LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Nov 15, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: The X-Factor … the last word in each of today’s themed answers is often preceded by the letter X:

62A. Hard-to-define element, or a hint to what can precede each last word in answers to starred clues THE X-FACTOR

17A. *Guys’ hair coloring product JUST FOR MEN (giving “X-Men”)
39A. *Radioactive emission BETA RAY (giving “X-ray”)
11D. *Root source for a database MASTER FILE (giving “X-File”)
29D. *Big place to play online YAHOO GAMES (giving “X Games”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Judean king HEROD
Herod Agrippa was the grandson of Herod the Great, and like his grandfather was a Roman client king of Judea. It is thought that Herod Agrippa is the “Herod” mentioned in the Bible’s “Acts of the Apostles”, the king who imprisoned Peter and who had killed James son of Zebedee. Agrippa’s grandfather was the King Herod who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents described in the Gospel of Matthew. This was Herod’s attempt to kill the young Jesus by ordering the murder of all boys aged two or younger in Bethlehem and vicinity.

15. Native New Zealanders MAORI
The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. The Māori are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting sometime in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing the mortal human being from spiritual entities.

17. *Guys’ hair coloring product JUST FOR MEN (giving “X-Men”)
Just for Men is a hair-coloring product. It is usually applied to remove gray in the hair, and is effective for one to six weeks. So they tell me …

X-Men is a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains that X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellan.

21. Maui memento LEI
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. Maui is sometimes called the “Valley Isle” as it is composed of two volcanoes to the northwest and southeast of the island, each with numerous beautiful valleys carved into them.

23. Steel-cut grain OAT
Oat cereals all start out as “groats”, toasted oat grains with the hull still intact:

– Steel-cut oats, sometimes called “Irish oats”, are groats that have been chopped into chunks about the size of sesame seeds.
– Stone-ground oats, sometimes called “Scottish oats”, have been ground into smaller pieces, about the size of poppy seeds.
– Old-fashioned rolled oats are made by first steaming the toasted groats, and then rolling them into flakes.
– Quick-cooking oats are similar to rolled oats, but thinner flakes.
– Instant oats have been chopped, rolled, pre-cooked, dehydrated and often have salt and sugar added.

27. Chain with headquarters at One Geoffrey Way, Wayne, N.J. TOYS “R” US
Geoffrey the Giraffe (formerly “Dr. G. Raffe”) is the mascot of the Toys “R” Us store. Dr. G. Raffe made his debut in 1957 in an advertising campaign for Children’s Bargain Town. Raffe’s catchphrase was ‘Toys “R” us’. The catchphrase became so popular, that Children’s Bargain Town changed its name in 1969.

31. Former Southwest subsidiary AIRTRAN
AirTran Airways was a budget airline that has its principal hub in Atlanta. The company was founded in 1993 as ValuJet Airlines. AirTran had been owned by Southwest Airlines since 2010, and was fully integrated into the parent company in 2014, when the AirTran brand was shelved.

39. *Radioactive emission BETA RAY (giving “X-ray”)
Beta particles (the constituents of beta rays) are the products of decay of a radioactive element. Beta particles are high-energy electrons or positrons emitted from the nucleus of the decaying element.

X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901 Röntgen won the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded, recognition for his work on X-rays.

42. Defeats soundly TROMPS
“Tromp” is a variant of “tramp”, so to tromp all over someone is to give them a shellacking.

44. Actress Ullmann or Tyler LIV
Liv Ullmann is a Norwegian, best known to us in North America as an actress (I saw her recently in the classic war movie “A Bridge Too Far”). Ullmann has also directed several films, including “Sofie” released in 1992. Ullmann lived with famed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman for several years in the 1960s.

Actress and model Liv Tyler is the daughter of Steven Tyler, lead singer with Aerosmith, and Bebe Buell, a celebrated model and singer. Liv Tyler plays the Elf maiden Arwen Undómiel in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

46. Informer, to a cop STOOLIE
Stoolies, also called canaries, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. Originally a stoolie was a decoy for the police, rather than an informer, hence the name.

53. Sends junk e-mail to SPAMS
Apparently the term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

55. Busy pro in Apr. CPA
Certified public accountant (CPA)

April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

57. Digilux 3 camera maker LEICA
Leica is a German optics company, famous for production of lenses and cameras. The 1913 Leica was the first practical camera that could use 35mm film, a size chosen because it was already the standard for film used in motion pictures.

61. Red “Sesame Street” puppet ELMO
The man behind/under the character Elmo on “Sesame Street” is Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

64. Bank claim LIEN
A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

65. Bluesy Memphis street BEALE
Beale Street in downtown Memphis, Tennessee is a major tourist attraction. In 1977, by act of Congress, the street was officially declared the “Home of the Blues” due to its long association with the musical genre. Apparently “Beale” is the name of some forgotten military hero.

66. Danish shoe brand ECCO
I have to say, after owning several pairs, ECCO shoes are the most comfortable in the world …

Down
1. Sandwiches with Jif, briefly PBJS
Jif is the leading brand of peanut butter in the US, and has been since 1981. Introduced in 1958, it is now produced by Smuckers.

3. Heavenly bear URSA
The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

5. Gp. with a copay HMO
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

6. Countess’ spouse EARL
In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquess. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquess and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.

7. Lover of Juliet ROMEO
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …

8. Crispy Crunchies! fries maker ORE-IDA
Ore-Ida frozen foods are all made using potatoes. The company is located in Oregon, just across the border from Idaho. “Ore-Ida” is a melding of the two state names.

10. Ristorante red CHIANTI
Chianti is a red wine from the Chianti region of central Tuscany in Italy. Historically, Chianti was stored in a characteristically bulbous bottle wrapped in a straw basket. However, the pragmatists have won the day and regular wine bottles tend to be used nowadays.

11. *Root source for a database MASTER FILE (giving “X-File”)
“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, it was the longest-running sci-fi show in US broadcast history.

12. Southwestern pot OLLA
An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in Ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

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

22. Winks count FORTY
Back in the early 1800s, folks took “nine winks” when getting a few minutes of sleep during the day. Dr. William Kitchiner extended this concept in his 1821 self-help book “The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life”. He suggested “A Forty Winks Nap”, which we seem to have been taking ever since. Mind you, I’m up to about eighty winks most days …

28. Eye-fooling genre OP ART
Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

29. *Big place to play online YAHOO! GAMES (giving “X Games”)
Yahoo! Games is a feature of the Yahoo! website where Yahoo users can play online versions mainly board games and card games.

The X Games are annual events, with a Summer X Games held every year as well as a Winter X Games. It’s very much a commercial venture, with all aspects controlled by the TV station ESPN. The games focus on extreme action sports, like skateboarding and freestyle motocross in the summer and various extreme snowboarding events in the winter.

32. “Magic in the Moonlight” director Woody ALLEN
“Magic in the Moonlight” is a 2014 romantic comedy film starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone. I usually enjoy films starring Colin Firth, and also Emma Stone, so I went to see this one. I should have known better, as it is a Woody Allen project. I really don’t like Woody Allen films …

43. Latter-day Saints MORMONS
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often abbreviated to “LDS”, is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

49. “Copacabana” temptress LOLA
The Copacabana of song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub. “Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl …”

54. Ballerina’s bend PLIE
]The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent.

59. Chanel of perfume COCO
Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer. Perhaps because I am a man, clothes design is not my forte. However, if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really liked, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that looked so elegant on a woman.

60. Yankee with more than 3,000 hits, familiarly A-ROD
Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just A-Rod. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them and hot when he leaves. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez now seems to be in a world of hurt for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

62. Schedule abbr. TBA
To be advised (TBA)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bit of talk show self-promotion PLUG
5. Judean king HEROD
10. “Hurry up!” C’MON!
14. Real snoozefest BORE
15. Native New Zealanders MAORI
16. Angelic aura HALO
17. *Guys’ hair coloring product JUST FOR MEN (giving “X-Men”)
19. Cruise stop ISLE
20. Dry, as bread STALE
21. Maui memento LEI
22. Kind of computer error that may cause data loss FATAL
23. Steel-cut grain OAT
25. Eccentric person ODD ONE
27. Chain with headquarters at One Geoffrey Way, Wayne, N.J. TOYS “R” US
31. Former Southwest subsidiary AIRTRAN
34. Give __ on the back: praise A PAT
35. Criticize nonstop NAG
37. Hold in, as a sneeze STIFLE
38. Cheering word RAH!
39. *Radioactive emission BETA RAY (giving “X-ray”)
41. Suffix with percent -ILE
42. Defeats soundly TROMPS
44. Actress Ullmann or Tyler LIV
45. Ran off FLED
46. Informer, to a cop STOOLIE
48. Allergy stimulants POLLENS
50. Pig noises GRUNTS
52. “__ is me!” WOE
53. Sends junk e-mail to SPAMS
55. Busy pro in Apr. CPA
57. Digilux 3 camera maker LEICA
61. Red “Sesame Street” puppet ELMO
62. Hard-to-define element, or a hint to what can precede each last word in answers to starred clues THE X-FACTOR
64. Bank claim LIEN
65. Bluesy Memphis street BEALE
66. Danish shoe brand ECCO
67. Not as much LESS
68. Made inquiries ASKED
69. Like plow horses SHOD

Down
1. Sandwiches with Jif, briefly PBJS
2. Rude dude LOUT
3. Heavenly bear URSA
4. “Beat it!” GET LOST!
5. Gp. with a copay HMO
6. Countess’ spouse EARL
7. Lover of Juliet ROMEO
8. Crispy Crunchies! fries maker ORE-IDA
9. Noisy clamor DIN
10. Ristorante red CHIANTI
11. *Root source for a database MASTER FILE (giving “X-File”)
12. Southwestern pot OLLA
13. Holiday season NOEL
18. Emotion causing quaking FEAR
22. Winks count FORTY
24. Listens to, as a radio station TUNES IN
26. Repudiate DISAVOW
27. Fruit pastries TARTS
28. Eye-fooling genre OP ART
29. *Big place to play online YAHOO GAMES (giving “X Games”)
30. Minded the kids SAT
32. “Magic in the Moonlight” director Woody ALLEN
33. Food, shelter, etc. NEEDS
36. Cowboy’s lady GAL
39. Nearly excellent grade B-PLUS
40. Tear apart RIP
43. Latter-day Saints MORMONS
45. Swindles FLEECES
47. Carves in stone ETCHES
49. “Copacabana” temptress LOLA
51. Command to Spot SPEAK
53. Go like hotcakes SELL
54. Ballerina’s bend PLIE
56. Wheel-connecting rod AXLE
58. Restless desire ITCH
59. Chanel of perfume COCO
60. Yankee with more than 3,000 hits, familiarly A-ROD
62. Schedule abbr. TBA
63. Nourished FED

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Nov 15, Monday”

  1. Yes, I'm an idiot. It took me how many decades to figure out that OREIDA was Oregon & Idaho. And it's on the darn label of the bag of tater tots I bought for a bbq last week.

    I recall reading that Alan Lomax, in his book "The Land Where The Blues Began" referred to all the area in downtown Clarksdale as "Beale Streets." This was a long time ago, but I thought I'd point it out.

    And I tried to find a clip of Archie Bunker telling Edith to STIFLE herself that wasn't attached to an opinion that is questionable today, but I couldn't find one.

    Have a good week one and all.

  2. I had a very good time with this puzzle, and start the week with a very cheerful attitude. The X portion of the theme completely eluded me, but no matter.

    Groats, were also English, Irish and Scot coins . Irish coins, during Elizabeth I reign. Henry 8th, had them coined often in England. Minted in silver, they were worth originally about 4 pence – about a man's weekly wages. Back in the day, when I had normal eyesight, and a passion in coin collecting, I have examined these groats and half-groats. Their prices were, unfortunately, above my budget. Very small coins.

    On Beta rays, in 1972, I had the great privilege of listening to a speech by Hans Albrecht Bethe, Prof. of physics, Cornell Univ. who "came up with a series of nuclear reactions, …. That explains how the Sun shines. !!!!". That, and explaining the behavior of stars, got him the 1967 Nobel prize, for physics.

    Anyway,in the course of his lecture,Prof. Bethe said,' …. and the Super nova (star) eventually cools down, and sends out a copious stream of Beta rays….. by the way, the 'beta' rays were not named after me ….'. I have forgotten the lecture, long ago, but I still remember the joke.

    Have a great day, and a great week, all.

  3. Aren't beta rays ones that are undergoing testing and not quite ready for general release? (g)

    Monday puzzle easing us into the "mind wood chipper" grids to come!

    See you all tomorrow.

  4. A not-overly-easy Monday.
    Only write-over was PERCENTage instead of PERCENTILE.
    Easy on my brain.
    @anon You teach Spot to speak!(bark)
    when he wants to go outside.
    It beats scratching the door to pieces.^0^

  5. Easy stuff, and a relief after Saturday's puzzle ~~as Mondays always are. For some reason I actually spelled it MORMANS at first. Then, I very nearly wrote HERON instead of HEROD!! Funny. I guess it's easy to get careless on an easy day…
    Be well~~™

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