LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Oct 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: Bandleader … each of today’s themed answers LEADS off with the name of a BAND:

63A. Musical conductor … and, literally, what the start of each answer to a starred clue is BANDLEADER

17A. *Cardiologically healthy, as a diet HEART-SMART (giving “Heart”)
25A. *Affectionate apron inscription KISS THE COOK (giving “Kiss”)
40A. *Commuter’s headache RUSH-HOUR TRAFFIC (giving “Rush”)
50A. *Title for Aretha Franklin QUEEN OF SOUL (giving “Queen”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Goodbye, Columbus” author Philip ROTH
Author Philip Roth’s two most famous works are probably his 1959 novella “Goodbye, Columbus” for which he won a National Book Award, and his extremely controversial 1969 novel “Portnoy’s Complaint”. The latter title was banned in some libraries in the US, and was listed as a “prohibited import” in Australia. The controversy surrounded Roth’s treatment of the sexuality of the main character, a young Jewish bachelor undergoing psychoanalysis for his “complaint”.

14. Fencing choice EPEE
The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, both of which are also thrusting weapons. However, the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

16. Quarterback-turned-congressman Jack KEMP
Jack Kemp was a Vice Presidential candidate in the 1996 presidential election, on the Republican ticket with Bob Dole. Prior to politics, Kemp played football in the NFL, serving as quarterback and captain of the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills. Kemp passed away in 2009, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

17. *Cardiologically healthy, as a diet HEART-SMART (giving “Heart”)
Heart is a rock band from Seattle, Washington, founded in the seventies and still going strong. The band has had a changing lineup, except for sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson.

19. River of Pisa ARNO
The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, passing through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

The city of Pisa is right on the Italian coast, sitting at the mouth of the River Arno, and is famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

21. Gauge showing rpm TACH
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

23. How Marcie addresses Peppermint Patty SIR
Peppermint Patty is a character in the long-running comic strip “Peanuts”, by Charles M. Schulz. Peppermint Patty has a friend named Marcie who famously refers to her as “Sir”, perhaps a reference to Peppermint Patty’s reputation as a tomboy. Tomboy or not, it is revealed in the strip that Peppermint Patty has quite a crush on Charlie Brown.

34. Chic modifier TRES
“Très chic” is a French term meaning “very stylish”.

40. *Commuter’s headache RUSH-HOUR TRAFFIC (giving “Rush”)
Rush is a rock band from Toronto that first performed in 1968.

44. __ fide: in bad faith MALA
Mala fide means “in bad faith” and is in essence the opposite to bona fide (“in good faith”). Bad faith is a concept defined by the law, which addresses the motives behind certain actions.

46. Dry as the Atacama ARID
Even deserts get rain at some point in the year, with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is the Atacama Desert in South America, which receives no rain at all.

50. *Title for Aretha Franklin QUEEN OF SOUL (giving “Queen”)
I think Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, had a tough life. Franklin had her first son when she was just 13-years-old, and her second at 15. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Franklin as number one in their list of the greatest singers of all time.

Queen is an English rock band that was formed back in 1970. With the help of lead singer Freddie Mercury (now deceased), Queen has a long list of great hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. “Bohemian Rhapsody” spent a total of nine weeks at number one in the UK.

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

58. Pilot’s alphabet ender ZULU
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … Zulu.

61. Long-billed wader IBIS
The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

67. “Lucky” aviator, familiarly LINDY
The renowned aviator Charles Lindbergh was dubbed “Lucky Lindy” by the press, which was perhaps a reference to his narrow escape in four airplane crashes, including two incidents when he had to deploy his parachute.

70. Crème de la crème ELITE
The “crème de la crème” is the elite, the best of the best. The term is French and translates as “cream of the cream”.

Down
2. Word before house or after horse OPERA
“Horse opera” is a slang term for a western movie or show.

4. Wife of Zeus HERA
In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and was noted for her jealousy and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

6. “China Beach” war zone, for short NAM
“China Beach” is a drama TV series set during the Vietnam War that aired in the late eighties and early nineties. The show’s storyline revolves around the women who worked at an evacuation hospital. The name “China Beach” was a nickname given to a beach in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam by American soldiers during the conflict.

8. “Ice Age” saber-toothed squirrel SCRAT
Scrat is a character in the “Ice Age” series of animated films. He is a sabre-toothed squirrel, a species that is alleged to be the ancestor of the modern squirrel and rat. The name “Scrat” is a melding of “squirrel” and “rat”.

9. Easily annoyed TETCHY
Someone described as “tetchy” is easily irritated. I seem to hear that word a lot …

10. Caribbean music SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

11. Be the epitome of PERSONIFY
The more common meaning of “epitome” is a perfect example of a group, quality, type etc. An “epitome” is also an abstract or summary of a book or article.

12. Prenatal test, for short AMNIO
Amniocentesis is the prenatal test which involves the removal of a small amount of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus using a hypodermic needle. The fluid naturally contains some fetal cells, the DNA of which can then be tested to determine the sex of the child and to check for the presence of genetic abnormalities.

13. Hybrid utensil SPORK
“Spork” is the more common name for the utensil that is a hybrid between a spoon and a fork. It is less commonly referred to as a “foon”.

18. Kid TYKE
“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.

22. “Do I __ Waltz?”: Rodgers/Sondheim musical HEAR A
“Do I Hear a Waltz?” is a musical by Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim. The musical is based on the 1952 play “The Time of the Cuckoo”, as was the 1955 film “Summertime” starring Katharine Hepburn.

31. Lingerie item BRA
“Lingerie” is a French term, but as used in France it just means any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use “lingerie” to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term “lingerie” comes into English via the French word “linge” meaning “washables”, and ultimately from the Latin “linum”, meaning “linen”. We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like “lan-zher-ee”, as opposed to “lon-zher-ay” (American) and “lon-zher-ee” (British).

33. Descendant of Jacob ISRAELITE
In the Torah, the Israelites are traced back to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob had twelve sons, six with each of his concurrent wives Leah and Rachel. The sons became the ancestors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The sons were:

– Reuben
– Simeon
– Levi
– Judah
– Dan
– Naphtali
– Gad
– Asher
– Issachar
– Zebulun
– Joseph
– Benjamin

36. Fifth cen. pope called “The Great” ST LEO
The first pope named Leo is now known as Pope Saint Leo the Great. Leo I is famous for meeting with the feared Attila the Hun and persuading him to turn back his invading force that was threatening to overrun Western Europe.

41. “57 Varieties” brand HEINZ
The HJ Heinz Company is an American concern, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1869, by Henry John Heinz. It was Heinz himself who came up with the marketing slogan of “57 Varieties”. The “57” really doesn’t have any relevance to the range of products available as Heinz chose the “5” because it was his lucky number, and the “7” because it was his wife’s lucky number.

42. Classico rival RAGU
The Ragu brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the Unilever sauce, it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

Classico is a brand of pasta sauce. One of Classico’s marketing techniques is to sell its products in Mason jars.

52. Swing wildly FLAIL
To flail about is to swing wildly, either literally or figuratively. The verb comes from the noun “flail”, which is an implement for threshing grain.

53. Branch of Islam SUNNI
The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

54. Event with lots of horsing around? RODEO
“Rodeo” is a Spanish word, which is usually translated as “round up”.

56. Intrinsically PER SE
“Per se” is a Latin phrase that translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning “in itself, intrinsically”.

60. Emulates Eminem RAPS
Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers, a native of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Mathers grew up poor, raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …

64. Prohibited pesticide DDT
DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

65. Chemical in Drano crystals LYE
To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely-divided aluminum reacts with water creating tremendous heat so that that mixture boils and churns, then any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain almost always does the job …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Goodbye, Columbus” author Philip ROTH
5. High anxiety ANGST
10. Me-time resorts SPAS
14. Fencing choice EPEE
15. Trip the light fantastic DANCE
16. Quarterback-turned-congressman Jack KEMP
17. *Cardiologically healthy, as a diet HEART-SMART (giving “Heart”)
19. River of Pisa ARNO
20. Wide variety ARRAY
21. Gauge showing rpm TACH
23. How Marcie addresses Peppermint Patty SIR
24. Howl at the moon BAY
25. *Affectionate apron inscription KISS THE COOK (giving “Kiss”)
29. On its way SENT
30. Handmade scarf stuff YARN
31. Radar dot BLIP
34. Chic modifier TRES
37. Pay hike RAISE
40. *Commuter’s headache RUSH-HOUR TRAFFIC (giving “Rush”)
43. See eye to eye AGREE
44. __ fide: in bad faith MALA
45. “Teh” for “The,” say TYPO
46. Dry as the Atacama ARID
48. Omelet necessities EGGS
50. *Title for Aretha Franklin QUEEN OF SOUL (giving “Queen”)
54. Fabric flaw RIP
57. Address bar address URL
58. Pilot’s alphabet ender ZULU
59. Wear away gradually ERODE
61. Long-billed wader IBIS
63. Musical conductor … and, literally, what the start of each answer to a starred clue is BANDLEADER
66. Charge RATE
67. “Lucky” aviator, familiarly LINDY
68. Stew veggies PEAS
69. Was sure about KNEW
70. Crème de la crème ELITE
71. Footprint part SOLE

Down
1. Detox program REHAB
2. Word before house or after horse OPERA
3. In need of tissues TEARY
4. Wife of Zeus HERA
5. Promos ADS
6. “China Beach” war zone, for short NAM
7. Swarming pests GNATS
8. “Ice Age” saber-toothed squirrel SCRAT
9. Easily annoyed TETCHY
10. Caribbean music SKA
11. Be the epitome of PERSONIFY
12. Prenatal test, for short AMNIO
13. Hybrid utensil SPORK
18. Kid TYKE
22. “Do I __ Waltz?”: Rodgers/Sondheim musical HEAR A
26. A big fan of INTO
27. Doodle on the guitar STRUM
28. Summer camp activities CRAFTS
29. Globe SPHERE
31. Lingerie item BRA
32. Carry with effort LUG
33. Descendant of Jacob ISRAELITE
35. Obama __ ERA
36. Fifth cen. pope called “The Great” ST LEO
38. Small taste SIP
39. Environmental prefix ECO-
41. “57 Varieties” brand HEINZ
42. Classico rival RAGU
47. Look-alike DOUBLE
49. High spirits GLEE
50. Peculiarity QUIRK
51. Living in the city URBAN
52. Swing wildly FLAIL
53. Branch of Islam SUNNI
54. Event with lots of horsing around? RODEO
55. Flawless IDEAL
56. Intrinsically PER SE
60. Emulates Eminem RAPS
62. Darn things SEW
64. Prohibited pesticide DDT
65. Chemical in Drano crystals LYE

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Oct 15, Tuesday”

  1. Decently made grid. 1 error (lookup) on 8-Down since I don't kid movie. Needed it between 5-Across and 9-Down, which is *enough* of a Natick when 8-Down is unknown to differentiate between the two almost similar words that 5-Across could be.

  2. A normal Tuesday time on this one, but it sure felt longer. It certainly kept me engaged the whole time. Never got the theme until I checked out the blog. Some Bain-esque cluing, but still an early week puzzle.

    I had one error (2 errors – I think it's impossible to have just one error on a grid like this) similar to Glenn. I had STRAT and DANTE (hah!) thinking I had uncovered some obscure reference. Too clever by half, I was just wrong.

    I particularly liked the Peppermint Patty "SIR" reference. I had completely forgotten that one.

    Best –

  3. The puzzle was a challenge – and knowing Gareth Bain's technical prowess, I could ask for no less. But, thank god, it was only a Tuesday. With 3 grandkids, I've seem that sabre toothed squirrel enough, but never knew he had a name. I was lucky to complete the puzzle. 'Dance' was an arcane clue IMHO – huh ?

    I never realized the meaning of Marcie ( the polite one ) calling P Patty, 'Sir'. I just thought she was ever so polite. I never knew that there was a darker significance. Thank you, Bill.

    Have a good day, and season, guys.

  4. Okay, 2 chemistry lessons.

    First one on Drano. I would venture to suggest that Bill's explanation is not totally correct. Aluminum, powder or other-wise, does not react with water to produce heat. Otherwise, my Al utensils, in the kitchen would be perpetually hot. The Al powder reacts violently with the lye NaOH, only in the presence of water, to produce Al2(OH)3 – aluminum hydroxide. The lye also reacts independently with the grease, the gunk, and the hairballs causing the clog. BTW, strong muriatic acid ( hydro chloric Acid) can also achieve the grease and hairball attack, much to the same effect, ….. in obviously, a different reaction.

    Secondly, DDT is easier to remember as Di-Chloro… Di-phenyl … Tri-chloro … Ethane.
    Why is the 'Chloro' radical repeated (occurs twice ) ? Because the first Chloro is attached to the Benzene ring, and the second tri-chloro is attached directly to the carbon atom of the Ethane.

    Ethane is = C2H6 H H
    H – C ——- C – H
    H H

    H Cl
    DDT is Cl – B – C —— C – Cl
    B -Cl Cl

    = C2 (BCL)2 H Cl3
    Where B is the Benzene mol. C6H6 ….. and BCl is a chloro benzene C6-H5-Cl
    Thus di chloro, di phenyl means two chloro benzene radicals attached to the first carbon atom of the Ethane molecule.

    Aaargh …. Too much information. Please eexcuse me.

  5. @Jeff
    >I had one error (2 errors – I think it's impossible to have just one error on a grid like this) similar to Glenn.

    Technically you could double most of my errors if I don't find them out via lookup in isolation or just plain look it up period like I did 8-Down. I figure I don't have enough prowess to get these things right 100% of the time, or even not DNF them, so I shouldn't be more hard on myself than is warranted. I know where I'm mistaken, so I count those and not the crosses. At least if and until I can get good enough to complete all of them.

  6. Clean solve with no strike overs (which for me is a rarity – no matter what day of the week the puzzle is being solved on). I kept looking at 56 Down trying for more than a few minutes to understand the word "perse" as the answer to intrinsically. Finally I twigged to the fact it was "per se" Doh!

  7. @Vidwan I didn't get PERSE duh, PER SE
    Here is an old song that mentions "trip the light fantastic"

    SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK

    East Side, West Side, all around the town
    The kids sang "ring around rosie", "London Bridge is falling down"
    Boys and girls together, me and Mamie O'Rourke
    We tripped the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York

  8. Finished, no errors, altho I did have NIP instead of SIP at first… Either way, I guess I'm thinkin''bout drinkin'! My birthday is coming up and I shall have my annual Margarita. Rocks, no salt, plenty of Mexican food and cheer.
    Nice grid, kept my interest, felt like a Wednesday.
    See you folks tomorrow!
    Be well~~™

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