LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Nov 2017, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Agnes Davidson & C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Fold Here

The themed answers that we have HERE, in today’s puzzle, are all things that can be FOLDED:

  • 39D. Instructions next to a perforated line … or a hint to 17-, 29-, 45- and 61-Across : FOLD HERE
  • 17A. Sunbather’s spread : BEACH TOWEL
  • 29A. Cards to bet on : POKER HAND
  • 45A. Brunch dish : HAM OMELET
  • 61A. Coupe-back contraption : RUMBLE SEAT

Bill’s time: 4m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “House” actor Epps : OMAR

Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Forman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Forman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

5. Plant-sucking insect : APHID

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in the British Isles where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids in my experience is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

16. __ Day VitaCraves Multivitamins : ONE A

One A Day is a line of multivitamins made by Bayer. One A Day was introduced way back in 1940.

19. Spelling contests : BEES

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a bee. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a quilting bee, or even a spelling bee.

26. Like lambs : OVINE

The Latin word for “sheep” is “ovis”, giving us the adjective “ovine” meaning “like a sheep”.

35. New York Harbor’s __ Island : ELLIS

In the 1998 Supreme Court case New Jersey v. New York, New Jersey ended up owning about 90% of Ellis Island, land which had belonged to New York. New York and New Jersey signed an agreement in 1834 granting New Jersey half of the water channel between the two states, but giving New York the islands the New Jersey side of the channel (mainly Ellis Island and Staten Island). At issue was the land that New York added to Ellis Island by means of reclamation (ultimately 90% of the island’s land mass). The court decided that the land reclaimed belonged to New Jersey because it was located within the New Jersey-controlled water channel.

36. Penpoint : NIB

“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning the beak of a bird. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” meaning the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.

39. Evergreen tree : FIR

Firs are evergreen coniferous trees, with several species being popular as Christmas trees. The most commonly used species during the holidays are the Nordmann fir, noble fir, Fraser fir and balsam fir. We also see a lot of Douglas fir trees at Christmas, but they’re not actually true firs.

42. Jelly beans, e.g. : CANDY

Jelly beans are thought to have originated in Boston, and it is documented that they were sent by families and friends of soldiers fighting in the Civil War.

49. Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

50. Speak from the soapbox : ORATE

Back in the 1650s, a soapbox was just that, a wooden box for holding or transporting soap. Empty soapboxes were easily carried by a potential orator and used as a stand from which to deliver an address.

51. “Help!”-ful pot scrubbers? : SOS PADS

S.O.S is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

54. Texter’s “I’m shocked!” : OMG

OMG is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might think of …

59. Movie “Citizen” : KANE

1941’s “Citizen Kane” was the first film made by Orson Welles, and considered by many to be the finest film ever made. It’s a remarkable achievement by Wells, as he played the lead, and also produced and directed. Despite all the accolades for “Citizen Kane” over the decades, the movie was far from a commercial success in its early run and actually lost money at the box office.

61. Coupe-back contraption : RUMBLE SEAT

A rumble seat is an exterior seat found in pre-WWII cars that opens out from the rear of the vehicle. Back in the 1800s, a “rumble” was a seat in the rear of a carriage that was used by servants. A car’s rumble seat was also called a “mother-in-law seat”.

The type of car known as a “coupe” or “coupé” is a closed automobile with two doors. The name comes from the French word “couper” meaning “to cut”. In most parts of the English-speaking world the pronunciation adheres to the original French, but here in most of North America we go with “coop”. The original coupé was a horse-drawn carriage that was cut (coupé) to eliminate the rear-facing passenger seats. That left just a driver and two front-facing passengers. If the driver was left without a roof and out in the open, then the carriage was known as a “coupé de-ville”.

66. “Ditto” : ME TOO

“Ditto” was originally used in Italian (from Tuscan dialect) to avoid repetition of the names of months in a series of dates. So, “ditto” is just another wonderful import from that lovely land …

68. “Women and Love” writer Shere : HITE

Shere Hite is a German sex educator, although she was born in the US. Hite’s work focuses on sexual experience and what meaning it holds for an individual.

69. What Buffy does : SLAYS

“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 stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role.

70. Lowly worker : PEON

A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

Down

2. Stooge with Larry and Curly : MOE

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you’ll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

3. Tracy/Hepburn battle-of-the-sexes comedy : ADAM’S RIB

And here it is, my favorite movie of all time! “Adam’s Rib” is a classic romantic comedy starring the powerful duo Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, playing two lawyers married to each other. Inevitably, the married couple have to take opposite sides in a high-profile court case, and hilarity ensues. The film is an interesting exploration of the roles of men and women in 1949 American society.

5. Insurance giant : AETNA

When the healthcare management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mt. Etna, the Italian volcano.

9. Cold-cuts seller : DELI

The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

10. Songwriter Dylan : BOB

The real name of singer Bob Dylan is Robert Zimmerman. Zimmerman chose that particular stage name because he was greatly influenced by the poetry of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

11. Iron-poor blood condition : ANEMIA

The term “anemia” (or “anaemia” as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.

12. Womack of country : LEE ANN

Lee Ann Womack is a country music singer and songwriter from Jacksonville, Texas.

22. Wilde’s “The Picture of __ Gray” : DORIAN

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a novel by Oscar Wilde, in fact Wilde’s only novel. In the story, the title character is a young man appearing in a painting. Jokingly, Dorian sells his soul to the devil so that the painting would age rather than he.

24. German automaker : AUDI

The predecessor to today’s Audi company was called Auto Union. Auto Union was formed with the merger of four individual entities: Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. The Audi logo comprises four intersecting rings, each representing one of the four companies that merged.

27. VCR format : VHS

The video standard known as VHS is more fully referred to as the Video Home System. VHS was one of many standards touted by various manufacturers in the seventies. The biggest rival to VHS was Betamax, but we all knew which of the two standards won the final round in that fight.

28. Batman player Affleck : BEN

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a 2016 movie starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in the title roles. It’s a superhero film, so I probably won’t be seeing it, despite an impressive supporting cast. That includes Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth.

30. Dutch airline : KLM

The initialism KLM stands for “Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij”, which translates from Dutch as “Royal Aviation Company”. KLM is the flag carrier for the Netherlands, and is the oldest airline in the world still operating with its original name. It was founded in 1919. KLM merged with Air France in 2004.

31. Red Muppet : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under 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”.

33. “My Cup Runneth Over” singer : ED AMES

“My Cup Runneth Over” is a song from the 1966 Broadway musical “I Do! I Do!”. A very popular recording of the song was made by Ed Ames in 1967. The title of the song is a quotation from the Bible, from the Book of Psalms.

38. Cholesterol letters : LDL

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is one of the compounds responsible for transporting fats around the body. When LDL is combined with cholesterol it can be referred to as “bad cholesterol”. This is because LDL actually transports cholesterol into the inner walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.

41. Nutritionist’s fig. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

45. Pipe smoked in trendy bars : HOOKAH

A hookah is a waterpipe, a device for smoking tobacco in which the smoke is passed through a water basin before it is inhaled.

46. Fashion designer Giorgio : ARMANI

Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

48. Peppermint Patty, for one : TOMBOY

Back in the 1550s “tomboy” was used to describe a male, a boy that was rude or boisterous. A few years later the term was being used for a bold or perhaps immodest girl. By 1600 a tomboy was being used to describe a girl who acts like a spirited boy, just as we’d say today.

Peppermint Patty is a character in the long-running comic strip “Peanuts”, by Charles M. Schulz. Peppermint Patty has a friend named Marcie who famously refers to her as “Sir”, perhaps a reference to Peppermint Patty’s reputation as a tomboy. Tomboy or not, it is revealed in the strip that Peppermint Patty has quite a crush on Charlie Brown.

52. Farm facilities : SILOS

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English, originally coming from the Greek word “siros” that described a pit in which one kept corn.

62. LIRR overseer : MTA

The MTA is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). “MTA” might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as the Metro and sometimes the MTA.

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the commuter rail service that runs all over Long Island, New York with 124 stations and 700 miles of track. More people use the LIRR than any other commuter railroad in the US. It is also the only commuter railroad in the country that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “House” actor Epps : OMAR
5. Plant-sucking insect : APHID
10. Gala affair : BALL
14. Went by bus : RODE
15. Wear away : ERODE
16. __ Day VitaCraves Multivitamins : ONE A
17. Sunbather’s spread : BEACH TOWEL
19. Spelling contests : BEES
20. Intended : MEANT
21. Lend support to : AID
23. Wrestling surface : MAT
24. “In case you weren’t listening … ” : AS I SAID …
26. Like lambs : OVINE
28. Pat-on-the-baby’s-back intended result : BURP
29. Cards to bet on : POKER HAND
32. Cut and pasted, say : EDITED
35. New York Harbor’s __ Island : ELLIS
36. Penpoint : NIB
37. Tough problem : DILEMMA
39. Evergreen tree : FIR
42. Jelly beans, e.g. : CANDY
43. Waiting for customer support, often : ON HOLD
45. Brunch dish : HAM OMELET
49. Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA
50. Speak from the soapbox : ORATE
51. “Help!”-ful pot scrubbers? : SOS PADS
54. Texter’s “I’m shocked!” : OMG
55. Down in the dumps : SAD
58. Glee : MIRTH
59. Movie “Citizen” : KANE
61. Coupe-back contraption : RUMBLE SEAT
65. Yet again : ANEW
66. “Ditto” : ME TOO
67. Try to persuade : URGE
68. “Women and Love” writer Shere : HITE
69. What Buffy does : SLAYS
70. Lowly worker : PEON

Down

1. Poet’s planet : ORB
2. Stooge with Larry and Curly : MOE
3. Tracy/Hepburn battle-of-the-sexes comedy : ADAM’S RIB
4. Proof of purchase : RECEIPT
5. Insurance giant : AETNA
6. Bit of expert advice : PRO TIP
7. “__ about that!” : HOW
8. It’s in your head : IDEA
9. Cold-cuts seller : DELI
10. Songwriter Dylan : BOB
11. Iron-poor blood condition : ANEMIA
12. Womack of country : LEE ANN
13. Withstood wear and tear : LASTED
18. Consumes : HAS
22. Wilde’s “The Picture of __ Gray” : DORIAN
24. German automaker : AUDI
25. Large, innocent-looking peepers : DOE EYES
27. VCR format : VHS
28. Batman player Affleck : BEN
30. Dutch airline : KLM
31. Red Muppet : ELMO
33. “My Cup Runneth Over” singer : ED AMES
34. Eat in style : DINE
38. Cholesterol letters : LDL
39. Instructions next to a perforated line … or a hint to 17-, 29-, 45- and 61-Across : FOLD HERE
40. Afflictions : ILLS
41. Nutritionist’s fig. : RDA
42. Camp bed : COT
44. Warms, as canned soup : HEATS UP
45. Pipe smoked in trendy bars : HOOKAH
46. Fashion designer Giorgio : ARMANI
47. Fridge sticker : MAGNET
48. Peppermint Patty, for one : TOMBOY
52. Farm facilities : SILOS
53. Opposite of post- : PRE-
56. Hugging limbs : ARMS
57. Paces-and-pistols encounter : DUEL
60. Meadow mom : EWE
62. LIRR overseer : MTA
63. In the past : AGO
64. Boxing count : TEN

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