LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Aug 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alan Olschwang
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Show that won 16 Primetime Emmys BREAKING BAD
“Breaking Bad” is a crime drama series that originally aired on AMC from 2008 to 2013. The show was created by Vince Gilligan who had spent many years as producer and writer of “The X-Files”. There is a “Breaking Bad” spin-off show running on AMC called “Better Call Saul” that focuses on the life of lawyer Saul Goodman. I hear that it’s pretty good …

12. Sno-__ CAT
The brand name Sno-Cat is owned by the Tucker company. All “snowcats” are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four, independently-mounted tracks.

16. Z preceder A TO …
From A to Z …

19. “Vous __ ici” ETES
“Vous êtes ici” are important words to know when navigating your way around Paris. They mean “You are here”, and you’ll often see them on maps in the street.

20. Some tech sch. grads EES
Electrical engineer (EE)

21. French department __-Maritimes ALPES
Alpes-Maritimes is a department in the very southeast of France on the Mediterranean Sea. Alpes-Maritimes also borders Monaco and Italy. The area’s economy is heavily dependant on tourism, particularly in the city of Nice.

24. Mass figure PRIEST
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”.

25. More familiar role for the portrayer of George in “Bringing Up Baby” ASTA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

27. AMPAS’ London counterpart BAFTA
The BAFTA awards are presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). The BAFTAs are the UK equivalent of the US’s Oscar and Emmy awards, all rolled into one.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

32. Original Dungeons & Dragons co. TSR
Dungeons & Dragons is a complex role-playing game first published in 1974, by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). Dungeons & Dragons was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my nerdy son …

34. Fed, say AGENT
A “fed” is an officer of a US federal agency, although the term usually applies to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

35. Seahawks coach Carroll PETE
Pete Carroll is a former head coach for the New York Jets and the New England Patriots, and now has the same position with the Seattle Seahawks. Carroll is also a “Deadhead”, an avid fan of the Grateful Dead.

36. __ Bund: Swiss newspaper DER
“Der Bund” is a German-language newspaper published in Bern, Switzerland. The newspaper’s title translates in English as “The Union”.

38. A.L. West team, familiarly ‘STROS
The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “‘Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program.

41. Classic muscle cars GTOS
The Pontiac GTO was was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.

43. Meat garnishes ASPICS
Aspic is a dish in which the main ingredients are served in a gelatin made from meat stock. “Aspic” is a French word for “jelly”.

44. Interstate H-1 locale OAHU
The westernmost and southernmost “interstate” highway in the US is the H-1 on the island of O’ahu.

45. TV “Tool Man” Taylor TIM
In the hit sitcom “Home Improvement”, Tim Allen played Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor, host of his own local TV show “Tool Time”. “Home Improvement” established Tim Allen as a comic actor, and also launched the television career of Pamela Anderson, who was a regular in the first two seasons of the show.

48. Local life BIOTA
The biota of a region is the total collection of flora and fauna found there.

49. Airport near I-480, on itineraries CLE
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) was founded in 1925. In 1930, Cleveland was home to the first air traffic control tower in the country, as well as the first airfield lighting system.

50. City SW of Bogotá CALI
In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia (after Bogotá and Medellin). Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Colombia. Apparently, Cali is a destination for “medical tourists”. The city’s surgeons have a reputation for being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks head there looking for a “cheap” nose job.

Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. Noted for having many libraries and universities, Bogotá is sometimes referred to as “The Athens of South America”.

51. Lets have it LOWERS THE BOOM ON
“To lower the boom” is to deliver a knockout punch, or perhaps to punish. The phrase is nautical in origin, and is a reference to the spar that runs along the bottom of many sails, which is called a “boom”. Lowering that heavy boom on someone might inflict some damage.

55. Chemical suffix -ENE
An alkene is an organic compound made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It differs from an alkane in that it has at least one C=C double bond. The simplest alkene is the gas ethylene, a major raw material used in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).

57. Georgia, once: Abbr. SSR
The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

58. Pressure tactic SQUEEZE PLAY
In baseball, a squeeze play is one in which a batter bunts the ball expecting to be thrown out at first, but gives a runner at third base a chance to score. In a safety squeeze the runner at third waits to see where the bunt is going before heading for home. In a suicide squeeze, the runner heads home as soon as the pitcher throws the ball.

Down
1. Censor BLEEP
The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, and for supervising public morality.

2. French annuity RENTE
Annuities are regular payments made at fixed intervals of time. That interval of time used to be yearly (annual), but the term is used now for any regular payment, regardless of the interval of time.

3. Beaverlike? EAGER
An “eager beaver” is a glutton for work. The phrase is army slang that dates back to WWII. I think the idea is that beavers are considered to be particularly industrious, as evidenced by the building of beaver dams.

4. Actress Gardner et al. AVAS
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long-term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

8. “Burn Notice” actress GLESS
Sharon Gless is best known for playing Christine Cagney on the police drama “Cagney & Lacey” in the eighties. A few years after “Cagney & Lacey” ended its run, Gless married the show’s executive producer, Barney Rosenzweig. More recently, Gless had a recurring role playing Madeline Westen on the TV show “Burn Notice”.

“Burn Notice” is an action drama TV series that originally aired from 2007 to 2013 on the USA Network. The show’s title refer to “burn notices” issued by intelligence agencies, a document that discredits a source or agent that has become unreliable.

9. Early AC/DC frontman Scott BON
Bon Scott was the lead singer for the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. Despite his success on stage, Scott led a troubled life by all accounts. In his youth, he spent time in “juvy”, and an attempt to join the Australian Army was met with rejection as he was deemed to be “socially maladjusted”. Scott was found dead in 1980 in a Renault 5 car in London after a night of drinking. The cause of death was determined to be alcohol poisoning.

10. Worker in an Aesop tale ANT
In Aesop’s fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper”, the grasshopper spends the warm months singing and having a good time while the ant toils away storing food. When winter arrives, the grasshopper starts to die from hunger and begs the ant for food. The ant tells the grasshopper that he should have been more sensible instead of singing away all summer, and maybe he should dance through the winter!

14. Top sellers TOY STORES
We might buy spinning tops at toy stores.

18. Others, in Latin ALII
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).

23. Pretoria’s home: Abbr. RSA
Pretoria is the executive capital of the Republic of South Africa (RSA), one of three capital cities in the country. Cape Town is the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital.

25. View from Eng.’s Land’s End ATL
Atlantic (Atl.)

Land’s End is a headland in Cornwall in the southwest of England. It is the most westerly point in the country. The phrase “Land’s End to John o’ Groats” is often used to suggest distance, as John o’ Groats is a village on the northeastern tip of Scotland. There are a lot of charity fundraisers that participate in sponsored walks or bike rides from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.

26. West African cuisine SENEGALESE
The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar, a city located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.

27. Stands where we lie BED TABLES
Bed tables are tables that extend over a bed (often seen in hospitals) or that rest on a bed (often used by kids bringing Mom breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day).

35. NBA tally PTS
Back in the mid-1600s, a “tally” was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or paid. The term came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”.

37. Certain dieter’s credo NO CARBS
The eating of relatively few carbohydrates is central to the diet proposed by Robert Atkins. Atkins first laid out the principles behind the Atkins diet in a research paper published in 1958 in the “Journal of the American Medical Association”. He popularized his diet starting in 1972 with his book “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution”.

38. Trifle SOU
A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

40. Bit MITE
A mite is a small amount, as in “the widow’s mite”, a story from the Bible.

42. Hollywood, casually THE BIZ
That would be “showbiz”.

44. Autumn color OCHRE
Ochre is often spelled “ocher” in the US (it’s “ochre” where I come from). Ocher is a light, yellowy-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher.

45. Certain Sri Lankan TAMIL
Tamils are a large ethnic group of almost 80 million people who speak Tamil as their mother tongue. Despite the large Tamil population, there is no Tamil state. The highest concentration of Tamils is in Sri Lanka, where they make up about 25% of the population.

The name Sri Lanka translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule. The lion on the country’s national flag symbolizes the fight against British colonialism.

46. Massey of “Balalaika” (1939) ILONA
Ilona Massey was a Hollywood actress, a native of Budapest in Hungary. Given her cultural background and the period at which she hit the big screen, Massey was marketed by the studios as “the new Dietrich”.

47. Fred McConnell’s daughter, in an old sitcom MINDY
Pam Dawber is the actress that teamed up with Robin Williams to play the lead roles in the sitcom “Mork & Mindy”. Dawber is married to the actor Mark Harmon.

52. “The Empire Strikes Back,” e.g.: Abbr. SEQ
Sequel (seq.)

“The Empire Strikes Back” is a 1980 sequel to the hit movie “Star Wars”. The most famous line from “The Empire Strikes Back” is spoken by Darth Vader as he reveals his relationship to Luke Skywalker: “No, I am your father” (with emphasis on the “I”). This is often misquoted as “Luke, I am your father”.

53. 19th Greek letter 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.

54. 1300 hours ONE
I am a big fan of military time and have all my clocks and computers set up that way. Drop the am/pm, I say …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Show that won 16 Primetime Emmys BREAKING BAD
12. Sno-__ CAT
15. Doesn’t bother LEAVES ALONE
16. Z preceder A TO …
17. Celebration of a future union ENGAGEMENT PARTY
19. “Vous __ ici” ETES
20. Some tech sch. grads EES
21. French department __-Maritimes ALPES
22. Allotment word PER
23. Roasts RIBS
24. Mass figure PRIEST
25. More familiar role for the portrayer of George in “Bringing Up Baby” ASTA
26. Embedded below the surface of SET INTO
27. AMPAS’ London counterpart BAFTA
30. Code subject DRESS
32. Original Dungeons & Dragons co. TSR
33. Sinister EVIL
34. Fed, say AGENT
35. Seahawks coach Carroll PETE
36. __ Bund: Swiss newspaper DER
37. Family member NIECE
38. A.L. West team, familiarly ‘STROS
39. Shakes TREMORS
41. Classic muscle cars GTOS
43. Meat garnishes ASPICS
44. Interstate H-1 locale OAHU
45. TV “Tool Man” Taylor TIM
48. Local life BIOTA
49. Airport near I-480, on itineraries CLE
50. City SW of Bogotá CALI
51. Lets have it LOWERS THE BOOM ON
55. Chemical suffix -ENE
56. Considers BEARS IN MIND
57. Georgia, once: Abbr. SSR
58. Pressure tactic SQUEEZE PLAY

Down
1. Censor BLEEP
2. French annuity RENTE
3. Beaverlike? EAGER
4. Actress Gardner et al. AVAS
5. Frat bash staple KEG
6. Response to a pointer I SEE IT
7. Convention handouts NAME BADGES
8. “Burn Notice” actress GLESS
9. Early AC/DC frontman Scott BON
10. Worker in an Aesop tale ANT
11. Sails, say DEPARTS
12. Chiseler, at times CARPENTER
13. Corroborates ATTESTS TO
14. Top sellers TOY STORES
18. Others, in Latin ALII
23. Pretoria’s home: Abbr. RSA
24. Vexatious sort PEST
25. View from Eng.’s Land’s End ATL
26. West African cuisine SENEGALESE
27. Stands where we lie BED TABLES
28. Opposite of predilections AVERSIONS
29. Military might FIREPOWER
31. __ center REC
34. Vents AIRS
35. NBA tally PTS
37. Certain dieter’s credo NO CARBS
38. Trifle SOU
40. Bit MITE
42. Hollywood, casually THE BIZ
44. Autumn color OCHRE
45. Certain Sri Lankan TAMIL
46. Massey of “Balalaika” (1939) ILONA
47. Fred McConnell’s daughter, in an old sitcom MINDY
50. Provide gratis COMP
52. “The Empire Strikes Back,” e.g.: Abbr. SEQ
53. 19th Greek letter TAU
54. 1300 hours ONE

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5 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Aug 15, Saturday”

  1. I remember Alan Olschwang from both the NY Times as well as here, and his puzzles were always among the toughest I've ever done. On this one, however, he took it a little easy on us.

    The T where RENTE intersects with ETES killed an otherwise complete and error free grid. Ouch. Seems horribly unfair to cross French words like that!!!!

    Plenty of writeovers, however. I had ZED before A TO (thanks to previous crosswords), FLORA before BIOTA, OCHER before OCHRE and GENES before DRESS. It's messy but I almost got it all to work…..almost.

    I'm finally watching Breaking Bad on Netflix these days and loving it. I'm almost done with season 3. Also liked the Burn Notice reference. That is a very underrated show IMHO..

    Best –

  2. I agree with Jeff. This was much easier than I expected and as a result I was "over thinking" the clues for awhile until I got dialed in. Bill's solve time borders on the unreal for a Saturday.

    @Carrie – Thanks for the kind words. I throw them out there, never knowing if they will be caught, or not!

    Hope everyone has a great Saturday.

  3. It seems very fitting that CLE airport was the first to have an air traffic control tower etc. since Dayton, where the Wright brothers built the first flying machine, is only a three hour drive away. I recommend reading David McCullough's new book on the Wrights for a good story on the history of aviation.

    BED TABLES could just as well refer to the end tables on each side of a bed holding a lamp etc., which are often called bed tables as well.

  4. So much for smug day. This was hard for me. Surprisingly I got most of the long answers but was stumped on some of the short ones. It's usually the other way around. Really not fair to have two French clues crossing, not to mention French and Latin crossing! Stros really threw me, as did Biota. Not sure I understand how Senegalese is a cuisine. But oh well!

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