LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Mar 16, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: David Poole
THEME: Emcee … each of today’s themed answers comprises two words, starting with the letters M (em) and C (cee):

62A. Toastmaster, and a homophonic hint to this puzzle’s five longest answers EMCEE

17A. C-E-G triad, e.g. MAJOR CHORD
25A. 20th-century Greek-American soprano MARIA CALLAS
35A. Asian language spoken by nearly a billion people MANDARIN CHINESE
47A. Aladdin’s transport MAGIC CARPET
56A. Rochester medical center MAYO CLINIC

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Ziploc bag feature SEAL
Ziploc re-sealable storage bags came on the market in 1968.

14. “Slumdog Millionaire” country INDIA
The brilliant film “Slumdog Millionaire” is a screen adaptation of a 2005 novel by Indian author Vikas Swarup. This low-budget movie won eight Oscars in 2008. I reckon it turned a profit …

15. Electrically flexible AC/DC
Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

17. C-E-G triad, e.g. MAJOR CHORD
A triad is a group of three, and specifically in music is a chord is made up of three notes.

Experts, unlike me, can wax lyrical on the technical differences between major and minor keys and scales. To me, music written in major keys is very strident, often very joyful and “honest”. Music written in minor keys (often my “favorite”) is more feminine, more delicate and often quite sad.

19. Bandleader Arnaz DESI
Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

20. Certain Himalayan NEPALI
Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

21. __ Corps PEACE
The Peace Corps is an organization of American volunteers that is run by the US government. The Peace Corps was established by President Kennedy in 1961, and has a three-part mission:

1. Providing technical assistance
2. Helping people outside the US to understand American culture
3. Helping Americans to understand the culture of other countries

22. High dudgeon IRE
“Dudgeon” is a noun describing a state of sullen, ill humor.

25. 20th-century Greek-American soprano MARIA CALLAS
Although Maria Callas was born in New York City, she was educated in music in Greece, and launched her career in Italy. Her marvelous performances earned her the nickname “La Davina”, and she was described by Leonard Bernstein as “the Bible of opera …”

27. Singer Etheridge MELISSA
Melissa Etheridge is rock singer and songwriter. Etheridge is a vocal supporter of gay rights, having come out as a lesbian in 1993. Her partner gave birth to two children using sperm donated by singer David Crosby.

30. Prayer ender AMEN
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

31. Commercial suffix with Sun and Star -KIST
Sunkist Growers is a cooperative of citrus growers from California and Arizona that was founded in 1893 as the Southern California Fruit Exchange. The Sunkist name was adopted in 1952, using the highly successful Sunkist brand that the cooperative introduced in 1907.

StarKist is a brand of tuna that uses Charlie the Tuna as its cartoon mascot.

35. Asian language spoken by nearly a billion people MANDARIN CHINESE
Mandarin Chinese is a group of dialects that are spoken across northern and southwestern China. If Mandarin is considered as one language, then it has more native speakers than any other language on the planet.

40. Place for a mani-pedi SPA
Manicure & pedicure (mani-pedi)

41. Trent of politics LOTT
Trent Lott was raised Democrat in Mississippi, but served in Congress as a Republican. Lott ran into trouble for remarks he made that were interpreted as being racially motivated, and ended up resigning in 2007.

42. Make a soufflé BAKE
A soufflé is a French dish, usually served as a dessert. The verb “souffler” means “to blow, blow up”.

44. “Get lost!” AMSCRAY!
Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ix-n-ay” … ixnay, and for “scram” is “am-scr-ay”

47. Aladdin’s transport MAGIC CARPET
The marvelous collection of folk tales from the Middle East called “One Thousand and One Nights” is sometimes known as “Arabian Nights” in the English-speaking world. The original collection of tales did not include the three with which we are most familiar in the West. European translators added some stories, including “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp”, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad”.

51. FDR agency NRA
The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was one of the first agencies set up under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. On the one hand the NRA help set minimum wages and maximum working hours for workers in industry, and on the other hand it helped set minimum prices for goods produced by companies. The NRA was very popular with the public, and businesses that didn’t opt to participate in the program found themselves boycotted. The NRA didn’t survive for long though, as after two years of operation it was deemed to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and so it ceased operations in 1935.

56. Rochester medical center MAYO CLINIC
The Mayo Clinic started out as a private practice run by Dr. William Mayo, an immigrant from the North of England who arrived in the US in 1846. Mayo’s first practice was with his two sons, which evolved into a clinic set up with six other doctors.

60. Starbucks tea brand TAZO
The Tazo Tea Company was founded in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Tazo was purchased in 1999 by Starbucks. Starbucks now runs tea shops that are fully dedicated to Tazo teas.

62. Toastmaster, and a homophonic hint to this puzzle’s five longest answers EMCEE
The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

64. Nine-digit IDs SSNS
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly.

Down
1. Buzz Lightyear voice actor __ Allen TIM
Tim Allen is a comedian and comic actor from Denver, Colorado. Allen is probably still best known for playing the lead in the sitcom “Home Improvement”, and on the big screen as Santa Claus in “The Santa Clause” series of movies. Famously, Allen served over 2 years in prison for drug-related offenses his twenties. He cleaned up his act though, and seems to have made a great life for himself.

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.

2. Genetic material RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

3. Wd. modifying a noun ADJ
Adjective (adj.)

4. Priory of __: “The Da Vinci Code” conspirators SION
The Priory of Sion is presented in the preface of Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code” as a secret society that did in fact exist. However, there is a lot of evidence that the priory is an invention, created in forged documents in the sixties. Regardless, Dan Brown’s book is a really enjoyable read, in my humble opinion …

5. Women-only residences HAREMS
“Harem” is a Turkish word, derived from the Arabic for “forbidden place”. Traditionally a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area.

6. Nearly one-third of Africa SAHARA
The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

7. Often harmful bacteria E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

8. Sea between Italy and Albania ADRIATIC
The Adriatic is the sea separating Italy from the Balkans. The sea is named for the Italian town of Adria that is located at the very north of the Adriatic.

9. Calculator image, for short LCD
Liquid crystal display (LCD)

10. Ford made only in black from 1914-1925 MODEL T
The Ford Model T was the first really affordable car that was offered for sale, and it was produced from 1908 to 1927. It was the Model T that ushered in the era of assembly line production, which greatly cut down the cost of manufacture. The Model T’s engine was designed to run on petrol, kerosene or ethanol. Ford stated in 1909 that “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”. In actual fact, from 1908 through 1913, the Model T wasn’t available in black, and only grey, green, blue and red. The “black only” strategy applied from 1914.

12. Puccini opera TOSCA
Unlike so many operas, “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America, although I’ve only seen it once myself …

18. IRS pros CPAS
Certified public accountant (CPA)

22. Mosque leaders IMAMS
An imam is a Muslim leader, often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

24. Kagan of the Supreme Court ELENA
Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

28. Not Rep. or Dem. IND
Independent (Ind.)

31. Only chess piece that can jump others: Abbr. KNT
Knights (kts.) are the only pieces on a chessboard that can jump over other pieces. A knight makes an L-shaped move.

33. Schindler of “Schindler’s List” OSKAR
Oskar Schindler is the protagonist in the Steven Spielberg movie “Schindler’s List”. Schindler was a real person who survived WWII. During the Holocaust, Schindler managed to save almost 1,200 Jews from perishing by employing them in his factories. After the war, Schindler and his wife were left penniless having used his assets to protect and feed his workers. For years the couple survived on the charity of Jewish groups. Schindler tried to make a go of it in business again but never had any real success. He died a pauper in 1974 in Hildesheim, not far from Hanover. His last wish was to be buried in Jerusalem. Schindler was the only former member of the Nazi Party to be buried on Mount Zion.

36. “Through the Looking-Glass” girl ALICE
Lewis Carroll wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865, and the sequel called “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There” in 1871. Because in the second adventure Alice went through a looking glass, the themes were deliberately chosen to be mirror images of the themes in “Wonderland”. Whereas “Wonderland” begins indoors, is set in summer, and uses playing card imagery, “Looking Glass” begins out of doors, is set in winter and uses images from the game of chess.

37. Univ. military org. ROTC
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

38. Cornell University townies ITHACANS
Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After Ezra retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

39. “The Blacklist” network NBC
“The Blacklist” is an entertaining, albeit a little formulaic, crime drama TV show starring James Spader and Megan Boone. Spader plays a successful criminal who surrenders to the FBI in order to help catch a “blacklist” of high-profile criminals.

45. Sable automaker, briefly MERC
The Mercury Sable is basically the same car as the very successful Ford Taurus.

47. Fountain treats MALTS
Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, in 1922.

49. Purple-blue Muppet with a hooked nose GONZO
Gonzo the Great is a character in “The Muppets”. Gonzo actually got top billing in the 1999 movie “Muppets from Space”.

50. Silky synthetic RAYON
Rayon is a little unusual in the textile industry in that it is not truly a synthetic fiber, but nor can it be called a natural fiber. Rayon is produced from naturally occurring cellulose that is dissolved and then reformed into fibers.

54. “Person of the Year” magazine TIME
“Time” magazine started naming a “Man of the Year” in 1927, only changing the concept to “Person of the Year” in 1999. Prior to 1999, the magazine did recognize four females as “Woman of the Year”: Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling a.k.a. Madame Chiang Kai-shek (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). “Time” named Albert Einstein as Person of the Century in 1999, with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as runners-up.

56. Bell and Barker MAS
The term “Ma Bell” was used to describe the monopoly led by the American Bell Telephone Company and AT&T, that controlled telephone service right across the country. The name “Bell” is after Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the first practical telephone.

Ma Barker was the mother of several children who became notorious criminals in the early thirties. Collectively they ran what was known as the Barker Gang and plied their trade in the US Midwest.

57. ATM maker NCR
NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884, originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.

58. Mil. roadside hazard IED
Sadly, having spent much of my life in the border areas between southern and Northern Ireland, I am all too familiar with the devastating effects of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). One has to admire the bravery of soldiers who spend their careers defusing (or attempting to defuse) such devices in order to save the lives and property of others. Of course these days, IEDs are very much in the news in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Garbage TRASH
6. Ziploc bag feature SEAL
10. Catcher’s glove MITT
14. “Slumdog Millionaire” country INDIA
15. Electrically flexible AC/DC
16. Not-so-nice smell ODOR
17. C-E-G triad, e.g. MAJOR CHORD
19. Bandleader Arnaz DESI
20. Certain Himalayan NEPALI
21. __ Corps PEACE
22. High dudgeon IRE
25. 20th-century Greek-American soprano MARIA CALLAS
27. Singer Etheridge MELISSA
29. Little fruit pie TART
30. Prayer ender AMEN
31. Commercial suffix with Sun and Star -KIST
32. __ Angeles LOS
35. Asian language spoken by nearly a billion people MANDARIN CHINESE
40. Place for a mani-pedi SPA
41. Trent of politics LOTT
42. Make a soufflé BAKE
43. Accompanied by WITH
44. “Get lost!” AMSCRAY!
47. Aladdin’s transport MAGIC CARPET
51. FDR agency NRA
52. Make up (for) ATONE
53. Orange veggie CARROT
55. Allow to borrow LEND
56. Rochester medical center MAYO CLINIC
60. Starbucks tea brand TAZO
61. Unknown author: Abbr. ANON
62. Toastmaster, and a homophonic hint to this puzzle’s five longest answers EMCEE
63. Load in a hold STOW
64. Nine-digit IDs SSNS
65. Uncool group NERDS

Down
1. Buzz Lightyear voice actor __ Allen TIM
2. Genetic material RNA
3. Wd. modifying a noun ADJ
4. Priory of __: “The Da Vinci Code” conspirators SION
5. Women-only residences HAREMS
6. Nearly one-third of Africa SAHARA
7. Often harmful bacteria E COLI
8. Sea between Italy and Albania ADRIATIC
9. Calculator image, for short LCD
10. Ford made only in black from 1914-1925 MODEL T
11. Perfect IDEAL
12. Puccini opera TOSCA
13. Makes an effort TRIES
18. IRS pros CPAS
21. Trilogy’s first section PART I
22. Mosque leaders IMAMS
23. Chart anew REMAP
24. Kagan of the Supreme Court ELENA
26. Bills and coins CASH
28. Not Rep. or Dem. IND
31. Only chess piece that can jump others: Abbr. KNT
32. Hear (of) LEARN
33. Schindler of “Schindler’s List” OSKAR
34. “Ta-ta” SEE YA
36. “Through the Looking-Glass” girl ALICE
37. Univ. military org. ROTC
38. Cornell University townies ITHACANS
39. “The Blacklist” network NBC
43. Place for a pane WINDOW
44. Cooks’ splatter protectors APRONS
45. Sable automaker, briefly MERC
46. Pilfered STOLEN
47. Fountain treats MALTS
48. Really got to ATE AT
49. Purple-blue Muppet with a hooked nose GONZO
50. Silky synthetic RAYON
54. “Person of the Year” magazine TIME
56. Bell and Barker MAS
57. ATM maker NCR
58. Mil. roadside hazard IED
59. These, in France CES

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 7 Mar 16, Monday”

  1. The theme answers could also be roughly evaluated as "MA + C," so the reveal doesn't do much for me. Neither does the grid, in general. Things like TAZO remind me why I despise Starschmuck's. Otherwise, the grid is totally unremarkable. I guess I'm in "high dudgeon" today, waiting to head to the airport for a flight to Halifax, NS.

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around this potential plagiarism scandal that Nate Silver's blog broke over the weekend. Some of it seems legit…other parts seem like a bunch of overzealous computer people with too much time to spare before they begin predicting the NCAA basketball tourney (also something for which I care not). Enjoy your week, everyone.

  2. Pretty boiler plate Monday puzzle. I finished quickly which is good because I have a lot to do today.

    Learning Chinese is on my bucket list. As I understand it, Mandarin and Cantonese are written identically but a Mandarin and Cantonese speaker can't really understand one another. FWIW – English is the only language on earth that has more people who speak it as a second language than as a primary language. Those are fertile conditions for a language to change rapidly, much to the chagrin of language curmudgeons such as myself.

    Tony – does your business include trading in any of those magic carpets? I might be interested….

    Best –

  3. Thank you Willie.D., for your comments. Regarding the plague scandal, I would agree with you. Have a happy trip to Nova Scotia, and tell us if you saw any newfies' – New Foundland dogs. I love them very much. They are so big amd such gentle giants. On a philosophical level, if we were only bigger and huge, maybe we wouldn't have so much warfare…. ? You think ?

    The puzzle was so easy ( not that I'm complaining …), that I rushed to the blog to see Bill's time …. to see if he broke the 4 minute-a-mile record. Perhaps he was doing the NYT and one other puzzle at the same time.

    I went to school at the 'other' Rochester (N.Y.) of Xerox and KodaK. The hospital there was the Strong Memorial Hospital system. I was young, and I worked in a dept. there, but never had any illnesses that would necessitate hospitalisation.

    Finally, to increase the interest in this blog, maybe I offer a link, (borrowed from elsewhere – ) , to the The 2 Cellos, (4:58 mins.) in a 19th century concert fashion . Vivaldi Cello sonata No. 5 and AC/DC all in the same movement.

    I am not a classical musician or even appreciate that type of music. But this blew me away. And the showmanship definitely helped. ;-D) God bless them.

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. Thank goodness for Monday puzzles.
    I am also interested in the crossword scam. So many nearly identical puzzles, and always going from NYT to Universal, never the other direction. Hmmm.
    Taking credit for, and being paid for someone else's work? Whether or not it violates copywrite laws, I wouldn't want that guy working for or with me!

    Happy Monday-
    Bella

  5. Actually did this one online. 9 minutes and change, mainly due to my slowness/problems with the interface. Pretty unremarkable grid with typically annoying junk fill. Typical for a Monday.

    @Vidwan827 from Saturday
    "On another subject, maybe they could 'ease down, or dumb down' the clues from the NYT and reprint them in the L A Times ? And the original constructor could get the added royalties ? What say you, Bill ?"

    The problem with that is that the publishers own the grids effectively after their standard contracts. So it's a publisher concern more than a constructor one, as the publisher can do whatever they want with any of the grids after they've settled their end of the contract. Overall though, the level of the LA Times would dictate that this not happen. The question is more for Shortz/Norris/TPTB if they want to put out a book of primer grids – they can always ask if manpower is an issue.

    However, there are a number of other crossword creating entities that represent a step down in difficulty, which offers more of a "word-builder" challenge than a "word-play" one. Sadly enough, I would have heartily recommended Universal/USA Today as a good step down or primer from NYT/LAT, but with the particular cloud on them (it actually showed up in Sun's paper here) that makes it harder just given public perception. Newsday (save the Saturday grid, which is very much on par with NYT/LAT on those days) can function in such a light as well. Of course, I've gone on about all the real "easy" grids (the ones one like me gets Bill like times on) that are out there on here before, but that's a wholly different market. Trying to determine difficulty levels is one of the reasons why I mentioned trying a number of grids from different places (my news of interest for the weekend: I just learned Buzzfeed has been publishing grids). IMO, one thing that can be constructive for newer solvers is laying out some good reviews of different places in this light, so they can find their level, especially if they want to get better without getting discouraged.

    @WillieD
    The problem I see in it, besides what I wrote Saturday, is that I can't find any of Pwansons's raw data in order that others may independently verify it. I found a link to some Python source, but in the small bit of time I scanned it, I didn't see anything that pointed to "scan data and find duplicate grids", functionally. It may be there, but I'm not sure.

    Eventually though, if this blows into something more than media rumor, some way for others to prove Parker willfully and deliberately copied grids will have to reveal itself or it'll just be Pwansons word versus Parker's.

    As for the republishing in the same owned sources (USAToday/Universal), while it may be deemed "shoddy", once a publisher has the right to something they can republish it at will, which makes that "point" pretty well moot.

  6. Very sad to hear about the plagiarisms, esp. Tim Parker's involvement. I cut my crosswording teeth on USA Today, and enjoyed all his other puzzles, wondering how he did it all. I rarely do them as they are too easy now, but on a Saturday if I hit a wicked LA or NYT, I'll pick one up. I have always suspected there are no actual creators besides Tim himself.

    No Googles today, but did not know TAZO or SION.

    @Willie – or today's Grumpy Cat – I have no use for Starbucks, but have less use for tea. Didn't we fight the Revolution over that watery nothing?
    But further, I have no use for such books as The DaVinci Code. I suspect for every reader who gets interested in the Renaissance for real, there are 10 who think that story is for real.

  7. Today went without a struggle. I don't have any quibbles about the grid. Yesterday also seemed easier than the Sunday puzzle has been lately. I probably did it in about 35 minutes or so and didn't have any problem with any of the answers. Boy was this a meh! post on Bill's blog or what! Sorry, Bill…

    See you all tomorrow.

  8. Hi gang! Ran out of time to post lately. Sat. didn't even try.
    Got everything on Sun. except EXURB!! Whaa?
    Today was OK, needed perps for SION.
    @ Sfingi "Didn't we fight the Revolution over that watery nothing?"
    Too funny, and I agree. Only time I ever even think of tea is when I have a cold.
    I really need to read up on the hot topic of plagiarism.
    Thanks for the links, and I'll look it up.
    'Til tomorrow!

  9. Hi everybody! I am posting just to see if my photo shows up!!! Been trying for days! Not very smart I guess, but let's see if it works, and thank you for indulging me….apparently I haven't got much to say about today's grid…. /:
    Sweet dreams~~

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