LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Oct 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Poole
THEME: Starting Team Players… each of today’s themed answers starts with a member of a sports team. The clue is written with reference to that sports team, although the complete answer is actually a common phrase:

17A. Investment return for a New York basketball player? NET PROFIT (from “the Brooklyn Nets”)
22A. Reception room for a Texas hockey player? STAR CHAMBER (from “the Dallas Stars”)
37A. Sudden fear for a California soccer player? EARTHQUAKE ALARM (from “the San Jose Earthquakes”)
43A. Serious lapse for a Missouri baseball player? CARDINAL SIN (from “the St. Louis Cardinals”)
57A. Luggage for an Ohio football player? BROWN BAGS (from “the Cleveland Browns”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Mall entrance features MAPS
Surprisingly, our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

5. Bandstand boosters AMPS
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

9. Big zoo attraction HIPPO
The name “hippopotamus” comes from the Greek for “river horse”. Hippos are the third largest land mammals, after elephants and rhinos. The closest living relatives to hippos don’t even live on land. They are the whales and porpoises of the oceans.

14. Bee’s relative OPIE
Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier). Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

17. Investment return for a New York basketball player? NET PROFIT (from “the Brooklyn Nets”)
The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets until relatively recently were the New Jersey Nets based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

20. “Messiah,” e.g. ORATORIO
George Frideric Handel was the King of the Oratorio. Handel’s most famous oratorio is “Messiah”, which had its debut performance in Dublin, Ireland back in 1742.

21. Gershwin title river SWANEE
“Swanee” was written in 1919 by George Gershwin. Gershwin was very young at the time and came up with the music in just ten minutes while riding on a Manhattan bus. Al Jolson was already a star, and he heard Gershwin playing the song at a party. Jolson made a deal to include the song in his show “Sinbad”, and then “Swanee” just took off.

22. Reception room for a Texas hockey player? STAR CHAMBER (from “the Dallas Stars”)
The Star Chamber was an influential court of law in England that sat from the late 1400s to the mid-1600s. The original intent of the Star Chamber was ensure that there was no undue influence wielded over the common-law judges by prominent members of society, but over time the body became a political weapon used by the English monarchy.

The Dallas Stars hockey team was founded in 1967, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, and was back then called the Minnesota North Stars. The team moved to Dallas in 1993.

24. Capital on the Gulf of Guinea ACCRA
Accra sits on Ghana’s coast and is a major seaport as well as the country’s capital city. The name “Accra” comes from a local word “Nkran” meaning “ants”, a name chosen because of the large number of anthills found in the area when the city was founded.

The Gulf of Guinea is a large gulf in that forms part of the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Africa. One of the Gulf of Guinea’s claim to fame is that it is home to the intersecting point between zero degrees of latitude and zero degrees of longitude, i.e. where the Equator and Prime Meridian cross.

28. Panama, for one HAT
Panama hats are also known as Jipijapas, named for a town in Ecuador (and not Panama, surprisingly) that was a major player in the hat trade.

29. Bush Labor secretary Elaine CHAO
When President George W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Labor, he made a bit of history as Chao then became the first Chinese American in history to hold a cabinet post. It turned out that Chao became the only cabinet member to hold her post for President Bush’s full eight years in office. In 1993, Chao married Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader of the US Senate.

30. High anxiety? ACROPHOBIA
Our prefix “acro-” comes from the Greek “akros” meaning “at the top”. Examples are “acrophobia” (fear of heights) and “Acropolis” (“city at the top”).

37. Sudden fear for a California soccer player? EARTHQUAKE ALARM (from “the San Jose Earthquakes”)
The Earthquakes are the professional soccer team in San Jose, California. The team was formed in 1996 as the San Jose Clash.

40. Grab (onto) GLOM
“Glom” is a slang term meaning “steal”, although it can also be used to mean “latch onto” when used as “glom onto”. The term probably comes from the Scots word “glam” meaning “to snatch at”.

41. Nintendo’s __ Sports WII
Players of the Wii Sports video game can simulate five sports: tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing.

42. Big name in transmission repair AAMCO
AAMCO is named after one of the two founders, Anthony A. Martino (AAM). The company was founded in 1963 in Philadelphia, and opened its first franchise in Newark that same year. There are now about 800 franchises, and AAMCO is the largest chain in the world specializing in automotive transmissions.

43. Serious lapse for a Missouri baseball player? CARDINAL SIN (from “the St. Louis Cardinals”)
The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team was originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. The new name obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

50. Wine city north of Lisbon OPORTO
The city of Oporto in Portugal gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s, as it was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

56. All-nighter pill NODOZ
NoDoz and Vivarin are brand names of caffeine pills.

57. Luggage for an Ohio football player? BROWN BAGS (from “the Cleveland Browns”)
The Cleveland Browns football team was a charter member of the All-American Football Conference, formed in 1946. Cleveland is the only NFL city that has never hosted nor sent a team to the Super Bowl.

58. “The L Word” co-creator Chaiken ILENE
Ilene Chaiken was the executive producer for the Showtime drama series “The L Word”. The show deals with lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in West Hollywood. The title refers to “the L word”: lesbian.

59. Alien-seeking agcy. SETI
SETI is the name given to a number of projects that are searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

60. Fox hit since 2002, familiarly IDOL
Fox’s “American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created following the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. I can’t abide either program(me) …

62. Part of AMA: Abbr. ASSN
American Medical Association (AMA)

Down
1. Like early Elvis albums MONO
Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

3. Gyro bread PITA
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools. The pockets were a big hit in the seventies when someone came up with the idea of using them for fillings hence creating pita sandwiches or “pita pockets”.

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish, a sandwich made with pita bread containing meat, tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce). The meat for gyros is usually roasted on a tall vertical spit and is sliced from the spit as required. The name “gyro” comes from the modern Greek word “gyros” meaning “circle”, a reference to the meat turning as it is grilled in a rotating circular motion.

4. Equinox mo. SEPT
An equinox is a phenomenon dictated by the tilt of the earth’s axis. Twice every year, that tilt “evens out” and the sun is equidistant from points at the same latitude both north and south of the equator. It is as if the earth has no tilt relative to the sun. The name equinox comes from the Latin for “equal night”, inferring that night and day are equally long, as the effect of the earth’s “tilt” is nullified. Equinoxes occur around March 21st and September 23rd each year.

5. Scrub ABORT
The use of the verb “to scrub” meaning “to cancel”, originated in the 1820s. The term became popular during WWII as various flight operations or sorties were “scrubbed” on a daily basis, i.e. the sortie name or reference number was erased off a chalk board.

6. Group at some crime scenes MAFIA
Apparently “Cosa Nostra” is the real name for the Italian Mafia. “Cosa Nostra” translates as “our thing” or “this thing of ours”. The term first became public in the US when the FBI managed to turn some members of the American Mafia. The Italian authorities established that “Cosa Nostra” was also used in Sicily when they penetrated the Sicilian Mafia in the 1980s. The term “Mafia” seems to be just a literary invention that has become popular with the public.

8. Spike preceder, in volleyball SET
In volleyball, each team can only touch the ball a maximum of three times before it returns to the other side of the net. The three contacts are often a bump (a preliminary pass) and a set (setting up the attacking shot) followed by a spike (a shot into the opposing court).

9. Longfellow hero HIAWATHA
“The Song of Hiawatha” is an epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that he penned in 1855. Longfellow based the poem on legends told to him by Native Americans. The main characters in the piece are Hiawatha and his lover Minnehaha.

10. Trumpeter/film composer Mark ISHAM
Mark Isham is a trumpeter and film composer from New York City. Isham’s music has been included in the soundtracks of nearly one hundred movies, including “A River Runs Through It”, “Of Mice and Men”, “Men of Honor”, “What Women Want”, “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Beauty and the Beast”.

12. Point __: southernmost point of mainland Canada PELEE
Point Pelee is a peninsula that juts out in Lake Erie, and is located in Point Pelee National Park in Ontario. Point Pelee is the southernmost point of mainland Canada.

13. Aquatic frolicker OTTER
The fur of the sea otter is exceptionally thick. It is in fact the densest fur in the whole animal kingdom.

18. Activist Parks ROSA
Rosa Parks was one of a few brave African-American women in days gone by who refused to give up their seats on a bus to white women. It was the stand taken by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 that sparked the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. President Clinton presented Ms. Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. When she died in 2005, Rosa Parks became the first ever woman to have her body lie in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda.

25. Starbucks offering CHAI
Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in the Herman Melville book “Moby Dick”.

27. Campus recruiting gp. ROTC
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

30. Marcos’ successor AQUINO
Corazon Aquino was the first woman to hold the office of President of the Philippines. She led the popular revolt against President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 which led to the restoration of democracy in the country. She came to lead the movement against Marcos upon the assassination of her husband, the most visible opponent of Marcos. She took to the role reluctantly, proclaiming herself a “plain housewife”.

31. Vatican administrative body CURIA
The Roman Curia is the main governing body of the Roman Catholic church. “Roman Curia” translates from Latin as “Court of Rome”, and may be considered as analogous to the cabinet in a Western government.

32. Dorm mgrs. RAS
RAs are resident assistants or resident advisers, the peer leaders found in residence halls, particularly on a college campus.

33. One of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” OLGA
Olga, Masha and Irina were the “Three Sisters” in the play by Anton Chekhov. The three title characters were inspired by the three Brontë sisters, the English authors.

Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

35. __-Z: classic Camaro IROC
The IROC-Z is a model of Camaro, introduced in 1978. The IROC-Z takes its name from a famous stock car race, the International Race of Champions.

36. Magazine insert AMMO
The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

The word “magazine” was originally used to denote a place for storing goods, particularly military arms and ammunition, back in the late 1500s. This usage was extended to include packs of ammunition attached to automatic weapons. The first use of “magazine” in the sense of a periodical or journal dates back to 1731, with the publication of “Gentleman’s Magazine”. “Magazine” had come to mean a printed list of military stores, and the idea was that the new periodical was to be a “storehouse” of information.

38. Field artillery weapon HOWITZER
Traditional artillery weapons were classified into guns, howitzers and mortars. Guns fired small shells at a relatively flat trajectory. Mortars fired at high angles of ascent, lobbing a projectile into the enemy’s ranks. Howitzers stood between guns and mortars in terms of trajectory.

42. Erelong ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

44. Speed skater __ Anton Ohno APOLO
Speed-skater Apolo Ohno has won more Winter Olympics medals than any other American. Ohno also did a great job winning the 2007 season of television’s “Dancing with the Stars”.

45. Cowboy contest RODEO
“Rodeo” is a Spanish word, which is usually translated as “round up”.

48. Ladybug features SPOTS
The insect we know as a ladybug has seven spots on the wing covers. These seven spots gave rise to the common name “ladybug”, as in the Middle Ages the insect was called the “beetle of Our Lady”. The spots were said to symbolize the Seven Joys and Seven Sorrows, events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary called out in the Roman Catholic tradition.

49. “The Poseidon Adventure” producer Allen IRWIN
The TV and movie director Irwin Allen was known as “The Master of Disaster”, as he worked on so many disaster movies. The most famous of these were “The Poseidon Adventure” and “The Towering Inferno”, both of which he produced.

The 1972 movie “The Poseidon Adventure” was based on a novel of the same name by Paul Gallico, first published three years before release of the film. “The Poseidon Adventure” was a huge commercial success in 1972, earning more than twice as much money as the second most successful movie of the year, “Deliverance”.

52. Asian sashes OBIS
The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied in what is called a butterfly knot.

55. Fast PC connections DSLS
The abbreviation “DSL” originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is the technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

57. “Be Prepared” org. BSA
As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, in 1910. And, the Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Mall entrance features MAPS
5. Bandstand boosters AMPS
9. Big zoo attraction HIPPO
14. Bee’s relative OPIE
15. Empty BARE
16. Dot in the ocean ISLET
17. Investment return for a New York basketball player? NET PROFIT (from “the Brooklyn Nets”)
19. Grind to __ A HALT
20. “Messiah,” e.g. ORATORIO
21. Gershwin title river SWANEE
22. Reception room for a Texas hockey player? STAR CHAMBER (from “the Dallas Stars”)
24. Capital on the Gulf of Guinea ACCRA
28. Panama, for one HAT
29. Bush Labor secretary Elaine CHAO
30. High anxiety? ACROPHOBIA
37. Sudden fear for a California soccer player? EARTHQUAKE ALARM (from “the San Jose Earthquakes”)
39. Conversations DISCOURSES
40. Grab (onto) GLOM
41. Nintendo’s __ Sports WII
42. Big name in transmission repair AAMCO
43. Serious lapse for a Missouri baseball player? CARDINAL SIN (from “the St. Louis Cardinals”)
50. Wine city north of Lisbon OPORTO
51. Forced to leave home UPROOTED
56. All-nighter pill NODOZ
57. Luggage for an Ohio football player? BROWN BAGS (from “the Cleveland Browns”)
58. “The L Word” co-creator Chaiken ILENE
59. Alien-seeking agcy. SETI
60. Fox hit since 2002, familiarly IDOL
61. One whispering sweet nothings COOER
62. Part of AMA: Abbr. ASSN
63. Get smart with SASS

Down
1. Like early Elvis albums MONO
2. Mimic APER
3. Gyro bread PITA
4. Equinox mo. SEPT
5. Scrub ABORT
6. Group at some crime scenes MAFIA
7. Old conviction PRIOR
8. Spike preceder, in volleyball SET
9. Longfellow hero HIAWATHA
10. Trumpeter/film composer Mark ISHAM
11. Backup strategy PLAN B
12. Point __: southernmost point of mainland Canada PELEE
13. Aquatic frolicker OTTER
18. Activist Parks ROSA
21. Cookie cutter assortment SHAPES
23. Fail under pressure CHOKE
24. Nailed, as an exam ACED
25. Starbucks offering CHAI
26. Train units CARS
27. Campus recruiting gp. ROTC
30. Marcos’ successor AQUINO
31. Vatican administrative body CURIA
32. Dorm mgrs. RAS
33. One of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” OLGA
34. Soothing ointment BALM
35. __-Z: classic Camaro IROC
36. Magazine insert AMMO
38. Field artillery weapon HOWITZER
42. Erelong ANON
43. Like volcanoes CONIC
44. Speed skater __ Anton Ohno APOLO
45. Cowboy contest RODEO
46. High-tech surveillance tool DRONE
47. Worms and flies, at times LURES
48. Ladybug features SPOTS
49. “The Poseidon Adventure” producer Allen IRWIN
52. Asian sashes OBIS
53. Triumphant cry TADA!
54. They may clash in Hollywood EGOS
55. Fast PC connections DSLS
57. “Be Prepared” org. BSA

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Oct 15, Thursday”

  1. Technically a DNF since I didn't bother trying to finish it beforehand. But I got it all except for 10 and 12 Down. If I look those up, we can call it 3 errors (23-Down was a straight error) and be done. Rather difficult to pick up the clues and very weird for the theme which I didn't figure out (which is normal since I almost always never do).

  2. Rather difficult, but managed to finish it with some 'educated' guesses.

    Learning point is Point Pelee. I hvae been, by water craft, to within 5 miles of the Pelee Island, which is the southern most point of Canada, not connected to the mainland. We were visiting Put in Bay (island)( still USA) and we circled the Pelee island, 5 miles to the north, but did not land cuz we did not have our US passports handy. So, we did not want to be 'interned', as trespassers.

    The Cleveland Browns have come in dead last so often that they can be said to have won the Dooper bowl. Rumor has it that the players can get a 50% pay bonus if they can just get a winning ( >50%) season.

    Have a nice day, fellas and lets us see what Friday brings us.

  3. I thought the answer to 14 Across (Bee's relative) was cute (and it took getting some of the others in the corner before I figured it out. The rest of this puzzle came together pretty quickly. I only got 10 and 12 down by getting the crossing answers.

    Have a great Thursday all. I really enjoy coming to Bill's blog for the "puzzle camaraderie" that is manifest here.

  4. Finished but had 2 foolish errors. For whatever reason I thought of the song Panama by Van Halen and had HIT for 28A which produced SHIPES (???) for 21D. I also wasn't thinking of a real word (because of the question mark in the clue) in 30A so I had AEROPHOBIA which led to EURIA (what do I know about Vatican admin bodies??). ok – maybe that's 4 errors.

    Oh well. Better luck on Friday…..maybe.

    I cringed when SETI showed up in the puzzle. It's still early, but no sign of the SETI crowd so far today.

    Best –

  5. This should have been labelled "For Sports Fans".
    I eventually got all but the north central of the puzzle, (insisted on lob) but didn't enjoy it.

    For 10 yrs my daughter has lived close to the San Andreas Fault, and a flat mile from the ocean. Every morning I look at the USGS earthquake site to see if she's had an earthquake. It's a little nerve-wracking to see how many earthquakes there are around the Ring of Fire every day! I have to remind myself that has been going on for millions of yrs, it's not a sudden increase. Next week she moves to volcanoe country, although they are very, very old volcanoes, and I don't anticipate as much worry!

    Bella

  6. I didn't like this one! Grumble! Thought I had a foothold with OPIE and PITA to start, but had GOLD instead of MONO, so the NW collapsed on me and from there I was forced to do some cheating. This puzzle reminds me: isn't there a big difference in difficulty when we go from Wednesday to Thursday? More so than on other days, I think. A brutal trajectory! Well, maybe that's a bit dramatic…
    Not looking forward to Friday! Grumble!
    Be well~~™

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