LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Final Say … the FINAL part of each of today’s answers is a synonym for SAY:

41D. Ultimate authority … or what’s hidden in the answers to starred clues FINAL SAY

17A. *Star of Comedy Central’s “Insomniac” DAVE ATTELL (final “tell”)
61A. *Home business? REAL ESTATE (final “state”)
11D. *Popular cosmetic moisturizer SHEA BUTTER (final “utter”)
28D. *Leonardo DiCaprio feature WIDOW’S PEAK (final “speak”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Aboveboard LEGIT
Something described as “aboveboard” is legitimate, without tricks. The term originated in card games, where a sneaky move under the table (the “board”) might involve a switching of cards.

10. Hurdle for a jr. PSAT
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

15. Berry rich in antioxidants 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.

16. “Pygmalion” author SHAW
George Bernard Shaw was a very successful Irish playwright. Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. He won his Oscar for adapting his own play “Pygmalion” for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaptation of “Pygmalion” that goes by the title “My Fair Lady”.

17. *Star of Comedy Central’s “Insomniac” DAVE ATTELL
Dave Attell is a stand-up comedian and host of the television shows “Insomniac with Dave Attell” and “The Gong Show with Dave Attell”.

20. Best replacement? 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”.

Musician Pete Best is most famous as the first drummer with the Beatles. Famously, Best was sacked from the band by manager Brian Epstein. However, Epstein took this step reluctantly, and at the request of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. Several stories have emerged about why the decision was made, but it seems that record producers at Parlophone were insisting that a session drummer be used in the band’s first recordings, and things snowballed from there. And of course, Best was soon replaced by Ringo Starr.

23. Daily Planet VIP LOIS
Lois Lane has been the love interest of Superman/Clark Kent since the comic series was first published in 1938. Lois and Clark both work for the big newspaper in the city of Metropolis called “The Daily Planet”. The couple finally got hitched in the comics (and on television’s “Lois and Clark”) in 1996. But never mind all that … one has to wonder how good the crossword is in “The Daily Planet” …

26. “The Good Wife” field LAW
“The Good Wife” is a legal drama showing on CBS starring Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a litigator who returns to practicing the law after spending 13 years as a stay-at-home mom. I binge-watched a few series of the show some time back. I find it to be well-written, with a great cast and great acting …

29. Man cave fixture SMART TV
“Man cave” is a slang term for a male sanctuary within a home, often a spare bedroom (as it is in our house) or a converted garage.

38. “bye 4 now” TTYL
Talk to you later (TTYL)

39. Praise KUDOS
Our word “kudos” means acclaim given for an exceptional achievement. “Kudos” is not a plural, despite a common misapprehension. It is a singular noun derived from the Greek “kyddos” meaning “glory, fame”.

40. Big letters in home security ADT
ADT is a home and small-business security company based in Boca Raton, Florida. The company was founded in 1874 by Edward Calahan. Calahan had invented the stock ticker several years earlier, and ran the Gold and Stock Telegraph Company. Calahan was awoken one morning by the sound of a burglar in his house, and so he decided to develop a telegraph-based security alarm system. The success of the system led to the founding of American District Telegraph, later known as ADT.

41. Islamic decree FATWA
In the Muslim tradition, a fatwā is a religious opinion issued by an Islamic scholar (a “mufti”) on a matter of Islamic law. There is a common misconception that a fatwā is a death sentence imposed on a person, and although such a drastic directive is a possible component of the opinion, it is a very rare occurrence.

42. “Of __ curls on calmed brows”: E.B. Browning EBON
The line “Of ebon curls on calmed brows” is from the poem “A Vision of Poets” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Elizabeth Barrett was a very popular poet in England in the mid-1800s. The successful poet and playwright Robert Browning was an admirer of her work, and wrote to her saying so. The two met, and and began a famous courtship that led to a secret marriage, which they had to hide from Elizabeth’s father.

43. City where Perry’s flagship Niagara is exhibited ERIE
The USS Niagara was the relief flagship used by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

The Battle of Lake Erie was fought during the War of 1812 just off the Ohio coast. The outcome of the action was a defeat for the British, and American control of Lake Erie for the remainder of the war.

46. 1988 Oscar winner for Best Picture RAIN MAN
“Rain Man” is an entertaining and thought-provoking film released in 1988 starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. It’s all about a self-possessed yuppie (Cruise, appropriate casting!) who discovers he has a brother who is an autistic savant (Hoffman). Hoffman won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance, and “Rain Man” won the Best Picture award.

48. Bread for Reubens RYE
There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York.

57. Justice Kagan ELENA
Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

60. Snack with a Thins variety OREO
For those of us counting calories, Oreo Thins were introduced in 2015. There are only 40 calories in each thin cookie, compared to 53 calories in the real deal.

61. *Home business? REAL ESTATE
In the world of law, there are two main classes of property: personal property and real property. Personal property is basically movable property. Real property is immovable, such as land or buildings and related assets.

Down
3. C-SPAN subject GOVT
C-SPAN is a privately-funded, nonprofit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings. The acronym C-SPAN stands for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network.

5. Fragrant hybrid blooms TEA ROSES
The first tea roses were so called because they had a fragrance reminiscent of Chinese black tea.

6. Bean topper? HAT
A slang term for a “head” might be “bean” or “noggin”.

7. Didn’t have to putt on ACED
An “ace” on a golf course is a hole-in-one.

9. 10-Down feature SILENT L
(10D. Item in a five-section Bible book PSALM)
The letter L in the word “psalm” is silent.

10. Item in a five-section Bible book PSALM
The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

11. *Popular cosmetic moisturizer SHEA BUTTER
“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.

12. Boomer advocacy group AARP
AARP is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is defined as the “baby boom”.

13. Ark units TWOS
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

22. Lexus GX, e.g. SUV
The term SUV, an initialism standing for Sports Utility Vehicle, was introduced by our marketing friends. Using the term Sports Utility Vehicle was a very clever way to get us to pay a lot of money for what was essentially a station wagon on a truck chassis, or at least it was back then.

24. Exotic vacation SAFARI
“Safari” is a Swahili word, meaning “journey” or “expedition”.

26. Lures for anglers? LAKES
We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.

27. Its capital is Oranjestad ARUBA
Oranjestad is the capital city of the island of Aruba in the Caribbean. Aruba is a constituent country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Oranjestad translates as “Orange Town”, and was named for the first King William of Orange-Nassau.

28. *Leonardo DiCaprio feature WIDOW’S PEAK
A widow’s peak is a distinct point in the hairline at the center of the forehead. The old belief was that the presence of such a feature in a woman was an omen of early widowhood.

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio is from Los Angeles, California. DiCaprio’s mother was visiting a museum in Italy when she was pregnant and felt the first kick of her unborn child. At the moment of that first kick, Mama DiCaprio was looking at a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and so named her son Leonardo.

30. “The Kiss” sculptor RODIN
“The Kiss” is a beautiful sculpture created in 1889 by Auguste Rodin. I’ve had the privilege of standing beside the original, life-size marble work on a few occasions as it is housed in the Rodin Museum, my favorite of all museums in Paris. The Musée Rodin is very special in that the building and garden that hold all of the works were Rodin’s actual home and studio. Well worth a visit if you make it to Paris …

31. Symbols on poles TOTEMS
Totem poles are large sculptures that have been carved from trees. Totem poles are part of the culture of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest of North America.

33. Classic hit that begins “And now, the end is near” MY WAY
The song “My Way” has lyrics that were written by Paul Anka in 1969, but the tune itself was composed two years earlier by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. The song had been released with completely different lyrics in France as “Comme d’habitude” (“As Usual”). When Anka heard the song on television in Paris he sought out and obtained the rights to use it himself, for free. Supposedly, “Comme d’habitude” has been recorded in more languages, by more artists, than any other song in the contemporary repertoire.

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

38. Highland cap TAM
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”), 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”.

43. Issue an embarrassing retraction EAT CROW
The phrase “eat crow”, an alternative to “eat humble pie”, perhaps refers to the fact that cooked crow may be edible, but is not a great food choice.

46. 2016 Olympics city RIO
Even though the 2016 Olympic Games is a “summer” competition, it will be held in Rio de Janeiro in the winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the planned date of the opening of 5th August 2016 falls in the local season of winter. The 2016 games will also be first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

47. On the safer side ALEE
“Alee” is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing “aweather”.

52. Aquarium fish TETRA
The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

53. Point sets, in math LOCI
In mathematics, a locus (plural “loci”) is the set of all points that satisfy a given requirement. For example, the locus called a circle is the set of all points equidistant from a single point.

54. One is often used in the rough IRON
That would be on a golf course …

55. Ball game KENO
The name “Keno” has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

56. Santa’s burden SACK
The Santa Claus with whom we are familiar today largely comes from the description in the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, and from the 1863 caricature created by the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Nast is also responsible for locating Santa’s workshop at the North Magnetic Pole, a fact that he revealed to the world in a series of drawings in 1879.

58. __ a one NARY
The adjective “nary” means “not one”, as in “nary a soul”.

62. Finch creator LEE
Atticus Finch is the protagonist in Harper Lee’s great novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Aboveboard LEGIT
6. Triumphant cries HAHS
10. Hurdle for a jr. PSAT
14. Lose some ground ERODE
15. Berry rich in antioxidants ACAI
16. “Pygmalion” author SHAW
17. *Star of Comedy Central’s “Insomniac” DAVE ATTELL
19. Sleek, in car talk AERO
20. Best replacement? STARR
21. Exercises, in a way DOES LAPS
23. Daily Planet VIP LOIS
25. Insensitive NUMB
26. “The Good Wife” field LAW
29. Man cave fixture SMART TV
32. Caller in a mask UMP
35. Get up ARISE
37. Dupe FOOL
38. “bye 4 now” TTYL
39. Praise KUDOS
40. Big letters in home security ADT
41. Islamic decree FATWA
42. “Of __ curls on calmed brows”: E.B. Browning EBON
43. City where Perry’s flagship Niagara is exhibited ERIE
44. “Which is to say … ” I MEAN …
45. Viewed SAW
46. 1988 Oscar winner for Best Picture RAIN MAN
48. Bread for Reubens RYE
49. Roasting aid SPIT
51. Shutter piece SLAT
53. Smooches LIP-LOCKS
57. Justice Kagan ELENA
60. Snack with a Thins variety OREO
61. *Home business? REAL ESTATE
64. Layer on a wall COAT
65. Not again? ONCE
66. Mall map symbol ARROW
67. Press supplies INKS
68. Got up WOKE
69. “I rock!” YAY ME!

Down
1. Spearheaded LED
2. Big Band and Swing ERAS
3. C-SPAN subject GOVT
4. Often unreachable goal IDEAL
5. Fragrant hybrid blooms TEA ROSES
6. Bean topper? HAT
7. Didn’t have to putt on ACED
8. Angel hair topper HALO
9. 10-Down feature SILENT L
10. Item in a five-section Bible book PSALM
11. *Popular cosmetic moisturizer SHEA BUTTER
12. Boomer advocacy group AARP
13. Ark units TWOS
18. Tidy cut TRIM
22. Lexus GX, e.g. SUV
24. Exotic vacation SAFARI
26. Lures for anglers? LAKES
27. Its capital is Oranjestad ARUBA
28. *Leonardo DiCaprio feature WIDOW’S PEAK
30. “The Kiss” sculptor RODIN
31. Symbols on poles TOTEMS
33. Classic hit that begins “And now, the end is near” MY WAY
34. Control tower concern PLANE
36. Lad SON
38. Highland cap TAM
41. Ultimate authority … or what’s hidden in the answers to starred clues FINAL SAY
43. Issue an embarrassing retraction EAT CROW
46. 2016 Olympics city RIO
47. On the safer side ALEE
50. Maps out PLOTS
52. Aquarium fish TETRA
53. Point sets, in math LOCI
54. One is often used in the rough IRON
55. Ball game KENO
56. Santa’s burden SACK
58. __ a one NARY
59. Tiny energy source ATOM
62. Finch creator LEE
63. Woolly mom EWE

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 16, Thursday”

  1. Zero errors. Pretty typical for a Thursday, though a handful of somewhat strange clues/answers like 23-Across.

  2. I had no concept of the theme until Bill explained it. And even now I'm still a little foggy on how this works. Some of the clues were not quite as good as Zhouquin normally produces. And YAYME…c'mon.

    The TV show "Insomniac" was fun to watch. Dave would do a comedy routine in a city, then spend the rest of the night with the people who do all the overnight jobs we never see: garbage collector, janitor, or whatever. Sometimes he'd just wander around a metro area and talk to the chuckleheads who were awake at these odd hours.

    Finally headed home later today…time for some tea.

  3. Didn't really have too much difficulty with this grid. I did think "yay me" was weak and I puzzled (ha) for bit over "smart tv" as I kept thinking it was going to be something else "tv" but smart was it.

    Hope you all have a good Thursday. The weekend nears and our weather is way too warm for March out here in La La Land.

  4. In my case this was a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. At first I got no foothold at all here. I kept moving to different parts of the puzzle to find something. Ultimately I finished with the aid of the theme which I got early. Just what a Thursday puzzle should be like.

    I did have one (three?) errors. 1A I had LEGAL rather than LEGIT which lead to A DEAL (instead of IDEAL) and LEA ROSES rather than TEA ROSES (what do I know about roses??). I was close, and it was a plausible scenario, but it was wrong.

    OK – here's the debate of the day: For 9D I initially had SILENT P rather than L. I would argue the L is not silent. It may not be voiced as much as a "regulation" L, but it does affect how the end of the word is pronounced. I would posit that it's pronounced "salm" rather than "sam". I found both in various pronunciation keys.

    Sneaky clue/answer (which in general I appreciate), but I just don't know that it's accurate. I suspect it depends on the speaker and perhaps one's accent.

    Thoughts? Should we take this to the international crossword court in The Hague?

    Best –

  5. @Jeff
    I'm with you on "psalm" Jeff. I pronounce the "l," just like I do when I pronounce "calm." Definitely needs to be submitted to the court at The Hague!

    Otherwise a pretty easy grid for Thursday.. Challenging enough, but I didn't need any Advil after, either.

    Happy Thursday y'all. Here comes the weekend!

  6. SILENTL was one of Zhouquin's wacky clue/answers in my book, as well. The P is very much silent as much as it is in psychology or psychic.

    The problem is, the L is silent too, but in a more controversial sense. If you look at various dictionaries, it will show either a pronunciation of sa-hm or sa-am, the former interpreting the L, the latter not. Calm, palm, and caulk being other examples. The British seem to be the group that wants to make the L more silent than us Americans (I wanted to link to Oxford English but didn't find a link to the definition). I just chalk it up to her being a non-native English speaker and Norris not checking her too heavily.

    Dave Attell's show was indeed quite interesting, watched it many a times, and the answer came quite easily as a result.

  7. For those (like Glenn) who also does the WSJ daily puzzle I thought today's example was pretty darn challenging. I finally got it solved when the S East corner fell to my staring and thinking, but it wasn't easy (or fast).

  8. No problems except for the PSALM controversy.
    I plan on saying it the way I always have, with the "L" sound.
    Maybe Tony can relate to this..I just wish people out here in SoCal would stop saying
    "AL-A" for L.A. And yes, it's pretty warm out here.
    And Jeff, I'll sign the petition to take to The Hague.

  9. Depends on where you live and how you speak. The Polish in Chicago would not pronounce it, nor would Brooklynites, who says "sahm," but then again they also shop at a place called "Wal-Mahts." Being from the Midwest, I think I've always used a little bit of the L sound. I'm pretty sure the pastor of my church (who is German) uses it. But that's like Germans–they pronounce everything as it's written…exactly.

  10. @Tony Michaels
    I thought today's example was pretty darn challenging.

    Indeed. Thursday's clues were much too diffuse for me to get a whole lot on to even start making guesses. Friday's grid fell quicker, minus the usual lapses of knowledge and late week screw-ups I make (too many of those I want to admit). Now on to see if I can actually get close to the meta answer.

    Friday's LAT grid and Thursday's WSJ awaits…and hopefully a meta answer. After all, they are so absolutely totally super easy…so I keep hearing.

  11. This is interesting – silent P or silent L – I would definitely vote for the P. As Willie D says above, depends on where you're from. C.C. Burnickel is originally from China (mainland -) and she has picked up a lot of american english, in the US. I am very impressed. Also her husband's nickname happens to be Boomer, as in the AARP clue. I chuckled at that.

    Late today – first some serious IRS business – hopefully it will be resolved soon in our favor.

    Then a power outage for about 6 hours. I set up a circle of 12 tea lights before my wife came home, late at night. She said it looked romantic. ( well, that was not the intention ….). I must put in a plug for some cheap chinese, hand held generators/dynamos which work like a flashlight, with some LED lights. They never run out of power …. unlike all our regular batteries. In a power outage, you just keep pumping them, with one hand, and they give you instant candlepower, and also set up a reserve, so you can stop pumping, periodically, and use them as a regular flashlight. I love them, and in a power outage, they are very useful.

    I just read yesterdays posts – about my embarassing dessert for desert. I did not proofread well enough. But Sfingi and Pookie thanks for the funny jokes.

    During lunch today, at a fairly fancy chinese restaurant, one of my associates, got this 'fortune' in his cookie — 'Always review your aims before getting out of bed.'
    He took it in an overt sexual connotation, laughed for an embarassing 15 minutes, and kept reading it loudly over and over, even to some of the other patrons at the place. I wanted to rebuke him, but thought better of it. Not a pretty picture.

    Goodnight.

  12. Dang! Missed it by ONE LETTER!! I hate when that happens, but it's my own fault — I had RAHS instead of HAHS, even tho I never heard of a bean topped by a RAT. Then I come here and realize it's HAH!! as in "So there!!"
    It's funny, I immediately got SILENT L, because it fit, and didn't think of the more obvious silent P. So I've been saying "psalm" to myself since I read the controversy here. Result: I usually pronounce the L, but not always. Another wrinkle! In my case, it's a regional thing, I conclude. I'm born and raised in LA, and we're lazy, leaving out letters here and there.
    @Vidwan, thanks for the tip about cheap handheld dynamos — I'm always looking for emergency lighting, since blackouts really freak me out. Oh and BTW I DEFENDED YOU YESTERDAY!! 😀
    Sweet dreams~~™

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