LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Oct 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Dan Margolis
THEME: Capital Sounds … each of today’s themed answers starts with the name of a nation’ capital, and the whole answer sounds like a common phrase:

17A. Irish city in a recession? DUBLIN DOWN (sounds like “doubling down”)
27A. Result of a Czech checkup? PRAGUENOSIS (sounds like “prognosis”)
47A. North African dieter’s light fare? TUNIS SALADS (sounds like “tuna salads”)
63A. South Korean sailors? SEOUL MATES (sounds like “soul mates”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 27s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Volkswagen Type 1, familiarly BUG
VW stands for Volkswagen, which translates from German into “people’s car”. The original Volkswagen design was the Beetle and was built under a directive from Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car built that ordinary people could afford to purchase. He awarded the contract to engineer Ferdinand Porsche, whose name (paradoxically) would forever be associated with high performance, expensive cars. The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a “Bug” here in the US, and a “Beetle” elsewhere in the world.

4. Yemeni neighbor OMANI
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and 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. Yemen has seen many rebellions over the centuries, and has been suffering through a Shia uprising since February 2015.

9. Old-timey oath EGAD!
“Egad!” developed as a polite way of saying “oh God!” in the late 1600s and is an expression of fear or surprise somewhat like “good grief!”.

13. 1956 Gregory Peck role AHAB
Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

16. University of New Mexico athlete LOBO
The University of New Mexico (UNM) is a school in Albuquerque, founded in 1889. The sports teams of UNM are called the Lobos, and there are two mascots who work the crowds called Lobo Louie and Lobo Lucy.

17. Irish city in a recession? DUBLIN DOWN (sounds like “doubling down”)
The city of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is known as Baile Átha Cliath in Irish (“town of the hurdled ford”). The English name “Dublin” is an anglicized form of the older Irish name for the city, “Dubh Linn” meaning “black pool”.

21. Like dotted musical notes STACCATO
Staccato is a musical direction signifying that notes should be played in a disconnected form. A dot is placed above notes in a score that are to be played in such a manner. The opposite of staccato would be legato, long and continuous notes played very smoothly.

26. Body work, briefly TAT
Tattoo (tat)

27. Result of a Czech checkup? PRAGUENOSIS (sounds like “prognosis”)
The beautiful city of Prague is today the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague’s prominence in Europe has come and gone over the centuries. For many years, it was the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire.

37. Home ec alternative SHOP
Students might take a home economics (home ec) class, or perhaps an industrial arts (shop) class.

38. Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center, e.g. ARENA
The KFC Yum! Center is home to the University of Louisville Men’s and women’s basketball teams. The arena opened for business in 2010, with naming rights going to the fast food company Yum! Brands. Yumm operates Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC.

39. Dessert pancake CREPE
“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

41. Part of USDA: Abbr. AGR
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) actually dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the “people’s department” as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.

43. Febreze targets ODORS
The odor eliminating product we know today as Febreze was developed in England in the early nineties, and is now produced by Product & Gamble.

47. North African dieter’s light fare? TUNIS SALADS (sounds like “tuna salads”)
Tunis is a city in North Africa that sits on a gulf of the Mediterranean Sea, on the Gulf of Tunis. Tunis is home to ancient Carthage. And, Tunis is the capital of the nation of Tunisia, to which the city gives its name.

50. Originally called NEE
“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

62. Bibliog. catchall ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

63. South Korean sailors? SEOUL MATES (sounds like “soul mates”)
Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

66. Cartoon maker of explosive tennis balls ACME
The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it was used mostly in the “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote was always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always led to his downfall instead.

68. Jib or mizzen SAIL
A jib is a triangular sail that is set at the bow of a sailboat.

A mizzenmast is found aft of the main mast on a vessel having more than one mast. The sail on a mizzenmast is a mizzen sail, and is smaller than the mainsail.

71. Genetic material RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

Down
2. Crewmate of Chekov and Sulu UHURA
Lt. Nyota Uhura is the communications officer in the original “Star Trek” television series, played by Nichelle Nichols. The role is significant in that Uhura was one of the first African American characters to figure front and center in US television. In a 1968 episode, Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Uhura kiss, the first inter-racial kiss to be broadcast in the US. Apparently the scene was meant to be shot twice, with and without the kiss, so that network executives could later decide which version to air. William Shatner says that he deliberately ran long on the first shoot (with the kiss) and fluffed the hurried second shoot (without the kiss), so that the network would have no choice.

Walter Koenig played Pavel Chekov in the original “Star Trek” series. Mr Chekov was a Russian character, but Koenig himself was born in Chicago, the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania.

Mr Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

3. Eva or Zsa Zsa GABOR
Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). One of Eva’s claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called “Twister”, the sales of which were languishing in 1996. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show” she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.

Zsa Zsa Gabor is a Hungarian American actress, born in Budapest as Sári Gábor (the older sister of the actress Eva). Zsa Zsa Gabor has been married a whopping nine times, including a 5-year stint with Conrad Hilton and another 5 years with the actor George Sanders. One of Gabor’s famous quips was that she was always a good housekeeper, as after every divorce she kept the house!

4. Part of BYOB OWN
Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)

7. Small salamander NEWT
Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians found in all across the northern hemisphere. They are the only vertebrate animals that can regenerate lost limbs.

9. Like a political “college” ELECTORAL
The United States is unique in that it elects the head of state using an electoral college, as opposed to a direct popular election. It has been argued that the original intent by the Framers of the Constitution was for the Electoral College to nominate candidates for the positions of President and Vice President based on popular vote, and then Congress would decide on which candidates would take office. This intent would have been more in line with elections for head of state in other countries. But, it doesn’t work that way, as we well know …

10. Fiesta Baked Beans maker GOYA
Goya Foods is a supplier of food products headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey. The company was founded in 1936 by two immigrants from Spain.

12. Extinct bird DODO
The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests.

24. JAMA subscribers DRS
The AMA has been publishing the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) since 1883.

25. Much of Libya SAHARA
The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the whole of the United States.

The name “Libya” comes from the Ancient Greek “Libúē”, the historical name for Northwest Africa.

28. “Diary of a Madman” author GOGOL
Nikolai Gogol was a Russian writer, born in Ukraine. Gogol wrote a lot of satirical pieces that attacked corrupt bureaucracy in Russia, which led to his being exiled. His most famous work is probably “Taras Bulba”, from 1836.

33. Craig Ferguson, by birth SCOT
The Scottish stand-up comedian Craig Ferguson is best known these days as host of CBS’s “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”. For several years Ferguson played Drew Carey’s boss on “The Drew Carey Show”.

34. Pakistani language URDU
Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

35. Eye-catching sign NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

40. City on the Ruhr ESSEN
Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany.

45. Cosmetics-testing org. FDA
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

52. Wistful word ALAS
Wistful is a lovely word, I think, that can mean pensively sad, melancholy.

53. Golden Horde member TATAR
Tatars are an ethnic group of people, mainly residing in Russia (a population of about 5 1/2 million). One of the more famous people with a Tatar heritage was Hollywood actor Charles Bronson. Bronson’s real name was Charles Buchinsky.

The Golden Horde was a group of Mongols who ruled over what is now Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and the Caucasus, from the 1240s until 1502. It has been suggested that the name of the group derives from the yellow tents used by the rulers of the Golden Horde. And, the Golden Horde’s influence and rule led to the term “horde” entering the English language, via many languages spoken in Slavic Eastern Europe.

55. Car named for a physicist TESLA
Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The current base price of a roadster is about $100,000, should you be interested …

Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. Tesla’s work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

56. Wet septet SEAS
The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:

– The North Pacific Ocean
– The South Pacific Ocean
– The North Atlantic Ocean
– The South Atlantic Ocean
– The Indian Ocean
– The Southern Ocean
– The Arctic Ocean

59. Big Mack SEMI
Mack Trucks was founded by John Mack in the early 1900s, after he had spent some years working in companies that made carriages and electric motor cars. Along with his two brothers, Mack started their company to focus on building heavy-duty trucks and engines.

65. “Dropped” ’60s drug LSD
LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Volkswagen Type 1, familiarly BUG
4. Yemeni neighbor OMANI
9. Old-timey oath EGAD!
13. 1956 Gregory Peck role AHAB
15. Add a lane to, say WIDEN
16. University of New Mexico athlete LOBO
17. Irish city in a recession? DUBLIN DOWN (sounds like “doubling down”)
19. Watched warily EYED
20. One with a stable job? GROOM
21. Like dotted musical notes STACCATO
23. Cellphone accessories EARBUDS
26. Body work, briefly TAT
27. Result of a Czech checkup? PRAGUENOSIS (sounds like “prognosis”)
33. Catches some rays SUNS
37. Home ec alternative SHOP
38. Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center, e.g. ARENA
39. Dessert pancake CREPE
41. Part of USDA: Abbr. AGR
42. Spirited diversions LARKS
43. Febreze targets ODORS
44. It’s on the house ROOF
46. Not as pricey LESS
47. North African dieter’s light fare? TUNIS SALADS (sounds like “tuna salads”)
50. Originally called NEE
51. Jackhammer sound RAT-A-TAT
56. Malady SICKNESS
61. Thrill to pieces ELATE
62. Bibliog. catchall ET AL
63. South Korean sailors? SEOUL MATES (sounds like “soul mates”)
66. Cartoon maker of explosive tennis balls ACME
67. Pile up AMASS
68. Jib or mizzen SAIL
69. Where to store hoes and hoses SHED
70. Tense with excitement WIRED
71. Genetic material RNA

Down
1. Western movie star? BADGE
2. Crewmate of Chekov and Sulu UHURA
3. Eva or Zsa Zsa GABOR
4. Part of BYOB OWN
5. Prefix with day or night MID-
6. Fusses ADOS
7. Small salamander NEWT
8. Present from birth INNATE
9. Like a political “college” ELECTORAL
10. Fiesta Baked Beans maker GOYA
11. Collude with ABET
12. Extinct bird DODO
14. Gooey clump BLOB
18. “It’s not too late to call” I’M UP
22. Waterway with locks CANAL
24. JAMA subscribers DRS
25. Much of Libya SAHARA
28. “Diary of a Madman” author GOGOL
29. Hubbub UPROAR
30. Bone-dry SERE
31. 26-Across materials INKS
32. Fresh talk SASS
33. Craig Ferguson, by birth SCOT
34. Pakistani language URDU
35. Eye-catching sign NEON
36. Rained gently SPRINKLED
40. City on the Ruhr ESSEN
45. Cosmetics-testing org. FDA
48. Playground piece SEESAW
49. Originate (from) STEM
52. Wistful word ALAS
53. Golden Horde member TATAR
54. Ordered pizza, perhaps ATE IN
55. Car named for a physicist TESLA
56. Wet septet SEAS
57. Scratching target ITCH
58. Attended the party CAME
59. Big Mack SEMI
60. Fly like an eagle SOAR
64. “It’s no __!” USE
65. “Dropped” ’60s drug LSD

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Oct 15, Wednesday”

  1. This one was way too weird, like the last one…4 errors/lookups, but went ahead and looked things up to finish it.

  2. Pretty straightforward for a Wednesday. I think my time was actually a little quicker than yesterday's.

    Agree with John – I got a kick out of the theme puns. There were other clever clues as well including right off the bat 1D "Western movie star" for BADGE.

    Anyone remember the game "Zip" as a kid? It's a game played on a roadtrip by kids. You got points by spotting volkswagon models. A bug was one point, a super beetle was 2 points, a Karmann Ghia was 6 points..etc. When you spotted one you'd yell out "Zip – Karmann Ghia"..or whatever. You'd have a hard time raking up any point playing that these days.

    Best –

  3. Pretty "punny" ^0^
    No idea on GOGOL.
    Still hot and now humid here.
    Will this oppressive weather ever get cooler?
    Jeff, never heard of "Zip"
    "You'd have a hard time raking up any point playing that these days."
    You'd have a hard time prying cell phones and other electronics out of the kids' hands.
    I don't think the kids even look out the window on road trips these days.

  4. @Pookie – As far as I can see you wouldn't be prying a "cell phone" out of any kid's hands these days. You'd be prying a "mini computer that happens to be able to make calls" out of their hands…(g)

    @Jeff – We played "punch buggy" (or sometimes we called it "slug bug") in which the first kid to see a VW Beetle got to slug the other kid in the arm.

  5. I found the puzzle surprisingly solvable – once I discovered the cute theme. Nice puzzle. Good Wednesday. lol.

    Urdu, per OED, is a sanskrit language, written in the arabic script. In India, the language is remarkably mutually intelligible to hindi speakers, except for some arabic / islamic vocabulary. In Pakistan, the language has a lot more of the latter, hence a little more difficult to understand. But the grammar is the same. Sindhi and Urdu are also 'recognised' as national languages in India (28 in all – ) but they use the modified arabic script – which is Greek to me.

    Thank you, Bill for stimulating my interest to reading about Febreeze. I always wondered how it worked. Apparently the molecule, HP-bCD, is 'donut' shaped, and it captures the odors, within itself. First time that I heard of a donut that can not only be eaten, but can 'eat' other things, as well…. Another miracle is how P&G managed to control all patents on this product, which was developed elsewhere, in England.

    I always remember 'staccato', as the sound of machine gun fire.

    For Serbians, it is apparently very important that Mr. Tesla be remembered as being a serbian, though he was born in what is, modern day, Croatia. Old rivalries die hard. I think, Einstein's first wife was also a serbian.

    Have a happy October day, guys.

  6. @Willie D – My thoughts exactly. Who would expect a gathering place of CWP loving fogies would have to put up with that type of spam post? Sometimes I just think of the Internet as a cesspool where you need to walk very carefully in order to avoid getting your shoes covered in sh**

  7. Agreed on the topic of Electoral College filibustering. The problem with the Net is anonymity. It is reputation and good old public shaming that keeps people in line. Without it, people go nuts. Maybe someday the Internet will be regulated and do away with anonymous posts like this one (I'm too lazy to do an ID and I rarely post).

  8. Sorry, but I could not get behind PRAGUE_NOSIS. All the others were composed of real words: DUBLIN_DOWN, TUNIS_SALAD, SEOUL_MATES. IMHO, the essence of a pun is that it should make sense from two different perspectives, with one ordinary and one usually unexpected.

    To paraphrase Uncle Albert, there's nothing like a good pun, and PRAGUE_NOSIS is nothing like a good pun.

    -Mike

  9. Nobody called out the guy who posted a link to his ad?
    @Tony–we're fogies?! I resemble that remark!:-D
    This was a fun puzzle, and I liked PRAGUENOSIS! I was kinda bugged by DUBLINDOWN, since the phrase it sounds like has nothing to do with the clue, whereas the others did. Even SEOULMATE — it has MATE, which works for "sailor."
    Be well~~~

  10. It is not political spam or filibustering or vomit producing for someone to correct misinformation.

    The original intent by the Framers of the Constitution was NOT for the Electoral College to nominate candidates for the positions of President and Vice President based on popular vote, and then Congress would decide on which candidates would take office.

    The Electoral College does not nominate candidates.
    The Electoral College votes for candidates.
    The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists we vote for, who vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates. In the current presidential election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their state.

    Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in Article II, Section 1:
    “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”
    The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

    A majority of the states appointed their presidential electors in the nation's first presidential election in 1789 by appointment by the legislature or by the governor and his cabinet. Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

    Only if no candidate received a majority of electoral votes was/is Congress to decide the election.

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