LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Aug 16, Thursday




LA Times Crossword Solution 25 Aug 16







Constructed by: Max Carpenter

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

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Theme: GLUTEN-Free Fare

Today’s themed answers are GLUTEN-free fare, names of dishes that do not include the letters G, L, U, T, E nor N:

  • 17A…GLUTEN-free fare..SWORDFISH
  • 26A…GLUTEN-free fare..BABY BACK RIBS
  • 47A…GLUTEN-free fare..SHRIMP SCAMPI
  • 61A…GLUTEN-free fare..ROCKY ROAD

Bill’s time: 6m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1…Not very exciting..DRAB

We now use the word “drab” to mean “dull, cheerless”. Back in the late 17th century, “drab” was the color of natural, undyed cloth.

5…”__ the east, and Juliet … “..IT IS

There’s a famous couplet in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” spoken by Romeo as he spots Juliet above him at a window or on a balcony:

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

Romeo continues with:

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

I reckon Romeo is smitten …

9…King whose gift became a curse..MIDAS

King Midas of Greek mythology might be termed an alchemist as he had the power to turn everything he touched into gold i.e. the Midas touch. Of course the power that he was given became be a curse, as everything he touched turned to gold, including his food and drink, and even his children.

14…Tiny bit..IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

15…One pulling in pushers..NARC

“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”.

16…Amtrak express..ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, getting up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. The brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

19…1983 Woody Allen film..ZELIG

Zelig is a 1983 film by Woody Allen. “Zelig” tells the fictitious story, in documentary style, of Leonard Zelig (played by Allen) who has the gift of being able to change his appearance in order to better fit in with the company he keeps. He becomes famous as a “human chameleon”. By using archive footage, the film includes clever “cameos” by real figures from history (like Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Susan Sontag).

21…Scholarly..ERUDITE

“Erudite” is a lovely-sounding word meaning “learned, well-educated”. The term comes from the Latin verb “erudire” meaning “to educate”, or more literally “to bring out of the rough”.

32…”GoodFellas” fellowship..MOB

The Martin Scorsese classic “Goodfellas” is a 1990 adaptation of a nonfiction book by Nicholas Pileggi called “Wiseguy”. The film tells the story of a mob family that succumbs to the FBI after one of their own becomes an informant.

36…Duffel bag filler, in a thriller..RANSOM

A duffel bag is cylindrical tote bag with a drawstring top, often used by military personnel. The bag is made of this cloth, a cloth that originally came from the town of Duffel in Belgium, hence the name.

37…Sandwich guy?..EARL

Meats placed between slices of bread was first called a sandwich in the 18th century, named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. The Earl was fond of eating “sandwiches” while playing cards at his club.

42…Singer Nicks..STEVIE

Singer Stevie Nicks came to fame as the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac. Nicks has a very distinctive voice, heard at its best (I think) on the famous 1977 album “Rumours”.

46…Mind reader?..EEG

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

50…Alma __..MATER

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. “Alma mater” was used in Ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

55…Supposed bringer of bad luck..EVIL EYE

The “evil eye” is a curse that is cast by giving a malicious glare.

59…Mimosa family tree..ACACIA

Acacia is a genus of tree and shrub, also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle.

Some members of the Mimosa genus of plant are capable of rapid movement. For example, if you touch the leaves of the Mimosa pudica, they curl up in less than a second.

60…Gas used in flashtubes..XENON

One use of xenon gas is in flash tubes. The gas is ionized into a light emitting plasma by discharging a high voltage through it, using current stored in a capacitor.

64…Chilean range..ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world, running right down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

65…K thru 12..ELHI

“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

66…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”.

68…Father of Thor..ODIN

“Wotan” is an alternative (High German) spelling of the name Woden, the Anglo-Saxon version of the Norse god Odin. Wotan is the head god in the pagan tradition, but as paganism was gradually replaced by Christianity in the 7th and 8th centuries, Wotan moved from his place in religion and into the realm of folklore. Indeed, he is a precursor of our modern day Father Christmas. Wotan (Woden) also gave his name to Wednesday, Woden’s Day …

In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.

69…Padre’s brothers..TIOS

In Spanish, a “tio” (uncle) is the “hermano del padre o de la madre” (brother of the father or the mother).

Down

1…Summer genre..DISCO

Donna Summer is known as “The Queen of Disco”, with great hits like “Love to Love You, Baby”, “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff”. In the late sixties and early seventies, LaDonna Gaines (her real name) lived and worked in Germany. There she met and married an Austrian actor called Helmuth Sommer. They divorced not long after the marriage, but Donna kept his family name, just changing the “o” to “u” to give her the stage name of “Donna Summer”.

2…Atkinson of British comedy..ROWAN

Rowan Atkinson is an English comedian and actor who is most famous for playing the title role in the comedy shows “Mr. Bean” and “Blackadder”. In the world of movies, Atkinson had memorable supporting performances (in my opinion) in the Bond film “Never Say Never Again”, and in the romcoms “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Love Actually”. A very talented man …

4…Bill for shots..BAR TAB

When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

5…Scoop or poop..INFO

“Poop” is a slang term meaning “relevant and up-to-date information”. Back in the 1940s, a “poop sheet” was a bulletin with the latest information.

6…With 63-Down, meditative discipline..TAI
(63D…See 6-Down..CHI)

More correctly called tai chi chuan, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

7…Org. that takes many forms..IRS

Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

8…Blueprint..SCHEMA

A schema is an outline or a model. The plural of “schema” is “schemata” and the adjectival form is “schematic”.

Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.

9…Lively Polish dance..MAZURKA

A mazurka is a Polish folk dance. The great French-Polish composer Frédéric Chopin was known for writing many mazurkas for solo piano.

11…Pastrami provider..DELI

In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.

13…Guru..SAGE

“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

18…Bandanna kin..DO-RAG

Hip-hoppers might wear do-rags today, but they have been around for centuries. If you recall the famous image of Rosie the Riveter, she was wearing a do-rag. The etymology is pretty evident, a piece of cloth (rag) to hold a hairstyle (do) in place.

A bandanna is a large kerchief that is usually worn on the head or around the neck. The term “bandanna” comes from the Hindi word meaning “to tie”.

28…Genetic letters..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.

29…Any one of the Arans..ISLE

The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay in the west of Ireland. They are beautiful and desolate places, and one of the few places in Ireland where the main language spoken is Irish, as opposed to English. If you’ve seen the television comedy “Father Ted”, you’ll be familiar with the landscape, as many of the external shots are from Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands.

30…Big name in audio products..BOSE

Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, and is a company that specializes in manufacture of audio equipment.

31…Beijing blight..SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau word formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

The city of Beijing in China was given its name in 1403, with “Beijing” chosen as it translates as “Northern Capital”. The name distinguished it from the city of Nanjing, which name translates as “Southern Capital”.

34…Fox’s title..BR’ER

Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. The Uncle Remus stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Harris collected across the Southern States. “Br’er” is an abbreviated form of “brother”.

38…Year in Nero’s reign..LVI

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

45…High on the Scoville scale..SPICY

The Scoville scale is a measure of the spiciness of chili pepper. The scale was invented by a pharmacist in 1912, Wilbur Scoville. To determine the position of a pepper on Scoville scale, the amount of capsaicin in the chili is measured. Capsaicin is an irritant that causes the sensation of burning when it comes into contact with tissue, particularly the mucous membranes.

52…Bacteria in a produce recall..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.

53…Brahms’ instrument..PIANO

Johannes Brahms was a leading German composer during the Romantic period. Brahms is one of the “Three Bs”, often grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.

56…__ cava..VENA

The superior vena cava is a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood from the upper part of the body to the right atrium of the heart. The inferior vena cava does the same thing for the lower part of the body.

57…May race, familiarly..INDY

The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.

58…”Stay (I Missed You)” songwriter Lisa..LOEB

The singer Lisa Loeb was discovered by actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Hawke took a demo of her song “Stay (I Missed You)” and gave it to director Ben Stiller, who in turn used it over the ending credits of his 1994 movie “Reality Bites”. The movie was a hit, the song went to number one, and Loeb became the first artist ever to hit that number one spot without having signed up with a record label. Good for her!

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1…Not very exciting..DRAB

5…”__ the east, and Juliet … “..IT IS

9…King whose gift became a curse..MIDAS

14…Tiny bit..IOTA

15…One pulling in pushers..NARC

16…Amtrak express..ACELA

17…GLUTEN-free fare..SWORDFISH

19…1983 Woody Allen film..ZELIG

20…Schoolyard “I’ll show you!”..CAN TOO!

21…Scholarly..ERUDITE

23…Like some headphones..ON-EAR

24…Better at heeling, say..TAMER

26…GLUTEN-free fare..BABY BACK RIBS

32…”GoodFellas” fellowship..MOB

35…Breaks..GAPS

36…Duffel bag filler, in a thriller..RANSOM

37…Sandwich guy?..EARL

39…Take care of..SEE TO

41…”Don’t forget … “..ALSO …

42…Singer Nicks..STEVIE

44…Modernists, informally..NEOS

46…Mind reader?..EEG

47…GLUTEN-free fare..SHRIMP SCAMPI

50…Alma __..MATER

51…Lacking the knack..INEPT

55…Supposed bringer of bad luck..EVIL EYE

59…Mimosa family tree..ACACIA

60…Gas used in flashtubes..XENON

61…GLUTEN-free fare..ROCKY ROAD

64…Chilean range..ANDES

65…K thru 12..ELHI

66…Radius neighbor..ULNA

67…”It could happen”..MAYBE

68…Father of Thor..ODIN

69…Padre’s brothers..TIOS

Down

1…Summer genre..DISCO

2…Atkinson of British comedy..ROWAN

3…More than just apologize..ATONE

4…Bill for shots..BAR TAB

5…Scoop or poop..INFO

6…With 63-Down, meditative discipline..TAI

7…Org. that takes many forms..IRS

8…Blueprint..SCHEMA

9…Lively Polish dance..MAZURKA

10…Like most cupcakes..ICED

11…Pastrami provider..DELI

12…Came down..ALIT

13…Guru..SAGE

18…Bandanna kin..DO-RAG

22…Place for family game night..REC ROOM

24…Arial, for one..TYPE

25…Attendance record spoiler..ABSENCE

27…Regular hourly rate..BASE PAY

28…Genetic letters..RNA

29…Any one of the Arans..ISLE

30…Big name in audio products..BOSE

31…Beijing blight..SMOG

32…Serious disorder..MESS

33…Swear words?..OATH

34…Fox’s title..BR’ER

38…Year in Nero’s reign..LVI

40…Run like heck..TEAR

43…Epic..IMMENSE

45…High on the Scoville scale..SPICY

48…Multichannel..STEREO

49…Making no progress..IN A RUT

52…Bacteria in a produce recall..E COLI

53…Brahms’ instrument..PIANO

54…Proud cries..TADAS

55…Teacher’s handout..EXAM

56…__ cava..VENA

57…May race, familiarly..INDY

58…”Stay (I Missed You)” songwriter Lisa..LOEB

59…Like, with “to”..AKIN

62…Out of use..OLD

63…See 6-Down..CHI




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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Aug 16, Thursday”

  1. About the same time as yesterday’s puzzle. The “Z” in MOZURKA/ZELIG was ultimately my undoing. I think it would have been about my 26th guess for that space. Never heard of the dance or the movie. I got that the theme answers were Gluten free, but the lack of those letters completely eluded me.

    I thought ACACIA must be some drink I’d never heard of similar to a mimosa. I guess the weekend is near…

    Goodfellas is part of the holy trinity of mob movies along with The Godfather (and Part II) and Casino. All are among my favorites of all time with The Godfather topping the list.

    The scoville scale is a completely subjective thing. It’s based on the amount of water needed to dilute the pepper sufficiently to make it no longer “SPICY”. That in itself is subjective, but also the body gets sensitized to capsaicin and so when they test what concentration matters. The scoville scale has about a 50% variance to it so it’s really an approximation and nothing else. I would think they could measure dilution to some level of acidity, but like a lot of things nobody asked me first…

    Best –

  2. Bill, I don’t know how you sussed out the theme.
    All of the answers are lacking the letters G-L-U-T-E-N?
    I wondered why gluten was capitalized, but my brain would have never reached that conclusion.
    You’re amazing!
    ON EAR was strange. The other day the headphones were HANDS-FREE.
    ELHI…..I guess we’ll just have to accept it. (sigh)

  3. The puzzle was quite difficult, although the answers, on hindsight, were easy. I’m reaching that day of the week.

    Jeff, on Scovil, I would like to agree. Further, the word, in the answer, should be piquant, rather than ‘spicy’. The latter merely means lots of spices, which are not necessarily’hot’. Capsaicin causes ‘heat’, …. a burning sensation. Indians use the word, ‘tee-kha’ to specificy that they mean heat, not merely spicy.

    Acacia, as Bill explains, is a tree, like a mimosa. Emdemic to Australia. Acacia is also called wattle or wattles and the seeds are sometimes used as a protien rich food. Sometimes, I don’t know when you’re joking Jeff.

    I must watch this Zelig movie. I like Woody Allen. While solving, the puzzle, I confused this word with ( one of my favorite words – ) , zeftig – which means pleasantly, and sexily, plump.

    It is very commendable and noteworthy, Bill, that you noticed that the answers did not have the letters of the word, ‘gluten’ . Amazing !

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. As a gardening person whose mother is allergic to acacias, that was an easy one for me. Also, amazingly enough, I got the theme early on and it helped.

    I never did get ACELA or Zelig. Thought ON EAR was sloppy.
    Bella

  5. Missed on DORAG–never heard of it.

    I vaguely remember seeing Zelig many years ago. In hindsight, it’s one of those Woody “funny–now sad” films which I don’t like. As opposed to his “funny-haha” films which I enjoy.

    So I ask you all: if you eat too much capsaicin, what alleviates the burn? I’ve heard many remedies from milk to vodka. 🙂

    1. Funny you should ask, Willie. As I said here before, I just got back from Puerto Vallarta. I was at a place and was with some people from that area. They asked for the salsa that the locals want – not the Americanized version of them. They obliged.

      I’m pretty tolerant of hot spice (more than most Americans certainly),but I think I bit into a vein of the serrano pepper where all the capsaicin is, and my mouth was on fire like never before. After the locals and the waiter stopped laughing at me, they handed me a sugar packet. They said just put it in your mouth and swirl it. The pain went away almost instantly, but I needed 2 of them.

      I had never heard of that remedy before, and I won’t forget it now.

      Best –

      1. From watching a cooking show or two, I did know the heat was in the seeds and sinew, the skin and pulp are nicer.

        But I think I’ll just ask for the gringo salsa all the same. 😉

  6. Perhaps I should resist posting this, but …

    As I finished this puzzle, I paused for a moment to enjoy the fact that the theme pokes fun at the current marketing ploy of declaring foodstuffs “gluten-free” even when that fact is completely obvious. And then, just for a moment, I thought like a setter: If I had been clever enough to come up with this theme, how would I express it in the puzzle? And the answer came in a flash: I would find a selection of food items that avoided using any of the letters G, L, U, T, E, and N. So I checked briefly and found that was exactly what the setter had done. Given that I frequently miss themes altogether, but I noticed this one, I’m not too surprised that Bill (a self-confessed one-time Irish setter) also noticed it. There are better reasons to be impressed with him and with his blog …

    For me, one of the fascinating things about doing crossword puzzles is the extent to which it sheds light on the quirky nature of the little gray cells. I sometimes have blind spots a mile wide and then, occasionally, I have brief flashes of insight. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with doing the NYT puzzles twice, once when they are originally published and again when they appear in syndication. Frequently, my path to a solution is completely different the second time around; sometimes, it’s harder, because I get hung up on something that seemed obvious the first time around.

    My apologies if this post seems impertinent. Perhaps I am emboldened by the fact that I am cooking, and the recipe called for a small amount of wine, and I didn’t want the rest to go to waste … 🙂

  7. Dave – I’m with you on the “gluten-free” propaganda. Houston has had over 50 inches of rain so far this year, but it was all gluten-free so I guess it’s ok…

    Best

  8. LOL! Y’all are so funny!
    I did get the theme, including the noneoftheseletters part, but I noticed something funny: all those gluten free foods here are pretty high in cholesterol and/or saturated fats!
    I always smile when I see prominent GLUTEN FREE!! labeling on something like yogurt. That said, however, I actually do see the benefits of a lower-gluten diet. Of course if you have celiac disease you can’t eat it AT ALL, but even if you don’t, cutting back a little on gluten isn’t bad. You’re less sluggish.
    As always: Thanks for everything Bill!
    See all you crazy cats mañana!
    Be well~~™???????????? (it’s all GLUTEN FREE!!)

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