would be an example.

29. Ones getting away often ESC (escape) ARTISTS
The Escape (ESC) key on a PC keyboard is usually located in the top-left corner. The Escape key was introduced in 1960 by IBM programmer Bob Berner, originally to switch from one type of code to another. Nowadays, the Escape key is mainly used as “stop, quit, cancel, abort”.

31. Letters from Greece ETAS
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

35. “Women and Love” author Shere HITE
Shere Hite is a German sex educator, although she was born in the US. Hite’s work focuses on sexual experience and what meaning it holds for an individual.

40. Shaver LAD
“Shaver” is a slang term for a “fellow”, from the sense of “one who shaves”. The term may have arisen in the late 1500s, and over the centuries has come to refer to a younger male. Today we mainly say “little shaver” when referring to a young child of either sex.

45. Hardly team players CTRL (control) FREAKS
The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.

47. Rap name adjective LIL’
Lil’ is a short form of the word “little”. There are a whole slew of rappers named Lil’ something, like Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ J, and Lil’ Kim.

49. Some tees XLS
Examples of clothing sizes as small (S), medium (M), large (L) and extra large (XL).

50. Old West transport STAGE
Although the stagecoach is very much associated with the Wild West, the vehicle originated in England in the 16th century. Stagecoaches provided transportation for travellers and goods over long distances. The rest points for the travellers were known as “stages”, and later “stations”, hence the name “stagecoach”.

53. Bracketology org. NCAA
“Bracketology” is a term used to describe the process of predicting which college basketball teams will advance in a bracket in the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament. President Barack Obama famously participates in an ESPN segment called “Baracketology” in which he predicts the outcome of the tournament, game by game.

60. Parts of Polynésie française ILES
French Polynesia (Polynésie française) is a vast overseas territory of France that is located in the South Pacific Ocean. It comprises 118 islands and atolls dispersed over 1,609 square miles, the most populous being Tahiti.

61. Alamogordo event A-TEST
The first detonation of a nuclear weapon was code named “Trinity”, and was conducted on July 16, 1945 as part of the Manhattan Project. The detonation took place at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range located about 25 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.

62. 19th-century novel with the chapter “How They Dress in Tahiti” OMOO
Herman Melville mined his own experiences when writing his novels. Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for “Moby Dick”). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later and lived with natives on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for “Typee”). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate that was bound for Boston (a source for “Omoo”).

63. Novelist Jaffe RONA
Rona Jaffe was an American novelist perhaps most famous for two of her books, “The Best of Everything” and “Mazes and Monsters”. “The Best of Everything” was published in 1958 and has been compared with the HBO television series “Sex and the City” as it depicts women in the working world. “Mazes and Monsters” was published in 1981 and explores a role-playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons and the impact it has on players.

64. Fergie’s given name SARAH
Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew of the British Royal Family in 1986 and on the occasion of the wedding, Andrew and Sarah were made Duke and Duchess of York. “Fergie” was in the news not that long ago when she was the target of a sting operation by a British tabloid newspaper. She was caught asking for 500,000 British pounds in order to help facilitate access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, and actually accepted 40,000 pounds in an envelope. After being exposed, Ferguson made the excuse that she had been drinking prior to soliciting the cash.

Down
3. “CHiPs” actor ESTRADA
Actor Erik Estrada’s big break came with the movie “Airport 1975”. He then played motorcycle police officer Poncherello on the television show “CHiPs” from 1977-81.

6. Cherbourg chum AMI
Cherbourg lies on the northern coast of France, a port on the English Channel. Interestingly, the wreck of the Confederate States of America warship CSS Alabamawas discovered just outside the port not too long agao. The Alabama was sunk by the Union cruiser Kearsarge in 1864, after she left the port of Cherbourg to engage the Kearsarge who was lying in wait offshore.

A “chum” is a friend. The term originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

8. Wool variety ANGORA
Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit. On the other hand, the Angora goat produces the wool known as mohair.

10. Kindle download APP
Amazon’s Kindle line of e-book readers was introduced in 2007. The name “kindle” was chosen to evoke images of “lighting a fire” through reading and intellectual stimulation. I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD not that long ago. I’ve started reading e-books for the first time in my life, as well as enjoying other computing options available with the tablet device. I love it …

18. Super __: game console NES
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era.

25. Latin being ESSE
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

27. Like a flibbertigibbet DITSY
A “flibbertigibbet” is a silly, scatterbrained person. Back in the 16th century, a flibbertigibbet was a gossip or a flighty woman.

29. Peter, pumpkinwise EATER
“Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater” is a nursery rhyme that has been around in the US at least since the early 1800s. It is possibly derived from an older English rhyme, but pumpkins certainly weren’t in the English version.

32. Imaginary playmate in a Neil Diamond title SHILO
The Neil Diamond song “Shilo” was released in 1970. The title refers not to the Civil War Battle of Shiloh, nor to the Israeli town of Shilo. Instead, Shilo was an imaginary friend that Diamond had as a child.

37. Upscale retail chain SAKS
Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.

38. “Then must you speak / Of one that loved not wisely but too well” speaker OTHELLO
Shakespeare’s “Othello” was first performed in 1604. The main characters in the play are:

– Othello, a general in the army of Venice who is goaded into becoming jealous of his wife
– Desdemona, Othello’s wife
– Cassio, Othello’s trusted ensign who is falsely accused by Iago of being romantically involved with Desdemona
– Iago, the villain of the piece who attempts to bring down Othello

39. Jimmy PRY OPEN
“Jimmy” is a variant of the word “jemmy” that is used for a type of crowbar, one associated with burglars back in the 1800s.

A crowbar is a wonderful tool, one that can be used to pry open things, and to remove nails. The claw at one or both ends of the tool aids in that nail removal, and it is likely this “claw” was said to resemble that of a crow, giving us the name “crowbar”. Back in Elizabethan times. the same tool was called an “iron crow”. There’s a line in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” that reads “Get me an iron crow and bring it straight/Unto my cell.”

40. Shaq, for eight seasons LA LAKER
Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality show: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

42. First state, in a way ALABAMA
In an alphabetical list of the names of US states, Alabama appears first, and Wyoming appears last.

43. Smelting intermediary PIG IRON
“Pig iron” is crude iron that has been cast in blocks. The traditional molds produce ingots attached to a central runner. The configuration resembles a sow (the runner) with piglets (the ingots) suckling. This similarity gave rise to the name “pig iron”.

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and of course, a greenhouse gas).

44. Iditarod sight SLED DOG
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers a massive 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. The fastest finishing time was set in 2002 at just under 9 days. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!

45. 1997 Nicolas Cage thriller CON AIR
“Con Air” is an entertaining action movie that was released in 1997. The film tells the story of a bunch of convicts being transported by air who escape and take control of the plane. If you take a look at the movie’s closing credits you’ll see the words “In Memory of Phil Swartz”. Swartz, a welder with the special effects team, was killed in a tragic accident when a static model of the plane used in the movie fell on him.

46. Handicapper’s option EXACTA
To win a bet called an exacta (also called a “perfecta”), the person betting must name the horses that finish first and second and in the exact order. The related bet called the trifecta requires naming of the first, second and third-place finishers in the right order.

A “handicapper” is a person who makes predictions on the outcomes of horse races. Handicappers might be employed by a newspaper, for example.

54. Frequent e-Filers CPAS
Certified public accountant (CPA)

Just under 60% of US tax returns were e-filed in 2007, and that number increased to over 70% in 2010.

57. Org. issuing nine-digit numbers SSA
The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSNs are assigned randomly.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Lamentations WOES
5. Handle indelicately PAW AT
10. Mennen skin product AFTA
14. That ol’ boy’s HISN
15. PABA part AMINO
16. Ready PREP
17. DVD extras, perhaps ALT (alternative) ENDINGS
19. Allen contemporary PAAR
20. Court long shots THREES
21. Order BOSS
23. SEC concern IPO
24. Wrenches TEARS
25. Wave catcher? EAR
26. Aftermarket item ADD-ON
28. “I’ve been __!” HAD
29. Ones getting away often ESC (escape) ARTISTS
31. Letters from Greece ETAS
33. “Don’t __” ASK
34. Jam ingredients? AUTOS
35. “Women and Love” author Shere HITE
37. Nurses at a bar SIPS
38. Hold forth OPINE
40. Shaver LAD
41. Blathers YAPS
45. Hardly team players CTRL (control) FREAKS
47. Rap name adjective LIL’
48. “What a kidder!” OH YOU!
49. Some tees XLS
50. Old West transport STAGE
52. Modernist’s prefix NEO-
53. Bracketology org. NCAA
55. More than gloomy MORBID
56. Yodeler’s range? ALPS
58. Place to see part of 17-, 29- and 45-Across PC KEYBOARD
60. Parts of Polynésie française ILES
61. Alamogordo event A-TEST
62. 19th-century novel with the chapter “How They Dress in Tahiti” OMOO
63. Novelist Jaffe RONA
64. Fergie’s given name SARAH
65. Twinge PANG

Down
1. “Huh?” WHAT THE …?
2. Alternative to gas OIL HEAT
3. “CHiPs” actor ESTRADA
4. Unpleasant look SNEER
5. Inflates improperly PADS
6. Cherbourg chum AMI
7. Recover WIN BACK
8. Wool variety ANGORA
9. Evict TOSS
10. Kindle download APP
11. “Hate to be the one to tell ya” ‘FRAID SO
12. Brewing vessels TEAPOTS
13. They have strings attached APRONS
18. Super __: game console NES
22. Suddenly became interested SAT UP
25. Latin being ESSE
27. Like a flibbertigibbet DITSY
29. Peter, pumpkinwise EATER
30. Invades RAIDS
32. Imaginary playmate in a Neil Diamond title SHILO
36. For kicks IN FUN
37. Upscale retail chain SAKS
38. “Then must you speak / Of one that loved not wisely but too well” speaker OTHELLO
39. Jimmy PRY OPEN
40. Shaq, for eight seasons LA LAKER
42. First state, in a way ALABAMA
43. Smelting intermediary PIG IRON
44. Iditarod sight SLED DOG
45. 1997 Nicolas Cage thriller CON AIR
46. Handicapper’s option EXACTA
50. Sound of lament SOB
51. Company TROOP
54. Frequent e-Filers CPAS
55. Bit of lore MYTH
57. Org. issuing nine-digit numbers SSA
59. That, in Spain ESA

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Aug 15, Friday”

  1. Good morning, fellow crossworders.

    Seemed like a very contemporary grid today. Both in clues and answers. Sorry to those who are Mac users.

    Although I generally despise betting, horse racing seems to be the most genteel form. The quinella is the easier ALTernative to the EXACTA, you just have to pick the first 2 in any order. The trifecta (all 3 horseys in order) and the superfecta (all 4 horseys in order) are even more difficult. I believe American Pharoah went off in the Haskell Stakes last weekend at 1/10, meaning you needed to bet $10 to win $1. He won, and looked good doing it.

    Judging by the success of the Golden State Warriors, 20A THREES weren't that difficult.

  2. Lamentations are correctly referenced in 50 down; they are the sounds, wails, sobs, etc caused by woes or troubles, not the ills themselves.
    Also didn't care for the whole upper left corner in general.

  3. I thought that the NE corner would never get solved, but somehow I was able to finally put it to bed with the solving of 12 Down "Brewing vessels" and then getting 11 Down "Hate to be the one to tell ya" filled in. Fairly tough, but doable (although not anyplace near Bill's solve time) puzzle.

    Hope all my puzzle loving friends here have a great start to the weekend. See you tomorrow for what I'm sure will be a real bear (an "Ulcer Major") of a Saturday puzzle.

  4. Wow – another unaided Friday finish with no errors. Time for the return of Smugday. I hit a natick with the H at the intersection of SHILO and HITE, but it was the only letter that made sense so I guessed correctly.

    I've read the blurb on OMOO a hundred times here, but for whatever reason it occured to me today that Melville was traveling from Tahiti to Boston without the aid of the Panama Canal. I did some research and indeed around that time (he was at sea from 1839-1844) they were still going around the Straits of Magellan at the tip of South America to make that journey. Makes Bill's road trip seem like a Sunday drive. There was another isthmus in Mexico that was used later in the 19th century called the Tehuantepec route. A system of railways was built along with using river travel roughly between Veracruz and Oaxaca. Iconic St. Louis engineer James Eads (The Eads bridge goes between downtown St. Louis and Illinois across the Mississippi) was involved with that railway for a time as well.

    Several very interesting reads on the subject are available just by googling. Goodness I'm easily distracted on Fridays. Oh well no harm done (note smug attitude..)

    Best –

  5. @Jeff – I spent a year sailing from San Diego down the coast of Mexico and then back up to San Diego back in the late 70's and Tehauantepec is infamous among sailors for it's sudden and extremely powerful wind storms called Tehanantepeckers. Also along the cost in Mexico they have a similar sudden squall with lightening and rain and high winds called a "Chubasco" that can really be quite spectacular and frightening as if you are at anchor it's easy to start dragging if your anchor is not well set.

  6. Happy Smug Day! I liked this puzzle. Some clever cluing, I thought. I kept veering away from the upper right until getting theme answer. That helped me break through.

    Carrie from yesterday – I say yes! As far as I am concerned if all the squares are filled in it is finished. 🙂

  7. @Tony
    Wow. An entire year making that trek. You could probably write a book about that journey yourself. Those were the days before digital cameras, but I assume you took a bunch of "old fashioned" photos on that trip.

    @mtnwest
    Smug it is…..

  8. Hi Jeff – I actually crewed on a few different boats in that time (which included a delivery for 3 Mexican brothers who needed a boat run down to Acapulco from Mazatlan) so I spent a couple of months ashore in Yelapa once when I was between crew positions, and stayed up in the Sea of Cortez on a different boat during the hurricane season which runs from June into early November normally.

  9. I agree abt the difference between woes and lamentations, but I got it. I loved HIS'N. Maybe tomorrow it'll be your'n.

    I also got LALAKERS. I probably couldn't name 3 basketball players, but I couldn't think of anything else that would start w/ L and end with R. Lucky guess!

    I only get to be smug Mon-Wed. Friday Smug! Now that's impressive!
    Happy Weekend, folks-
    Bella

  10. Thanks @mntwest! I am glad to have finished that one!
    Today's was a different story–OMG I suffered so! DNF, and really almost Did Not Start. I had SOBS at first for 1A–I agree with anonymous on that one. Really did not like WHAT THE & FRAID SO!!
    And I see we have OMOO yet again…
    I also liked HISn and got it right away.
    Time to hit the hay–good weekend, all!

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