LA Times Crossword Answers 8 Oct 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Market Swing … we have the word DOW, as in the stock MARKET, hidden in the four themed answers. And, that hidden DOW SWINGS up and down, goes back and forth:

16D. Wall Street phenomenon suggested by this puzzle’s circled letters MARKET SWING

2D. Common comedy club requirement TWO-DRINK MINIMUM (DOW back)
4D. Xbox 360 rival NINTENDO WII (DOW forth)
22D. “Right Ho, Jeeves” writer PG WODEHOUSE (DOW back)
10D. “Where was the mistake?” WHAT DID I DO WRONG? (DOW forth)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 51s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Stir-fried dish with rice noodles PAD THAI
The delicious dish called Pad Thai is a meld of stir-fried rice noodles with tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus a mix of vegetables and possibly tofu, meat or fish. It is usually topped with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The name “Pad Thai” translates as “fried Thai-style”.

15. Receipt datum AMOUNT
Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

16. Sources of inside info? MRI SCANS
MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the image produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

18. European coal region SAAR
The Saar is a river that rises on the border between Alsace and Lorraine in France, flows through western Germany and finally enters the Moselle. Historically the Saar river valley was an important source for coal, iron and steel.

19. Your, to Pierre TES
“Tes” is the French word for “your”, when referring to a group of items and when talking to someone with whom you are familiar.

20. Pre-splashdown stage REENTRY
When a spacecraft reenters the earth’s atmosphere, it compresses the air in front of it creating a tremendous amount of heat. This heated air ionizes and surrounds the vehicle. The ionized air interferes with radio signals leading to the famous spacecraft reentry communications blackout. This blackout lasted for about 3 minutes for each of the Apollo missions. Famously, the miraculous Apollo 13 spacecraft entered the atmosphere at a much shallower angle than was routine, and the resulting blackout lasted for a nail-biting 6 minutes.

22. Rice source PADDY
A paddy field is the flooded piece of land used to grow rice. The water reduces competition from weeds allowing the rice to thrive. The word “paddy” has nothing to do with us Irish folk, and is an anglicized version of the word “padi”, the Malay name for the rice plant.

24. Sports media consultant Fleischer ARI
Ari Fleischer was the White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush. Fleischer now runs his own media consulting firm that specializes in representing sports players and organizations. Fleischer helped Mark McGwire handle the media when he had to admit to the use of steroids, and was briefly hired by Tiger Woods as he planned his return to the PGA after dropping out of the spotlight to handle the problems in his personal life.

27. Moo goo __ pan GAI
Moo goo gai pan is an American version of a traditional Cantonese dish. In Cantonese “moo goo” means “button mushroom”, “gai” is “chicken” and “pan” is “slices”.

29. Blue Devils’ school DUKE
Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family. Duke’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Devils.

35. UFO crew, so it’s said ETS
One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) might be flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

37. Willow twig OSIER
Most willows (trees and shrubs of the genus Salix) are called just that, willows. Some of the broad-leaved shrub varieties are called sallow, and the narrow-leaved shrubs are called osier. The variety known as osier is commonly used in basketry, as osier twigs are very flexible.

39. Chips source SPUD
The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

41. R&B group __ Hill DRU
Dru Hill is an R&B singing group from Baltimore, Maryland. Dru Hill was formed in 1992, and is still going strong today. The name “Dru Hill” comes from Druid Hill Park which is found on the west side of Baltimore.

43. “Pearls Before __”: Stephan Pastis comic SWINE
The comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” is written and illustrated by Stephan Pastis. Pastis used to be a lawyer in San Francisco. Quite a career change, huh? The title of the strip comes from the Bible. According to the Book of Matthew, Jesus states in the Sermon on the Mount:
Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

44. Tuba syllable OOM
Oom-pah-pah

45. Supernatural benefactors GENII
“Genii” is an accepted plural of two related words: “genius” and “genie”.

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

47. Do-it-yourselfer’s website WIKIHOW
wikiHow is a website that has the mission to build the world’s largest how-to manual. The site was launched in 2005 by the owners of the website eHow.

49. Boxer Laila ALI
Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali and is a very capable boxer in her own right. Laila’s professional record is an impressive 24 wins, including 21 knockouts. She never lost a fight, and nor did she ever draw. One of those victories was against Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of her father’s nemesis Joe Frazier. Laila is not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars”.

51. Hatch in the Senate ORRIN
Orrin Hatch is a Republican Senator from Utah. Hatch also quite the musician, and plays the piano, violin and organ. He has composed various compositions, including a song called “Heal Our Land” that was played at the 2005 inauguration of President George W. Bush.

57. Numbers game SUDOKU
Number puzzles similar to our modern-day Sudoku first appeared in French newspapers in the late 1800s. The format that we use today was created by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old freelance puzzle constructor from Connersville, Indiana and first published in 1979. The format was introduced in Japan in 1984 and given the title of “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru”, which translates to “the digits are limited to one occurrence”. The rather elaborate Japanese title was eventually shortened to Sudoku. No doubt many of you are fans of Sudoku puzzles. I know I am …

59. Online newsgroup system USENET
Remember the good old days, when you read messages online in “newsgroups”? Well, that system of aggregating public messages is known as Usenet, and it’s still around today. Usenet started operating in 1980, some ten years before the World Wide Web was introduced (which system has displaced Usenet in terms of popularity). Usenet definitely played a significant part in the history of the Internet. For instance, the terms “FAQ” and “spam” were both born on Usenet.

61. Largely submerged threats BERGS
An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. Out use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

Down
1. Cargo carrier SEMI
A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

4. Xbox 360 rival NINTENDO WII
The Wii is the biggest-selling game console in the world.

The XBox line of video game consoles is made by Microsoft. The original XBox platform was followed by XBox 360 and most recently by XBox One. Microsoft’s XBox competes directly with Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Wii.

5. “NYPD Blue” rank DET
Detective (Det.)

“NYPD Blue” is a police drama that was originally aired in 1993, and ran until 2005. Stars of the show are Dennis Franz, David Caruso, Jimmy Smits and Rick Schroder. The show created a bit of a fuss back in the nineties as it featured a relatively large amount of nudity for broadcast television.

7. Tango team PAIR
It takes two to tango …

The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay.

9. LAX tower service ATC
Air traffic control (ATC)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

12. Actress Spacek SISSY
“Carrie” is a 1976 horror film based on a Stephen King novel of the same name. Sissy Spacek plays the title role, a breakthrough role for her. I’m afraid I have never seen movie (I don’t really do “horror”).

13. ’60s hot spot NAM
By some definitions, the official involvement of Americans in the Vietnam War started in 1955. At that time, President Eisenhower deployed a Military Assistance Advisory Group to assist in the training of the South Vietnamese Army. American involvement in the conflict officially ended in 1973 with the signing of an agreement that came out of the Paris Peace Accords.

16. Wall Street phenomenon suggested by this puzzle’s circled letters MARKET SWING
Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today, the company’s most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day, including the renowned Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), also known as the “Dow 30”.

22. “Right Ho, Jeeves” writer PG WODEHOUSE
Jeeves is probably the most famous character created by novelist P. G. Wodehouse. Reginald Jeeves is the full name of Bertie Wooster’s celebrated valet. Wodehouse’s full name was Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse.

31. Designer Saarinen EERO
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

32. One frequently hit on the head? DRUM
The membrane at the top of a drum is called a “drumhead”. The membrane on the bottom of a drum is called a “resonance head”, and is usually tuned to a slightly lower pitch than the drumhead.

34. “Un-break My Heart” singer Braxton TONI
Toni Braxton is a very successful R&B singer, but one who seems to have trouble managing her financial affairs. After two highly successful albums, she had to file for bankruptcy protection in 1993. She recovered and had even more success, and then had to file for bankruptcy again in 2010.

43. Jolson classic 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 it just took off.

45. Swamp thing GATOR
Crocodiles and alligators do indeed bear a resemblance to each other, although they belong to distinct biological families. One of the main ways used to distinguish them is by their teeth and jaws. Both the upper and lower sets of teeth of a crocodile are visible when its mouth is closed, whereas only the upper teeth of an alligator are visible with the mouth shut.

46. Lycée student ELEVE
French for school is “école”, and French for pupil is “élève”.

The “lycée” is the last stage of secondary education in France.

52. Turner and Clanton IKES
Ike and Tina Turner were together as a husband/wife duo recording music for 16 years in the sixties and seventies. Ike and Tina’s biggest hit has to be “Proud Mary”, released in 1971. The partnership ended, along with their marriage, in the late seventies with Tina making accusations of abuse by her drug-addicted husband.

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.

53. Aficionado NUT
A “buff” or a “nut” is one who is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject. For example, one might be a movie buff, or perhaps a baseball nut.

An “aficionado” is an enthusiast, a word that came to us from Spanish. “Aficionado” was originally used in English to describe a devotee of bullfighting.

55. Gaza Strip gp. PLO
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

56. It covers a lot of ground TAR
The terms “Tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Night table STAND
6. Covers a lot of ground SPRAWLS
13. One learning the ropes NEWBIE
14. Stir-fried dish with rice noodles PAD THAI
15. Receipt datum AMOUNT
16. Sources of inside info? MRI SCANS
17. Heart MIDST
18. European coal region SAAR
19. Your, to Pierre TES
20. Pre-splashdown stage REENTRY
22. Rice source PADDY
24. Sports media consultant Fleischer ARI
26. Hiding places NOOKS
27. Moo goo __ pan GAI
28. Good times FUN
29. Blue Devils’ school DUKE
30. Strolled in the shallows WADED
33. Invite as one’s date for ASK TO
35. UFO crew, so it’s said ETS
37. Willow twig OSIER
38. Cut even shorter, as a green REMOW
39. Chips source SPUD
41. R&B group __ Hill DRU
42. Ristorante suffix -INI
43. “Pearls Before __”: Stephan Pastis comic SWINE
44. Tuba syllable OOM
45. Supernatural benefactors GENII
47. Do-it-yourselfer’s website WIKIHOW
49. Boxer Laila ALI
50. Typically rectangular glass piece PANE
51. Hatch in the Senate ORRIN
54. Attractive TEMPTING
57. Numbers game SUDOKU
58. Produce eggs OVULATE
59. Online newsgroup system USENET
60. Pangs of conscience REMORSE
61. Largely submerged threats BERGS

Down
1. Cargo carrier SEMI
2. Common comedy club requirement TWO-DRINK MINIMUM
3. Cyberbullying, e.g. ABUSE
4. Xbox 360 rival NINTENDO WII
5. “NYPD Blue” rank DET
6. Attacks in a hose fight SPRAYS
7. Tango team PAIR
8. Byways: Abbr. RDS
9. LAX tower service ATC
10. “Where was the mistake?” WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
11. Like highways LANED
12. Actress Spacek SISSY
13. ’60s hot spot NAM
16. Wall Street phenomenon suggested by this puzzle’s circled letters MARKET SWING
18. Stir up STOKE
21. __-turn NO U
22. “Right Ho, Jeeves” writer PG WODEHOUSE
23. Remote batteries AAAS
24. Way out yonder AFAR
25. Trick RUSE
31. Designer Saarinen EERO
32. One frequently hit on the head? DRUM
34. “Un-break My Heart” singer Braxton TONI
36. Sudden increase SPIKE
40. Verse starter? UNI-
43. Jolson classic SWANEE
45. Swamp thing GATOR
46. Lycée student ELEVE
48. Monastic group ORDER
50. Cherry discards PITS
52. Turner and Clanton IKES
53. Aficionado NUT
55. Gaza Strip gp. PLO
56. It covers a lot of ground TAR
57. One coming off the bench SUB

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

  1. A very strange grid with several weird illogical answers (of course with the usual junk fill like 44-Across) – to the point that I had to check them just to be sure. But I finished the grid okay but with 2 errors though: 58-Down (EMULATE!) and 11-Down (PAVED). Good thing was I discovered them and corrected them.

  2. Thought this was a fair Thursday puzzle. Not overly easy but not impossible. My usual quick to put in an answer gave me a few problems like choosing "ship" for 1 down until I finally figured out "semi" was the right word.

    Hope everyone has a great day. Let's see which devilish puzzle constructor comes out with the usual Friday torture device in the shape of a grid!

  3. Rather difficult puzzle (for me) and for me, atleast, very arcane cluing. I guess the outer limits of my knowledge. No other comment.

    On the other hand, it give me great pleasure to come here and listen to Bill's commentary and learn a lot about many things, that I otherwise would not have thought of.

    I think, the two drink minimum, would really set me aback. (pun intended). One drink alone is quite overwhelming, thank you.

    P. G. Wodehouse is arguably my most famous and beloved author. I have read him many. many times, and repeatedly. I have read his biography atleast twice, maybe more. I even had the pleasure of 'seeing' him in NYC in 1974 (?). he died in the next 12 months, soon after he received his KBE ( knighthood). He is, like Agatha Christie, and McDonalds (!), always reliable. For a good laugh.

    Also, horrors (!)- I did not know that Jeeves had a first name…

    MRI scans, had one, one more to go.

    I confused 'Tango' with sweet tango, a recent cultivar of apple, which is just as exotic as the famous, rare Kanzi variety. Totally misled. Too much knowledge is a truly dangerous thing.

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. I am also a Wodehouse fan. Psmith is my particular favorite. I'm still trying to figure out how anyone can sit through cricket (possibly for days!). When a batter can stand there and watch the ball go by for hrs, where's the fun in that? Maybe they've changed the rules since Wodehouse's day.

    For a Thurs, I didn't do too badly. The NE corner was loss. Sissy was my only strike-free answer.

    Matt

  5. I really struggled (and therefore really enjoyed) this puzzle. I ended up finishing, but I did have one error – PATTHAI and RTS. Oh well, I much prefer Vietnamese food to Thai anyway…Overall, a very worthy Thursday puzzle from CC Burnikel.

    I always had an issue with the term "reentry". You enter a stadium or theater, you exit, then you must reenter – i.e. enter again. Well astronauts are entering the earth's atmsphere, but they had never entered it before. We were born here…well most of us anyway… so they are actually entering for the first time. Perhaps the term should only apply to experienced astronauts who have indeed entered the atmosphere before.

    It's all unimportant semantics, but hey that's what we crossword NUTs do.

    Best –

  6. Had no idea what ATC was, thanks Bill!
    Holding my breath at EERO/DRU.
    Invite as one's date for.. ASK TO
    very strange clue.
    OSIER crosswordese.
    Finished correctly.
    Ah, the Friday puzzle looms in the distance.

  7. @Jeff – Regarding the concept of "reentry" I guess the way I look at is that the astronaut exited on the way up and then he reentered on the way back down.

  8. DNF because of NE – PADTHAI, ATC, LANED. If Thai or Vietnamese are hot I'll never know the difference and won't care. The country is being ruined by peppers and chilis. (I'm an old f–t and set in my ways.)

    @Jeff – there should be a special verb for entry after first exit – or do they count birth as first entry.

  9. If you go to a concert, even if it's the first one you ever attended, if you exit there is no reentry without a hand stamp…

  10. I think when astronauts leave earth they enter the stratosphere and then enter the ionosphere. On their return they must re-enter these parts of the atmosphere that they entered for the first time on liftoff. Note that in The Martian book/ movie they do not "reenter" martian atmosphere when landing. That's my 2 cents 🙂

  11. @Tony –

    It's indeed an anomaly that they can exit from somewhere before they ever enter it. The only way to do that is to be born or created somewhere, exit THEN enter for the first time (Frankenstein from the lab, for example). Even at your first concert, you have to enter once before you can exit and reenter. And regards to astronauts – they do exit on the way up, but that is incidental. They are still only entering once – ie there is no reentry. They are entering the atmosphere for the first time….unless as Sfingi says they are couting birth as entering the atmosphere the first time…

    @Piano man
    That is correct, but the term is referring to entering earth's atmosphere. It doesn't really distinguish. If it did, I'd feel better and not have so many sleepless nights about this (joke).

    Note of warning – If this discussion goes any further, it will start approaching the "it's ironic because he told me at a bus stop" discussion….

  12. My standards are the same as Sfingi since we all entered planet Earth from nowhere, since we all started when the egg and sperm made "first contact" and didn't draw air until out of the womb…so that counts as a first "entry" and then, if we are lucky enough to have NASA as our employer, we might get to "exit" and then hopefully reenter Earth's atmosphere…But as you say, we getting pretty far afield so I'll just wrap this up by saying how enjoyable thees little tangents are (and thanks to Bill for putting up with us and our side tracks).

  13. @Jeff
    If this discussion goes any further, it will start approaching the "it's ironic because he told me at a bus stop" discussion..
    Belly laugh! Too funny. See you all tomorrow. ^0^

  14. Jeez, I really fought for this one, but that middle east section had me done for!! Could not get OSIER/EERO, ended up with three blank squares. DANG!! Pretty good Thursday grid, I thought. Nice challenge.
    Re: REENTRY (ha ha!) Piano man, I think you make a good point, Jeff's comment notwithstanding. That's all I'll say about it, tho–Jeff, sleep well LOL!
    Speaking of The Martian: something I saw on Facebook cracked me up: Between Saving Private Ryan and The Martian, this country's spending a lot of money to get Matt Damon back….LOL! I'd best stop typing now–
    Hasta mañana amigos!

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