LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Feb 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Best Picture … each of today’s themed answers starts with the title a film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture:

60A. Award to be announced February 28, and which was previously won by the first words of 17-, 23-, 39- and 51-Across BEST PICTURE

17A. Intensive study program CRASH COURSE (giving “Crash”)
23A. It’s the opposite of a flying one ROCKY START (giving “Rocky”)
39A. Mighty clash TITANIC STRUGGLE (giving “Titanic”)
51A. 2014 WNBA Finals runner-up CHICAGO SKY (giving “Chicago”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Beach tube letters SPF
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

4. Tube in Paris METRO
The Paris Métro is the busiest underground transportation system in western Europe, carrying about 4.5 million passengers a day, about the same as the New York City Subway. The system took its name from the company that originally operated it, namely “La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris”, which was shorted to “Métro”. The term “Metro” was then adopted for similar systems in cities all over the world.

The official name “London Underground” is a little deceptive, as over half of the track system-wide is actually “over ground”, with the underground sections reserved for the central areas. It is the oldest subway system in the world, opening in 1863. It was also the first system to use electric rolling stock, in 1890. “The Tube”, as it is known by Londoners, isn’t the longest subway system in the world though. That honor belongs to the Shanghai Metro. My personal favorite part of the Tube is the Tube map! It is a marvel of design …

9. __ butter: cosmetic moisturizer SHEA
“Shea butter” is a common moisturizer or lotion used as a cosmetic. It is a fat that is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. There is evidence that shea butter was used back in Cleopatra’s Egypt.

14. Gem weight unit CARAT
A carat is a unit of mass used in measuring gemstones that is equal to 200 mg.

17. Intensive study program CRASH COURSE (giving “Crash”)
The 2004 Oscar-winning movie “Crash” is a clever piece of work, with several interweaving stories that use a fine cast of characters. Having said that, the fact that “Crash” won the Academy Award in 2005 was very unexpected, as the film had not won any of the other major awards for Best Film that year. The critics’ favorite in 2005 was “Brokeback Mountain”.

19. Classic laundry soap RINSO
Rinso was a laundry detergent that was first manufactured in England in 1908 by a company called Hudson’s Soap. It was introduced into the US in 1918. In America, Rinso took to radio advertising and sponsorship in the days of “soap operas”. Their most famous program association was with “The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show” in the forties. One of the brand’s slogans was “Solium, the sunlight ingredient”. I have no idea what Solium is, but it certainly did sell a lot of soap!

22. Fish in hamo, a Japanese delicacy EEL
In Japanese cuisine, the dish called “hamo” is a type of eel known as the daggertooth pike conger. It is a nasty looking creature …

23. It’s the opposite of a flying one ROCKY START (giving “Rocky”)
For me, it’s usually a “flying start” with Monday crosswords, and a very “rocky start” with Saturday puzzles.

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

26. Auto racer Busch KYLE
NASCAR racer Kyle Busch is the younger brother of fellow racer Kurt Busch. Kyle is nicknamed “Shrub”, because he’s the smaller “bush” …

28. Miscellany OLIO
“Olio” is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.

30. Faux pas SLIP
The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

33. Certain king’s pride MANE
The lion is the “king of the jungle”.

36. Nunavut people INUIT
Nunavut is Canadian territory. It was born in 1999 when it was separated from the Northwest Territories. That makes Nunavut the youngest of all Canada’s territories. It is also the nation’s largest territory, the least populous as well as the furthest north. Even though it is the second-largest country subdivision in North America (after Greenland), Nunavut is home to just over 30,000 people, mostly Inuit.

The Inuit peoples live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

39. Mighty clash TITANIC STRUGGLE (giving “Titanic”)
When James Cameron made his epic movie “Titanic”, released in 1997, it was the most expensive film ever made, costing about $200 million. It was a good investment for the studio as it became the highest-grossing film of all time, bringing in over $1.8 billion. “Titanic” remained the highest-grossing film until 2010, when Cameron eclipsed the prior record with “Avatar”.

45. Sister brand of the Sensor razor ATRA
Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

49. D.C. bigwigs POLS
Politicians (pols.)

51. 2014 WNBA Finals runner-up CHICAGO SKY (giving “Chicago”)
The Chicago Sky is a professional basketball team based in Rosemont, Illinois that plays in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Sky was founded in 2006

The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …

58. Pakistani bread NAAN
Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

The suffix “-stan” in many place names is Persian for “place of”. One example is “Pakistan”, the Place of the Pure. “Pakistan” is a relatively recent name, first coined in 1933. It comes from the abbreviation PAKSTAN, standing for Punjab – Afghan Province – Kashmir – Sindh – BaluchisTAN, all regions in the north of India. The “I” was added to Pakistan to make it easier to pronounce, and to fit the translation “Land of the Pure”.

60. Award to be announced February 28, previously won by the first words of 17-, 23-, 39- and 51-Across BEST PICTURE
At the first Academy Awards ceremony, the award for Outstanding Picture and award for Unique and Artistic Production were regarded jointly as the top honors. The latter award was dropped at the second ceremony, the following year. The award for Outstanding picture changed its name several times, to Outstanding Production, Outstanding Motion Picture, Best Motion Picture, and finally Best Picture from 1962.

64. Cellular messenger RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

66. Trees yielding caffeine-rich nuts KOLAS
The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Here in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

Down
1. British Invasion drummer STARR
Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles (replacing drummer Pete Best), Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

2. Hibachi spot PATIO
The traditional hibachi in Japan is a heating device, often a ceramic bowl or box that holds burning charcoal. This native type of hibachi isn’t used for cooking, but rather as a space heater (a brazier). Here in the US we use the term hibachi to refer to a charcoal grill used as a small cooking stove, which in Japanese would be called a “shichirin”. “Hibachi” is Japanese for “firepot” coming from “hi” meaning “fire”, and “bachi” meaning “bowl, pot”.

3. Mali money FRANC
The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa, south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.

4. Real people? MCCOYS
“The Real McCoys” is a sitcom that first aired in the late fifties and early sixties. Walter Brennan stars as Grandpa Amos McCoy, a California dirt farmer who moved with his grandkids from West Virginia.

5. Maestro’s forte EAR
“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” (plural “maestri”) is the Italian word for “master, teacher”. The plural in English is usually “maestros”.

7. Many a reggae musician RASTA
I must admit that I don’t really understand Rastafarianism. I do know that a “Rasta”, like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

9. “Fifth Beatle” Sutcliffe STU
Stu Sutcliffe was one of the original four members of The Silver Beatles (as The Beatles were known in their early days), along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Sutcliffe apparently came up with name “Beatles” along with John Lennon, as a homage to their hero Buddy Holly who was backed by the “Crickets”. By all reports, Sutcliffe wasn’t a very talented musician and was more interested in painting. He went with the group to Hamburg, more than once, but he eventually left the Beatles and went back to art school, actually studying for a while at the Hamburg College of Art. In 1962 in Hamburg, Sutcliffe collapsed with blinding headaches. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital, his death attributed to cerebral paralysis.

11. Picasso supporter EASEL
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

The artist Pablo Picasso’s full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a name he was given right from birth. Got that?

12. “Set Fire to the Rain” 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.

15. Call for help SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

18. “The Censor” of Rome CATO
Cato the Elder was a Roman statesman, known historically as “the elder” in order to distinguish him from his great-grandson, Cato the Younger. Cato the Elder’s ultimate position within Roman society was that of Censor, making him responsible for maintaining the census, and for supervising public morality.

26. Bob Marley Museum city KINGSTON
The Bob Marley Museum in the Kingston, Jamaica is located in the reggae musician’s former home. The museum’s address is 56 Hope Road, which is now used as a band name by a group in Chicago.

29. The Blackbirds of the NCAA’s Northeast Conf. LIU
Long Island University (LIU) in Brooklyn, New York is a private school that was chartered in 1926. LIU’s focus has always been on providing moderately-priced, effective education to people from all walks in life. To that end, LIU opened a second campus in 1951 in Brookville in the suburbs of New York City, recognizing the need to serve families that were living outside of the metropolis. The athletic teams of LIU’s Brooklyn campus are known as the Brooklyn Blackbirds, and the teams of the Brookville campus are called the Post Pioneers.

30. Babe’s pen STY
The hit 1995 film “Babe” was produced and filmed in Australia. The movie is an adaptation of a 1983 novel called “The Sheep-Pig” written by Dick King-Smith. The title character is the lone pig on a sheep farm. “Babe” was a smash hit at the box office and was extremely well received by the critics. The film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but lost out to “Braveheart”. However, it did win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects by beating out “Apollo 13”, which was an amazing feat, I’d say…

34. Surveillance org. NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

38. Texas senator Cruz TED
US Senator Ted Cruz served as Solicitor General for the state of Texas before heading to Washington. Cruz was appointed Solicitor General in 2003 at the age of 32, making him the youngest Solicitor General in the country. Famously, Cruz is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act and made a speech in 2013 in the US Senate on the subject that lasted for 21 hours and 19 minutes. It was the fourth longest speech in the history of the Senate.

41. Avatar of Vishnu RAMA
In the Hindu tradition, the god known as Vishnu has seven different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

46. Faddish berry in smoothies ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

49. Old Milwaukee maker PABST
Even though Old Milwaukee was first introduced in 1955 as a low-price beer, the brand name dates back to 1890. The world’s first “beer ball” (also “party ball”) was an Old Milwaukee creation, introduced in 1987.

56. Old Milwaukee-making ingredient YEAST
Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the Fungi kingdom. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

58. “Morning Edition” airer NPR
NPR’s flagship news program is “Morning Edition”, a 2-hour show broadcast from Monday through Friday. The sister show “Weekend Edition” is broadcast on Saturday and Sunday.

61. Links supporter TEE
The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Beach tube letters SPF
4. Tube in Paris METRO
9. __ butter: cosmetic moisturizer SHEA
13. Roofing sealant TAR
14. Gem weight unit CARAT
15. Home extension? -STEAD
16. __ standstill AT A
17. Intensive study program CRASH COURSE (giving “Crash”)
19. Classic laundry soap RINSO
21. They’re drunk at socials TEAS
22. Fish in hamo, a Japanese delicacy EEL
23. It’s the opposite of a flying one ROCKY START (giving “Rocky”)
26. Auto racer Busch KYLE
27. “Uh-huh” I SEE
28. Miscellany OLIO
30. Faux pas SLIP
33. Certain king’s pride MANE
36. Nunavut people INUIT
39. Mighty clash TITANIC STRUGGLE (giving “Titanic”)
42. Simple type of question YES/NO
43. ”Good one!” HA-HA!
44. Dumped, perhaps SOLD
45. Sister brand of the Sensor razor ATRA
47. “You’ve found the right person” I’M IT
49. D.C. bigwigs POLS
51. 2014 WNBA Finals runner-up CHICAGO SKY (giving “Chicago”)
57. Wood-scratching tool AWL
58. Pakistani bread NAAN
59. Loosen, as laces UNTIE
60. Award to be announced February 28, previously won by the first words of 17-, 23-, 39- and 51-Across BEST PICTURE
64. Cellular messenger RNA
65. Take the helm STEER
66. Trees yielding caffeine-rich nuts KOLAS
67. Staples of many websites ADS
68. Giveaway bag TOTE
69. One-for-one deals SWAPS
70. Touch gently PAT

Down
1. British Invasion drummer STARR
2. Hibachi spot PATIO
3. Mali money FRANC
4. Real people? MCCOYS
5. Maestro’s forte EAR
6. Refrain bit TRA-
7. Many a reggae musician RASTA
8. Additional OTHER
9. “Fifth Beatle” Sutcliffe STU
10. “Sure, take it!” HERE YOU GO!
11. Picasso supporter EASEL
12. “Set Fire to the Rain” singer ADELE
15. Call for help SOS
18. “The Censor” of Rome CATO
20. Part of a winter suit SKI PANTS
24. Penultimate contest, for its winner SEMI
25. Work with pupils TEACH
26. Bob Marley Museum city KINGSTON
29. The Blackbirds of the NCAA’s Northeast Conf. LIU
30. Babe’s pen STY
31. Falsity LIE
32. “Everything’s ready to go!” IT’S ALL SET!
34. Surveillance org. NSA
35. Moral principle ETHIC
37. Not close to 100% ILL
38. Texas senator Cruz TED
40. Neither partner NOR
41. Avatar of Vishnu RAMA
46. Faddish berry in smoothies ACAI
48. Hesitant okay I GUESS …
49. Old Milwaukee maker PABST
50. Have because of OWE TO
52. Accesses illegally, in a way HACKS
53. Hitched behind IN TOW
54. Camera holder STRAP
55. In a way, slangily KINDA
56. Old Milwaukee-making ingredient YEAST
58. “Morning Edition” airer NPR
61. Links supporter TEE
62. Suffix with form -ULA
63. Criticize RAP

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Feb 16, Thursday”

  1. Easiest Burnikel I've ever done, only one Google and I didn't notice the theme. I even knew one of the 3 sports clues (KYLE). Never heard of CHICAGO SKY, and that was the clue I had to Google.

    Thought King Minos' MAZE, at first. Liked STARR parallel with STU.

  2. A fairly tough puzzle but I finally did it, with many errors. Yay, a Thursday and a Burnikel.

    Nan, Naan – I've learnt to make one ( or more) without a tandoor, on a long-handled, plain iron pan. Lookup a youtube segment on how to make a naan/nan without a tandoor. Great idea, for whomever thought up and about it.

    Very nice and creative theme. I hope 'Bridge of spies' gets the nod this year.

    I thought 'Shea' was an irish creation, at first.

    What is the difference between an Inuit and an Aleut ? One of them are 'in' because they are closer to the mainland ?

    A mere footnote as to the name of Pakistan. No politics. I've read very extensively of this subject, now obviously, an irrelevant academic discussion ….. but Chaudhary Rehmat Ali, the 'creator' of the name, in 1933 (14 yrs prior to independence – ) who coined the name Pakstan (no 'i') envisaged Punjab, Afghanistan and Kashmir…. and many other 'stans' in British India, ( and certain 'independent' kingdoms – )- like, for the Nizam of Hyderabad's dominions … ( now Telengana, formed 2014, India ) and certain areas in Kerala etc.

    Afghanistan is still a separate country, was never under the British ( for any long period of time).
    Kashmir – then, an independent kingdom, is now bifurcated between Ind. and Pak.
    Sindh was at that time, a tossup, because the state govt. was, at the time, pro-indian.
    Baluchistan, was several independent kingdoms, and has always been, ( in my opinion,) ungovernable under ANY central govt. It is now, very much a part of Pak. today, but the violence and the unrest that still continues, makes it a very doubtful asset, – to any country – Pak. or Iran.

    These are facts of history, and my personal opinions are merely academic. I do believe, that nations are like books, not how big or long they are – but how good they are, and well governed, thats what really matters.

    have a nice day, all. and sincere apologies for any politics, which is unintentional.

  3. I thought it was Shea batter (have you Met my sense of idiotic humor lately)?

    No real problems with this grid. Seemed unusually simple for a Thursday.

    Hope everyone has a most excellent day. Let's see what horrors the Friday puzzle brings!

  4. Lulled into complacency at first, zipping through the top answers. Screech!
    Got the theme, but like Sfingi, never knew CHICAGO SKY.
    Finished, but rather slowly.

    Help! Now I'm thinking of some story about STU, who took a CRASH COURSE in photography. After a ROCKY START in the business he got a job with an agency representing a clothing company that makes SKI PANTS. It was a TITANIC STRUGGLE getting all his equipment ready to shoot the models with the perfect CHICAGO SKY behind them and finally thought "IT'S ALL SET." After 79 shots he got the BEST PICTURE. And said…. (groan) to the agency, "HERE YOU GO."
    One of you has to come up with something better. Aack!

  5. @Sheila W – Penultimate refers to the next to last in a series and the semi-finals in a tennis tournament is the next to last match, with the winner from each semi-final going on to the final (ultimate) match.

  6. Not a lot of problems with this one although I got bogged down a couple of times. I actually knew Chicago Sky although I've never watched a game. Maybe I've been watching too much ESPN lately.

    This was between my Wed and Thur times so I guess this was kind of a Wednesday and a half puzzle. I had no idea The Real McCoys was actually a tv show. I just knew of the expression "that's the real McCoy.."

    @Sheila W
    The penultimate (second to last) contest (for a tournament) for its winner would be their SEMI final match. Their last match would be in the finals. Obviously if you lost the semi final match, you'd be out of the tournament and the semi final would be your last match. That's why the disclaimer "for its winner" is included – i.e. for the winner of the SEMI finals, that is their penultimate contest.

    @Vidwan/Bella
    To steal from Carrie – Be Well! I'm 52 years old and still am healthy enough to play in a men's ice hockey league here in Houston. I take it for granted that I'll live forever sometimes. I shouldn't. Thanks for reminding us to appreciate every day we're here. That's easy to forget sometimes.

    Best –

  7. I guess this is right in the wheelhouse for LA Times readers: films and related stuff I don't follow. Pretty easy for a Thursday (:08), the theme leapt completely over my head. And KINDA a lot of crossword-ese today, nothing except the reference to CATO stood out…unless you would like to hear Metallica perform "CRASH COURSE In Brain Surgery."… ;-D

  8. Yay! Relatively clean finish, and fun theme that helped. I happen to have ALL Best Picture winners memorized, not cuz I'm brilliant but because I started rote-memorizing them years ago. (I know them all the way back to 1928: "Wings.") Great way to help you fall asleep, listing things. So the theme answers came pretty easily.
    @Pookie, now you've got ME trying to come up with a story…we'll see if I manage.
    @Jeff, LOL!! I would love to have MET a SHEA BATTER! I have met Maury Wills and Hank Aaron, FWIW.:-D
    Who's ready for Friday?!
    Sweet dreams~~™

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