LA Times Crossword 7 Oct 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): KBJE Folks

Themed answers are famous names, with the given name sounding like a letter of the alphabet:

  • 20A Diane Keaton’s role in “The Godfather” films : KAY CORLEONE
  • 33A “Maude” star : BEA ARTHUR
  • 39A Fitzgerald’s “Great” title character : JAY GATSBY
  • 50A “Maleficent” actress : ELLE FANNING

Bill’s time: 5m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Only president who was also chief justice : TAFT

William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.

9 Hindu social division : CASTE

Although caste systems exist in several societies around the world, we tend to associate the concept with the social stratification that is still found in many parts of India. The term “caste” comes from the Portuguese word “casta” meaning “race, breed”. The Portuguese used the term to describe the hereditary social groups that they found in India when they arrived in the subcontinent in 1498.

14 Go back, on a PC : UNDO

The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.

15 Arizona tribe : HOPI

Many of the Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

18 Frat Pack actor Wilson : OWEN

Actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

The phrase “Frat Pack” grew out of the Rat Pack, and later the Brat Pack. Frat Pack has been used for two groups of performers. First it was applied to dramatic actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Edward Norton and Ryan Phillippe who had worked with other in several films. The term is more regularly used for comedy actors Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Steve Carell.

20 Diane Keaton’s role in “The Godfather” films : KAY CORLEONE

In the Mario Puzo novel “The Godfather”, the story’s central character is Michael Corleone. Michael’s girlfriend, and eventually his second wife, is Kay Adams. In the 1972 film adaptation, Michael Corleone was played by Al Pacino, and Kay Adams-Corleone was played by Diane Keaton.

Diane Keaton’s first major film role was Kay Admas-Corleone, wife of Michael Corleone, in “The Godfather”. Famously, she then appeared as a comic actress in a series of Woody Allen movies in the seventies. Keaton never married, although she was romantically involved with some famous Hollywood names over the years, including Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino.

24 Raid targets : ANTS

Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.

27 Desert plant : CACTUS

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

33 “Maude” star : BEA ARTHUR

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

The seventies sitcom “Maude” stars Bea Arthur as the title character Maude Findlay. “Maude” is a spin-off of “All in the Family”, as Findlay is a cousin of Edith Bunker.

36 Boston Celtics’ org. : NBA

The Boston Celtics NBA basketball team were founded just after WWII in 1946. The Celtics won eight league championships in a row from 1958 to 1966. That’s the longest consecutive championship winning streak of any professional sports team in North America.

37 Harness racing vehicle : SULKY

A sulky is a very light cart used in harness racing. The same term is used for a cart pulled by dogs. The cart gets its name because it takes only one driver and no passengers, so perhaps that driver is “sulking”. Cute …

38 Nest egg letters : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

39 Fitzgerald’s “Great” title character : JAY GATSBY

“The Great Gatsby” is a 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that tells of the prosperous life of Jay Gatsby during the Roaring 20s. Gatsby develops an obsessive love for Daisy Fay Buchanan, a girl he met while serving during WWI, and meets again some years later after he has improved his social standing.

44 Jai alai ball : PELOTA

The essential equipment in the game of jai alai is the pelota (ball) and the cesta (wicker scoop).

46 Japanese religion : SHINTO

It is perhaps best not to describe Shinto as a religion, but more as a “spirituality of the Japanese people”, a spirituality that encompasses folklore, history and mythology. Having said that, “Shinto” translates literally as “Way of the gods”. Most people in Japan who are described as practicing Shinto, also practice Buddhism.

48 Sheltered, at sea : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

49 Halloween headgear : WIG

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

50 “Maleficent” actress : ELLE FANNING

Actress Elle Fanning’s most notable performance to date (probably) was playing Aurora in the 2014 movie “Maleficent”. Elle’s older sister is actress Dakota Fanning.

“Maleficent” is a 2014 movie starring Angelina Jolie in the title role, the evil queen from “Sleeping Beauty”. “Maleficent” is loosely based on the fairy tale, and is told from the perspective of the antagonist in “Sleeping Beauty”.

59 Symphonic wind : OBOE

When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance, you’ll note (pun!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

60 Bond portrayer Roger : MOORE

Roger Moore is best known in the US for taking on the role of 007 in seven James Bond movies from 1973 to 1985. In my part of the world we remember him playing a very debonair hero called Simon Templar in a TV series called “The Saint” from 1962 to 1969. Moore’s Templar character could very easily have morphed into a great James Bond, but by the time he was offered the part I personally think that he was just a tad too long in the tooth to pull off a credible 007.

Down

2 Author Seton : ANYA

“Anya Seton” was the pen name of Ann Seton, an author of historical romances from New York City. Seton’s 1944 novel “Dragonwyck” was released into theaters in 1946 and starred Gene Tierney and Walter Huston.

3 Gp. responding to Big Apple blazes : FDNY

New York City Fire Department (FDNY)

Apparently, the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:

Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.

Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

4 Bach’s “__ and Fugue in D Minor” :

A toccata is a virtuoso piece of music, usually written for a keyboard or plucked string instrument, one that has fast-moving passages that emphasize the dexterity of the performer’s fingers. It is a piece of music with an “improvisatory feel”, a piece that seems very spontaneous in form. The name “toccata” comes from the Italian word “toccare” meaning “to touch”.

6 Coyote cries : HOWLS

The coyote is a canine found in most of Central and North America. The name “coyote” is Mexican Spanish, in which language it means “trickster”. Coyotes can sometimes mate with domestic dogs, creating hybrid animals known as “coydogs”. Coyotes can also mate with wolves, creating a “coywolf”. South Dakota named the coyote its state animal in 1949.

7 Blunt sword : EPEE

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

8 “The Flintstones” pet : DINO

In the Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Flintstones”, Dino the pet dinosaur was voiced by the famous Mel Blanc, until Blanc passed away in 1989.

10 Pie-mode link : A LA

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

11 Workday with a longer-than-typical break : SPLIT SHIFT

A split shift is a work day that is “split” into two parts, with a substantial break between those two parts. For example, split shifts are common for public transportation employees who busiest during the morning and evening rush hours, and for restaurant employees who serve lunches and dinners.

26 Humanities major : ART

The academic studies of human culture are collectively called the humanities. Subjects included in the humanities are languages, literature, philosophy, religion and music.

27 “Nor” or “or,” in a dict. : CONJ

Conjunction (conj.)

28 “Sin City” actress Jessica : ALBA

Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that, Alba acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child.

“Sin City” is a 2005 thriller movie that is based on a series of graphic novels by Frank Miller. Miller also co-directs the film. “Sin City” has a large ensemble cast that includes Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio del Toro, Clive Owen and Mickey Rourke. The author Frank Miller even plays a role himself.

29 Trapshooter’s target : CLAY PIGEON

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

30 Word before toast or after peach : MELBA

Melba toast is a dry, thinly sliced toast that is usually served with soup or salad. Melba toast was created by chef Auguste Escoffier for opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, for whom he also created the dessert called peach Melba.

34 Eurasian border river : 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. It is the third-longest river in Europe, after the Volga and Danube. The Ural is often cited as defining a long stretch of the border between Europe and Asia, although the exact position of that border is open to debate.

40 Pentagon VIP : GEN

The incredible building known as the Pentagon was built during WWII, and dedicated on January 15, 1943. It is the largest office building in the world (by floor space) covering an area of about 6.5 million square feet. As it was built during the war years, a major requirement was that it use a minimum amount of steel. That steel shortage dictated that the building be no more than four stories in height, and hence cover an awful lot of real estate.

45 Pituitary and thyroid : GLANDS

The pituitary gland is found at the base of the brain and is about the size of pea. The pituitary secretes nine hormones in all, and so affects many aspects of bodily function.

The thyroid gland is found in the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. The gland produces several thyroid hormones, some of which control the rate at which the body uses energy i.e. the body’s rate of metabolism.

46 Hindu guru : SWAMI

A swami is a religious teacher in the Hindu tradition. The word “swami” can also mean “husband” in the Bengali and Malay languages.

48 In progress, as Sherlock’s “game” : AFOOT

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in writing the “Sherlock Holmes” stories, had his hero use the phrase “the game is afoot” on more than one occasion. Holmes first uttered the expression in “The Adventures of the Abbey Grange”. However, the phrase was used long before Conan Doyle put pen to paper. In William Shakespeare’s “King Henry IV Part I” there is the line “Before the game is afoot, thou let’st slip”.

53 Curly-horned goat : IBEX

“Ibex” is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Only president who was also chief justice : TAFT
5 Storage structure for 30-Across : SHED
9 Hindu social division : CASTE
14 Go back, on a PC : UNDO
15 Arizona tribe : HOPI
16 A, in Greece : ALPHA
17 Match audio and video : SYNC
18 Frat Pack actor Wilson : OWEN
19 Fish stories : TALES
20 Diane Keaton’s role in “The Godfather” films : KAY CORLEONE
23 Embitterment : IRE
24 Raid targets : ANTS
25 Gave speeches : ORATED
27 Desert plant : CACTUS
30 Lawn cutters : MOWERS
32 Southwestern crocks : OLLAS
33 “Maude” star : BEA ARTHUR
36 Boston Celtics’ org. : NBA
37 Harness racing vehicle : SULKY
38 Nest egg letters : IRA
39 Fitzgerald’s “Great” title character : JAY GATSBY
42 Until now : SO FAR
44 Jai alai ball : PELOTA
45 Soft-hearted : GENTLE
46 Japanese religion : SHINTO
48 Sheltered, at sea : ALEE
49 Halloween headgear : WIG
50 “Maleficent” actress : ELLE FANNING
56 On __: going wild : A TEAR
58 Miniature image to click on : ICON
59 Symphonic wind : OBOE
60 Bond portrayer Roger : MOORE
61 Fitted with footwear : SHOD
62 Final or midterm : TEST
63 Private, as thoughts : INNER
64 Stew cookers : POTS
65 Former spouses : EXES

Down

1 Elephant tooth : TUSK
2 Author Seton : ANYA
3 Gp. responding to Big Apple blazes : FDNY
4 Bach’s “__ and Fugue in D Minor” : TOCCATA
5 15-minute films, say : SHORTS
6 Coyote cries : HOWLS
7 Blunt sword : EPEE
8 “The Flintstones” pet : DINO
9 Wedding hire : CATERER
10 Pie-mode link : A LA
11 Workday with a longer-than-typical break : SPLIT SHIFT
12 Over yonder : THERE
13 Let up : EASED
21 Heavy burden : ONUS
22 “You gotta be kidding!” : NO WAY!
26 Humanities major : ART
27 “Nor” or “or,” in a dict. : CONJ
28 “Sin City” actress Jessica : ALBA
29 Trapshooter’s target : CLAY PIGEON
30 Word before toast or after peach : MELBA
31 Like wines aged in certain barrels : OAKY
33 Head-and-shoulders sculpture : BUST
34 Eurasian border river : URAL
35 Red in the middle, as steak : RARE
37 Seat at the bar : STOOL
40 Pentagon VIP : GEN
41 Editor or tailor, e.g. : ALTERER
42 Perceived : SEEN
43 Lacking variety, musically : ONE-NOTE
45 Pituitary and thyroid : GLANDS
46 Hindu guru : SWAMI
47 Discover, as a solution : HIT ON
48 In progress, as Sherlock’s “game” : AFOOT
51 Speech problem : LISP
52 Repeat : ECHO
53 Curly-horned goat : IBEX
54 Sniffer : NOSE
55 Acquires : GETS
57 “How __ you doing?” : ARE

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Oct 19, Monday”

  1. Quite easy, except —
    I didn’t know Elle Fanning, Jessica Alba, or pelota. Maybe I should start watching TV again.
    So, 11 minutes plus.

  2. Easy Monday. Of course I didn’t actually know any young people cuz I’m old, like that Man in Minnesota.

  3. We got all but one letter in like an hour. I didn’t know either TOCCATAS or OLLAS.
    I knew the missing letter was a vowel; I thought O or E. Needed the A or else help
    from one of the directional words. Good start to the week, though.

  4. 6:44. I’ve seen The Godfather about 20 times, but I couldn’t have told you Kay’s maiden name. Great trivia question I’ll have to remember. FWIW – I didn’t know Maude’s last name either…

    Best –

    1. Forgot to ask. As far as the theme goes, is there any significance to those specific letters and their sequence – KBJE? Seems like a rather random theme if not.

  5. Hello gang!!🦆

    No errors. I’ve heard SULKY before but didn’t remember it without crosses today.

    I just love BEA ARTHUR in The Golden Girls, a show I never bothered with when it originally aired but which I binged on Netflix not long ago.

    Jeff– how about those Cardinals?!⚾️ No, I don’t see any pattern to the letters K, J, B, and L. I bet the setter had the idea to spell something out with first names that sound like letters but couldn’t come up with anything ( not that I could…)

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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