LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Mar 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: John R. O’Brien
THEME: Portmanteau … each of today’s themed answers is a portmanteau word, a blend of two other words:

62A. 17-, 27- or 46-Across PORTMANTEAU

17A. Latter-day Beau Brummel METROSEXUAL (from “metropolitan heterosexual”)
27A. Eponymous ’80s fiscal policy REAGANOMICS (from “Reagan economics”)
46A. Crossbred guide dog LABRADOODLE (from “Labrador poodle”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 45s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Transparent LIMPID
A liquid (or eyes, for that matter) described as “limpid” is said to be “clear”. It derives from the Latin “limpa” meaning “water goddess” or “water”, which is the same root as our word “lymph”.

7. Pasture mom MARE
There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

– Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
– Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
– Filly: female horse under the age of four
– Colt: male horse under the age of four
– Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
– Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
– Mare: female horse four years or older

11. Beaver project DAM
Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

15. Stein fillers ALES
A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is the German for “stone”.

16. Detroit-to-Harrisburg dir. ESE
Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan. Detroit was founded in 1701 by the French explorer Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. The city takes its name from the Detroit River, which in French is called “le détroit du Lac Érié” meaning “the strait of Lake Erie.

The city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is the state’s capital. The city was named for John Harris, Sr. who operated a ferry across the Susquehanna River that runs through Harrisburg. Harrisburg is home to the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, which is located alongside the Susquehanna, and which had a partial meltdown in 1979.

17. Latter-day Beau Brummell METROSEXUAL (from “metropolitan heterosexual”)
I think it’s generally accepted that the term “metrosexual”, from “metropolitan heterosexual”, refers to a man who lives in an urban environment and puts a fair amount of money and energy into his appearance. That wouldn’t be me …

Beau Brummell was a friend of the future King George IV of England, and established himself as the arbiter of men’s fashions at the time. He claimed that it took him five hours to get dressed properly, and that he had his boots polished with champagne. It was Brummell who popularized the fashion of wearing a fitted jacket and pants with a knotted cravat. So, we guys have Brummell to thank/blame for us having to wear business suits with ties.

19. School support gp. PTA
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

21. Virtual people, in a game series SIMS
“SimCity” is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. “SimCity” was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

22. Wrap for leftovers FOIL
Before thin sheets of aluminum metal were available, thin sheets of tin were used in various applications. Tin foil isn’t a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it’s not just the different spelling of aluminum (“aluminium”). We still call it “tin foil”. You see, we live in the past …

23. Ambles MOSEYS
“Mosey” is American slang for “amble”, of unknown origin.

25. Mount Rushmore quartet NOSES
The four presidents whose faces are carved in the granite face of Mount Rushmore are (from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Each of the presidents is about 60 feet in height, although they might have been larger. The original intent was for the presidents to be depicted from head to waist, but the project lost funding.

27. Eponymous ’80s fiscal policy REAGANOMICS (from “Reagan economics”)
The economic policies promoted by the Reagan administration in the eighties came to be known as “Reaganomics”. The policy had four main elements:

1. Reduction in the growth of government spending
2. Reduction in the rate of federal income tax and capital gains tax
3. Reduction in government regulation
4. Tightening of the money supply

31. Furry Persians CATS
The Persian is a long-haired cat with a squashed muzzle. The breed takes its name from its place of origin, namely Persia (Iran).

35. Norse god of war TYR
Týr is the Norse god of single combat, victory and heroic glory. According to legend, Týr showed great courage when he and his fellow gods were attempting to shackle the wolf monster called Fenrir. The wolf was tricked into accepting bindings that were actually magical ribbons of great strength. Fenrir submitted to the bonds because Týr agreed to place his hand in the wolf’s mouth, as a gesture of assurance that the ribbon was harmless. When Fenrir recognized the deceit, he bit off Týr’s hand. As a result, the god Týr is almost always depicted with only one hand.

38. Grenoble’s river ISERE
The Isère river gives its name to the French Department of Isère, located partly in the French Alps. In turn, Isère gave its name to a somewhat famous ship called the Isère, which in 1885 delivered the Statue of Liberty from France to America in 214 shipping crates.

Grenoble is a city at the edge of the French Alps. Grenoble hosted the 1968 Winter Olympic Games.

41. Corned beef order LEAN
Corned beef is beef that has been cured with salt. “Corn” is an alternative term for a grain of salt, giving the dish its name. Corned beef is also known as “salt beef”, and “bully beef” if stored in cans (from the French “bouilli” meaning “boiled”).

44. Bogotá’s land: Abbr. COL
Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. Noted for having many libraries and universities, Bogotá is sometimes referred to as “The Athens of South America”.

46. Crossbred guide dog LABRADOODLE (from “Labrador poodle”)
Poodle hybrids are sometimes described as “designer dogs”. Examples are the Labradoodle (Labrador retriever and poodle cross), cockapoo (cocker-spaniel and poodle cross) and Jack-A-Poo (Jack Russell and poodle cross).

50. “Vamoose!” SCRAM!
“To vamoose” is to “to leave”, coming from the Spanish “vamos” meaning “let’s go”.

55. Rocker David Lee __ ROTH
David Lee Roth is rock singer, who was famously the lead singer of the band Van Halen from Southern California.

57. Southwestern land formation MESA
“Mesa” is the Spanish for “table”, which gives to our English usage of “mesa” to describe a geographic feature.

61. Wall St. debut IPO
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

New York’s famous “Wall Street” was originally named by the Dutch as “de Waal Straat”.

62. 17-, 27- or 46-Across PORTMANTEAU
A portmanteau was a large suitcase, one that could be taken apart into two separate pieces. The word “portmanteau” is French for a “travelling bag”, from “porter” (to carry) and “manteau” (a coat, cloak). We also use “portmanteau” to mean a word that has been melded together from two parts (just as the suitcase comprised two parts). This usage was introduced to the world by Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. He explained to Alice that the nonsense words in the “Jabberwocky” poem were actually portmanteau words. For example “slithy” comes from from “slimy” and “lithe”.

64. Downing Street address TEN
10 Downing Street is one of the most famous street addresses in the world and is the official London residence of the British Prime Minister. Although it may not look it on television, it’s a spacious pad, actually a larger house made by combining three older houses back in the 1700s. Although Number 10 has over one hundred rooms, they are mostly offices and reception rooms and the actual residence itself is quite modest. It was so modest that when Tony Blair came to power he opted to move himself and his family into the more spacious residence next door at Number 11, an apartment traditionally reserved for the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the UK equivalent of the Secretary of the Treasury). The succeeding Prime Minister, David Cameron, seemed to like the idea, because he now lives in Number 11 as well.

67. Chemical suffix -ENE
An alkene is an organic compound made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It differs from an alkane in that it has at least one C=C double bond. The simplest alkene is the gas ethylene, a major raw material used in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).

68. Baseball gripping point SEAM
A baseball is made by wrapping string around a rubber or cork center, and then covering the resulting sphere with leather. The string inside a baseball can measure up to a mile in length.

Down
3. Utah’s “Industry,” for one MOTTO
When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag. In 1959, “Industry” was even chosen as the state motto, for the term’s association with the beehive.

6. Cavity filler’s deg. DDS
Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

8. Grad who may use “née” in a college newsletter ALUMNA
An “alumnus” (plural … alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural … alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

10. Night school subj. ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

12. Piedmont wine region ASTI
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

13. McDonald’s “Happy” offering MEAL
The McDonald’s Happy Meal was introduced in 1977. The Happy Meal was inspired by a selection of food designed in a Guatemalan McDonald’s to suit children that was called “Menu Ronald”.

18. Op-ed pieces ESSAYS
Op-Ed is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-Eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

24. Himalayan legend YETI
A yeti is a beast of legend, also called an abominable snowman. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

26. Note between fa and la SOL
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

28. __-Roman wrestling GRECO
Greco-Roman wrestling was contested at the first modern Olympic Games, back in 1896. Back then there was relatively little regulation of the sport and Greco-Roman contests were noted for their brutality. Bouts also took a long time to finish, often lasting hours. In fact, the competitors in the 1912 Olympic final were both awarded silver medals when the bout was ended by the judges after eight hours of wrestling.

29. Spiced Indian brew CHAI
Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

31. PC key not used alone CTRL
The control key (Ctrl.)

33. Arizona town where the Earps and Clantons fought TOMBSTONE
The Arizona town of Tombstone built up around a mine that was owned by one Ed Schieffelin. Schieffelin had been told by US soldiers stationed in the area that the only stone (ore sample) he would find in the area was his tombstone. Regardless, he did file a claim, and it was centered on the grave site of one of his men who had been killed by Apaches. Schieffelin filed papers under the name “the Tombstone claim”.

39. ’90s White House name RODHAM
Hillary Rodham was born in Chicago, Illinois to Hugh Rodham (a businessman in the textile industry) and Dorothy Howell (a homemaker). Hillary was raised in a conservative home, and she campaigned for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the 1964 US presidential election. The following year, she served as president of the Young Republicans at Wellesley College. Our former First Lady left the Republican Party expressing disappointment at what she witnessed at the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, citing “veiled” racist messages prevalent at that time.

40. Glamour rival ELLE
“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

The women’s monthly magazine “Glamour” was founded in 1939 as “Glamour of Hollywood”.

43. Bogey beater PAR
The term “Bogey” originated at the Great Yarmouth Golf Club in England in 1890, and was used to indicate a total round that was one-over-par (and not one-over-par on a particular hole, as it is today). The name Bogey came from a music hall song of the time “Here Comes the Bogey Man”. In the following years it became popular for players trying to stay at par to be “playing against Colonel Bogey”. Then, during WWI, the marching tune “Colonel Bogey” was written and named after the golfing term. If you don’t recognize the name of the tune, it’s the one that’s whistled by the soldiers marching in the great movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”.

47. Crooner Vic DAMONE
Vic Damone is a singer from Brooklyn, New York. As a young man Damone started taking voice lessons, inspired by his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra. Decades later, Sinatra said that Damone had “the best pipes in the business”.

48. Mafioso code of honor OMERTA
Omertà is a code of honor in southern Italian society. The term has been adopted by the Mafia to mean a code of silence designed to prevent a Mafioso from becoming an informer. For example, the famous Joe Valachi was someone who broke the code of silence in 1963, informing on the New York Mafia. Valachi’s story was told in the movie “The Valachi Papers”, with Charles Bronson playing the lead.

A Mafioso is a member of the Mafia, with the plural being Mafiosi (or sometimes Mafiosos).

49. W-2 form recipient EARNER
Form W-2 is provided by US employers to their employees by January 31 each year. The form reports wages paid to the employees and taxes withheld from them.

52. “À __ santé!” VOTRE
“À votre santé” is French for “to your health”. Cheers!

53. Olympic swords EPEES
There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, distinguished by the weapon used:

– Foil
– Épée
– Sabre

54. Revolutionary diplomat Silas DEANE
Silas Deane was a member of the Continental Congress. When Deane was dispatched to Paris by the Congress, he became America’s first foreign diplomat. His amazing story is told in Joel Richard Paul’s book called “Unlikely Allies”.

60. “Mrs. Robinson,” e.g. DUET
When Mike Nichols was making the 1967 film “The Graduate” he apparently became obsessed with the music of Simon and Garfunkel, who were just coming into the limelight. Nichols made a deal with Paul Simon to write three songs that he could use on the soundtrack of his new movie. Simon and Garfunkel were touring constantly around that time, so Nichols had to badger Simon to hold up his end of the bargain. When Nichols was ready to lay down the film’s soundtrack there was only one commissioned song available, so Nichols had to basically beg Paul Simon for anything. Simon mentioned that he was finishing up one new song, but it wasn’t written for the film. It was more a celebration of former times, with lyrics about baseball great Joe DiMaggio and former First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt. Nichols informed Simon that the song was no longer about Mrs. Roosevelt, and instead it was about Mrs. Robinson …

63. Cairo cobra ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different animal families. The term “cobra” is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is the largest city on the continent of Africa and is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Transparent LIMPID
7. Pasture mom MARE
11. Beaver project DAM
14. On the plane ABOARD
15. Stein fillers ALES
16. Detroit-to-Harrisburg dir. ESE
17. Latter-day Beau Brummell METROSEXUAL
19. School support gp. PTA
20. No longer on one’s plate EATEN
21. Virtual people, in a game series SIMS
22. Wrap for leftovers FOIL
23. Ambles MOSEYS
25. Mount Rushmore quartet NOSES
27. Eponymous ’80s fiscal policy REAGANOMICS (from “Reagan economics”)
31. Furry Persians CATS
35. Norse god of war TYR
36. Wood shaper LATHE
37. Home run jog TROT
38. Grenoble’s river ISERE
41. Corned beef order LEAN
42. Update, as a cartographer might REMAP
44. Bogotá’s land: Abbr. COL
45. Cut a paragraph, say EDIT
46. Crossbred guide dog LABRADOODLE (from “Labrador poodle”)
50. “Vamoose!” SCRAM!
51. Threw with effort HEAVED
55. Rocker David Lee __ ROTH
57. Southwestern land formation MESA
59. Lured (in) ROPED
61. Wall St. debut IPO
62. 17-, 27- or 46-Across PORTMANTEAU
64. Downing Street address TEN
65. Poker stake ANTE
66. Cool and collected SERENE
67. Chemical suffix -ENE
68. Baseball gripping point SEAM
69. Car radio button PRESET

Down
1. Like a weak excuse LAME
2. Skyscraper support I-BEAM
3. Utah’s “Industry,” for one MOTTO
4. Cuts the rind off PARES
5. Crease maker, or crease remover IRONER
6. Cavity filler’s deg. DDS
7. Modest skirt MAXI
8. Grad who may use “née” in a college newsletter ALUMNA
9. Good thinking REASON
10. Night school subj. ESL
11. Added to one’s bank account DEPOSITED
12. Piedmont wine region ASTI
13. McDonald’s “Happy” offering MEAL
18. Op-ed pieces ESSAYS
22. Hen or ewe FEMALE
24. Himalayan legend YETI
26. Note between fa and la SOL
28. __-Roman wrestling GRECO
29. Spiced Indian brew CHAI
30. On its way SENT
31. PC key not used alone CTRL
32. Geometry calculation AREA
33. Arizona town where the Earps and Clantons fought TOMBSTONE
34. Collar stiffener STARCH
39. ’90s White House name RODHAM
40. Glamour rival ELLE
43. Bogey beater PAR
47. Crooner Vic DAMONE
48. Mafioso code of honor OMERTA
49. W-2 form recipient EARNER
52. “À __ santé!” VOTRE
53. Olympic swords EPEES
54. Revolutionary diplomat Silas DEANE
55. Solemn ceremony RITE
56. Start the bidding OPEN
58. Goblet part STEM
60. “Mrs. Robinson,” e.g. DUET
62. Partners for mas PAS
63. Cairo cobra ASP

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Mar 16, Tuesday”

  1. Twas brillig,
    And the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    and the mome raths outgrabe.

    My time on this thing can only be described as "fugly"…oops, another portmanteau.

    Can't wait to hear whether the REMAPpin system of "base & range" is superior to the "metes & bounds" system

  2. I had fun with the puzzle – easy and yet a little daring. ( Your opinions may differ …)

    I didn't know 'Mrs.Robinson' was a duet – what, Mrs. R. joined in to eulogize herself ? Now that I recall, both Simon and Garfunkle sang it together ….

    Bill, thanks for my word of the day – Limpid. I thought limpid was, (wait-for-it – ) … limp …. or some sort of fish that sucks up to you, and sticks to you, …. or some dort of sticky 'mine' used in sea warfare.

    I though Beau Brummel was the guy who designed the first underground sewage system, in the world, in London. That was Josepf Bazalgette.

    Have a nice day, all.

  3. A little tricky for an early week puzzle. LIMPID was new to me too. I was unsure of it even after getting the crosses.

    @Vidwan
    "Yell 'FIRE' in case of fire" takes the cake. I've worked for some impressively bureaucratic entities (e.g. IBM and McDonnell Douglas), and I was trying to think of something to match that. After I couldn't, I tried to make one up, and I still couldn't.

    Still groggy from the time change..Grrrrr!!

    Best –

  4. For the record, the fish or snail that sucks up and sticks to rocks is a Limpet. And the name of the magnetic mine, used effectively in WW II, is also the Limpet mine.

    Jeff, this might take the prize in red tape…..

    In 1960, the Govt. of India ( GOI) discovered ( – not for the first time – ) that they did not know anything about chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing processes. After a series of mishaps and industrial accidents, they decided to enforce a 'No Objection Certificate' ( an NOC ) requirement for all industrialists, who might want to set up a manufacturing plant…. involving any chemical transformation whatsoever. Because of the fear and lack of knowledge, among bureaucrats, and consequent corruption, and large delays …. the new chemical industry eventually ground to a complete halt.

    About 5 years later, the govt. amended the Act, for reasons of 'efficiency and progress', …. there was now a time limit, from the initial date of submission of papers,of 90 days, for the 'objections' to be issued by the govt. If the NOC was not issued by that time, the private businesses could assume a safe harbor of 'proper and implicit NOC' …. and start construction of their plant and machinery.

    So, the capitalists solved this complex algorithm, by bribing the clerks (babu's) of the relevant departments – who promptly disappeared with the submission files – the moment they had been initially (and officially …) submitted – never to appear again …. and the business would start construction…. exactly 90 days later.

    Then a tremendous explosion in 1968, in a dyestuff manf. plant sent shivers into the govt. This plant has been explicitly given an NOC by the govt. So they, the govt. instituted another device …… an 'Objection Certificate' … to be issued, AFTER the issue of an No Objection Certificate, whereby the govt. would take "objection" at something that "might happen", 'in the future', …. and take the govt. off the hook for a process they never even understood … for any consequent damages. Once you got this valuable, "Objection Certificate" , you were free to start your construction of the plant and start manufacturing !!!

    Apologies for this long story.

  5. Hi Vidwan – As far as I know there isn't a "limpet" fish. They are all snails (gastropods). The fish that sucks on to sharks is a remora, although there may be other fish in that family that does the same sort of sucking up! (g)

  6. Inre mapping: boy what an education when I pursued the "metes and bounds" vs "base and range"; don't forget "arpents" for the Louisiana Purchase. I had no idea!

    Apparently "New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas and the six New England States" still use metes and bounds, which must please lawyers to no end.

    A typical farm boundary: "Beginning at a stone on the Bank of Doe River, at a point where the highway from A. to B. crosses said river (see point marked C. on Diagram 1); thence 40 degrees North of West 100 rods to a large stump; then 10 degrees North of West 90 rods; thence 15 degrees West of North 80 rods to an oak tree (see Witness Tree on Diagram 1); then due East 150 rods to the highway; thence following the course of the highway 50 rods due North; then 5 degrees North of East 90 rods; thence 45 degrees of South 60 rods; thence 10 degrees North of East 200 rods to the Doe River; thence following the course of the river Southwesterly to the place of beginning."

    I'm going to go with base and range, although this method is also pretty arcane, at least to me.

    For more see: http://www.surveyhistory.org/metes_&_bounds_vs__public_lands.htm

    and http://nationalmap.gov/small_scale/a_plss.html

    As for the crossword; I had no problems at all and finished well within my time although a multiple of Bill's.

  7. I can trot out my rarely used portmanteau: Fuzzle! I liked this grid, and I found it a good challenge.
    @Anon~the typical farm boundary~so funny! Sounds so quaint, but I'd sure hate to have to figure it out.
    Sweet dreams~~

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