LA Times Crossword Answers 22 Mar 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: Wordplay … each of today’s themed answers includes a letter string made from the letters WORD, so we are PLAYING with WORD:

53A. Ogden Nash specialty, and a hint to this puzzle’s circles WORDPLAY

20A. Gradually exhaust WEAR DOWN
37A. Salon task BLOW-DRY
11D. Furniture maker, e.g. WOODWORKER
28D. Restaurant reviewer FOOD WRITER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Wife of 25-Down FRAU
(25D. Husband of 1-Across HERR)
In Germany, a “Mr.” (Herr) is married to a “Mrs.” (Frau), and they live together in a house (Haus).

5. Flipping burgers, e.g. MCJOB
“McJob” is a slang term for a low-paying position that offers little chance for advancement. The term of course comes from front-line jobs at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant.

14. Sylvester’s speech problem LISP
Sylvester J. Pussycat was also known as Puddy Tat, and was a character who appeared in “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons. Sylvester was the cat who was often trying to get the better of Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales and Hippety Hopper. Sylvester’s trademark line is the exclamation “Sufferin’ succotash!”, which emphasizes the characters pronounced lisp.

15. Now, in Nuevo León AHORA
Nuevo León is a Mexican state located across the border from the US state of Texas. The capital city of Nuevo León is Monterrey.

16. Nixed, at NASA NO-GO
The use of “nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.

The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957, a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

19. Country legend Tennessee Ernie __ FORD
Tennessee Ernie Ford was mainly a country singer, whose most famous recording was “Sixteen Tons”. “Sixteen Tons” is a song about life as a coal miner, with the title being a reference to sixteen tons of coal.

26. Embarrassing slip-ups GAFFES
Our word “gaffe” , meaning a social blunder, comes from the French word “gaffe” meaning “clumsy remark”, although it originally was the word for “boat hook”. The exact connection between a boat hook and a blunder seems to be unclear.

32. “That’s all she __” WROTE
No one seems to be very certain of the origin of the phrase “that’s all she wrote”. One popular story though is that it stems from the unfortunate “Dear John” letters that some soldiers received during WWII.

35. Infamous vampire, familiarly DRAC
“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …

40. Korean carmaker KIA
Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe, and has been remarkably successful.

41. Like Lady Godiva on horseback NUDE
In the legend of Lady Godiva, a noblewoman rode naked through the streets of Coventry in England, basically as a dare from her husband in return for relieving the taxes of his tenants. Lady Godiva issued instructions that all the town’s inhabitants should stay indoors while she made her journey. However, a tailor in the town named Tom disobeyed the instructions by boring holes in the shutters on his windows, and “peeped”. As a result, Peeping Tom was struck blind, and the term “peeping Tom” has been in our language ever since.

43. Author __ Stanley Gardner ERLE
I must have read all of the Perry Mason books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.

46. Darkest lunar phase NEW MOON
The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

– New moon
– Waxing crescent moon
– First quarter moon
– Waxing gibbous moon
– Full moon
– Waning gibbous moon
– Third quarter moon
– Waning crescent moon
– Dark moon

51. Corned beef solution BRINE
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”).

53. Ogden Nash specialty, and a hint to this puzzle’s circles WORDPLAY
The poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Here’s a favorite of mine:

With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

58. Cooper of shock rock ALICE
Outrageous rock singer Alice Cooper’s real name is Vincent Furnier. Alice Cooper was originally the name of the band that Furnier fronted, but he adopted the name as his own when he started his solo career in 1975. Outside the recording studio, Cooper is an exceptional golfer. He has stated that golf was a great help to him as he overcame addiction to drugs and alcohol.

60. Pre-euro Italian money LIRA
The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

62. German thanks DANKE
In German, a “danke” (thank you) is often met with a “bitte schön” (you’re welcome).

63. One of seven for Julia Louis-Dreyfus EMMY
Actress and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an alum of the sketch show “Saturday Night Live”, in which she appeared from 1982 to 1985. Her really big break came when she was chosen to play Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld”. More recently, Louis-Dreyfus can be seen playing Vice President Selina Meyer on the HBO comedy show “Veep”.

64. Skin growth WART
A wart is a small eruption on the skin caused by a localized viral infection. The most successful treatment is topical use of salicylic acid, with a cure rate of 75%. I think it’s best to try to avoid getting them …

66. “Slammin'” slugger Sammy SOSA
Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

Down
3. Where billions live ASIA
Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.

6. Like taffy CHEWY
Taffy was invented in Atlantic City and is now found all over the US, but primarily in coastal towns (for some reason) and not really outside America. Taffy is made by stretching the solid mass made by boiling up sugar, butter, flavoring, and coloring until it achieves a fluffy texture.

7. Cusack or Crawford JOAN
Joan Cusack is a wonderful actress, I think, although she always seems to be cast in supporting roles. She is the sister of actor John Cusack, and has appeared with him in many films including “Sixteen Candles” and my personal favorite, “Grosse Pointe Blank”.

The actress Joan Crawford birth name was Lucille LeSueur, and she was from San Antonio, Texas. Crawford’s success in Hollywood was such that she was one of the highest paid women in the country in the early 1930s, but by the end of the decade her star had faded. She made a string of movies that lost money, which resulted in her being labeled “Box Office Poison”. But, Crawford made a remarkable comeback starting with her starring role in 1945’s “Mildred Pierce”, for which she won the Best Actress Oscar. Off the screen, Crawford served on the board of directors of Pepsi Cola for many years, after she married company chairman Alfred Steele.

8. Bobby of the Bruins ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking.

12. “Puss in Boots” baddie OGRE
“Puss in Boots” is a fairy tale from France, written in the late 1600s by Charles Perrault.

21. Geeky type DWEEB
“Dweeb” is relatively recent American slang that came out of college life in the late sixties. Dweeb, squarepants, nerd, they’re all not-nice terms that mean the same thing: someone excessively studious and socially inept.

22. Singer Garfunkel ART
Singer and actor Art Garfunkel is best-known for the years he spent performing with Paul Simon, although after the duo split up, Garfunkel had a successful solo career. As well as singing and acting, he is fond of taking long, long walks while composing poetry. He walked across Japan in the early 1980s, and across America in increments from 1983 to 1997. He then walked across Europe, also in increments, from 1998 to 2011.

26. “Miracle on 34th Street” actor Edmund GWENN
Edmund Gwenn was an actor from London who appeared in some famous films over the years. Most famously, Gwenn played Kris Kringle in 1947’s “Miracle on 34th Street”, for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

30. Superdome NFLer SAINT
The New Orleans Superdome was opened in 1975, and is the largest, fixed-dome structure in the world, covering 13 acres. The seating capacity varies depending on the event being staged, but the Rolling Stones attracted a crowd of more than 87,500 people in 1981. The primary purpose of the structure is to host home games for the New Orleans Saints football team. Famously, in 2005, the Superdome became a shelter of last resort for about 30,000 refugees in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

31. Tons SCADS
The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s “scads” was used to mean “dollars”.

33. “SNL” producer Michaels LORNE
Lorne Michaels is a television producer, best known as the creator of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). We can get some insight into Michaels’ character and demeanor by watching the show “30 Rock”. The character Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, is inspired by Michaels.

38. 13 popes LEOS
The first pope named Leo is now known as Pope Saint Leo the Great. Leo I is famous for meeting with the feared Attila the Hun and persuading him to turn back his invading force that was threatening to overrun Western Europe.

The first Pope Leo led the church from 440-461 AD and is now known as Pope Saint Leo the Great. Leo I is famous for having met with the feared Attila the Hun, and persuading him to turn back his invading force that was threatening to overrun Western Europe. The last Pope Leo reigned from 1878-1903. Leo XIII died at the age of 93, making him the oldest of all popes.

39. Teamed, as oxen YOKED
A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

48. Meryl of “The Iron Lady” STREEP
Meryl Streep has had more nominations for an Academy Award than any other actor, a tribute to her talent and the respect she has earned in the industry. I am not a huge fan of her earlier works but some of her recent movies are now on my list of all-time favorites. I recommend “Mamma Mia!” (you’ll either love it or hate it!), “Julie & Julia”, “It’s Complicated” and ”Hope Springs”.

“The Iron Lady” is a 2011 biopic about Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister. The marvelous Meryl Streep does a wonderful job playing the title role. I had great expectations for this film and found that it didn’t quite deliver, despite a great cast.

50. Great, in show biz SOCKO
“Socko” is a slang term meaning “impressive”.

52. “__ Lama Ding Dong”: doo-wop hit RAMA
“Rama Lama Ding Dong” was a hit in 1961, although it had been released in 1957 under the erroneous title “Lama Rama Ding Dong” and didn’t quite make it. The song was recorded by the doo-wop group called the Edsels, named after the latest (and “doomed”) Ford automobile. Before becoming the Edsels, the group was called the Essos, after the oil company.

53. Sot WINO
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

54. Wheels for the well-heeled 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 …

55. Akimbo limbs ARMS
Akimbo is such a lovely word, I think (as in “arms akimbo”). I failed to dig up anything too exciting about the term’s etymology. It seems to stem from Middle English, “in kekbowe” or “on kenbow” meaning “bend in a curve”.

56. “Divine Secrets of the __ Sisterhood” YA-YA
The 2002 film “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” is a screen adaptation of the successful novel of the same name by Rebecca Wells. The Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a secret order created by four little girls from Louisiana, all of whom get together in later life to reassure a potential bride of the wonders of marriage and love.

59. Fond du __, Wisconsin LAC
“Fond du lac” is French and translates as “bottom of the lake”, an apt name for the city of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin located at the foot of Lake Winnebago. If you like to play the lottery, you might want to stop off in Fond du Lac as there is a stretch of South Main Street called “Miracle Mile”. Back in 1993, someone bought a ticket there and won $100 million. Then in 2006, another store sold a ticket that won $209 million. These things always come in threes, so buy your tickets now …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Wife of 25-Down FRAU
5. Flipping burgers, e.g. MCJOB
10. Victorious shout I WON!
14. Sylvester’s speech problem LISP
15. Now, in Nuevo León AHORA
16. Nixed, at NASA NO-GO
17. Corrosive stuff ACID
18. Be homesick (for) YEARN
19. Country legend Tennessee Ernie __ FORD
20. Gradually exhaust WEAR DOWN
22. Helpful staffers AIDES
23. Amiss AWRY
24. Nag SHREW
26. Embarrassing slip-ups GAFFES
29. Bottom-line red ink NET LOSS
32. “That’s all she __” WROTE
33. Bear shelter LAIR
35. Infamous vampire, familiarly DRAC
36. One’s self EGO
37. Salon task BLOW-DRY
40. Korean carmaker KIA
41. Like Lady Godiva on horseback NUDE
43. Author __ Stanley Gardner ERLE
44. Upright ON END
46. Darkest lunar phase NEW MOON
48. Some school uniform parts SKIRTS
49. Salon task RINSE
50. Part of a progression STEP
51. Corned beef solution BRINE
53. Ogden Nash specialty, and a hint to this puzzle’s circles WORDPLAY
57. Count for something RATE
58. Cooper of shock rock ALICE
60. Pre-euro Italian money LIRA
61. Sign of the future OMEN
62. German thanks DANKE
63. One of seven for Julia Louis-Dreyfus EMMY
64. Skin growth WART
65. Ice cream helping SCOOP
66. “Slammin'” slugger Sammy SOSA

Down
1. Imperfection FLAW
2. Grain in some cakes RICE
3. Where billions live ASIA
4. Rising air current UPDRAFT
5. City VIPs MAYORS
6. Like taffy CHEWY
7. Cusack or Crawford JOAN
8. Bobby of the Bruins ORR
9. Outlaw BAN
10. Shortstop’s realm INFIELD
11. Furniture maker, e.g. WOODWORKER
12. “Puss in Boots” baddie OGRE
13. Signaled yeses NODS
21. Geeky type DWEEB
22. Singer Garfunkel ART
24. Derogatory SNIDE
25. Husband of 1-Across HERR
26. “Miracle on 34th Street” actor Edmund GWENN
27. Pick a fight (with) ARGUE
28. Restaurant reviewer FOOD WRITER
30. Superdome NFLer SAINT
31. Tons SCADS
33. “SNL” producer Michaels LORNE
34. Piercing tool AWL
38. 13 popes LEOS
39. Teamed, as oxen YOKED
42. Highly respected EMINENT
45. Baby bottle parts NIPPLES
47. __-man band ONE
48. Meryl of “The Iron Lady” STREEP
50. Great, in show biz SOCKO
51. It may be furrowed BROW
52. “__ Lama Ding Dong”: doo-wop hit RAMA
53. Sot WINO
54. Wheels for the well-heeled LIMO
55. Akimbo limbs ARMS
56. “Divine Secrets of the __ Sisterhood” YA-YA
58. Magazine fillers ADS
59. Fond du __, Wisconsin LAC

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7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 22 Mar 16, Tuesday”

  1. Pretty easy straightforward Tuesday effort, but DRAC? How would that be used? "Who's that odd looking fellow with you?….Oh that's my buddy, Drac." ?? I don't know that I buy that one. Also had never heard the term SOCKO before.

    @Carrie/Sfingi
    If you're forced to do the puzzle online (as I am every Sunday), the puzzle on the LA Times site, has 2 options when you sign on. You can chose "Regular" or "Master". If you chose "Master", the wrong answers aren't shown so you can enter an incorrect letter/word and you are not alerted. When you chose "Regular" the red letters appear when you enter something that is incorrect.

    I do agree it's harder to get a grasp of the theme online regardless.

    Best –

  2. For a Tuesday, this was a little bit of a challenge …. never the less completed it, and enjoyed it very much. Come to think of it, there are few things in life, left to enjoy…. My time was quite above my normal.

    Jeff, on Regular vs. Master levels of solving – these choices are available every day of the week.

    The last italian 1,000 lire note had a picture of Maria Montessori, who started the eponymous kindergarden schools …. and that note is a favorite of mine. Many are commonly available. The 2,000 lire had Galileo. The 50,000 note had Da Vinci, the 10,000 lire note had Alexander Volta. (About 2000 lire was equal to one US Dollar.)

    Sir Isaac Newton was, among other notes, on the british one pound note. Marie Sklodowska Curie is on a Polish note…. 20 Zloty. Linnaeus is on a Swedish 100 Krona, Tesla on a Serbia's 100 dinar.

    The last (West ?) German note for 10 ( zehn) marks had a portrait of Carl Friedrich Gauss, plus the graph for a 'normal' distribution and even the formula for Six Sigma. This This website, which has a ton of very intersting info on Gauss, once had some notes for sale for $45, but probably, no more. However the website also sells Klein bottles should you be interested…. Wow ! I'm actually plugging somebody else ! Ten D Marks was worth about $2.50 but its valuee, for a collector, at present, is generally higher.

    Have a nice day, all, and forgive me for the diversion.

  3. I was proud of myself for doing so well on a Thurs puzzle. Finally realized it's only Tuesday! I have just 2 days at home between long trips, and am having a lot of trouble reorienting myself!

    I think SOCKO is related to Boffo. Seriously. But I can't remember where I've seen that.
    Maybe Breakfast at Tiffany's or Tootsie. Some oldish movie w/ movie producers or agents
    in it. Personally, I can't see how anyone could say it w/ a straight face!

    Maybe a nap will help-
    Bella

  4. Re yesterday's plural dwarf- I have 4 sons in law, and I always type or say it that way. However, I could see that in a long paragraph abt dwarf stars, an author might want to shorten references to dwarf stars to dwarfs. Or dwarves. How about dwarfses?

    Definitely time for a nap.

    Bella

  5. Wow Vidwan – Gauss and Klein bottles – realmathy – gotta hit that site.

    Had BLOWout before BLOWDRY, the former being a special BLOWDRY after a curl or perm. I always felt BLOWDRY should be two words since I tend to pronounce it wrong with the blow part pronounced as in ow! and the dry part pronounced dree. And then I wonder what that means.

    @Jeff – I get the LA in our local paper, which is delivered. I pay an extra $40 a year to get the ability to print out the NYT puzzle for which we pay the e- version. The NYT cannot be delivered way upstate without frequent failures because of weather.
    I like to do the puzzle on the sofa with a Flair pen so the ink won't run dry. I never could push hard enough with a pencil.

  6. @Vidwan – I looked it up – what intrigued me was the geodetic survey map of Lower Saxony. If I ever get to visit my paternal g'father's hometown, I'll use that.

    For those who wondered about my accident, when I was hit, I grasped the steering wheel without thinking and wrenched my shoulder. I had a little rehab after that. But i miss my Taurus wagon '03 the style of which is no longer manufactured.

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