LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Nov 15, Sunday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gary Schlapfer & C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Man to Man … each of today’s answers is made from two words, each of which is a type of MAN:

23A. Position for Walter Cronkite ANCHOR CHAIR (anchorman & chairman)
25A. Bell site FRONT DOOR (frontman & doorman)
36A. Official arachnid of South Carolina WOLF SPIDER (wolfman & Spider-Man)
45A. Political fund-raiser SUPER PAC (Superman & Pac-Man)
70A. Stroll around the station? SPACEWALK (spaceman & Walkman)
93A. Camping attraction FRESH AIR (freshman & airman)
101A. Focused group? CAMERA CREW (cameraman & crewman)
117A. Lou Gehrig nickname, with “The” IRON HORSE (iron man & horseman)
119A. Hobbit world MIDDLE-EARTH (middle man & earthman)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. Diced dish HASH
“Hash”, meaning a dish of beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American term and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. “Hash” just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name “hash” in this context comes from the French “hacher” meaning “to chop”. Back in the early 1900s the dish called “hashed browned potatoes” was developed, which quickly morphed into “hash browns”. From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.

20. Qatar home of the Aspire Tower DOHA
The Aspire Tower is a hotel in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The structure is shaped like a torch and indeed housed the flame that remained lit during the 2006 Asian Games that were hosted by the city. The Aspire Tower is the tallest building in Qatar.

22. “__ Dinka Doo” INKA
“Inka Dinka Doo” was Jimmy Durante’s theme song, a novelty piece composed by Durante in 1934. Such was his association with the song that when Durante’s charity paid for a heated therapy swimming pool in Port Arthur, Texas in 1968, it was named the “Inka Dinka Doo Pool”.

23. Position for Walter Cronkite ANCHOR CHAIR (anchorman & chairman)
The broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite was the anchor of the “CBS Evening News” for 19 years, from 1962 to 1981. Cronkite’s famous sign-off line was “And that’s the way it is …” Cronkite made many famous broadcasts, including coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Moon landings. Cronkite was so closely associated with the Apollo space missions that he was presented with a Moon rock, making him the only non-NASA person to be so honored.

27. “The Black Cat” author POE
“The Black Cat” is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1843. It is a dark tale about a man who murders his wife and is taunted by the couple’s black cat.

31. Surfer wannabe HODAD
“Hodad” is a slang term that dates from the fifties. It’s used to describe someone who hangs out at the beach, but someone who isn’t a surfer. Hodads were mainly into cars and music.

32. Rounded hammer part PEEN
The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

33. Wish list responder 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 …

36. Official arachnid of South Carolina WOLF SPIDER (wolfman & Spider-Man)
Wolf spiders are hunters that do not use webs to catch their prey. Instead, they use their excellent eyesight to spot their victims and then pounce, and use venom to disable the victim. This hunting behavior led to the name “wolf” spider.

42. Arabic leader? ALIF
“Alif” is the first letter in the Arabic Semitic alphabet, equivalent to the Hebrew “aleph”.

45. Political fund-raiser SUPER PAC (Superman & Pac-Man)
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent-expenditure only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

The Pac-Man arcade game was first released in Japan in 1980, and is as popular today as it ever was. The game features characters that are maneuvered around the screen to eat up dots and earn points. The name comes from the Japanese folk hero “Paku”, known for his voracious appetite. The spin-off game called Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981.

52. Silent film star Lillian GISH
Lillian Gish is most famous for her performances on the silent screen, although she acted in films in a career that lasted from 1912 to 1987, over 75 years. Gish’s most famous role was Elsie in D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” released in 1915.

54. Benny’s 39, so he said AGE
The comedic great Jack Benny’s real name was Benjamin Kubelsky. Benny was born in 1894 and passed away in 1974 at the age of 80. Although, when Benny was on stage he always claimed to be just 39 years old!

55. Superhero letter ESS
I’m not sure here. Either, the reference is to the letter “S” on the uniform worn by Superman, or to the letter S at the start of the word “superhero”. Both work for me …

58. Keats’ “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” begins one ODE
Here’s the first verse from John Keats’ ode “To Autumn” …

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

60. Narrowly escape bogey, in golf lingo SAVE PAR
The term “Bogey” originated at the Great Yarmouth Golf Club in England in 1890, and was used to indicate a total round that was one-over-par (and not one-over-par on a particular hole, as it is today). The name Bogey came from a music hall song of the time “Here Comes the Bogey Man”. In the following years it became popular for players trying to stay at par to be “playing against Colonel Bogey”. Then, during WWI, the marching tune “Colonel Bogey” was written and named after the golfing term. If you don’t recognize the name of the tune, it’s the one that’s whistled by the soldiers marching in the great movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”.

65. Gobble (down) SNARF
“To snarf down” is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

70. Stroll around the station? SPACEWALK (spaceman & Walkman)
Walkman is a brand of portable audio and video products manufactured by Sony. The first Walkman was introduced in 1979 and popularized the practice of carrying music around and listening through lightweight headphones.

73. Holliday allies EARPS
The famous gunslinger Doc Holliday was from Georgia, and received the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in Philadelphia. Holliday moved to the Southwest after he contracted tuberculosis, in the hope that the climate might be good for his health. He first settled in Dallas, where he soon discovered that he could make a better living gambling than by running a dental practice. It was while gambling in saloons that Holliday got involved in gunfights and built a reputation as a gunslinger. The most famous shootout in which he was involved was the Gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona when he fought alongside the Earp brothers. Holliday survived his many gunfights, but eventually succumbed to the disease in his lungs. He died in Glenwood Springs, Colorado at the age of 36.

74. “Manhattan” and “Nashville” MOVIES
The Woody Allen movie “Manhattan” was released in 1979. The music of George Gershwin features prominently, which isn’t surprising as Woody Allen got the inspiration for the film from Gershwin’s compositions. The movie opens with a montage of images of Manhattan shown above Gershwin’s beautiful “Rhapsody in Blue”.

“Nashville” is a 1975 musical drama film directed by Robert Altman. Several songs performed in the film were composed by the actors themselves including “I’m Easy”, written and performed by Keith Carradine, for which he the Best Original Song Oscar.

76. Shout target STAIN
Shout is a line of stain-removing products made by S. C. Johnson. The brand uses to the slogan “Shout It Out!”

81. “I pity the fool” speaker MR T
Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

82. Allen who never really made furniture ETHAN
Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot, even though he had nothing to do with the furniture business.

87. Biathlon needs SKIS
A biathlon is an event requiring expertise in two sporting disciplines. The most common biathlon is the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. This traditional biathlon was born out of an exercise for Norwegian soldiers.

89. Pandora’s inventory ILLS
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. Pandora was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

91. Buck Rogers weapon RAY GUN
Before Buck Rogers made it into the big time in the comic strip “Buck Roger in the 25th Century”, he was a character in a pair of short stories written by Philip Francis Nowlan, the first of which was “Armageddon 2419 A.D.” In the stories, he was known as Anthony Rogers, and was given a name change when he went into the comics. “Buck Roger in the 25th Century” is also a TV series that originally ran from 1979 to 1981.

96. Crazed Muppet drummer ANIMAL
The Muppet character called Animal is the wild drummer in “The Muppet Show” band, which is actually called Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.

107. __ Martin: Bond’s car ASTON
Aston Martin is a British car manufacturer, founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin. The Aston part of the company name comes from Aston Hill, a famous site for hill-climbing cars that is nearby the original factory. Aston Martin cars are much loved by the British entertainment industry. James Bond was given one in “Goldfinger”, and Michael Caine drove one in the 1969 version of “The Italian Job”. Also, Roger Moore’s character drove a yellow Aston Martin in the seventies television show “The Persuaders!”.

109. Actress Rowlands GENA
Gena Rowlands is an actress best known for the films made with her husband, actor and director John Cassavetes. More recently, Rowlands played a lead role opposite James Garner in the weepy, weepy 2004 film “The Notebook”. “The Notebook” was directed by her son, Nick Cassavetes. Rowlands was nominated for Oscars for her performances in two films: “Gloria” (1980) and “A Woman Under the Influence” (1974).

110. Three Stooges specialty ANTIC
If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you’ll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

111. Seafood sauce TARTAR
Tartar sauce is basically mayonnaise with some chopped pickles, capers and onion or chives. The recipe was invented by the French (as “sauce tartare”) with the name somehow linked to the Tatars, a people who once occupied Ukraine and parts of Russia.

113. Bridge position EAST
The four people playing a game of bridge are positioned around a table at seats called north, east, south and west.

114. Sun Devils’ sch. ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

117. Lou Gehrig nickname, with “The” IRON HORSE (iron man & horseman)
Baseball legend Lou Gehrig was known as a powerhouse. He was a big hitter and just kept on playing. Gehrig broke the record for the most consecutive number of games played, and he stills holds the record for the most career grand slams. His durability earned him the nickname “The Iron Horse”. Sadly, he died in 1941 at 37-years-old suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an illness we now call “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.

119. Hobbit world MIDDLE-EARTH (middle man & earthman)
Middle-earth is the setting for J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” series.

122. Actor Dick Van __ DYKE
The legendary comic actor Dick Van Dyke grew up in Danville, Illinois. One of Van Dyke’s classmates in high school was Donald O’Connor, someone who would also carve out a career for himself as a dancer, comedian and actor. Dick is the older brother of comedian and actor Jerry Van Dyke, famous for the supporting role he played on the sitcom “Coach”. Dick’s son Barry Van Dyke is also an actor, playing homicide detective Steve Sloan on the TV show “Diagnosis: Murder” alongside his father.

123. Duel-purpose tool FOIL
There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, distinguished by the weapon used:

– Foil
– Épée
– Sabre

124. Drink with a polar bear mascot ICEE
Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

125. Penguin suit TUXEDO
The style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

127. Chef Bobby to beat on a reality show FLAY
Bobby Flay is a celebrity chef who has hosted several shows on the Food Network. Flay is also an Iron Chef on the show “Iron Chef America”, which also airs on the Food Network.

Down
1. Ivory in a dish SOAP
Ivory soap is one of Procter & Gamble’s oldest products, introduced way back in 1879. Ivory soap is noted for its “purity” and also because of its property of floating in water. Despite urban myths to the contrary, the property of floating in water was developed deliberately by a chemist at the time Ivory was being formulated. The soap floats because the ingredients are mixed longer than necessary for homogenization, which introduces more air into the product.

2. River through Florence ARNO
The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, passing through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

3. Hat-borne parasites LICE
Lice are small wingless insects of which there are thousands of species, three of which are human disease agents. The three kinds of lice affecting humans are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick …

4. Louisville Slugger material ASH
Louisville Slugger is a brand of baseball bat manufactured by the Hillerich & Bradsby Company in Louisville, Kentucky. The famous bat is made of Northern White Ash grown on the New York/Pennsylvania border. These ash forests used by the company are threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer which is moving closer and closer every year. There are already plans in place to replace the traditional wood used in the bat as the assumption is that the source of ash will succumb to infestation.

5. Two-element tubes DIODES
A diode is component in a circuit, the most notable characteristic of which is that it will conduct electric current in only one direction. Some of those vacuum tubes we used to see in old radios and television were diodes, but nowadays almost all diodes are semiconductor devices.

6. Actress with a record 19 Oscar nominations STREEP
Meryl Streep has had more nominations for an Academy Award than any other actor, a tribute to her talent and the respect she has earned in the industry. I am not a huge fan of her earlier works but some of her recent movies are now on my list of all-time favorites. I recommend “Mamma Mia!” (you’ll either love it or hate it!), “Julie & Julia”, “It’s Complicated” and ”Hope Springs”.

7. Ritalin target ADHD
The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

Ritalin is a trade name for the drug methylphenidate that is used for treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Methylphenidate has a similar structure and similar properties to the drug cocaine, although it is less potent.

9. Mythological fire-breathers CHIMERAS
In Greek mythology, a chimera was a female monster with the body of a lioness, a tail that ended in a snake’s head, and the head of a goat that emanated from the lioness’s spine. The term chimera has entered into our modern language and means a fanciful illusion or fabrication.

10. Microwaving aid SARAN
What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name Saran wrap is often used generically in the US, while Glad wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.

11. Pajamaed publisher HEFNER
Hugh Hefner (often called “Hef”) is from Chicago. His first publishing job was in the military, where he worked as a writer for a US Army newspaper from 1944-46. He went to college after his military service and then worked as a copywriter for “Esquire” magazine. He left “Esquire” to found his own publication that he called “Playboy”, which first hit the newsstands in 1953. “Playboy” has been around ever since. Hefner is famous for wearing pajamas all day. He does this as a salute to his adolescence, when would wake up late, never get out of his pajamas, and drink Pepsi whenever he wanted!

16. Battery terminal ANODE
A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

17. “Cheers!” SKOAL!
Skoal is a Swedish toast, with roots in the old Norse word “skaal” meaning “cup”.

24. Fox or wolf CANID
A canid is a carnivorous mammal of the family Canidae, which includes foxes, wolves, dogs, jackals and coyotes.

26. “__ Were the Days” THOSE
“Those Were the Days” is a title used for several songs, films and shows, and indeed a comic strip. I most associate this particular title with a song recorded in 1968 by singer Mary Hopkin. The lyrics of Hopkin’s “Those Were the Days” were written by Gene Raskin, who used the music of a Russian romance song called “Dorogoi dlinnoyu”. Indeed, the song does have a very Russian feel to it …

33. Beyond cold GELID
“Gelid” is such a lovely word, with the meaning “icy cold”. “Gelid” derives from the Latin “gelum” meaning “frost, intense cold”.

35. Carpentry tool RIPSAW
In woodworking, a cut across the grain is known as a cross cut. A cut along the grain is called a rip cut. Most saws are designed to perform the best cross cuts, but there is a special ripsaw that more easily cuts straight lines along the grain.

39. Steals, as a toy DOGNAPS
The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest breeds are sometimes called “Teacup” breeds.

46. All-bark, no-bite type PAPER TIGER
A paper tiger is something that appears to be threatening like a tiger, but when challenged tends to back down. The term “paper tiger” is a direct translation of the Chinese phrase that has the same meaning.

48. After-dinner brand CERTS
Certs were the first breath mints to be marketed nationally in the US, hitting the shelves in 1956. A Cert is called a mint, but it isn’t really as it contains no mint oil and instead has its famous ingredient named “Retsyn”. Retsyn is a mixture of copper gluconate (giving the green flecks), partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil (not healthy!) and flavoring (maybe mint?).

50. National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall locale TAIPEI
The National Dr. Sun Yat.sen Memorial Hall is a large building in Taipei that houses an exhibit commemorating the life of the Chinese revolutionary Sun Yet-sen. The hall is also host to educational and cultural events.

Sun Yat-sen is known as the “Father of the Nation” in China, and is uniquely revered in both the mainland of China and on the island of Taiwan. During his rule as president of the country he promoted his political philosophy known at the Three Principles of the People, namely nationalism, democracy and the people’s livelihood.

51. Texter’s “Horrors!” OMG
OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! or any other G words you might think of …

53. Wife of Zeus HERA
In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and was noted for her jealousy and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

57. Slammin’ Sammy quartet EMS
There is a quartet of letters M (ems) in the nickname “Slammin’ Sammy”.

Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball, by teeing off from home plate. Snead’s best-remembered nickname was “Slammin’ Sammy”.

61. Where Mozart met Haydn VIENNA
Vienna is the capital of Austria. Vienna has a long musical tradition and was home to Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (I and II), Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler. As such, Vienna is sometimes called the “City of Music”. It is also called the “City of Dreams” as it was home to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

62. He played Tony on “NYPD Blue” ESAI
“NYPD Blue” is a police drama that was originally aired in 1993, and ran until 2005. Esai Morales played Lieutenant Tony Rodriguez, in the latter years of the show. Morales is best known for his role in the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai).

64. Babe in the woods NAIF
A naïf is someone who is naive, as “naïf” is the French word for “naive”.

66. Lake litter FLOTSAM
Flotsam and jetsam are both terms used to describe “garbage” in the ocean. Flotsam is floating wreckage from a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is similar to flotsam, except that it is part of a ship or cargo that is deliberately cast overboard, perhaps to lighten a vessel.

68. Blue toon SMURF
The Smurfs are little blue men created by a Belgian cartoonist in 1958. The Smurfs became famous in the US when Hanna-Barbera used them in a children’s cartoon series. The characters are largely a group of males. The original lineup included just one “Smurfette”, who is wooed by almost all of the boy Smurfs. Later, another female was introduced into the mix called Sassette, and still later along came Granny Smurf.

69. Office supply TONER
The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.

72. Metric speed abbr. KPH
Kilometres per hour (kph)

75. Opening word? SESAME
In the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the title character is a poor woodcutter who discovers the magic words “Open Sesame” that open the thieves’ den.

82. Violinist Mischa ELMAN
Mischa Elman was a Ukrainian-born violinist. Elman moved with his family to the US in the early 1900s after having made a name for himself performing all around the world.

84. Smoke, perhaps CURE
Salt is used to “cure” meats. Curing is a preservation process. The salt kills and inhibits the growth of microorganisms by sucking the water (osmosis) out of the microbe’s cells. Smoking is also cited as curing process, although smoking alone is insufficient for preserving food as the antimicrobial smoke compounds only adhere to the outside of the meat or fish. Smoking is usually combined with salt-curing or drying.

88. Pique condition IRE
Our term “pique” meaning a “fit of ill feeling” is a French word meaning a “prick, sting, irritation”.

90. Twizzlers ingredient LICORICE
Liquorice (also licorice) and aniseed have similar flavors, but they come from unrelated plants. The liquorice plant is a legume like a bean, and the sweet flavor is an extract from the roots. The flavor mainly comes from an ether compound called anethole, the same substance that gives the distinctive flavor to anise. The seedpods of the anise plant are what we know as “aniseed”. The anise seeds themselves are usually ground to release the flavor.

Twizzlers candy has been produced since 1845, although back then the only flavor available was licorice. My wife is addicted to strawberry Twizzlers. Can’t stand the stuff myself …

92. Place with a pool YMCA
The YMCA is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

94. Co-founder of Women’s Media Center STEINEM
Women’s Media Center (WMC) is a women’s organization that was co-founded in 2005 by actress Jane Fonda, feminist icon Gloria Steinem and poet Robin Morgan. WMC’s mission is to make women visible and powerful in the media.

100. Once in a blue moon RARELY
As there is a full moon once every four weeks, approximately monthly, there are usually twelve full moons in any given year. However, every 2-3 years, depending on the phase of the moon at the beginning of the calendar year, there may be a thirteenth full moon. The “extra” full moon is called a “blue moon”, although no one seems to really know why the term “blue” is used, as far as I can tell. Which of the thirteen full moons that is designated as the blue moon varies depending on tradition. My favorite definition is from the Farmer’s Almanac. It states that as each of the seasons normally has three full moons (twelve divided by the four seasons), then the season with four full moons is designated as “special”, then the THIRD (and not the fourth) full moon in that “special” season is the blue moon. Complicated, huh?

105. How pastrami is often ordered ON RYE
In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.

108. Language that gave us “cheroot” and “curry” TAMIL
Tamils are a large ethnic group of almost 80 million people who speak Tamil as their mother tongue. Despite the large Tamil population, there is no Tamil state. The highest concentration of Tamils is in Sri Lanka, where they make up about 25% of the population.

A cheroot cigar is cylindrical in shape, untapered and with both ends clipped. This simple shape allows them to be rolled mechanically instead of by hand, making cheroots relatively cheap to produce and to purchase. The term “cheroot” ultimately derives from the Tamil “churuttu” meaning “roll of tobacco”.

Curry powder is a mixture of spices used in South Asian cuisine. The actual composition of curry powder varies depending on the cuisine. The term “curry” is an anglicization of the Tamil “kari” meaning “sauce”.

113. Not the best place for apple-tasting? EDEN
In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, against the bidding of God. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

114. Two-dimensional measure AREA
The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

120. Crack gp.? DEA
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.

Crack cocaine is manufactured from powdered cocaine in a simple process. The powder is dissolved in an aqueous solution of baking soda, and the liquid is boiled off leaving a solid residue. The residue is broken up into chunks, and sold as crack. Apparently the crack is smoked, delivering an awful lot of cocaine into the body very quickly though the lungs. Sounds like nasty stuff …

121. Rose of rock AXL
Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band, Guns N’ Roses.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Healthy bar creations SALADS
7. Rudiments ABCS
11. Diced dish HASH
15. Bee relative WASP
19. End of an uncertain statement … OR IS IT?
20. Qatar home of the Aspire Tower DOHA
21. Canyon response ECHO
22. “__ Dinka Doo” INKA
23. Position for Walter Cronkite ANCHOR CHAIR (anchorman & chairman)
25. Bell site FRONT DOOR (frontman & doorman)
27. “The Black Cat” author POE
28. Out of juice DEAD
29. Style MANNER
31. Surfer wannabe HODAD
32. Rounded hammer part PEEN
33. Wish list responder GENIE
34. Mortar spreaders TROWELS
36. Official arachnid of South Carolina WOLF SPIDER (wolfman & Spider-Man)
40. On the money PRECISE
42. Arabic leader? ALIF
43. Finish the team practice DO LAPS
45. Political fund-raiser SUPER PAC (Superman & Pac-Man)
49. Stuck with KEPT TO
52. Silent film star Lillian GISH
53. Tipped toppers HATS
54. Benny’s 39, so he said AGE
55. Superhero letter ESS
56. Make changes to AMEND
58. Keats’ “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” begins one ODE
60. Narrowly escape bogey, in golf lingo SAVE PAR
63. Real poser ENIGMA
65. Gobble (down) SNARF
67. Most prudent WISEST
68. Guitar accessory STRAP
70. Stroll around the station? SPACEWALK (spaceman & Walkman)
73. Holliday allies EARPS
74. “Manhattan” and “Nashville” MOVIES
76. Shout target STAIN
77. Gift giver’s cry OPEN IT!
79. Brings together UNIFIES
81. “I pity the fool” speaker MR T
82. Allen who never really made furniture ETHAN
83. ”That’s gross!” ICK!
86. __ center REC
87. Biathlon needs SKIS
89. Pandora’s inventory ILLS
91. Buck Rogers weapon RAY GUN
93. Camping attraction FRESH AIR (freshman & airman)
96. Crazed Muppet drummer ANIMAL
98. Nothing but MERE
99. Monkeys (with) TAMPERS
101. Focused group? CAMERA CREW (cameraman & crewman)
104. Beverage made with buds ROSE TEA
107. __ Martin: Bond’s car ASTON
109. Actress Rowlands GENA
110. Three Stooges specialty ANTIC
111. Seafood sauce TARTAR
113. Bridge position EAST
114. Sun Devils’ sch. ASU
117. Lou Gehrig nickname, with “The” IRON HORSE (iron man & horseman)
119. Hobbit world MIDDLE-EARTH (middle man & earthman)
122. Actor Dick Van __ DYKE
123. Duel-purpose tool FOIL
124. Drink with a polar bear mascot ICEE
125. Penguin suit TUXEDO
126. Appear SEEM
127. Chef Bobby to beat on a reality show FLAY
128. Low in fat LEAN
129. Conspicuous display SPLASH

Down
1. Ivory in a dish SOAP
2. River through Florence ARNO
3. Hat-borne parasites LICE
4. Louisville Slugger material ASH
5. Two-element tubes DIODES
6. Actress with a record 19 Oscar nominations STREEP
7. Ritalin target ADHD
8. ’20s fashion accessory BOA
9. Mythological fire-breathers CHIMERAS
10. Microwaving aid SARAN
11. Pajamaed publisher HEFNER
12. Spread unit ACRE
13. Drivers’ local knowledge SHORTCUTS
14. Babe HON
15. Dating scene returnee, maybe WIDOWER
16. Battery terminal ANODE
17. “Cheers!” SKOAL!
18. Western buds PARDS
24. Fox or wolf CANID
26. “__ Were the Days” THOSE
30. Small bites NIPS
32. Fizzling-out sound PFFT
33. Beyond cold GELID
35. Carpentry tool RIPSAW
36. Boat trailer WAKE
37. Cheers at soccer matches OLES
38. Empty words LIP SERVICE
39. Steals, as a toy DOGNAPS
41. That, in Mexico ESA
44. Give minimal effort PHONE IT IN
46. All-bark, no-bite type PAPER TIGER
47. Visibly stunned AGASP
48. After-dinner brand CERTS
50. National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall locale TAIPEI
51. Texter’s “Horrors!” OMG
53. Wife of Zeus HERA
57. Slammin’ Sammy quartet EMS
59. Rooster’s cue DAWN
61. Where Mozart met Haydn VIENNA
62. He played Tony on “NYPD Blue” ESAI
64. Babe in the woods NAIF
65. Cut reminder SCAR
66. Lake litter FLOTSAM
68. Blue toon SMURF
69. Office supply TONER
71. Sources of after-hrs. cash ATMS
72. Metric speed abbr. KPH
75. Opening word? SESAME
78. Corn carrier EAR
80. Rescue team on the slopes SKI PATROL
82. Violinist Mischa ELMAN
84. Smoke, perhaps CURE
85. Wasn’t surprised KNEW
88. Pique condition IRE
90. Twizzlers ingredient LICORICE
92. Place with a pool YMCA
94. Co-founder of Women’s Media Center STEINEM
95. Escape mechanism HATCH
96. Office underling: Abbr. ASST
97. Not under the table LEGAL
100. Once in a blue moon RARELY
102. Starts over RESETS
103. Get in on the deal ANTE UP
104. Surprise missions RAIDS
105. How pastrami is often ordered ON RYE
106. Stir the fire STOKE
108. Language that gave us “cheroot” and “curry” TAMIL
112. Continent with 11 time zones ASIA
113. Not the best place for apple-tasting? EDEN
114. Two-dimensional measure AREA
115. Norms: Abbr. STDS
116. “I’m in for it now!” UH-OH!
118. Not right OFF
120. Crack gp.? DEA
121. Rose of rock AXL

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Nov 15, Sunday”

  1. Didn't really do too great on this one in terms of errors (eight, four of them being absolutely stupid). But I finished filling out the whole grid unaided before I checked it (first time), so I guess that's something positive.

  2. This seemed like a typical Sunday for me. I don't think my head was completely in the game today as some of the clues really threw me e.g. EMS for Slammin Sammy quartet. Someday I won't be fooled by one of those type clues….but not today.

    SKOAL, ALIF, and HODAD were new to me, and it didn't even occur to me that SPACEWALK and SUPER PAC were theme answers until I saw the write up.

    How do they decide which chair is north in a bridge game? Is it random or is there something that distinguishes it as north?

    Best –

  3. Kept thinking that the camping attraction was FREE something.
    PFFT was PSSS or PSST at first.
    ALIF was the very last to fall and was a wild guess.
    If I hadn't finally guessed WAKE it would never have come together.
    Easy in places but tough in others.
    @Justjoel go here for Merl Reagle puzzles of the past.
    I miss him too. 🙁
    SUNDAY MERL REAGLE

  4. This seemed like a very straight forward Sunday grid without any real trickery to throw you off. On Sunday I tend to watch football and fill in the grid, looking back and forth from one to the other and then back again. What that arises to at times is putting the right answer in the wrong space as I lose orientation. Then I finally figure out what I did and straighten the mess out. I doubt I'll ever learn not to do that, but I can always hope!

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