LA Times Crossword Answers 1 Sep 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark Bickham
THEME: Completed Pass … the first word in each of today’s themed answers is a component of a COMPLETED PASS in football:

55A. Football play comprised of the starts of 19-, 29- and 39-Across COMPLETED PASS

19A. Judgments made on the fly SNAP DECISIONS
29A. Call it quits THROW IN THE TOWEL
39A. Take a nap CATCH FORTY WINKS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Pop singer Anthony MARC
Marc Anthony is the stage name of Marco Antonio Muñiz, a Puerto Rican-American singer. Anthony first wife was Dayanara Torres, a former Miss Universe from Puerto Rico. His second wife was quite famous too … singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. He divorced from the latter in 2014.

9. Annoying email SPAM
Apparently the term “SPAM”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word SPAM, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “SPAM” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

13. “Then again,” in texts OTOH
On the other hand (OTOH)

15. In and of itself PER SE
“Per se” is a Latin phrase that translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning “in itself, intrinsically”.

16. Arnaz of early sitcoms DESI
Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

17. Save-the-date card follow-up INVITATION
SAve-the-date cards … another recent invention to increase the price of a wedding …

21. Joe of “NCIS” SPANO
Actor Joe Spano’s most famous role was perhaps Lt. Henry Goldblume on “Hill Street Blues”. In the movie “Apollo 13”, Spano played an unnamed NASA director. On NCIS he plays FBI agent Tobias Fornell.

23. “The Crying Game” actor Stephen REA
Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

“The Crying Game” is a fascinating film that made quite a splash when it was released in 1992. Although it was set in Ireland and the UK, it didn’t do well in cinemas in either country yet made a lot of money over here in the US. I think the politics of the movie were a bit raw for Irish and UK audiences back then. It’s an unusual plot, blending Irish political issues with some raw sexuality questions. I won’t tell you about the “surprise scene”, just in case you haven’t seen it and want to do so.

25. Connecticut Ivy Leaguer ELI
Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

The city of New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants from England. New Haven is home to Yale University. The city also initiated the first public tree planting program in the country. The large elms included in the program led to New Haven being called “the Elm City”.

29. Call it quits THROW IN THE TOWEL
The expression “to throw in the towel” means “to give up”, and comes from the world of boxing. In boxing, when someone in the corner feels that a fight needs to be stopped, he or she throws a towel into the ring and accepts the loss. Back in the 1700s, it wasn’t a towel that was thrown into the ring, but rather a sponge.

37. Airport compliance org. FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

38. Cuban currency 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”.

39. Take a nap CATCH FORTY WINKS
Back in the early 1800s, folks took “nine winks” when getting a few minutes of sleep during the day. Dr. William Kitchiner extended this concept in his 1821 self-help book “The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life”. He suggested “A Forty Winks Nap”, which we seem to have been taking ever since. Mind you, I’m up to about eighty winks most days …

44. Patriotic women’s gp. DAR
In order to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), an applicant has to prove that she is a descendant of someone closely associated with, and supportive of, the American Revolution. The DAR maintains an online database of Revolutionary War patriots. The database is searchable, and is known as the Patriot Index.

46. Ef counterpart, in temperatures CEE
Anders Celsius was a Swedish astronomer. The temperature scale that Celsius created was the reverse of that used today, with “zero” representing the boiling point of water and “100” representing water’s freezing point. This scale was “upended” (in 1744) just after Celsius died, by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus. The resulting temperature scale then became known as the centigrade scale for over 200 years, until in 1948 it was decided to adopt the “degree Celsius”. So, anyone still using “degrees centigrade” is actually way behind the times …

When Gabriel Fahrenheit first defined his temperature scale he set 0 degrees as the temperature of a mixture ice, water and salt. He defined 100 degrees as the temperature under his wife’s armpit! Using this scale he determined that water boiled at 210 degrees. Later refinements moved the boiling point of water up to 212 degrees, and as a result “body temperature” was shifted downwards to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

47. NW state with a panhandle IDA
The US state of Idaho has a panhandle that extends northwards between Washington and Montana, right up to the border with Canada. Across that border is the Canadian province of British Columbia. Most of Idaho is in the Mountain Time Zone, but Northern Idaho (the Panhandle) is in the Pacific Time Zone.

50. Simpson who’s a member of 12-Down LISA
Lisa Simpson is Bart’s brainy younger sister on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Lisa is voiced by actress Yeardley Smith.

53. Tryst participant LOVER
In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting.

58. First sequel’s sequel EPISODE III
A sequel in series would be episode II, and the sequel of the sequel would be episode III.

59. Pandora’s boxful ILLS
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. Pandora was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

63. Apollo 11 destination MOON
Apollo 11 was the most memorable of all space missions, landing the first humans on the moon on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon’s surface in their landing craft “Eagle”, while Michael Collins orbited in the command module “Columbia”. It was to be the first of five moon landings that would take place from 1969-1972.

64. Earth goddess GAIA
In ancient Greek religion, Gaia was the Earth goddess, the mother of everything. The Roman equivalent was the goddess Terra.

65. Part of GPS: Abbr. SYST
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The modern GPS system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

67. Tiny part of a min. NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns”, and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

Down
1. “The __ Squad” MOD
The 1999 movie “The Mod Squad” was an adaptation of the seventies television show of the same name. The part of Lincoln “Linc” Hayes was played by Omar Epps, Claire Danes played Julie Barnes and Giovanni Ribisi played Peter Cochran.

3. 1995 Reform Party founder ROSS PEROT
Henry Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Ross Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion.

The Reform Party of the USA was founded in 1995 by Ross Perot with the intent of creating an alternative to the Republican and Democratic Parties. The Reform Party’s biggest success was the election of Jesse Ventura as Governor of Minnesota.

4. Great Wall locale CHINA
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications that was built and rebuilt over the centuries to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire. Most of the existing wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty. This Ming wall is about 5,000 miles long. There is an urban myth that the Great Wall is visible from the Moon, or from space. NASA has shown that the Great Wall can only be discerned from low Earth orbit (about 100 miles), and that is no more or less visible than any other man-made structure.

5. Libyan port TRIPOLI
Tripoli is the capital city of Libya and sits on the Mediterranean Coast. The city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was originally called Oea.

7. 63-Across exploration vehicle ROVER
Three countries have sent lunar rovers to the Moon. Famously, the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (aka “moon buggy”) carried American astronauts across the Moon’s surface, on the last three missions of the Apollo program in the early seventies. Before the landing of the Apollo vehicles, the Soviet Union sent two unmanned, remote-controlled rovers to the Moon, called Lunokhod 1 & 2. Years later, in 2013, the Chinese landed a lunar rover called Yutu (or “Jade Rabbit”.

8. Erie Canal city UTICA
Utica in New York is known as “Second Chance City” these days, due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

9. Alien-seeking gp. SETI
SETI is the name given to a number of projects that are searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

12. Group with an annual Mind Games competition MENSA
If you ever learned Latin, “mensa” was probably taught to you in lesson one as it’s the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means “table”. The Mensa organization, for folks with high IQs, was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member, you have to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

15. Volkswagen family car PASSAT
The name Passat is one in a series of names related to winds that has been used by Volkswagen. Jetta comes from the German for “jet stream””, and the model name Passat comes from the German for “trade wind”.

18. Ten percent donation TITHE
A tithe is a traditional payment of one tenth of a person’s annual income and is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

21. The “u” sound in “census” SCHWA
A “schwa” is an unstressed and toneless vowel found in a number of languages including English. Examples from our language are the “a” in “about”, the “e” in “taken” and the “i” in pencil.

28. Arizona tribe HOPI
Many of the Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

31. La Brea stuff TAR
The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirsts. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

33. Holiday carol’s “Good King” WENCESLAS
“Good King Wenceslas” is one of my favorite Christmas carols. The main character in the carol is based on Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia. The lyrics were written by Englishman John Mason Neale and the tune is Scandinavian in origin. That’s quite a cultural mix, but it seems to work!

34. Glacial ridge ESKER
An esker is a long and winding ridge formed by glaciation, made of sand and gravel. The term “esker” comes from the Irish word “eiscir” that describes the same feature.

42. Kennel cacophony YELPING
“Cacophony” is such a lovely word, one used to describe a harsh or jarring sound. The term arises from the Greek “kakos” (bad) and “phone” (voice).

48. Dwarf who swept up Doc’s discarded diamonds DOPEY
In the Disney movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, the dwarfs work in a diamond mine. Dopey’s job s to sweep up the diamonds that Doc discards.

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

– Doc (the leader of the group)
– Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
– Happy
– Sleepy
– Bashful
– Sneezy
– Dopey

54. Champ’s gesture V-SIGN
One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V for victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

56. Natl. Merit Scholarship qualifying exam PSAT
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

The National Merit Scholarship Program is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1955. The program governs two annual competitions for scholarships, one open to all students and one open to only African Americans.

57. Frontman for the Belmonts DION
Dion and the Belmonts were a vocal group from the fifties who had success in the late fifties. The four singers were from the Bronx in New York, with two living on Belmont Avenue, hence the name that was chosen. Perhaps the biggest hits for Dion and the Belmonts were “A Teenager in Love” and “Where or When”.

61. __ fly: RBI producer SAC
A sac(rifice) fly, in baseball.

Runs batted in (RBI)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pop singer Anthony MARC
5. Drive-__ window THRU
9. Annoying email SPAM
13. “Then again,” in texts OTOH
14. Real howler RIOT
15. In and of itself PER SE
16. Arnaz of early sitcoms DESI
17. Save-the-date card follow-up INVITATION
19. Judgments made on the fly SNAP DECISIONS
21. Joe of “NCIS” SPANO
22. “Dang!” RATS!
23. “The Crying Game” actor Stephen REA
24. Hole in one ACE
25. Connecticut Ivy Leaguer ELI
27. Taunting laugh HAH!
29. Call it quits THROW IN THE TOWEL
36. Champ’s cry I WON!
37. Airport compliance org. FAA
38. Cuban currency PESO
39. Take a nap CATCH FORTY WINKS
44. Patriotic women’s gp. DAR
45. Clever laugh HEH!
46. Ef counterpart, in temperatures CEE
47. NW state with a panhandle IDA
50. Simpson who’s a member of 12-Down LISA
53. Tryst participant LOVER
55. Football play comprised of the starts of 19-, 29- and 39-Across COMPLETED PASS
58. First sequel’s sequel EPISODE III
59. Pandora’s boxful ILLS
62. Cut again, as lumber RESAW
63. Apollo 11 destination MOON
64. Earth goddess GAIA
65. Part of GPS: Abbr. SYST
66. Like some telegrams SUNG
67. Tiny part of a min. NSEC

Down
1. “The __ Squad” MOD
2. Dined ATE
3. 1995 Reform Party founder ROSS PEROT
4. Great Wall locale CHINA
5. Libyan port TRIPOLI
6. Rear HIND
7. 63-Across exploration vehicle ROVER
8. Erie Canal city UTICA
9. Alien-seeking gp. SETI
10. Aforementioned PRIOR
11. Together AS ONE
12. Group with an annual Mind Games competition MENSA
15. Volkswagen family car PASSAT
18. Ten percent donation TITHE
20. From the beginning ANEW
21. The “u” sound in “census” SCHWA
24. Suffix with problem -ATIC
26. Help desk offering, briefly INFO
28. Arizona tribe HOPI
30. How some pics are stored ON CD
31. La Brea stuff TAR
32. Owns, biblically HATH
33. Holiday carol’s “Good King” WENCESLAS
34. Glacial ridge ESKER
35. Get rid of LOSE
40. Consecrate HALLOW
41. Like much pub grub FRIED
42. Kennel cacophony YELPING
43. “Now, just hold on” WHOA!
47. “Happy birthday” writers, perhaps ICERS
48. Dwarf who swept up Doc’s discarded diamonds DOPEY
49. Off the mark AMISS
51. Plant parts STEMS
52. Vowel fivesome A-E-I-O-U
54. Champ’s gesture V-SIGN
56. Natl. Merit Scholarship qualifying exam PSAT
57. Frontman for the Belmonts DION
60. Perjure oneself LIE
61. __ fly: RBI producer SAC

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 1 Sep 15, Tuesday”

  1. Hi folks: re. Sunday's discussion about Merl Reagle: I read somewhere that his wife said Merl liked to work right up to his deadline. So, he didn't have a backlog of unpublished puzzles. This past Sunday's must really be his last. So sad!

  2. Another early week quickie. Mark Bickham can make some tough late week puzzles so this was a change of pace from him. HAH in one spot and then HEH, WHOA, and YELPING together was tough to take. I had HAA, WAIT, and YAPPING at first. Needed LOVER to get it all corrected. Now I know there's a big difference between HAH and HEH…..apparently. (???)

    Interesting to find out the Great Wall of China being visible from space is just an urban myth. Next time the subject comes up, I'm going to be pedantic and condescending and pretend like I've known that my whole life. Can't wait….

    Best –

  3. DNF on Tuesday?!!!
    Could not see PER SE as two words.
    Wrote PARSE knowing it didn't make any sense.
    Don't know SETI,SPANO, REA GAIA, ESKER and Ef completely stumped me, thought it was a real word.
    Gahhh!

  4. Challenging but easy puzzle. I am always grateful for many small favors. Crosses eventually helped me out.

    I knew Gaia was 'earth', …. Duh …. thats why they named it Gaia-logy, the earth science. ;-D)

    Such a relief to know that The Great Wall of China cannot be seen from outer space …. we wouldn't want ET aliens to get the wrong impression ….

    Have a nice day, all.

  5. One of my pet peeves here!! On 55A, the setter misused "comprised" — I hate that! Shoulda been "comprising the starts…"
    As for MENSA — I believe I've mentioned it here before, but "mensa" means "dumb" (the feminine form) in Spanish. It's really insulting — worse than "estúpida." Ironic name for that group.
    Other than those irritants, easy puzzle…
    ¡Hasta mañana, amigos!

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