LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Nov 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Four Corners collectible NAVAJO RUG
There are more speakers of the Navajo (sometimes “Navaho”) language than any other Native American language north of the US-Mexico border. Famously, the Navajo language was used by the “code talkers” in the Pacific Theater during WWII to send secure communications by radio. These Navajo “coded” messages were used in fast tactical communications, with one bilingual Navajo speaker talking over the radio to another speaker, and the two acting as translators at either end of the conversation. The Navajo code was never broken by the Japanese.

The Four Corners region of the US surrounds the meeting point of the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners is the only point in the US that is shared by four states.

16. Dior style A-LINE
Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped reestablish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

18. Sheep or goat BOVID
A bovid is an animal in the family Bovidae. Bovids are ruminants with hoofs and hollow horns, such as cattle, sheep and goats.

19. Two after love? THIRTY
The exact origins of the scoring system used for a game in tennis seems to be a tad murky. One suggestion is that clock faces were once used to keep score, with a hand pointing to 15, 30, 45 and 60. When the rules were changed to ensure games were won with more than a one-point difference in the score, the concept of “deuce” was introduced. The hand on the clock was then moved back to 40 (for deuce), and 50 was used for “advantage”, with 60 continuing to represent “game”. This resulted in the scores 15, 30, 40 and game.

In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

20. Aria from “Carmen” HABANERA
When Georges Bizet wrote his famous opera “Carmen”, he used the melody of what he thought was an old folk song as a theme in the lovely aria “the Habanera”. Not long after he finished “Carmen” he discovered that the folk song was in fact a piece that had been written by another composer, who had died just ten years before “Carmen” was published. Fittingly, Bizet added a note to the score, declaring the original source.

23. Champagne toast SALUT
In French “salut” means “hi”, and is less formal than “bonjour”. The term is also used for an informal toast.

24. English lit pseudonym BOZ
The English author Charles Dickens used the pen-name “Boz” early in his career. He had already established himself as the most famous novelist of the Victorian Era when he came to visit America in 1842. He was honored by 3,000 of New York’s elite at a “Boz Ball” in the Park Theater.

25. Greek counterpart of 38-Across ARES
(38A. Norse counterpart of 25-Across ODIN)
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos, Deimos and Eros. The Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

26. Bounty maker, briefly P AND G
Procter & Gamble was a founded in 1837 by William Procter and James Gamble. Procter was a candlemaker, an immigrant from England. Gamble was a soapmaker, an immigrant from Ireland. The pair had settled in Cincinnati and married two sisters. Their father-in-law persuaded the two to set up in business together, and rest is history.

Bounty is a brand of paper towel made by Procter & Gamble.

27. R&B’s __ II Men BOYZ
BOYZ II Men are an R&B vocal trio from Philadelphia who started out in 1988. The original BOYZ II Men lineup included a fourth member, Michael McCary. McCary left the group in 2003 due to chronic back pain. The BOYZ II Men 1992 hit “End of the Road” stayed at number-one in the Billboard charts for an amazing thirteen weeks, shattering the 11-week record that had been held by Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” since 1956.

36. Real estate pioneer with a Long Island town named for him LEVITT
There are four suburban communities called Levittown in the US, each developed just after WWII by William Levitt. The houses were built primarily for returning veterans and their families. The four Levittowns are located in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

38. Norse counterpart of 25-Across ODIN
(25A. Greek counterpart of 38-Across ARES)
In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, and his name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday”, from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.

39. American Leaguer since 2013 ASTRO
The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

45. 1975 ABC debut, for short GMA
“Good Morning America” (GMA) is ABC’s morning show, and has been since 1975. There was even a spinoff show called “Good Afternoon America”, although that only lasted for a few months in 2012.

47. Skater Harding TONYA
Tonya Harding won the US Figure Skating Championships in 1991. Harding’s reputation was greatly tarnished in the run up to the 1994 Olympics, when her former husband and her bodyguard contracted someone to attack Harding’s main competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. During a practice session for the US Championship, a hired thug assaulted Kerrigan with police baton, attempting to break her leg. Kerrigan was forced to withdraw, and Harding won the championship. Both Harding and Kerrigan were selected for the Olympic team, and despite attempts to get Harding removed, both skated at the Games in Lillehammer. Harding finished in eighth place, and Kerrigan won the silver medal. Harding admitted that she helped cover up the attack when she found out about it, and was stripped of her US Championship title.

48. Best ever CAT’S MEOW
Something described as “the cat’s meow” is particularly fine, the best. The term was popularized and perhaps coined by Tad Dorgan, a cartoonist active in the early 20th century.

52. will.i.am, for one RAP ARTIST
will.i.am is the stage name of singer William Adams, Jr. will.i.am is best known as one of the founding members of the Black Eyed Peas.

55. Eatery serving 47-Downs TRATTORIA
(47D. 55-Across dessert TORTA)
A trattoria is an Italian restaurant. In Italian, a “trattore” is the keeper of an eating house.

56. State with a red, white and blue flag TEXAS
The first European flag to fly over the area that we now call Texas was the flag of Spain. The French had a colony there as well, albeit for a short length of time. Mexico controlled the territory for a long time, until Texas became independent in 1836. Texas joined the Union in 1845 (as the 28th state). During the Civil War Texas sided with the Confederate States of America, and then after the war, the Stars and Stripes flew again. That does make “Six Flags over Texas”.

Down
1. Pisan possessive NOSTRA
“Nostra” is an Italian word meaning “our”.

The city of Pisa is right on the Italian coast, sitting at the mouth of the River Arno, and is famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

3. Cinema __ VERITE
“Cinéma vérité” is a French term meaning “truthful cinema”, and it describes films made in a documentary style, often deliberately provoking a strong reaction from the audience.

4. Ovid work AMORES
Ovid wrote a book of poems called “Amores”, as indeed did the author D. H. Lawrence.

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets, Horace and Virgil.

5. Dumps JILTS
To “jilt” someone with whom you have a relationship is to drop them suddenly or callously. “Jilt” is an obsolete noun that used to mean “harlot” or “loose woman”.

8. Jazz followers UTAHANS
The Utah Jazz professional basketball team moved to their current home in Salt Lake City in 1979. As one might guess from the name, the team originated in New Orleans, but only played there for five seasons. New Orleans was a tough place to be based because venues were hard to come by, and Mardi Gras forced the team to play on the road for a whole month.

9. Memorable ’70s Ford GERALD
Gerald Ford is the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the US, without having been elected to those positions. Ford was nominated by President Richard Nixon to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after he resigned in 1973. Vice President Ford then assumed the presidency the following year, after President Nixon resigned.

10. Capital SSW of Tangier RABAT
Rabat is the capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco. After WWII, the United States maintained a major Air Force Base in Rabat, part of Strategic Air Command (SAC). Responding to pressure from the Moroccan government of King Mohammed V, the USAF pulled out in 1963.

The Moroccan city of Tangier sits right at the Strait of Gibraltar. Even though it is in North Africa, the continent of Europe is less than ten miles away, on the other side of the Mediterranean.

11. Tar Heel State campus ELON
Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

Tar Heel is a nickname for anyone living in, or from, the state of North Carolina. As such, it is the nickname also of the athletic teams of the University of North Carolina. No one seems to know for sure where the term “Tar Heel” originated, but it is thought to be related to the historical importance of the tar, pitch and turpentine industries that thrived in the state due to the presence of vast forests of pine trees.

13. 1964 World’s Fair giant tire Ferris wheel creator UNIROYAL
Uniroyal is the tire brand name used by United States Rubber Company, which in turn is a subsidiary of Michelin North America.

The Uniroyal Giant Tire is a non-operating Ferris wheel that is on display near Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The Ferris wheel was created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, where it operated for over a year. The Uniroyal Giant Tire is the largest scale model of a tire ever built.

21. Cause of worry BUGABOO
“Bugaboo” is another term for a bogeyman, an imaginary and scary creature used to frighten children. More generally, a bugaboo is something that creates fear or worry.

26. Compound with five carbon atoms PENTANE
Pentane is an alkane containing five carbon atoms, hence the name. Pentane is a liquid at room temperature, and is commonly used as a solvent in a laboratory.

30. Fruit served with a cracker? NUT
That would be a nut, a fruit that is accessed using a nutcracker.

31. Online clip BLOGCAST
A blogcast is a short video or audio clip that is published within a blog.

33. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, but not Charles AVIATRIX
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was best known as an author, although she was also an aviator like her husband Charles Lindbergh. Anne was the first American woman to earn a first-class glider pilot’s license.

Charles Lindbergh was the American pilot who made the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of nearly 3,600 miles. He won the accolades of a whole country for that feat, and was awarded the Medal of Honor (for which Lindbergh was eligible, as an Army Reserve officer). His new-found fame brought tragedy to his door, however, when a kidnapper took his infant son from his home in East Amwell, New Jersey. A ransom was paid in part, but the child was never returned, and was found dead a few weeks later. It was as a result of this case that Congress made kidnapping a federal offence should there be any aspect of the crime that crosses a state line.

34. Café quaff VIN
“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One quaffs (takes a hearty drink) of a quaff (a hearty drink).

35. “__ in the Dark”: 1988 Neill/Streep film A CRY
“A Cry in the Dark” is the title used outside of Australia and New Zealand for the 1988 Australian film “Evil Angels”. The movie stars Sam Neill and Meryl Streep as a couple who were accused of killing their nine-week old baby. Based on a true story, the wife was eventually convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor. The couple argued that the child had been attacked and dragged away by a dingo. After three years in prison, the wife was released after a piece of the child’s clothing was found near a dingo lair.

37. Noah’s predecessor STEWART
When Stewart retired in 2015, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” became “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”.

43. Bos’n’s response AYE, SIR
A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. A boatswain is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel. He or she has charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. Boatswain is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bos’n” is also very popular.

44. Large rays MANTAS
The manta ray is the biggest species of ray, with the largest one recorded at over 25 feet across and weighing 5,100 pounds.

46. Exeunt __: all go out OMNES
“Exeunt omnes” is a stage direction instructing everyone on stage to exit. The term translates from Latin as “they all go out”.

53. Four on Augusta’s fifth PAR
The Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia was founded in 1933 by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. Famously, Augusta hosts the Masters Tournament each year. Augusta is very much a private club, and some of its policies have drawn criticism over the years. Prior to 1959, the club had a bylaw requiring that all caddies be African American. There were no African-American club members admitted until 1990, and no women until 2012.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Four Corners collectible NAVAJO RUG
10. Edit, as a soundtrack REDUB
15. “Be right there” ONE MINUTE
16. Dior style A-LINE
17. Window-adjusting tool SCROLL BAR
18. Sheep or goat BOVID
19. Two after love? THIRTY
20. Aria from “Carmen” HABANERA
22. Some drills ROTES
23. Champagne toast SALUT
24. English lit pseudonym BOZ
25. Greek counterpart of 38-Across ARES
26. Bounty maker, briefly P AND G
27. R&B’s __ II Men BOYZ
28. Murky milieus FENS
29. __ cracker ANIMAL
31. Facing dauntlessly BRAVING
35. Like sparkling wine ABUBBLE
36. Real estate pioneer with a Long Island town named for him LEVITT
37. Clan member SCOT
38. Norse counterpart of 25-Across ODIN
39. American Leaguer since 2013 ASTRO
41. Ray BEAM
45. 1975 ABC debut, for short GMA
46. Like music to one’s ears? ON KEY
47. Skater Harding TONYA
48. Best ever CAT’S MEOW
50. Evil ROTTEN
51. Splatter catcher APRON
52. will.i.am, for one RAP ARTIST
54. Baggage carousel feeder SLIDE
55. Eatery serving 47-Downs TRATTORIA
56. State with a red, white and blue flag TEXAS
57. Strips at a party STREAMERS

Down
1. Pisan possessive NOSTRA
2. It’s dropped on purpose ANCHOR
3. Cinema __ VERITE
4. Ovid work AMORES
5. Dumps JILTS
6. Just ONLY
7. Prepare for a grilling RUB
8. Jazz followers UTAHANS
9. Memorable ’70s Ford GERALD
10. Capital SSW of Tangier RABAT
11. Tar Heel State campus ELON
12. Attack from above DIVE-BOMB
13. 1964 World’s Fair giant tire Ferris wheel creator UNIROYAL
14. Enchant BEDAZZLE
21. Cause of worry BUGABOO
23. Blabbed SANG
26. Compound with five carbon atoms PENTANE
27. Crab house accessory BIB
28. In good shape FIT
30. Fruit served with a cracker? NUT
31. Online clip BLOGCAST
32. Colorful fall tree RED MAPLE
33. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, but not Charles AVIATRIX
34. Café quaff VIN
35. “__ in the Dark”: 1988 Neill/Streep film A CRY
37. Noah’s predecessor STEWART
40. Hybrid apparel SKORTS
41. Rear end BOTTOM
42. Complete ENTIRE
43. Bos’n’s response AYE, SIR
44. Large rays MANTAS
46. Exeunt __: all go out OMNES
47. 55-Across dessert TORTA
49. __ cracker SODA
50. Assign value to RATE
53. Four on Augusta’s fifth PAR

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Nov 15, Saturday”

  1. That "A" preface is very annoying; it really set my blood aboil! Also, while botanically a nut is considered a fruit, not so in cuisine, such as where something is "served" It was an easy fill, but still.

  2. @Bill 30D Fruit served with a cracker? NUT
    Both “nut” and “cracker” are slang terms for someone who is crazy.
    Whaaa???
    I don't get it.
    All I had was the SE corner.
    ABUBBLE for our Carrie! ^0^

  3. I eventually solved this puzzle after I figured out the self inflicted injury I did to myself by by idiotically putting in SNL for 45 across "1975 ABC debut, for short." When I go on "auto fill" (just like "auto correct" on texting) it invariably comes back to bite me on the backside!

    Hope everyone has a good Saturday and I'll look forward to joining the "Sunday Irregulars" for the puzzle puzzling tomorrow.

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