LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jan 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Tidy Sums … each of today’s themed answers is an idiomatic phrase meaning “TIDY SUM, lots of money”. Each themed clue references both “tidy sum” and a literal allusion from the phrase:

17A. Tidy sum, to a coin collector? PRETTY PENNY
28A. Tidy sum, to a chairmaker? AN ARM AND A LEG
43A. Tidy sum, to a soothsayer? SMALL FORTUNE
56A. Tidy sum, to a chess player? KING’S RANSOM

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Musical with the song “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” EVITA
“Another Suitcase in Another Hall” is a song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical “Evita”. The song is sung by Juan Perón’s mistress after Eva throws her onto the street. Scottish singer Barbara Dickson recorded the original version, which was released as a single in 1977. Madonna sang “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” in the 1996 film adaptation of “Evita”, even though she played Eva Perón and not the mistress.

6. Petty distinctions, metaphorically HAIRS
Someone “splitting hairs” is pointing out petty distinctions.

14. Noble gas XENON
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.

The rare gases are better known as the noble gases, but neither term is really very accurate. Noble gas might be a better choice though, as they are all relatively nonreactive. But rare they are not. Argon, for example, is a major constituent (1%) of the air that we breathe.

15. Former Illinois senator OBAMA
President Obama served three terms in the Illinois State Senate, from 1997 to 2004. The future President ran unsuccessfully for the US House of Representatives in 2000, and then successfully for the US Senate in 2004. Famously, State Senator Obama delivered the keynote address to the Democratic National Convention in 2004, just a few months before winning that US Senate seat.

16. “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” network NPR
Chicago Public Radio produces one of my wife’s favorite shows, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” It is indeed a fun game show, hosted by Peter Sagal. The “Morning Edition” newsreader Carl Kasell used to act as judge and scorekeeper, until he retired in 2014. There should be more game shows of that ilk on the radio in my humble opinion …

20. “Most Excellent” U.K. award OBE
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:

– Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
– Knight Commander (KBE)
– Commander (CBE)
– Officer (OBE)
– Member (MBE)

21. Emcee HOST
The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

22. Gooey treat S’MORE
S’mores are treats peculiar to North America, usually eaten around a campfire. A s’more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

24. Muralist Rivera DIEGO
Diego Rivera was a Mexican painter, famous for his murals. His wife was an equally famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.

33. Rain-__: gum brand BLO
Rain-Blo bubble gumballs were introduced in 1940.

36. Financial pros CPAS
Certified public accountant (CPA)

39. Many millennia AEON
Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

– supereon
– eon (also “aeon”)
– era
– period
– epoch
– age

40. Fall mo. SEP
The month of September is the ninth month in our year, although the name “September” comes from the Latin word “septum” meaning “seventh”. September was the seventh month in the Roman calendar until the year 46 BC when Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar. The Julian system moved the start of the year from March 1st to January 1st, and shifted September to the ninth month. The Gregorian calendar that we use today was introduced in 1582.

41. Only person to win both an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize SHAW
George Bernard Shaw (GBS) is the only person to have won both a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925, and the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1938 for “Pygmalion”. Al Gore came close to the same achievement. Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and he gave an acceptance speech after “An Inconvenient Truth” won the 2006 Oscar for Best documentary Feature. Even though Gore “starred” in the documentary and wrote the original book “An Inconvenient Truth”, the Academy Award went to director Davis Guggenheim.

43. Tidy sum, to a soothsayer? SMALL FORTUNE
A “soothsayer” is someone who claims to have the ability to predict the future. The term comes from “sooth”, an archaic word for “truth”. So a soothsayer was supposedly one who told the “truth” (about the future).

49. Baggage carousel aid ID TAG
Apparently the baggage carousel was developed by a French company. The first installation was in Paris Orly Airport in the 1950s.

50. Color in une cave à vin BLANC
In French, one might find a “vin blanc” (white wine) in “une cave à vin” (a wine cellar).

52. Kin of org EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

– .com (commercial enterprise)
– .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
– .mil (US military)
– .org (not-for-profit organization)
– .gov (US federal government entity)
– .edu (college-level educational institution)

55. Japanese capital YEN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

61. Theme park with a geodesic sphere EPCOT
EPCOT Center (now just called Epcot) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away before that vision could be realized.

The term geodesic applied originally to the shortest route between any two points on the Earth’s surface. In this sense, a geodesic is an arc, a segment of a great circle that goes around the whole of the Earth. A geodesic dome is a structure that gets its strength from an interlocking network of triangular elements. The sides of those triangles are geodesics, arced segments of great circles that encompass the dome.

63. Calypso cousin SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

The musical style of calypso originated in Trinidad and Tobago, but there seems to be some debate about which influences were most important as the genre developed. It is generally agreed that the music was imported by African slaves from their homeland, but others emphasize influences of the medieval French troubadours. To me it sounds more African in nature. Calypso reached the masses when it was first recorded in 1912, and it spread around the world in the thirties and forties. It reached its pinnacle with the release of the famous “Banana Boat Song” by Harry Belafonte.

64. They may be Dutch DOORS
A Dutch door has a top and a bottom equally divided in area. There is a suggestion that the term “go Dutch” originated with the Dutch door. The bill is “split”, and so are Dutch doors. That said, when people “go Dutch” they each pay for themselves, as opposed to even splitting the tab.

Down
5. Country music? ANTHEMS
The word “anthem” used to describe a sacred song, especially one with words taken from the Scriptures. The British national anthem (“God Save the Queen/King”) technically is a hymn, and so it came to be described as the “national hymn” and eventually “national anthem”. The use of the word “anthem” extended from there to describe any patriotic song.

8. Actor Somerhalder of “The Vampire Diaries” IAN
Ian Somerhalder had his big break as an actor in the TV drama “Lost”, and now has a part in TV’s “The Vampire Diaries”.

“The Vampire Diaries” is a series of horror novels by L. J. Smith that is aimed at teens. There is a spinoff television series of the same name. I don’t do vampires …

9. LBJ successor RMN
President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

President Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) is one of only four people to have held all four elected federal offices, namely US Representative, US Senator, US Vice-President and US President. As President, LBJ is perhaps best remembered for escalating involvement in the Vietnam War, and for his “Great Society” legislation.

12. Art form with buffa and seria styles OPERA
The Italian term “opera seria” translates as “serious” opera, as opposed to “opera buffa”, which we call “comic” opera.

18. Meditative practice YOGA
In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

23. Flavor intensifier MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

26. Smear DAUB
“To daub” is to coat a surface with something thick and sticky, like say plaster or mud.

27. Some Full Sail brews ALES
Full Sail is a craft brewery located in Hood River, Oregon.

33. Noble act, in Nantes BEAU GESTE
“Beau geste” is a French term meaning “noble deed”, or literally “beautiful gesture”.

Nantes is a beautiful city located on the delta of the Loire, Erdre and Sèvre rivers. It has the well deserved nickname of “The Venice of the West”. I had the privilege of visiting Nantes a couple of times on business, and I can attest that it really is a charming city.

34. Forsaken LORN
To be “lorn” is be “bereft, forsaken”. “Lorn” is an archaic term meaning “lost”. A lovely word, I think …

37. Thick carpet SHAG
Shag carpet is one with a deep pile, one with a “shaggy” appearance.

38. Grimm story TALE
The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

39. Ski resort near Salt Lake City ALTA
Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird located next to Alta has been in operation since 1971.

45. Frankfurt’s river ODER
Frankfurt an der Oder is a town in Brandenburg, Germany that is right on the border with Poland. The suffix “an der Oder” shows that it lies on the Oder River and also serves to differentiate the town from the larger and more famous city of Frankfurt am Main.

48. Blitzen’s boss SANTA
We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

– Dasher
– Dancer
– Prancer
– Vixen
– Comet
– Cupid
– Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
– Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

51. “Young Frankenstein” role IGOR
I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

54. World Series field sextet UMPS
Four umpires are used for regular Major League Baseball games:

– Home plate umpire
– First base umpire
– Second base umpire
– Third base umpire

Two extra umpires are added for particularly crucial fixtures, such as post-season games:

– Left-field umpire
– Right-field umpire

57. Wall St. debut IPO
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

58. Sgt. or cpl. NCO
An NCO is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Musical with the song “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” EVITA
6. Petty distinctions, metaphorically HAIRS
11. Midriff punch reaction OOF!
14. Noble gas XENON
15. Former Illinois senator OBAMA
16. “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” network NPR
17. Tidy sum, to a coin collector? PRETTY PENNY
19. Golf prop TEE
20. “Most Excellent” U.K. award OBE
21. Emcee HOST
22. Gooey treat S’MORE
24. Muralist Rivera DIEGO
26. Places for rejuvenation DAY SPAS
28. Tidy sum, to a chairmaker? AN ARM AND A LEG
31. Clobbers BONKS
32. Regrets RUES
33. Rain-__: gum brand BLO
36. Financial pros CPAS
37. Tries STABS
39. Many millennia AEON
40. Fall mo. SEP
41. Only person to win both an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize SHAW
42. Clock button ALARM
43. Tidy sum, to a soothsayer? SMALL FORTUNE
46. Alleviate ASSUAGE
49. Baggage carousel aid ID TAG
50. Color in une cave à vin BLANC
51. Angers IRES
52. Kin of org EDU
55. Japanese capital YEN
56. Tidy sum, to a chess player? KING’S RANSOM
60. Ready, or ready follower SET
61. Theme park with a geodesic sphere EPCOT
62. Slacken LET UP
63. Calypso cousin SKA
64. They may be Dutch DOORS
65. Potters’ pitchers EWERS

Down
1. Big show EXPO
2. Beg, borrow or steal VERB
3. “My bed is calling me” I NEED A NAP
4. Kid TOT
5. Country music? ANTHEMS
6. Climbs aboard HOPS ON
7. Distract the security guards for, say ABET
8. Actor Somerhalder of “The Vampire Diaries” IAN
9. LBJ successor RMN
10. Agrees SAYS YES
11. Winning ON TOP
12. Art form with buffa and seria styles OPERA
13. Emancipates FREES
18. Meditative practice YOGA
23. Flavor intensifier MSG
25. Bugs a lot IRKS
26. Smear DAUB
27. Some Full Sail brews ALES
28. Basics ABCS
29. “Forget it” NOPE
30. Country inflection DRAWL
33. Noble act, in Nantes BEAU GESTE
34. Forsaken LORN
35. “My treat” ON ME
37. Thick carpet SHAG
38. Grimm story TALE
39. Ski resort near Salt Lake City ALTA
41. Kissed noisily SMACKED
42. Gallery event ART SALE
43. Day light SUN
44. They haven’t been done before FIRSTS
45. Frankfurt’s river ODER
46. Hardly a miniature gulf ABYSS
47. Smooth and stylish SLEEK
48. Blitzen’s boss SANTA
51. “Young Frankenstein” role IGOR
53. Ill-humored DOUR
54. World Series field sextet UMPS
57. Wall St. debut IPO
58. Sgt. or cpl. NCO
59. Fresh NEW

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Jan 16, Wednesday”

  1. Wow…I'm way out of practice. Got it clean, but twice what I normally allow myself. OOF and AEON should be cited for linguistic abuse. LORN is technically correct, but c'mon, who says something is "lorn?" Not even Lorne Greene, or Lorne Michaels, or Sophia Loren, or…I'll shut up now.

    Hope everyone is OK out there.

  2. Willie D that is funny ! I kept thinking 'lost' but lost is not forsaken.

    I had a good time with the puzzle, i.e. I completed it, in good time. I enjoyed it.

    My only nit or snit is that CPAs are not financial pros, inasmuch as they are accounting pros. Personally, if someone were to ask me for financial or investment advice, I would unhesitatingly give him the most conservative view. I have nothing to gain from someone else's profits and gains, but a lot to lose from someone else's losses.

    " The bitter taste of money lost is worth a thousand times the sweet taste of (an equivalent amount of – ) money gained." An accountant's credo.

    Many thanks for all the good wishes yesterday.
    Have a good day, all.

  3. Who ever would say, for example, "The clue for 51 down ires me" This usage appears only in crosswords it seems. No difficulty in figuring it out, but it is annoying, and leaves me feeling lorn when I complain and no one agrees.

  4. Dear Bill,
    I wish you would take a position with the Editors of the LA Times as to the quality of the daily puzzle. I believe this puzzle has clues that are obtuse and extremely difficult. They are manufactured and used to create answers that do not exist to create solutions for the puzzles creators. Instead of making it easier for puzzle solvers to participate they provide "obtusity" as a daily vehicle. I admire your skill and ability with these people. "Who ever heard of a three word answer?"

  5. 2 errors on this one, related to things I did not know (45-Down, 64-Across). Fair effort. As for linguistic strangeness, I've pretty much come to expect either this or this by the end of most any grid I do for at least one item, and most times multiple items. Just seems to go with the territory. The saving grace of the LA Times is at least it's not as bad as some of the others are at times in such regards. Though, to continue the discussion will hark back to the issue of "easy" grids, of which a hilarious thing happened with the actual print newspaper I get grids out of, but that's another story.

  6. I got this puzzle pretty cleanly. Just one write-over (smooched before I realized it didn't fit for SMACKED).

    I normally don't like sound effect words, but I know OOF is a real word because I saw it written on the screen in every Batman fight I ever saw on tv.

    @Anon (II)
    I understand the frustrations these puzzles can bring upon you. I've wanted to crumple them up and burn them on occasion myself. But realistically the difficult, obtuse, archaic, uncommon type answers are indeed what make these puzzles interesting. I've said it before, but if all the clues were straightforward, clear, common words/phrases, these things would be dreadfully boring. For example, if the clue for OBAMA was "Current U.S. President"…..yawn. You may as well do word search puzzles (I think I stole that from Willie).

    Anyway, be careful what you ask for. If the LA Times actually did what you are requesting, I suspect they'd lose a lot of fans – myself included and maybe even you. Enjoy the difficulty; it truly is what makes these puzzles enjoyable – thinking of any POSSIBLE answer and not just and easy or common one.

    Best –

  7. The theme helped a lot. Did not get Evita or Xenon, so did not get those crossses.
    I also think LORN was awkward/iffy

    Matt

  8. Well, 2D/20A got me.
    My fault for not seeing that BEG, BORROW and STEAL are VERBS. (Even though I ran the alphabet, sheesh)
    I will NEVER commit to memory the U.K awards, so those will always be thorns to me.
    @Vidwan, glad you're able to post from wherever you are!

  9. A good crossword is difficult enough so that it challenges most people, but not so difficult that it frustrates most people. The difficulty is, obviously, in the eye of the puzzler. The best puzzles IMO are those that make most people say to themselves, "Wow, I can't believe I solved that."

    Stay puzzling , my friends 🙂

  10. I too was baffled by 2-down and was equally surprised by the word "verb" as the answer. Also, normally September is abbreciated as Sept. instead of Sep which was the answer for 40-across. Very misleading to use only 3 letters for his spot. Overall, this puzzle was so challenging that it was not fun and took too long to work.

  11. Hi folks!
    I agree with you, Piano Man: the best puzzles are those you suddenly realize you actually managed to solve!!
    Today's puzzle went well–got the theme answers easily. However, I was stuck for a long time trying to figure out EXPO. Of course I didn't know XENON; just a guess. I had LEFT before LORN for "forsaken." I do know LORN from a Dickens character…can't remember which book, but someone keeps saying "I'm a lone, lorn woman…"
    Agree with Anonymous the First re. IRES. Reedikulous!!
    I shall holla at y'all tomorrow!
    Be well~~™

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