LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Mar 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Pawel Fludzinski
THEME: Swimming Strokes … each of our themed answers starts with a STROKE used in the sports event known as medley SWIMMING:

56A. Olympic medley found in order at the starts of this puzzle’s four other longest answers SWIMMING STROKES

17A. 1985 film featuring Doc Brown and Marty McFly BACK TO THE FUTURE
22A. Possible place for a train ticket BREAST POCKET
37A. Concept that small changes can have large consequences, as in theoretical time travel BUTTERFLY EFFECT
46A. Improvisational music genre FREESTYLE RAP

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Gin and tonic, e.g. NOUNS
The spirit known as gin gets its unique flavor mainly from juniper berries. The name “gin” comes into English from the translation of “juniper” from either French (genièvre), Dutch (jenever) or Italian (ginepro).

The original tonic water was a fairly strong solution of the drug quinine dissolved in carbonated water. It was used in tropical areas in South Asia and Africa where malaria is rampant. The quinine has a prophylactic effect against the disease, and was formulated as “tonic water” so that it could be easily distributed. In British colonial India, the colonial types got into the habit of mixing in gin with the tonic water to make it more palatable by hiding the bitter taste of the quinine. Nowadays, the level of quinine in tonic water has been dropped, and sugar has been added.

6. Outback birds EMUS
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as “the outback” or “the bush”. Although, I think that “outback” can also be used for the more remote parts of the bush.

10. “Pardon the Interruption” channel ESPN
“Pardon the Interruption” is a sports show airing on ESPN that follows the format that was used for the show “Siskel and Ebert”. The show’s 10th anniversary episode included a congratulatory message from President Obama.

14. Photographer Leibovitz ANNIE
The wonderful, wonderful photographer Annie Leibovitz was given the assignment to capture iconic musician John Lennon. During the photoshoot, Lennon insisted that his wife Yoko Ono be included in the shot. The result was the memorable “Rolling Stones” cover in which a naked Lennon is is kissing Yoko Ono while the two lie on the ground. Sadly, very sadly, Lennon was shot and killed just five hours later.

17. 1985 film featuring Doc Brown and Marty McFly BACK TO THE FUTURE
In the fun 1985 movie “Back to the Future”, Marty McFly finds himself back in 1955, and is trying to get BACK to his FUTURE, which is 1985. But on the other hand, 1985 is really Marty’s present, before he went back in time. Why does time travel have to be so complicated …?

19. Sesame __ OIL
Sesame oil is extracted from sesame seeds. Sesame oil is one of the nutritionally “good” oils in that it is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Unlike most “good” oils, sesame oil keeps at room temperature, due to the presence of naturally occurring preservatives.

20. Julio to julio ANO
In Spanish, an “ano” (year) can run from “julio” (July) to “julio” (July).

21. Potter’s practice MAGIC
The author of the amazingly successful “Harry Potter” series of books is J. K. Rowling. Rowling wrote the first book when she was living on welfare in Edinburgh in Scotland, and in longhand. She would often write in local cafes, largely because she needed to get her baby daughter out of the house (she was a single mom), and the youngster would tend to fall asleep on walks. Within five years, the single mom on welfare became a very rich woman, and is now worth over $1 billion!

27. AFL partner CIO
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

28. __ Bator ULAN
The name “Ulan Bator” translates from Mongolian as “the Red Hero”, and is Mongolia’s capital city. The “Red Hero” name was chosen in honor of the country’s national hero, Damdin Sükhbaatar. Sükhbaatar fought alongside the Soviet Red Army in the fight for liberation from Chinese occupation.

29. Dude BRO
Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, Easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

36. “Nessun dorma,” e.g. ARIA
“Nessun dorma” has to be the tenor aria that most tugs at the heart strings. It is taken from the last act of Puccini’s opera “Turandot”, and translates as “None shall sleep”. Back in my part of the world, “Nessun dorma” became a hit in the popular music charts, with a version by Pavarotti being used as the theme song to the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. No other classical recording has ever done better in the charts.

37. Concept that small changes can have large consequences, as in theoretical time travel BUTTERFLY EFFECT
The “butterfly effect” in chaos theory embraces the idea that a relatively large event is dependent on an earlier, much smaller event. The classic theoretical example is a hurricane that started with the flapping of a distant butterfly’s wings several weeks earlier.

40. Cheese with an edible rind BRIE
Brie is a soft cheese, named after the French region from which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) camembert.

41. Shakes a leg HIES
“To hie” is to move quickly, to bolt.

42. White House staffers AIDES
Completed in 1800, there is evidence that the public referred to building as “the White House” as early as 1811. However, the official designations included “President’s Palace”, “Presidential Mansion” and “President’s House”, and for many years “Executive Mansion”. It was President Theodore Roosevelt who signaled the use of the current name when he had “White House – Washington” engraved on letterhead in 1901.

45. Michael Caine title SIR
There have been only two actors who have been nominated for an Academy Award in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s. One is Jack Nicholson, and the other is Michael Caine. Caine is now known as Sir Michael Caine, as he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the year 2000.

51. Pastoral tribe of Kenya MASAI
The Masai (also “Maasai”) are a semi-nomadic people found in Kenya and Tanzania. They are semi-nomadic in that over the years they have been migrating from the Lower Nile Valley in northwest Kenya, and are moving into Tanzania.

54. Sch. with a Phoenix campus ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

61. Heredity sources GENE POOLS
A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

63. Got off the ground TEED
The concept of “teeing up” a ball so that it can more easily be struck comes from golf. Golf balls were originally teed up using a small pile of sand, with wooden tees being introduced in the late 1800s.

64. Brogan or brogue SHOE
A brogan is a heavy boot, with the original brogans being boots worn by soldiers on both sides during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Apparently some British soldiers in the Revolutionary War wore brogans that could be worn on either foot in an attempt to get more even wear.

A brogue is more commonly called a wingtip here in the US, I think. The shoe design originated in Ireland and Scotland, and “brog” the Irish word (and similar Scottish word) for shoe gives rise to the name. The brogue/wingtip design includes decorative perforations in the leather uppers. The toe cap of a brogue curves back in a shape that suggest the tip of a brid’s wing, hence the alternative name.

Down
1. Big wheel NABOB
A nabob is a person of wealth and prominence. “Nabob” comes from the title of a governor in India.

3. Claudius, to Caligula UNCLE
I find Claudius to be the most fascinating of all the Roman Emperors. Claudius had a lot going against him as he walked with a limp and was slightly deaf. He was put in office by the Praetorian Guard (the emperor’s bodyguards) after Caligula was assassinated. Claudius had very little political experience and yet proved to be very forward-thinking and capable.

Caligula was emperor of Rome after Tiberius, and before Claudius. “Caligula” was actually a nickname for Gaius Germanicus. Gaius’s father was a successful general in the Roman army and his soldiers called young Gaius “Caligula”, meaning “little soldier’s boot”.

6. Legally prohibit ESTOP
The term “estop” means to block or stop by using some legal device. The word “estop” comes from Old French, in which “estopper” means “to stop up” or “to impede”.

7. “Whatevs” MEH
“Meh” is one of those terms unfamiliar to me outside of crosswords. It is a modern colloquialism meaning “I’m not great, but not bad”. A friendly reader of this blog tells me that the usage of the term increased dramatically after it started to appear regularly in “The Simpsons” starting in the early nineties.

8. Oil-rich fed. UAE
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

9. 50+, e.g., on a L’Oréal tube: Abbr. 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 …

L’Oréal is a French cosmetics company, apparently the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world.

13. Fraction of a min. NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns”, and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

16. Light bulb unit LUMEN
The lumen is a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a source.

23. Under 90 degrees ACUTE
In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

– acute (< 90 degrees)
– right (= 90 degrees)
– obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees)
– straight (180 degrees)
– reflex (> 180 degrees)

24. Factory stores OUTLETS
Outlet stores are stores where manufacturers sell directly to the public, without going through a middleman like a department store, say. The original outlet stores were physically located by a factory and were mainly used to sell off damaged or excess inventory at marked down prices. I used to work for GE many moons ago and remember buying a couple of televisions in an outlet store as they had been used for life testing by GE’s quality assurance group. They were probably the best television sets the company produced as they had been extensively quality tested, and I picked them up for just a few bucks. They both lasted for decades …

32. First name in advice ABBY
The advice column “Dear Abby” first appeared in 1956. Pauline Phillips was Abby back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the “Abby” pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Phillips came up with by combining “Abigail” from the biblical Book of Samuel, and “Van Buren” after the former US president.

34. Big name in elevators OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

35. Taxpayer’s option E-FILE
E-file: that’s what I do with my tax return …

38. South Korea’s first president RHEE
Syngman Rhee was born in Korea, but received much of his education in the US, including a Ph.D. from Princeton. The very much westernized Rhee returned to Korea in 1910, a Korea that by then had been annexed by Japan. Soon after he found himself President of a Provisional Government of Korea based in Shanghai, but was eventually ousted for misuse of power. After WWII, Rhee was installed as President, heavily backed by the United States. However, Rhee’s rule proved to be more like tyranny and during the Korean War his relationship with the US Government became very strained. He stayed in power until 1960 when student revolts became popular enough to force him out of office. The CIA flew him out of the country and he went into exile in Hawaii, where a few years later he died of a stroke.

39. Learning opportunities for many FAILURES
One might learn from one’s mistakes.

47. Café cup TASSE
“Tasse” is the French word for “cup”.

51. High-ranking NCO MSGT
A master sergeant (MSgt) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO).

53. Trig ratio SINE
The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent. For example, the arctangent can be read as “What angle is equivalent to the following ratio of opposite over adjacent?”

57. Apple mobile platform IOS
iOS is what Apple now call their mobile operating system, previously known as iPhone OS.

58. Japanese drama NOH
Noh is a form of musical drama in Japan that has been around since the 14th century. Many of the Noh performers are masked, allowing all the roles to be played by men, both male and female parts.

60. Ab __: from day one OVO
“Ab ovo” translates literally from Latin as “from the egg”, and is used in English to mean “from the beginning”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Gin and tonic, e.g. NOUNS
6. Outback birds EMUS
10. “Pardon the Interruption” channel ESPN
14. Photographer Leibovitz ANNIE
15. Island hoppers SEAPLANES
17. 1985 film featuring Doc Brown and Marty McFly BACK TO THE FUTURE
19. Sesame __ OIL
20. Julio to julio ANO
21. Potter’s practice MAGIC
22. Possible place for a train ticket BREAST POCKET
27. AFL partner CIO
28. __ Bator ULAN
29. Dude BRO
32. How storybooks are often read ALOUD
35. Bibliography abbr. ET AL
36. “Nessun dorma,” e.g. ARIA
37. Concept that small changes can have large consequences, as in theoretical time travel BUTTERFLY EFFECT
40. Cheese with an edible rind BRIE
41. Shakes a leg HIES
42. White House staffers AIDES
43. “You got it!” YES!
44. Bombard PELT
45. Michael Caine title SIR
46. Improvisational music genre FREESTYLE RAP
51. Pastoral tribe of Kenya MASAI
54. Sch. with a Phoenix campus ASU
55. “__ you nuts?” ARE
56. Olympic medley found in order at the starts of this puzzle’s four other longest answers SWIMMING STROKES
61. Heredity sources GENE POOLS
62. Gala or ball EVENT
63. Got off the ground TEED
64. Brogan or brogue SHOE
65. Fizzy beverages SODAS

Down
1. Big wheel NABOB
2. Broadcast sign ON AIR
3. Claudius, to Caligula UNCLE
4. Suffix with peace -NIK
5. Shelve SET ASIDE
6. Legally prohibit ESTOP
7. “Whatevs” MEH
8. Oil-rich fed. UAE
9. 50+, e.g., on a L’Oréal tube: Abbr. SPF
10. Erode EAT AT
11. Form-fitting SNUG
12. Meter starter? PERI-
13. Fraction of a min. NSEC
16. Light bulb unit LUMEN
18. Hip about ONTO
23. Under 90 degrees ACUTE
24. Factory stores OUTLETS
25. Potter’s supplies CLAYS
26. Mustard family member KALE
29. Born partner BRED
30. Stuffed pepper filling RICE
31. Wild things to sow OATS
32. First name in advice ABBY
33. It may be found at the end of the line LURE
34. Big name in elevators OTIS
35. Taxpayer’s option E-FILE
36. Burning AFIRE
38. South Korea’s first president RHEE
39. Learning opportunities for many FAILURES
44. Do the do just so PRIMP
45. Betting aid: Abbr. SYST
46. Renowned FAMED
47. Café cup TASSE
48. Did a fall chore RAKED
49. Venue that often sells its naming rights ARENA
50. Kid brothers or sisters, at times PESTS
51. High-ranking NCO MSGT
52. __ bit: slightly A WEE
53. Trig ratio SINE
57. Apple mobile platform IOS
58. Japanese drama NOH
59. Shine, in brand names GLO
60. Ab __: from day one OVO

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Mar 16, Wednesday”

  1. I got the theme almost immediately so that helped my time on this one. I did have an issue in the South Central LA (Times Crossword…) section. Didn't know those were SHOEs and I defininitely didn't know NOH. Had to guess there, and I guessed wrong.

    @Sfingi
    There are so many accounts of Stalin's death. The one you talk about is probably one of the most plausible with the only question being if any treatment would have made any difference. Some people just think it was his Number 2, Beria, who killed him which is equally plausible. We'll probably never know for sure.

    @Carrie
    Whenever you get to reading Radzinsky's book, I'd be curious to read your thoughts here so I'll be waiting.

    I keep forgetting to welcome Andrew to the blog. Hope you keep coming back and posting. The more the merrier.

    Best –

  2. Important things first…. Andrew welcome to the blog, may there be many more like you. Thank you Jeff, for your many comments and other important remembrances. Thank you Sfingi, Carrie and others for commenting on my comments. The joy of being mentioned or rementioned is sweeter than nectar or the ichor of the gods…

    I now rue and regret that I didn't link the 'legs blown up' Rodin's The Thinker, at the Cleveland Museum of Art . Incase, anybody is interested, better late than never ….

    I had a nice time with this puzzle, and enjoyed it very much. 1.A. was definitely a challenge …. I've had tonic water often, and sometimes even with Gin, when I could get the Gin in someone else's cabinet. Virgin tonic water, with a dash of lemon is quite a delight.

    All I know about Stalin, is that he was a horrible man, very cruel, and a Georgian. FWIW. I love biographies, and I have noted the name of the author, Radzinsky, in my permanent diary. What took you to Russia, Jeff ?

    I came across, and had some ( ok, a lot of ) Sesame seed barfi/halwah (taffy – ) made out of Ricotta cheese, butter, milk powder and sugar, dry dessicated coconut and ofcourse, sesame seeds,( roasted). It was rather good, and I hope to try it myself soon. The main disconcerting fact is that you have to slowly cook the ensuing mess, with a lot of stirring, for over 2 hours to dehydrate it completely ….

    Finally, to those who have studied the concept of entropy in thermodynamics, the butterfly effect may seem vaguely familiar.

    have a nice day, all.

  3. One error when I put in "ssgt" for 51 down instead of "msgt" which would have given me Masai instead of my brain dead answer of "Sasai" Doh!

    @Vidwan – I guess I don't see how the so called "butterfly effect" is connected to entropy. I came across the following on a site discussing "chaos" theory and I'm inclined to believe this guy got it right, at least from my idiotic way of thinking:

    "Stephen Garramone says:
    November 2, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I don’t get it. In no way does a butterfly in China cause a hurricane in the Caribbean. The physics concept of entropy explains the ability to mix gases but not unmix them. Entropy (randomness) in the Universe is always increasing. Gaseous expansion of a pure gas from a cylinder to a bigger cylinder can be done without the loss of energy but cannot be compressed back to the original state without the expenditure of energy. Theoretically, if the Universe is finite (albeit large) there will be an eventual run down of intrinsic energy to a steady state of equal energy throughout. Local zones in which there is an increase in energy such as a water hammer rely on more energy being expended by the surrounding environment. This is classic entropy. In a sense, these local zones of hyper energy will occur in ever decreasing amplitudes “forever” asymptotically approaching the eventual uniform mean. Predicting magnitude and location of these local zones of hyper energy. Maybe that is what chaos theory is all about."

  4. @Vidwan
    I was working for the CIA, but I'm not allowed to say that (joke).

    I was opening up the Russian market for a start-up bio-medical engineering firm, the owner/founder of which just happened to be my roommate in college. He has since cashed in and retired with more money than I could ever count. In college I called him Jim. Now I call him Uncle Jim….to no avail. I had studied the language for 5 years in high school (grades 8-12) and then again 3 years in college.

    I did stints there in '95, '97, and '99. In '95 it was only 3 years after the fall of the Soviet Union and doing business there was extremely hazardous to one's health. We brokered our way in using a more established Indian firm.

    Subsequently and with another firm I did a stint in Singapore in '04 and Mexico City in '07. All of these were around 6 months…about 5 months too long for me.

    In '08 I started up my own company and have been on my own ever since…..never once sending myself on an expat assignment…

    Best –

  5. Did I say I was taking swim lessons???!!!
    Freestyle so far is it.
    Liked this puzzle.
    Messed up MASAI/MSGT.

  6. Only one Google:ESPN – my greatest weakness, sports.

    Sinatra wore Brogues, but didn't speak with a brogue.

    The only reason I know NOH, is because one Royall Tyler wrote books about it. He and I are common descendants of Royall Tyler, the Revolutionary War patriot and writer of the first American comedy. A theater at the U of Vermont is named after him.

  7. Enjoyable puzzle, a nice challenge. Of course I had DRINK instead of NOUNS for 1A, so I worked on the rest of the grid, went back to Washington, and sorted it out. (By Washington I mean the NW corner–is that too oblique? I'll stop saying it.)
    Overall a good grid, and it made me want to go swimming! @Pookie, I'll see you in the FREESTYLE lane!
    @Jeff, ordered the Stalin biography on Amazon Prime, which means it'll get here Friday!! I'm so impressed that you speak Russian.
    I hope Thursday's puzzle is doable…see you then:-D
    Be well~~™

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