LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Sep 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Fred Piscop
THEME: It’s All about Me … each of today’s themed answers spans the whole grid, and each refers to “me”. Progressing down the grid, the sequence of references gives us the old expression “Me, myself and I”.

17A. “Am I supposed to take this seriously?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
39A. “Oops, thought you wouldn’t hear that” TALKING TO MYSELF
62A. Nursery rhyme plum finder’s boast WHAT A GOOD BOY AM I!

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Ponzi scheme, e.g. SCAM
Charles Ponzi was born in Luigi, Italy in 1882 and arrived in the US in 1903, flat broke having gambled away all his money on the voyage to Boston. Ponzi devised a scheme to buy what were known as “international reply coupons” through friends in Italy, which he had sent to him in the US so that he could redeem them on this side of the Atlantic. As the value in the US was greater than that in Italy, he could make a handsome profit. This was in itself an “illegal” transaction, buying an asset in one market at a low price, then immediately selling it in another market at a higher price. But it’s what he did next that became known as a Ponzi Scheme. He couldn’t redeem his coupons quickly enough due to red tape so he approached other investors, initially friends, and had them give him cash so that he could buy more coupons in Italy. He promised the investors he would double their money, which they did initially. Many people wanted to get in on the scheme seeing that Ponzi was able to make the new investors a profit and double the money of the original investors. Eventually, somebody did the math and word started to get out that the investment was risky, so the number of new investors started to fall. Without sufficient new investors Ponzi couldn’t double the money of his latest investors, and the whole scheme unraveled.

5. Diplomat’s specialty TACT
The use of the word “diplomacy” in the context of international relations, didn’t start until the 18th century. The term arose from the Latin “diplomaticus”, which was the name given to a collection of international treaties, the texts thereof. Our word “diploma” comes from Greek via Latin, with an original meaning of “state or official document”. The Greek word “diploma” described a license or a chart, and originally meant a “paper doubled over” from “diploos” the word for “double”.

14. Word of amore CARA
“Dear” (cara) is a word spoken with love (amore), in Italian.

15. Worker protection org. OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

16. Wheel spokes, geometrically RADII
“Radius” (plural “radii”) is a Latin word, as one might expect, meaning “spoke of a wheel”. Makes sense, huh …?

20. Catholic sacrament of confession and forgiveness PENANCE
A member of the Roman Catholic church can participate in the sacrament of confession. A penitent confesses to a priest, starting with the words, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been [time period] since my last confession …”

22. LAX posting ETA
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

23. British peer EARL
In Britain, There are five ranks of peer, namely duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron, in descending order.

25. “Alice” diner owner MEL
The TV sitcom “Alice” ran from 1976 to 1985, a story about a widow named Alice who takes a job at Mel’s Diner. The show was based on a very successful 1974 movie called “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” directed by Martin Scorsese (his first Hollywood production) and starring Ellen Burstyn and Kris Kristofferson.

26. Cloistered sister NUN
Cloisters are usually such beautifully peaceful areas. They are found as part of religious buildings in particular. Cloisters are rectangular open spaces surrounded by covered walkways that are attached to other structures. Cloisters originally provided a place for monks to take some exercise, without having to leave the confines of the building. This led to our contemporary usage of “cloistered” to mean “sheltered, secluded from the world”.

27. Four-song discs, briefly EPS
An extended play record (EP) contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

44. Bill’s attorney general JANET
Janet Reno was Attorney General of the US from 1993 to 2001. Reno was the person to hold the office second longest, and was our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life.

45. __ estate REAL
In the world of law, there are two main classes of property: personal property and real property. Personal property is basically movable property. Real property is immovable, such as land or buildings and related assets.

47. Estonia or Ukr., once SSR
Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea, due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe, a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English we often call the country “the” Ukraine, but I am told that we should just say “Ukraine”.

48. Ten, in Toulouse DIX
Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, and is located in the southwest of the country. These days, Toulouse is noted as home to the Airbus headquarters and is known as the center of the European aerospace industry.

49. Tuna in a sushi bar AHI
Yellowfin tuna is usually marketed as “ahi”, its Hawaiian name. Yellowfin tuna is one big fish, often weighing over 300 pounds.

51. Shortest-shadows time NOON
Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in Ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

53. “Liquor not provided” letters BYO
Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)

60. Aged at the brewery LAGERED
Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

62. Nursery rhyme plum finder’s boast WHAT A GOOD BOY AM I!

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said ‘What a good boy am I!

Down
2. Insertion mark CARET
The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

4. Early Yucatán settler MAYA
The Maya civilization held sway in Central America and Mexico from about 350 AD until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s.

The Yucatán is one of Mexico’s 31 states, and is located in the east of the country, on the northern tip of the Yucatán peninsula.

5. Bird on a Froot Loops box TOUCAN
Toucan Sam is the mascot of Kellogg’s Froot Loops breakfast cereal, and he can be seen on the front of every box. Froot Loops have been manufactured by Kellogg’s since 1963. The little loops come in different colors, originally red, orange and yellow, but now there are green, purple and blue loops as well. Notice I said “different colors” not “different flavors”. Each loop tastes the same, so I wonder where the color comes from …?

6. “Jeopardy!” contestant ASKER
The theme music that plays for 30 seconds during the final round of the game show “Jeopardy!” is called “Think!”. The tune was composed by the show’s creator Merv Griffin, and was originally a lullaby for his son that he called “A Time for Tony”.

7. Windy City station, on Amtrak skeds CHI
An Amtrak schedule (sked) might give the time for a train to Chicago (Chi.)

It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname as the “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. First that the weather can be breezy, with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

8. Little boys TADS
Back in the 1800s “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this morphed into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

13. Cola request from a calorie watcher DIET
Diet Coke is a sugar-free version of Coca Cola that was introduced back in 1982. If you drink Diet Coke around the world, you’ll receive a slightly different drink depending on where you are. Various artificial sweeteners are banned as health risks in various countries, so Coke varies its formulation to comply with local laws.

18. Blood bank quantity ONE UNIT
Prior to 1915, blood transfusions were carried out directly, from a vein of the donor, into a vein of the recipient. All that changed pretty quickly when it was discovered that sodium citrate could be added to blood to stop it coagulating. Soon, it was clear that refrigerated blood treated with an anti-coagulant could be stored, and blood “depots” were created in Britain during WWI. The term “blood bank” was first used in 1937, to describe the store of blood kept in the Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

19. Chinese appetizer DIM SUM
Dim sum is a Chinese cuisine made up of small portions of various dishes. The tradition of serving dim sum is associated with the serving of tea, when small delicacies were offered to travelers and guests along with tea as a refreshment. The name “dim sum” translates as “touch the heart” implying that dim sum is not a main meal, just a snack “that touches the heart”.

31. Old King or Nat King COLE

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

Nat King Cole’s real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn’t pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all – the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

33. Marquee name STAR
A marquee is a large sign that is placed over the entrance to a theater. The marquee usually displays the names of the film or play currently showing.

34. Button on a deli scale TARE
“Tare” is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

35. __ Romeo: sports car ALFA
The “Alfa” in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

41. Jazz band instrument SAX
The saxophone was invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

46. Foam-topped coffeehouse drinks LATTES
The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

52. Any Everly Brothers tune, now OLDIE
The Everly Brothers are noted for their steel guitar sound, and their great use of harmony. Their harmony onstage wasn’t reflected off the stage though. In 1973 the brothers decided to pursue separate careers and scheduled a farewell performance attended by many fans, family and stalwarts from the music industry. Don Everly came on stage too drunk to perform, and eventually brother Phil just stormed off into the wings, smashing his guitar as he left. The boys didn’t talk to each other for ten years after that incident. Phil Everly passed away in January 2014.

53. Curtain call cry BRAVO!
To express appreciation for a male performer at an operatic performance, traditionally one calls out “bravo!”. Appreciation for a female performer is shown by using “brava!”, and for more than one performer by using “bravi!”

54. Red Sea country YEMEN
Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, lying just south of Saudi Arabia and west of Oman. Yemen is the only state on the peninsula that is a republic (its official name is the Republic of Yemen). Everyone over the age of 18 gets to vote, but only Muslims can hold elected office.

The Red Sea (sometimes called the Arabian Gulf) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

55. Pindar, notably ODIST
Pindar was an Ancient Greek poet, best known perhaps for composing a series of Victory Odes that celebrated triumph in competition, most notably the Olympian Games of the day.

58. “Minnesota” pool legend FATS
Minnesota Fats was the nickname adopted by professional pool player Rudolf Wanderone. The original Minnesota Fats was a character in the Walter Tevis novel “The Hustler”, played in the 1961 film adaptation by Jackie Gleason. Prior to the release of the film, Wanderone had been using the name “New York Fats”. A story emerged that the character “Fats” in the book and movie had been inspired by Wanderone, and so Wanderone stopped using “New York Fats” to become “Minnesota Fats”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Ponzi scheme, e.g. SCAM
5. Diplomat’s specialty TACT
9. Tire pattern TREAD
14. Word of amore CARA
15. Worker protection org. OSHA
16. Wheel spokes, geometrically RADII
17. “Am I supposed to take this seriously?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
20. Catholic sacrament of confession and forgiveness PENANCE
21. Least healthy SICKEST
22. LAX posting ETA
23. British peer EARL
25. “Alice” diner owner MEL
26. Cloistered sister NUN
27. Four-song discs, briefly EPS
29. Cut with acid ETCH
33. Post-spill carpet spot STAIN
36. Clean vigorously SCRUB
38. Weed chopper HOE
39. “Oops, thought you wouldn’t hear that” TALKING TO MYSELF
42. Pound sound ARF!
43. Lugged TOTED
44. Bill’s attorney general JANET
45. __ estate REAL
47. Estonia or Ukr., once SSR
48. Ten, in Toulouse DIX
49. Tuna in a sushi bar AHI
51. Shortest-shadows time NOON
53. “Liquor not provided” letters BYO
56. Starts to melt SOFTENS
60. Aged at the brewery LAGERED
62. Nursery rhyme plum finder’s boast WHAT A GOOD BOY AM I!
64. Started the pot ANTED
65. Shipping option RAIL
66. Nights of anticipatory revelry EVES
67. Like poorly drained rock gardens MOSSY
68. Family map TREE
69. Word of admonition DON’T

Down
1. Suffix with land or sea -SCAPE
2. Insertion mark CARET
3. Sports venue ARENA
4. Early Yucatán settler MAYA
5. Bird on a Froot Loops box TOUCAN
6. “Jeopardy!” contestant ASKER
7. Windy City station, on Amtrak skeds CHI
8. Little boys TADS
9. Split second TRICE
10. Rub the wrong way RANKLE
11. Slight advantage EDGE
12. Gets in one’s sights, with “at” AIMS
13. Cola request from a calorie watcher DIET
18. Blood bank quantity ONE UNIT
19. Chinese appetizer DIM SUM
24. Speaker’s stand LECTERN
26. Suffix with no-good -NIK
28. Cattle poker PROD
30. In those days THEN
31. Old King or Nat King COLE
32. Test the weight of HEFT
33. Marquee name STAR
34. Button on a deli scale TARE
35. __ Romeo: sports car ALFA
36. Superiors of cpls. SGTS
37. “Heavens to Betsy!” BY JINGO!
40. Snooping (around) NOSING
41. Jazz band instrument SAX
46. Foam-topped coffeehouse drinks LATTES
48. Not impossible DOABLE
50. Intoxicating, as wine HEADY
52. Any Everly Brothers tune, now OLDIE
53. Curtain call cry BRAVO!
54. Red Sea country YEMEN
55. Pindar, notably ODIST
56. Did pool laps SWAM
57. “It can’t be!” OH NO!
58. “Minnesota” pool legend FATS
59. Place in order SORT
61. Gave the once-over EYED
63. Rowboat mover OAR

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Sep 15, Tuesday”

  1. DNF, because of 19-Down, 36-Across, 37-Down. Never heard of the two down things in my life, and most around me don't know.

  2. I felt sluggish after a long weekend away, but I finished. I just felt out of sorts the entire puzzle. Agreed – BYJINGO??? TRICE was new to me as well.

    I was at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis over the weekend and it was stated that the structure could never be built in this day and age because of OSHA reguations. For the record – no one was killed or injured in the construction process..despite urban myth to the contrary.

    I didn't do the Saturday or Sunday puzzles, but they looked daunting. I may try them at some point during the week.

    Best –

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed the UTube of Oh By Jingo and looked up the phrase. Apparently it goes back as far as 1694 as a euphemism for "by Jesus". Among the interesting tidbits in Wikipedia is this:

    The chorus of an 1878 song [3] by G. H. MacDermott (singer) and George William Hunt (songwriter) commonly sung in pubs and music halls of the Victorian era gave birth to the term "jingoism". The song was written in response to the surrender of Plevna to Russia during the Russo-Turkish War, by which the road to Constantinople was open. The lyrics had the chorus:

    We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do,
    We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too,
    We've fought the Bear before, and while we're Britons true,
    The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

  4. I seem to have a hazy memory of the actor Walter Brennan, who always seemed to play the grandpa, saying "By Jingo!" in times of stress or excitment.

    Had TALK FOR TACT AND KIDS FOR TADS until I figured out Osha. Hey, it worked for me!
    Matt

  5. Hello friends, did, completed and loved todays puzzle – despite orders not to read the computer. Had some non-postpone-able eye surgery yesterday, and now under a heavy dosage of cortico-steroids, other merely ordinary steroids, methyl prednisolone and the regular prednisolone and other cute names like moxi-floxacin ( I am not msking this up – ) and Brinzolamide – all in teeny tiny droppers at stupendous markups.

    If you want to make a ton of money – buy Alcon stock.

    I hope to rejoin your merry band, by the weekendm or next Monday. The show must go on.

  6. Easy puzzle, altho I started off slowly, blanking on CARET. And I don't see SCAPE (LOL) as a suffix, really.
    I remember OH BY JINGO as part of a VERY old David Bowie song.
    Thanks for the link, Pookie!
    @Vidwan, take care of yourself. We'll hold down the fort if you miss a few days…:-D

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