LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Sep 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jerry Edelstein
THEME: Happy 85th, Blondie … today’s themed answers all relate to the celebrated comic strip “Blondie”.

66A. Comic strip celebrating its 85th anniversary this month BLONDIE

16A. Spouse of 66-Across DAGWOOD
22A. Spouse of 20-Down CORA
40A. Friend of 66-Across TOOTSIE
54A. Friend of 16-Across HERB
11D. Son of 16- and 66-Across ALEXANDER
20D. Employer of 16-Across MR DITHERS
36D. Creator of 66-Across CHIC YOUNG

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 38s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Military unit BRIGADE
In an army, a brigade is made up of three to six battalions. Three or more brigades go to make up a division.

14. California colleague of Barbara DIANNE
Dianne Feinstein is one of our US Senators here in California, and has been representing the state since 1992. Prior to heading to Washington, Feinstein was the Mayor of San Francisco for ten years, the first woman to hold that office.

Barbara Boxer has been a US Senator representing California since 1993. When elected in 1992, she broke the record for the most popular votes in a US Senate election, receiving almost 7 million votes.

California was the first state to elect two women to the US Senate; Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both Democrats. New Hampshire was the first state to elect two female senators from different parties: Jeanne Shaheen (Democrat) and Kelly Ayotte (Republican).

18. 2008 Benicio del Toro title role CHE
Benicio Del Toro is an actor from Puerto Rico. He is an Academy Award winner, for the role he played in “Traffic”, released in 2000. He also played the title role in the 2008 movie “Che”.

21. Fiber-yielding plant FLAX
Flax is mainly grown for its seeds (to make oil) and for its fibers. Flax fibers have been used to make linen for centuries, certainly back as far as the days of the Ancient Egyptians. Flax fibers are soft and shiny, resembling blonde hair, hence the term “flaxen hair”.

26. Command to Fido STAY!
“Fido”, the name for many a dog, is Latin for “I trust”.

34. Fancy neckwear ASCOT
An Ascot tie is a horrible-looking (I think!) wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

42. Ike’s domain in WWII ETO
General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Ike”) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII. If you’re a WWII buff like me, then I recommend you take a look at a great, made-for-TV movie starring Tom Selleck as Eisenhower called “Ike: Countdown to D-Day” that came out in 2004.

43. Orwell’s “1984” Inner Party is one OLIGARCHY
An oligarchy is a form of government in which power rests with the few, perhaps with royalty or with the wealthy. The term derives from the Greek “oligos” meaning “few”.

In George Orwell’s 1949 novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, the province of Oceania is divided into three classes of people. The Inner Party holds all of the power and enjoys the best quality of life. Membership of the Inner Party is restricted to about 2% of the population. The Outer Party comprises about 13% of the population, and might be called the “middle class” of Oceanic society. The remaining 85% of the population are the proles, the working class. One of the lessons from the novel is that the Outer Party are perhaps worse off than the proles. The proles enjoy simple pleasures, even though they do manual work and live in poverty. The Outer Party are under constant supervision and do most of the work of government, and lack personal freedom.

50. “__-mite!”: “Good Times” catchword DYNO
“Good Times” is a sitcom that is a spinoff of “Maude”, with “Maude” being a spinoff of “All in the Family”. “Good Times” had its original run in the seventies.

52. Patron of Alice’s ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

66. Comic strip celebrating its 85th anniversary this month BLONDIE
“Blondie” was created as a comic strip by Chic Young. It was first published in 1930, and is still being created today (although the strip is now controlled by Chic’s son, Dean). The strip spawned a series of radio programs (1939-1950) and a series of Blondie films (1938-1950). Blondie is married to Dagwood Bumstead, and the couple have a son and daughter Alexander and Cookie. Dagwood slaves away at a construction company run by Julius Dithers, whose wife is called Cora. Blondie’s best friend is her neighbor Tootsie Woodley, with whom she starts a catering business. Dagwood’s best friend is Tootsie’s husband Herb.

70. University officers REGENTS
A regent is a member of the governing body of a university. The term is related to that used for a person who rules temporarily in place of a monarch, with both evolving from the Latin “regens” meaning “ruler, governor”.

Down
1. Union member since 1890 IDAHO
Idaho was admitted as the 43rd state of the union in 1890. The passage to statehood was not without difficulty. There had been plans in Washington to split what is now Idaho between the new states of Washington and Nevada.

2. Niamey is its capital NIGER
The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country in Western Africa that gets its name from the Niger River. 80% of the country lies within the bounds of the Sahara Desert.

4. Slaughter in baseball ENOS
Enos Slaughter has a remarkable playing record in Major League Baseball over a 19-year career. Slaughter’s record is particularly remarkable given that he left baseball for three years to serve in the military during WWII.

5. U.S. IOUs T-NOTES
A Treasury note (T-Note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-Note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-Bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-Bond matures in 20-30 years.

6. The Four Questions ritual SEDER
The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. One of the traditions at the meal is that the youngest child at the table asks “The Four Questions”, all relating to why this night is different from all other nights in the year:

– Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?
– Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
– Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
– Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

7. Audi rival BMW
The abbreviation BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch’s young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that “Horch” was German for “hear” and he suggested “Audi” as a replacement, the Latin for “listen”.

10. Makeup of many capsules GELATIN
Gelatin is a foodstuff that is used as a gelling agent in cooking, and for the shells of pharmaceutical capsules. Over 800 million pounds of gelatin are produced every year worldwide. It is produced from by-products of the meat and leather industries. Gelatin is basically modified collagen derived from pork skins and the bones of cattle, pigs and horses. So, vegans usually avoid things like gummy bears and marshmallows.

13. Paper staffers, briefly EDS
Editor (ed.)

25. She won an Oscar for her 1980 portrayal of Loretta SISSY
The actress Sissy Spacek probably got her big break in movies when she played the title role in the 1976 horror movie “Carrie”, which is based on the Stephen King novel. Her most acclaimed role is the lead in the 1980 biopic about Loretta Lynn called “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, for which she won an Oscar. Spacek’s first cousin is the actor Rip Torn.

The singer Loretta Lynn is sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Country Music. Lynn was born in 1932 in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky to a coal miner and his wife, and so famously is also referred to as “the Coal Miner’s Daughter”. Her much younger sister (by 19 years) is the singer Crystal Gayle.

27. 1945 “Big Three” conference site YALTA
The Yalta Conference was a wartime meeting between WWII leaders Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Held in February of 1945, the conference is most remembered for decisions made on the post-war organization of Europe. To a large extent, the three leaders made decisions carving up political influence around the world, decisions that have profound implications to this day.

31. Chi preceder PHI
Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

The Greek letter “chi” is the one that looks like our “X”.

33. Light element 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.

35. __ days SALAD
One’s “salad days” are the days of our youth, days of carefree exuberance and idealism. The expression originated in William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” as Cleopatra refers to her youthful indiscretions saying:

“…My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood…”

37. Caffé order MOCHA
A caffè mocha is a caffè latte that has been flavored with chocolate. One might also regard a affè mocha as hot chocolate with the addition of a shot of espresso.

41. Surg. sites ORS
Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

46. E. African land ETH
Ethiopia is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation on the continent (after Nigeria), and with 90 million inhabitants, it is the most populous landlocked country in the world. Most anthropologists believe that our Homo sapiens species evolved in the region now called Ethiopia, and from there set out to populate the planet.

51. Hatch in the Senate ORRIN
Orrin Hatch is a Republican Senator from Utah. Hatch also quite the musician, and plays the piano, violin and organ. He has composed various compositions, including a song called “Heal Our Land” that was played at the 2005 inauguration of President George W. Bush.

53. Cuba __: rum drink LIBRE
The cocktail known as a Cuba Libre is basically a rum and Coke although the traditional recipe calls for some lime juice to be added.

57. High seed’s advantage BYE
A team or player can get a bye into the next round of a tournament, meaning there’s no need to play in the current round. This can perhaps happen because an opposing player/team fails to turn up, or maybe because there aren’t enough teams to make the first round. Sometimes seeded players are awarded a bye and are automatically in a tournament.

59. “Ignore that edit” STET
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

61. Taylor’s husband between Wilding and Fisher TODD
Actress Elizabeth Taylor married eight times, to seven husbands. Those marriages were to:

– Conrad “Nicky” Hilton, the young hotel heir
– Michael Wilding, the English actor
– Mike Todd, the film and stage producer
– Eddie Fisher, the singer
– Richard Burton (twice), the Welsh actor
– John Warner, who went on to become a US Senator for Virginia
– Larry Fortensky, a construction worker whom Taylor met at the Betty Ford Clinic

63. Cold War letters SSR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

The phrase “Cold War” was coined by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch.

64. “__ Sera, Sera” QUE
As Doris Day told us, “que sera sera” is Spanish for “whatever will be, will be”.

Alfred Hitchcock made two versions of the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. The first was made in 1934 while Hitchcock still lived in England. It starred Leslie Banks, Edna Best and Peter Lorre in his first English-speaking role. Hitchcock remade the original in 1956, with James Stewart and Doris Day playing the leads. And by the way, in that movie Doris Day sang the Oscar-winning song “Que Sera, Sera”.

67. Manhattan coll. founded in 1831 NYU
The main campus of the private New York University (NYU) is located right in Manhattan, in Washington Square in the heart of Greenwich Village. NYU has over 12,000 resident students, the largest number of residents in a private school in the whole country. NYU’s sports teams are known as the Violets, a reference to the violet and white colors that are worn in competition. Since the 1980s, the school’s mascot has been a bobcat. “Bobcat” had been the familiar name given to NYU’s Bobst Library computerized catalog.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ways to the docks INLETS
7. Military unit BRIGADE
14. California colleague of Barbara DIANNE
15. Worked on a runway MODELED
16. Spouse of 66-Across DAGWOOD
17. Winter clothes WOOLENS
18. 2008 Benicio del Toro title role CHE
19. Fruit support STEM
21. Fiber-yielding plant FLAX
22. Spouse of 20-Down CORA
24. Messes up ERRS
26. Command to Fido STAY!
28. Pump output GAS
30. Downturn DIP
32. “__ ideal world … ” IN AN
34. Fancy neckwear ASCOT
37. Mess up MISHANDLE
39. “A likely story!” HAH!
40. Friend of 66-Across TOOTSIE
42. Ike’s domain in WWII ETO
43. Orwell’s “1984” Inner Party is one OLIGARCHY
45. Aired as a marathon RERAN
47. Track setting PACE
48. Ship, to a sailor SHE
49. Chips for the winner POT
50. “__-mite!”: “Good Times” catchword DYNO
52. Patron of Alice’s ARLO
54. Friend of 16-Across HERB
58. What we have here OURS
60. River-bottom accumulation SILT
62. Word with odds or bricks LAY
63. Water pistol output SQUIRTS
66. Comic strip celebrating its 85th anniversary this month BLONDIE
68. Brighter, in a way SUNNIER
69. Colors again REDYES
70. University officers REGENTS
71. Last ENDURE

Down
1. Union member since 1890 IDAHO
2. Niamey is its capital NIGER
3. Order companion LAW
4. Slaughter in baseball ENOS
5. U.S. IOUs T-NOTES
6. The Four Questions ritual SEDER
7. Audi rival BMW
8. Santa’s target ROOF
9. Graven images IDOLS
10. Makeup of many capsules GELATIN
11. Son of 16- and 66-Across ALEXANDER
12. Scouting unit DEN
13. Paper staffers, briefly EDS
16. CCCL doubled DCC
20. Employer of 16-Across MR DITHERS
23. Back then AGO
25. She won an Oscar for her 1980 portrayal of Loretta SISSY
27. 1945 “Big Three” conference site YALTA
29. “__ boy!” ATTA
31. Chi preceder PHI
33. Light element NEON
34. One bounce, in baseball A HOP
35. __ days SALAD
36. Creator of 66-Across CHIC YOUNG
37. Caffé order MOCHA
38. Beginning of space? AERO-
41. Surg. sites ORS
44. Real GENUINE
46. E. African land ETH
49. Springtime concern for many POLLEN
51. Hatch in the Senate ORRIN
53. Cuba __: rum drink LIBRE
55. Respected figure ELDER
56. Bring up RAISE
57. High seed’s advantage BYE
59. “Ignore that edit” STET
61. Taylor’s husband between Wilding and Fisher TODD
63. Cold War letters SSR
64. “__ Sera, Sera” QUE
65. Grads to be SRS
67. Manhattan coll. founded in 1831 NYU

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Sep 15, Thursday”

  1. Smooth puzzle, except for the Natick at 34-Across / 36-Down. One thing neglected in Bill's description is that Dean took over the comic in 1973 upon his father's death. To wit, my initial answer was DEANYOUNG, but the crosses disproved it. To do the math, CHICYOUNG ceased doing the comic 42 years ago, which makes that clue a complete anachronism to anyone younger than about 55 (to be liberal about it). Of course, ASCOT is almost equally strange.

    Overall 3 errors comprised in a 9 square area, due to 2 Naticks and ambiguous cluing (47-Across RACE instead of PACE). I don't know if these are easy this week or I'm actually finally getting better, but still doing relatively well at this point.

  2. What exactly is a "Natick"?
    Although one rarely sees ab ascot these days, it really isn't that obscure a word, especially in a crossword setting

  3. Being a lover of the comics and having read Blondie for most of my life on a daily basis this puzzle feel squarely into my "wheelhouse" and I pretty much raced through it. I admit I had to think for a bit on Blondie and Dagwood's son's name, Alexander. I kept waiting for the name of the mailman (Mr. Beasley) or at least the family dog (Daisy) to pop up.

    Hope you all have a great Thursday and that the weather doesn't heat up too much over the next week out here in "way too" sunny Southern California.

  4. @Anonymous
    What exactly is a "Natick"?

    It's something that the average person wouldn't ever know or have the chance to know unless they specifically looked it up. Typically given the nature of crosswords, they are referred to in pairs. This is because usually in most grids, any answers that have a potential to be this are crossed with more common stuff.

    "Natick" is the term used because of a clue that got famous for that. "Boston Marathon 8th mile" is the example: No one outside of someone familiar with the Boston Marathon or the geography of Massachusetts would know that. The average one would only know that Boston is in Massachusetts off that clue, but no more.

  5. I haven't read Blondie in years so I was surprised how much I actually remembered from it. Puzzle went pretty quick. SEDER I had to get entirely by crosses.

    @Glenn
    I think they are referring to the original creator of Blondie – which will always be Chic Young no matter who takes over in the future. I think you were thinking of the current daily creator of the strip.

    These puzzles sure keep you brushed up on your Roman numerals….

    Best –

  6. @jeff
    I think they are referring to the original creator of Blondie – which will always be Chic Young no matter who takes over in the future. I think you were thinking of the current daily creator of the strip.

    That's what I indicated in my original comment. By the other stuff, I was indicating that not too many would know that there was an original creator of Blondie (I sure didn't until today) and would think that Dean Young is the creator/author.

  7. I got ascot and Chic Young, but then I read old stuff. I didn't get Dianne Feinstein, was trying to get Nancy Pelosi in there. After a while I had so many cross-outs I couldn't see what I had! I don't live in Calif anymore, so what do I know?
    Didn't get the crosses for silt and Blondie, but over all did better than usual for a Thurs. I hope that doesn't mean Friday will be impossible!

    I haven't seen a comment from Vidwan the last few days. I hope that doesn't mean he got caught reading.

    Bella

  8. Very fun puzzle for me. Blondie is the first comic I read every morning. The strip runs in both papers I get, but in the L.A. Times it's in color.
    @Tony, I had to think hard to remember ALEXANDER too.
    My brother-in-law in NY wore ties all of his working days and when he retired and opened a business he swore he'd never wear another tie.
    He took to wearing ascots in his store and we just bought him two new ones for his birthday.

  9. Bella, thanks for remembering me. I am getting better, and observe the 'eyes downwards to the ground, and low' rule now, mostly by exception, during the day … the perfluoron gas and silicone oil are still in there and will remain for the next two weeks – so that eye is essentially blind, for now – but I'm driving around with the one good eye. ( Sssh, don't tell the cops … if you don't like the way I drive, get off the sidewalk, sort of stuff )

    I'm thinking – some women actually pay to have this silicone stuff injected permanently into their hreasts – and for what, so they'l think they look good ?

    I loved Blondie and, this was a long time ago, I thought she was the sexiest creation by any cartoonist. I have not read the cartoon for over 40 years now – I didn't even know it was still around.

    Finally, about the discount factor in purchasing T Notes – what with the 'easy money' policy of the FedREserve, some T notes have actually been sold at a premium over face value ….

    Thank you Bill, for correcting my impression on Oligarchy, I thought it meant only the govt by the rich, for the rich etc.

    Have a nice day, all.

  10. LOL Glenn! If a comic celebrating it's 85th anniversary is still being produced by the original creator that would really be something! 🙂

  11. DYNO-MITE!! Finished with no errors! I didn't remember those Blondie names, except MR DITHERS. I'm glad the others were common names — I only got HERB and ALEXANDER by staring at a few crossing letters. The C for CORA was a semi-educated guess.
    Good puzzle!
    Good job, Carrie! LOL 😀

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