LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Jan 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Robert E. Lee Morris
THEME: Laundry List … by collecting the last word from each of our themed answers today, we come up with a LIST of LAUNDRY detergents:

62A. Lengthy litany … and, literally, what the ends of the answers to starred clues comprise LAUNDRY LIST

17A. *Alabama team CRIMSON TIDE
11D. *Raspberry BRONX CHEER
24D. *Tinseltown trade SHOWBIZ
28D. *Dieter’s concern WEIGHT GAIN

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 59s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. Actress O’Donnell ROSIE
We don’t get to see Rosie O’Donnell on the screen very much these days. She had a very successful chat show that ran from 1996 to 2002. My favorite performance of hers on the big screen is in a supporting role to Meg Ryan in the 1993 movie “Sleepless in Seattle”.

15. “Peter, Peter, pumpkin __” EATER
“Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater” is a nursery rhyme that has been around in the US at least since the early 1800s. It is possibly derived from an older English rhyme, but pumpkins certainly weren’t in the English version.

16. TV brand RCA
During WWI, the US government actively discouraged the loss of certain technologies to other countries, including allies. The developing wireless technologies were considered to be particularly important by the army and navy. The government prevented the General Electric Company from selling equipment to the British Marconi Company, and instead facilitated the purchase by GE of the American Marconi subsidiary. This purchase led to GE forming the Radio Corporation of America that we know today as RCA.

17. *Alabama team CRIMSON TIDE
The athletic teams of the University of Alabama (“Bama”) are nicknamed the Crimson Tide, a reference to the team colors of crimson and white.

19. Boston Bruin great Bobby 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 …

20. Fisherman’s Wharf entrée SEA BASS
Fisherman’s Wharf is the name given to what is now a tourist mecca at the northern limits of San Francisco, right on San Francisco Bay. Historically it is where the city’s fishing fleet was moored and so the neighborhood became associated with the fishing community that was mainly made up of Italian immigrants.

21. Kevin of “Dances With Wolves” COSTNER
Kevin Costner attributes some of his motivation to pursue an acting career to the great Welsh actor, Richard Burton. Back when Costner was taking acting classes, and was undecided about whether to continue chasing his dream, he ran into Burton on a flight from Puerto Vallarta. Burton agreed to chat with him for a little while, and so Costner was able to ask him if acting meant tolerating the kind of personal drama that had plagued Burton’s own life. Burton told him, “You have green eyes. I have green eyes. I think you’ll be fine”.

“Dances with Wolves” is a Western movie released in 1999 that was produced by, directed by and starred Kevin Costner. The film is based on a novel of the same name by Michael Blake. Costner had been involved in the “Dances with Wolves” project when Blake only had the bare bones of a script, and it was Costner who suggested the script be turned into a novel. Costner then bought the rights to the book, and ended up investing three million dollars of his own money to finish shooting the film.

34. Nappy leather SUEDE
Suede is leather made from the underside of the skin, mainly from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called “gants de Suede” in France, or “gloves of Sweden”. So, the name “suede” comes from the French word for Sweden.

A “nap” is a soft and perhaps fuzzy surface on cloth or leather.

35. Woodwind instrument OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”. When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance you’ll note (pun intended!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

36. “Veep” channel HBO
“Veep” is a political satire sitcom on HBO that is a remake of the British show “The Thick of It”. “Veep” is set in the office of a fictional Vice President of the United States played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

39. Dickens’ Drood EDWIN
“The Mystery of Edwin Drood” is an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. The story itself is centered not on the title character, but on Edwin Drood’s uncle, a choirmaster named John Jasper.

42. Cribbage marker PEG
Cribbage is a great card game that originated in 17th-century England, a creation of the poet Sir John Suckling. One of the unique features of the game is that a cribbage board is used to keep score. Here in the US, cribbage is very much associated with the submarine service, as it is a favorite game of submariners of all ranks.

44. Like xenon and krypton INERT
Xenon was the first of the noble gases to be made into a compound, which was somewhat remarkable in that the noble gases were thought by many to be completely inert, nonreactive, useless for making chemical compounds.

45. Dietary supplement obtained from predatory fish SHARK OIL
Shark liver oil is one of those substances that is oft-touted as medication for a large variety of ailments, from the common cold to cancer. However, those claims have never been scientifically proved. The oil is a popular dietary supplement, but again, the benefits have never been proven.

49. Letter before upsilon TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

Upsilon is the Greek letter that gives rise to our English “Y”.

50. Clearasil targets ZITS
The slang term “zit”, meaning “a pimple”, came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

Clearasil acne medication was developed in 1940 by Ivan Combe and Kedzie Teller. Combe promoted the product by sponsoring the television show “American Bandstand” for many years.

52. Vein in the neck JUGULAR
The jugular veins transport deoxygenated blood from the head back to the heart. There are actually five jugular veins: right and left internal veins, right and left externals, and the anterior. The term “jugular” comes from the Latin “iugulum” meaning “collarbone, throat, neck”.

56. Actress Wood NATALIE
The actress Natalie Wood was born in San Francisco to Russian immigrant parents, her real name being Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko. Wood performed in many great films over her relatively short career. She played a leading role in “Miracle on 34th Street” when she was just 8-years-old, and in “Rebel Without a Cause” when she was a teenage. There followed hits like “West Side Story”, “Gypsy” and “Splendor in the Grass”. Famously, Wood was married to Robert Wagner, twice. Wagner and Wood were on a weekend boat trip to Santa Catalina Island when she drowned in 1981. The death was deemed to be an accident after an investigation. However, in 2011 the boat’s captain revealed that he had lied during that investigation and claimed that Wood died as the result of a fight with Wagner. Wood’s death certificate was amended as a result, with a statement that how Wood entered the water was not clearly established.

64. Hawaiian wreath 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.

65. Cubs Hall of Famer Banks ERNIE
First baseman Ernie Banks was known as “Mr. Cub”, and played his entire 19-year professional career with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs retired Banks’ uniform number 14 in 1982, making him the first Cubs player to be so honored.

67. Coppertone user’s goal TAN
Coppertone is a brand of sunscreen owned by Bayer.

68. Lear daughter REGAN
“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the storyline. The three are, in order of age:

– Goneril
– Regan
– Cordelia

69. Cosmetician Lauder ESTEE
Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

Down
3. Cambodia’s continent ASIA
The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in the Indochina Peninsula of Southeast Asia, and is bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. “Cambodia” is the English version of the country’s name, which in Khmer is “Kampuchea”.

5. Longtime Buick model LESABRE
The Buick Special was a car produced by General Motors in various forms from 1936, making a final brief appearance in 1975. The Buick Special was given the name “LeSabre” in 1959, and a “Skylark” option was introduced in 1961. The engine was changed from a V8 in 1962, making the Buick Special the first American production car to use a V6.

7. Boater or bowler HAT
A boater is a straw hat often associated with boating, hence the name.

I think a bowler hat is usually called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of “derby” comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

10. Railroad bridge support TRESTLE
A trestle is a frame that is used as a support, particularly for a bridge.

11. *Raspberry BRONX CHEER
Not so much here in America, but over in the British Isles “blowing a raspberry” is a way of insulting someone (I think it’s called “a Bronx cheer” in the US). The verb “to razz” comes from a shortened form of “raspberry”.

12. 43,560 square feet ACRE
At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one furlong wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. A area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

13. Actress Teri GARR
The lovely Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

18. Sugary ending -OSE
Sugars are usually named using the “-ose” suffix e.g. glucose, fructose, sucrose.

22. Earl Grey, for one TEA
The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

24. *Tinseltown trade SHOWBIZ
“Tinseltown” is a nickname for Hollywood.

26. “Now!” in memos ASAP
As soon as possible (ASAP)

27. Monkey suits TUXES
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.

31. __-Wan Kenobi OBI
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

33. Longtime partner of Siskel EBERT
Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed.

Gene Siskel was a film critic for the “Chicago Tribune”. Siskel also hosted the long-running television show “Siskel & Ebert at the Movies”, from 1975 until 1999 when he passed away.

37. Sports MD’s specialty ORTH
Orthopedics (orth.) is the branch of surgery that deals with the musculoskeletal system. The term “orthopedics” was coined in 1741 by French physician Nicolas Andry. Actually, Andry used the French term “Orthopédie” for the title of a book. The term comes from the Greek “orthos” meaning “straight” and “paidon” meaning “child”.

39. Yellowstone grazer ELK
Male elks are called bulls, and females are known as cows. Bull elks are known for their very loud screaming, which is called bugling. Cow elks are attracted to bulls that bugle more often and most loudly.

Yellowstone was the first National Park to be established in the world, when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

40. Batman and Robin, e.g. DUO
Batman and Robin are unique among their superhero compatriots in that they have no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets. Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

41. __-cone: shaved ice dessert SNO
A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

43. Doughnut with a twist CRULLER
Crullers (also “twisters”) are fried pastries that have a twisted shape. The pastry’s name comes from the Dutch “kruller” meaning “to curl”. Crullers are a traditional dish served on Shrove Tuesday (the day before Lent) in some European countries, including Germany.

46. Nonpro sports org. AAU
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) sponsors the AAU Junior Olympic Games, an annual competition held in different cities across the United States, starting in Washington D.C. in 1967, and most recently in Des Moines, Iowa in 2009.

47. Tree also called basswood LINDEN
Linden trees are also called lime trees and basswood trees.

51. La Brea goo TAR
The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirsts. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

53. Eye layer containing the iris UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.

The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

54. Swiss river AARE
The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland.

57. Boxers Muhammad and Laila ALIS
Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later. Ali turned out for his last two fights largely because he needed the money. A sad end to a career, I’d say …

Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali and is a very capable boxer in her own right. Laila’s professional record is an impressive 24 wins, including 21 knockouts. She never lost a fight, and nor did she ever draw. One of those victories was against Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of her father’s nemesis Joe Frazier. Laila is not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars”.

58. English elevator LIFT
On the other side of the Atlantic, an elevator is called a “lift”.

60. French I infinitive ETRE
The French for “to be” is “être”.

63. Actress Vardalos NIA
Not only is the delightful Nia Vardalos the star of the 2002 hit movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, she also wrote the screenplay. The film never made it to number one at the box office, but it still pulled in more money than any other movie in history that didn’t make it to number one. That record I think reflects the fact that the film wasn’t a blockbuster but rather a so-called “sleeper hit”, a movie that people went to see based on referrals from friends. The big fat mistake came when a spin-off TV show was launched, “My Big Fat Greek Life”. It ran for only 7 episodes.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. In any way AT ALL
6. Brief SHORT
11. Pack the groceries BAG
14. Actress O’Donnell ROSIE
15. “Peter, Peter, pumpkin __” EATER
16. TV brand RCA
17. *Alabama team CRIMSON TIDE
19. Boston Bruin great Bobby ORR
20. Fisherman’s Wharf entrée SEA BASS
21. Kevin of “Dances With Wolves” COSTNER
23. Honey makers BEES
25. Okla. neighbor TEX
26. Fighting AT WAR
30. Item inserted through eyelets SHOELACE
34. Nappy leather SUEDE
35. Woodwind instrument OBOE
36. “Veep” channel HBO
38. x or y, on graphs AXIS
39. Dickens’ Drood EDWIN
41. Crystal ball gazer SEER
42. Cribbage marker PEG
43. One of 14 in a pro’s golf bag CLUB
44. Like xenon and krypton INERT
45. Dietary supplement obtained from predatory fish SHARK OIL
48. Up on a map NORTH
49. Letter before upsilon TAU
50. Clearasil targets ZITS
52. Vein in the neck JUGULAR
56. Actress Wood NATALIE
61. Eggs OVA
62. Lengthy litany … and, literally, what the ends of the answers to starred clues comprise LAUNDRY LIST
64. Hawaiian wreath LEI
65. Cubs Hall of Famer Banks ERNIE
66. One committed to a military career LIFER
67. Coppertone user’s goal TAN
68. Lear daughter REGAN
69. Cosmetician Lauder ESTEE

Down
1. Circle segments ARCS
2. Ripped TORE
3. Cambodia’s continent ASIA
4. Swing support LIMB
5. Longtime Buick model LESABRE
6. Feels SENSES
7. Boater or bowler HAT
8. Suffix with psych -OTIC
9. Decorate again REDO
10. Railroad bridge support TRESTLE
11. *Raspberry BRONX CHEER
12. 43,560 square feet ACRE
13. Actress Teri GARR
18. Sugary ending -OSE
22. Earl Grey, for one TEA
24. *Tinseltown trade SHOWBIZ
26. “Now!” in memos ASAP
27. Monkey suits TUXES
28. *Dieter’s concern WEIGHT GAIN
29. Newspaper revenue source ADS
31. __-Wan Kenobi OBI
32. Very long time EON
33. Longtime partner of Siskel EBERT
37. Sports MD’s specialty ORTH
39. Yellowstone grazer ELK
40. Batman and Robin, e.g. DUO
41. __-cone: shaved ice dessert SNO
43. Doughnut with a twist CRULLER
44. Fashionable IN STYLE
46. Nonpro sports org. AAU
47. Tree also called basswood LINDEN
51. La Brea goo TAR
52. Quite a blow JOLT
53. Eye layer containing the iris UVEA
54. Swiss river AARE
55. Step on a ladder RUNG
57. Boxers Muhammad and Laila ALIS
58. English elevator LIFT
59. “Gotcha” I SEE
60. French I infinitive ETRE
63. Actress Vardalos NIA

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7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Jan 16, Tuesday”

  1. I agree with Glenn. Quite easy actually, and a lot of X's. Its a Pangram ! Wait, wait, wait …. its missing a Q, and a …. no thats it.

    Now, to comment on 'other' things. I noticed Bill omitted the English ( actually Scottish – ) nursery rhyme, which was the cognate to Peter, Peter …. so I linked the Ancestor of Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater.
    Important::: See also Eeper, Weeper, from the further link ….

    Not quite as much fun, Peter apparently had a second wife, and shoved her up the chimney. Aah, the good ole days, when wives were, ahem, more disposable. (Meant, strictly as a satirical joke, and a poor one at that, so please do not protest – I am a faithful feminist at heart !)

    Coincidentally, the Google Doodle today is 2 cartoon panels of the characters of Charles Perrault, who invented or categorized, 'fairy tales'. What a coincidence. Next, I'm going to read all about him….

    'Nappy' is also the term by certain African Americans in describing 'black' hair. It could be considered a pejorative, I suppose, if spoken by other races. For that matter, it could also be considered an insulting term within the same race, I think. For whatever reason.

    Now to read up on the Xenon compound – this is exciting.
    Have a great day, all.

  2. Simple grid for me, almost broke :05 again. I don't think the manufacture Cheer laundry soap any more. And somewhat serendipitous to mention the Alabama football team a day after they win the big game.

    I've been easing myself back into these grids after some time off. I'd like to echo the comment made around New Year to you, Bill, and add my thanks for all your hard work in this little corner of the internet. I enjoy the references and the commentary from a group of people who are just enjoying it as I am. No trolls, no snotty scoffing (too much) about how the crossword world is going to hell (hello, Rex Parker), just a small group who have a fun, civilized discussion about the daily grid.

    Vidwan, I thought the same when I saw NAPPY. Don Imus lost his syndicated radio job a few years back when he stupidly referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as a "bunch of nappy-headed hos." This coming from a slack-jawed old codger with more chins than a Chinese phone book.

    I was gonna crack a Natalie Wood joke, but after my little rant I better just shut up. Thanks again to you all.

  3. Agreed. Very easy Tuesday although I did get a kick out of the theme. I think Arm & Hammer makes a detergent. They could have used Armand Hammer somehow in the clue. Hammer was an industrialist/communist and was supposedly named after the arm and hammer – the symbol of the Socialist Labor Party of America back in the day.

    AARE on a different grid would have gotten me for sure.

    Krypton is an inert gas? Tell that to Superman!

    Best-

  4. Hey folks! Easier than yesterday's puzzle, I think, altho I was thrown by SEA BASS. I had TORN instead of TORE, so I spent a minute wondering what a SNA BASS is…:-D
    @Jeff, interesting about Armand Hammer's name. I always thought it was just a weird coincidence. My mom worked for his company, decades ago.
    Nice to hear from you, Willie!
    Back at it tomorrow…
    Be well~~™

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