LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Apr 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Get Up and Go Last

Themed answers are common phrases in which the last word are synonyms, synonyms of “get-up-and-go”:

  • 17A. Solar power, e.g. : RENEWABLE ENERGY
  • 26A. Soul mate : KINDRED SPIRIT
  • 48A. Heavy military barrage : ARTILLERY FIRE
  • 63A. Common transmission feature : FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE

Bill’s time: 5m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. “Stronger than dirt” cleanser : AJAX

Ajax cleanser has been around since 1947, and it’s “stronger than dirt!” That was the most famous slogan over here in the US. On my side of the pond, the celebrated slogan was “it cleans like a white tornado”.

10. PCs’ “brains” : CPUS

The central processing unit (CPU) is the main component on the motherboard of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

15. Try to throw, at a rodeo : BUCK

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated into English as “round up”.

20. Animal that sounds dull : BOAR

“Boar” sounds like “bore”.

34. Grand-scale poetry : EPOS

“Epos” is the Greek word for a story or a poem. We have absorbed the term into English with the same meaning. We also use it in English to mean “epic”, i.e. a long narrative poetic work featuring heroic deeds and ventures.

39. Inning with a stretch : SEVENTH

If there are a lot of extra innings in a baseball game, there can be a fourteenth-inning stretch to supplement the seventh-inning stretch. There might even be a twenty-first-inning stretch …

42. “Michael Collins” actor Stephen : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

“Michael Collins” is a fabulous Neil Jordan film released in 1996 that tells the story of the Irish patriot Michael Collins. The title role is played by Liam Neeson, with British actor Alan Rickman doing an excellent job playing Éamon de Valera.

43. Any of three 10th-century Holy Roman Emperors : OTTO

Charlemagne was the first king to use the title “Holy Roman Emperor”, even though the Holy Roman Empire was not actually founded until over a century later when Otto I was crowned Emperor. Otto was the first of an unbroken line of Holy Roman Emperors who ruled Central Europe from 962 until 1806.

45. Jazzman Jackson : MILT

Milt Jackson was a jazz vibraphonist. A vibraphone is a similar to a xylophone, but it has aluminum instead of wooden bars. Vibraphones are most commonly seen as part of jazz ensembles. Milt Jackson started his career as part of the band playing with Dizzy Gillespie.

46. Caravan stops : OASES

A camel train carrying passengers or goods across a desert can be referred to as a caravan. “Caravan” derives from the Persian “karwan”, which has the same meaning. Over in Britain, “caravan” is the name given to travel trailers.

53. Letters after thetas : IOTAS

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

The Greek letter theta is the one that looks like the number zero with a horizontal line across the middle.

56. Until next time, in texts : TTYL

Talk to you later (TTYL)

59. Slanted page? : OP-ED

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

66. Sportswear brand : IZOD

Jack Izod was a tailor of some repute over in England, producing shirts for King George V as well as other members of the Royal Family. As Izod was about to retire, he was approached for the use of his name by an American clothing manufacturer based in New York. The brand Izod of London was introduced to America in 1938.

67. Lawman played by Russell and Costner : EARP

The legendary Western gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp has been portrayed on the big and small screen many, many times. Kevin Costner played the title role in 1994’s “Wyatt Earp”, and Val Kilmer played Earp in 2012’s “The First Ride of Wyatt Earp”. Joel McCrea had the part in 1955’s “Wichita”, and Kurt Russell was Earp in 1993’s “Tombstone”. James Garner played Earp twice, in 1967’s “Hour of the Gun” and 1988’s “Sunset”.

The actor Kurt Russell’s career started when he was a child playing a lead role in the TV Western series “The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters” in the sixties. Russell met actress Goldie Hawn on the set of the 1984 film “Swing Shift”, and the two have been in a committed relationship ever since.

Kevin Costner attributes some of his motivation to pursue an acting career to the great Welsh actor, Richard Burton. Back when Costner was taking acting classes, and was undecided about whether to continue chasing his dream, he ran into Burton on a flight from Puerto Vallarta. Burton agreed to chat with him for a little while, and so Costner was able to ask him if acting meant tolerating the kind of personal drama that had plagued Burton’s own life. Burton told him, “You have green eyes. I have green eyes. I think you’ll be fine”.

68. Ill-fated Ford : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

69. Lady Gaga’s “Cheek to Cheek” duettist Bennett : TONY

Tony Bennett launched his singing career after returning from service in Europe with the US Army during WWII. Bennett was at the height of his success in the 1950s and early 1960s, but his popularity then waned in 1970s and 1980s. During that time, Bennett struggled with drug addiction and came close to bankruptcy. Largely due to the support of his son Danny, Bennett turned his life around, and found a new audience of younger people in the 1990s. He hasn’t looked back since.

“Lady Gaga” is the stage name of Stefani Germanotta. Germanotta is a big fan of the band Queen, and she took her stage name from the marvelous Queen song titled “Radio Ga Ga”.

Irving Berlin wrote the song “Cheek to Cheek” for the 1935 movie “To Hat” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Heaven, I’m in heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing, cheek to cheek

Down

2. Double Delight cookie : OREO

Double Delight Oreo cookies were introduced in 1987. They differ from regular Oreos in that they have two fillings, such peanut butter and chocolate, or coffee and cream.

3. Tennis great Mandlikova : HANA

Hana Mandlikova is a former professional tennis star from Czechoslovakia. Mandlikova won four Grand Slam titles and then retired in 1990, at the ripe old age of 28.

6. “SOS” band : ABBA

The ABBA song “SOS.” was originally titled “Turn Me On”. In the movie “Mamma Mia!”, “S.O.S.” is performed by Meryl Streep (brilliantly) and by Pierce Brosnan (terribly).

7. Month with fireworks : JULY

On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 Jul 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

8. Blackjack components : ACES

In the card game called Blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

9. Vintage Jag : XK-E

We knew them as E-type Jags in my part of the world growing up, but they were marketed over in the US as the Jaguar XK-E line. The XK-E was manufactured from 1961 to 1974.

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

13. 1974 Gould/Sutherland CIA spoof : S*P*Y*S

“S*P*Y*S” is a 1974 comedy starring Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland as two men mistaken as spies and targeted by the KGB. With all those asterisks in the film’s title, one has to assume the movie was intended to capitalize on the success of the 1970 Gould/Sutherland vehicle called “M*A*S*H”.

18. “Worst Cooks in America” judge Burrell : ANNE

Anne Burrell is co-host of the show “Worst Cooks in America” that airs on the Food Network. Yet another celebrity chef …

26. Syrup brand since 1902 : KARO

Karo is a brand of corn syrup. It is an industrially-manufactured sweetener derived from corn.

28. Tripartite commerce pact : NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

30. Be in a bee : SPELL

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.

31. Florence’s __ Vecchio : PONTE

The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge that spans the Arno River in Florence, Italy. The bridge dates back to medieval times, and indeed the name “Ponte Vecchio” translates as “Old Bridge”. Famously, there are two rows of shops built on either side of the roadway crossing the bridge.

32. Foot bones : TARSI

The tarsals (also “tarsi”) are the ankle bones, and are equivalent to the carpals in the wrist.

37. Overpower with a shock : TASE

“To tase” is to use a taser, a stun gun.

41. Boxer Oscar De La __ : HOYA

Oscar De La Hoya is a boxer from East Los Angeles who won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. As a professional, De La Hoya won ten world titles in varying weight classes from super-featherweight to middleweight.

44. Fine cotton fabric : ORGANDY

Organdy is an extremely sheer, thin, crisp cotton cloth that is used for making blouses and dresses, as well as curtains and trimmings.

54. Minestrone pasta : ORZO

Orzo is pasta that has been formed into granular shapes, much like barley. And indeed, “orzo” is the Italian word for “barley”.

Minestrone is a hearty Italian soup with varying ingredients, but usually including lots of vegetables in a vegetable broth with added pasta or rice. The term “minestrone” comes from the Italian “minestrare” meaning “to serve”.

55. Snagglepuss, e.g. : TOON

Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called, “Meet the People” in which it was first uttered by none other than Bert Lahr, the actor who played the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”.

56. Bangkok native : THAI

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word for “a village situated on a stream”.

57. Maryland athlete, for short : TERP

The sports teams of the University of Maryland are called the Maryland Terrapins, or “the Terps” for short. The name dates back to 1932 when it was coined by the the university’s president at the time, Curley Byrd. He took the name from the diamondback terrapins that are native to the Chesapeake Bay.

60. Tuscan tower site : PISA

The city of Pisa is right on the Italian coast, sitting at the mouth of the River Arno, and is famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

61. First name in stunts : EVEL

Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

65. Dead end? : DEE

There is a letter D (dee) at either end of the word “dead”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Dull : HO-HUM
6. “Stronger than dirt” cleanser : AJAX
10. PCs’ “brains” : CPUS
14. Backspace over : ERASE
15. Try to throw, at a rodeo : BUCK
16. Tall concert instrument : HARP
17. Solar power, e.g. : RENEWABLE ENERGY
20. Animal that sounds dull : BOAR
21. Those opposed : NAYS
22. Simplifies : EASES
23. Charged particle : ION
25. Gender problem : GAP
26. Soul mate : KINDRED SPIRIT
33. Humiliate : ABASE
34. Grand-scale poetry : EPOS
35. It’s right on the map : EAST
38. Slo-mo reviewer : REF
39. Inning with a stretch : SEVENTH
42. “Michael Collins” actor Stephen : REA
43. Any of three 10th-century Holy Roman Emperors : OTTO
45. Jazzman Jackson : MILT
46. Caravan stops : OASES
48. Heavy military barrage : ARTILLERY FIRE
51. Exact revenge on : GET
52. Big lug : OAF
53. Letters after thetas : IOTAS
56. Until next time, in texts : TTYL
59. Slanted page? : OP-ED
63. Common transmission feature : FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE
66. Sportswear brand : IZOD
67. Lawman played by Russell and Costner : EARP
68. Ill-fated Ford : EDSEL
69. Lady Gaga’s “Cheek to Cheek” duettist Bennett : TONY
70. Helpful hints : TIPS
71. Virtual transaction : E-SALE

Down

1. Chef’s flavoring : HERB
2. Double Delight cookie : OREO
3. Tennis great Mandlikova : HANA
4. Password partners : USER IDS
5. Litter cry : MEW
6. “SOS” band : ABBA
7. Month with fireworks : JULY
8. Blackjack components : ACES
9. Vintage Jag : XK-E
10. Inexpensive brand : CHEAPIE
11. Golf targets : PARS
12. Try to convince : URGE
13. 1974 Gould/Sutherland CIA spoof : S*P*Y*S
18. “Worst Cooks in America” judge Burrell : ANNE
19. Within walking distance : NEAR
24. Mine extractions : ORES
25. Main idea : GIST
26. Syrup brand since 1902 : KARO
27. Skeptical words : I BET
28. Tripartite commerce pact : NAFTA
29. Underworld boss? : DEVIL
30. Be in a bee : SPELL
31. Florence’s __ Vecchio : PONTE
32. Foot bones : TARSI
36. Lifeline reader : SEER
37. Overpower with a shock : TASE
40. Give off : EMIT
41. Boxer Oscar De La __ : HOYA
44. Fine cotton fabric : ORGANDY
47. Provides with, as an opportunity : AFFORDS
49. Trial : TEST
50. Hot streak : ROLL
53. “__ ain’t broke … ” : IF IT
54. Minestrone pasta : ORZO
55. Snagglepuss, e.g. : TOON
56. Bangkok native : THAI
57. Maryland athlete, for short : TERP
58. Slangy affirmatives : YEPS
60. Tuscan tower site : PISA
61. First name in stunts : EVEL
62. Proofreader’s “drop this” : DELE
64. Just out of the pool : WET
65. Dead end? : DEE

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19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Apr 2018, Wednesday”

  1. LAT: 8:35, no errors. Newsday: 6:56, no errors. WSJ: 10:43, no errors. Not much out of the ordinary. Busy day ahead …

  2. ‘Dead end’ made me laugh. I only got it because I got all the other words around it. Otherwise on my own I would’ve never figured that out. I have to not be so concrete in my thinking.

  3. No-peek Wednesday, couldn’t find the “explaining” clue… so, like Bill, had to make up my own Theme — Guessed “GO!, GO!, GO!” Pretty close to Bill’s “Get up and go”

  4. @Carrie (yesterday)
    I don’t usually say much because I’ve always seen those kind of things as a constant in crosswords – more so in the New York Times crosswords, but that’s another topic altogether. There’s always some messed-up phrasing or word that no one ever uses, or a clue that makes absolutely no sense on the face of it when paired with the answer, or a whole host of other things.

    That said, if anyone wondered what a crossword editor does with clues sometimes, I found this (Bill’s Puzzle Link). It illustrates in a lot of ways that it’s often personal taste of the editor that dictates what clues get out as they are. It also illustrates a lot of the same knocks I usually make against the clues that Shortz lets out if I were to go into a deep commentary of them. Fun stuff anyway.

  5. I got stumped by ABASE and that negated my chances of getting NAFTA and REF.
    I should have gotten the slo-mo clue. Agree on the fun part, but the personal part can sometimes be missed. I still say that the clues should be printed exactly the same in the puzzle dictionary as they are in the puzzle. If one wants to get it bad enough to look it up, he or she should be able to find it in the dictionary. But, my wife and I have only missed 5 squares (letters) in the first three days of this week and that is pretty good for two old puzzle players. I see that Bill is up to his usual tricks. Amazing times, or so they seem to be to me.

  6. I had a good time with this puzzle …. enjoyed it very much. There was a theme (?) but it would take the genius of a guru like BIll to figure it out ….

    AJAX is stronger than dirt – you better believe it ! My wife, who thinks cleanliness is bigger than godliness, scrubs everything in sight – perpetually ! I have now noticed, that there is a faint blue scum around, the outside rim, of our kitchen basins and wash basins …. that is because she used too much AJAX or COMET or something. I suspect it is a form of calcium or complex sodium meta-silicate which is INsoluble in water and is very hard to scrub off !!! I have to scrape it off with a sharp razor blade !@!

    Have a nice day, all.

    1. > I suspect it is a form of calcium or complex sodium meta-silicate which is INsoluble in water and is very hard to scrub off !!!

      You’re right. It’s a mild abrasive (powdered Calcium Carbonate or Quartz, depending on the brand) paired with a few other things like detergent, bleach, disinfectant, perfume, and the like. It works well for wash basins, bath tubs and showers, and the like because of the nature of the dirt often found in those things. But like you said, the abrasive will have a way of cake up if it’s not rinsed incredibly well, which can make it quite a pain to use sometimes if you don’t mind running a lot of water and going to a lot more effort than normal to rinse it all out.

  7. @Vidwan – your wife is what the Sicilians call a bulladeen, someone who takes your coffee cup before you’re done, or whose floor is found to be clean under the refrigerator when the electrician moves it. There’s one in every family. God bless her.

    For the 2nd day in a row, I had a Natick – where TERP crossed TTYL. Did not know HANA, a sport.
    So there was a theme?

    1. I am glad I read the blog, once late at night … Thank you Jane Blando, my wife has sometimes washed my plate, before I was done, when I had risen to take a bathroom break …. I think she has some symptoms of OCD.
      Your given sicilian name of bulladeen … had me thinking.. I know that Aladdin or Allah-deen means ‘ a gift from Allah’ or a gift from (god). I wonder if bulladeen follows a similar etymology, thus meaning a gift from a … bull. 🙂
      Btw, I followed up on the use of the word, Lett, from yesterday. The most authorative dictionaries say the word is old and somewhat obsolete, however it is a descriptive, by the Germans, and is not considered derogatory.

      Glenn, thank you for your comment about the complex silicates. I have noticed such hard, semi-transparent, impervious, insoluble deposits in the lint separator unit of my washing machine, as well. I cannot now reason why they would add pumice or harsh scrubber quartzes to the washing powders in the first place … Aah the simple mysteries of life …. As a practical matter, I had a choice of boiling the lint separator, in hot diluted hydrochloric acid … or manually remove the deposits with a very fine chisel. I chose the latter.

      1. > I cannot now reason why they would add pumice or harsh scrubber quartzes to the washing powders in the first place …

        They wouldn’t. What you notice would happen if the washing powder gets overused for the amount of water that’s there and it doesn’t all get rinsed away. Kind of like what would happen if you keep adding salt to water – after a while it would stop dissolving and simply collect on the bottom of the container.

  8. Pretty easy Wednesday; took about 20 minutes, with no errors and a bit of guessing. Didn’t know if I got everything right until I got here.

  9. Hiya folks!! ?
    One error, or perhaps more if I must be honest: I had PUNTO instead of PONTE, so I couldn’t get EPOS and had to peek at Bill’s grid.
    Agree with Jeff! Theme seemed an afterthought; solved like a themeless. Fred caught the theme tho! Nicely done! ?
    In other news– I finally got a new volleyball!! My friend and I played a round in my living room. I figure I’m old enough to decide if it’s okay to play volleyball inside…. and we actually managed not to break anything. This, friends, is the stuff of life– a midday indoor volleyball game. ??
    Be well~~?

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