LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Sep 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski
THEME: Do the Splits … each of today’s themed answers starts with something that is often SPLIT:

62A. Perform a cheerleader’s feat, and a hint to what 17-, 23-, 40- and 50-Across’ first words have in common DO THE SPLITS

17A. Sensible LEVELHEADED (giving “split-level”)
23A. Actor’s tryout SCREEN TEST (giving “split screen”)
40A. Romantic anniversary getaway SECOND HONEYMOON (giving “split second”)
50A. Concert memento TICKET STUB (giving “split ticket”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Alabama civil rights march city SELMA
The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day.

14. Send to seventh heaven ELATE
In cosmology associated with some religious traditions, the universe is said to be made up of Seven Heavens. The highest of these is the “seventh heaven”.

16. Drain-clearing chemical LYE
What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

19. Alias, for short AKA
Also known as (aka)

20. Private school attendee PREPPIE
A “preppy” is a student or graduate of a preparatory school. Such a school is designed to prepare students for college, and is often private and expensive in terms of fees.

21. Actor Rob of “90210” ESTES
Rob Estes is the actor who played Harry Wilson on the TV show “90210” and Kyle McBride on “Melrose Place”.

27. Padlocked fasteners HASPS
A hasp might be a clasp on a door that slips over a looped staple so that it might be fastened with say a padlock.

35. Wheel tooth COG
A “cog” is a gear tooth.

40. Romantic anniversary getaway SECOND HONEYMOON (giving “split second”)
The concept of a honeymoon vacation only started in the early 1800s. In Britain, wealthy couples would take a “bridal tour” together after wedding, visiting those friends and relatives who could not attend the ceremony. The etymology of “honeymoon” isn’t very clear, and may even have a negative derivation as it might suggest that the sweetness (honey) of love is doomed to wane like a passing phase of the moon. The equivalent terms in some other languages are “moon of honey” (French), “honey month” (Welsh) and “tinsel week” (German).

43. 1970s-’80s sketch show SCTV
“Second City Television” (SCTV) is a sketch show that was produced in Canada from 1976 to 1984.

46. “Full House” acting twins OLSENS
I know very little about the Olsen twins, but I am told that folks believe Mary-Kate and Ashley to be identical twins. They look very much alike, but are in fact fraternal twins. The sisters were cast as Michelle Tanner on the eighties sitcom “Full House”, taking turns playing the role.

49. January, to Juan ENERO
In Spanish, the year (el año) starts in January (enero) and ends in December (diciembre).

50. Concert memento TICKET STUB (giving “split ticket”)
Split-ticket voting can happen when a voter chooses a candidate from one party for one office, and a candidate from a different party for another office, all on the same ballot (ticket).

54. Irish actor Milo O’SHEA
Milo O’Shea was a great Irish character actor from Dublin who has appeared in everything from “Romeo and Juliet” to “The West Wing”. Sadly, O’Shea passed away in 2013, in New York City.

55. Hopi homes PUEBLOS
A pueblo is a Native American village, a term used in the American Southwest. The buildings in a pueblo are usually made of stone and adobe mud.

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

66. Pester for payment DUN
“To dun” is to insist on payment of a debt. The etymology of the term is unclear, with one suggestion that it dates back to a famous debt collector in London named Joe Dun.

67. Bull on a glue container ELMER
Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

68. Assume as fact POSIT
“To posit” is to assume as fact, to lay down as a “position”.

71. Sandwich cheese with ham SWISS
Swiss cheese is a relatively generic term, a type of cheese produced in various countries and not necessarily in Switzerland. What they all have in common though, is a resemblance to the original Swiss Emmental cheese.

Down
1. “SOS!” HELP!
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

2. Robert who played Anthony Soprano Jr. ILER
The actor Robert Iler’s most famous role was A.J., son of mob leader Tony Soprano in HBO’s “The Sopranos”. Apparently Iler’s screen persona has spilled over into his personal life, as he was arrested for armed robbery of two tourists in 2001 (and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge).

9. Cohort of Curly and Larry MOE
If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you’ll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

12. Tricycle riders TYKES
“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

13. Bread-baking need YEAST
Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the Fungi kingdom. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

18. “__ Girl Friday”: 1940 Cary Grant comedy HIS
The wonderful, wonderful actor Cary Grant was born in Bristol in England, and was given the name Archibald Leach. In the 1949 Howard Hawks film “His Girl Friday”, there’s a line where Grant describes the fate suffered by someone who crossed him. He names that person “Archie Leach”, an ad-lib using his real name.

25. North Carolina university ELON
Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

27. Gas brand with collectible toy trucks HESS
The Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them every since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.

30. Egg on PROVOKE
The verb “edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way, “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

31. ID on an IRS form SSN
The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an “identity number” to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, in 1987 seven million dependents “disappeared”.

38. Afrikaans speaker BOER
“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

39. Prefix with skeleton ENDO-
An animal with an endoskeleton has a supporting skeleton inside its body. So, we humans have an endoskeleton. A turtle, on the other hand, has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton, its outer shell.

50. Sycophant TOADY
A sycophant is a selfish person, one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

A “toady” is someone who is very servile, and somewhat of a parasite. Derived from “toad-eater” the term originally applied to the assistant of a “quack”, a seller of useless potions that had no actual benefit to health. The “toady” would eat an apparently poisonous toad in front of an audience, so that the charlatan could “cure” him or her with one of the potions for sale.

53. Urban transport BUS
We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation, an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

56. Omar of “House” EPPS
Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Forman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on “ER”.

58. Italian actress Virna LISI
Virna Lisi is an Italian film actress who made a few movies in Hollywood in the sixties. Lisi appeared opposite Jack Lemmon in the fun movie “How to Murder Your Wife” in 1965, and with Frank Sinatra in “Assault on a Queen” in 1966.

59. Elevator pioneer OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

60. Former Mach 2 fliers, briefly SSTS
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Famously, the Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.

The Mach number of a moving object (like say an airplane) is its speed relative to the speed of sound. A plane travelling at Mach 2, for example, is moving at twice the speed of sound. The term “Mach” takes its name from the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach who published a groundbreaking paper in 1877 that even predicted the “sonic boom”.

63. World Cup cry OLE!
The International Federation of Association Football (“Fédération Internationale de Football Association” in French) is usually referred to by the acronym “FIFA”. FIFA is the governing body of the game of soccer (association football), and the organizer of the FIFA World Cup held every four years.

64. Texter’s “Keep the details to yourself” TMI
Too Much Information (TMI)

65. One in a coop group HEN
An Old English word for basket (“cypa”) started to be used in the 14th century as the word “coop”, meaning a small cage for poultry, a word we still use today.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. __ fit: tantrum HISSY
6. Alabama civil rights march city SELMA
11. Muddy farm abode STY
14. Send to seventh heaven ELATE
15. Earlier PRIOR
16. Drain-clearing chemical LYE
17. Sensible LEVELHEADED (giving “split-level”)
19. Alias, for short AKA
20. Private school attendee PREPPIE
21. Actor Rob of “90210” ESTES
23. Actor’s tryout SCREEN TEST (giving “split screen”)
27. Padlocked fasteners HASPS
32. Maintained, as beliefs HELD TO
33. Extremely EVER SO
35. Wheel tooth COG
36. Judge’s garb ROBE
40. Romantic anniversary getaway SECOND HONEYMOON (giving “split second”)
43. 1970s-’80s sketch show SCTV
44. Letters of obligation IOU
45. Took by force SEIZED
46. “Full House” acting twins OLSENS
49. January, to Juan ENERO
50. Concert memento TICKET STUB (giving “split ticket”)
54. Irish actor Milo O’SHEA
55. Hopi homes PUEBLOS
61. Hard __ rock AS A
62. Perform a cheerleader’s feat, and a hint to what 17-, 23-, 40- and 50-Across’ first words have in common DO THE SPLITS
66. Pester for payment DUN
67. Bull on a glue container ELMER
68. Assume as fact POSIT
69. Up to now YET
70. Curbs, with “in” REINS
71. Sandwich cheese with ham SWISS

Down
1. “SOS!” HELP!
2. Robert who played Anthony Soprano Jr. ILER
3. Keep in reserve SAVE
4. Ladder rung STEP
5. Shrill bark YELP
6. Orator’s delivery SPEECH
7. Chapter in history ERA
8. Jar cover LID
9. Cohort of Curly and Larry MOE
10. Intensely devoted ARDENT
11. List of candidates SLATE
12. Tricycle riders TYKES
13. Bread-baking need YEAST
18. “__ Girl Friday”: 1940 Cary Grant comedy HIS
22. Enter angrily STORM IN
24. Runner-up’s demand RECOUNT
25. North Carolina university ELON
26. Outer margins EDGES
27. Gas brand with collectible toy trucks HESS
28. With, in France AVEC
29. Breakaway religious group SECT
30. Egg on PROVOKE
31. ID on an IRS form SSN
34. Creator of praiseful poems ODIST
37. Move like slime OOZE
38. Afrikaans speaker BOER
39. Prefix with skeleton ENDO-
41. Sod-busting tools HOES
42. “__-haw!” YEE
47. Orchestra conductor, e.g. LEADER
48. Building custodians SUPERS
50. Sycophant TOADY
51. Magazine edition ISSUE
52. Repeated unison rallying cry CHANT
53. Urban transport BUS
56. Omar of “House” EPPS
57. Low __: cheap shot BLOW
58. Italian actress Virna LISI
59. Elevator pioneer OTIS
60. Former Mach 2 fliers, briefly SSTS
63. World Cup cry OLE!
64. Texter’s “Keep the details to yourself” TMI
65. One in a coop group HEN

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2 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Sep 15, Monday”

  1. Is everyone on vacation? Or, I should say, just back from a long weekend away?
    Or perhaps no one has commented besides Glenn and me because there's not much to say about this here puzzle. Easy even by Monday standards, altho I did at first have HEE instead of YEE.
    See you cool cats tomorrow!

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