LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Apr 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Double Fs … each of today’s 10 (ten!) themed answers comprises two words, both starting with the letter F:

17A. Maximum impact FULL FORCE
21A. Get dizzy FEEL FAINT
34A. Close pal FAST FRIEND
43A. Healthy, with “in” FINE FETTLE
58A. Beach footwear FLIP-FLOPS
66A. Achilles’ heel FATAL FLAW
4D. Office cabinet document holder FILE FOLDER
9D. British Invasion nickname FAB FOUR
32D. Six for you, six for me, e.g. FIFTY-FIFTY
44D. On the house FOR FREE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. New Jersey or California city LODI
Lodi, New Jersey was named in honor of the city of Lodi in Italy. One of Lodi’s claims to fame is that it is home to the Satin Dolls go-go bar, which was used for location shoots for the fictional Bada Bing bar in “The Sopranos”.

Lodi, California may not be as well known a wine producer as Sonoma and Napa counties, but has been given the moniker “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.

15. French champagne maker founded in Germany MUMM
G. H. Mumm is one of the largest Champagne producers in the world. It is located in Reims in northern France and was actually founded by three brothers from Germany, all winemakers from the Rhine Valley.

19. Olympic racer since 2008 BMXER
BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross. It’s the sport where folks on bicycles race around what is in effect a regular motocross track. Medals were awarded for BMX for the first time at the Beijing Olympics, with a Latvian winning for the men, and a Française winning for the women.

31. __ Wiedersehen AUF
“Auf Wiedersehen” is German for “goodbye”, literally translating as “till we see each other again”.

33. Lang. of Florence ITAL
Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region in Italy. Something from or related to Florence is described as “Florentine”. The city is known as “Firenze” in Italian.

40. Slush __ FUND
A “slush fund” is a sum of money that is held in reserve, or in the case of illicit dealings, that is used for paying bribes. The term originated in at sea, with “slush” referring to the fat skimmed from the top of a pot of boiling salted meat. A cook might sell the fat to tallow makers and the money earned was his “slush fund”.

41. JFK overseer FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at La Guardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

42. Food Network’s “Beat Bobby __” FLAY
Bobby Flay is a celebrity chef who has hosted several shows on the Food Network. Flay is also an Iron Chef on the show “Iron Chef America”, which also airs on the Food Network.

47. IRS agent T-MAN
A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (T is for Treasury).

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

48. Ukr. neighbor ROM
Romania sits just east of Hungary and north of Bulgaria in Europe. Romania was formed from the union of two principalities in 1859, Moldavia and Wallachia. The Kingdom of Romania grew larger in size after WWI with the addition of three new regions, including the “vampirish” Transylvania.

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe, in fact the largest country located entirely within the continent. In English we often call the country “the” Ukraine, but I am told that we should just say “Ukraine”.

51. Little newt EFT
Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

66. Achilles’ heel FATAL FLAW
Achilles is a Greek mythological figure, the main protagonist of Homer’s “Iliad”. Supposedly when Achilles was born his mother attempted to make him immortal by dipping him into the River Styx. As he was held by the heel as he was immersed, this became the only vulnerable point on his body, his “Achilles’ heel”. Years later he was killed when a poisoned arrow struck him in the heel. The arrow was shot by Paris.

69. Italian automaker since 1899 FIAT
Fiat is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, and is headquartered in Turin in the Piedmont region in the north of the country. Fiat was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, when the company’s name was “Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino” (FIAT). A few years ago, Fiat became the majority shareholder in Chrysler.

73. Safecracker YEGG
“Yegg” is a slang word for a burglar and often for a safe-cracker. The origin of the term appears to be unknown.

Down
1. __ Romeo: sports car ALFA
The “Alfa” in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

5. Texter’s “If you ask me” IMO
In my opinion (IMO)

7. Oscars host, e.g. EMCEE
The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

8. Mideast VIP EMEER
An “emir” is a head of state in some Islamic countries. In English, emir can also be written as emeer, amir and ameer (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

9. British Invasion nickname FAB FOUR
The Beatles were described on the sleeve notes of their 1963 album “With the Beatles” as the “fabulous foursome”. The press picked up on the phrase and morphed it into “the Fab Four”.

10. Humorist Bombeck ERMA
Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns describing her home life in suburbia.

12. Correct, as text EMEND
The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

13. Game that drives home a point? DARTS
Darts is a wonderful game, often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

22. Pumpernickel buy LOAF
The lovely bread known as pumpernickel is made with a recipe that originates in the Westphalia region of Germany. The version of the bread that we eat in North America has been adapted over the years from the original recipe, largely to produce a cheaper product. If you taste the European version beside the American version, it’s hard to believe they have the same origins. The etymology and literal translation of “pumpernickel” seems to be unclear, although there are some interesting suggestions given that I won’t repeat here, especially as they have to do with “the devil’s flatulence!”

24. U.K. fliers RAF
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” has to be the Battle of Britain when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words:
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

27. Annoy MIFF
“To miff” is “to put out, to tee off”, a word that has been around since the early 1600s. Interestingly, in 1824 Sir Walter Scott described the word “miffed” as “a women’s phrase”. That would get him a slap, I’d say …

28. Storage case for tiny scissors ETUI
An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

29. “Death in Venice” author Thomas MANN
Thomas Mann was a German novelist whose most famous work is probably his novella “Death in Venice”, originally published in German in 1912 as “Der Tod in Venedig”. The story was famously adapted for the big screen in 1971, in a movie starring Dirk Bogarde.

37. Giggly Muppet ELMO
The man behind/under the character Elmo on “Sesame Street” is Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

38. Tandoori bread NAAN
Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

39. Physics unit DYNE
A dyne is a unit of force. The name “dyne” comes from the Greek “dynamis” meaning “power, force”.

45. Disney’s “__ and the Detectives” EMIL
“Emil and the Detectives” is a novel first published in 1929. It was originally written in German and was titled “Emil und die Detektive”. The Disney company released a screen adaptation in 1964.

52. Fauna’s partner FLORA
The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

53. Records for later, in a way TIVOS
TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

55. Super, at the box office BOFFO
“Boffo” is show biz slang for “very successful”, a term that dates back to the early sixties.

56. Where rain falls mainly on the plain SPAIN
“The Rain in Spain” is a song from the 1956 Lerner & Loewe musical “My Fair Lady”. The famous lyric “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain” appears in the 1938 film “Pygmalion”, but not in the original 1913 George Bernard Shaw play “Pygmalion”, on which all the derivative works are based.

60. Doc’s “Now!” STAT!
The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

62. Santa’s access FLUE
The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that it is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition. When the fire is burning, flow through the flue should be more restricted. The flue needs to be open sufficiently to allow smoke and exhaust gases exit, but not too wide so that too much hot air escapes, dragging cold air into the house from elsewhere.

64. Loot SWAG
“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. Swag is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events.

67. Off-road transport, briefly ATV
All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Yeah, like that’s gonna happen” AS IF
5. “That’s clear now” I SEE
9. Honored with a big bash FETED
14. New Jersey or California city LODI
15. French champagne maker founded in Germany MUMM
16. Bakery lure AROMA
17. Maximum impact FULL FORCE
19. Olympic racer since 2008 BMXER
20. Staggering dizzily AREEL
21. Get dizzy FEEL FAINT
23. “__ out!” FAR
25. Suffix with switch -EROO
26. DJ’s stack CDS
27. Accessory for note-taking MEMO PAD
31. __ Wiedersehen AUF
33. Lang. of Florence ITAL
34. Close pal FAST FRIEND
40. Slush __ FUND
41. JFK overseer FAA
42. Food Network’s “Beat Bobby __” FLAY
43. Healthy, with “in” FINE FETTLE
47. IRS agent T-MAN
48. Ukr. neighbor ROM
49. Softball of a question EASY ONE
51. Little newt EFT
54. Pokes fun at RIBS
57. Baseball : ump :: football : __ REF
58. Beach footwear FLIP-FLOPS
61. British elevators LIFTS
65. What the suffix “phile” means LOVER
66. Achilles’ heel FATAL FLAW
68. Stood AROSE
69. Italian automaker since 1899 FIAT
70. Melt fish TUNA
71. Tentative bite TASTE
72. Airing, as a sitcom ON TV
73. Safecracker YEGG

Down
1. __ Romeo: sports car ALFA
2. Like lemons SOUR
3. Doing nothing IDLE
4. Office cabinet document holder FILE FOLDER
5. Texter’s “If you ask me” IMO
6. Browse websites SURF
7. Oscars host, e.g. EMCEE
8. Mideast VIP EMEER
9. British Invasion nickname FAB FOUR
10. Humorist Bombeck ERMA
11. Poisonous TOXIC
12. Correct, as text EMEND
13. Game that drives home a point? DARTS
18. Envelope part FLAP
22. Pumpernickel buy LOAF
24. U.K. fliers RAF
27. Annoy MIFF
28. Storage case for tiny scissors ETUI
29. “Death in Venice” author Thomas MANN
30. Senseless DAFT
32. Six for you, six for me, e.g. FIFTY-FIFTY
35. Posed SAT
36. Bit of folklore TALE
37. Giggly Muppet ELMO
38. Tandoori bread NAAN
39. Physics unit DYNE
44. On the house FOR FREE
45. Disney’s “__ and the Detectives” EMIL
46. Place for a hoop EAR
50. Get bought up quickly SELL
51. Key above D E-FLAT
52. Fauna’s partner FLORA
53. Records for later, in a way TIVOS
55. Super, at the box office BOFFO
56. Where rain falls mainly on the plain SPAIN
59. Bothersome insect PEST
60. Doc’s “Now!” STAT!
62. Santa’s access FLUE
63. Zesty flavor TANG
64. Loot SWAG
67. Off-road transport, briefly ATV

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Apr 16, Tuesday”

  1. I don't know what it is, but I seem to be having a harder time doing grids this week for some reason.

    1 error on the Monday WSJ (already), but a personal Natick (10A-11D) where I guessed N instead of M, so I guess that's something. Rather inconsistent theme if I had to review the grid itself.

    1 error today on this grid, but took a while and a fair number of erasures to get there. Never heard of FINEFETTLE until today, along with several of the other things given the way they were clued.

    Tuesday WSJ was particularly brutal (for that day), but I completed it with a large sea of ink (to borrow that phrase) – verdict remains on whether I got it or not.

    Gonna be rough if the week continues as such.

  2. At about 1/4 through, I could see there was a higher than normal number of "F"s.

    There were, besides the theme, at least 7 more "F" words not created by crosses with the theme. Neat!

  3. I thought today's grid was a fair challenge for a Tuesday. While I didn't get an "F" on it (g) it was fun.

    Anonymous raises a fair point about the cross talk I participate in regarding the WSJ puzzle. Bill, if I am in anyway abusing your hospitality I will be glad to refrain from mention the working any other crossword grids here on your blog. Could you give me (us) your thoughts on that?

  4. This grid felt quite "British," or at least "European" today. And for the LAT, I'm not a big fan of that. I can only guess they threw this one in today because of TMAN. But even then, tax day was yesterday except in Maine or Mass., so kind of a FATALFLAW there too. Fettle? WTF is fettle? Find me one American in the last 50 years who has used that term. :07 uninspired minutes for me.

  5. @Tony Michaels, Glenn
    I have no problem with the chat about the WSJ puzzle here, especially as there is nowhere else to have such discussion. I'd love to start up a WSJ blog myself, but I just don't have the time to do it justice right now. Maybe one day 🙂

  6. This went along smoothly, as Tuesday should.
    @Willie D- I can't say that I've EVER used "in FINE FETTLE
    orally at any time, but it's a familiar phrase. I think most of the time I've heard it used humorously, as in overly stiff and formal conversation.
    I even know BOFFO!
    @Jeff- Saw the awful flooding in Houston on the news last night. Hope you check in today and you're OK.
    REPORTER AIDS MAN IN SINKING CAR

  7. Willie, maybe the same people who say FINE FETTLE are the same people who say "that's a fine kettle (of fish)". No? Well, I know I've heard/read both phrases, but I couldn't tell you where.

    I've been through LODI many times, wouldn't want to live there (too hot).

    Jeff, I hope you're high and dry.

    Bella

    Wait! Wait! I just remembered! Kettle of fish is from Laurel and Hardy. Don't know where I've come across FETTLE, though.

  8. @Bill
    Thanks

    @In General
    I just usually talk about whatever grids I'm doing. If it happens to be NYT (save one instance), I post it on Bill's other blog. Right now, I'm doing LAT, WSJ, and a very occasional "current" (if you call the syndication schedule that) NYT, but a bunch of one-off 21x21s on the weekends too (though I'll probably drop them in the near future as I found some oldie NYTs that I think predates Bill's other blog that I want to do), which I will sometimes mention.

    Mainly I'm just trying to get where I can solve these things most of the time. In general, I do have a pretty good idea of a lot of the grids that are out there and the general difficulty levels of them, so there's always an opinion available if it's welcome.

    On to the Wednesday WSJ (it's odd, but they release online on COB the day before, so I usually have it done before prime-time TV comes on).

  9. Did the puzzle early, but late to the game, to post. I enjoyed the grid, with just a smatterring of unusual words. I knew the theme involved some F —F—-.

    There is a LODI in N.E. Ohio, as well. Here they say, 'low-Die'. Nondescript, little town, whose school football team is always losing. ( Not that I listen to the scores, anyway.)

    One of my new eye doctors has a name Dr. R. Amir M——. He is an Iranian-American, and he asks to be called 'Dr. Amir', because his real last name is pretty much unpronounceable. I asked him, what the word, 'Amir' meant in Farsi. He told me it means, Prince. So, there we have it ….. one more future clue.

    Jeff, I hope you are doing OK, and coping with a heavy rainfall, in your life. My prayers go out to you and yours.

    Pookie, that Tv report of the guy saving himself, was very scary. The driver looked to be a senior citizen, and the reporter didn't step out, to assist him, until the driver, himself, had pretty much swum to safety. What if he was like me, and didn't know how to swim …. he would have been a goner.

    Jeff, are the natives in the Dominican Republic, all called 'Dr's ? 😉

    Have a nice evening, all.

  10. @Vidwan.- I thought the reporter could have done more also. Seems like the cameraman was telling him the man had to get on top of his car "like the other man did".
    I don't know, it's inaudible.
    The trouble with those situations is that you never know if the rescuer will get swept up in the current, or maybe the reporter can't swim either.
    The older man in the car looks to be in shock. He says, "You want me to get in the car?"
    I was on a boat once and we started to take on water. I got the life jackets and handed one to a man who just looked at it and said what do I do?
    I said firmly and loudly "PUT IT ON".
    He was clearly in a state of panic, so I helped him get it buckled on.
    All ended well. Another boat came along side and we got in the other boat.
    The Coast Guard came and pumped and towed the leaking boat in.
    PHEW! or WHEW! depending on which crossword you do. ^0^
    p.s. That's one reason I'm taking swimming lessons.

  11. Hi everyone!
    Where's Jeff? Perhaps he lost Internet connection.
    Nice grid today, tho I initially had RUS instead of ROM. Also never heard "in FINE FETTLE." Next time I see my doctor I'm going to ask her if that phrase describes me…
    Be well~~™

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