LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Feb 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Todd Gross
THEME: 3-D … we have three 3-D movies as our themed answers today, three movie titles that each contain three letters D:

63A. Like some movies … literally including 17-, 37- and 56-Across THREE-D

17A. 1986 movie set partly in the Australian Outback CROCODILE DUNDEE
37A. 1988 movie set in a Southern California high school STAND AND DELIVER
56A. 1996 movie set in Nevada’s Area 51 INDEPENDENCE DAY

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

8. __ top PAJAMA
Our word “pajamas” comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is “pyjamas”.

14. Winnipeg’s province MANITOBA
Manitoba is the Canadian province that borders the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota. Even though Manitoba has an area of over 250,000 square miles, 60% of its population resides in the province’s capital city of Winnipeg.

16. Doubleheader half OPENER
That would be in baseball …

17. 1986 movie set partly in the Australian Outback CROCODILE DUNDEE
“Crocodile Dundee” is an Australian film that was released in 1986, starring Australian comedian Paul Hogan in the title role as Mick Dundee with American actress Linda Kozlowski playing the female lead. The main characters fell in love on-screen, and Hogan and Kozlowski fell for each other off-screen. Hogan divorced his wife (whom he had already married twice) and wedded Kozlowski in 1990.

20. Loch with a legend NESS
The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

21. One-named singer ADELE
Adele is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. More recently, her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

24. Biol. or ecol. SCI
Biology (biol.) is a science (sci.), and so is ecology (ecol.).

26. Co-star of the 2015 film “Joy” DE NIRO
“Joy” is a 2015 film that is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, the self-made millionaire who invented the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers. Jennifer Lawrence plays the title role, and Robert De Niro plays her father Rudy.

30. “Bridge of Spies” actor Alan ALDA
“Bridge of Spies” is a 2015 historical thriller directed by Steven Spielberg and starring his friend Tom Hanks. The story is all about the arrest and trial of U-2 pilot Gary Powers, who was shot down over the Soviet Union while on a spying mission for the CIA. Hanks plays lawyer James B. Donovan, the lawyer who negotiates Powers’ release. Powers was actually exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, with the exchange taking place at the bridge connecting Potsdam with Berlin, the “Bridge of Spies”.

34. Worldwide economic org. IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding a move to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.

37. 1988 movie set in a Southern California high school STAND AND DELIVER
”Stand and Deliver” is a 1988 drama film based on the true story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher in East LA. Escalante guides his working-class math students to unexpected success in an AP Calculus exam. The students are failed, accused of cheating. Escalante challenges the decision to fail, and fights for an opportunity for the students to resit the exam, which they do months later, with only 24 hours notice. They all pass.

40. Tam or trilby HAT
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “bluebonnets”), but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of Robert Burns’ poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

The hat called a trilby is a fedora with a narrow brim. This style of hat was worn in a stage adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel “Trilby” that was performed in London in the early 1900s. The hat became popular in the UK around the same time, and took its name from the play.

43. FBI agent G-MAN
The nickname “G-men” is short for “Government Men” and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

46. Start of el año ENERO
In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

49. Record players, briefly DJS
The world’s first radio disk jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

53. Roman baker’s dozen? XIII
A “baker’s dozen” is thirteen, and is a phrase that dates back to the sixteenth century. Apparently, the expression comes from the practice of bakers back then adding one loaf to every twelve, primarily for fear of being fined for supplying fewer loaves than had been purchased.

56. 1996 movie set in Nevada’s Area 51 INDEPENDENCE DAY
The 1996 sci-fi action movie “Independence Day” is must-see-TV at our house on or around the 4th of July every year. The movie was supposed to come out in 1996 on July 3rd but there was so much anticipation that many theaters started screening the day before. At one point after release, “Independence Day” was the second-highest grossing movie in history (“Jurassic Park” was number one at the time).

61. Nicks on many albums STEVIE
Singer Stevie Nicks came to fame as the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac. Nicks has a very distinctive voice, heard at its best (I think) in the famous 1977 album “Rumours”.

62. 1967 Temptations hit ALL I NEED
The singing group known as the Temptations used to go by the name the Elgins, and was formed in 1960 in Detroit. The group is still performing today, although only the second tenor, Otis Williams, was part of the original quintet. The Temptations were very much associated with their “sister group”, the Supremes.

Down
1. “Better Call Saul” network AMC
“Better Call Saul” is a spinoff drama series from the hit show “Breaking Bad”. The main character is small-time lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, who featured in the original series. “Better Call Saul” is set six years before Goodman makes an appearance in the “Breaking Bad” storyline. The lawyer’s real name is James Morgan McGill, and his pseudonym is a play on the words “S’all good, man!”

2. Long-nosed fish GAR
The fish known as a gar is very unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What is interesting about gar is that their swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

3. “Microsoft sound” composer ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno’s most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “start-up jingle”, the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:

I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

4. Like cannoli SICILIAN
Cannoli (singular “connolo”) are Italian sweet pastries that originated in Sicily. Cannoli are made by filling tubes of fried pastry dough with a creamy filling that usually contains ricotta cheese. “Cannolo” is Italian for “little tube”.

6. Mars and Venus GODS
Mars was the god of war in Ancient Rome. Mars was viewed as the father of the Roman people, and the father of Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers who founded Rome, according to Roman mythology.

As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, and Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male. The Roman equivalent of Aphrodite was Venus, and the equivalent of Eros was Cupid.

7. Bios are often part of them OBITS
“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

8. Vanilla containers PODS
The flavor extract we call “vanilla” comes from the podlike fruit of climbing orchids belonging to the genus Vanilla. Genuine vanilla is a relatively expensive spice, second only to saffron, due to the amount of work required to grow and harvest the fruit (also called “beans” and “pods”). Spanish and Portuguese explorers came across the Vanilla orchid while exploring the Gulf Coast of Mexico. They gave it the name “vainilla” meaning “little pod”.

9. “The Simpsons” shopkeeper APU
The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons” TV show. Apu is married to Manjula, and the couple have eight children. The convenience store owner doesn’t seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu’s undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students …

10. Star of E! network’s “I Am Cait” JENNER
Caitlyn Jenner is a former Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon. Caitlyn competed as Bruce Jenner, and made an official gender change in September 2015. Bruce was married for 23 years to Kris Kardashian, the mother of the TV personality Kim Kardashian.

11. Machu Picchu’s range ANDES
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 …

12. Attorney general under Reagan MEESE
Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California just down the road here and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I live. After military service, Meese earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as Chief of Staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

15. Novelist Waugh ALEC
Alec Waugh was the older brother of the more famous Evelyn Waugh. Both were successful novelists (Evelyn of “Brideshead Revisited” fame), but what I like about Alec is that he supposedly invented the cocktail party. He invited his friends around “for tea” in the twenties, and served them all rum swizzles instead!

22. Fourth of 24 DELTA
Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet. We are most familiar with an upper-case delta and its distinctive triangular shape. The letter’s shape has influenced terms such as “deltoid muscle” and “river delta”. The upper-case delta is also used in mathematics and science to indicate a change in value. The lower-case delta looks a bit like our lower-case D, and indeed the Greek letter delta gave us our Latin letter D.

27. Tara family name O’HARA
Scarlett O’Hara was raised at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

35. D.C. underground METRO
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) provides transit service within and around Washington, D.C. The service generally goes by the name “Metro”. The authority’s two main services are Metrorail and Metrobus.

45. Summary PRECIS
A “precis” is an abstract, a concise summary. The term comes from the French “précis” meaning “cut short”.

47. Critical inning NINTH
That would be in baseball. A game comprises nine innings, although extra innings are played until any tie is broken.

48. Down for a pillow EIDER
Eiders are large sea ducks. Their down feathers are used to fill pillows and quilts, giving the name to the quilt called an “eiderdown”.

50. Actress __ Pinkett Smith JADA
Jada Pinkett Smith is an actress from Baltimore, Maryland. Pinkett Smith’s most famous role is the human rebel Niobe in “The Matrix” series of movies. Back in 1990, she auditioned for the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, to play the girlfriend of the character played by Will Smith. She didn’t get the role but did get Will Smith, as the couple were married in 1997.

51. Competed in a British bee SPELT
Both “spelled” and “spelt” are valid past tenses for the verb “to spell”, although the former is way more common on this side of the Atlantic. I grew up with “spelt” on the other side of the pond, but its usage is rapidly being replaced by “spelled” in the UK and Ireland.

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a “bee”. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a “quilting bee”, or even a “spelling bee”.

55. At Hollywood and Vine, for short IN LA
Vine Street is a famous thoroughfare in Hollywood. Hollywood’s movie industry grew up around the intersection of “Hollywood and Vine”, where Hollywood Boulevard crossed Vine Street. That same intersection is now home to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the collection of brass stars embedded in the sidewalks that are monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry.

58. Fourth of 26 DEE
The letter D (dee) is the fourth of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet.

59. __ Lingus AER
Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline called Ryanair.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Way back when AGES AGO
8. __ top PAJAMA
14. Winnipeg’s province MANITOBA
16. Doubleheader half OPENER
17. 1986 movie set partly in the Australian Outback CROCODILE DUNDEE
19. Shoe parts INSTEPS
20. Loch with a legend NESS
21. One-named singer ADELE
24. Biol. or ecol. SCI
25. Under attack BESET
26. Co-star of the 2015 film “Joy” DE NIRO
28. Boot attachment SPUR
30. “Bridge of Spies” actor Alan ALDA
31. Onion rings are fried in it HOT OIL
34. Worldwide economic org. IMF
37. 1988 movie set in a Southern California high school STAND AND DELIVER
40. Tam or trilby HAT
41. Pencil tip ERASER
42. Time in ads NITE
43. FBI agent G-MAN
44. __ of influence SPHERE
46. Start of el año ENERO
49. Record players, briefly DJS
52. Improve a lawn RESOD
53. Roman baker’s dozen? XIII
54. More sudsy SOAPIER
56. 1996 movie set in Nevada’s Area 51 INDEPENDENCE DAY
61. Nicks on many albums STEVIE
62. 1967 Temptations hit ALL I NEED
63. Like some movies … literally including 17-, 37- and 56-Across THREE-D
64. Wine competition attendees TASTERS

Down
1. “Better Call Saul” network AMC
2. Long-nosed fish GAR
3. “Microsoft sound” composer ENO
4. Like cannoli SICILIAN
5. One making amends ATONER
6. Mars and Venus GODS
7. Bios are often part of them OBITS
8. Vanilla containers PODS
9. “The Simpsons” shopkeeper APU
10. Star of E! network’s “I Am Cait” JENNER
11. Machu Picchu’s range ANDES
12. Attorney general under Reagan MEESE
13. “Give it __” A REST
15. Novelist Waugh ALEC
18. Single show EPISODE
21. Cookbook measuring words A DASH
22. Fourth of 24 DELTA
23. Run until END AT
25. Calf father BULL
27. Tara family name O’HARA
29. Harborside strolling spots PIERS
32. Without end ON AND ON
33. NFL scores TDS
34. Green climbers IVIES
35. D.C. underground METRO
36. Set loose FREED
38. Sample in a product pitch DEMO
39. Hard-wired INHERENT
43. Mourn GRIEVE
45. Summary PRECIS
46. Have a place in the world EXIST
47. Critical inning NINTH
48. Down for a pillow EIDER
50. Actress __ Pinkett Smith JADA
51. Competed in a British bee SPELT
54. Flower starter SEED
55. At Hollywood and Vine, for short IN LA
57. Crusty dessert PIE
58. Fourth of 26 DEE
59. __ Lingus AER
60. Cloth meas. YDS

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 17 Feb 16, Wednesday”

  1. Pretty easy Wednesday except all of the movie references that usually kill me. I got through these though.

    "Leave the gun; take the cannolis" – One of many famous lines from my favorite movie of all time, "The Godfather".

    @Carrie
    I like Seinfeld on your list, although George might be the more interesting or defineable character from that show. Not sure one could define Kramer at all.. Bob Newhart definitely. I'm pretty ignorant of the others.

    Best –

  2. @Jeff
    Truly a famous line. Some others:

    I believe in America.
    Someday I will call upon you to do me a service.
    You can act like a man!
    I'll make him an offer he can't refuse.
    Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.
    It's strictly business.

    My personal favorite from Godfather II:

    . . . e quisto è per ti! (. . . and this is for you!)
    when Vito takes his revenge on Don Ciccio.

    I'd vote "an offer he can't refuse" as the definitive line.

    Did I miss any?

  3. @Bill
    The Iranians have been getting a lot of bad press lately — not that they don't deserve it. But I think it's only fair to point to point out that our beloved pajamas (or pyjamas) come to us via the Indian subcontinent from Persia, "pa" meaning leg and "jama" as garment or clothing.

  4. Macaronijack, (said respectfully -) Bill has explained this etymology of pajama, in his blog.

    I had a tough time, but the easier long answers sure helped – as they should be on Weds.

    Bill, as you said, Aer Lingus,'makes you feel like you're back at home in Ireland' … so does Air India do for me – makes me feel like I'm back in India. Which is why I never travel by that airline. The food is lacking, the hostesses are grumpy, and the service is even worse, so I travel United to postpone that feeling as long as possible.

    I saw 'Bridge of spies' on a recent airflight, and loved it. Tom Hanks is so wonderful. Now, I must watch 'Independence day'.

    Have a nice day, all.

  5. @Vidwan
    I hesitate to second guess Bill since his knowledge is so much more encyclopedic than mine. And as you say he already stated the word came from the Indian subcontinent, which is true. But the impression left is that the word is Hindi in origin, and it's not. It's Persian and owes its presence on the subcontinent to the Mogul Empire, which I'm sure you're familiar with.
    My point was that although it really doesn't matter very much, we might as well give credit where credit is due.

  6. These 3 films were "literally" shot in THREED? No, they weren't. I think The constructor was trying for "figuratively." I never had to wear the dreaded blue and red cardboard glasses to see any of these. Nice films, at least two of them. The IMF is not an economic organization–they are a lender. The OECD or the G8 are economics organizations.

    As for the list of best characters of all time compiled by CBS, I was surprised to see that only about 3/5th of them were from CBS shows. Of course, they basically grouped Seinfeld, Friends, and most of the other NBC shows that kicked their ass in the rating for two decades. They didn't even mention the best show they had since Lucy–Gil Grissom (William Petersen) from CSI. What a dumb list.

  7. Ye0ah the theme is a bit questionable. Bill's interpretation is probably best, but I took it to literally mean THREED and not 3-D, as I knew the weird glasses were never in play for most of them. As in there's three of them.

    CROCODILE DUNDEE – Sequels, 1986, 1988, 2001.
    STAND AND DELIVER – 1928, 1988, 1998.
    INDEPENDENCE DAY – 1983, 1996, 2016.

    Still equally lame, as I really didn't see the theme clearly even after finishing this.

    About like those Machiavellian meta puzzles that I keep running into. The solution to the one I referenced before was so goofy as to be silly.

  8. Hi folks! I thought this a bit difficult for a Wednesday, but I got thru.
    That's so funny about THREED as in made 3 times or has 2 sequels. My hunch is that the setter referred to the 3 "Ds" in each title and didn't realize there are 3 of them.
    Do they say "They killed Fredo!" in The Godfather? I guess that's kind of a stupid question, because of course they did kill him, but it seems I've heard that quoted.
    BTW, John Cazale, the great actor who played Fredo, was of course also in The Deer Hunter. I mention it because I happened to see that film the other day, altho yes, I had to skip through most of the Vietnam scenes. Disturbing!
    Ironically, after that comment, I sign off:
    Sweet dreams~~™

  9. @macaronijack, Vidwan
    I did indeed truncate the etymology of "pajamas", only going back to the Hindi words. Quite frankly, I often truncate the results of my etymological research, usually because it can take more than a few words to explain the link between the contemporary term and the "original". As a result, I often go back just one or two steps. I think that's why I mention French and Latin a great deal, and less often Persian, Greek, Sumerian, Sanskrit, etc.

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