LA Times Crossword Answers 5 Feb 16, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Alex S. Vratsanos
THEME:Outskirts of Town … the answers at the OUTSKIRTS OF (the border of) today’s grid all need to the word TOWN to complete them:

38A. Border area, which contains a hint to solving this puzzle’s 12 border answers OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN

1A. San Francisco section CHINA(TOWN)
6A. Hailing place? HOME (TOWN)
10A. One growing up fast? BOOM (TOWN)
65A. Hightail it SKIP (TOWN)
66A. Site of Cornwallis’ surrender YORK(TOWN)
67A. City on New York’s Black River WATER(TOWN)
1D. Cattle-raising district COW(TOWN)
13D. Textile production settlement MILL (TOWN)
24D. Tourism hub RESORT (TOWN)
34D. Place to see stars TINSEL(TOWN)
51D. Historic Omaha suburb BOYS (TOWN)
61D. Drama set in Grover’s Corners OUR (TOWN)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 28s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. San Francisco section CHINA(TOWN)
Chinatown in San Francisco is one of most-visited areas of the city. The area was founded in 1848 and had to be rebuilt after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. One of its many claims to fame is the largest annual Chinese New Year parade in North America.

14. Laura Petrie catchphrase OH, ROB!
“The Dick Van Dyke Show” is a sitcom that ran from 1961 to 1966 starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as Rob and Laura Petrie. This classic show was created by the great Carl Reiner, who also had a supporting role on screen.

15. Will’s role in “Celebrity Jeopardy!” sketches on “SNL” ALEX
“Celebrity Jeopardy!” is a recurring sketch that ran on “Saturday Night Live” from 1996 to 2002. Will Ferrell played Alex Trebek, with other members of the cast playing contestants. Regular players were Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, and Norm Macdonald as Burt Reynolds.

17. Slip ‘N Slide maker WHAM-O
Wham-O was founded in 1948, with the company’s first product being the Wham-O slingshot. Since then, Wham-O has market a string of hit toys including the Hula Hoop, the Frisbee, the Slip ‘N Slide, Silly String, the Hacky Sack and the Boogie Board.

18. Singer Halliwell GERI
Geri Halliwell was called Ginger Spice because of her red hair when she was with the Spice Girls. Halliwell was quite a bit older than the rest of the group and so sometimes she was less charitably referred to as “Old Spice”.

20. National alternative AVIS
Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

National Car Rental was founded back in 1947, a conglomerate of 24 independent rental agencies that already existed around the country.

28. Those, in Tijuana ESOS
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

29. Tennessee team, briefly VOLS
The Tennessee Volunteers (the Vols) is the name given to the men’s sports teams at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The women’s teams are called the Lady Volunteers.

35. It’s double-hyphenated: Abbr. SSN
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly.

36. South Asian garment SARI
The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

37. Helical pasta ROTINI
Rotini is the corkscrew-shaped pasta that is often used in pasta salads. Even though “rotini” sounds like it comes from a word meaning “twist, rotate”, the word “rotini” doesn’t exist in Italian, other than as the name for the pasta.

43. Fleur-de-__ LIS
“Lys” (also “lis”) is the French word for “lily”, as in “fleur-de-lys”, the heraldic symbol often associated with the French monarchy.

44. Search casually, as for a bar pickup TROLL
Someone “trolling” a bar might be said to be seeking someone to “hit on”.

47. Toon with an odd laugh ELMER
Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous of all the Looney Tunes cartoon characters, the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …

49. Author Allende ISABEL
Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, apparently the world’s most widely-read, Spanish-language author. Isabel is related to Salvador Allende, the ex-President of Chile.

55. General Bradley OMAR
Omar Bradley graduated from West Point in the class of 1915, along with Dwight Eisenhower who also attained the rank of General of the Army. Bradley was the last person to hold the rank of a five-star commissioned officer, and he was the first general to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was struck by a quotation from Bradley from later in his life:
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

56. Rao’s competitor RAGU
The Ragú brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the Unilever sauce, it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

Rao’s Italian restaurant opened in East Harlem in New York City in 1896. Rao’s also sells a small line of Italian foodstuffs in supermarkets, such as pasta, sauces and olive oil.

58. Richard __, Pulitzer-winning author of “Empire Falls” RUSSO
Richard Russo’s 2001 novel titled “Empire Falls” won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the following year. The novel was adapted into a television miniseries by HBO that aired in 2005.

62. Ranch neckwear YOKE
A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

63. Old players, briefly VCRS
Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

64. Root of the Progressive Era ELIHU
Elihu Root was an American statesman, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912 for his diplomatic work that brought “nations together through arbitration and cooperation”. Root served as Secretary of State under President Theodore Roosevelt.

The Progressive movement had the goal of eliminating corruption in government in the US. The movement gave its name to the Progressive Era that lasted from the 1890s to the 1920s. Journalists who investigated and exposed corruption were given the name “muckrakers”. The term “muckraker” was popularized by President Theodore Roosevelt when he referred to “the Man with the Muck-rake”, a character in John Bunyan’s allegory “The Pilgrim’s Progress”.

66. Site of Cornwallis’ surrender YORK(TOWN)
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis is best known in the US as a British general during the War of Independence. Hostilities ended in effect when Cornwallis surrendered at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. Cornwallis is an infamous character in Ireland as well, where he served as Lord Lieutenant for the British from 1798 until 1801.

67. City on New York’s Black River WATER(TOWN)
Watertown is a city in New York State located just twenty miles or so from the Thousand Islands that straddle the Canada-US border. The city is named for the many waterfalls on the Black River, on which Watertown was founded.

Down
2. He lost to RMN HHH
Hubert Horatio Humphrey (HHH) was the running mate of President Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential campaign. Humphrey was sworn in as Vice President in 1965, the 38th person to hold the office. Humphrey was the Democratic candidate for president in the 1968 election, but lost to Richard Nixon.

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 …

3. Nest egg letters IRA
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

6. Witches HAGS
“Hag” is a shortened form of the Old English word “haegtesse” meaning, “witch”.

7. Miss modifier? OLE
“Ole Miss” is the nickname for the University of Mississippi. The name “Ole Miss” dates back to 1897, the first year a student yearbook was published. The graduating class held a competition to name the yearbook and “Ole Miss” emerged as the winner. The name stuck to the yearbook, and also as a nickname for the school itself. The University of Mississippi sports teams have been known as the Rebels since 1936. Prior to 1936, they were known as the Mississippi Flood.

10. The 18th edition of his original work was published in 2012 BARTLETT
“Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” is a popular reference work containing tons of quotations. Bartlett’s was first issued in 1855, and as such is the longest-lived collection of quotations that we have available to us. The book started as a private list of quotes gathered by John Bartlett who ran the University Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He kept the list as he was always being asked “who said?” by customers.

11. Type of arch OGEE
An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S). An ogee arch is composed of two ogees, with one being the mirror of the other and meeting at the arch’s apex.

12. __-B ORAL
The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

27. Move like ophidians SLITHER
In the animal kingdom, the group of reptiles known as snakes (and snake-like lizards) are called “ophidians”. “Ophi” is the Greek word for “serpent”.

30. “Catch-22” pilot ORR
The bomber pilot in Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22” is called Orr, and he has no other name, just “Orr”.

“Catch-22” is a novel by Joseph Heller set during WWII. The title refers to absurd bureaucratic constraints that soldiers had to suffer. Heller’s “Catch-22” was invoked by an army psychiatrist to explain that any pilot requesting to be evaluated for insanity, to avoid flying dangerous missions, had to be sane as only a sane man would try to get out of such missions. The term “catch-22 has entered the language and describes a paradoxical situation from which one can’t escape due to contradictory rules; one loses, no matter what choice one makes.

34. Place to see stars TINSEL (TOWN)
“Tinsel Town” is a nickname for Hollywood.

37. Annual award recipient ROOKIE
The term “rookie”, used for a raw recruit, first appeared in Rudyard Kipling’s collection of songs and poems called the “Barrack-Room Ballads” originally published in 1892.

40. Simba, to Sarabi SON
In “The Lion King”, the protagonist is Simba, the lion cub born to Mufasa and Sarabi. The main antagonist is Scar, Simba’s uncle and Mufasa’s brother.

45. Company founded in Beaumont TEXACO
Texaco gets its name from “The TEXA-s CO-mpany”. Today Texaco is just a brand name owned by Chevron, but it used to be its own operation, founded as the Texas Fuel Company in 1901 in the city of Beaumont.

46. Scott of “NCIS: New Orleans” BAKULA
Scott Bakula’s big break was playing Sam Beckett in the entertaining TV show “Quantum Leap” that was made in the nineties. More recently I recall seeing Bakula in another fun TV show called “Chuck”. He is currently portraying Special Agent Pride on “NCIS: New Orleans”.

51. Historic Omaha suburb BOYS (TOWN)
The village of Boys Town, Nebraska is a suburb of Omaha. The village was founded in 1917 as the headquarter of the Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home, which is dedicated to the care of at-risk children.

52. Crazily AMOK
The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy …

53. Munro pen name SAKI
Hector Hugh Munro was a British writer, actually born in Burma. Munro was famous for his short stories, which he published using the pen name “Saki”. His most well-known story is “The Open Window”, which ends with the great line “Romance at short notice was her specialty”.

61. Drama set in Grover’s Corners OUR (TOWN)
“Our Town” is a play by Thornton Wilder, first performed in 1938. Wilder won a Pulitzer for the work. “Our Town” was actually banned by the Soviet authorities in East Berlin in 1946. Their reasoning was that “the drama was too depressing and could inspire a German suicide wave”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. San Francisco section CHINA(TOWN)
6. Hailing place? HOME (TOWN)
10. One growing up fast? BOOM (TOWN)
14. Laura Petrie catchphrase OH, ROB!
15. Will’s role in “Celebrity Jeopardy!” sketches on “SNL” ALEX
16. Cultural opening? AGRI-
17. Slip ‘N Slide maker WHAM-O
18. Singer Halliwell GERI
19. __ time REAL
20. National alternative AVIS
22. Playground threat I’LL TELL!
24. Word with guilt or debt -RIDDEN
27. Symbol of strength STEEL
28. Those, in Tijuana ESOS
29. Tennessee team, briefly VOLS
31. Unveiling DEBUT
35. It’s double-hyphenated: Abbr. SSN
36. South Asian garment SARI
37. Helical pasta ROTINI
38. Border area, which contains a hint to solving this puzzle’s 12 border answers OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN
41. Get back REGAIN
42. Foot on a farm HOOF
43. Fleur-de-__ LIS
44. Search casually, as for a bar pickup TROLL
45. Marathon prep run TEN-K
46. Found (on) BASE
47. Toon with an odd laugh ELMER
49. Author Allende ISABEL
51. Big wind BASS SAX
54. “Doggone it!” HECK!
55. General Bradley OMAR
56. Rao’s competitor RAGU
58. Richard __, Pulitzer-winning author of “Empire Falls” RUSSO
62. Ranch neckwear YOKE
63. Old players, briefly VCRS
64. Root of the Progressive Era ELIHU
65. Hightail it SKIP (TOWN)
66. Site of Cornwallis’ surrender YORK(TOWN)
67. City on New York’s Black River WATER(TOWN)

Down
1. Cattle-raising district COW(TOWN)
2. He lost to RMN HHH
3. Nest egg letters IRA
4. Migrants NOMADS
5. Like stars ABOVE
6. Witches HAGS
7. Miss modifier? OLE
8. Good qualities MERITS
9. Kick out EXILE
10. The 18th edition of his original work was published in 2012 BARTLETT
11. Type of arch OGEE
12. __-B ORAL
13. Textile production settlement MILL (TOWN)
21. Without success IN VAIN
23. Opened LED OFF
24. Tourism hub RESORT (TOWN)
25. Bank, cardwise ISSUER
26. Plea to remain DON’T GO!
27. Move like ophidians SLITHER
30. “Catch-22” pilot ORR
32. H.S. experiment site BIO LAB
33. Reckless, say UNWISE
34. Place to see stars TINSEL (TOWN)
36. Tricks of the trade SKILLS
37. Annual award recipient ROOKIE
39. Pitcher? SALES REP
40. Simba, to Sarabi SON
45. Company founded in Beaumont TEXACO
46. Scott of “NCIS: New Orleans” BAKULA
48. “Neato!” MARVY!
50. Common fastener SCREW
51. Historic Omaha suburb BOYS (TOWN)
52. Crazily AMOK
53. Munro pen name SAKI
54. Corn cover HUSK
57. Canine warning GRR!
59. Canine command SIT
60. Seagoing pronoun SHE
61. Drama set in Grover’s Corners OUR (TOWN)

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 5 Feb 16, Friday”

  1. (yesterday)
    @Tony Michaels
    I did about as bad on the Thursday WSJ as I did on the Thursday LAT. Today's was on the easier side and I finished it reasonably, though as usual the last few weeks I'm clueless on the crypto puzzle (though everyone swears they're *easy*). About the only thing left is to see how this one goes for sure. I plinked out all the obvious stuff, but haven't given up on it yet.

    @Carrie Hope you end up enjoying it. I kind of 3/4 did myself, so I thought I'd point it out. 🙂

    @all Yes the setters definitely deserve some appreciation, especially the ones that aren't making a living doing it. Except when this guy sets grids, of course.

    Onward to the day and figuring out if I can do today's LAT or not.

  2. Did not like theme. Also, some clues were just obtuse or too local – Rao's?
    Interesting fact – the slip – n – slide is very dangerous. Many adults have died or been maimed using it. When set up on grass with a hose running on it, the ground can become very saturated so that when an adult runs and tries to flop down on the slide, they are caught by the muddy ground and instead of sliding, they flip over and can break their neck. It doesn't happen with kids as they are lighter and closer to the ground.

  3. An awful lot of "off the beaten path" info in this one. I also just couldn't grasp the theme. Spent most of the puzzle confused, but YORK finally clued me in (pardon the pun) and the light went on. If I had just figured that out earlier, I might have finished this one unaided….and if pigs could fly…

    I also carelessly mixed up a few clues/answers – e.g. SCREW is a suburb of Omaha?? I'll blame that one on this being Friday of a crazy week for me. Last 2 puzzles have been tough on me. Maybe tomorrow's will be easier…..or not.

    Best –

  4. For some unexplained reason that I'll never fully grasp I could not figure out Texaco for 45 Down which prevented me from getting "sax" for the ending of 51 Across. So DNF! Doh! There's always tomorrow (I hope).

    See you all back here mañana when I hope to have better luck and/or sill.

  5. I did so poorly on yesterday's and today's puzzles, there's really not much to say. Went wrong in so many places today, although I did get the theme half-way through. I think sometimes my solving ability and tenacity is directly connected to my mood and the time I allot myself before I feel I'm just treading water.
    See you all back here tomorrow!

  6. As for this grid, actually finished it with one error and a little help on the theme from when I came in earlier (saw a couple of things along the edges that confused me, but they worked with the other stuff, helped knowing that in getting a few of the others). Took way … way … too long in doing it. Of course, a number of the clues and answers caused this. MARVY deserves a real dunce cap, for instance.

    Anyway, onward to figuring out the WSJ meta along with Saturday. We're overdue for a visit from Mr. Silk …

  7. REALLY disliked this puzzle – maybe because I'm fighting the flu. lever theme but too many esoteric, indecipherable clues (verbs for nouns, nouns for adjectives). MARVY and TROLL (for a date) haven't been in use for 40+ years! Had to search for an hour to get BARTLETTS (18th edition) – I REFUSE to use the two dozen cheat sites for help. Way too frustrating when feeling lousy. No stars from me today.

  8. Bob, there's a big blank space following your comment — did you just hit "enter" several times at the end, what with the flu and the grid and all?! Feel better…:-D
    I actually did well on this one, I say proudly. DNF of course, but got about halfway through before my first cheat. I liked the theme, tho I didn't see it till I had nearly all squares filled in.
    Happy to see Laura Petrie here! My fashion idol. Capri pants!
    Also glad to see ELIHU Root, since I know it, and I'm reminded of my grad school days. LOL! Not the first time that grad studies have helped me with a clue…
    @Glenn, hope to get to that We'd WSJ grid this weekend… Won't try anything late-week from them tho.
    Be well~~™

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