LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Oct 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Phillips
THEME: Day Shift … each of today’s themed answers contains the letter string DAY, although that letters in the string have been SHIFTED into different orders:

63A. What a nine-to-fiver works … or, literally, what each set of circled letters represents DAY SHIFT

17A. Lois Lane portrayer in “Man of Steel” AMY ADAMS
21A. Earliest recorded Chinese ruling group XIA DYNASTY
33A. Kevlar-lined vest, e.g. BODY ARMOR
44A. “Reelin’ in the Years” rock group STEELY DAN
55A. High-definition medium BLU-RAY DISC

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “The Affair” network, briefly SHO
“The Affair” is a drama series on Showtime about a novelist and a waitress having an extramarital affair in a Long Island resort town. Stars of the show are the marvelous Dominic West and Ruth Wilson. I haven’t seen this one, but hear good things …

15. The season to be jolly NOEL
“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). Noel has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

17. Lois Lane portrayer in “Man of Steel” AMY ADAMS
Amy Adams is an American actress. although she was actually born in Vicenza, Italy while her father was a US serviceman stationed on an Italian base. My favorite Amy Adams film so far is the outstanding “Julie & Julia” in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

“Man of Steel” is a 2013 reboot of the “Superman” series of films, starring Henry Cavill in the title role and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.

21. Earliest recorded Chinese ruling group XIA DYNASTY
The Xia (also “Hsia”) Dynasty was the first Chinese Dynasty, lasting from about 2070 to 1600 BCE.

23. Ranking card suit TRUMP
We use the word “trump” for a card in the ranking suit of many card games. The term is an alteration of “triumph”, which was also the name of an old game that used a trump suit.

33. Kevlar-lined vest, e.g. BODY ARMOR
Kevlar is a remarkably strong synthetic fiber that was introduced by DuPont in 1965. The material was developed as a lightweight substitute for steel. Kevlar fits the bill, as an equal weight of the synthetic fiber is five times stronger than the alloy. One of the downsides of Kevlar is that its strength degrades when exposed to sunlight.

38. Blood typing letters ABO
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a “universal donor”.

41. Multi-platinum 44-Across album pronounced like a continent AJA
(44A. “Reelin’ in the Years” rock group STEELY DAN)
Steely Dan’s heyday was in the seventies when they toured for a couple of years, although the group mainly focused on studio work. The band was formed in 1972 and broke up in 1981. The core of the band reunited in 1993 and they are still going strong today.

48. Opposite of paleo- NEO-
The prefix “paleo-” means “prehistoric, primitive”. It comes from the Greek word “palaios” which means “old, ancient”. The prefix “neo-” would be the opposite, meaning “new, recent”.

51. Big name in cubes RUBIK
What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as Rubik’s Cube, named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. Rubik’s Cube is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

55. High-definition medium BLU-RAY DISC
A CD player reads the information on the disc using a laser beam. The beam is produced by what’s called a laser diode, a device similar to a light-emitting diode (LED) except that a laser beam is emitted. That laser beam is usually red in CD and DVD players. Blu-ray players are so called as they use blue lasers.

62. Spring tweeters ROBINS
The American robin has a reddish-orange breast. This coloring gave the bird its name, due to the similarity to the European robin. The two species are not in fact related. It is the American robin that famously lays light-blue eggs.

Down
5. Sweet-talk COAX
To coax is to cajole, to influence using gentle persuasion. Back in the 16th century, “coax” was a a noun meaning “fool”, and was used in the sense of “make a coax of, make a fool of”.

6. Prefix with sphere HEMI-
Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”, all of which mean “half”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

7. “Frozen” princess ELSA
“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”.

8. Tripoli native LIBYAN
The Italo-Turkish War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 1911 and October 1912. At the end of the conflict the Ottoman Empire ceded to Italy the three provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. These provinces became Italian North Africa, and ultimately the country that we know today as Libya. The name “Libya” comes from the Ancient Greek “Libúē”, the historical name for Northwest Africa.

Tripoli is the capital city of Libya and sits on the Mediterranean Coast. The city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was originally called Oea.

11. Nile 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”!

12. Director Gus Van __ SANT
Gus Van Sant is a movie director (among other things) who has been nominated twice for an Oscar, for “Good Will Hunting” in 1997 and for “Milk” in 2008.

13. Like French toast EGGY
The dish made from bread soaked in milk with beaten eggs and then fried is usually called French toast in the US, but it also goes by the names German toast and Spanish toast. In France, the dish is known as “pain perdu”, which translates as “lost bread”. This name is a reference to the fact that “lost” or stale bread can be reclaimed by dipping it in a mixture of milk and eggs and then frying it.

18. “The American Look” cosmetics brand ALMAY
The Almay brand of cosmetics was established back in 1931. Almay was founded by Alfred and Fanny May Woititz, who melded their given names to come up with the brand name (Al-may). The couple were driven to invent the products as Fanny May needed cosmetics that did not irritate her skin.

24. “The Bell Jar” author Sylvia PLATH
Sylvia Plath was a poet from Boston, Massachusetts who lived much of her life in the UK where she married fellow poet Ted Hughes. The couple had a tumultuous relationship, and Plath had a long battle with depression. Plath wrote just one novel, called “The Bell Jar”, which is semi-autobiographical. It describes the main character’s descent into mental illness. Plath herself lost her battle with depression in 1963, committing suicide at the age of 30 years, and just one month after “The Bell Jar” was published.

28. Pinto-riding sidekick TONTO
On the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels. In the 2013 movie “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Johnny Depp.

31. Tijuana’s peninsula BAJA
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

32. With 67-Across, co-creator of Spider-Man STAN
(67A. See 32-Down LEE)
Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics (and I don’t!), then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he has a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

34. Bassoon kin OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”. When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you’ll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

Our modern bassoon first appeared in the 1800s and has had a place in the concert orchestra ever since.

35. Magician Henning DOUG
Doug Henning was a Canadian magician, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. In the seventies he made a whole series of annually broadcast specials for NBC called “Doug Henning’s World of Magic”.

37. Polk’s predecessor TYLER
John Tyler was the tenth President of the US, and the first to take the office on the death of the incumbent. Tyler’s predecessor was President William Henry Harrison, who was in office only 32 days before he died of natural causes. For a while there was a little confusion about the wording in the constitution that covered such an eventuality. There was an argument made that Tyler would continue as Vice-President but would assume the responsibilities of the office of President, in effect as “Acting President”. However, Tyler proceeded as though he was taking over as President and took the oath of office in his hotel room in Washington. Soon afterwards, Congress declared that Tyler was indeed President, although many continued to dispute the fact. Many of President Tyler’s opponents referred to him as “His Accidency”. His term in office ended in 1845. When the Civil War began in 1861, Tyler sided with the Confederacy and was even elected to the Confederate House of Representatives for the 3rd District of Virginia. President Tyler passed away only a few days after taking his seat in the Confederate House. His death was the only one in presidential history that was not recognized in the nation’s capital, as he had sided with the Confederate States.

James Knox Polk was the 11th US President. He is known as a president who delivered on promises that he made during his election campaign. He left office after serving only one term, as he had promised the voters, and then contracted cholera on a goodwill tour of the South. He died at only 53 years of age, the youngest age for any president to die in retirement. He also enjoyed the shortest retirement of any president, at only 103 days. I guess that’s why no one keeps their campaign promises these days …

40. Rightmost bowling pin TEN
Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

43. Stripper’s bottom line? G-STRING
The origins of “G-string”, the type of revealing underwear, are unclear. However, the term “geestring” has been used since the 1800s and originally referred to the string that held the loincloths worn by Native Americans.

47. Old Faithful, e.g. GEYSER
Old Faithful is a geyser in Yellowstone National Park. It erupts almost every 63 minutes on the nose, making it one of the most predictable geographic features on the planet. It was this predictability that led to the name “Old Faithful”. In the early days of Yellowstone’s existence as a park, the geyser was used as a laundry. Dirty linen clothing was placed in the geyser’s crater during the quiet period. The clothing was ejected during the eruption, thoroughly washed.

54. “Sons of Anarchy” actress Sagal KATEY
Katey Sagal played Peggy Bundy on “Married … with Children”. Later she took over as star of the show “8 Simple Rules” in the middle of its run, when John Ritter passed away unexpectedly in 2003. More recently, Sagal has been appearing on the FX drama “Sons of Anarchy”. In 2004, she married Kurt Sutter who created the “Sons of Anarchy” series.

55. Novelist Stoker BRAM
Bram Stoker was an Irish writer, best known for the 1897 novel “Dracula”. Stoker’s fame as an author came after his death, and during his lifetime he was better known as the personal assistant of renowned English actor Henry Irving. It is believed that Stoker used Irving as his inspiration for the title character in “Dracula”.

59. “Oh, for Pete’s __!” SAKE
“For Pete’s sake” is a minced oath, meaning it’s a milder version of a less pleasant expression. “For Pete’s sake” probably came from “for God’s sake”, and maybe even refers to St. Peter.

60. Color similar to teal CYAN
“Cyan” is short for “cyan blue”. The term comes from the Greek word “kyanos” meaning “dark blue, the color of lapis lazuli”.

64. Guitarist Barrett SYD
Syd Barrett was the lead singer and a founding member of the English rock band Pink Floyd. Barrett was only active as a musician for just over ten years. He retired from the music scene in 1975 and spent the next 30 years living off Pink Floyd royalties until he passed away in 2006.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “The Affair” network, briefly SHO
4. Feel the pain ACHE
8. Connect (with) LIAISE
14. “How’s that again?” HUH?
15. The season to be jolly NOEL
16. Sprain application ICE BAG
17. Lois Lane portrayer in “Man of Steel” AMY ADAMS
19. Accruing very little interest? BORING
20. Put one over on FOOL
21. Earliest recorded Chinese ruling group XIA DYNASTY
23. Ranking card suit TRUMP
25. Sunrise direction EAST
26. Tavern brew ALE
28. Pantyhose shade TAN
29. Heavenly balls ORBS
33. Kevlar-lined vest, e.g. BODY ARMOR
37. Pet’s reward TREAT
38. Blood typing letters ABO
39. Holy threesome TRINITY
41. Multi-platinum 44-Across album pronounced like a continent AJA
42. Abrasive ROUGH
44. “Reelin’ in the Years” rock group STEELY DAN
46. Frat party barrels KEGS
47. Shine, in ads GLO
48. Opposite of paleo- NEO-
49. Arboretum sight TREE
51. Big name in cubes RUBIK
55. High-definition medium BLU-RAY DISC
61. Melt fish TUNA
62. Spring tweeters ROBINS
63. What a nine-to-fiver works … or, literally, what each set of circled letters represents DAY SHIFT
65. Get payback AVENGE
66. “I hear you” OKAY
67. See 32-Down LEE
68. Corporate consolidation MERGER
69. Give for a while LEND
70. Make an effort TRY

Down
1. Mining tunnel SHAFT
2. Funny business HUMOR
3. “What a joker!” OH YOU!
4. “Then what happened?” AND …?
5. Sweet-talk COAX
6. Prefix with sphere HEMI-
7. “Frozen” princess ELSA
8. Tripoli native LIBYAN
9. Clickable pictures ICONS
10. Lawn maintenance tool AERATOR
11. Nile wader IBIS
12. Director Gus Van __ SANT
13. Like French toast EGGY
18. “The American Look” cosmetics brand ALMAY
22. Luv DEARIE
24. “The Bell Jar” author Sylvia PLATH
27. Make a boo-boo ERR
28. Pinto-riding sidekick TONTO
30. Enjoy a book READ
31. Tijuana’s peninsula BAJA
32. With 67-Across, co-creator of Spider-Man STAN
33. Announce a visitor, dog-style BARK
34. Bassoon kin OBOE
35. Magician Henning DOUG
36. Sent on a wild-goose chase MISLED
37. Polk’s predecessor TYLER
40. Rightmost bowling pin TEN
43. Stripper’s bottom line? G-STRING
45. Kid YOUTH
47. Old Faithful, e.g. GEYSER
50. Cooking stove RANGE
52. Constructed BUILT
53. Figure out INFER
54. “Sons of Anarchy” actress Sagal KATEY
55. Novelist Stoker BRAM
56. Romcom subject LOVE
57. Over, in Germany UBER
58. Celeb with a big fan base IDOL
59. “Oh, for Pete’s __!” SAKE
60. Color similar to teal CYAN
64. Guitarist Barrett SYD

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Oct 15, Tuesday”

  1. Zero errors. One little rough spot in cluing (the block bounded by 4 and 7 Down), but other than that a smooth grid.

  2. Totally whiffed on the Chinese dynasty clue. This grid tried to be easy and hard at the same time. I won't go in to my complaints, except to say that a grid with LIAIAIASE and TUNA is scatterbrained.

    I know, I didn't TRY hard enough. So there, I used some HUMOR.

  3. @Anonymous
    If my understanding of the terms "geographical" and "geological" is correct, I guess that with reference to Old Faithful "geological" would be more specific than "geographical". I was thinking broader though.

  4. I did this one quite fast though some of the names were a problem. Not so fast as yesterday's though.

    Bill, thanks for the difference between semi-(circle), demi-(god) and hemi-(sphere). I never realized that demi- also meant half. I thought a demi-god was just a minor god…. though not all of them are half-(god) and half-(man).

    Tijuana is the only mexican city I've been to – many years ago – it was like I was back in India ….

    I thought Cyan-blue was because of the color of the corpse after the person had consumed cyanide ( sodium or Potassium cyanide).
    Phthalocyanine Blue, on the other hand, is a totally different synthetic organic product. It is one of the most important dyes and colors in the industry today. It is the color of the British Navy Blue, – it is a hard and fast, insoluble, 'reactive' dye – reacts with the fibre – and is one of the most commonly produced dyes today. It was, for a long time, a monopoly of IG Farben, precursor of BASF – and lost its patents in the WW II. I even remember making it in an industrial lab, long long ago.

    Have a nice day, guys and gals.

  5. LIAISE is admittedly a weird word, especially since most of us are used to LIAISON more than LIAISE, which is the establishment of a LIAISON.

  6. OMG I have SUCH a headache from trying to do this puzzle online! How can y'all stand it?! It's so hard to manipulate!!
    Easy puzzle, but it took me three times as long as it would have if my newspaper hadn't gone missing today.
    I got stuck on COAX. Just couldn't see it for the longest, and I think its clue was kinda off.
    As long as I'm complaining: can someone PLEASE tell me what is so appealing about AMY ADAMS??!! She's a mediocre actress and has NO presence or charisma!!
    Okay, rant over… for now:-
    Be well~~

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