LA Times Crossword 27 Apr 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Robert E. Lee Morris
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Aces Up

Themed answers are all in the down-direction. Each includes “ACES” as a hidden word, but in the UP-direction:

  • 63A Hickok’s last hand, it’s said … and what’s literally found in four Down puzzle answers : ACES UP
  • 6D Doctors rarely make them these days : HOUSE CALLS
  • 11D Artillery metaphor for a volatile sort : LOOSE CANNON
  • 25D First major leaguer to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season : JOSE CANSECO
  • 30D Asian feline breed : SIAMESE CAT

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Pop star Lady __ : GAGA

“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”.

11 “__ Miz” : LES

The 1980 musical “Les Misérables” is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London’s West End. My wife and I saw “Les Miz” in the Queen’s Theatre in London many years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The theater seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor who had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn’t really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn’t seem to hang together for me.

15 Amo, __, amat … : AMAS

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

16 Mork’s home planet : ORK

“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr. Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

17 Martin of “Mission: Impossible” : LANDAU

Martin Landau is a film and television actor from Brooklyn, New York. Landau is probably most famous for playing Rollin Hand, the master of disguise in TV’s “Mission Impossible”. On the big screen, Landau famously won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in “Ed Wood”.

The “Mission: Impossible” TV show featured the following line close to the start of each episode:

As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

And then the tape self-destructed. Great stuff …

22 PDQ : ASAP

Pretty darn quick (PDQ)

23 Mexicali’s peninsula : BAJA

The Baja California Peninsula lies in the northwest of Mexico. It is bounded on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, and on the northeast by the Gulf of California. The border city of Mexicali sits at the north of the peninsula, and the resort city of Cabo San Lucas sits at the southern tip.

29 The “A” in RAM : ACCESS

Random-access memory (RAM) is a form of computer storage.

31 The “A” in USNA: Abbr. : ACAD

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

32 USO show audience : GIS

The initialism “GI” stands for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

34 Mallorca, por ejemplo : ISLA

The Island of Majorca (“Isla Mallorca” in Spanish) is Spain’s largest island, and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the island ballooned over the past few decades as Majorca became a mecca for tourists from all over Europe.

In Spanish, “tierra” (land) surrounded by “agua” (water) is an “isla” (island).

36 Make potable, as seawater : DESALT

Something that is potable is fit to drink. The term “potable” derives from the Latin verb “potare” meaning “to drink”, which is also the root for our word “potion”.

38 Not yet visible, as a fingerprint : LATENT

Something is said to be latent if it is present, but not active.

In the world of criminology, there are three classes of fingerprints:

  • Patent prints are those which are obvious, easily spotted by the naked eye.
  • Impressed prints are those made when the fingertips apply pressure to a soft material or surface, such as the skin.
  • Latent prints are those that are invisible to the naked eye, but which can be detected using special equipment and materials.

41 Robin Cook medical thriller : COMA

Robin Cook is a physician and novelist from New York who writes thrillers dealing with medical situations. Cook’s first major novel “Coma” was made into a 1978 feature film directed by Michael Crichton and starring Geneviève Bujold and Michael Douglas.

44 Compact Chevy SUV : TRAX

The Trax is a relatively small crossover SUV produced by Chevrolet since 2012. The Chevy Trax also goes by the names Holden Trax and Chevy Tracker, depending on the geographical market.

46 Elon Musk company concerned with travel to Mars : SPACEX

SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is a space transportation company that was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, veteran of PayPal and Tesla Motors. In 2012, SpaceX became the first private concern to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) and, in 2020, the first to send humans to the ISS. Apparently, SpaceX is the lowest-price player in the game.

Elon Musk is a successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk received a lot of publicity in early 2018 during a test launch by SpaceX of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. A Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk was carried into space as a dummy payload.

49 Payment in Monopoly : RENT

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman named 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.

50 LAX landing hrs. : ETAS

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

51 Fort full of gold : KNOX

Fort Knox is actually a US Army base that lends its name to the adjacent facility that is more correctly called the United States Bullion Depository. Most of the US gold reserves are in “Fort Knox”, although it isn’t the biggest gold repository in the US. That honor goes to the vault under the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan. Most of the gold stored in the New York vault belongs to foreign nations and banks.

53 Grime-fighting P&G mascot with folded arms : MR CLEAN

Mr. Clean is a brand of household cleaner from Procter & Gamble. Mr. Clean is sold as Maestro Limpio in Mexico, Monsieur Propre in France, and as Monsieur Net in French Canada.

Procter & Gamble was founded in 1837 by William Procter and James Gamble. Procter was a candlemaker, an immigrant from England. Gamble was a soapmaker, an immigrant from Ireland. The pair had settled in Cincinnati and married two sisters. Their father-in-law persuaded the two to set up in business together, and the rest is history.

61 Inc. relative : LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) has a structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

62 Melville novel : OMOO

Herman Melville mined his own experiences when writing his novels. Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for “Moby-Dick”). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later and lived with natives on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for “Typee”). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate that was bound for Boston (a source for “Omoo”).

63 Hickok’s last hand, it’s said … and what’s literally found in four Down puzzle answers : ACES UP

In 1876, Wild Bill Hickok was playing poker in a saloon in the town of Deadwood in the Black Hills in the Dakota Territory. For once, the gunfighting lawman was sitting with his back to the door, something he almost always avoided. He had twice tried to change seats to give him a view of the door, but his card-playing comrades weren’t obliging. An enemy of Wild Bill’s named Jack McCall then was able to enter the saloon without being noticed. He walked up to the table and shot Hickok in the back of the head, killing him instantly. The hand that Hickok was holding contained four black cards, two aces and two eights. Since the killing, black aces and eights in a poker hand have been referred to as the “dead man’s hand”.

64 “Evil Woman” rock gp. : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) recorded the song “Evil Woman” in 1975. “Evil Woman” was written by the band’s lead vocalist Jeff Lynne, in just thirty minutes!

65 Nashville’s st. : TENN

The Tennessee city of Nashville was founded in 1779 near a stockade in the Cumberland River valley called Fort Nashborough. Both the settlement and the fort were named for General Francis Nash, a war hero who died in combat during the American Revolution.

Down

1 D.C. pro : POL

Politician (pol)

2 Govt. pollution watchdog : EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

3 Stimpy’s sidekick : REN

“The Ren & Stimpy Show” is an animated television show created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi, and which ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

4 Nepal neighbor : INDIA

The Indus river rises in Tibet and flows through the length of Pakistan before emptying into the Arabian Sea, a part of the Indian Ocean lying to the west of the Indian subcontinent. The Indus gives its name to the country of India as “India” used to be the name of the region along the eastern banks of the river, which paradoxically is now in modern-day Pakistan.

Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

5 Comics icon Lee : STAN

Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he had a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

9 Comedian Kaplan : GABE

Comedian and actor Gabe Kaplan is known more for his poker playing these days. As an actor, he played the title character in the seventies sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter”. He started winning poker tournaments in the 1980s, and started working as a TV commentator for poker events in the 1990s.

12 List of mistakes : ERRATA

“Errata” is the past participle of the Latin word “errare” meaning “to err”. We use “errata” (singular “erratum”) to describe a list of errors that have been noted in some publication.

13 Chatted via webcam : SKYPED

The main feature of the Skype application when introduced was that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called “Sky peer-to-peer” so the first commercial name for the application was “Skyper”. This had to be shortened to “Skype” because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

19 Steamed cantina food : TAMALE

A tamale is a traditional dish from Central America composed of a starchy dough that is steamed or boiled in a wrapper made from a corn husk or banana leaf. The dough is called masa, and can include many different ingredients including meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables. A hot tamale is a kind of tamale that originated in the Mississippi Delta. It is particularly spicy, and the masa is replaced with corn meal.

25 First major leaguer to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season : JOSE CANSECO

José Canseco is a former Major League Baseball player originally from Cuba. Canseco wrote a tell-all book called “Juiced”, that was published in 2005, in which Canseco admitted to steroid use and claimed that 85% of all major league players took steroids. Some former teammates named by Canseco have since admitted to using steroids, including Jason Giambi and Mark McGwire.

29 Disappearing Asian sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

30 Asian feline breed : SIAMESE CAT

The exact origins of the Siamese cat aren’t very clear, but it is believed to be from Southeast Asia. The Siamese takes its name from the sacred temple cats of Thailand (a nation once called “Siam”).

35 Lay’s chips-in-a-can brand : STAX

Stax is a brand of potato snack made by Lay’s. Stax are similar to the brand’s famous competitor Pringles.

37 Church caretaker : SEXTON

A sexton is an officer in a church who looks after the building and perhaps an attached graveyard. The term “sexton” comes from the Medieval Latin word “sacristanus” which means “custodian of sacred objects”.

39 Bull in a corrida : TORO

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.

51 Weak-__: wimpy : KNEED

Our term “wimp”, describing a “timid person”, is probably an alteration of “whimper”, the sound that such an individual might make.

54 West Coast gas brand : ARCO

The company name “ARCO” is an acronym standing for “Atlantic Richfield Company”. One of ARCO’s claims to fame is that it is responsible for the nation’s largest Superfund site. Mining and smelting in the area around Butte, Montana polluted the region’s water and soil, and ARCO has agreed to pay $187 million to help clean up the area.

56 “i” topper : DOT

A tittle is a small diacritical mark used in writing. Examples are the cedilla and tilde used in some languages, and the dot over the lowercase letters i and j in English.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Disappear : PERISH
7 Pop star Lady __ : GAGA
11 “__ Miz” : LES
14 Not against hearing, as a suggestion : OPEN TO
15 Amo, __, amat … : AMAS
16 Mork’s home planet : ORK
17 Martin of “Mission: Impossible” : LANDAU
18 Excuse designed to elicit sniffles : SOB STORY
20 Happening soon : IN STORE
22 PDQ : ASAP
23 Mexicali’s peninsula : BAJA
26 Roof overhang : EAVE
27 Dole (out) : METE
28 Angsty music genre : EMO
29 The “A” in RAM : ACCESS
31 The “A” in USNA: Abbr. : ACAD
32 USO show audience : GIS
33 Ball game delayer : RAIN
34 Mallorca, por ejemplo : ISLA
36 Make potable, as seawater : DESALT
38 Not yet visible, as a fingerprint : LATENT
40 Con’s place of confinement : CELL
41 Robin Cook medical thriller : COMA
42 Currently : NOW
44 Compact Chevy SUV : TRAX
46 Elon Musk company concerned with travel to Mars : SPACEX
48 Italian hour : ORA
49 Payment in Monopoly : RENT
50 LAX landing hrs. : ETAS
51 Fort full of gold : KNOX
52 “In that case … ” : IF SO …
53 Grime-fighting P&G mascot with folded arms : MR CLEAN
55 Evil : FIENDISH
57 Lowlife, slangily : CREEPO
61 Inc. relative : LLC
62 Melville novel : OMOO
63 Hickok’s last hand, it’s said … and what’s literally found in four Down puzzle answers : ACES UP
64 “Evil Woman” rock gp. : ELO
65 Nashville’s st. : TENN
66 Until now : TO DATE

Down

1 D.C. pro : POL
2 Govt. pollution watchdog : EPA
3 Stimpy’s sidekick : REN
4 Nepal neighbor : INDIA
5 Comics icon Lee : STAN
6 Doctors rarely make them these days : HOUSE CALLS
7 Kitchen appliance : GAS OVEN
8 Loves, in Spain : AMORES
9 Comedian Kaplan : GABE
10 Donkey : ASS
11 Artillery metaphor for a volatile sort : LOOSE CANNON
12 List of mistakes : ERRATA
13 Chatted via webcam : SKYPED
19 Steamed cantina food : TAMALE
21 Implied : TACIT
23 Plead with : BEG
24 Surrounded by : AMID
25 First major leaguer to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season : JOSE CANSECO
29 Disappearing Asian sea : ARAL
30 Asian feline breed : SIAMESE CAT
35 Lay’s chips-in-a-can brand : STAX
37 Church caretaker : SEXTON
38 Express opposite, trainwise : LOCAL
39 Bull in a corrida : TORO
41 Get the hang of it : CATCH ON
43 Candle material : WAX
44 Insignificant thing : TRIFLE
45 Pharmacy follow-up order : REFILL
47 Individual : PERSON
51 Weak-__: wimpy : KNEED
53 Actor with no lines : MIME
54 West Coast gas brand : ARCO
56 “i” topper : DOT
58 That, to Pedro : ESA
59 Delay, with “off” : PUT …
60 Reveal, to a poet : OPE

10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 27 Apr 21, Tuesday”

  1. No errors. Started out with “vanish” instead of “perish” but soon
    saw the error of my ways. Did not know the Chevy compact for
    sure, but realized the theme early enough to spell Jose Canseco
    correctly and got the Trax answer.

  2. 8 mins 40 sec, 2 errors where TRAX and SEXTON meet. Both the car make and the title are unknown to me.

  3. Had a Natick where TRAX crossed JOSE CANSECO.
    Didn’t understand the theme until Bill.
    Had “ole” before LES, as in the University of Mississippi.
    I thought the clue for LOCAL was clumsy.

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