LA TImes Crossword Answers 21 Sep 15, Monday

Share today’s solution with a friend:
FacebookTwitterGoogleEmail

Quicklink
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Scot Ober
THEME: Top Row Answers … each of today’s themed answers can be typed out using just the letters in the top row of the keyboard. And our themed clue is nicely self-referential, as the answer TOP ROW contains only letters from the TOP ROW as well:

47D. *Typewriter area, letterwise, for the answers to starred clues TOP ROW
18A. *Pickled peppers picker PETER PIPER
37A. *Miss Manners’ concern PROPER ETIQUETTE
59A. *Clog-clearing company ROTO-ROOTER
4D. *Compete, as for a role TRY OUT

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. “No ifs, __ …” ANDS
No ifs, ands or buts …

9. Italian city known for a shroud TURIN
The Shroud of Turin has to be one of the most controversial, and most studied, human artifacts ever unearthed. The Shroud is a linen cloth on which there is the image of a man who appears to have wounds inflicted by crucifixion. Many believe that the Shroud is the burial cloth in which Jesus Christ was placed after he died on the cross. The Shroud was kept in various locations in France for centuries before being moved to Turin Cathedral in 1578, from which it gets its name, and where it has been located ever since.

14. __’acte ENTR
The term “entr’acte” comes to us from French, and is the interval “between two acts” (“entre deux actes”) of a theatrical performance. It often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

16. Have __ in the hole AN ACE
Stud poker is the name given to many variants of poker, all characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing downwards are called “hole cards”, cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”, a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

18. *Pickled peppers picker PETER PIPER
The earliest written version of the “Peter Piper” nursery rhyme and tongue twister dates back to 1813 London:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

A peck is a unit of dry volume, equivalent to two gallons. Four pecks then make up a bushel.

22. Raised one’s glass to TOASTED
Did you ever wonder why we use the term “toast” to drink someone’s health? The tradition probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

24. Greek X’s CHIS
The Greek letter “chi” is the one that looks like our “X”.

28. Bandleader Artie SHAW
Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and a jazz clarinetist. Shaw’s real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. One of his many claims to fame is that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then. Artie Shaw was married eight times in all. The list of his wives includes the actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, as well as Betty Kern, daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern.

32. TV network with an eye logo CBS
CBS used to be called the Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS is the second largest broadcaster in the world, second only to the BBC in the UK. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951.

36. 1970s New York mayor Abe BEAME
Abraham Beame was mayor of New York City from 1974-1977. Beame was actually born in London, England but grew up in New York. His term as mayor was a rough one, as the main focus back then was staving off bankruptcy for the city.

37. *Miss Manners’ concern PROPER ETIQUETTE
“Miss Manners” is the pen name of Judith Martin, a journalist and authority in the field of etiquette.

42. In unison, in music A DUE
“A due” is a musical term meaning “together”, and literally translates from Italian as “by two”.

43. Paranormal ability, for short ESP
Extrasensory perception (ESP)

44. MD’s “pronto” STAT
The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

The Spanish, Italian (and now English) word “pronto” is derived from the Latin “promptus” meaning “ready, quick”.

59. *Clog-clearing company ROTO-ROOTER
The “Roto-Rooter” is an invention of Samuel Oscar Blanc. Blanc came up with the idea in 1933 after having to deal with a sewer line in his son’s apartment that was blocked with roots from a tree, a common problem. He put together his first version of the device using a washing machine motor, roller skate wheels and a steel cable. The “rotating rooter” snaked down the sewer line, and rotating blades at the tip of the cable cut through the troublesome roots. Blanc sold his machine for decades to people who set up their own drain clearing businesses. In 1980 the Blanc family sold the Roto-Rooter company to a Cincinnati concern that started buying up independent franchises that used the Roto-Rooter and created the national service with which we are familiar today. Oh, and my advice is, save yourself the cost of the service call and just rent a machine. That’s what I do …

61. Some old radios RCAS
During WWI, the US government actively discouraged the loss of certain technologies to other countries, including allies. The developing wireless technologies were considered to be particularly important by the army and navy. The government prevented the General Electric Company from selling equipment to the British Marconi Company, and instead facilitated the purchase by GE of the American Marconi subsidiary. This purchase led to GE forming the Radio Corporation of America that we know today as RCA.

Down
1. Flat-topped lands MESAS
“Mesa” is the Spanish for “table” and is how we get the term “mesa” describing the geographic feature. A mesa is similar to a butte. Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide.

3. Fab Four drummer Ringo STARR
Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles (replacing drummer Pete Best), Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

The Beatles were described on the sleeve notes of their 1963 album “With the Beatles” as the “fabulous foursome”. The press picked up on the phrase and morphed it into “the Fab Four”.

5. Purina dog food brand ALPO
Alpo is a brand of dog food first produced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

6. Christmas carol NOEL
“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). Noel has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

7. Annual reason to reset clocks: Abbr. DST
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (i.e. “spring forward”) and backwards in the fall (i.e. “fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight.

9. Spanish appetizers TAPAS
“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

10. Les États-__ UNIS
“Les États-Unis d’Amérique” is what French speakers call “the United States of America”.

12. Slurpee alternative ICEE
Icee and Slurpee are brand names of those slushy drinks. Ugh …

13. “The Big Bang Theory” type NERD
“The Big Bang Theory” is very clever sitcom aired by CBS since 2007. “The Big Bang Theory” theme song was specially commissioned for the show, and was composed and is sung by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. The theme song was released in 2007 as a single and is featured on a Barenaked Ladies greatest hits album.

19. __ rage: PED user’s aggression ROID
Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “roid rage”.

Performance-enhancing drug (PED)

32. Tax pros CPAS
Certified public accountant (CPA)

33. London native, informally BRIT
The terms “United Kingdom”, “Great Britain” and “England” can sometimes be confused. The official use of “United Kingdom” originated in 1707 with the Acts of Union that declared the countries of England and Scotland as “United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain”. The name changed again with the Acts of Union 1800 that created the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” (much to the chagrin of most of the Irish population). This was partially reversed in 1927 when the current name was introduced, the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, in recognition of an independent Irish Free State in the south of the island of Ireland. There was much speculation about the future of the UK’s “name” as the referendum on the independence of Scotland loomed in 2014. That discussion died out when the Scots voted to remain part of the UK.

London is the largest metropolitan area in the whole of the European Union (and one of my favorite cities in the world). London has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years and was founded as a town by the Romans who named it Londinium. The name “Londinium” may have existed prior to the arrival of the Romans, and no one seems too sure of its origins. Famously, the City of London is a one-square-mile area at the center of the metropolis, the area that marked old medieval London. “The City”, as it is commonly called, has its own Mayor of the City of London (the Mayor of London is someone else), and it’s own City of London Police Force (the London Metropolitan Police are the police usually seen on the streets, a different force).

34. Fizz in a gin fizz SODA
By definition, a cocktail known as a Fizz includes lemon or lime juice and carbonated water. The most popular of the genre is the Gin Fizz, made from 3 parts gin, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and 5 parts soda water. There is also a variant known as a sloe gin fizz.

36. __ Aires BUENOS
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, located on the estuary of the Ria de la Plata. As a port city, the people of Buenos Aires are known as porteños (“people of the port”).

39. Dictator Amin IDI
Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda Amin joined his country’s military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies, Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country’s president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. Amin died in 2003.

40. Canadian prov. bordering Vt. QUE
The name “Québec” comes from an Algonquin word “kebec” meaning “where the river narrows”. This refers to the area around Quebec City where the St. Lawrence River narrows as it flows through a gap lined by steep cliffs.

The name “Vermont” probably comes from the French “les Verts Monts”, meaning “The Green Mountains”.

50. Biblical prophet MICAH
The Book of Micah is one of twelve books in the Bible written by the so-called minor prophets. The name “Micah” translates into English from Hebrew as “Who is like God?”

52. “Steppenwolf” author Hermann HESSE
Hermann Hesse was not only a novelist, but also a poet and a painter. Hesse’s best-known work is probably his 1927 novel “Steppenwolf”.

53. Part of Q.E.D. ERAT
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED acronym stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

54. Miner’s bonanza LODE
A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The “mother lode” is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

A ”bonanza” is a mine with a rich pocket of ore that can be exploited. “Bonanza” is the Spanish word for a rich lode, and we imported the term into English. “Bonanza” originally meant “fair weather at sea”, and from that came to mean “prosperity, good fortune”. Ultimately, “bonanza” comes from the Latin “bonus” meaning “good”.

56. Civil suit cause TORT
The word “tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. Tort law is generally about negligence, when the action of one party causes injury to another but that action falls outside of the scope of criminal law.

58. Gay Nineties and Roaring Twenties ERAS
When looking back at the 1890s, here in America we sometimes refer to the era as the Gay Nineties. The term is associated with a time of emerging wealth in the days before income taxes were permanently levied on citizens. Back in the British Isles, the same decade is known as the Naughty Nineties, days of society scandals and the outrageous antics of the likes of Oscar Wilde.

The 1920s are often called the Roaring Twenties, a period of dynamic change across all aspects of life. Things were finally returning to normal after WWI, jazz became popular, some women “broke the mold” by becoming “flappers”, and Art Deco flourished. The whole decade came to a tragic end with the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and was followed by the Great Depression.

Share today’s solution with a friend:
FacebookTwitterGoogleEmail

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Light fog MIST
5. “No ifs, __ …” ANDS
9. Italian city known for a shroud TURIN
14. __’acte ENTR
15. Come in last LOSE
16. Have __ in the hole AN ACE
17. Make laugh in a big way SLAY
18. *Pickled peppers picker PETER PIPER
20. Deodorant choice AEROSOL
22. Raised one’s glass to TOASTED
23. Play lightly, as a guitar STRUM
24. Greek X’s CHIS
25. Walked stealthily TIPTOED
28. Bandleader Artie SHAW
32. TV network with an eye logo CBS
35. Reclined LAIN
36. 1970s New York mayor Abe BEAME
37. *Miss Manners’ concern PROPER ETIQUETTE
41. Classroom assistants AIDES
42. In unison, in music A DUE
43. Paranormal ability, for short ESP
44. MD’s “pronto” STAT
45. Very, very old ANCIENT
48. Mailbox opening SLOT
49. Energy OOMPH
53. Proud member of a select group ELITIST
57. Breathe RESPIRE
59. *Clog-clearing company ROTO-ROOTER
61. Some old radios RCAS
62. Love to pieces ADORE
63. Grandkid spoiler, often NANA
64. Cookie grain OATS
65. Clearing-in-the-woods shelters TENTS
66. Breaks off ENDS
67. Water slide user’s cry WHEE!

Down
1. Flat-topped lands MESAS
2. Coastline recess INLET
3. Fab Four drummer Ringo STARR
4. *Compete, as for a role TRY OUT
5. Purina dog food brand ALPO
6. Christmas carol NOEL
7. Annual reason to reset clocks: Abbr. DST
8. Do a slow burn SEETHE
9. Spanish appetizers TAPAS
10. Les États-__ UNIS
11. Hanging on every word RAPT
12. Slurpee alternative ICEE
13. “The Big Bang Theory” type NERD
19. __ rage: PED user’s aggression ROID
21. Expresses happiness SMILES
24. Address book entry CONTACT
26. Golf goal PAR
27. Even score TIE
28. Understand SEE
29. Detest HATE
30. Pts. and qts., for two AMTS
31. Cry one’s eyes out WEEP
32. Tax pros CPAS
33. London native, informally BRIT
34. Fizz in a gin fizz SODA
36. __ Aires BUENOS
38. Shelter adoptee PET
39. Dictator Amin IDI
40. Canadian prov. bordering Vt. QUE
45. “Just want to add …” ALSO …
46. Nary a soul NOT ONE
47. *Typewriter area, letterwise, for the answers to starred clues TOP ROW
48. Stable studs SIRES
50. Biblical prophet MICAH
51. Chatter endlessly PRATE
52. “Steppenwolf” author Hermann HESSE
53. Part of Q.E.D. ERAT
54. Miner’s bonanza LODE
55. “Bring __!”: “Let’s fight!” IT ON
56. Civil suit cause TORT
57. Tear violently REND
58. Gay Nineties and Roaring Twenties ERAS
60. Almond-colored TAN

Return to top of page

7 thoughts on “LA TImes Crossword Answers 21 Sep 15, Monday”

  1. Fairly weird grid for a Monday. Definitely some strange things afoot, enough I would say the content of the answers makes it more fitting for a Wednesday or Thursday. Got through it except for 49-Across. That got confusing enough for me between it (I guess it's an expression more for the 50-60+ set?) and 51 and 52 Down. So I had to look it up. 1 error.

  2. Pretty nice grid by Monday standards. I thought it was a particularly clever theme, and I missed the second part of it with TOP ROW itself being typed only on the top row. SE corner was a little tricky. WHEE? Why wouldn't it be WEEE? Is there an official spelling of that sound?

    UK, Great Britain, England…it's all confusing. I'm still unsure of the difference, if any, of Great Britain and the UK. I think I get the England part….

    Best –

  3. Very nice and enjoyable puzzle. Thats what I love about MOndays.

    Bill, Thanks for the difference between UK, Great Britain and England.
    so, England + Wales + Scotland = Great Britain ….. the whole island.
    England + Wales + Scotland … + Northern Ireland = United Kingdom

    Similar to Holland ( a couple of districts – ) and the Netherlands.

    I'll try not to forget.

    I thought PED was short for Pedometer or pedestrian. I wondered why a pedestrian should show road rage. Learnt something. I use a pedometer when out for my daily walks – our insurance company 'pays' us $ 160 a quarter to keep in good shape …. which means 12,000 steps a day.

    Have a good day, folks.

  4. Did not get ROID. A young fellow hereabouts killed hid parents, farmers, during one of these episodes.

    Pretty neat idea for a puzzle. It seems the TOP ROW gets most of the vowels, though.

    @Vidwan – always good info from you!

  5. Other TOPROW words I found:

    pirouette
    top priority
    trooper
    true power
    you twerp
    power
    prettier
    porter
    quipper
    quote
    rupture

    Interesting theme for a Monday…easy, but well done.

  6. Easy stuff, nicely done. Wish I were clever enough to come up with my comments using just TOP ROW letters! ^Not bloody likely!^ 😀
    @Jeff, absolutely it must be spelled WHEE!! The H is pronounced.
    Here's my joke for today, tho it's not as sophisticated as Jeff's famous "irony" joke from last week:
    –What did the snail say as he rode on the turtle's back?

    –"WHEE!!"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.