LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Mar 16, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Seven Things … each of today’s themed answers ends with something that often comes in SEVENS:

39A. Number associated with the ends of answers to the starred clues SEVEN

16A. *Mozart and Robin, in their own way BOY WONDERS (giving “Seven Wonders …”)
59A. *Windy day ocean condition CHOPPY SEAS (giving “seven seas”)
10D. *Earth-sized collapsed stars WHITE DWARFS (giving “Seven Dwarfs”)
23D. *Best female friends SOUL SISTERS (giving “Seven Sisters”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Fairy tale bear MAMA
The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837, in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

10. Athletic org. founded by Billie Jean King WTA
The former World No. 1 tennis player Billie Jean King founded the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and won the first ever WTA Tour Championship. King also won the famous “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match played in 1973 against Bobby Riggs.

14. Apple’s shuffle or touch IPOD
The iPod Shuffle was introduced in 2005 and is the smallest of Apple’s line of audio players. The Shuffle was the first iPod to use flash memory.

The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant and gaming console with a WiFi capability. Essentially, I think it’s a stripped-down version of an iPhone.

15. Melville captain AHAB
Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

16. *Mozart and Robin, in their own way BOY WONDERS (giving “Seven Wonders …”)
The composer Mozart’s full name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The name “Wolfgang” translates literally as “wolf journey”. Amadeus translates as “love god”!

Batman and Robin are unique among their superhero compatriots in that they have no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets. Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

18. Fancy airport ride LIMO
The word “limousine” actually derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes anyway …

20. Last word of many fairy tales … AFTER
… and they all lived happily ever after.

24. Recliner feature LEGREST
The first reclining chairs were introduced around 1850 in France. Supposedly, the first reclining chair was owned by Napoleon III.

26. “Xanadu” rock gp. ELO
The title song of the 1980 movie “Xanadu” was performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (who starred in the film). Despite the popularity of ELO around the world, the song “Xanadu” was the band’s only number one hit back in their homeland of the UK.

31. Like the accent in cliché ACUTE
In French, accents over the letter E can be “acute” (é) or “grave” (è).

35. Graceful bird SWAN
An adult male swan is called a “cob”, and an adult female is a “pen”. Young swans are called “swanlings” or “cygnets”.

38. Echoic first name of Olympic hurdler Jones LOLO
Lolo Jones is a track and field athlete from Des Moines, Iowa and is the American record holder for the 60m hurdles. Jones is a year-round competitor, as she is also a brakeman on the national bobsled team.

40. Pet gerbil’s home CAGE
Most species of gerbil are native to arid regions, and in fact used to be called “desert rats”. They make popular household pets because they are very social and friendly by nature. As desert natives, they also have specially adapted kidneys that produce a very small amount of waste so that bodily fluids are preserved.

42. Rounded hammer end PEEN
The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

43. “Casablanca” actor Peter LORRE
The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. Lorre’s real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. Lorre found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.

Signor Ugarte is a wonderful character in the classic film “Casablanca”. Ugarte is played by Peter Lorre, and is the man who has possession of the crucial letters of transit that were obtained by murdering two German couriers.

46. “Star Trek” helmsman SULU
Mr Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat.

49. Fiesta food TOSTADA
In Mexican cuisine, a tostada is a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla. “Tostada” translates literally from Spanish as “toasted”.

52. Irish playwright Sean O’CASEY
Seán O’Casey was an Irish playwright noted for his works exploring the plight of the working class in Dublin. O’Casey’s most famous works are “Juno and the Paycock” and “The Plough and the Stars”.

54. Threepio’s pal ARTOO
Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2. R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the “Star Wars” movies.

C-3PO, or “Threepio”, is the protocol droid that appears in all six “Star Wars” movies.

59. *Windy day ocean condition CHOPPY SEAS (giving “seven seas”)
The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:
– The North Pacific Ocean

– The South Pacific Ocean
– The North Atlantic Ocean
– The South Atlantic Ocean
– The Indian Ocean
– The Southern Ocean
– The Arctic Ocean

63. Canadian Conservative TORY
Today’s Conservative Party of Canada politics was founded relatively recently, in 2003, with the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives. The party’s roots go back to 1854, with the founding of the Liberal-Conservative Party by John A. McDonald and George-Étienne Cartier.

66. Supergirl’s symbol ESS
Kara Zor-El is Superman’s cousin, and is also known as Supergirl. Supergirl’s father and Superman’s father were brothers.

68. Nail file material EMERY
Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

Down
1. Texter’s “Gimme a sec” BRB
Be right back (brb)

2. Lion in the night sky LEO
The constellation called Leo can be said to resemble a lion. Others say that it resembles a bent coat hanger. “Leo” is the Latin for “lion”, but I’m not sure what the Latin is for “coat hanger” …

4. 2005 horror sequel SAW II
The “Saw” franchise of movies is gruesome in the extreme. I’ve only seen a few minutes of “Saw” footage (accidentally). The stories are about imprisoned victims who are faced with having to mutilate themselves to escape. Ugh …

5. Website with timed trivia quizzes SPORCLE
Sporcle.com is a trivia quiz website. The name is derived from the word “oracle” apparently. I like the web site’s mission statement: “We actively and methodically search out new and innovative ways to prevent our users from getting any work done whatsoever.”

8. Gourmet mushroom MOREL
The morel is that genus of mushroom with the honeycomb-like structure on the cap. They’re highly prized, especially in French cuisine. Morels should never be eaten raw as they are toxic, with the toxins being removed by thorough cooking.

9. YouTube annoyances ADS
YouTube is a video-sharing website, launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

10. *Earth-sized collapsed stars WHITE DWARFS (giving “Seven Dwarfs”)
A white dwarf is what’s left of a star after it has collapsed, before it turns into a neutron star or black hole. A white dwarf might have the same mass as our Sun, but that mass has collapsed into a volume about the size of the Earth. Our nearest white dwarf is Sirius B.

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

– Doc (the leader of the group)
– Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
– Happy
– Sleepy
– Bashful
– Sneezy
– Dopey

15. Outdoor, as cafes ALFRESCO
Our word “alfresco” means outdoors, in the fresh air. The term derives from the Italian “al fresco”, which translates as “in the fresh (air)”.

17. Curiosity-launching gp. NASA
NASA’s Curiosity rover is the fourth in a series of unmanned surface rovers that NASA has sent to Mars. Previous rovers are the Sojourner rover (1997), Spirit rover (2004-2010) and Opportunity rover (2004-present). Curiosity rover was launched in November of 2011, and landed on Mars in August 2012 after having travelled 350 million miles. After that long journey, Curiosity landed just 1½ miles from its targeted touchdown spot.

20. __ of Reason AGE
Thomas Paine’s pamphlet known as “The Age of Reason” (published in three parts, in 1794, 1795 and 1807) is critical of mainstream religion and also challenges the legitimacy of the Bible.

Thomas Paine was an English author who achieved incredible success with his pamphlet “Common Sense” published in 1776 which advocated independence of colonial America from Britain. Paine had immigrated to the American colonies just two years before his pamphlet was published, and so was just in time to make a major contribution to the American Revolution.

21. Memphis music festival street BEALE
Beale Street in downtown Memphis, Tennessee is a major tourist attraction. In 1977, by act of Congress, the street was officially declared the “Home of the Blues” due to its long association with the musical genre. Apparently “Beale” is the name of some forgotten military hero.

22. Metal wrap giant ALCOA
The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

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. *Best female friends SOUL SISTERS (giving “Seven Sisters”)
The Seven Sisters of Greek mythology are also known as the Pleiades. The Seven Sisters were the daughters of the titan Atlas, who had been forced to carry the heavens on his shoulders. In an act of kindness, Zeus transformed the sisters first into doves, and then into stars so that they could provide comfort for their father. There is indeed a cluster of seven stars in the night sky named for the myth and known as the Pleiades.

25. “Around the Horn” channel ESPN
“Around the Horn” is a 30-minute sports roundup aired everyday on ESPN.

32. Film that introduced Buzz Lightyear TOY STORY
1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also the studio Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Woody and Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

45. Poet __-tzu LAO
Lao Tse (also Lao-Tzu) was a writer and a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism.

50. Twistable cookies OREOS
There is an “official” competition involving Oreo cookies, in case anyone is interested in participating. A competitor has to take several steps to finish an OREO Lick Race:

a. Twist open the cookie.
b. Lick each half clean of creme.
c. Show the clean cookie halves to the fellow competitors.
d. Dunk the cookie halves in a glass of milk.
e. Eat the cookie halves.
f. Drink the milk.

Ready, set, go …

53. Tea region of India ASSAM
Assam is a state in the very northeast of India, just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea as well as its silk.

59. “Madam Secretary” network CBS
“Madam Secretary” is TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pure joy BLISS
6. Fairy tale bear MAMA
10. Athletic org. founded by Billie Jean King WTA
13. Sports channel summary RECAP
14. Apple’s shuffle or touch IPOD
15. Melville captain AHAB
16. *Mozart and Robin, in their own way BOY WONDERS (giving “Seven Wonders …”)
18. Fancy airport ride LIMO
19. Poker declaration I RAISE
20. Last word of many fairy tales … AFTER
21. Fundamentals BASICS
24. Recliner feature LEGREST
26. “Xanadu” rock gp. ELO
27. Not on time LATE
30. Bird feeder supply SEED
31. Like the accent in cliché ACUTE
33. Loading dock access RAMP
35. Graceful bird SWAN
38. Echoic first name of Olympic hurdler Jones LOLO
39. Number associated with the ends of answers to the starred clues SEVEN
40. Pet gerbil’s home CAGE
41. Simple EASY
42. Rounded hammer end PEEN
43. “Casablanca” actor Peter LORRE
44. Land surrounded by water ISLE
46. “Star Trek” helmsman SULU
48. Gave grub to FED
49. Fiesta food TOSTADA
52. Irish playwright Sean O’CASEY
54. Threepio’s pal ARTOO
55. Swindlers CROOKS
58. Fortuneteller SEER
59. *Windy day ocean condition CHOPPY SEAS (giving “seven seas”)
63. Canadian Conservative TORY
64. Gravy vessel BOAT
65. Craze MANIA
66. Supergirl’s symbol ESS
67. Repairs with turf, as a lawn SODS
68. Nail file material EMERY

Down
1. Texter’s “Gimme a sec” BRB
2. Lion in the night sky LEO
3. Far from friendly ICY
4. 2005 horror sequel SAW II
5. Website with timed trivia quizzes SPORCLE
6. Calf-length dress MIDI
7. Zoo primates APES
8. Gourmet mushroom MOREL
9. YouTube annoyances ADS
10. *Earth-sized collapsed stars WHITE DWARFS (giving “Seven Dwarfs”)
11. Makes less unruly TAMES
12. Scrub, as a launch ABORT
15. Outdoor, as cafes ALFRESCO
17. Curiosity-launching gp. NASA
20. __ of Reason AGE
21. Memphis music festival street BEALE
22. Metal wrap giant ALCOA
23. *Best female friends SOUL SISTERS (giving “Seven Sisters”)
25. “Around the Horn” channel ESPN
28. Lemon or lime TREE
29. Roof edges EAVES
32. Film that introduced Buzz Lightyear TOY STORY
34. List of dishes MENU
36. Think alike AGREE
37. Emotionally demanding NEEDY
39. Made haste SPED
43. “I’m just so fortunate!” LUCKY ME!
45. Poet __-tzu LAO
47. Script “L” feature LOOP
49. Tentative bite TASTE
50. Twistable cookies OREOS
51. “Bless you” prompter ACHOO!
53. Tea region of India ASSAM
56. __ hog ROAD
57. Chooses, with “for” OPTS
59. “Madam Secretary” network CBS
60. Opposite of WSW ENE
61. Put on television AIR
62. For example SAY

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16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Mar 16, Monday”

  1. Not good…not bad…just Monday. Maybe a little more interesting than usual.

    Is the day coming, friends, when the early week LAT might get **too** basic?

    I sense that, as a group, we are evolving into better solvers. Another reason I love coming to this little part of blog-land. You guys and gals are great. Reading this little blog is always fun as heck. If you're being observant this week, God bless. If you're not…well the same applies. WD

  2. Yes – pretty typical Monday. Had to pause a time or two, but otherwise pretty much filled it quickly.

    Never heard of Sporcle, but it sounds interesting and amusing. I'll have to check that out.

    Best –

  3. Is the day coming, friends, when the early week LAT might get **too** basic?

    On one level, it seems like it, but a goal for me is to get through weeks regularly completing the grids with zero errors, so it's kind of a thing. Especially since I can't manage to regularly zero error early week stuff for this reason or that. I do know that I got away from the real *easy* grids for most part, yet do them every once in a great while to remind myself that these actually *aren't*. Like today.

    Then again, I've gotten experienced enough that Thursday LAT seems to be where I start catching real resistance. Better than when I started, I suppose. Hence, I do a lot more of the Sunday grids lately, but still run into the 2-9 thing a lot regarding level of difficulty.

    I'm not sure I'd stick with this long enough where I would need to time myself to maintain a challenge, but just being able to solve any of these grids would be a end-goal. And not become too pretentious, of course. :p

  4. Never heard of BRB, SPORCLE (sounds interesting) or SAW movies (I'll pass), so problems in the NW, but guessed good.

    Also get challenged around Thurs. Now that Tim Parker is being pommeled, where will new puzzlers go? That's where I started – even emailed Parker, since I enjoyed his puzzles – not just crosswords – and suspected he did them all himself. Read his backstory sometime.

    I have another theory – that on-line puzzles have increased the difficulty – crosswords and Sudoku, since they stop you when you err. This actually makes on-line a different puzzle, IMHO.

    ROADHOGs used to be the universal annoyance, with much coverage in the newspapers of my childhood. Somehow, people learned to keep within the lines. Now we have tailgaters and texters. I was t-boned by a texter who sailed through her red light. She wiped out 3 cars.

  5. Now that Tim Parker is being pommeled, where will new puzzlers go?

    Newsday seems to be a good option (sans Saturday, where it's very much a NYT/LAT equal, difficulty wise), and where I'd make my suggestion. While not one of those "easy" grids like I referenced (might still have to put some clues from one of those in here and let people see just how "easy" they are), it's of much lower difficulty than the average I've seen (about Wed LAT at most) in other places and a good step-up, especially if late week is a discouragement.

  6. Not a really difficult grid, appropriate for Monday. My only real error was 55 across, "swindlers." I put in "con men." Oops!

    BTW, can someone please explain the term "natlick" to me?

  7. @Justjoel
    A Natick is something where two hard or esoteric answers are put in cross with one another. More or less in the idea of constructing crossword grids is that if you put something most might not know, you should put things that are more mainstream in cross with it so people can at least get the esoteric thing on crosses instead of having to know it.

    The name "Natick" comes as its own example: that's the name of a MA town that was put in the NYT once upon a time with the clue "Boston Marathon 8th mile". You pretty much have to either have intimate knowledge of the Boston Marathon or of MA geography to even have a hope of getting that one. Esoteric knowledge, so you don't expect most of the crossword solving populace to know it.

    Mainly though, I just put it and "for me", because it qualified for me (since I knew neither one for sure and it was a Mon grid). Usually more would have to agree for it to be considered a genuine Natick (they're rare). Though having those two cross isn't too great for a Mon grid, IMO.

  8. A Natick is a crossword crossing or perpendicular where the player knows neither words. This expression was created by a Binghamton professor who calls himself Rex Parker (not Tim) who solves the NYT (he also used to do the LAT). He took the name from the town in MA. It's apparently the 8 through 11 mileposts of the marathon and it was assumed everyone had heard of the place.

  9. Pretty iffy finish for a Monday.
    SPORCLE/ SAWII/ BRB.
    @Sfingi " I was t-boned by a texter who sailed through her red light. She wiped out 3 cars."
    Ouch!! What happened? Were you injured badly?

  10. I had a fairly rough time with the northwest ( upper left ) corner of the puzzle. I was surprised. Maybe its just not my day ….. I thought it would be a breeze. Anyways, its still Monday, so I cant complain.

    Texting is a crime er, traffic offense in many cities where I live. Cities change boundaries every 3 miles around here. My city is 1.4 mi. x 2.2 mi. Cops 6 , in 3 shifts. We still have a mayor who won last year with a whopping 112 votes.

    Have a good day, and a week, all.

  11. I knew 10d would be some kind of dwarf star, but expected the plural to be dwarves.
    I thought I caught an error. Turns out I am apparently the only person who thinks the plural of dwarf is dwarves. Even 7 Dwarfs. Dwarves are those folks who live in Middle Earth.
    Other than that and the NW, no complaints. I figured out the theme earlier than I usually do.
    Bella

  12. Bella –
    I actually laughed at your dwarfs/dwarves conundrum when I read it. Reminds me that the official symbol of Canada is the Maple Leaf. I presume that the plural would be Maple Leaves (??), but the hockey team in Toronto is the Maple Leafs. Perhaps they have a lot of dwarves on that team…

    Best –

  13. Bella- The plural of Dwarf Star would be, or should be Dwarf Stars …. no ? Like sons-in-law rather than son-in-laws, and mothers-in-law (horrors ).

    Jeff, I guess there are a lot of Maple Leaf's on that team – each player being a Maple Leaf … and they all produce a lot of …. maple syrup. 🙂

    Bill asks.'in RE"LEO …. I dont know what is latin for a 'coat hanger" '
    Well, Sporkle or some such site says ….. Coat Hanger in Latin is ….. 'tunicam adsecula'
    I have no way of knowing if that is correct unless it is cited as a precedent in a court case…. methinks the actual translation should be ….. Coatiam Hangerus.

    Now, I'm ashamed to sign off in this ridiculous answer.

  14. Wow, I had more than usual trouble for a Monday. Wrestled with the NW, like Bella and Vidwan before me. For some reason I could NOT get BLISS for a long time. So, what does it say that I couldn't come up with a word for "pure joy??!" That is its own kind of sad, y'all!
    Sfingi, I agree — it's more difficult to do the puzzles online. It is harder to see the grid's "big picture" and plot things out two or three moves ahead. And the fact that it tells you when you enter a wrong letter — that's not good. You miss the opportunity to uncover the error yourself and work it out. The working it out leads you to other successful clue answers, IMO. There's nothing like putting pen to paper when solving these things. Even if you do online all the time and navigate easily — it's harder, and it's not the same experience.
    And that there is Carrie's view!!
    Thanks @Willie for the good wishes! 😀
    I'll see you fine folks tomorrow…

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