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LA Times Crossword Answers 4 May 15, Monday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Kevin Christian & Andrea Carla Michaels
THEME: Were There, Sounds Like … each of today’s themed answers contains a syllable that is or sounds like “were”.
17A. 1957 Michael Landon horror film role TEENAGE WEREWOLF
27A. "You're going to like the way you look" clothing chain MEN'S WEARHOUSE
46A. Place to copy keys HARDWARE STORE
62A. "Not in my backyard" ANYWHERE BUT HERE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Reject, as a sweetheart JILT
To "jilt" someone with whom you have a relationship is to drop them suddenly or callously. "Jilt" is an obsolete noun that used to mean "harlot" or "loose woman".

5. Bee Gees family name GIBB
The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name "The Bee Gees") were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

14. Emmy winner Falco EDIE
The actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO's outstanding drama series called "The Sopranos". Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”.

15. Comédie musicale part ACTE
In French, an act (acte) is part of a musical comedy (Ccomédie musicale).

16. Beautiful, in Bologna BELLA
Bologna is a city in northern Italy. The city is home to the University of Bologna that was founded way back in 1088. The University of Bologna is the oldest existing university in the world.

17. 1957 Michael Landon horror film role TEENAGE WEREWOLF
“I Was a Teenage Werewolf” is a 1957 horror movie starring Michael Landon in the title role. The film was a breakthrough role for Landon, and two years later he landed the role of Little Joe on TV’s “Bonanza”.

20. __ Arabia SAUDI
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab country in the Middle East and is the world's largest oil producer, home to the world's largest oil reserves. The Saudi dynasty started in central Arabia in 1744 when the secular leader Muhammad ibn Saud joined forces with the Islamic scholar and Imam, Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. At the time, Saud was a ruler of a town near Riyadh and he was determined to bring "true" Islam to the Arabian peninsula. Since 1744 the fortunes of the Saudi family have risen and fallen, but it is that same family who rules what we know today as Saudi Arabia.

21. Nightclub in a Manilow song COPA
The Copacabana of song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song "Meet Me at the Copa"). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now "sharing" a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

Barry Manilow’s real name is Barry Alan Pincus. Barry took his mother’s family name, Manilow, as the time of his Bar Mitzvah. When he was young, Manilow attended the Juilliard performing arts school, and then practiced his craft on the New York City music circuit. He worked in the sixties and seventies writing jingles for advertisements. “Like a good neighbor, Statefarm is there …”, that’s the work of Mr. Manilow!

22. Tootsies FEET
“Tootsy” is slang for “foot”. Apparently the term evolved from “footsy”.

23. Poet Khayyám OMAR
Omar Khayyam was a Persian with many talents. He was a poet as well as an important mathematician, astronomer and physician. A selection of his poems were translated by one Edward Fitzgerald in a collection called "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam". Here are some lines from “Rubaiyat” …
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help--for it
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

25. Exxon's ex-name ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of "Standard" and "Oil" (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

27. "You're going to like the way you look" clothing chain MEN'S WEARHOUSE
Men’s Wearhouse is a retailer of men’s dress clothes that was founded in 1973 by George Zimmer. Zimmer is known for the slogan “You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it.”

32. Isr. neighbor SYR
The modern state that we know as Syria was established after WWI as a French mandate. Syria was granted independence from France in 1946.

34. "I give up!" UNCLE!
To "say uncle" is an American expression meaning to submit or yield. Its usage dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how "uncle!" came to mean "stop!"

36. Sailor's confinement BRIG
A brig, short for brigantine, is a type of ship. It was the use of brigantines as prison ships that led to the use of “brig” as the word for a jail or prison cell on a seagoing vessel.

38. Struck down, in 39-Down SMOTE
“To smite” is to strike with a firm blow.

42. Curved like a rainbow ARCED
Sunlight shining through airborne water droplets can produce rainbows. The water droplets act as little prisms, dispersing the white light into its constituent colors. Sometimes we see double rainbows. If we look carefully, the order of the colors in the first and second arcs is reversed.

52. Animal on the California state flag BEAR
The original California flag was simply a lone red star on a white background, and was carried by rebels fighting for freedom from Mexican rule in 1836. Ten years later a new flag was used, the original Grizzly Bear Flag and precursor to today's state flag. That first use of a bear was in a design by William L. Todd, a nephew of Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd.

53. Trig or calc MATH
Trigonometry (trig.) and calculus (calc.) are realms of study in the world of mathematics (math.).

65. Skylit courtyards ATRIA
In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

66. "__ fair in love and war" ALL’S
The proverb “All is fair in love and war” has been attributed to the English writer John Lyly, and is from his book “Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit”. “Euphues” is also the source of our word “euphemism”.

69. Jeans brand LEES
The Lee company famous for making jeans was formed in 1889, by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

Down
1. New York footballers JETS
Just like the New York Giants, the New York Jets are based in New Jersey, headquartered in Florham Park. The Jets and the Giants have a unique arrangement in the NFL in that the two teams share Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets were an AFL charter team, formed in 1959 as the Titans of New York. The Titans changed their name to the Jets in 1963.

3. In __ of: substituted for LIEU
As one might perhaps imagine, "in lieu" comes into English from the Old French word "lieu" meaning "place", which in turn is derived from the Latin "locum", also meaning "place". So, "in lieu" means "in place of".

4. Muscle-to-bone connector TENDON
Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle.

6. Banana split ingredient ICE CREAM
The first banana split was created in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904. This particular sundae was the idea of David Stickler, a young apprentice pharmacist at the Tassel Pharmacy’s soda fountain.

9. U.K. honor OBE
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:
- Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
- Knight Commander (KBE)
- Commander (CBE)
- Officer (OBE)
- Member (MBE)

11. Wild plum SLOE
The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin.

12. Fashion magazine ELLE
"Elle" magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. "Elle" is the French word for "she". “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

13. 300-pound president 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.

19. Calamine lotion target RASH
Calamine is mainly zinc oxide, with a small percentage of iron oxide. Calamine is incorporated into a lotion that is used for many things, including treatment of sunburn and itching.

26. Almost worthless amount SOU
A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

27. Gift from the Magi MYRRH
Frankincense and myrrh are both tree resins, exuded when certain species of tree are damaged. The harvested resins are used to make essentials oils for perfumes, and are also burned to give off a pleasant fragrance.

"Magi" is the plural of the Latin word "magus", a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, magi is commonly used with reference to the "wise men from the East" who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born.

28. "Fear of Flying" author Jong ERICA
The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later she wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

31. Beethoven's "Für __" ELISE
"Für Elise" is a beautiful piece of music written by Beethoven, and is also known as "Bagatelle in A Minor". "Für Elise" means simply "For Elise", but sadly no one knows for sure the identity of the mysterious dedicatee.

32. Agcy. that aids start-ups SBA
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency with the mission of assisting small businesses. The SBA doesn't give loans itself, but it does act as a guarantor under the right circumstances. The SBA was set up in 1953, and isn't a favorite with fiscal conservatives.

37. "Rhapsody in Blue" composer GERSHWIN
George Gershwin was a remarkable composer in so many ways, not least in that he was respected for both his popular and classical compositions. Gershwin’s best known works for orchestra are the magnificent “Rhapsody in Blue” from 1924 and “An American in Paris” from 1928. Another noted work is the opera “Porgy and Bess” that was first performed in 1935. Surprisingly, Porgy and Bess was a commercial failure, and so Gershwin moved to Hollywood and started composing very successful film scores. He was only 38 years old when he died in 1937, from a brain tumor.

39. Holy Scripture THE BIBLE
The Bible is the biggest-selling book of all time, with annual sales running at about 100 million copies.

43. Ike's initials DDE
President Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas and given the name David Dwight Eisenhower, but by the time he made it to the White House he was going by the name Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). Growing up, his family called him Dwight, and when "Ike" enrolled in West Point he himself reversed the order of his given names.

55. "America's Next Top Model" host Banks TYRA
Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosts the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also has her own talk show. She was also the first African American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue.

59. Lima is its capital PERU
Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem.

60. Ireland, poetically ERIN
"Éire", is the Irish word for "Ireland". "Erin" is an anglicized version of "Éire" and actually corresponds to "Éirinn", the dative case of "Éire".

61. Chianti and Merlot REDS
Chianti is a red wine from the Chianti region of central Tuscany in Italy. Historically, Chianti was stored in a characteristically bulbous bottle wrapped in a straw basket. However, the pragmatists have won the day and regular wine bottles tend to be used nowadays.

Merlot is one of the main grapes used to make Bordeaux wines, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

63. Sombrero, e.g. HAT
In English we think of a sombrero as a wide-brimmed hat, but in Spanish “sombrero” is the word for any hat. “Sombrero” is derived from “sombra” meaning “shade”.

64. Battleship letters USS
The acronym "USS" stands for "United States Ship". The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Reject, as a sweetheart JILT
5. Bee Gees family name GIBB
9. Beginning ONSET
14. Emmy winner Falco EDIE
15. Comédie musicale part ACTE
16. Beautiful, in Bologna BELLA
17. 1957 Michael Landon horror film role TEENAGE WEREWOLF
20. __ Arabia SAUDI
21. Nightclub in a Manilow song COPA
22. Tootsies FEET
23. Poet Khayyám OMAR
25. Exxon's ex-name ESSO
27. "You're going to like the way you look" clothing chain MEN'S WEARHOUSE
32. Isr. neighbor SYR
33. Listener? EAR
34. "I give up!" UNCLE!
36. Sailor's confinement BRIG
38. Struck down, in 39-Down SMOTE
41. "Finish the job!" DO IT!
42. Curved like a rainbow ARCED
44. "So that's your game!" AHA!
45. Function USE
46. Place to copy keys HARDWARE STORE
51. Baseball stitching SEAM
52. Animal on the California state flag BEAR
53. Trig or calc MATH
56. Words claiming innocence NOT I
58. Higher-ranking UPPER
62. "Not in my backyard" ANYWHERE BUT HERE
65. Skylit courtyards ATRIA
66. "__ fair in love and war" ALL’S
67. Extremely dry ARID
68. __ to be: destined MEANT
69. Jeans brand LEES
70. Women in habits NUNS

Down
1. New York footballers JETS
2. Notion IDEA
3. In __ of: substituted for LIEU
4. Muscle-to-bone connector TENDON
5. Vaudeville bit GAG
6. Banana split ingredient ICE CREAM
7. Call in a bingo hall B-TWO
8. Paging device BEEPER
9. U.K. honor OBE
10. Recently discovered NEW-FOUND
11. Wild plum SLOE
12. Fashion magazine ELLE
13. 300-pound president TAFT
18. Goals AIMS
19. Calamine lotion target RASH
24. Fills with wonder AWES
26. Almost worthless amount SOU
27. Gift from the Magi MYRRH
28. "Fear of Flying" author Jong ERICA
29. Like a loud crowd AROAR
30. Clean with elbow grease SCOUR
31. Beethoven's "Für __" ELISE
32. Agcy. that aids start-ups SBA
35. French summer ETE
37. "Rhapsody in Blue" composer GERSHWIN
39. Holy Scripture THE BIBLE
40. Lighten up EASE
43. Ike's initials DDE
47. Wind down WANE
48. Lacking principles AMORAL
49. Pulled tight TAUT
50. Many an adoptee ORPHAN
53. Polite way to address a lady MA’AM
54. Pot starter ANTE
55. "America's Next Top Model" host Banks TYRA
57. Prefix with gram or graph TELE-
59. Lima is its capital PERU
60. Ireland, poetically ERIN
61. Chianti and Merlot REDS
63. Sombrero, e.g. HAT
64. Battleship letters USS


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This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the Los Angeles Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, usually before midnight PST.

I've been writing the NYTCrossword.com blog (about the New York Times crossword) since 2009. I finally started this LAXCrossword.com blog in response to many requests over the years to write about the daily LA Times crossword.

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The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

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Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Los Angeles Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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