LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Oct 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ron Toth & C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Start to Grasp … each of today’s themed answers starts with a synonym of “grasp”.

17A. *Strapless handbag CLUTCH PURSE
38A. *Party favors holder GRAB BAG
63A. Warning in a roller coaster, and a hint to the first words of the answers to starred clues HANG ON TIGHT!
10D. *Runner-on-third play SQUEEZE BUNT
25D. *Carpe diem SEIZE THE DAY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Frozen treat shown on its package with syrup EGGO
Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced the original name chosen, which was “Froffles”, created by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

10. Sunscreen letters SPF
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

13. Maxwell House decaf brand SANKA
The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …

15. From Taiwan, say ASIAN
Prior to 1945, the island that we know today as Taiwan was called “Formosa”, the Portuguese word for “beautiful”. Portuguese sailors gave the island this name when they spotted it in 1544. The official name for the state of Taiwan is the “Republic of China”.

16. On the __ vive: alert QUI
“On the qui vive” is a phrase that means “on the alert”. The term “qui vive?” is French for “(long) live who?” and was used as a challenge by a sentry to determine what loyalty a person had.

19. www address URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

26. Carolyn who created Nancy Drew KEENE
The “Nancy Drew” mystery stories were produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The founder of the Syndicate hired a team of writers to produce the “Nancy Drew” novels, but listed the author of each book as the fictional Carolyn Keene.

28. Home __: Lowe’s rival DEPOT
The Home Depot is the largest home improvement retail chain in the US, ahead of Lowe’s. Home Depot opened their first two stores in 1979. The average store size if just over 100,000 square feet. The largest Home Depot outlet is in Union, New Jersey, and it is 225,000 square feet in size. That’s a lot of nuts and bolts …

32. Old Russian autocrat CZAR
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

44. __ Field: Brooklyn Dodgers’ home EBBETS
Ebbets Field was home to the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 to 1957. The stadium was also home to three NFL teams: the NY Brickley Giants (1921), the Brooklyn Lions (1926) and the Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers (1930-1944)

46. Piano practice piece ETUDE
An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

48. Sagan’s sci. ASTR
Carl Sagan was a brilliant astrophysicist and a great communicator. Sagan was famous for presenting obscure concepts about the cosmos in such a way that we mere mortals could appreciate. He also wrote the novel “Contact” which was adapted into a fascinating 1997 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster.

58. Pizza seasoning OREGANO
Oregano is a perennial herb that is in the mint family. Also known as wild marjoram, oregano is very much associated with the cuisine of southern Italy. Oregano’s popularity surged in the US when soldiers returning from WWII in Europe brought with them an affinity for what they called “the pizza herb”.

68. Org. for shrinks APA
American Psychiatric Association (APA)

69. Fur fortune-maker ASTOR
John Jacob Astor was the father of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

Down
3. Bearded antelope GNU
A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is actually the Dutch word for “wild beast”.

4. Bavarian “fest” month OKTOBER
Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to attend Oktoberfest twice, and it really is a great party …

5. Novelist du Maurier DAPHNE
Dame Daphne du Maurier was an author and playwright from England. My guess is that du Maurier’s most famous works are the novel “Rebecca” and the short story “The Birds”. Both “Rebecca” and “The Birds” were adapted into famous movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

6. Ames sch. ISU
Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable events, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

7. “What can I help you with?” iPhone app SIRI
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett recently revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

10. *Runner-on-third play SQUEEZE BUNT
In baseball, a squeeze play (also “squeeze bunt”) is one in which a batter bunts the ball expecting to be thrown out at first, but gives a runner at third base a chance to score. In a safety squeeze the runner at third waits to see where the bunt is going before heading for home. In a suicide squeeze, the runner heads home as soon as the pitcher throws the ball.

11. Dog Chow maker PURINA
Purina’s Dog Chow was introduced to the market in 1957, and by 1959 was the leading brand of dog food in the US.

22. Nero Wolfe and Sam Spade, briefly TECS
“Tec” is a slang term for a private detective, a private investigator (PI).

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

Private detective Sam Spade is the main character in Dashiell Hammett’s novel “The Maltese Falcon”. Famously, Spade was played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film adaptation directed by John Huston.

24. “Off the Court” author Arthur ASHE
“Off the Court” is a 1981 autobiography by tennis player Arthur Ashe. The book deals with Ashe’s life off the court including his involvement in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

25. *Carpe diem SEIZE THE DAY
“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of Ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”.

29. Blue Ribbon brewer PABST
Pabst Blue Ribbon is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

30. Horseplayer’s letters OTB
Off-Track Betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

34. CIA Cold War foe KGB
The Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d’état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

39. NFL official REF
Back in the early 17th century, a “referee” was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

47. “The Waste Land” poet TS ELIOT
Eliot wrote his poem called “The Waste Land” in 1922. “The Waste Land” opens with the famous line, “April is the cruellest month …”.

49. High-ranking angel SERAPH
A seraph is a celestial being found in Hebrew and Christian writings. The word “seraph” (plural “seraphim”) literally translates as “burning one”. Seraphs are the highest-ranking angels in the Christian tradition, and the fifth-ranking of ten in the Jewish tradition.

51. “Play another song!” ENCORE!
“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

52. Singer Celine DION
French-Canadienne singer Céline Dion first came to international attention when she won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, in which she represented Switzerland in the competition that was hosted in Dublin, Ireland.

55. Persian faith that promotes spiritual unity BAHA’I
The Baha’i faith is relatively new in the grand scheme of things, and was founded in Persia in the 1800s. One of the tenets of the religion is that messengers have come from God over time, including Abraham, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and most recently Bahá’u’lláh who founded the Baha’i Faith.

57. Perfume giant COTY
Coty is a producer of beauty products that was founded in 1904 in Paris. Coty went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013, raising $1 billion in capital.

59. Poet Ogden NASH
The poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Here’s a favorite of mine:

With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

64. George Bush’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”.

66. Dance for teens in socks HOP
Sock hops were high school dances typically held in the school gym or cafeteria. The term “sock hop” originated because the dancers were often required to remove their shoes to protect the varnished floor in the gym.

67. Fight ender, briefly TKO
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Frozen treat shown on its package with syrup EGGO
5. Computer storage media DISCS
10. Sunscreen letters SPF
13. Maxwell House decaf brand SANKA
15. From Taiwan, say ASIAN
16. On the __ vive: alert QUI
17. *Strapless handbag CLUTCH PURSE
19. www address URL
20. “Whoops!” OH-OH!
21. “Get this away from me” I HATE IT
23. Former great HAS-BEEN
26. Carolyn who created Nancy Drew KEENE
27. “Aha!” I SEE!
28. Home __: Lowe’s rival DEPOT
32. Old Russian autocrat CZAR
33. Neglect, as duty SHIRK
35. “Ten-hut!” reversal AT EASE!
37. “Oh yeah? __ who?” SEZ
38. *Party favors holder GRAB BAG
41. Physique, briefly BOD
44. __ Field: Brooklyn Dodgers’ home EBBETS
46. Piano practice piece ETUDE
48. Sagan’s sci. ASTR
50. Wined and dined FETED
53. Frosty flakes SNOW
54. Physical therapy, briefly REHAB
56. “Better luck next time!” NICE TRY!
58. Pizza seasoning OREGANO
61. Like much fall weather COOL
62. Very angry MAD
63. Warning in a roller coaster, and a hint to the first words of the answers to starred clues HANG ON TIGHT!
68. Org. for shrinks APA
69. Fur fortune-maker ASTOR
70. “Everything all right?” YOU OK?
71. Introverted SHY
72. Start of a wish I HOPE …
73. Texter’s goof TYPO

Down
1. PC undo key ESC
2. 65-Down’s lass GAL
3. Bearded antelope GNU
4. Bavarian “fest” month OKTOBER
5. Novelist du Maurier DAPHNE
6. Ames sch. ISU
7. “What can I help you with?” iPhone app SIRI
8. __ cow: big income producer CASH
9. Go furtively SNEAK
10. *Runner-on-third play SQUEEZE BUNT
11. Dog Chow maker PURINA
12. Coffeemaker insert FILTER
14. Workout woe ACHE
18. Cleared weeds, say HOED
22. Nero Wolfe and Sam Spade, briefly TECS
23. Snake’s sound HISS
24. “Off the Court” author Arthur ASHE
25. *Carpe diem SEIZE THE DAY
29. Blue Ribbon brewer PABST
30. Horseplayer’s letters OTB
31. Herbal brew TEA
34. CIA Cold War foe KGB
36. Mellow, as wine AGE
39. NFL official REF
40. Consumed ATE
42. Smell ODOR
43. Damp at dawn DEWY
45. Blow one’s own horn BRAG
47. “The Waste Land” poet TS ELIOT
48. Kitchen allures AROMAS
49. High-ranking angel SERAPH
51. “Play another song!” ENCORE!
52. Singer Celine DION
55. Persian faith that promotes spiritual unity BAHA’I
57. Perfume giant COTY
59. Poet Ogden NASH
60. Not fooled by ONTO
64. George Bush’s org. GOP
65. 2-Down’s fellow GUY
66. Dance for teens in socks HOP
67. Fight ender, briefly TKO

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5 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Oct 15, Monday”

  1. Pretty good effort for a Monday – just enought challenge to keep it interesting but still very doable. OHOH should really be UH OH. Isn't that what we really "say" to mean "whoops"? OH OH would be the last two letters of a word like "tattoo".

    TS Eliot went to my high school in St Louis…but NOT at the same time. It had a different name back then, but we claim him anyway.

    Interesting etymology of ref/referee. I had never heard any of that before or for that matter even thought about it. Highlight of the puzzle.

    I was at an ATM yesterday and at the end of the transaction I saw the instruction "To exit press 'ENTER'." Yikes. I can't make this stuff up….

    Best-

  2. OK for a Monday, with theme answers going across and down. Puzzles usually avoid some of the generic crossfill when two people collaborate on its construction, and this is no exception.

  3. SPF,ESC,QUI,URL,SEZ,BOD,ASTR,APA,ESC,ISU,TECS,OTB,KGB,REF,GOP,TKO…!!!!
    How does a slog like this even get published?
    Agree with Jeff on UH-OH.
    17A Strapless handBAG
    38A grabBAG.
    A GRAB BAG is NOT a party favor.
    It is a bag that holds many small gifts and that you reach into in order to pull one out without knowing what it is.
    SQUEEZE BUNT is ridiculous.
    Ever hear Vin Scully call it a squeeze bunt?
    0, I say ZERO stars for me.

  4. Nice and easy puzzle for a Monday.

    Another interesting remark from Jeff. Just like an IRS tax info message,'To continue in English, press one'. Huh ?

    Winters acoming, and the geese are getting fat …. I think.

    Have a great happy day, all.

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