LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Sep 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Pawel Fludzinski & Amy E. Hamilton
THEME: BCs … each of today’s themed answers is a two-word phrase starting with the letters BC:

66A. Recently retired NCAA football ranking system, and, as a plural, a hint to the answers to starred clues BCS

20A. *Competition won by a knockout? BEAUTY CONTEST
36A. *Certain cutlet BONELESS CHICKEN
53A. *Nonviolent revolution BLOODLESS COUP
4D. *Dressing with Buffalo wings BLUE CHEESE
31D. *Arm-strengthening reps BICEP CURLS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Hardball” station MSNBC
“Hardball with Chris Matthews” is a nightly talk-show about politics, airing on MSNBC. The show’s host, Chris Matthews, is a colorful character. Matthews served with the Peace Corps from 1968 to 1970, in Swaziland in Africa. He has been back to Africa since and found himself hospitalized in 2002, suffering from malaria that he picked up on one of his trips.

6. McCain’s org. GOP
The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

John McCain went into the US Naval Academy in 1958, following a family tradition as his father and grandfather were both four-star admirals. The younger McCain did not achieve the same rank, retiring from the Navy as a captain in 1981, but his career development was interrupted by almost six years spent as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. John McCain has been a US Senator from Arizona since 1987.

9. Mardi Gras mementos BEADS
“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent. Lent starts on the next day, called Ash Wednesday.

14. São __, Brazil PAULO
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. São Paulo is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city’s streets.

15. Body spray brand AXE
Axe is a brand of male toiletries made by Unilever, The same products are sold under the brand name Lynx outside of North America.

16. Baseball Hall of Famer Murray or Mathews EDDIE
First baseman and designated hitter Eddie Murray was nicknamed “Steady Eddie”, and played most of his professional career with the Baltimore Orioles.

18. Irish 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.

19. Jeans accent RIVET
Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (from Nimes) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.

23. Magazine fig. CIRC
A magazine’s sales figures are referred to as its circulation (circ.).

26. Seminary subj. REL
Religion (rel.)

Originally, a “seminary” was where plants were raised from seeds, as “semen” is the Latin for “seed”. The first schools labelled as seminaries were established in the late 1500s. Those first schools were more likely to be academies for young ladies back then, rather than for trainee priests.

27. Kerfuffles HOO-HAS
“Kerfuffle” comes from the Scottish “curfuffle”, with both words meaning “disruption”.

33. Highest North American peak, to natives DENALI
Denali means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language, and is now the name used for Mount McKinley. Denali’s summit stands at 20,237 feet, making it the highest mountain peak in North America. I was surprised to learn that there is a Denali State Park, as well as the Denali National Park. The two are located adjacent to each other (which makes sense!). The State Park is undeveloped for all practical purposes, with just a few campgrounds and trailheads.

43. Slide subject AMOEBA
An ameba (or “amoeba”, as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

47. Turned on LIT
That would be “turning on” or “lighting” a lamp.

52. Corp. bigwigs CEOS
Chief executive officer (CEO)

53. *Nonviolent revolution BLOODLESS COUP
A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.

57. First name on a 1945 bomber ENOLA
The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

58. SoCal team, on scoreboards LAA
The Anaheim Angels are today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LAA). The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim.

59. Athenian with harsh laws DRACO
Constitutional law was brought to Athens and Ancient Greece by a legislator called Draco. The legal code that Draco developed was relatively harsh, which is why we use the term “draconian” to describe unforgiving rules.

65. Deuce beaters TREYS
A trey of clubs, for example, is a name for the three of clubs in a deck of cards. The term “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips.

A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.

66. Recently retired NCAA football ranking system, and, as a plural, a hint to the answers to starred clues BCS
The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was the ranking system used to match up the top ten ranked NCAA football teams for five bowl games. The BCS was abandoned in 2014 with the introduction of the College Football Playoff tournament.

Down
1. U.S. Army cops MPS
The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

2. Encl. with a manuscript SAE
An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

4. *Dressing with Buffalo wings BLUE CHEESE
There are a few stories about how Buffalo wings were first developed, most of them related to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. If you’re looking for Buffalo wings on a menu in Buffalo, you’ll note that in and around the city they’re just referred to as “wings”.

5. Nightclub of song COPA
The Copacabana of song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

6. Brooks of C&W GARTH
Country singer Garth Brooks retired from recording and performing in 2001. He came back out of retirement in 2009, signing a five-year concert deal with the Encore Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

8. Flower child’s parting word PEACE
A flower child is a hippie, especially someone associated with 1967’s Summer of Love in San Francisco.

9. Swiss capital BERN
Bern (or Berne) is the capital city of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

12. Semi-filling liquid DIESEL
There are two main types of internal combustion engine. Most cars in the US use spark injection engines (gasoline engines) in which a spark plug sparks in order to ignite the fuel-air mixture. A diesel engine, on the other hand, has no spark plug per se, and uses the heat generated by compressing the air-fuel mixture to cause ignition.

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

21. Pearl Harbor’s __ Arizona Memorial USS
The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor sits across the sunken hull of the battleship, the resting place of 1,102 out of 1,117 sailors of the Arizona who were killed during the 1941 attack. After the attack, the superstructure of the Arizona protruded above the surface of the water. This was removed during and after WWII, leaving just a submerged hull. The memorial itself was approved by President Eisenhower in 1958, and the building was opened in 1962. In 1999, the battleship USS Missouri was permanently moored in Pearl Harbor, docked nearby and perpendicular to the Arizona. It was on the Missouri that the Japanese surrendered, marking the end of WWII.

22. Personality with an online book club OPRAH
“Oprah’s Book Club” was a segment that started in 1996 on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Each book reviewed was a personal recommendation by Winfrey herself. The first book reviewed was “The Deep End of the Ocean” by Jacquelyn Mitchard. The original book club ended in 2011, but there’s now a reboot known as “Oprah’s Book Club 2.0” that focuses on digital media now that “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is no more.

23. Carp family fish CHUB
There is a whole family of fish called “chubs” including European chubs, lake chubs, hornyhead chub, creek chubs, and a host of others.

24. Prefix with sphere IONO-
The ionosphere is that layer of the atmosphere that is ionized by solar radiation. One of the most important characteristics of the ionosphere is that it reflects radio waves and so is an important factor in the propagation of radio signals over long distance.

28. Go off-script AD LIB
“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar. For example, an actor may substitute his or her own words for forgotten lines using an ad lib, or a director may instruct an actor to use his or her own words at a particular point in a performance to promote a sense of spontaneity.

30. 2005 Bush Supreme Court nominee ALITO
Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

31. *Arm-strengthening reps BICEP CURLS
The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

33. Mil. award DSM
The Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) is the highest (non-valorous) decoration awarded for services to the US military.

35. ATM giant NCR
NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884, originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.

37. Phishing medium EMAIL
Phishing is the name given to the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PIN numbers etc.”

40. Loch near Inverness NESS
Inverness is in effect the capital city of the Scottish Highlands. It is the most northerly city in the whole of the United Kingdom. Inverness sits at the mouth of the River Ness, which flows from the famous Loch Ness.

43. Angels’ slugger Pujols ALBERT
Albert Pujols is a professional baseball player with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Pujols is a native of the Dominican Republic, and moved to the US in 1996.

44. Martin of “Adam-12” MILNER
Martin Milner is a former actor who is best known for playing lead roles on the TV shows “Route 66” and “Adam-12”. Milner is enjoying his retirement in California, as the owner of a productive walnut farm.

“Adam-12” was a cop show that ran on television from the late sixties to the mid-seventies. The story revolved around two LAPD officers, played by Pete Malloy and Jim Reed. The show was created by Jack Webb, famous for his earlier hit, “Dragnet”.

45. “Lawrence of Arabia” Oscar nominee O’TOOLE
Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. But my favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn.

“Lawrence of Arabia” is a 1962 movie that recounts the real life story of T. E. Lawrence, a British army officer famous for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. The title role in the film is played by Irish actor Peter O’Toole. The role of Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish is played by Omar Sharif.

46. 1785-’90 U.S. capital NYC
One might argue that there have been nine “US/American” capitals.

– Philadelphia: where the first Continental Congress was held
– Baltimore: where the Continental Congress met while the British threatened to take over Philadelphia
– Lancaster, Pennsylvania: where the Continental Congress met for just one day after fleeing Philadelphia
– York, Pennsylvania, where the Articles of Confederation were drafted
– Princeton, New Jersey: where the Congress of the Confederation met for several months in 1783
– Annapolis, Maryland: where Congress accepted the resignation of George Washington as commander in chief of the Continental Army
– Trenton, New Jersey: was briefly the nation’s capital, until it was moved further south due to concerns of the southern states
– New York City: where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the US
– Washington, DC: the location chosen for the permanent capital by President George Washington

50. Newton associated with apples, not figs ISAAC
Sir Isaac Newton was one of the most influential people in history, the man who laid the groundwork for all of classical mechanics. The story about an apple falling on his head, inspiring him to formulate his theories about gravity, well that’s not quite true. Newton often told the story about observing an apple falling in his mother’s garden and how this made him acutely aware of the Earth’s gravitational pull. However, he made no mention of the apple hitting him on the head.

The Fig Newton is based on what is actually a very old recipe that dates back to Ancient Egypt. Whereas we grew up with “Fig Rolls” in Ireland, here in America the brand name “Fig Newton” was used, named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts where they were first produced.

51. Exams for future J.D.s LSATS
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.

54. Nivea rival OLAY
Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

Nivea is a brand name of skin-care products from Germany. The Latin word “nivea” means “snow-white”.

56. Old Greek theaters ODEA
In Ancient Greece an odeon (also odeum) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

61. Food scrap ORT
Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Hardball” station MSNBC
6. McCain’s org. GOP
9. Mardi Gras mementos BEADS
14. São __, Brazil PAULO
15. Body spray brand AXE
16. Baseball Hall of Famer Murray or Mathews EDDIE
17. Arrange ahead of time SET UP
18. Irish actor Stephen REA
19. Jeans accent RIVET
20. *Competition won by a knockout? BEAUTY CONTEST
23. Magazine fig. CIRC
25. Easily led sorts SHEEP
26. Seminary subj. REL
27. Kerfuffles HOO-HAS
29. Easily roused crowd RABBLE
32. Single UNWED
33. Highest North American peak, to natives DENALI
36. *Certain cutlet BONELESS CHICKEN
41. Not quite boil SIMMER
42. Grammar class subject TENSE
43. Slide subject AMOEBA
46. Common motel prohibition NO PETS
47. Turned on LIT
48. With no affection ICILY
52. Corp. bigwigs CEOS
53. *Nonviolent revolution BLOODLESS COUP
57. First name on a 1945 bomber ENOLA
58. SoCal team, on scoreboards LAA
59. Athenian with harsh laws DRACO
62. Race with batons RELAY
63. Clean one’s plate EAT
64. Respected church member ELDER
65. Deuce beaters TREYS
66. Recently retired NCAA football ranking system, and, as a plural, a hint to the answers to starred clues BCS
67. Pitcher’s arm, say ASSET

Down
1. U.S. Army cops MPS
2. Encl. with a manuscript SAE
3. Type of ale NUT BROWN
4. *Dressing with Buffalo wings BLUE CHEESE
5. Nightclub of song COPA
6. Brooks of C&W GARTH
7. Daisy variety OXEYE
8. Flower child’s parting word PEACE
9. Swiss capital BERN
10. Revise text EDIT
11. Sooner or later ADVERB
12. Semi-filling liquid DIESEL
13. Come to terms SETTLE
21. Pearl Harbor’s __ Arizona Memorial USS
22. Personality with an online book club OPRAH
23. Carp family fish CHUB
24. Prefix with sphere IONO-
28. Go off-script AD LIB
30. 2005 Bush Supreme Court nominee ALITO
31. *Arm-strengthening reps BICEP CURLS
33. Mil. award DSM
34. L.A.-to-Tucson dir. ESE
35. ATM giant NCR
37. Phishing medium EMAIL
38. Rollerblading safety gear KNEEPADS
39. José’s “this” ESTO
40. Loch near Inverness NESS
43. Angels’ slugger Pujols ALBERT
44. Martin of “Adam-12” MILNER
45. “Lawrence of Arabia” Oscar nominee O’TOOLE
46. 1785-’90 U.S. capital NYC
49. Star CELEB
50. Newton associated with apples, not figs ISAAC
51. Exams for future J.D.s LSATS
54. Nivea rival OLAY
55. Diary pages DAYS
56. Old Greek theaters ODEA
60. Average grade CEE
61. Food scrap ORT

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7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Sep 15, Wednesday”

  1. Fairly decent grid, except for the junk fill in the direct west area (23-Across primarily) and the Natick clue at 3-Down that I had to look up. Other than looking up the Natick clue, zero errors otherwise. Easier grid than Monday and Tuesday.

  2. Pretty straightforward grid except for that central west end. I have to keep reminding myself that these things are hard to make and sometimes you have to force letters in there to make the puzzle work. But HOO HAS was painful. NOT BROWN ale? Who says that? How about pale ale or something.

    Martin Milner just died 3 days ago. I wonder if this was some sort of homage to him. Quite a coincidence if it wasn't.

    For all the work physicists now do to show how incomplete Newtonian physics was/is, it got us to the moon and pretty much made the world as we know it so he could't have beeen all wrong…

    @Vidwan
    Get well soon! And if you're reading this message, DON'T!!

    Best –

  3. @Jeff I think you did the same thing as I did. I spelled 14A
    SAO PAOLO at first. That gave me NOT BROWN also. Then I changed PAOLO to PAULO and got NUT BROWN, which made more sense, even though I know nothing about ale.
    Well, I got through 3 days in a row this week, this one took too much time, but got it!
    Hope Vidwan recovers soon, and yes Jeff, is not reading this.

  4. Over all I enjoyed the puzzle. Unusual for a Wed. Usually on Wednesdays I start thinking abt finding something else to do during breakfast.

    I thought Copacabana referred to the Barry Manilow song.

    Draco is the name of one of the bad guys in the Harry Potter books. Every once in a while I come across a Latin or Greek reference that I recognize from those books and it reminds me that J. K. Rowling studied Classics in college.

    How to Steal a Million is my favorite O'Toole movie too! His line abt giving Givenchy the night off makes me laugh every time.

    Take care, Vidwan, and follow orders. Let someone read the comments to you.

    Bella

  5. Too late – my caregiver is out, – as in, of the house – hence I read.

    I have bubbles of Octoflouropropane C3F8, er. Octo-Flouro – Propane in both eyes , but no Sulfur Hexaflouride. SF6 … yet.

    Also some silicone 'oils', which I can't link, to tapenade (hold-up like a tacky prop) the retinal wallpaper in the back inside surface of my eyes.

    Isn't chemistry wonderful. Have a nut brown ale on me, today, or sometime soon, to celebrate life.

    Later.

  6. I love nut brown ale! Yum. I thought Hoo Has was pretty funny. How do they come up with these? Years and years ago I met a woman named Enola Gay. I think I actually did a double take. 🙂

    Get well soon Vidwan!

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