LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Dec 15, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Michael Dewey
THEME: Finished with the Essay … each of today’s themed answers ends with a synonym of “essay”.

17A. It may lead to an acquisition TAKEOVER ATTEMPT
28A. Coalition JOINT ENDEAVOR
48A. With “the,” one’s best shot OLD COLLEGE TRY
62A. Sincere intention to be fair GOOD FAITH EFFORT

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 40s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Coors “malternative” ZIMA
Zima is a clear alcoholic beverage with about the same strength as beer. Zima is sold in beer bottles but is marketed as “not” a beer, A “malternative”. It has a lemon-lime flavor and is referred to as an “alcopop”, a portmanteau word from “alcohol” and “pop”. Zima was made by Coors, but they stopped US production in 2008. However, it is still quite popular in Japan.

5. NFL ball carriers RBS
In football, running backs (RBs) and wide receivers (WRs) often score touchdowns (TDs).

13. National Air and Space Museum movie format IMAX
The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington, D.C. is that part of the Smithsonian Institution that holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. The facility was opened in 1946 as the National Air Museum, and renamed to the National Air and Space Museum during the space race of the fifties and sixties.

16. Shrine to remember ALAMO
The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

21. Cooking oil brand MAZOLA
Mazola is a brand of corn oil now owned by Associated British Foods.

22. Sport with masks EPEE
The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, both of which are also thrusting weapons. However, the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

32. SeaWorld swimmer ORCA
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

SeaWorld was started in San Diego in 1964. The original plan was build an underwater restaurant with a marine life show. Eventually the founders dropped the idea of the eating establishment and just went with a theme park. SeaWorld has been mired in controversy since the 2013 release of the documentary “Blackfish”, which tells of the involvement of a particular orca (killer whale) in the death of two SeaWorld employees and one SeaWorld visitor.

33. Strauss’ “__ Rosenkavalier” DER
“Der Rosenkavalier” is a comic opera composed by Richard Strauss, with the title translating as “The Knight of the Rose”.

34. Source of ultraviolet rays SUN
At either end of the visible light spectrum are the invisible forms of radiation known as infrared (IR) light and ultraviolet (UV) light. IR light lies just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, and UV light lie just below the violet end.

39. The Masters or The Open MAJOR
Golf’s Masters Tournament is the first of the four major championships in the annual calendar, taking place in the first week of April each year. It is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and has a number of traditions. One is that the winner is awarded the famous “green jacket”, but he only gets to keep it for a year and must return it to the club after twelve months.

The golf tournament that we usually refer to as “the British Open” here in North America, is more correctly known as “The Open Championship”. The tournament has earned its somewhat Haughty title as it is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf. The Open was first played in 1860, at Scotland’s Prestwick Golf Club. That first tournament attracted a grand field of eight professional golfers, with Scotsman Willie Park, Sr. emerging victorious.

43. Aurora’s Greek counterpart EOS
In Greek mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos is Aurora.

45. Beat a hasty retreat LAM
To be “on the lam” is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

51. Dashboard meas. MPH
Miles per hour (mph)

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a “board” placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

53. __ Jose SAN
San Jose is the third-largest city in California and is located at the heart of Silicon Valley. The city was founded by the Spanish in 1777 and named El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. Under Spanish and Mexican rule, the territory of Alta California had its capital in Monterey. When California was made a US state, San Jose was named as the first capital, in 1850. Subsequently, the state legislature met in Vallejo in 1852, Benicia in 1853, and finally settled in Sacramento.

55. Met showstopper ARIA
The Metropolitan Opera (the Met) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …

59. Belittle DIS
“Dis” is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

66. Jordanian queen dowager NOOR
Queen Noor is the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. Queen Noor was born Lisa Halaby in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Najeeb Halaby. Her father was appointed by President Kennedy as the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, and later became the CEO of Pan Am. Lisa Halaby met King Hussein in 1977, while working on the design of Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport. The airport was named after King Hussein’s third wife who had been killed that year in a helicopter crash. Halaby and the King were married the next year, in 1978.

Originally, a dowry was money that was set aside by a man for his wife and children, to be used in the event that he passed away. A widow who receives said money was known as a “dowager”. Over time, “dowry” became a term used for the money, goods or estate that a woman brought into a marriage, and “dowager” came to mean an elderly woman with an elevated social position.

69. Second afterthought: Abbr. PPS
One adds a PS (post scriptum, or simply “postscript”) at the end of a letter (ltr.). A second postscript is a post post scriptum, a PPS.

70. Daughter of Elizabeth II ANNE
Anne, Princess Royal was born in 1950 and is the only daughter of British Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Anne has been in the public spotlight for many things, including her success as an equestrian. Princess Anne was the first member of the British Royal Family to have competed in an Olympic Games. Her daughter Zara Phillips continued the tradition and competed as a member of the British equestrian team in the 2012 Olympic Games. Zara’s medal was presented to her by her own mother, Princess Anne.

Down
1. Pasta choice ZITI
Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.

2. All-in-one Apple IMAC
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

6. Khrushchev’s successor BREZHNEV
Leonid Brezhnev was the Soviet leader from 1964 until his death in 1982. Under Brezhnev, Soviet spending on the military grew to about 12.5% of the nation’s Gross National Product. This level of spending, without effective economic reform, led to the USSR’s “Era of Stagnation” that started in the mid-seventies. His large major political decision was to invade Afghanistan, a move that placed further strain on the fragile Soviet economy.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev only ever made two visits to the United States. The second visit was in September 1960 without an invitation, when he appointed himself temporary head of the USSR delegation to the United Nations. The US responded to his unannounced visit by limiting his travel to the island of Manhattan and visits to a Soviet-owned estate on Long Island. During one of the debates at the UN, Khrushchev became outraged at a statement made by the Filipino delegate who called the Soviets two-faced for decrying colonialism while forcibly dominating and occupying Eastern Europe. Khrushchev demanded the right to reply immediately, and when the Filipino delegate refused to yield, the Soviet leader famously took off his shoe and began to pound it on his desk.

7. Texas ALer ‘STRO
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.

8. What Tweety tawt he taw TAT
“I tawt I taw a puddy tat!” is a famous line uttered by Tweety Bird, the yellow canary in the “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons who is constantly stalked by various cats.

9. Out of the wind ALEE
“Alee” is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing “aweather”.

12. Tribal symbol TOTEM
Totem is the name given to any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

15. Connecticut Ivy Leaguer YALIE
Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant from London called Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

19. “Voilà!” cries TADAS
“Voilà” means “there it is”, and “voici” means “here it is”. The terms come from “voi là” meaning “see there” and “voi ici” meaning “see here”.

28. “__ Boys”: Alcott sequel JO’S
Louisa May Alcott’s “Jo’s Boys” is a sequel to her novel “Little Men”, which in turn is a sequel to “Little Women”. “Jo’s Boys” is the final book in the trilogy.

38. Soda jerk’s workplace MALT SHOP
Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, in 1922.

In the halcyon days of yore, a “soda jerk” was usually a young person whose main job was to serve ice cream sodas in a drugstore. The server would “jerk” the handle on the soda fountain to dispense the soda water, giving the job its distinctive name.

41. Boston Garden hockey immortal ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

Boston Garden was an arena that opened in 1928, closed in 1995, and was demolished in 1995. “The Garden” hosted home games for the NBA’s Boston Celtics and the NHL’s Boston Bruins.

44. Milan’s Teatro alla __ SCALA
La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its Italian name “Teatro alla Scala”.

48. John Glenn, for one OHIOAN
John Glenn is a retired Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and US Senator. As an astronaut, Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, in 1962. He later became the oldest person to fly in space, in 1998 at the age of 77.

49. Words often starting a long shot ONE IN …
One in ten, one in a hundred …

51. Dungeons & Dragons spellcasters MAGES
Mage is an archaic word for a magician.

Dungeons & Dragons is a complex role-playing game (RPG) first published in 1974, by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). Dungeons & Dragons was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my nerdy son …

58. Sporty car roof T-TOP
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

60. Farsi-speaking land IRAN
“Farsi” is one of the local names for Persian, an Iranian language.

64. LAX overseer FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

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

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Coors “malternative” ZIMA
5. NFL ball carriers RBS
8. Silently understood TACIT
13. National Air and Space Museum movie format IMAX
14. Culturally affected ARTY
16. Shrine to remember ALAMO
17. It may lead to an acquisition TAKEOVER ATTEMPT
20. Bucket filler ICE
21. Cooking oil brand MAZOLA
22. Sport with masks EPEE
23. Nag’s comment? NEIGH
25. Binding words I DO
27. Stately tree ELM
28. Coalition JOINT ENDEAVOR
32. SeaWorld swimmer ORCA
33. Strauss’ “__ Rosenkavalier” DER
34. Source of ultraviolet rays SUN
35. Evidently is SEEMS
37. Enthusiasm VIM
39. The Masters or The Open MAJOR
43. Aurora’s Greek counterpart EOS
45. Beat a hasty retreat LAM
47. Yawner BORE
48. With “the,” one’s best shot OLD COLLEGE TRY
51. Dashboard meas. MPH
53. __ Jose SAN
54. Race paces TROTS
55. Met showstopper ARIA
57. “We can do it, team!” LET’S GO!
59. Belittle DIS
62. Sincere intention to be fair GOOD FAITH EFFORT
65. Maneuver around EVADE
66. Jordanian queen dowager NOOR
67. Vacationing, perhaps AWAY
68. Know without knowing why SENSE
69. Second afterthought: Abbr. PPS
70. Daughter of Elizabeth II ANNE

Down
1. Pasta choice ZITI
2. All-in-one Apple IMAC
3. Act in a conciliatory way MAKE NICE
4. Log splitter AXE
5. Plundered RAVAGED
6. Khrushchev’s successor BREZHNEV
7. Texas ALer ‘STRO
8. What Tweety tawt he taw TAT
9. Out of the wind ALEE
10. Pitcher in the woods CAMPER
11. Spur on IMPEL
12. Tribal symbol TOTEM
15. Connecticut Ivy Leaguer YALIE
18. Fail to say OMIT
19. “Voilà!” cries TADAS
24. Glossy coating ENAMEL
26. Egg cell OVUM
28. “__ Boys”: Alcott sequel JO’S
29. Rock to refine ORE
30. Practice exercise DRILL
31. How money might be lost ON A BET
36. Fixes the fairway, say SODS
38. Soda jerk’s workplace MALT SHOP
40. Makes a note of JOTS DOWN
41. Boston Garden hockey immortal ORR
42. Spanish king REY
44. Milan’s Teatro alla __ SCALA
46. Business deals MERGERS
48. John Glenn, for one OHIOAN
49. Words often starting a long shot ONE IN …
50. Blunder GOOF
51. Dungeons & Dragons spellcasters MAGES
52. Demonstrate as true PROVE
56. Tacks on ADDS
58. Sporty car roof T-TOP
60. Farsi-speaking land IRAN
61. Eye sore STYE
63. Membership cost FEE
64. LAX overseer FAA

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7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Dec 15, Wednesday”

  1. Good degree of difficulty for a Wednesday although I finished in a normal time….for me.

    @Bill
    You have the theme as synonyms of "essay". I think you might have meant "assay" although "attempt" in a generic sense is listed as an archaic definition of assay. So I can't see the theme as anything but phrases ending in a synonym for an archaic definition of "assay". I think of assay in its scientific meaning which to me is a test to measure something or an analysis of a chemical or something. Oh well. Strange theme….whatever it was meant to be.

    The death Brezhnev was really the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. Andropov and Chernenko lasted about 15 seconds each before dying. Then Gorbachev introduced reforms and the rest is history.

    @Tony
    Just did the Christmas puzzle. "I wonder how well Henry VIII covered the court"??? Ouch!

    Best –

  2. Zero errors on this one. Different grid, but not too strange.

    Tues: Zero errors except for the Natick at 65A/54D. Mon: Easy grid, consistent with a Monday. Weird constructions, but not a whole lot of junk fill.

    @Jeff Defintion 3 fits.

  3. I lost my previous posting. Lost my enthusiasm.

    I also thought of 'assay' …. other than the attempt of measurement of purity. Oh well. Maybe the word, 'stab' confers a better meaning. Glenns link on the third meaning just about says it all. Thanks Bill, for your blog.

    Had a tough time with the puzzle.

    Carrie, from yesterday – you have an airbnb ? That is so cool. I always wanted to try one of those out. Really enlarges your travel options !!! Maybe I'm getting too old, and not as adventurous.

    Have a nice day, all and a Happy New Year.

  4. Finally nailed one. After striking out on Monday and Tuesday I was a little hesitant.
    Put in RPM (maybe I was still thinking of 78s and 45s ^0^) until I realized that John Glenn was NOT an OMIOAN. Never heard of MAGES and doubt I will if it ever comes up again.
    Pitcher in the woods…didn't we have Door in the woods before?

  5. Looked up the definition of "essay". While a more common usage is "a short literary composition", definition #3 is "an effort to perform or accomplish something". Assay is the archaic version of the word, now obsolete in that sense. This was all new to me. Another learning experience 🙂

  6. Fuzzle! Challenging, tho, and I had one letter wrong: I put RAGES, not knowing much about Dungeons and Dragons. I still count it as just one error, for all that I had RPH instead of MPH. Maybe in the New Year I'll start counting such things as 2 errors, in Bill's fashion 😀
    @Vidwan! You surely should try Airbnb for travel options! Look for hosts with lots of reviews, and read listings with care…my 2 cents. You are certainly not too old! Many lovely Airbnbs all over!
    Back tomorrow to ring in 2016 with, no doubt, a difficult puzzle!
    Be well~~™

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