LA Times Crossword Answers 11 May 16, Wednesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: John Guzzetta
THEME: Phenomenal Fun! … each of today’s themed answers includes a word starting with the letters PH, and a word starting with the letter F:

17A. Communication device also called a clamshell FLIP PHONE
24A. Verne’s circumnavigator PHILEAS FOGG
39A. Gym teacher’s concern PHYSICAL FITNESS
53A. Reunion memento FAMILY PHOTO
64A. Ben & Jerry’s flavor inspired by a Vermont rock band PHISH FOOD

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 35s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Salon creations COIFS
A “coif” is a hairdo. The term comes from an old French term “coife”, a skull-cap that was worn under a helmet back in the late 13th century.

15. Palmer with an “army” ARNIE
Arnold Palmer is one of the greats of the world of golf. Palmer is very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers are usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, but is now retired from flying. He resides in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

21. Tater SPUD
The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

23. Anti-apartheid org. ANC
The African National Congress (ANC) started out as the South African Native National Congress in 1912 with the goal of improving the lot of Black South Africans. After years of turmoil, the ANC came to power in the first open election in 1964.

Apartheid was the system of racial segregation used in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. “Apartheid” is an Afrikaans word meaning “apart-hood, the state of being apart”.

24. Verne’s circumnavigator PHILEAS FOGG
“Around the World in 80 Days” is just a wonderful adventure story, written by French author Jules Verne and first published in 1873. There have been some great screen adaptations of the story, including the 1956 movie starring David Niven as Phileas Fogg. In almost all adaptations, a balloon is used for part of the journey, perhaps the most memorable means of transportation on Fogg’s trip around the world. However, if you read the book, Fogg never used a balloon at all.

32. All-Clad product PAN
All-Clad is a manufacturer of cookware based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

33. Yucatán year ANO
The Yucatán Peninsula is located in southeastern Mexico, where it separates the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest from the Caribbean Sea to the southeast.

44. Done in by Buffy, say SLAIN
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a TV series that originally aired from 1997 to 2003. “Buffy …” was incredibly successful, especially given that it wasn’t aired on the one of the big four networks. The show was created by Joss Whedon and starred Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role.

45. __ Pérignon DOM
Dom Pérignon is the name given to the prestige label of champagne from Moët et Chandon, the French winery. The label’s name honors the Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, who helped to improve the quality and production of champagne in the early 18th century. Although Dom Pérignon made major contributions to champagne production, many of the stories in which he figures are just myths. He did not “invent” champagne, nor sparkling wine in general. Nor did he say the famous words, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”. That lovely line first appeared in a print advertisement in the late 1800s!

46. Lunch letters BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

47. Simile words … AS AN …
A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

50. Affluent London area CHELSEA
Chelsea is an area of central London located just north of the River Thames that is famous for its high property prices. Chelsea is also home to many expat Americans, who make up almost 7% of all the area’s residents.

56. “Moulin Rouge!” director Luhrmann BAZ
Baz Luhrmann is a film director from Australia best known for the hit films “Strictly Ballroom” (1992) and “Moulin Rouge!” (2001). He also directed the epic movies “Australia” (2008) starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, and “The Great Gatsby” (2013) starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

“Moulin Rouge!” is musical film that was released in 2001, starring Nicole Kidman as the star of the Moulin Rouge cabaret, and Ewan McGregor as the young man who falls in love with her. Although set in the early 1900s, the film uses many, many contemporary songs. There were so many that it took the producers almost two years to secure the rights to use the music.

57. Most blue state electees: Abbr. DEMS
On political maps, red states are Republican and blue states Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

62. Piano exercise ETUDE
An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

64. Ben & Jerry’s flavor inspired by a Vermont rock band PHISH FOOD
Phish is a rock and roll band that formed at the University of Vermont in 1983. After I hiatus from 2004 until 2009, the band is going strong to this day. The has been a “Phish Food” flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream since 1997.

68. World Court site, with “The” HAGUE
Den Haag is the Dutch name for the city in the Netherlands that we know in English as The Hague. Even though The Hague is the seat of the Dutch parliament and is where Queen Beatrix resides, it is not the country’s capital city. That honor goes to Amsterdam.

International Court of Justice (ICJ) is commonly referred to as the World Court, and is based in the Hague in the Netherlands. The ICJ is the main judicial branch of the United Nations, and one of its functions is to settle disputes between UN member states. The US no longer accepts the jurisdiction of the ICJ, after the court’s 1986 decision that the US’s covert war against Nicaragua was in violation of international law. The UN Security Council is charged with enforcing ICJ rulings, and so the US used its veto power in the Nicaragua v. United States case.

69. Holiday drink NOG
It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

Down
1. “Carmina Burana” composer ORFF
“Carmina Burana” is a cantata by Carl Orff based on a collection of medieval poems that go by the same name. The name translates as “Songs from Beuern”. The best known movement of the cantata by far is the dramatic “O Fortuna” used at the opening and closing of the piece. One study placed “O Fortuna” as the most often played piece of classical music in the UK over the past 75 years, largely due to its use in television commercials. Famously, the piece appeared in the US in ads for Gatorade and Old Spice aftershave.

2. __ sci POLI
Political science (poli sci)

3. Mars candy bar TWIX
I remember Twix bars from way back in 1967 when they were introduced in the British Isles. Twix bars made it to the US over a decade later, in 1979.

Forrest Mars, Sr. was the founder of the Mars Company. Forrest invented the Mars Bar while living over in England and then developed M&M’s when he returned to the US. Mars came up with the idea for M&M’s when he saw soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating chocolate pellets. Those pellets had a hard shell of tempered chocolate on the outside to prevent them from melting. Mars got some of the funding to develop the M&M from William Murrie, the son of the president of Hershey’s Chocolate. It is the “M” and “M” from “Mars” and “Murrie” that give the name to the candy.

4. Lyric poet of Lesbos SAPPHO
Sappho was an Ancient Greek poet born on the Greek island of Lesbos. Sappho was much admired for her work, although very little of it survives today. She was renowned for writing erotic and romantic verse that dealt with the love of women as well as men. It was because of this poetry that the word “lesbian” (someone from Lesbos) is used to describe a gay woman.

5. Initials for William or Harry HRH
His/her Royal Highness (HRH)

Prince William is second in line to the British throne, after his father Prince Charles, with Prince Harry holding the third spot. Prince Harry moved down the list when William and Kate had their first child George. The law was changed in 2011 so that the eldest child of Prince William and Kate Middleton would be next in line, regardless of sex. Up until 2011, sons took precedence, even over older daughters.

8. Starting point for Frisbee golfers TEE PAD
The Frisbee phenomenon started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.

18. Baby sharks PUPS
Apparently male sharks are referred to as “bulls” or just “males”. Female sharks are only known as “females”. The offspring of sharks are referred to as “pups”.

25. Apple variety IMAC
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

26. Singer Horne LENA
Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

27. Crow, at times, in Hinduism OMEN
In the Hindu tradition, crows are regarded as a carriers of information, omens. For example, when a crow makes a crowing sound in front of person’s house, this can be considered a sign that a special visitor will arrive.

29. Brand of beard trimmers WAHL
The Wahl Clipper Corporations is a company based in Sterling, Illinois that makes grooming clippers for both humans and animals.

30. Singer who co-composed a song in Elvish for “The Lord of the Rings” ENYA
Enya co-wrote and performed a song titled “Aníron” for “The Lord of the Rings” series of films. The song’s lyrics are written in the Elvish language of Sindarin, a fictional language that was created by author J.R.R. Tolkien.

36. CSA soldiers REBS
The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation and retained the post for the life of the government.

37. Archipelago part ISLE
“Archipelago” is a name often used for a group or chain of islands. “Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. “Arcipelago” was the proper name for the Aegean Sea in Greek, a word that was eventually used for the Aegean Islands.

38. Spanish pronoun ESTA
In Spanish, the “otra” (other) is neither “esta” (this) nor “esa” (that).

40. Broadway king’s domain SIAM
“Anna and the King of Siam” is a semi-biographical novel written by Margaret Landon and first published in 1944. The book tells the largely true story of Anna Leonowens who spent five years in Siam teaching English to the children and wives of King Mongkut. The novel was adapted as a 1946 movie of the same name starring Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison. Then followed a 1951 stage musical titled “The King and I”. The musical was written as a vehicle for Gertrude Lawrence, who played Anna. Rex Harrison was asked to play the King, but he turned it down and Yul Brynner was cast instead. A movie version of the stage musical was released in 1956, famously starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.

42. Nina of “The Ten Commandments” FOCH
Nina Foch was a Dutch-American actress who appeared in many Hollywood movies in the forties and fifties. Foch’s first husband was James Lipton, the host of Bravo’s “Inside the Actors Studio”.

“The Ten Commandments” is an epic movie directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and released in 1956. The cast is as epic as the film, with Charlton Heston playing the lead role of Moses. Also appearing are Yul Brynner as Rameses, Edward G. Robinson as Dathan, Vincent Price as Baka and Anne Baxter as Nefretiri.

43. FWIW kin IMHO
In my humble opinion (IMHO)

For what it’s worth (FWIW)

54. Blue shade AZURE
The word “azure” came into English from Persian via Old French. The French word “l’azur” was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called “Lazhward” which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and “azure” has been describing this color since the 14th century.

56. Result of glacial calving BERG
An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. Out use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Choose OPT
4. Metaphorical loss in a bad deal SHIRT
9. Salon creations COIFS
14. Column crosser ROW
15. Palmer with an “army” ARNIE
16. “Strange to say … ” ODDLY …
17. Communication device also called a clamshell FLIP PHONE
19. Unlock the door for LET IN
20. Match socially FIX UP
21. Tater SPUD
23. Anti-apartheid org. ANC
24. Verne’s circumnavigator PHILEAS FOGG
28. “Rad!” AWESOME!
31. Consider DEEM
32. All-Clad product PAN
33. Yucatán year ANO
35. Spooky EERIE
39. Gym teacher’s concern PHYSICAL FITNESS
44. Done in by Buffy, say SLAIN
45. __ Pérignon DOM
46. Lunch letters BLT
47. Simile words … AS AN …
50. Affluent London area CHELSEA
53. Reunion memento FAMILY PHOTO
56. “Moulin Rouge!” director Luhrmann BAZ
57. Most blue state electees: Abbr. DEMS
58. Secret stash CACHE
62. Piano exercise ETUDE
64. Ben & Jerry’s flavor inspired by a Vermont rock band PHISH FOOD
67. More valuable to a collector RARER
68. World Court site, with “The” HAGUE
69. Holiday drink NOG
70. Narrow valleys GLENS
71. Symbol of military power SWORD
72. __ blue SKY

Down
1. “Carmina Burana” composer ORFF
2. __ sci POLI
3. Mars candy bar TWIX
4. Lyric poet of Lesbos SAPPHO
5. Initials for William or Harry HRH
6. Diminutive Italian suffix -INO
7. Dishwasher cycle RINSE
8. Starting point for Frisbee golfers TEE PAD
9. Loss of nerve COLD FEET
10. Dedicated poem ODE
11. Luggage label ID TAG
12. Affair FLING
13. (In) agreement SYNC
18. Baby sharks PUPS
22. Take advantage of USE
25. Apple variety IMAC
26. Singer Horne LENA
27. Crow, at times, in Hinduism OMEN
28. Mobile downloads APPS
29. Brand of beard trimmers WAHL
30. Singer who co-composed a song in Elvish for “The Lord of the Rings” ENYA
34. Over the hill OLD
36. CSA soldiers REBS
37. Archipelago part ISLE
38. Spanish pronoun ESTA
40. Broadway king’s domain SIAM
41. Ones with access INSIDERS
42. Nina of “The Ten Commandments” FOCH
43. FWIW kin IMHO
48. Tankard contents ALE
49. Mythological maidens NYMPHS
51. Ingrained ETCHED
52. Just sit around LOAF
53. Decisive, as a mistake FATAL
54. Blue shade AZURE
55. “Poppycock!” PSHAW!
56. Result of glacial calving BERG
59. Deceives CONS
60. Hoops shot HOOK
61. Like envelope-pushing comedy EDGY
63. Hibernation spot DEN
65. “Can __ now?” I GO
66. Prefix with charge SUR-

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 11 May 16, Wednesday”

  1. @WillieD
    Only through history. Mainly it was just an off-hand comment about the schedule and how farcical using "today's" in reference to the NYT grid is for most of us.

    @in general
    LAT: 1 rather strange error (24A-26D). I always thought it was PHINEAS, but then I never heard of NENA or LENA Horne, sooooo…

    WSJ: 0 errors. Zhouqin & Ron did a fair Wednesday effort with the fill, though the theme (rhyming words) leaves much to be desired for numerous reasons.

  2. First clue I looked at was 17A. I knew FLIP PHONE right away and I knew the theme right then as well. Led to a pretty quick solve. Setter had to bend over backwards to pull this off – somehow finding SAPPHO and ORFF, for example, but he did it.

    I don't care what it tastes like, but I'm not eating any ice cream by the name of PHISH FOOD. Yikes.

    I'd add to the theme description a word beginning with "F" as well as "PH"

    Best –

  3. Couldn't finish puzzle because of flipphone and Orff. Dahl and Baz were new to me as well but they fell into place.
    Happy Wednesday to all!

  4. Had a short hang up due to filling in "loll" for 52 Down: Just sit around. Finally saw that loaf was going to work MUCH better with the Across answers and that finished the grid. Next up the WSJ puzzle.

    Have a great "hump" day all.

  5. I feel like I should have done this quicker. It had a foreign feel to it.

    Glenn, if you go to nytcrossword.com, Bill placed a quick link to the syndicated grid right under the grid that appears in today's NYT, that was my only point. Why they are delayed so long, sorry I don't know the answer to that. Oh well.

  6. WSJ grid seemed about the same level of difficulty as the LAT today – not too hard in other words. I'm also working on a whole pile of Sunday NYT's puzzles that I get from my friends who subscribe to the Sunday NYT's, but don't do the puzzle.

    So the wife saves them all for me and drops off a pile very so often when she goes to her chiropractor whose office is close to my wife's store. After I get done with with the puzzles I then read most of the Sunday Magazine. It's a lot of fun doing these as they are typically very challenging.

  7. I missed a post yesterday, because I had to spend an inordinate amount of time closing my 'ancient' QRP ( qualified retirement plan – ) which I had never touched, and was 29 years old. The bank, ironically called US Bank, had figured that after 29 years, the money, carrying a nominal interest of 0.01%, and rolled over every 6 months, ….. was apparently their own money, and I had to spend over 4 hours persuading them that I was a real live person, and yes, I did want my 22k back.

    Todays puzzle was a little challenge, but I enjoyed it very much. Some rare names and words. Never got the theme. I also thought it was PHINEAS rather than PHILEAS, …. well, I learnt something.

    I read somewhere that the ANC – the African National Congress, name grew out of a similar concept of the Indian National Congress which started in 1898 (?), Apparently M. G. Gandhi who was originally working, as a barrister, in South Africa, had written suggesting a corresponding org. in South Africa. The INC, of course, became the dominant political force in indian independence, and for another 30 years thereafter.

    As an aside, the Mars family of the M&M fame, has 16 billionaires.

    Question: How do you make out a male shark from a female one ? Very, very discreetly …

    Crows as a Hindu omen. There is a continuing belief, in India, that some ancestors, of every family, are 'reborn', as crows …. so there still exists, a rite, among a few people, wherein a small portion of food, generally during lunch time, is kept on the balconies for the crows to eat ….. to gratify the ancestors (?). As a practical matter, it ensures to keep the whole crow clan in good health …..

    have a good day, all.

  8. The theme is more than that: every single one is a two word answer with F-PH or PH-F regarding the two words.

  9. @WillieD
    I'm well aware. Actually I've been posting over there for quite some time on the rare times I get more "current" NYT grids done. To wit, I posted on "yesterday's" grid, and will be making a post on "today's" grid when it gets done.

    @Tony
    I've been doing the same, as that's the primary "easy" source I have for NYT puzzles. There's a certain romanticism too as those are the introduction I have to crosswords when I first decided to try to do them.

    Then there's the book I referred to once upon a time (got through the Mon-Tue pile, a 20% DNF rate is pretty disheartening though). All for when I want to do puzzles but don't have a LAT or WSJ before me.

    That said, as a discussion, I wonder how people scale puzzles to make it worth their time in learning to do them. I already have done this a bit myself in trying to learn (moving from other grids I did when LAT Mon/Tues was *hard* for me) as well as do grids in a reasonable amount of time, but pondering dropping early week grids in favor of trying to track down more late week grids that would present more of a challenge. In a sense, no point in doing them if you want the challenge. Yet another one of those things that I would love to see discussion on that just seems to not be for certain reasons.

    Though I do like doing the "easy" grids sometimes to remind myself that I can do crosswords when I get the reminders from some of them that I can't…

  10. @RestMyCase
    You are so right about the explanation of the theme, so I've corrected my little blurb about it. Moving too quickly, yet again … Thanks! 🙂

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