LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Feb 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Steve Marron & C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Plot Twist … each of today’s themed answers has a TWISTED version of the letters PLOT hidden inside:

59A. Novel surprise … and a hint to what’s hidden in 17-, 21-, 36- and 49-Across PLOT TWIST

17A. Drop the original strategy GO TO PLAN B
21A. Nickname for Basketball Hall of Famer Maravich PISTOL PETE
36A. One always looking up ETERNAL OPTIMIST
49A. Shield bearers RIOT POLICE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Phantom’s place? OPERA
Gaston Leroux was a French author and journalist best known for writing “The Phantom of the Opera”, first published in 1910. As a journalist, Leroux was involved in an investigation into the Paris Opera. The basement of the opera house contained a cell that was used to hold prisoners in 1871, something that Leroux featured in his most famous novel.

14. Toothpaste tube letters ADA
American Dental Association (ADA)

15. Chevy SUV TAHOE
The Chevrolet Tahoe is basically the same design as the GMC Yukon, both cars being sports utility vehicles. The Tahoe is rated at 15 mpg for city driving, but there is a hybrid version which is rated at a whopping 21 mpg …

16. Honeydew, for one MELON
What we call “honeydew” melons are also known as the White Antibes cultivar, especially in France and Algeria where the cultivar has been grown for many years. Antibes is a commune in southeastern France, located between Nice and Cannes.

19. Printing heavyweight EPSON
Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (EP standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

21. Nickname for Basketball Hall of Famer Maravich PISTOL PETE
Pete Maravich was a professional basketball player. He had the habit of shooting the ball from his side as if holding a revolver, leading to moniker “Pistol Pete”. Maravich was forced to retire from the game in 1980 due to injury problems, and died eight years later from heart failure. An autopsy revealed that Maravich was missing a left coronary artery, which supplies blood to the heart muscle. His right coronary artery was grossly enlarged as a result, compensating for the defect.

23. Euler’s forte MATH
Leonhard Euler was a brilliant Swiss mathematician and physicist, a pioneer in the fields of logarithms and graph theory.

25. Commencement opening? CEE
The opening letter in the word “commencement” is a letter C (cee).

28. Dilapidated digs RATTRAPS
“Digs” is short for “diggings” meaning “lodgings”, but where “diggings” came from, no one seems to know.

34. Fish order SOLE
The group of flatfish known as soles take their name from “solea”, the Latin word for “sandal”. And, they kind of have that shape.

40. Zeta follower ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

48. Machu Picchu denizen INCA
Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cuzco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

61. Cardinal, e.g. TITLE
The College of Cardinals in the Roman Catholic church acts as an advisory group to the Pope. Each of the cardinals usually have an additional responsibility, usually leadership of a diocese or archdiocese. It is the College of Cardinals that is responsible for choosing a new pope, as required.

62. “Friend Like Me” singer in “Aladdin” GENIE
“Friend Like Me” is the big production number in the 1992 Disney animated feature “Aladdin”. The song is performed so very ably by Robin Williams, who voiced the Genie in the film.

63. Author Talese GAY
Gay Talese is an American author, famous as a journalist in the sixties at “The New York Times”. His 1981 book “Thy Neighbor’s Wife” is a study of sexuality in America in the early fifties. Apparently, as research for the book, Talese had sexual relations with his own neighbor’s wife for several months at a sexuality resort in Southern California called Sandstone Retreat.

65. Gladiator’s milieu ARENA
The term “gladiator” means “swordsman”, coming from “gladius”, the Latin word for “sword”.

66. Olive shaped like a stick OYL
Popeye first appeared in 1929 in a comic strip called “Thimble Theatre”. The strip, created by E. C. Segar, ran for ten years before Popeye made an appearance. Popeye received such a great welcome from readers that he soon “took over” the strip, and eventually even hogged the strip’s title. Before Popeye turned up Olive Oyl was the main character.

Down
2. “People” person IDOL
There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

3. She beat out Madeline Kahn, with whom she shared the screen, for Best Supporting Actress TATUM O’NEAL
Tatum O’Neal is the youngest actress to win a “competitive” Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1974 when she was just 10 years old, for her role as Addie in “Paper Moon”. The youngest person to win an honorary Academy Award was Shirley Temple, who was only 5 years old when she was presented with an Oscar in 1934.

“Paper Moon” is a 1973 comedy film that tells the story of a father and daughter during the Great Depression. The onscreen father and daughter are played by real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O’Neal. The original choices for the lead roles were Paul Newman and his daughter Nell Potts, but they left the project after director John Huston also dropped out. The principal supporting role is played by Madeline Kahn.

Madeline Kahn was an American actress best known for her comedic roles, especially those directed by Mel Brooks. Kahn also had her own TV sitcom, called “Oh Madeline”. But, it only lasted the one season, in 1983.

4. Org. that publishes weekly player rankings ATP
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is an organization that looks after the interests of male tennis professionals. The equivalent organization for women is the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

5. Lauren et al. RALPHS
Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer, born Ralph Liftshitz in the Bronx, New York. Lauren started off working as a salesman for Brooks Brothers after spending two years in the US Army. He then opened a necktie store, featuring his own tie designs. The ties were sold under the name “Polo”, which became Lauren’s most famous brand. Other Lauren brands are Purple Label and Black Label.

6. Tazo choice CHAI
Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

The Tazo Tea Company was founded in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Tazo was purchased in 1999 by Starbucks. Starbucks now runs tea shops that are fully dedicated to Tazo teas.

12. Jícama or ginger ROOT
The plant called the jícama is also known as the Mexican yam and Mexican turnip. Jícama is grown for its tuberous root. The tuber’s interior is usually eaten raw.

13. Actress Hathaway ANNE
The actress Anne Hathaway is a favorite of mine, I must say. She starred in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006 and in 2007’s “Becoming Jane”, a film I particularly enjoyed.

18. Stumper? ORATOR
“To stump” can mean to go on a speaking tour during a political campaign. This peculiarly American term dates back to the 19th century. Back then a “stump speech” was an address given by someone standing on a large tree stump that provided a convenient perch to help the speaker get his or her message across to the crowd.

24. St. formed from the Southwest Territory TENN
The Southwest Territory was more correctly called the Territory South of the River Ohio. The territory was created when North Carolina ceded a remote area west of the Appalachian Mountains to the federal government in 1790. Six years later, the Southwest Territory became the state of Tennessee.

26. Duel tools EPEES
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.

27. “The Untouchables” gangster NITTI
Frank Nitti was one of the top henchmen working for Al Capone. Unlike American-born Capone, Nitti was actually from Italy and was born near the city of Salerno. When Capone was eventually put away for 11 years for tax evasion, Nitti was convicted of the same crime. Nitti was only imprisoned for 18 months, and when released he was labelled as the new head of Capone’s Chicago Outfit. However the truth seems to be that he was just a frontman, with others making the decisions.

“The Untouchables” is a 1957 memoir by famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness. The book was adapted into a TV show of the same name that in the late fifties and early sixties, starring Robert Stack as Ness. The same memoir was the basis of the 1987 film, again of the same name, with Kevin Costner in the lead role.

29. View from Lake Geneva ALPS
There are eight Alpine countries:

– Austria
– Slovenia
– France
– Switzerland
– Liechtenstein
– Germany
– Monaco
– Italy

Lake Geneva straddles the border between France and Switzerland. The lake has a lot of “official” names!

– English: Lake Geneva
– French: Lac Léman or Lac de Genève
– German: Genfersee or Genfer See
– Italian: Lago Lemano or Lago di Ginevra

30. Chihuahua “Ciao!” ADIOS, AMIGO!
Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico that shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. Chihuahua is the largest state in the country, so has the nickname “El Estado Grande”. The state takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. And of course the Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.

The term “adios” is Spanish for “goodbye”. In the Spanish language, “adios” comes from the phrase “a dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

31. Oater group POSSE
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

The term “oater” that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

34. Sour fruit SLOE
The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin.

37. Acid type AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.

38. Bowie’s bride IMAN
Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a supermodel from Somalia who goes simply by the name “Iman” these days. Iman is smart cookie. Imam has a degree in Political Science and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English. Since 1992, Iman has been married to British rock star David Bowie.

39. __ Mule: vodka cocktail in a copper mug MOSCOW
A Moscow Mule is a cocktail made from vodka, ginger beer and lime. I like the occasional Moscow Mule, mainly because the ginger beer was my soda of choice as kid. Vodka … not so much …

45. Plains homes TEPEES
A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

49. Cosby of “Inside Edition” RITA
Rita Cosby is a TV and Radio host and correspondent, probably best known as a Special Correspondent for the television show “Inside Edition”. Cosby has interviewed several notable world leaders, including Yasser Arafat, Ariel Sharon and Slobodan Milošević. She was also the first reporter to see prisoners that were held in Guantanamo Bay.

“Inside Edition” is a news magazine program that has be on the air since 1989. The first anchor for the show was Englishman David Frost, who was quickly replaced with Bill O’Reilly. The current anchor is Deborah Norville, who took over from O’Reilly in 1995.

50. Place for a pupil IRIS
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.

The pupil of the eye is the “hole” located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

52. Rolex Player of the Year-awarding org. LPGA
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was founded in 1950 by a group of 13 lady golfers, and today it is the oldest ongoing women’s sports professional organization in the US.

53. “The Sopranos” actor Robert ILER
The actor Robert Iler’s most famous role was A.J., son of mob leader Tony Soprano in HBO’s “The Sopranos”. Apparently Iler’s screen persona has spilled over into his personal life, as he was arrested for armed robbery of two tourists in 2001 (and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge).

54. Gelato holder CONE
Gelato (plural “gelati”) is the Italian version of American ice cream, differing in that it has a lower butterfat content than its US counterpart.

56. Words to Holmes I SAY …
I Say, Holmes! is a card game made by Victory Point Games.

57. Texter’s toodle-oo TTYL
Talk to you later (TTYL)

60. Dim sum beverage TEA
Dim sum is a Chinese cuisine made up of small portions of various dishes. The tradition of serving dim sum is associated with the serving of tea, when small delicacies were offered to travelers and guests along with tea as a refreshment. The name “dim sum” translates as “touch the heart” implying that dim sum is not a main meal, just a snack “that touches the heart”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Quibble NIT
4. Like the NCAA basketball three-point line ARCED
9. Phantom’s place? OPERA
14. Toothpaste tube letters ADA
15. Chevy SUV TAHOE
16. Honeydew, for one MELON
17. Drop the original strategy GO TO PLAN B
19. Printing heavyweight EPSON
20. Aspersion SLUR
21. Nickname for Basketball Hall of Famer Maravich PISTOL PETE
23. Euler’s forte MATH
25. Commencement opening? CEE
26. Online reminders E-NOTES
28. Dilapidated digs RATTRAPS
33. Attribute to, as blame PIN ON
34. Fish order SOLE
35. “What __ care?” DO I
36. One always looking up ETERNAL OPTIMIST
40. Zeta follower ETA
41. Soccer followers? MOMS
42. Causes of many Alaskan road accidents MOOSE
43. High-end neckwear SILK TIES
46. Declines to raise PASSES
47. Bard’s bedtime E’EN
48. Machu Picchu denizen INCA
49. Shield bearers RIOT POLICE
55. Leave out OMIT
58. Hot IRATE
59. Novel surprise … and a hint to what’s hidden in 17-, 21-, 36- and 49-Across PLOT TWIST
61. Cardinal, e.g. TITLE
62. “Friend Like Me” singer in “Aladdin” GENIE
63. Author Talese GAY
64. Fire sign ASHES
65. Gladiator’s milieu ARENA
66. Olive shaped like a stick OYL

Down
1. Complainers NAGS
2. “People” person IDOL
3. She beat out Madeline Kahn, with whom she shared the screen, for Best Supporting Actress TATUM O’NEAL
4. Org. that publishes weekly player rankings ATP
5. Lauren et al. RALPHS
6. Tazo choice CHAI
7. Long spans EONS
8. Collector’s target DEBT
9. Filled, folded fare OMELET
10. Sneeze cause PEPPER
11. Ultimatum word ELSE
12. Jícama or ginger ROOT
13. Actress Hathaway ANNE
18. Stumper? ORATOR
22. Rowing crew, perhaps OCTET
24. St. formed from the Southwest Territory TENN
26. Duel tools EPEES
27. “The Untouchables” gangster NITTI
28. Hotel reservations ROOMS
29. View from Lake Geneva ALPS
30. Chihuahua “Ciao!” ADIOS, AMIGO!
31. Oater group POSSE
32. Locations SITES
34. Sour fruit SLOE
37. Acid type AMINO
38. Bowie’s bride IMAN
39. __ Mule: vodka cocktail in a copper mug MOSCOW
44. Hot whistler KETTLE
45. Plains homes TEPEES
46. Tart container PIE TIN
49. Cosby of “Inside Edition” RITA
50. Place for a pupil IRIS
51. Pledge OATH
52. Rolex Player of the Year-awarding org. LPGA
53. “The Sopranos” actor Robert ILER
54. Gelato holder CONE
56. Words to Holmes I SAY …
57. Texter’s toodle-oo TTYL
60. Dim sum beverage TEA

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Feb 16, Thursday”

  1. Back to a more normal Thursday time for this one. Got the theme pretty quickly and that made everything go faster.

    I had forgotten MOSCOW mule from other puzzles so that tied me up briefly. Strange because I usually get alcohol related clues/answers…

    Why did the Indian chief have so wear so many feathers? He wanted to keep his wigwam….another grade school joke but a classic.

    Best –

  2. Did know NITTI and Talese. Hubster is Sicilian as are they both. GAY is short for Gaetano. He wrote Honor thy Father as well as the essay, "Frank Sinatra has a Cold."

    I did not know the MOSCOW Mule, TTYL, ATP, ARCED, RITA Cosby. Thurs was seriously harder than Wednesday for me.

  3. I had a tough time with the puzzle. Not familiar with the slang and other jargon, quite unnerving. But somewhat enjoyable. Got the last long answer but did not understand it's significance. Thanks Bill for the info on Gay Talese – must read him, soon.

    I always thought as 'Cha' being the hindi word for the tea leaf ( leaves – ) and 'chai' being the decoctionated product that one drank. But my hindi is very weak, and I normally dont drink tea, so please be accordingly advised.

    BTW, Im baack, after a 24 hour, 4 stopover flight, and one pc. of luggage missing and yet to be accounted for. ( United, if you want to know …) I am smelling of altitude ozone infested scent, like a hospital scent.

    Am doing a small study on United Arab Emirates per capita incomes, about USD $ 78,800 per year, for the upper three quartiles, (~ 75%) ! – much higher than the US profile. English teachers make an average of USD 128,000 per year, and no taxes whatsoever …. no income taxes, no sales taxes, no real estate taxes !!! Grocery items are 20 to 70 percent higher than the US and the rents are comparable to those in San Frisco. (very high – ).

    Have a nice evening, all. Got to go to sleep and 'work in' the body rhythym to adjust to the time and jet lag.

  4. DANG!! A REAL ALL-CAPS MOMENT FOR ME!! I really thought I had this one, but the SW corner beat me. Could NOT get TITLE or IRATE, and finally had to look at those. Had ARIES before ASHES, which threw me off, even tho I'm pretty sure ARIES is NOT a fire sign. Must Google it.
    Anyway, by my standards I did quite well for a Thursday. Got the theme, got all the themed answers, got TATUM O'NEAL, and had the thing 95% complete. I'll put this in the "Almost Got It" column.
    Welcome back Vidwan! I was told years ago that CHAI means "tea" in both Hindi and Punjabi. I used to work at an Indian restaurant, back in the early 80s, and we were serving delicious CHAI before anyone was running to Starbucks for it.
    Be well~~™

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