LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Mar 16, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Venzke
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Where to see pop-ups ELECTRIC TOASTER
The electric toaster is a Scottish invention, created by the Alan McMasters in Edinburgh in 1893.

18. Caning material RATTAN
Rattan is the name of a large number of species of palms, all of which look less like trees and more like vines. The woody stems are used for making cane furniture.

20. N.S. setting AST
The Canadian province of Nova Scotia (NS) lies on the east coast of the country and is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The area was settled by Scots starting in 1621, and Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland”.

Atlantic Standard Time (AST) is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. The list of locations that use AST includes Puerto Rico and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

22. Thickening agent AGAR
Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

25. ’70s congresswoman known for wearing wide-brimmed hats ABZUG
Bella Abzug was one of the leader’s of the Women’s Movement that founded the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971. Abzug was elected to the US Congress the same year, helped along by a famous campaign slogan “This woman’s place is in the House – the House of Representatives”.

29. 15th-century golfer, probably SCOT
The modern game of golf originated in Scotland in the 15th century. The first written record of golf is actually a banning of the game, by King James II in 1457. King James IV was a fan of the golf, and so lifted the ban in 1502. The venerated Old Course at St. Andrews dates back to 1574. The first golf club established in the US was in Yonkers, New York in 1888. That first club was also named St. Andrews.

33. Likely to skid BALD
That would be a bald tire.

35. Iolani Palace locale OAHU
The ‘Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu is unique within this country. It is the only royal palace in the US that was used as an official residence by a reigning monarch. The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893 so the palace was used by successive governments even after Hawaii was awarded statehood in 1959. The palace has been a public museum since 1978.

36. Search result URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

37. Org. with a WaterSense program EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched its voluntary WaterSense program in 2006. Manufacturers who make products deemed to water efficient by the EPA can then place a WaterSense label on that product.

38. Mad man of film MAX
“Mad Max” is a series of Australian movies starring Mel Gibson in the title role. Well, Gibson plays the lead in the first three films (“Mad Max”, “The Road Warrior” and “Beyond Thunderdome”) and Tom Hardy plays Max in the fourth movie, “Fury Road”.

41. Early 17th-century pope PAUL V
Paul V was pope from 1605 until 1621. One of Paul V’s actions was to meet with Galileo in 1616, when he warned the polymath not to promulgate the notion that the planets orbited the sun.

43. “If wishes __ horses … ” WERE
According to the 16th-century proverb and nursery rhyme:

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride:
If turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side,:
If, Ifs and Ands were pots and pans,
There’d be no work for tinkers’ hands.

The suggestion is that there’s not much point in wishing, and that results are achieved by taking action.

47. Incidentally, briefly BTW
By the way (BTW)

49. __ Karate: old aftershave HAI
Hai Karate was a low-end aftershave sold in the sixties through the eighties. For a while, each bottle sold included self-defense instructions to help ward off women, because women just could not resist the scent!

51. Cricket official SCORER
Cricket is the national game of England. The term “cricket” apparently comes from the Old French word “criquet” meaning “goalpost, stick”.

61. Prepare for a ball DRESS TO THE NINES
The term “to the nines” means “to perfection”. The first person to use the term in literature was Robbie Burns. Apparently the idea behind the use of “nines” is figurative (pun!), with the number nine considered “ideal” as it is arrived at by multiplying three by three.

Down
1. First of September? ESS
The first letter in the word “September” is the letter S (ess).

3. Kett of old comics ETTA
“Etta Kett” was a comic strip that first ran in 1925. The strip ceased to be published in 1974, when creator Paul Robinson passed away. The initial intent was to offer tips to teenagers on manners and social graces, hence the name of the title character Etta Kett (sounds like “etiquette”).

4. Crème brûlée preparation CUSTARD
Crème brûlée is a classic French dessert consisting of a rich custard topped with a crusty layer of caramelized sugar. The name “crème brûlée” translates from French as “burnt cream”.

5. Hambletonian events TROTS
The Hambletonian Stakes is a harness race held annually at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The race is named for the trotter Hambletonian 10, a founding sire of the Standardbred horse breed.

6. Deferred payment RAN A TAB
When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

8. Rose team, on scoreboards CIN
The Red Scare (i.e. anti-communist sentiment) following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, as the management was fearful of losing money due to public distrust of any association with “Reds”.

Pete Rose was a talented baseball player who holds the record for all-time Major League hits. In recent years, his reputation has been tarnished by admissions that he bet on games in which he played and managed. And, Rose was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment for tax evasion.

9. Word in a readiness metaphor TOES
“Stay on your toes”, be ready for anything.

11. Orchard pest APHID
Aphids are called “greenfly” back in the British Isles where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids in my experience is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called ladybirds in Ireland!).

15. NFL linemen RTS
In American football, linemen specialize in playing in the line of scrimmage. RT stands for Right Tackle. That’s about all I know, and even that I am unsure about …

23. “The Kiss” was her last silent film GARBO
Famously, Greta Garbo lived a life of seclusion in New York City after she retired from the entertainment business. Commentators often associated her need for privacy with a line she uttered in the great 1932 movie “Grand Hotel”. Her character, Grusinskaya the Russian ballerina, said, “I want to be alone (…) I just want to be alone”.

“The Kiss” is a 1929 silent movie. It is remembered as the last silent film made by MGM, and the last silent film in which Greta Garbo appeared.

24. Historian Nevins ALLAN
Allan Nevins was a historian known for his books about the American Civil War, and his biographies of the likes of Grover Cleveland, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller.

26. Another name for bluegill BREAM
The bluegill is a member of the sunfish family, although it is a freshwater fish. It is also known as bream, brim or copper nose. The bluegill has the honor of being the state fish of Illinois.

27. Close, as a parka ZIP UP
A parka is a hooded, often fur jacket that is worn in cold weather. The original parka was a pullover design, but nowadays it is usually zipped at the front. “Parka” is the Russian name for the garment , absorbed into English in the late 1700s via the Aleut language.

28. 1960s Interior secretary Stewart __ UDALL
Stewart Udall was a three-term congressman for Arizona before serving as Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969, in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. After Udall passed away in 2010, the US Department of the Interior Building was renamed to the Stewart Lee Udall Building.

30. Alpaca relative CAMEL
Alpacas are like small llamas, but unlike llamas were never beasts of burden. Alpacas were bred specifically for the fleece. As such, there are no known wild alpacas these days, even in their native Peru.

31. Orchard Field, today O’HARE
O’Hare International is the busiest airport in the world in terms of takeoffs and landings. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII. As an aside, Butch O’Hare’s father Edward was a lawyer friend of Al Capone who eventually worked undercover for the IRS and helped get the famous gangster convicted on tax evasion. Some years later, Edward was shot to death while driving his car.

32. Spiffy attire TUXES
The style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

A spiff is a well-dressed man.

40. Engine rebuilding jobs REBORES
Over time, the cylinders of an engine can become worn and slightly oval. This can necessitate a rebore. The resulting diameter is oversize, but smooth and circular.

43. Surfing mecca WAIKIKI
Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu, and home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name “Waikiki” means “spouting fresh water” in Hawaiian.

51. Beverly Hills sighting STAR
I remember my first non-business visit to Los Angeles. I was a typical tourist and bought a map showing the homes of the stars and drove around Beverly Hills absorbing all the glitz. At one point I drove past a Rolls Royce that was stopped in oncoming traffic, waiting to make a left turn. The window was down, and the driver was puffing away on a big cigar. It was none other than Bob Hope. Seeing him there right beside me, that was a big thrill …

52. Old beehive oven product COKE
Coke is coal that has been baked at very high temperatures to drive off volatile constituents such as water, coal-gas and coal tar. The resulting coke looks like coal, but is grey, porous and much lighter.

54. Sellecca’s “Intelligence for Your Life TV” co-host TESH
John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter. For many years Tesh presented the show “Entertainment Tonight”. For “ET” he once covered the filming of an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. As part of the piece, he volunteered to act as a Klingon warrior and so if you see the “Star Trek: TNG” episode called “The Icarus Factor” in reruns, watch out for John Tesh engaging in ritual torture with Mr. Worf as his victim.

Connie Sellecca is an actress who is best known for her recurring roles on the TV shows “The Greatest American Hero” and Hotel” in the 1980s. Sellecca has been married to pianist John Tesh since 1992.

56. Toque spot TETE
“Tête” is French for “head”.

A toque was a brimless style of hat that was very fashionable in Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries. Nowadays we associate toques with chefs, as it is the name given to a chef’s hat (called a “toque blanche” in French, a “white hat”). A chef’s toque is quite interesting. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats, often said to signify the number of ways that an egg can be cooked.

58. “__-Willow”: “The Mikado” song TIT
“Tit Willow” is a song from Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Mikado”. The song refers to the Willow Tit, a small bird found right across Europe and Asia.

“The Mikado” is a wonderful comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, set in the exotic location of Japan. “Mikado” is a former term for the “Emperor of Japan”.

59. Cleaning product with two periods in its name SOS
S.O.S is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an acronym for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Where to see pop-ups ELECTRIC TOASTER
16. Holding capacity SATURATION POINT
17. Doesn’t do anything SITS ON ONE’S HANDS
18. Caning material RATTAN
19. Shows frugality STINTS
20. N.S. setting AST
21. Word on some dipsticks ADD
22. Thickening agent AGAR
25. ’70s congresswoman known for wearing wide-brimmed hats ABZUG
29. 15th-century golfer, probably SCOT
33. Likely to skid BALD
34. Train puller BRIDE
35. Iolani Palace locale OAHU
36. Search result URL
37. Org. with a WaterSense program EPA
38. Mad man of film MAX
39. Letter-shaped beam Z-BAR
41. Early 17th-century pope PAUL V
43. “If wishes __ horses … ” WERE
44. Sector ZONE
45. Liberal AMPLE
46. They’re frequently tapped ALES
47. Incidentally, briefly BTW
49. __ Karate: old aftershave HAI
51. Cricket official SCORER
54. Certain summons TICKET
57. Security employees STORE DETECTIVES
60. Doesn’t care for TAKES A DISLIKE TO
61. Prepare for a ball DRESS TO THE NINES

Down
1. First of September? ESS
2. Cave, say LAIR
3. Kett of old comics ETTA
4. Crème brûlée preparation CUSTARD
5. Hambletonian events TROTS
6. Deferred payment RAN A TAB
7. Get __ the record IT ON
8. Rose team, on scoreboards CIN
9. Word in a readiness metaphor TOES
10. Performing ONSTAGE
11. Orchard pest APHID
12. Dirty rat SO-AND-SO
13. Glare reducer TINT
14. Circle’s lack ENDS
15. NFL linemen RTS
22. Talking excitedly ABUZZ
23. “The Kiss” was her last silent film GARBO
24. Historian Nevins ALLAN
26. Another name for bluegill BREAM
27. Close, as a parka ZIP UP
28. 1960s Interior secretary Stewart __ UDALL
30. Alpaca relative CAMEL
31. Orchard Field, today O’HARE
32. Spiffy attire TUXES
40. Engine rebuilding jobs REBORES
41. Checked out, feline-style PAWED AT
42. Jam component VEHICLE
43. Surfing mecca WAIKIKI
48. Bun element TRESS
50. Join the cast of ACT IN
51. Beverly Hills sighting STAR
52. Old beehive oven product COKE
53. Change in appearance REDO
54. Sellecca’s “Intelligence for Your Life TV” co-host TESH
55. Still EVEN
56. Toque spot TETE
57. Benchmark: Abbr. STD
58. “__-Willow”: “The Mikado” song TIT
59. Cleaning product with two periods in its name SOS

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5 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Mar 16, Saturday”

  1. 6 errors. Mainly like yesterday, all things I couldn't think of alternatives for, and couldn't prove wrong (the spaces…the spaces). Once I corrected those, the puzzle fell well enough.

    Thoughts: 40-Down. How many are going to know this? 39-Across: I guess there's a bar for every letter of the alphabet, even if I've never heard of it in my life. Though a Z-Bar looks nothing like a Z… 14-Down: A circle wouldn't have ends, but wouldn't this be true of any geometric shape (I had EDGE for this)? 57-Across: Didn't know stores had security that one would call "detectives", but I guess a job title inflation like calling a trash hauler a "sanitation engineer"?

  2. Miracles happen apparently. Finished this one unaided. An errorless, Googleless (is that a word??) Saturday puzzle is a rara avis indeed for me. BTW – Since I did complete this one, I'm allowed to use pompous crosswordese like rara avis in this case. The middle wasn't hard and I used that to work outward towards the longer answers. The strategy worked.

    I remember the HAI Karate commercials when I was a kid. It was some guy using karate to fight off all of the women who were all over him – presumably because of the after shave. Those were great commercials – every bit as classic as the gorilla with the Samsonite luggage. Nice nostalgia there.

    @Glenn
    REBORES I had to just get via crosses and intuitively. Other geometric shapes have endpoints for the lines that make up the figure. Even arcs have ends, but circles don't. Z Bar was news to me as well. Wonder what a Q Bar would look like??

    Time to go be smug all day over this one

    Best –

  3. @Jeff
    Other geometric shapes have endpoints for the lines that make up the figure.

    By that logic (if you follow geometry out), if a circle is one line segment that constitutes an arc of 360 degrees (noting arcs exist which are more than 360 deg), the ends of the line segment are mated, but the line segment would still have ends. A triangle or a square would have multiple line segments while a circle would not.
    Utterly strange clue indeed, in my book.

    Just got the Sunday grid done out of my paper today. Probably going to be an easy one for most, if how I did is any measure. Further discussion can wait on that one until tomorrow.

  4. The origins of the circle are undefined. All other shapes the endpoints are indeed defined. And I was referring to arcs under 360 degrees if you want me to be more specific. The clue was fine in my book.

  5. This was much less challenging than I was anticipating. Finished without too much staring and thinking time (those are my criteria for how difficult a grid is).

    Have a great weekend all.

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