LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Mar 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Skoczen
THEME: Add “OON” … each of today’s themed answers is a well-known phrase with the suffix “-OON” added:

17A. Parody involving molten rock? LAVA LAMPOON (from “lava lamp”)
28A. Wind god’s whaling weapon? AEOLIAN HARPOON (from “aeolian harp”)
48A. Blubbering Belgian? WAILING WALLOON (from “Wailing Wall”)
61A. Hollywood harlequin? FILM BUFFOON (from “film buff”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Brief amt. of time NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns”, and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

11. Karaoke need, briefly MIC
Microphone (mic)

In Japanese, “karate”, means “open hand”, and the related word “karaoke” means “open orchestra”.

17. Parody involving molten rock? LAVA LAMPOON (from “lava lamp”)
The lava lamp was invented in 1960 by a British man, Edward Craven-Walker. The “lava” is a mixture of wax and carbon tetrachloride, floating in a water/glycerol mix. The wax reduces in density as it picks up heat from the incandescent bulb in the lamp’s base. The wax rises, cools, and then sinks to the bottom of the liquid only to be heated again.

20. APA member?: Abbr. ASSN
American Psychiatric Association (APA)

21. Med. test EKG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

22. Eight-time co-star of Joan Crawford GABLE
The actress that Clark Gable made the most films with was Joan Crawford. The eight Gable/Crawford movies are:

– “Dance, Fools, Dance” (1931)
– “Laughing Sinners” (1931)
– “Possessed” (1931)
– “Dancing Lady” (1933)
– “Chained” (1934)
– “Forsaking All Others” (1934)
– “Love on the Run” (1936)
– “Strange Cargo” (1940)

28. Wind god’s whaling weapon? AEOLIAN HARPOON (from “aeolian harp”)
Aeolus was the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology, and he gave his name to the adjective “aeolian” (also “aeolic, eolic”) meaning “windblown”, something produced or carried by the wind. For example, an aeolian harp is a fascinating instrument; a box with a sounding board and strings that is “played” by the wind as it blows.

35. Arctic flier SKUA
Skuas are a group of about seven species of seabird. Some of these species are known as jaegers in the Americas. The skua takes its name from the island of Skúvoy in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. The name “jaeger” comes from the German word for “hunter”.

37. Honor earned by 27 Super Bowl QBs MVP
Two players have won three Super Bowl MVP awards: Joe Montana and Tom Brady.

41. Scoreboard fig. PTS
Points (pts.)

42. Director Preminger OTTO
Otto Preminger was noted for his films that pushed the envelope in terms of subject matter, at least in the fifties and sixties. Great examples would be 1955’s “The Man with the Golden Arm” that dealt with drug addiction, 1959’s “Anatomy of a Murder” that dealt with rape, and 1962’s “Advise and Consent” that dealt with homosexuality. If you’ve seen these films, you’ll have noticed that the references are somewhat indirect and disguised, in order to get past the censors.

44. It borders It. AUS
The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country, “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

46. Sparkling wit ESPRIT
Our word “esprit”, meaning “liveliness of mind”, comes to us from Latin via French. The Latin “spiritus” means “spirit.

48. Blubbering Belgian? WAILING WALLOON (from “Wailing Wall”)
The Walloons are an ethnic group living in Belgium, mainly in the region known as Wallonia. The Walloons are French-speaking today, although there is also a related Walloon language.

51. 8th-century Japanese capital NARA
The Japanese city of Nara, located not far from Kyoto, was the nation’s capital from 710 to 784 CE.

55. June portrayer in “Henry & June” UMA
The 1990 movie “Henry & June” is loosely adapted from the book of the same name by Anaïs Nin. The book is based on diaries written by Nin telling of her part in a love triangle with American author Henry Miller and his wife June. June Miller was played by Uma Thurman in the movie.

60. First name in shipping ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

61. Hollywood harlequin? FILM BUFFOON (from “film buff”)
A “buff” or a “nut” is one who is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject. For example, one might be a movie buff, or perhaps a baseball nut.

65. Java JOE
It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.

Back in 1850, the name “java” was given to a type of coffee grown on the island of Java, and the usage of the term spread from there.

66. Eclectic quarterly digest UTNE
The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The “Utne Reader” was founded in 1984, with “Utne” being the family name of the couple that started the publication. The magazine uses the slogan “Cure Ignorance”.

68. Animal in some fables ASS
In Aesop’s fable “The Old Lion”, an old lion lay dying in the mouth of a cave, when the animals he had hunted drew around him. A boar, bull and ass attacked the lion, as they felt free from danger. The moral illustrated by the fable is that it is cowardly to attack the defenseless, even though they may be the enemy.

69. He says to Cordelia, “Thy truth, then, be thy dower” LEAR
“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the storyline. The three are, in order of age:

– Goneril
– Regan
– Cordelia

70. Cerebral __ CORTEX
The outermost layer of an organ is known as the cortex. The cortical layer that is most familiar to the man on the street (like me!) is that of the brain, i.e. the cerebral cortex.

Down
1. __ breve ALLA
The musical term “alla breve”, meaning “at the breve (i.e. the note)”, denotes a meter equivalent to 2/2. This implies quite a fast tempo, one often found in military marches.

3. Home team at Cleveland’s “The Q” CAVS
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970. The team plays at the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland, a facility that the locals refer to as “the Q”.

5. Mph VEL
Velocity (vel.)

6. Former PBS host LeShan EDA
Eda LeShan wrote “When Your Child Drives You Crazy”, and was host of the PBS television show “How Do Your Children Grow?”

9. 1940s stage for Ike ETO
General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Ike”) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII.

10. __ eel CONGER
Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.

11. Apple with a Force Touch trackpad MACBOOK PRO
The MacBook Pro is the high-end model in Apple’s MacBook family of portable computers.

18. Physical leader? META-
The word “metaphysics” comes from the Greek “meta” (beyond) and “physika” (physical), and is a branch of philosophy that investigates reality beyond the principles of science. Not something I would understand …

23. Gear on stage AMPS
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

25. Kind of tchr. ELEM
A teacher (tchr.) might work in an elementary (elem.) school.

26. Buddhist state NIRVANA
Nirvana is a philosophical concept in some Indian-based religions. In the Buddhist tradition, nirvana is the state of being free from suffering i.e. not experiencing craving, anger or other afflicting states.

27. Klinger’s first name on “M*A*S*H” MAXWELL
Actor Jamie Farr is best known for playing the cross-dressing Max Klinger in the sitcom ”M*A*S*H”. Although Farr landed a role in the 1955 movie “Blackboard Jungle”, his career didn’t really take off until he started appearing regularly on “The Red Skelton Show”. Years later he managed to get a one-episode appearance in ”M*A*S*H”, and his character and performance were received so well that he became a regular on the show. Farr actually did serve in the US Army in Korea, although it was after hostilities had ended. The dog tags that Farr wore when filming ”M*A*S*H” were the one’s he actually wore while serving in the military.

28. Vital supply line AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

29. Where to find Java EAST INDIES
The exact definition of “East Indies” can vary. In its most general sense the term can describe all the lands of South and Southeast Asia. More specifically, the East Indies can refer to just the islands of Southeast Asia. The colonial influence in the area is reflected in the names of the regions within the East Indies, e.g. the British East Indies (Malaysia), the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and Spanish East Indies (the Philippines). The use of the word “Indies” is a reference to the Indus River.

32. Democratic donkey drawer NAST
Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. Nast was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today. Thomas Nast drew some famous cartoons in which he depicted the Tammany Society as a vicious tiger that was killing democracy. Nast’s use of the tiger symbology caught on and was used by other cartoonists to harp at the society.

38. Wrinkly little dog PUG
The pug is a breed of dog of Chinese origin. Our current family pet is a boxer/pug cross, a good-looking mutt!

40. __ Royale, Michigan ISLE
Isle Royale in Michigan is the largest island in Lake Superior. The main island, along with over 400 smaller surrounding islands, is now part of Isle Royale National Park.

43. Skin care brand OLAY
Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

53. Indian noble RAJA
“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

54. Love deity EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor.

55. Forearm bone ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

57. Egyptian Christian COPT
The Copts make up the largest minority religious group in Egypt. Copts are Christians, with most adhered to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and others practicing Coptic Catholicism or Coptic Protestantism. The term “Copt” ultimately derives from a Greek word for Egyptian.

58. “The thing with feathers / That perches in the soul”: Dickinson HOPE
Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily’s younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and it was published in batches over the coming decades. Here is the first verse of one of her poems:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

59. Cameo stone ONYX
Onyx is a form of banded quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

“Cameo” is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term cameo is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

63. The Trojans of the Pac-12 USC
The athletic teams of the University of Southern California are called the USC Trojans. The women’s teams are also called the Trojans, but are sometimes referred to as Women of Troy.

64. “Alice” spinoff FLO
Florence Jean “Flo” Castleberry is a waitress in the sitcom “Alice” that originally aired on CBS in the 70s and 80s. Flo got her own sitcom (called “Flo”) which had a brief run in the early 80s. I saw a few episodes of “Alice”, but that’s about it. Oh, and Flo was played by Polly Holliday.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Library recess ALCOVE
7. Brief amt. of time NSEC
11. Karaoke need, briefly MIC
14. Slanted LEANED
15. With 34-Across, concert band instrument ALTO …
16. Big fuss ADO
17. Parody involving molten rock? LAVA LAMPOON (from “lava lamp”)
19. Sneaky job CON
20. APA member?: Abbr. ASSN
21. Med. test EKG
22. Eight-time co-star of Joan Crawford GABLE
24. Teeth: Pref. DENTI-
27. Note MEMO
28. Wind god’s whaling weapon? AEOLIAN HARPOON (from “aeolian harp”)
33. Crybaby MOANER
34. See 15-Across … SAX
35. Arctic flier SKUA
36. Stalling-for-time syllables ERS
37. Honor earned by 27 Super Bowl QBs MVP
39. Light lead-in TWI-
41. Scoreboard fig. PTS
42. Director Preminger OTTO
44. It borders It. AUS
46. Sparkling wit ESPRIT
48. Blubbering Belgian? WAILING WALLOON (from “Wailing Wall”)
51. 8th-century Japanese capital NARA
52. Runs while standing IDLES
53. Try a new color on REDYE
55. June portrayer in “Henry & June” UMA
56. Repeat, but more softly each time ECHO
60. First name in shipping ARI
61. Hollywood harlequin? FILM BUFFOON (from “film buff”)
65. Java JOE
66. Eclectic quarterly digest UTNE
67. Hard to read, maybe SLOPPY
68. Animal in some fables ASS
69. He says to Cordelia, “Thy truth, then, be thy dower” LEAR
70. Cerebral __ CORTEX

Down
1. __ breve ALLA
2. Pastures LEAS
3. Home team at Cleveland’s “The Q” CAVS
4. Uninterrupted ON AND ON
5. Mph VEL
6. Former PBS host LeShan EDA
7. Place setting items NAPKINS
8. Tough march SLOG
9. 1940s stage for Ike ETO
10. __ eel CONGER
11. Apple with a Force Touch trackpad MACBOOK PRO
12. Fan club focus IDOL
13. Lane-closing sight CONE
18. Physical leader? META-
23. Gear on stage AMPS
25. Kind of tchr. ELEM
26. Buddhist state NIRVANA
27. Klinger’s first name on “M*A*S*H” MAXWELL
28. Vital supply line AORTA
29. Where to find Java EAST INDIES
30. Magic show prop HAT
31. __ the cold OUT IN
32. Democratic donkey drawer NAST
33. Litter cry MEOW!
38. Wrinkly little dog PUG
40. __ Royale, Michigan ISLE
43. Skin care brand OLAY
45. Pool party? SWIMMER
47. Be the subject of, as a painting POSE FOR
49. Furious IREFUL
50. Not much at all A DAB
53. Indian noble RAJA
54. Love deity EROS
55. Forearm bone ULNA
57. Egyptian Christian COPT
58. “The thing with feathers / That perches in the soul”: Dickinson HOPE
59. Cameo stone ONYX
62. Suburban trailer? -ITE
63. The Trojans of the Pac-12 USC
64. “Alice” spinoff FLO

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13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Mar 16, Thursday”

  1. Zero errors. A fair Thursday grid.

    As for MVPs, one of the definite highlights of catching the last Super Bowl early was to see all the prior MVPs be introduced and brought out onto the field (at least the ones that could).

  2. Some of the clues were borderline, such as 20A. Others used unconventional spelling or abbr such as 7A or 53D. The worst, of course, was "IREFUL" I don't know the word to describe how angry that one made me!

  3. This grid made the think of Merl Reagle. 🙂 Although Merl would have had a LOT more fun with this theme.

    ISLE Royals Michigan is probably closer to Thunder Bay, ON, but I have had the fortune to hike there twice. It is said to have a near-perfect biological stasis between deer and wolf populations. Too many deer = lots of food and more wolves. Wolves eat too much = less deer = less wolves. It is also wetter than a dog in the hot tub. I've never seen it rain 7 out of 7 days…all day. Even with a Hefty bag over it, my backpack felt like a Volkswagen on my back.

  4. Aeolian harp is a well-known phrase? A member of the APA is an association?
    I thought most of the puzzle was sloppy.

  5. Finished this thing, but it wasn't easy. I was almost stumped in the NW and a few other places. Ended up finishing error free miraculously. A very nice Thursday challenge. Had to go completely on faith that AEOLIAN was correct. SKUA too for that matter.

    I think I'd actually qualify as a FILM BUFFOON – i.e. someone who knows very little about them.

    Friday fun-day puzzle tomorrow.

    Best –

  6. Almost gave up on GABLE/CONGER SKUA/MACBOOKPRO.
    No, I don't get how ASSN is a member.
    Thought Gear on stage was a person who's last name is Gear.
    Got through it on a wing and a prayer.
    Doubt that I'll ever remember WALLOON.

  7. @Pookie
    The second "A" of APA is ASSN (abbreviated). Therefore ASSN is a "member" of the initialism of APA…i.e. it's the second "A"…

    Don't shoot the messenger….

  8. This seemed to be an easier puzzle than I was expecting, especially after aeolian harpoon came and went. I began to get the theme after that and the other long answers were at fairly guessable…

    I thought the WSJ was a bear today.. I don't think I have it all correct, especially 27 Across "Relish" which I'm still wondering about my answer for. If anyone got this puzzle today I'm open to hearing what they got for that particular clue?

    Have a good Thursday all.

  9. @Tony

    Today's WSJ grid was indeed a good challenge from Mr. Shenk. Very different theme than normal (I won't ruin it in case someone wants to try it). I don't have an idea of exactly how long it actually took me, since I had to pick it up and put it down so much. But it ended up with the same result as yesterday (NW corner instead of NE corner), as I had no idea of who C.L. Otter is until today.

    The phrase you're looking for in 27-Across is "takes delight in". Modify it according to the theme, and you'll have the right answer.

  10. @Tony
    The Friday WSJ grid will be easy (20-30 mins for me, zero errors probably). The meta, however, remains to be seen.

  11. tough as it gets, and gruelling march. But I learnt a lot, and eventually completed it. Chalk that up as an achievement.

    Bill, best of luck, in the ACPT, and give 'em hell !!@!! We're all rooting for you. Yeeaah !

    Last night, I was reading about yogurt, a favorite snack food, and came across Hamdi Ulukaya ( whaa … ), CEO of Chobani yogurt in the USA ( and the world – ) . He is a Kurdish man, uneducated initially, studied in the US and made a fortune (1.4 bill.), and gave it away – all in a decade. Inspiration.

    I wrote this at 9 am and never posted it – better late than never.

    Skua (s) , I knew, because they kill and eat penguin chicks – they are their main predators..

    Didn't know APA (?) but figured it must be some sort of american association. OK, Psychiatric.

    Waloons are the french speaking Belgians – the other half speak Dutch ( Belgian) . The two groups do not get along well with each other, so TIME magazine says, that is why their crime and terrorist fighting intel and cooperation, is so poor. So, the story goes …. also there is a big disparity in per capita incomes, the Waloons are a poorer class.

    have a nice night, all.

  12. I loved this one – though it took forever – but no Googling. 3 baloons for Skoczen!

    And thanx for Aeolian – islands that are part of Sicily – Fillicudi, Allicudi, Lipari, Stromboli, etc.

  13. Hey! Ever so proud to have finished this one, and I'm doing the usual pat-self-on-back routine. I actually scrawled a little Happy Face next to the puzzle, altho it looks asleep…

    I had DAVIS before GABLE, and MEL before FLO…anybody else think MEL, or am I the only geek in this crowd, remembering 70s sitcoms??!

    Agree with anon @7:49 — IREFUL is pretty dang bad.

    Bill! It's ACPT time! Have fun and knock 'em dead!

    Sweet dreams~~™

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