LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Jan 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Common Area … each of today’s has something in COMMON; they all contain the hidden word AREA:

61A. Group space, and a hint to the answers to starred clues COMMON AREA

17A. *Figure out, as someone’s poker strategy GET A READ ON
21A. *Frighten off SCARE AWAY
33A. *Disney film cry of discovery I’M A REAL BOY
42A. *Chinese, say FAR-EASTERN
52A. *Ride crosstown together, perhaps SHARE A CAB

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Mrs. Garrett on “The Facts of Life” EDNA
Charlotte Rae is an American actress, best known for playing the character Edna Garrett on two sitcoms from the seventies and eighties: “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life”. Towards the end of the series, the Edna Garrett character operated her own gourmet food shop called “Edna’s Edibles”.

10. Twitter’s bird, e.g. ICON
I have never tweeted in my life, and have no plans to do so (but one should never say “never”). Twitter is a microblogging service that limits any post sent to just 140 characters. In a sense, it is similar to this blog. Here I send out a post once a day containing information that I think might be useful to folks (thank you for reading!). I don’t think I could send out much of interest using just 140 characters.

15. “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” author LOCKE
John Locke was the English philosopher who postulated that the mind was a blank slate (or “tabula rasa”) and that we fill that slate with our experiences and observations.

20. “Un Ballo in Maschera” aria ERI TU
Every crossword constructors’ favorite aria “Eri tu” is from Verdi’s opera “Un ballo in maschera” (A Masked Ball). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

23. Office suite door letters ESQ
The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

25. “Hollywood Squares” immortal LYNDE
Paul Lynde was a character actor noted for playing Uncle Arthur on the TV sitcom “Bewitched”. He was also noted as the longtime “center square” on “Hollywood Squares”, for thirteen years.

33. *Disney film cry of discovery I’M A REAL BOY
In the 1940 movie “Pinocchio”, the title character changes from a puppet into a human and declares “I’m a real boy!”

36. Qatar’s capital DOHA
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar located on the Persian Gulf. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

37. Fifth of a dozen MAY
The month of May was named after Maia, the Greek goddess of fertility.

38. Solar __ FLARE
A “solar flare” is a sudden energy release from the surface of the Sun that can be perceived as a flash of brightness and an eruption of magnetic energy. That magnetic energy reaches the Earth about two days after the event, and can disrupt long-range radio communications on our planet. The location of solar flares has been strongly linked to sunspot groups, groups of dark spots on the Sun’s surface.

40. “On the double!” ASAP!
As soon as possible (ASAP)

42. *Chinese, say FAR-EASTERN
In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. The Near East and Middle East are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

45. Place to follow politics C-SPAN
C-SPAN is a privately-funded, nonprofit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings. C-SPAN Video Library is an amazing online archive provided by C-SPAN that offers a complete audio and video archive of Congressional proceedings going back to 1987. Users can search the archive for free, by topic, speaker date and more. When the site was launched in 2010, the archive already contained 160,000 hours of programming. There is a is a section of the archive called “Congressional Chronicle” that is particularly easy to navigate.

48. “__ Daughter”: 1970 film RYAN’S
“Ryan’s Daughter” is a 1970 David Lean film about a married woman in Ireland who has an affair with a British army officer in 1916. It is an epic work lasting about 200 minutes, complete with intermission and entr’acte. The impressive cast includes Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard, John Mills, Leo McKern and Sarah Miles.

60. Go up and down YO-YO
Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.

63. Seasonal refrain NOEL
“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). Noel has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

64. Assembly line worker ROBOT
Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

66. Key used in combinations CTRL
The control key (Ctrl)

67. Films with many extras EPICS
According to the “Guinness Book of World Records”, the record for most extras appearing in a movie is held by 1982’s “Gandhi”. The funeral scene used 300,000 extras, with about two thirds of the crowd being volunteers and the rest paid a small fee.

68. “College GameDay” airer ESPN
There are several sports shows on ESPN called “College GameDay”, the oldest of which is the one covering college football.

Down
4. Greenhorn AMATEUR
A “greenhorn” is a young-horned animal, a term that is now applied to any inexperienced person.

7. “High Voltage” band AC/DC
“High Voltage” is 1975 studio album released by AC/DC, the band’s first.

The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers in Australia. The group is usually called “Acca Dacca” down under. AC/DC’s first studio album, released in 1975, was whimsically titled “High Voltage”.

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

9. “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speaker HENRY
“Give me liberty, or give me death!” is the closing line from a speech made by Founding Father Patrick Henry to the Virginia Convention in 1775. Henry’s speech is said to have persuaded the colony to deliver Virginian troops for the Revolutionary War.

12. Marine threat 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.

18. Charlotte __ RUSSE
Charlotte Russe is a cold dessert consisting of Bavarian cream set in a mold layered with ladyfingers. The dessert was named by its creator in honor of Princess Charlotte, daughter of British King George IV, and in honor of Czar Alexander I of Russia (“russe” is French for “Russian”).

22. USN one-striper ENS
Ensign (ens.)

24. 5-Down, for one QUAFF
(5D. Brown __ ALE)
“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One quaffs (takes a hearty drink) of a quaff (a hearty drink).

33. 1998 Apple debut 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.

34. __ cookies ‘n creme: Jell-O flavor OREO
If you like Jell-O, then you want to stop by LeRoy, New York where you can visit the only Jell-O museum in the world. While at the museum, you can walk along the Jell-O Brick Road …

35. “Leda and the Swan” poet YEATS
In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. Leda produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into the beautiful Helen, later to be known as Helen of Troy and over whom the Trojan War was fought. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda’s earthly husband, and so he was a mortal. William Butler Yeats wrote a famous sonnet called “Leda and the Swan” in 1924. Peter Paul Rubens made a copy of a painting called “Leda and the Swan” by Michelangelo, which is now lost.

46. “Fat chance, laddie” NAE
Nae is the Scottish vernacular for “no”.

49. Abalone shell layer NACRE
The strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells is called “nacre”, and nacre is also the material that makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster, around which nacre is laid down.

The large edible sea snails that we call abalone are called “ormer” in the British Isles. The abalone shell resembles a human ear, giving rise to the alternative names “ear shell” and “sea ear”.

54. Prefix with valence AMBI-
The prefix “ambi-” that we use to mean “both” is a Latin word that actually means “around” or “round about”. “Ambivalence” was originally just a psychological term, describing “serious conflicting feelings”. Later it came to mean uncertainty about which course to follow.

55. Class pres., say BMOC
Big Man On Campus (BMOC)

62. Extra periods: Abbr. OTS
Overtime (OT)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Mrs. Garrett on “The Facts of Life” EDNA
5. Bring shame to ABASH
10. Twitter’s bird, e.g. ICON
14. Dire fate DOOM
15. “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” author LOCKE
16. Poet’s preposition THRO
17. *Figure out, as someone’s poker strategy GET A READ ON
19. Brief moments SECS
20. “Un Ballo in Maschera” aria ERI TU
21. *Frighten off SCARE AWAY
23. Office suite door letters ESQ
25. “Hollywood Squares” immortal LYNDE
26. Not surprisingly AS USUAL
30. Full of bubbles SUDSY
33. *Disney film cry of discovery I’M A REAL BOY
36. Qatar’s capital DOHA
37. Fifth of a dozen MAY
38. Solar __ FLARE
39. Promise VOW
40. “On the double!” ASAP!
42. *Chinese, say FAR-EASTERN
45. Place to follow politics C-SPAN
47. “Told ya!” SO THERE!
48. “__ Daughter”: 1970 film RYAN’S
51. Match at the poker table SEE
52. *Ride crosstown together, perhaps SHARE A CAB
56. Diary component ENTRY
60. Go up and down YO-YO
61. Group space, and a hint to the answers to starred clues COMMON AREA
63. Seasonal refrain NOEL
64. Assembly line worker ROBOT
65. Equipment GEAR
66. Key used in combinations CTRL
67. Films with many extras EPICS
68. “College GameDay” airer ESPN

Down
1. Advantage EDGE
2. No couch potato DOER
3. “It was someone else!” NOT I!
4. Greenhorn AMATEUR
5. Brown __ ALE
6. Feathery wraps BOAS
7. “High Voltage” band AC/DC
8. “Bottoms up!” SKOAL!
9. “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speaker HENRY
10. “That fizzled out” IT’S A DUD
11. Considered carefully CHEWED OVER
12. Marine threat ORCA
13. Getting into the wrong business? NOSY
18. Charlotte __ RUSSE
22. USN one-striper ENS
24. 5-Down, for one QUAFF
26. Stockpile AMASS
27. Supplicate SAY A PRAYER
28. “It was __ dream” ALL A
29. Letter-shaped supports L-BARS
31. Vacation destination SHORE
32. Opening at an early-morning class? YAWN
33. 1998 Apple debut IMAC
34. __ cookies ‘n creme: Jell-O flavor OREO
35. “Leda and the Swan” poet YEATS
41. Business expense PAYROLL
43. Radiance SHEEN
44. Like high-school years TEENAGE
46. “Fat chance, laddie” NAE
49. Abalone shell layer NACRE
50. Exclusive SCOOP
52. Lip-__ SYNC
53. Knee-slapper HOOT
54. Prefix with valence AMBI-
55. Class pres., say BMOC
57. Very French? TRES
58. Bring in REAP
59. Entertaining tale YARN
62. Extra periods: Abbr. OTS

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Jan 16, Thursday”

  1. Glenn not here yet ?

    Glenn, by the way, I read your FASCINATING article on the ongoing, early 'reforms' to the game of chess. Thank you, thank you, thank you. That trivia is exactly what I love to read, and find so absolutely delightful. I stopped playing chess early on, because it wasted so much time, but more so, because it had so many choices, it was driving me crazy. But I do admire chess players, … from a distance. One of our collegue's son is majoring in chess, at Texas Tech, and he takes it very seriosly. And I think, what a career decision ? …. he could have been an IT professional, an atomic scientist or a physician …. or even a football player (ugh). But to each his own, and I still shudder when I shake his hand.

    I think, in the East, the relabelling of the Queen as a Vizier ( Va-zeer, Prime Minister), is because Queens rarely existed in the East (male, primogeniture – ) … so a woman could (almost – ) never be that powerful. They were mostly confined to their harems. ( I think.)

    Pookie, and all you guys on the West Coast, – I am glad you are mostly safe, and hopefully the rain will fall continuusly, but moderately and overcome the many yaers of drought.

    Time for a next post.

  2. The puzzle was quite difficult – okay, it was a bear. I had a tough time. I cheated relentlessly and mercilessly. There. Even answers I did get, I sometimes did not understand – that is pitiable. Like, a 'fifth' of a dozen (=2.4 ) , I thought it was a dee-, or an ohh-, or a zee, eee, or an enn – the five letters that comprise the word. Not !

    Two-thirds of the 300,000 extras in 'Gandhi' were volunteers ?? Thats 200,000 peeps ! Tells you the degree of excitement and the amount of diversions, most indian natives in the capital, have in their lives …. that, even a funeral ceremony, albeit totally fake, with a dummy as an actor, is so thrilling. What a hoot !

    BTW, I am the lil greenish blue dot in the 166th row, over by the end, extreme left …..( Hi Mom ! ).

    Little known fact, ….. another 200,000 people were forcibly kept away, by the combined forces of the local police and army personnel, on special duty – because there were serious fears that the main streets might just collapse under the combined weight…. ;-D)

    And I thought 'Skoal' meant 'skull' in Scandinavian – as in, lets go to loot and plunder ….

    Have a nice day, all. and forgive me for all the cornish jokes.

  3. I am now. As for the grid, it was a little bit more difficult than before. Had to look up four things to either answer popular trivia no one younger than 55 or 60 would know (48-Across, 18-Down) or just unstick the grid (10-Across, 41-Down).

    @Vidwan827, @Pookie Glad you found my little writing on chess to be interesting. It needs a little edit work (how these comboxes go), but hopefully it finds people wanting to dig more on all these little forgotten things that we just continue on using without understanding of why.

    @Vidwan827 Actually the game originally came from the East and was adopted by the West (Vizier -> Queen, among all the other piece renames). Notably, the original game was a war training tool for those that would direct troops in the field. Much of what you note is actually a side-effect of the new Queen's Chess rules. There's a whole history on the effect of the rule changes (the old chess was much more like checkers in how a game went), but most notably it became a more complex and competitive game where one could lose pretty quickly without being aware of the board (sped up the game in general, so in a way the changes were a mixed bag).

    I'll leave discussion of the specifics of that on the table, as it'll get much more controversial than Bill would probably like on his blog.

  4. I finished this one, but it wasn't easy. I started in the NE and drew a complete blank. I moved on clockwise throughout the entire puzzle until I returned to the NE and got EDGE and was able to finish.

    BMOC completely had me stumped until the blog. I even stared at it after getting it via crosses and couldn't think of a thing.

    Indeed, interesting stuff on Glenn's chess link. I love the game and wish I had more time for it. I had NO idea you could major in it. I used to think I was a really good player until I actually went up against legitimately good players with real credentials. Ouch. I wasn't ready for the major leagues like I thought I was.

    If you love crosswords, you may love chess puzzles. I do them on occasion. They're more for tactical situations rather than overall strategies, but they are as addictive as crosswords. I recommend Chess Tactics Pro – it's a free app and you can make the puzzles as hard or as easy as your own level. It's a great way to learn the game or get better at it.

    Fun Friday tomorrow.

    Best –

  5. I had no traction on this. Had to peek and correct errors on the few guesses I had. Then I got through it. And it's foggy today. Is it nap time yet?

    Vidwan re Gandhi-Hi Mom1 That's pretty funny!

    Bella

  6. Some interesting things I had to look up (to add to Bill's entry today):

    My reference to Charlotte Russe above was an actress that I looked up (Christine Cybelle) who used that and variations of it as a screen name in 1969.

    Other than Bill's reference as a dessert (relatively esoteric, actually), the most mainstream definition of it is that Charlotte Russe is a clothing chain which saw most of it's growth in the 1990's, which you'll find in most metropolitan malls and shopping centers. This is likely the meaning the original grid setter was looking for in making it a non-descript fill in the blank and not referencing any more.

  7. Thought yesterday's was harder. I did use the theme to solve today's. Never finished yesterday's, thus never got to mention the tobacco initials I thought of first – LSMFT – Lucky Strike Means fine Tobacco.

    Today's was one of those with common answers but uncommon clues, such as for OREO.

    Never heard of RYANS Daughter, though.

  8. Glenn, thanks for the Charlotte Russe, the clothing chain – of which, I had never heard of. Do all women's skirt hems end up, 6 inches above the knee ? I hadn't noticed till now…

    Sfingi, Ryan's Daughter, 1970, was an epic movie, without too much of crowds, by the most famous director, David Lean. It was as famous as Far from a madding crowd, and was an epic block buster. It's worth watching even now. Bill, will ofcourse know the whole story and the lines, by heart, since he is the son of the old sod, ( old country -), Ireland.

  9. I'm with Sfingi on this one being not that hard (sorry gang!). It came together without any real problems, but I know I wasn't anyplace close to Bill's solve time which is astounding by my way of thinking.

    Let's see who the maker of the Friday grid is and how much angst, he or she can add to our already to anxious lives! (g)

  10. Got this one after a long while. Had trouble concentrating.
    Earthquake yesterday. Last night the power went off and I heard the loudest thunder I have ever heard. Bar none. It sounded like the lightning hit the front yard. Then the power went back on again and it just rained in sheets. Wow.
    Who the heck said liberty or death that starts with "E"?
    ABASE instead of ABASH. SUDSY not SOAPY. Even CSPAN was a struggle.
    See you all tomorrow.

  11. DANG!! I thought I HAD this one!! Just completely guessed on two letters, but I really thought I had guessed right!! No such luck. I had GET A BEAD ON, figuring that Charlotte BASSE was just someone I'd never heard of. Shoulda tried to figure out the theme. It's especially disappointing because I actually have a beloved old sweater, bought at Charlotte RUSSE!!
    @Pookie, you OK? Sounds like you had it worse than I. My power stayed on, and I didn't feel the earthquake. BTW, I also had ABASE before ABASH…:-
    Was looking forward to Friday's puzzle, til I came here and saw how I managed to miss this one…hubris :-
    Be well~~™

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