LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Apr 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mike Peluso
THEME: Dos Equis … each of today’s themed answers contains two letters X (“DOS EQUIS” in Spanish).

38D. When translated to English, beer brand that hints at the common feature of the five other longest puzzle answers DOS EQUIS

18A. *Start of an old news announcement EXTRA EXTRA!
32A. *Stipulation on le menu PRIX FIXE
41A. *Where gas and lodging may be found NEXT EXIT
60A. *Nachos, e.g. TEX-MEX DISH
3D. *Historic Chicago-to-Los Angeles route SIXTY-SIX

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 30s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Tousle MUSS
A “muss” is state of disorder, and a term that probably evolved from “mess”. The phrase “no muss, no fuss” means “no bother, no mess made, no excessive hustle and bustle”.

5. F and G, e.g. CLEFS
Clef is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. Usually, a G-clef is used for high parts, a C-clef for middle parts and an F-clef for low parts.

15. Spells HEXES
“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

16. Virginie, par exemple ETAT
In French, “Virginie, par exemple” (Virginia, for example) is an “état” (state).

17. “Need You Tonight” band INXS
INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia. The band formed in 1977 in Sydney as the Farriss Brothers, as three of the original lineups were indeed brothers.

18. *Start of an old news announcement EXTRA EXTRA!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

20. Frequent Lemmon co-star MATTHAU
The actor Walter Matthau was born in the Lower East Side of New York City. Matthau is remembered for many collaborations on the big screen with Jack Lemmon. Matthau and Lemmon passed away within a year of each other, both having suffered from colon cancer, and are buried in the same cemetery in Los Angeles.

23. Dublin-born poet YEATS
Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.

24. AWOL trackers MPS
The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL(absent without leave).

27. Shine, in Cambridge LUSTRE
The famous university city of Cambridge in the England takes its name from an Old English term meaning “Bridge on the River Granta”. The river in question is now called the River Cam, with “Cam” being a back formation from “Cambridge”.

29. Ammunition dumps ARSENALS
Our word “arsenal” comes from the Italian “arzenale”, a work adapted from the Arabic for “workshop”. There was a large wharf in Venice called the Arzenale that became associated with the storage of weapons and ammunition, and this led to our contemporary usage of “arsenal”.

31. Request to Sajak AN I
Pat Sajak took over the hosting of “Wheel of Fortune” from Chuck Woolery back in 1983 and has been doing the job ever since. Sajak had a short run as a talk show host in 1989/1990 and used to sub quite often for Larry King and Regis Philbin.

32. *Stipulation on le menu PRIX FIXE
On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice.

36. Progressive pitcher? FLO
Progressive is a popular auto insurance company, the one that uses the perky character named “Flo” as a spokeswoman. Flo is played by comedienne and actress Stephanie Courtney.

37. When there’s no turning back D-DAY
The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term “D-Day” is used by the military to designate the day on which a combat operations are to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time although the tradition is that D just stands for “Day”. In fact, the French have a similar term, “Jour J” (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.

46. Tulsa sch. ORU
Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ORU was founded relatively recently, in 1963 by the late televangelist Oral Roberts. The campus includes a Prayer Tower at its center, a spectacular glass and steel structure designed by architect Frank Wallace. The tower includes an observation deck, and is a popular tourist attraction. The school’s sports teams are known as the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

52. Cambodia’s Lon __ NOL
Lon Nol was a soldier and politician in Cambodia, later serving twice as the country’s president. When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, Nol escaped the country to Indonesia. He eventually found a home in Fullerton, California, where he died in 1985.

The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in the Indochina Peninsula of Southeast Asia, and is bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. “Cambodia” is the English version of the country’s name, which in Khmer is “Kampuchea”.

53. Enzyme suffix -ASE
The names of enzymes usually includes the suffix “-ase”. Enzymes are basically catalysts, chemicals that act to increase the rate of a particular chemical reaction. For example, starches will break down into sugars over time, especially under the right conditions. However, in the presence of the enzyme amylase (found in saliva) this production of sugar happens very, very quickly.

55. Northeastern octet IVIES
The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

60. *Nachos, e.g. TEX-MEX DISH
The dish known as “nachos” were supposedly created by the maître d’ at a restaurant called the Victory Club in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The name of the maître d’ was Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya.

64. Peach __ FUZZ
“Peach fuzz” is the familiar name for “vellus hair”, the fine hair that is most visible on children and adult women. Vellus hair tends to be masked by what’s called terminal or androgenic hair in adult males. Vellus hair helps with cooling of the body. When a skin pore opens to sweat, the sweat wets a vellus hair, which provides a surface for evaporative cooling.

66. Ken Jenkins’s “Scrubs” role KELSO
On the TV show “Scrubs”. Bob Kelso M.D. is played by actor Ken Jenkins. Kelso’s wife is Enid, someone he talks about a lot although she is never seen in the show. Enid is described as morbidly obese and neurotic. She was also paralyzed in an accident and uses a wheelchair.

67. CVI halved LIII
106/2 = 53

68. Old map divs. SSRS
Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR)

69. “Dallas” Miss ELLIE
Miss Ellie is the matriarch of the famed Ewing family, around which the TV series “Dallas” was written. For most of the series, Miss Ellie was played by Barbara Bel Geddes, and once in a TV movie of Dallas by Molly Hagan. Barbara Bel Geddes left the show in 1984 and was replaced by the celebrated actress Donna Reed. When Bel Geddes decided to return to the show the following year, Reed was fired. This was much to Reed’s chagrin, and so a lawsuit ensued.

70. North-of-the-border gas ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Down
2. Radius neighbor 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”.

3. *Historic Chicago-to-Santa Monica route SIXTY-SIX
The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Santa Monica, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the “Main Street of America”. The road gained some notoriety because of Nat King Cole’s song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, and also because of the sixties TV show called “Route 66”.

4. Largish combo SESTET
A sextet (also “sestet”) is a group of six.

5. Proctor’s concern CHEATER
A “proctor” is a supervisor, especially of an examination in a school, or perhaps of a dormitory. The word “proctor” originated in the late 1500s, a contraction of the word “procurator”, the name given to an official agent of a church.

6. Infiniti competitor LEXUS
Lexus is a division of the Toyota Motor Company, and is Toyota’s luxury brand. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Acura is the more luxurious version of Honda’s models.

9. Fed. benefits agency SSA
The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

10. Stimulating message SEXT
“Sexting” (a portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”) is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term “sexting” was first coined by the UK’s “Sunday Telegraph Magazine” in a 2005 article. Apparently the practice is “rampant” among teens and young adults. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie …?

11. Senators’ home OTTAWA
The Senators are the NHL hockey team in Ottawa, Canada. The current team, founded in the 1992-93 season, is the second NHL team in the city to use the name “Senators”. The original team was founded in 1917 and had a very successful run until the league expanded into the US in the late twenties. The cost of operating in what became the smallest NHL city eventually drove the Senators to St. Louis where they played for a year as the Eagles before finally folding.

12. Part of UPS PARCEL
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky.

19. County bordering Suffolk ESSEX
Essex is a county in England, referred to as one of the “home counties”. The home counties are the counties that surround the city of London, outside of London itself. “Home county” is not an official designation but has been in popular use since the 1800s.

Suffolk is a county on the east coast of England that is home to Felixstowe, which is one of the largest container ports in Europe. Suffolk lies just south of the county of Norfolk. Back in the day, the “north folk” lived in “Norfolk” and the “south folk” lived in Suffolk.

21. Dwell annoyingly (on) HARP
“To harp on” something is to talk too much about it. The original expression with the same meaning was “to harp on the same string”, a reference to the musical instrument.

24. “Fantastic” Dahl character MR FOX
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a children’s novel by Roald Dahl. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” was adapted into a 2006 animated film directed by Wes Anderson.

Roald Dahl’s name is Norwegian. Dahl’s parents were from Norway, although Dahl himself was Welsh. Dahl became one of the most successful authors of the twentieth century. Two of his most famous titles are “James and the Giant Peach” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

25. Initials on a radial PSI
Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

28. Lyon article UNE
“Une” is the French word for “a”, but only when used with a feminine noun (like “une dame”: a lady).

The city of Lyon in France, is also known as “Lyons” in English. It is located in the central eastern part of the country, where major rivers the Rhône and the Saône meet.

30. Composer Rorem NED
American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical compositions, but also for his book, “Paris Diary of Ned Rorem” that was published in 1966. Rorem talks openly about his sexuality in the book, and also about the sexuality of others including Noel Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, much to some people’s chagrin.

33. “__ shoe fits … ” IF THE
The phrase “if the shoe fits, wear it” is used on this side of the Atlantic to mean “if the statement applies to you, then admit it”. The adage is a variant of the earlier English phrase “if the cap fits, wear it”. There is a similar phrase from even earlier in the 16th century, referring to the fit of a cloak.

35. Literary assortment ANA
An ana (plural “anas”) is a collection, perhaps of literature, that represents the character of a particular place or a person. Ana can be used as a noun or as a suffix (e.g. Americana).

38. When translated to English, beer brand that hints at the common feature of the five other longest puzzle answers DOS EQUIS
Dos Equis lager was originally brewed in 1897, and back then was called “Siglo XX” (20th century) to celebrate the arrival of the new century. The name was changed later to simply “Dos Equis” (two exes).

39. “We __ Marshall”: 2006 film ARE
The 2006 drama film “We Are Marshall” tells the true story of a 1970 plane crash that killed 37 Marshall University football players as well as many of the team’s support staff.

40. Brynner of filmdom YUL
Yul Brynner was a Russian-born actor. Brynner was well known for his great performances, but also for his shaved head and his deep rich voice. He first adopted the “hairstyle” while playing the King of Siam in the stage version of “The King and I”, and he stuck with it.

43. Some Cadillacs XTS
The Cadillac XTS is a luxury sedan that went into production in 2012. The XTS is assembled in two GM locations, in Oshawa, Ontario and in Shanghai, China.

44. Scott classic IVANHOE
“Ivanhoe” is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, set in 12th-century England.

Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish novelist and playwright, the first English-language author to gain popularity around the world during his own lifetime. The most famous of his works are “Ivanhoe”, “Rob Roy” and “The Lady of the Lake”.

47. Hall of Fame Colts quarterback UNITAS
Footballer Johnny Unitas was nicknamed “the Golden Arm” as well as “Johnny U”. Unitas played in the fifties through the seventies, mainly for the Baltimore Colts. He held the record for throwing touchdown passes in consecutive games (47 games) for 52 years, until it was surpassed in 2012 by Drew Brees.

48. Grisham output NOVELS
John Grisham is a lawyer and an incredibly successful author best known for his legal thrillers. After graduating from law school, Grisham practiced law for about ten years and then went into politics. He served in the Mississippi House of Representatives for six years, during which time he wrote his first novel, “A Time to Kill”.

49. Potion ELIXIR
An elixir is a solution of alcohol and water that is used to deliver a medicine. The term “elixir” can also be used to mean a medicine that has the power to cure all ills.

54. Low voices BASSI
The bass is the lowest male singing voice. A man with such a voice might be called a “basso” (plural “bassi”).

56. First responders, initially EMTS
Emergency medical technician (EMT)

58. Israeli arms UZIS
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

59. Opera star Pinza EZIO
Ezio Pinza was an opera singer from Italy. Pinza performed for many years with the Metropolitan Opera in New York before retiring from the Met in 1948. He then launched a career on Broadway and in Hollywood.

61. Classic Jag XKE
Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” at that time.

62. “Small Wonder” state: Abbr. DEL
The state of Delaware has several nicknames, including the First State, the Small Wonder, the Blue Hen State and the Diamond State.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Tousle MUSS
5. F and G, e.g. CLEFS
10. Soaks (up) SOPS
14. Bad thing to be caught in A LIE
15. Spells HEXES
16. Virginie, par exemple ETAT
17. “Need You Tonight” band INXS
18. *Start of an old news announcement EXTRA EXTRA!
20. Frequent Lemmon co-star MATTHAU
22. Chimney STACK
23. Dublin-born poet YEATS
24. AWOL trackers MPS
26. Tiny WEE
27. Shine, in Cambridge LUSTRE
29. Ammunition dumps ARSENALS
31. Request to Sajak AN I
32. *Stipulation on le menu PRIX FIXE
34. Numerical prefix HEXA-
36. Progressive pitcher? FLO
37. When there’s no turning back D-DAY
41. *Where gas and lodging may be found NEXT EXIT
46. Tulsa sch. ORU
47. Brings to light UNEARTHS
50. Pitcher, for one VESSEL
52. Cambodia’s Lon __ NOL
53. Enzyme suffix -ASE
54. Moisten, in a way BASTE
55. Northeastern octet IVIES
57. Old but coveted ANTIQUE
60. *Nachos, e.g. TEX-MEX DISH
64. Peach __ FUZZ
65. Landed ALIT
66. Ken Jenkins’s “Scrubs” role KELSO
67. CVI halved LIII
68. Old map divs. SSRS
69. “Dallas” Miss ELLIE
70. North-of-the-border gas ESSO

Down
1. Injure badly MAIM
2. Radius neighbor ULNA
3. *Historic Chicago-to-Santa Monica route SIXTY-SIX
4. Largish combo SESTET
5. Proctor’s concern CHEATER
6. Infiniti competitor LEXUS
7. No. after a phone no. EXT
8. Not agin FER
9. Fed. benefits agency SSA
10. Stimulating message SEXT
11. Senators’ home OTTAWA
12. Part of UPS PARCEL
13. Betting specifications STAKES
19. County bordering Suffolk ESSEX
21. Dwell annoyingly (on) HARP
24. “Fantastic” Dahl character MR FOX
25. Initials on a radial PSI
27. “Well, __-di-dah!” LAH
28. Lyon article UNE
29. Weigh station counts AXLES
30. Composer Rorem NED
33. “__ shoe fits … ” IF THE
35. Literary assortment ANA
38. When translated to English, beer brand that hints at the common feature of the five other longest puzzle answers DOS EQUIS
39. “We __ Marshall”: 2006 film ARE
40. Brynner of filmdom YUL
42. Wipe off ERASE
43. Some Cadillacs XTS
44. Scott classic IVANHOE
45. Try TEST
47. Hall of Fame Colts quarterback UNITAS
48. Grisham output NOVELS
49. Potion ELIXIR
51. Suppress STIFLE
54. Low voices BASSI
56. First responders, initially EMTS
58. Israeli arms UZIS
59. Opera star Pinza EZIO
61. Classic Jag XKE
62. “Small Wonder” state: Abbr. DEL
63. In need of treatment ILL

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16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 14 Apr 16, Thursday”

  1. Not a hard puzzle, but I did get tripped up at the end with ELLIE, KELSO, XKE all unknown to me.

    Tough puzzle for the setter to pull off so it was impressive from that standpoint. He had to dig up Cambodian politicians and French menu items to do it, but by gosh he did it. Ironically, he used SESTET without the "X" on a DOS EQUIS themed puzzle.

    @Tony
    That Rodney Dangerfield clip had me in tears watching it I was laughing so hard. Wow he was funny.

    I'll probably regret doing this, but if anyone wants to see a few photos of my trip, they are available on Shutterfly to see. Just go to puntacanajeff2016.shutterfly.com/pictures (I'm too lazy to link that here). You'll see the thumbnails of the pix. Just click on "view album" below the thumbnails and then "slideshow" at the top of the next page and you'll see the 32 pix I've posted.

    If you want to avoid seeing me (a wise choice, btw) stop at number 28. 29-32 are of me and/or my girlfriend… Willie will appreciate the tshirt I'm wearing. Please keep your giggles to yourself… 🙂

    Best –

  2. Roald Dahl was a fascinating character. He started as fighter pilot but suffered some injuries early in his career and ended up in Washington, working on the British agenda to get the US into the war supporting the UK. There was a lot of opposition here to doing so, and the efforts to change this was basically an undercover operation. Ian Fleming was also involved. He got his start as an author writing accounts, somewhat embellished, of his exploits as a pilot.

  3. I must be off my game today, because I found it rather challenging. :14 for me. On 54D BASSI, I cannot find this as an English plural. If it's Italian, use an Italian word in the clue, like the constructor did with several others. Which brings me to my next nit: too many foreign things in this one.

    Nice win for the Blues last night, eh, Jeff? 🙂

  4. I bobble with Tex Mex putting in food for the finish until I saw that wasn't going to work and finally settled correctly on "dish" and the answer for "Moisten in a way" for 54 Across took some thinking until I came up with "baste" but finally the grid came together.

    Have a great day all. Jeff, the pictures are wonderful. That white sand beach looks might inviting. When I worked in the Middle East I took the chance to visit Bali a few times and went up to the island of Penang in Malaysia and did some diving in Thailand off of Phuket and in Tahiti…love those tropical isles for sure.

  5. @Tony
    Just how does one pronounce "Phuket"? 🙂

    @Willie
    Lucky win but I'll take it. If we need to shut them out every game in order to win, it will be a short series.

  6. I must be the only who doesn't understand the reveal clue.
    "When translated to English, beer brand that hints at the common feature of the five other longest puzzle answers."
    Do you know how much time I wasted trying to come up with TWO EXES or DOUBLE XS ?????
    It says "when translated t ENGLISH!!!
    I know the brand is DOS EQUIS, but c'mon.
    @Jeff I'm going to check out your pictures .
    p.s. one letter off. O-U

  7. I had a tough time with the puzzle, but managed to finish. Now, to read Bill's blog, and appreciate the finer points …. ( Had no idea about Don Equis … whaaa ? ) Thatsa beer ? The only spanish beer, I've heard, and drunk, is Corona Light.

    Jeff, I can't seem to get your pictures. Do you have to have signed up with Shutterfly ? The web page does not open, because of some innate security… Well, anyway, I'll ask someone on how to open it.

    time to get back to work. Have a nice day, all.

  8. @Vidwan
    It's an open site so it should be available to anyone who goes to that URL. No "www" needed even. I'm obviously signed up; I had to sign up for to post all the pix. I've viewed others' pix without an account before.

    I just tried it from a different computer, and it went straight to the site without any signing in. Are you sure you entered it correctly? It's just puntacanajeff2016.shutterfly.com/pictures

  9. Jeff, I managed to break the security code, and see the pics. Thanks for loading them. You both look very nice and happy.

    Other than the bar, the other pictures of the places, look somewhat sterile. ( in my humble opinion – ) Clean beaches, well maintained palm trees, white flags and manicured lawns. I would have liked historic places, old buildings, more people, natives and food dishes. Maybe a museum or two, and some souvenirs, on sale – maybe a pinata or a beach sculpture. But, thats just me.

    Thanks again, for letting us into your life. Someday, I will gather enough courage to do the same for myself.

  10. @Jeff
    Nice pictures.

    @Vidwan, @Pookie
    Have you heard of "The Most Interesting Man In The World"? Very famous marketing campaign and Internet meme that's been going on for the last 10 years. That's how most are going to know of Dos Equis.

    "I don't always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis."

    @Vidwan
    Jeff's pictures are probably blocked by the work firewall there, if I had to take a guess.

  11. Tony Michaels, I remember Phuket as the place …. on the south western most peninsula-trajectory ( like a finger into the sea – ) of Thailand. It was barely 250 miles due north of Banda Aceh, where the horrific earthquake occurred.

    Phuket was the closest land mass (other than the Aceh island itself – ) to the tsunami that followed the quake and bore horrific damage due to the tsunami. If I remember there were atleast 3 books, by American tourists, and one movie, from one of the books, about the cataclysm in Phuket. ( I was too scared to read the books, or watch the movie …..)

  12. I worked the puzzle, and the puzzle worked me…Nice challenge and I lived to tell!
    I literally got stuck in A RUT, thinking THAT was the answer instead of A LIE, so I was entrenched for a while in that dang NW.
    Hey Anonymous, interesting info about Roald Dahl!
    @Jeff, would love to see your photos, but Shutterfly appears to be down for maintenance… It says something like "We're a little out of focus right now." LOL! Websites like to do these things in the WEE small hours, I guess, which sidelines night owls like me. I'll try to view them again tomorrow.
    Sweet dreams~~™

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