LA Times Crossword Answers 16 May 16, Monday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Vivian O. Collins
THEME: Charmed Puzzle … each of today’s themed answers is a synonym of “charmed”, and is also the title of a film:

17A. 1987 Cher film MOONSTRUCK
64A. 1945 Ingrid Bergman film SPELLBOUND
10D. 2005 Nicole Kidman film BEWITCHED
37D. 2007 Amy Adams film ENCHANTED

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 56s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Vehicles with meters CABS
A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

15. South Pacific island studied by Margaret Mead SAMOA
The official name for the South Pacific country formerly known as Western Samoa is the Independent State of Samoa. “Samoa” is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, a name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.

“Coming of Age in Samoa” sounds like a fascinating book. It was written by American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and published in 1928. In the book, Mead examines the behavior of youths in Samoa, making some comparisons with youths in America. One major observation she made was the smooth transition from childhood to adulthood of Samoan girls, compared to what she described as a more troublesome transition in the US.

16. Olympic sword EPEE
There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, distinguished by the weapon used:

– Foil
– Épée
– Sabre

17. 1987 Cher film MOONSTRUCK
“Moonstruck” is a 1987 movie, a romantic comedy starring Cher and Nicolas Cage. There’s a bit of a love triangle in the storyline, with Danny Aiello playing the man who loses the girl. “Moonstruck” won three Oscars and was a huge success, and somehow, I’ve never seen it …

21. Sophocles character for whom a Freudian complex is named OEDIPUS
“Oedipus Rex” (also “Oedipus the King”) is a tragedy penned by the Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. The play tells the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes King of Thebes. Famously, Oedipus was destined from birth to murder his father and marry his mother.

An oedipal relationship is one in which a child exhibits sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex. A child exhibiting such behavior is said to have an Oedipus complex, named for the play “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles.

34. Time co-founder Henry LUCE
Henry Luce was a publisher, mainly of magazines. He was responsible for launching such iconic publications as “Time”, “Life”, “Fortune” and “Sports Illustrated”.

“TIME” was the first weekly news magazine in the US, co-founded in 1923 by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce. Hadden and Luce had previously worked together as chairman and managing editor of the “Yale Daily News”.

41. Tehran’s country IRAN
Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around an awful long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

43. Ireland, to an Irish poet ERIN
“Éire” is the Irish word for “Ireland”. “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.

44. Painter Chagall MARC
Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist, one of the most successful of the 20th century. Unlike so many painters, Chagall was able to achieve wealth and notoriety for his work during his own lifetime. It did help that Chagall lived to a ripe old age though. He passed away in 1985, when he was 97 years young. One of Chagall’s most famous works is the ceiling of the Paris Opera. The new ceiling for the beautiful 19th-century building was commissioned in 1963, and took Chagall a year to complete. Chagall was 77 years old when he worked on the Paris Opera project.

45. New Testament king HEROD
Herod Agrippa was the grandson of Herod the Great, and like his grandfather was a Roman client king of Judea. It is thought that Herod Agrippa is the “Herod” mentioned in the Bible’s “Acts of the Apostles”, the king who imprisoned Peter and who had killed James son of Zebedee. Agrippa’s grandfather was the King Herod who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents described in the Gospel of Matthew. This was Herod’s attempt to kill the young Jesus by ordering the murder of all boys aged two or younger in Bethlehem and vicinity.

46. Monopoly card with mortgage values DEED
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

47. __-Bits: letter-shaped cereal ALPHA
Alpha-Bits is a Post breakfast cereal that is made from “bits” of corn cereal in “alphabet” shapes.

49. Leaf under a petal SEPAL
In a flower, the sepals are those green, leaf-like structures that are “interleaved” with the petals, providing support. Prior to acting as support for the petals, the sepals protect the flower in bud.

58. Capital of Lithuania VILNIUS
The nation of Lithuania is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) sitting on the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. The capital of Lithuania is Vilnius, and 16 miles north of Vilnius is a point that is officially recognized as the Geographic Center of Europe.

64. 1945 Ingrid Bergman film SPELLBOUND
“Spellbound” is a 1945 Hitchcock film starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. It is a psychological thriller in which Bergman and Peck play psychoanalysts. That’s all I’ll say, to avoid spoiling the film for potential viewers. I will say that Hitchcock makes his traditional cameo appearance in the movie, although it occurs relatively late in the plot. Hitch can be seen exiting an elevator carrying a violin case and smoking a cigarette about 43 minutes into the film.

That talented and beautiful actress Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm, and was a successful Swedish actress before launching her Hollywood career in 1939 in the film “Intermezzo: A Love Story”. Bergman’s most famous film appearances were probably in 1942’s “Casablanca” opposite Humphrey Bogart, and in 1946’s HItchcock movie “Notorious” opposite Cary Grant.

70. Latvian capital RIGA
Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

71. Collecting Soc. Sec., maybe RETD
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.

73. Tabloid twosome ITEM
An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

“Tabloid” is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co,) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, applied to newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

Down
1. Free tickets, say COMPS
“To comp” is “to give for free”, from “complimentary”.

2. Marketplace of ancient Greece AGORA
In early Greece the “agora” was a place of assembly. Often the assemblies held there were quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a market place. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

3. Dustpan go-with BROOM
The sweeping implement known as a “broom” used to called a “besom”. A besom was made from a bundle of twigs tied to a stouter pole. The favored source for the twigs came from thorny shrubs from the genus Genista. The common term for many species of Genista is “broom”. Over time, “broom besoms” came to be known as just “brooms”.

5. Fla. clock setting EST
Eastern Standard Time (EST)

What we know as the US state of Florida, was named by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who led the first Europeans to the area in 1513. The actual name he used was “La Florida”, Spanish for “the Flowery (Land)”.

7. Outback bird EMU
The large flightless birds called emus make sounds by manipulating inflatable necks sacs. The sac is about a foot long, has a thin wall and allows the bird to emit a booming sound. The type of sound emitted is the easiest way to differentiate between male and female emus.

In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as “the outback” or “the bush”. That said, I think that the term “outback” can also be used for the more remote parts of the bush.

8. Chanel of fashion COCO
Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer. Perhaps because I am a man, clothes design is not my forte. However, if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really admired, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that look so elegant on a woman.

10. 2005 Nicole Kidman film BEWITCHED
“Bewitched” is a 2005 film starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, and was inspired by the celebrated sixties sitcom of the same name. The twist in the movie is that Ferrell plays an actor slated to play the male lead in a remake of the “Bewitched” TV show. Kidman’s character is chosen to play the female lead in the “Bewitched” reboot, and the twist is that the actress is actually a witch.

Nicole Kidman is an Australian-American actress whose breakthrough role was the female lead in 1989’s “Dead Calm”. Kidman was actually born in Hawaii, to Australian parents. As a result, she has dual citizenship of Australia and the US.

12. Eye care brand RENU
ReNu is a brand name of contact lens products sold by Bausch & Lomb.

22. Batman and Robin, e.g. DUO
Batman and Robin are unique among their superhero compatriots in that they have no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets. Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

31. Michelin product TIRE
Michelin is a manufacturer of tires based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin “stars”.

32. New York border lake ERIE
Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

34. Peru’s capital LIMA
Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem.

35. River to the Caspian URAL
The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea.

The Caspian Sea is a landlocked body of water lying between Asia and Europe. By some definitions, the Caspian is the largest lake on the planet. The name “Caspian” comes from the Caspi people who lived to the southwest of the sea in South Caucasus.

36. Bellyache CARP
The word “carp” used to mean simply “talk” back in the 13th century, with its roots in the Old Norwegian “karpa” meaning “to brag”. A century later the Latin word “carpere” meaning “to slander” influenced the use of “carp” so that it came to mean “find fault with”.

37. 2007 Amy Adams film ENCHANTED
“Enchanted” is actually quite an entertaining Disney film, the story of the Princess Giselle who is forced from her animated world to live in the real world of New York City. Actress Amy Adams played the princess, in what turned out to be her breakthrough role.

39. Family car SEDAN
The American “sedan” car is the equivalent of the British “saloon” car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

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

52. Inspiration sources MUSES
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

– Calliope (epic poetry)
– Clio (history)
– Erato (lyric poetry)
– Euterpe (music)
– Melpomene (tragedy)
– Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
– Terpsichore (dance)
– Thalia (comedy)
– Urania (astronomy)

54. New Zealand native MAORI
The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. The Māori are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting sometime in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing the mortal human being from spiritual entities.

55. Arctic dweller INUIT
The Inuit peoples live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

57. Respectful address MADAM
Our term of address “madam” came into English from the Old French “ma dame”, meaning “my lady”.

67. __ Alcindor: Kareem, formerly LEW
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s name at birth was Ferdinand Lewis “Lew” Alcindor. Alcindor changed his name when he converted to Islam.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Vehicles with meters CABS
5. Give the heave-ho EJECT
10. Fishhook point BARB
14. Fabled monster OGRE
15. South Pacific island studied by Margaret Mead SAMOA
16. Olympic sword EPEE
17. 1987 Cher film MOONSTRUCK
19. Refuses to WON’T
20. Plain text PROSE
21. Sophocles character for whom a Freudian complex is named OEDIPUS
23. Lack of variety SAMENESS
27. Trail mix tidbit NUT
28. Gradually become narrower TAPER
30. Group of eight OCTET
34. Time co-founder Henry LUCE
38. Track events RACES
40. Put on the payroll HIRE
41. Tehran’s country IRAN
42. Armistice TRUCE
43. Ireland, to an Irish poet ERIN
44. Painter Chagall MARC
45. New Testament king HEROD
46. Monopoly card with mortgage values DEED
47. __-Bits: letter-shaped cereal ALPHA
49. Leaf under a petal SEPAL
51. Escort’s offering ARM
53. Great energy DYNAMISM
58. Capital of Lithuania VILNIUS
62. Latest craze MANIA
63. Tinker with text EDIT
64. 1945 Ingrid Bergman film SPELLBOUND
68. “What __ could I do?” ELSE
69. Spine-tingling EERIE
70. Latvian capital RIGA
71. Collecting Soc. Sec., maybe RETD
72. Threaded fastener SCREW
73. Tabloid twosome ITEM

Down
1. Free tickets, say COMPS
2. Marketplace of ancient Greece AGORA
3. Dustpan go-with BROOM
4. Good judgment SENSE
5. Fla. clock setting EST
6. Cookie container JAR
7. Outback bird EMU
8. Chanel of fashion COCO
9. Spoken for TAKEN
10. 2005 Nicole Kidman film BEWITCHED
11. For each one A POP
12. Eye care brand RENU
13. “All __ are off” BETS
18. Telegraphed SENT
22. Batman and Robin, e.g. DUO
24. Word before or after “mother” EARTH
25. Shows mercy SPARES
26. Assured payment of, as a loan SECURED
29. Duplicate again RECOPY
31. Michelin product TIRE
32. New York border lake ERIE
33. Watch over, as sheep TEND
34. Peru’s capital LIMA
35. River to the Caspian URAL
36. Bellyache CARP
37. 2007 Amy Adams film ENCHANTED
39. Family car SEDAN
48. Tycoon Onassis ARI
50. Sheepish youngster? LAMB
52. Inspiration sources MUSES
54. New Zealand native MAORI
55. Arctic dweller INUIT
56. Burn slightly SINGE
57. Respectful address MADAM
58. Zig or zag VEER
59. On a break IDLE
60. Enumerate LIST
61. On __: without a contract SPEC
65. Flub a line, say ERR
66. Golf ball position LIE
67. __ Alcindor: Kareem, formerly LEW

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 16 May 16, Monday”

  1. Not much to add to the write up. I finished quickly but messed up the midwest. I guessed Lace/Aral instead of LUCE/URAL. Didn't get the theme at all until I read the blog, but I really didn't need it for this grid.

    Happy Monday

    Best –

  2. Never noticed the theme, which is a frequent fault of mine. A lot of geography, which is fine.

    Love MARC, MOONSTRUCK and COCO as art.

  3. First one on the block today, – Whee !

    Cabs and Hansoms ….. Once a British Admiral, in full dress uniform, medals and all, was stepping out, after a very formal party, out the lobby, at a ritzy hotel, when he was mistaken by an aristocrat … to be the hotel concierge …..

    The earl ordered him," Call me a cab …"

    The admiral straightened up to his 6 foot frame, and without batting an eyelid, said," You are a cab, milord …"

    And, after a moment, murmured, " …. atleast, you didn't ask me to call you a hansom cab …"

    Old joke.

    The puzzle was easy, and Bill seems to have done it blindfolded.

    I have read Henry Luce's autobiography,'My Time, Life and Fortune'…

    I can't believe that ( close to – ) Vilnuis is the geographical center of Europe. I thought it was somewhere in Switz. Eye opening moment. I presume its not the center based on the distribution of the population of Europe.

    Thank you, thank you Bill, for the 'Spellbound' description. I had never heard of the movie before, so I immediately hied to Uncle Google, and read the whole plot, kit and caboodle. I love myself a nice mystery …. provided I know the entire ending. Now I really want to watch the movie. I saw 'Wimbledon' yesterday, a great romantic comedy, that I had read about in Google. Even John McEnroe and Chris Everts have cameo roles…. The first time that I actually cheered for a british tennis player to win … 😉

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. @Jeff- I did worse in that spot. I had LAHE/ARAL/HARP.
    This felt more like JEOPARDY!
    I'll take Geography, Alex.
    Tehran's country, Capital of Lithuania, Latvian capital, Peru's capital, River of the Caspian, Arctic dweller, Ireland to an Irish poet, New York border lake, South Pacific island, etc.
    Flubbing Monday doesn't bode well for me this week.
    Hope you all did better.

  5. I'm not good with movies, so I had to solve by crossing.

    I remember an interview someone did with Claire Booth Luce. When asked about the secret to her longevity, she answered "laughter," adding, "He who laughs, lasts."

  6. Thanks, @Tony Michaels! As you can see, I'm not a golfer, although I was good at miniature golf when I was younger!

  7. This was not one of my best Monday efforts. I'm going to blame it on "fuzzy-head allergy medicine" season. Last week was a really bad puzzle week! Even fuzzier than today!

    Comps, Agora and Ogre escaped me. The only monsters I could come up w/ were Nessie and Sasquatch.

    Bella

  8. Hi all!!
    Pretty easy puzzle, and not boring, altho I DID notice a whole lotta crosswordese "E" words — anyone else? ERIE, ERIN, EERIE, EDIT, and of course EPEE. Makes the constructor's job easier.

    Does anyone else remember a grid from like a year ago which contained NO "E"s?? The center formed a big black E (ie, blank spaces formíng an E.)

    Must see "Spellbound" some time. I do love Hitchcock.

    I KNOW I've told my Lew Alcindor story here before —

    Sweet dreams~~™

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