LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Oct 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Howard Barkin
THEME: Penalty Box … each of today’s themed answers starts with a reason a hockey play might end up in the PENALTY BOX:

60A. Hockey punishment for the starts of the longest across answers PENALTY BOX

17A. Sleeping in the great outdoors, e.g. ROUGHING IT
23A. Making sense HOLDING WATER
38A. Fair odds FIGHTING CHANCES
49A. Airport agent’s request BOARDING PASS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Great Salt Lake component, to a chemist NACL
Sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) is an ionic compound, a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na) ions in between the chlorides.

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is extremely shallow, and so the area of the lake fluctuates greatly with the changing volume of water. Back in 1963 the lake shrunk to 950 square miles, whereas in 1988 the area was measured at a whopping 3,300 square miles.

10. Lucy’s partner DESI
Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

15. Yoga position ASANA
“Asana” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

19. Big East or Big South org. NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

The BIG EAST collegiate athletic conference was founded in 1979. The conference went through a major realignment between 2010 and 2013 with 14 schools departing, and 15 schools then joining the lineup.

The Big South collegiate athletic conference was founded in 1983. Notably absent from the sports sponsored by the Big South was football, until 2002.

21. Org. recommending flossing ADA
American Dental Association (ADA)

29. Start of a spelling rule broken by deists? I BEFORE E
The oft-quoted rule “I before E, except after C” is broken in the spelling of “weird”.

37. Co-star of Burt in “The Killers” AVA
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.

Burt Lancaster was a Hollywood movie star from New York City. Lancaster started out his performance career working as an acrobat with the Kay Brothers circus, but had to retire from the Big Top due to injury. After serving as an entertainer with the US Army during WWII, he took up acting in New York, where he was discovered by a Hollywood agent and started his film career. Lancaster was often cast as a good-looking tough guy, but I personally preferred the movies in which he played the more off-beat roles, e.g. “Separate Tables” (1958), “Judgement at Nuremberg” (1961), “Birdman of Alcatraz” (1962) and “Local Hero” (1983).

“The Killers” is a film noir based on a short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. The film stars Ava Gardner, as well as Burt Lancaster in his big screen debut.

42. Prefix with fold TRI-
“Trifold” means triple, three times.

48. Korean automaker KIA
Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe, and has been remarkably successful.

54. Adolescent sidekick ROBIN
Batman and Robin are unique among their superhero compatriots in that they have no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets. Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

57. Indifferent response MEH
“Meh!” is one of those terms unfamiliar to me outside of crosswords. It is a modern colloquialism meaning “I’m not great, but not bad”. A friendly reader of this blog tells me that the usage of the term increased dramatically after it started to appear regularly in “The Simpsons” starting in the early nineties.

58. “I did not need to know that” TMI
Too Much Information (TMI)

65. “State of Affairs” star Katherine HEIGL
Katherine Heigl is best associated with the television show “Grey’s Anatomy” on which she plays Dr. Izzie Stevens. That’s not a show I ever watched, but I did enjoy the espionage show “State of Affairs” in which Heigl played the lead. I guess I was in the minority though, as NBC cancelled “State of Affairs” after only one season …

66. Clanton foe EARP
Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

Ike and Billy Clanton participated in what has to be the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral that took place in Tombstone, Arizona. Strangely enough, the fight didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral, but took place six doors down the street in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.

67. Jazz finale? ZEES
The final letters in the word “jazz” are two letters Z (zees).

68. Schmoes DOPES
“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

Down
1. Ravi’s musical daughter NORAH
The beguiling Norah Jones is the daughter of famous sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, and is one of my favorite singers. If you haven’t heard Jones sing her song “Come Away with Me”, you just haven’t lived …

2. Disco era suffix … A GOGO
Discotheques first appeared during WWII in Occupied France. American-style music (like jazz and jitterbug dances) was banned by the Nazis, so French natives met in underground clubs that they called discotheques where records were often played on just a single turntable. After the war, these clubs came out into the open. One famous Paris discotheque was called “Whiskey a Gogo”. In that Paris disco, non-stop music was played using two turntables next to a dance-floor, and this concept spread around the world.

10. “Meet the Parents” actor DE NIRO
Robert De Niro is noted for his longtime and highly successful collaboration with the director Martin Scorsese. He is also noted for his commitment as a method actor. Famously he gained a full 60 pounds in order to play Jake Lamotta in the 1980 movie “Raging Bull”.

“Meet the Parents” is a funny comedy released in 2000, starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. “Meet the Parents” is actually a remake of a 1992 independent comedy film of the same name that enjoyed much less success.

11. Contents of some envs. ENCS
An envelope (env.) might contain an enclosure (enc.).

12. Neb. neighbor SDAK
The Dakotas were admitted into the union in 1889, along with Montana and Washington. There was a famous rivalry between North and South Dakota, and some jockeying to determine which of the two’s admission papers should be signed first. President Harrison solved the problem by directing that the papers of all four states should be shuffled, and he signed them without recording the order.

18. __-Ashbury: San Francisco section HAIGHT
Haight-Ashbury is a neighborhood in San Francisco that is centered on the intersection of Haight Street and Ashbury Street. The district was one of the epicenters of hippie life in the sixties, and was home to psychedelic rock performers of the day including Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.

24. Smidgen of spice DASH
In cooking, a “dash” is a very small measure, one that is often undefined. However, you can in fact buy some measuring spoons that define not only a dash but also a “pinch” and a “smidgen”, as follows:

– a dash is 1/8 teaspoon
– a pinch is 1/16 teaspoon
– a smidgen is 1/32 teaspoon

Our word “smidgen”, meaning a small amount, might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

25. Take the top medal WIN GOLD
In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

27. New Age musician John TESH
John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter. For many years Tesh presented the show “Entertainment Tonight”. For “ET” he once covered the filming of an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. As part of the piece, he volunteered to act as a Klingon warrior and so if you see the “Star Trek: TNG” episode called “The Icarus Factor” in reruns, watch out for John Tesh engaging in ritual torture with Mr. Worf as his victim.

30. Compete in a heat RACE
The term “heat”, meaning a qualifying race, dates back to the 1660s. Originally a heat was a run given to a horse to prepare it for a race, to “heat” it up.

33. Siesta hrs. AFTS
We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, taking the word from the Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at “the sixth hour” after dawn.

39. Isle of Mull neighbor IONA
Although the small island of Iona lies just off the west coast of Scotland, it was the site of a monastery built in the Middle Ages by a monk from Ireland names Colm Cille (also known as Columba). Colm Cille and his followers were sent into exile from the Irish mainland and settled in Iona, as at that time the island was part of an Irish kingdom. This monastery in Iona expanded its influence over the decades and founded other institutions all over Ireland and Great Britain. It is believed that the famous Book of Kells may have been written, or at least started, at the monastery on Iona. Iona is also the burial site for Macbeth, King of Scotland who was immortalized in Shakespeare’s fictional account of the king’s life.

The Isle of Mull (sometimes called just “Mull”) is part of the Inner Hebrides, which lie off the west coast of Scotland.

41. Tide type NEAP
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

46. Classic Fords T-BIRDS
Ford manufactured the Thunderbird (T-Bird) from 1955 to 2005, originally as a two-seater sporty convertible. The T-Bird was introduced as a competitor to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette.

47. Accelerator particle ION
In a particle accelerator, the particles that are accelerated have to have a charge, and so are ions. The charged ions are subjected to high magnetic fields that propel them around a circular “racetrack”, before being smashed into something, just to see what happens!

48. Mournful tolls KNELLS
The word “knell” is used for a solemn ring from a bell, often associated with death or a funeral. “Knell” comes the Old English “cnell” and is probably imitative in origin, sounding like a peal from a large bell.

52. Three-ingredient treat S’MORE
S’mores are treats peculiar to North America, usually eaten around a campfire. A s’more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

53. Common dinner hr. SIX PM
The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in Ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

54. Nabisco cracker RITZ
I’ve always liked Ritz crackers. They’ve been around since 1934 when they were introduced by Nabisco. The name Ritz was chosen because the marketing folks felt that the association with Ritz-Carlton would evoke images of wealth and the highlife.

56. About 500 pounds of cotton BALE
Cotton is usually measured in bales. Here in the US, a bale is 17 cubic feet in size, with a weight of 500 pounds.

60. Scholar’s deg. PHD
PhD is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”.

61. Want-ad abbr. EEO
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Commission was set up by the Civil Rights Act.

63. Aye or hai YES
“Hai” is the Japanese word for “yes”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Great Salt Lake component, to a chemist NACL
5. Moved for a better view, in a way SAT UP
10. Lucy’s partner DESI
14. Fairy tale villain OGRE
15. Yoga position ASANA
16. Pair in a loaf ENDS
17. Sleeping in the great outdoors, e.g. ROUGHING IT
19. Big East or Big South org. NCAA
20. Generation AGE
21. Org. recommending flossing ADA
22. Like many stunts RISKY
23. Making sense HOLDING WATER
28. In the past AGO
29. Start of a spelling rule broken by deists? I BEFORE E
33. Flooded AWASH
36. Bring __ a substitute IN AS
37. Co-star of Burt in “The Killers” AVA
38. Fair odds FIGHTING CHANCES
42. Prefix with fold TRI-
43. “I get the idea!” OK OK!
44. Skeptical LEERY
45. Guard SENTINEL
48. Korean automaker KIA
49. Airport agent’s request BOARDING PASS
54. Adolescent sidekick ROBIN
57. Indifferent response MEH
58. “I did not need to know that” TMI
59. Letter-shaped building part I-BAR
60. Hockey punishment for the starts of the longest across answers PENALTY BOX
64. Narrated TOLD
65. “State of Affairs” star Katherine HEIGL
66. Clanton foe EARP
67. Jazz finale? ZEES
68. Schmoes DOPES
69. Leaf support STEM

Down
1. Ravi’s musical daughter NORAH
2. Disco era suffix A GOGO
3. Mean CRUEL
4. Wing alternative LEG
5. Flatly denied it SAID NO
6. Hit __: experience delays A SNAG
7. Put out on the infield TAG
8. One at the front? UNI-
9. Butter serving PAT
10. “Meet the Parents” actor DE NIRO
11. Contents of some envs. ENCS
12. Neb. neighbor SDAK
13. “Do as __ …” I SAY
18. __-Ashbury: San Francisco section HAIGHT
22. Court official REF
24. Smidgen of spice DASH
25. Take the top medal WIN GOLD
26. By surprise ABACK
27. New Age musician John TESH
30. Compete in a heat RACE
31. At any time EVER
32. “Nothing to it!” EASY!
33. Siesta hrs. AFTS
34. Charging cable, e.g. WIRE
35. Not fer AGIN
36. Graphic novel artist INKER
39. Isle of Mull neighbor IONA
40. Land ALIGHT
41. Tide type NEAP
46. Classic Fords T-BIRDS
47. Accelerator particle ION
48. Mournful tolls KNELLS
50. Physical likeness IMAGE
51. Chance to swing AT BAT
52. Three-ingredient treat S’MORE
53. Common dinner hr. SIX PM
54. Nabisco cracker RITZ
55. Concert reed OBOE
56. About 500 pounds of cotton BALE
60. Scholar’s deg. PHD
61. Want-ad abbr. EEO
62. Quick drink NIP
63. Aye or hai YES

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23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Oct 15, Wednesday”

  1. Smooth grid for most part except for the alphabet soup. Wasn't sure of 43-Across in light of 36-Down and 39-Down (I don't do those things) so I looked it up. Then I got one letter off on 68-Across (DUPES instead of DOPES). So 2 errors.

  2. Easy puzzle. Guessed my way through sports. Never heard of HEIGL whcih shows I don't have my fingers on the pulse of American pop entertainment.

  3. @Sfingi

    >Never heard of HEIGL whcih shows I don't have my fingers on the pulse of American pop entertainment.

    Actually most won't unless they pay really sharp attention to commercials. She started out on the TV show Grey's Anatomy (basically a night time soap opera), then from there went into several more or less terrible movies where she bombed at bringing in crowds to see them (most notable: "Knocked Up" opposite Seth Rogen if that tells you anything), then to "State of Affairs". She bombed at that and then went back to the garbage cinema ever since. Besides doing the typical career "It's My Turn" nose-dive (see David Caruso), she has gained a reputation of being "difficult" to work with which has carried with her since the Grey's Anatomy days (no doubt limiting her prospects).

    More or less, she's a minor star at best that has mostly skated by on her looks alone, and isn't that notable. If you haven't heard of her, you're better off.

  4. @Anonymous
    >Can someone help me on 8 down?

    "8. One at the front? UNI-"

    One, at the front? The question mark means it's not a literal statement. At the front – prefix of a word. So the clue is asking for the prefix of a word meaning one. Which is UNI- as in unicycle, unitard, universe, unity, etc.

  5. Another pretty straightforward grid with ALIGHT just being another version of ALIT. I got the theme the second I read it so the themed answers all came quickly which helped.

    I had no idea a bale of cotton was so heavy.
    Good for President Harrison for his solution to the Dakota "problem".

    I think Glenn is starting a Katherine Heigl fan club if anyone is interested…

    Best –

  6. The puzzle was challenging but the long answers really helped – as they should on a Wednesday.

    'I before E' ….. was a cute answer. I kept wondering why God, (thru a deist – ), had to enter the picture in a spelling rule. I am aware that some orthodox Jews do not spell, or pronounce, the name, G-d, but that was no help here. ;-D)

    One of our best friends and neighbor has been a Girl Scout den mother and, more importantly, a cookie mother (coordinator) for the last 20 years. That itself, should entitle her to some sort of Nobel prize. Being a cookie mother is serious business – you have to personally garantee and more importantly, pay in advance, for the bulk order of cookies for your entire troop's orders. Since, there are some inevitable cancellations and non-pickups, and a few non-payments, you end up about a couple of hundred dollars short, to be met, out of your own pocket, every year. Based on the size of your troop, of course. Added to this is the logistics of storing 300+ cartons of cookie boxes in your basement. Also she funds her duties, and her habit, by working only part time, as a physician.

    Have a nice day, all.

  7. Only needed 1 peek, which is amazing, considering it was all abt hockey.

    Vidwan, I read abt the cookie sales yrs ago. Can't believe they still do it that way. How do they keep troops going in low income areas? I agree, your neighbor deserves some kind of medal.

    Bella

  8. Well, this was tough enough for a Wednesday!
    IN AS/INKER/OK OK really had me stumped.
    Couldn't even think of Batman's sidekick until I had _OBIN. Sheesh!
    23A "Making sense" clue was a toughie.
    HOLDING ?????
    Anyway, got through unscathed.
    Bring on Thursday!

  9. Hi, quick comments:
    HEIGL was a tough one, sorry about that, all – I couldn't resist the unusual spelling, and my wife was a regular Grey's Anatomy viewer :).
    I wasn't a fan of IN AS either, but it glued up the area nicely.
    Today happens to be opening day of the NHL season, so the hockey theme is intentionally timely for the day.

    Hope you enjoyed (or weren't too frustrated) with the puzzle! All criticism and comments are always welcomed.

  10. @Howard B

    Yet another grid constructor (Jerome showed up yesterday). Welcome! Hope you don't take our snide comments too seriously if you ever end up doing a Fri or Sat grid. 🙂

  11. Uh-Oh…Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely…I'm not sure my finger on the Nuclear crossword blog comments section deletion trigger is a sight that we probably don't want to see!

  12. @Howard B
    I always feel so honored when a constructor stops by and leaves a comment. Thanks so much for the time you spent putting this puzzle together. I know from own experience how long it takes for these puzzles to come together. We appreciate your dedication. Please, drop by again soon!

    @Jeff, Tony
    Spam is an awful thing, and I have to stay alert. I get rid of about 20-30 spam comments a day using a spam filter (yes, that many) but sometimes they slip through the net. I wish I had more time to stay on top of "the little devils" (referring politely to the spammers). If I ever find a red button for you guys to push, I'll be sure tell you 🙂

  13. Bill – You are always welcome to pull down my feeble attempts at humor in response to the numb nutz who have nothing better to do than come to your beautiful blog and leave ugly graffiti spam on it (after you've dealt with the schmo's who pass for juvenile miscreants on the Net).

  14. Thank you Bill, a pleasure :). Remember, the goal of (most? all?) constructors is just to entertain and challenge, just as I do when I get to solve others' puzzles. Thanks for the recap!

  15. @Howard B
    While we (still?) have you here…a question: What kind of advice would you give those of us reading who might want to do a grid ourselves?

  16. I saw a cartoon once where they were referring to the 'I before E except after C'. And the character said 'OK, wise guy, what about 'science'? 😀

  17. Oh no he DIDn't!! AWASH??
    I don't mind ABACK and ALIGHT, tho.
    For some reason I had KNOLLS instead of KNELLS!! Figured it out when I got MEH.
    BTW, I think MEH appears more than anyplace on Yelp, in reviews written by 20-somethings.
    Hi Howard B! Nice to see you here! Thank you for a fun puzzle!
    I only had one Google, for NORAH. I'd forgotten she's Ravi's daughter and was thinking of another of his daughters, who is an accomplished sitarist herself.
    Hey Tony, I think your double-negative comment means you DO want the power! 😀

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