LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Nov 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Janice Luttrell
THEME: Dance Partners … each of today’s themed answers starts with a word that is often PARTNERED with DANCE:

35A. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, e.g., and, literally, what the first words of the answers to starred clues can be DANCE PARTNERS

17A. *One of three in a daily diet SQUARE MEAL (giving “square dance”)
24A. *A roll of two, in craps SNAKE EYES (giving “snake dance”)
48A. *Opening night “Best of luck!” BREAK A LEG! (giving “breakdance”)
58A. *Guffaw from the gut BELLY LAUGH (giving “belly dance”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. __ Khan: Rita Hayworth’s husband ALY
Aly Khan was a familiar name used by the media when referring to Prince Ali Solomone Aga Khan, the Pakistani ambassador to the UN from 1958 to 1960. Khan made it into the papers a lot as he was the third husband of actress Rita Hayworth.

4. Composure APLOMB
“Aplomb” is such a lovely word, meaning confidence and assurance. It is a French word that literally means “perpendicularity”, or “on the plumb line”. The idea is that someone with aplomb is poised, upright, balanced.

10. Turkish title of honor AGHA
“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

15. Cigar-smoking George’s spouse GRACIE
George Burns was the stage name of comedian and actor Nathan Birnbaum. Famously, Burns was married to Gracie Allen, who initially acted as “straight man” in their double act. The duo found that they got more laughs with Gracie acting as “Dumb Dora”, an arrangement that Burns and Allen stuck to for decades.

16. Swag LOOT
“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s.

17. *One of three in a daily diet SQUARE MEAL (giving “square dance”)
A “square meal” is one that is substantial and nourishing. According to some sources, the phrase originated with the Royal Navy, and the square wooden plates on which meals were served. However, this centuries-old practice is an unlikely origin as the phrase is first seen in print in the US, in 1856. An advertisement for a restaurant posted in a California newspaper offers a “square meal” to patrons, in the sense of an “honest, straightforward meal”. The “honest” meaning of “square” was well-established at the time, as in “fair and square”, “square play” and “square deal”.

A “square dance” is so called because it is designed ideally for eight dancers arranged in a square, with each couple facing the center of the square.

19. Former Mississippi senator Trent LOTT
Trent Lott was raised Democrat in Mississippi, but served in Congress as a Republican. Lott ran into trouble for remarks he made that were interpreted as being racially motivated, and ended up resigning in 2007.

24. *A roll of two, in craps SNAKE EYES (giving “snake dance”)
“Snake eyes” is the slang term for a roll of two dice in which one pip turns up on each die. The two pips resemble “eyes”, and these are attributed to a “snake” because it is a reptile associated with betrayal. A roll of two can be a loser (betrayal) in some dice games, notably craps.

One usage of the phrase “snake dance” is to describe a parade held during a school or college homecoming event. The term dates back to the 1920s and refers to the parade of students “snaking” their way through the town.

31. Glacial historic period ICE AGE
Ice ages are periods in the Earth’s history when there are extensive ice sheets present in the northern and southern hemispheres. One might argue that we are still in an ice age that began 2.6 million years ago, as evidenced by the presence of ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica.

34. The Macarena, pet rocks, etc. FADS
“Macarena” is a dance song in Spanish that was a huge hit worldwide for Los Del Río in 1995-1996.

The Pet Rock lives on in history even though the fad really only lasted about 6 months, in 1975. It was enough to make Gary Dahl a millionaire though. His next idea, a “sand farm”, didn’t fly at all.

35. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, e.g., and, literally, what the first words of the answers to starred clues can be DANCE PARTNERS
Fred Astaire’s real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

I am a huge Ginger Rogers fan. Rogers is famous as the on-screen and dancing partner of Fred Astaire. However, my favorite films are those romantic comedies she made later in her career, especially “The Major and the Minor” and “Monkey Business”. There is a musical stage show about Ginger Rogers’ life called “Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical” that debuted in 2007. The title is taken from a 1982 “Frank & Ernest” cartoon about Fred & Ginger” with the words:
Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did – backwards and in high heels.

39. One, to Beethoven EINS
Ludwig van Beethoven is one of my favorite composers from the Classical period. There are two excellent films that showcase his music and give fictionalized yet entertaining accounts of different aspects of his life: “Immortal Beloved” (1994) that speculates on the identity of one of Beethoven’s lovers, and “Copying Beethoven” (2006) that explores the events leading up to the triumphant premiere of his 9th Symphony.

42. Fed. assistance program SSI
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is federal program that provides financial relief to persons with low incomes who are 65 or older, or who are blind or disabled. The SSI program is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) even though the the Social Security trust fund is not used for the SSI payments. The SSI payments come out of general tax revenue.

44. Key related to D major B MINOR
Major and minor scales come in pairs, with each element of the pair having the same key signature. For example, B minor is the relative minor of D major.

48. *Opening night “Best of luck!” BREAK A LEG! (giving “breakdance”)
There are many, many colorful theories for the origins of the expression “break a leg”, used in the world of theater to mean “good luck”. Regardless of the origin, what is clear is that using the phrase “good luck” is considered to be very bad luck.

The hip-hop dance style is also referred to as breakdancing or B-boying.

53. __ powder TALCUM
Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

58. *Guffaw from the gut BELLY LAUGH (giving “belly dance”)
The Middle Eastern dance referred to in Arabic as “Raqs Sharqi” was referred to in French as “danse du ventre” meaning “belly dance”, a reference to the abdominal movements used and the tradition of performing with a bare midriff.

60. Copenhagen native DANE
Copenhagen is the largest city and the capital of Denmark. I have never visited Copenhagen, but I hear it is a wonderful metropolis with a marvelous quality of life. The city is also very environmentally friendly, with over a third of its population commuting to work by bicycle.

61. Abode that’s abuzz APIARY
An apiary is an area where bees are kept. The Latin word for “bee” is “apis”.

62. Hawaii’s Mauna __ LOA
Mauna Loa on the “big island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

64. Shorthand pros STENOS
Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

65. Sinusitis-treating MD ENT
Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)

Down
5. Air Force One VIP PRES
We usually use the term “Air Force One” for the purpose-built military aircraft that transports the president, although any plane can use the call sign, provided the president is aboard. There was an incident in 1953 which a flight carrying President Eisenhower (flight no. Air Force 8610) flew close to commercial airliner (flight no. Eastern 8610). In order to avoid confusion of flight numbers in the future, the special callsign “Air Force One” was created.

6. Metal-threaded fabrics LAMES
Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. Lamé is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

7. Atlantic or Pacific OCEAN
The earliest known mention of the name “Atlantic” for the world’s second-largest ocean was in Ancient Greece. The Greeks called the ocean “the Sea of Atlas” or “Atlantis thalassa”.

The Pacific Ocean was given its name by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. When Magellan sailed into the ocean on his 1521 circumnavigation of the globe, he encountered favorable winds and so called it “Mar Pacifico” meaning “peaceful sea”.

8. Soccer star Hamm MIA
Mia Hamm is a retired American soccer player, a forward who played on the US national team that won the FIFA women’s World Cup in 1991. Hamm has scored 158 international goals, more than other player in the world, male or female. Amazingly, Hamm was born with a clubfoot, and so had to wear corrective shoes when she was growing up.

10. TV’s “Kate & __” ALLIE
“Kate & Allie” ran from 1984 to 1989, starring Susan Saint James as Kate, and Jane Curtin as Allie. Jane Curtin won two Emmy awards for her work on the series, while Susan Saint James … did not.

11. Name on a blimp GOODYEAR
The Goodyear tire company was founded in 1898. The company was named for Charles Goodyear, the man who invented vulcanized rubber in 1839. Despite the Goodyear name, Charles Goodyear himself had no connection with the company.

There is an important difference between a “blimp” (like “The Goodyear Blimp”) and an airship (like a Zeppelin). An airship is a rigid structure with an internal framework that helps maintain the shape of the airbag, whereas a blimp uses the pressure of the helium gas inside the airbag to give it shape. Also, blimps are usually heavier than air and so will float naturally to the ground. They maintain their lift with forward motion and by raising the nose slightly.

27. 300, to Caesar CCC
The most famous Roman known as “Caesar” was Gaius Julius Caesar, the dictator usually referred to as Julius Caesar. It was Julius Caesar’s actions and assassination that ushered in the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire. The name Gaius Julius Caesar was also used by the dictator’s father, and indeed his grandfather.

28. “__ Haw” HEE
The variety show “Hee Haw” aired on CBS from 1969-1971, and then had a 20-year run in syndication. The show was built around country music, although the format was inspired by “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In”.

32. March follower APRIL
The exact etymology of “April”, the fourth month of our year, seems to be uncertain. The ancient Romans called it “mensis Aprilis”, which roughly translated as “opening month. The suggestion is that April is the month in which fruits, flowers and animals “open” their life cycles.

33. 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”.

34. Woman’s name from the Latin for “happy” FELICIA
The male and female names Felix and Felicia come from the Latin word “felix” meaning “happy”.

36. Actress Jolie ANGELINA
Angelina Jolie is a remarkably successful Hollywood actress from Los Angeles, California. Jolie has acting in her blood as her father is actor Jon Voight. Her godparents are actors Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell.

38. ’60s war zone, briefly 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.

42. Product identifier similar to UPC SKU
Stock-keeping unit (SKU)

Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code (UPC)

43. Ballroom dances SAMBAS
The Samba is a Brazilian dance, very much symbolic of the festival known as Carnival. Like so much culture around the world, the Samba has its roots in Africa, as the dance is derived from dances performed by former slaves who migrated into urban Rio de Janeiro in the late 1800s. The exact roots of the name “samba” seem to have been lost in the mists of time. However, my favorite explanation is that it comes from an African Kikongo word “Semba” which means “a blow struck with the belly button”. We don’t seem to have a need for such a word in English …

46. West Coast state OREGON
Oregon’s most widely-known nickname is the Beaver State. However, it is also called the Union State, the Pacific Wonderland, the Sunset State and the Webfoot State.

47. Cardinal’s headgear RED HAT
The College of Cardinals in the Roman Catholic church acts as an advisory group to the Pope. Each of the cardinals usually have an additional responsibility, usually leadership of a diocese or archdiocese. It is the College of Cardinals that is responsible for choosing a new pope, as required.

49. Entr’__: play intervals ACTES
The term “entr’acte” comes to us from French, and is the interval “between two acts” (“entre deux actes”) of a theatrical performance. It often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

50. “Dallas” Miss ELLIE
Miss Ellie is the matriarch of the famed Ewing family, around which the TV series “Dallas” was written. For most of the series, Miss Ellie was played by Barbara Bel Geddes, and once in a TV movie of Dallas by Molly Hagan. Barbara Bel Geddes left the show in 1984 and was replaced by the celebrated actress Donna Reed. When Bel Geddes decided to return to the show the following year, Reed was fired. This was much to Reed’s chagrin, and so a lawsuit ensued.

51. __ Heights: disputed Mideast region GOLAN
Geographically speaking, the Golan Heights is a plateau in the Middle East with the western two-thirds of its area falling within Israel, and the eastern third falling within Syria. The name Golan Heights also applies to the geopolitical region that was captured from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967 and occupied by Israel.

55. Fire: Pref. PYRO-
“Pyro-” is the combining form of the Greek word for “fire”. A pyromaniac (a “pyro”) is someone with an abnormal desire to start fires, or with a general obsession with fire.

56. Stone and Stallone SLYS
Sly and the Family Stone are a rock, funk and soul band from San Francisco that’s still performing today, although their heyday was from 1966 to 1983. They were one of the first rock bands to have a racially integrated lineup, as well as representatives of both sexes.

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

59. Able, facetiously EPT
If one is capable, one might jokingly be described as “ept”, the apparent opposite of “inept”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. __ Khan: Rita Hayworth’s husband ALY
4. Composure APLOMB
10. Turkish title of honor AGHA
14. Life story, briefly BIO
15. Cigar-smoking George’s spouse GRACIE
16. Swag LOOT
17. *One of three in a daily diet SQUARE MEAL (giving “square dance”)
19. Former Mississippi senator Trent LOTT
20. Where sailors go OUT TO SEA
21. Like a disengaged engine IN IDLE
23. Plant anchor ROOT
24. *A roll of two, in craps SNAKE EYES (giving “snake dance”)
26. Bring up, as a topic BROACH
29. Grant permission LET
30. “Dig in” EAT
31. Glacial historic period ICE AGE
34. The Macarena, pet rocks, etc. FADS
35. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, e.g., and, literally, what the first words of the answers to starred clues can be DANCE PARTNERS
39. One, to Beethoven EINS
40. Regular practice RITUAL
41. Quagmire BOG
42. Fed. assistance program SSI
44. Key related to D major B MINOR
48. *Opening night “Best of luck!” BREAK A LEG! (giving “breakdance”)
52. Pear center CORE
53. __ powder TALCUM
54. Unevenly balanced LOPSIDED
57. Confident “Are you the one for this job?” response I’M IT
58. *Guffaw from the gut BELLY LAUGH (giving “belly dance”)
60. Copenhagen native DANE
61. Abode that’s abuzz APIARY
62. Hawaii’s Mauna __ LOA
63. Those, to José ESAS
64. Shorthand pros STENOS
65. Sinusitis-treating MD ENT

Down
1. Soak up ABSORB
2. Bar bottle contents LIQUOR
3. “I’m not the only one?” YOU TOO?
4. Farming prefix AGRO-
5. Air Force One VIP PRES
6. Metal-threaded fabrics LAMES
7. Atlantic or Pacific OCEAN
8. Soccer star Hamm MIA
9. Resemble BE LIKE
10. TV’s “Kate & __” ALLIE
11. Name on a blimp GOODYEAR
12. Detective’s promising clues HOT LEADS
13. Swears to ATTESTS
18. Reaches ATTAINS
22. Trawling gear NET
25. Red flag ALERT
27. 300, to Caesar CCC
28. “__ Haw” HEE
32. March follower APRIL
33. Moo goo __ pan GAI
34. Woman’s name from the Latin for “happy” FELICIA
35. Scenes in shoeboxes DIORAMAS
36. Actress Jolie ANGELINA
37. Place for a bath TUB
38. ’60s war zone, briefly NAM
39. Drop in the sea EBB TIDE
42. Product identifier similar to UPC SKU
43. Ballroom dances SAMBAS
45. Little lump NODULE
46. West Coast state OREGON
47. Cardinal’s headgear RED HAT
49. Entr’__: play intervals ACTES
50. “Dallas” Miss ELLIE
51. __ Heights: disputed Mideast region GOLAN
55. Fire: Pref. PYRO-
56. Stone and Stallone SLYS
59. Able, facetiously EPT

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Nov 15, Tuesday”

  1. For Carrie, who asked yesterday,'Guys, what is the breakfast rule ?'.

    … and I quote from a blog …' Another puzzle making constraint is the socalled "Breakfast rule" which I believe to be the brainchild of Merle Reagle ( … now, late, r.i.p. ) god-like constructor, and recent guest on The Simpsons ( obviously, dated ). The rule says that since the majority of the puzzles are solved over breakfast, there can't be anything in the puzzle that might upset the sensibilities of those eating a bagel and having a cup of coffee.'

    End of quote. Self explanatory.

    Still to do the puzzle.

  2. The puzzle was one of the easiest yet. I am on the top of the world.

    Prince Aly Khan, son of H.H. Sultan Mohammed Aga Khan, the IIIrd, was a playboy, of the nth order. For what it's worth, his middle name is written as, and pronounced as, 'Salman' – a common muslim name. He led an interesting life, with many, many women paramours, and many racehorses, strictly in that order. His eldest son, Karim overtook him to become the Aga Khan the 4th. He is the present Aga Khan.

    Though the name, Aga or Agha, is turkish in origin, the Ismaili Aga Khans retain their title as descendents of a Persian royalty, of the Qajar dynasty. Ismaili muslims, (a shia sect of muslims – ), in India, in and around Bombay, are very successful businessmen and entrepreneurs, and also very philathropic.

    Have a nice day, all.

  3. My quibble (my pet peeve if you will) with one of these clues and answers centers around 21 Across "Like a disengaged engine" which gets the answer "in idle." By my way of thinking said engine could be "at idle" or "in neutral idling" or even "idling" but I don't think I've ever heard or used "in idle" for this. What say you?

    No problems with the grid. Just the question of that phrase.

  4. @Vidwan827

    FWIW, actually the so called "breakfast test" originated with the original New York Times crossword editor Margaret Farrar, which Reagle himself simply quoted.

    Notably, the editors don't go as far as Margaret Farrar did, but still will ban words that are offensive (curse words, obviously) or upsetting even if they are placed into other regular contexts (CANCER for instance, along with two or three regular words I can think of that double as racial epithets).

  5. @Tony Michaels

    I agree, it's a sloppy clue, given the word disengaged and its meaning. An engine in idle is very much "engaged", but I think the thinking behind it is in driving and whether any "gas" is being applied to the vehicle. That said, I'm not sure there's much at issue with describing an engine as "being in (the state of) idle".

    Mainly a clue born of lack of knowledge – not as bad as the whole division/conference thing a few weeks back that I complained about, but still a sloppy clue regardless, IMO.

  6. Tuesday quickie, but the blog taught me a thing or two;

    George Burns's real name? Never knew it or thought about it.
    Hee Haw only ran for 3 seasons? I would have guessed about 10.
    The genesis of the name Air Force One.
    Ept?? I might draw the line there, or perhaps I'll start using it myself. I already call good weather "clement" as opposed to inclement weather. Similarly someone edgy is chalant…as opposed to nonchalant.

    Lastly, I'll beat Willie to a Monty Python reference of an old joke.

    "I'd like to buy some TALCUM powder"
    "Walk this way, sir"
    "If I could walk that way I wouldn't need the TALCUM powder…"

    Best –

  7. Needed all crosses for DIORAMA.
    I wasn't concentrating this morning.
    Thought George's WIFE was a cigar smoker. Sheesh!
    ALi ALY.
    Fred and Ginger!!! Loved watching their movies.
    Did NOT get the EPT answer at all, thanks Bill!

  8. Diorama brings back memories of my kids being in elementary school. Shoe boxes, tape, glue, scissors, more glue, more cardboard. (Shudder) And I thought I had successfully buried those memories!

    A good Tues effort, although I agree w/ Tony's quibble abt "in idle".

    Bella

  9. So, the RED HAT society could be a group of Cardinals?

    SSI is given to persons who have not built up 40 quarters of work.

    One must be careful about baby powder. One of my mother's sisters died of inhaling it more than a century ago. At that time, it was made of zinc oxide, 100%. In those days there were few laws and few suits. A brother of my g'ma died when he was hit by a brick while passing a construction site in Baltimore. Again, few laws or lawsuits.

    Did not know SKU.

    Pretty nice puzzle and interesting comments.

  10. @Vidwan, thanks for explaining the Breakfast Rule! And @Glenn!
    Once again my paper went missing, and I'm getting a little more EPT (epter?) at doing the puzzle online. I still find it frustrating tho.
    If in fact as Glenn says the engine is engaged while idling, then I agree, sloppy clue. I thought of it like "in park" or "in reverse."
    Guess that doesn't add up tho.
    See y'all mañana:-D
    Be well~~™

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