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LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Jan 15, Saturday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Julian Lim
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 11m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Meg, to Jo SIB
Sibling (sib)

"Little Women" is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of little women is Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy and the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

8. Fashion first name COCO
Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer. Perhaps because I am a man, clothes design is not my forte. However, if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really liked, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that looked so elegant on a woman.

12. Cathedral feature  CRUCIFIX
In many of the Christian traditions, a crucifix is a representation of Jesus on the cross. The term comes from the Latin “cruci fixus” meaning “fixed to a cross”.

14. "Frère Jacques," e.g. CANON
A canon is a musical composition in which the main melody is repeated after a given duration.

"Frère Jacques" is a children’s song from France. The French lyrics are:
Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous ? Dormez-vous ?
Sonnez les matines ! Sonnez les matines !
Ding, daing, dong. Ding, daing, dong.
The lyrics are usually translated into English as:
Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Brother John? Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing! Morning bells are ringing!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.

15. Heartfelt class? AEROBICS
Aerobic exercise is moderate activity, designed to be at a low enough intensity that very little anaerobic activity takes place. In other words, the exercise is at a level where oxygen is taken in to burn fat and carbohydrate to create energy. Anaerobic exercise is more intense and uses carbohydrate (glycogen) in the muscle to provide energy, without the need for oxygen. Aerobics are also called “cardio” as the exercises strengthen the cardiovascular system.

18. Daughter of Oceanus TELESTO
In Greek mythology, Telesto was a sea goddess. She was the daughter of the Titan Oceanus and the Titaness Tethys. Telesto lent her name to one of the moons of Saturn.

Oceanus was a mythical figure personifying the so-called “World Ocean”, the interconnected oceans and seas of the world. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the world was encircled by one enormous river.

19. Monopoly acquisition DEED
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of "The Landlord's Game" created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called 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.

26. Lightweight boxer? PUP
The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites!) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful animal. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, another gorgeous creature.

27. Redcap's workplace: Abbr. STN
Station (stn.)

“Redcap” is a term used for a railroad station porter here in North America. That term comes from the fact that redcaps wear red caps!

28. "__ Down In Darkness": Styron novel LIE
“Lie Down in Darkness” was the first novel by American writer William Styron, published in 1951. Styron completed it when he was just 26 years old. Styron went on to write “The Confessions of Nat Turner” (1967) and the harrowing “Sophie’s Choice” (1979).

29. Little projectiles BBS
A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.080" in diameter) to size FF (.23"). 0.180" diameter birdshot is size BB, which gives the airgun its name.

40. Call before a head-to-head contest EN GARDE
“En garde” is a French term that has been absorbed into the sport of fencing. Originally a warning “on guard!”, it is spoken at the start of an encounter to warn the fencers to take a defensive position.

44. Fruit sometimes fried PLANTAIN
There is no botanical distinction between bananas and plantains. The terms simply describe fruit intended for eating raw (bananas) and fruit intended for cooking (plantains).

45. City on the Rhone ARLES
A few years ago I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city's design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and where he painted his famous "Cafe Terrace at Night", as well as "Bedroom in Arles".

The Rhône river rises in Switzerland and flows through the southeast of France.

47. Forest coat MOSS
There is a traditionally-held belief that in the northern hemisphere there is a heavier growth of moss on the north-facing side of trees. The assumption is that the sun creates a drier environment on the south side of the tree, an environment that is less conducive to the growth of moss.

48. "Walkabout" director Nicolas ROEG
Nicolas Roeg is film director from England with quite the pedigree when it comes to association with great movies. He contributed to 1962’s “Lawrence of Arabia”, and he himself directed noted films like “Walkabout” (1972), “Don’t Look Now” (1973) and “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (1976).

“Walkabout” is an interesting 1971 film set in Australia that stars the lovely English actress Jenny Agutter.The movie is about a teenage girl and her young brother who are stranded in the Australian outback. They are rescued by an Aboriginal youth who then wanders with them through the desert landscape. The young brother is played by Luc Roeg, the son of Nicolas Roeg who directed the film.

49. Many boomers: Abbr. SRS
Senior (sr.)

A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is defined as the "baby boom".

Down
2. "Roger that" I READ YOU
The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included "Roger" to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

4. Drive in the bedroom? LIBIDO
"Libido" is a term first popularized by Sigmund Freud. Freud's usage was more general than is understood today, as he used "libido" to describe all instinctive energy that arose in the subconscious. He believed that we humans are driven by two desires, the desire for life (the libido, or Eros) and the desire for death (Thanatos). Personally, I don't agree ...

6. One of an elite eatery trio MICHELIN STAR
Michelin is a manufacturer of tires based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin “stars”.

7. Spots for private shoppers?: Abbr. PXS
A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent store on an Air Force Base is called a Base Exchange (BX). At a Navy installation it's a Navy Exchange (NEX), at a Marine Corps installation it's a Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and at a Coast Guard Installation it's a CGX.

16. Lincoln Center locale WEST SIDE
The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts takes its name from the neighborhood in which it is situated, Lincoln Square in the Upper West Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan.

18. Subject of a 1996 holiday craze TICKLE ME ELMO
Tickle Me Elmo was a sensational fad in the late nineties, with stores raising prices dramatically above the recommended retail price to take advantage of demand. Reportedly, prices as high as $1500 were paid at the height of the craze. The toy's manufacturer, Tyco, originally planned to market the "tickle" toy as Tickle Me Tasmanian Devil (after the "Looney Tunes" character), but then went with "Elmo" after they bought the rights to use "Sesame Street" names.

21. Sword's superior? PEN
Edward Bulwer-Lytton was an English politician and writer. Among his writings, Bulwer-Lytton
came up with some phrases that have endured, such as:
- “the great unwashed”
- “pursuit of the almighty dollar”
- “the pen is mightier than the sword”
- “It was a dark and stormy night …”

31. __ Redman, Gary Sinise's role in Stephen King's "The Stand" STU
“The Stand" is a 1978 horror novel from the pen of Stephen King. It was adapted into a miniseries for television in 1994. The TV adaptation has a great cast including Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald and Rob Lowe. Regardless of the cast, I just don’t do Stephen King …

32. Like expressions? SIMILES
A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be describes as “cute as a kitten” or “as busy as a bee”.

33. Fuel __: reactor component ROD
A common nuclear fuel is uranium dioxide (UO2). The UO2 comes in powder form and is compacted into pellets that are fired at high temperature producing ceramic pellets. The pellets are ground into a near-perfect cylindrical shape and are then stacked inside tubes made of zirconium alloy. These tubes are what we usually refer to as nuclear fuel rods.

34. Rabbit predators STOATS
Ermine is another name for the stoat. The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term "ermine" is reserved for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

36. Traditional beverage EGGNOG
A noggin was the name of a small cup back in the 1600s that later lent its name to a small drink (and eventually to "eggnog").

37. Prefix meaning "sacred" HIERO-
The prefix “hiero-” comes from the Greek word "hieros" meaning sacred or holy. The classic use of the prefix is in the term “hieroglyphics”, meaning "sacred carving", the writing system that uses symbols and pictures.

39. Scotch serving DRAM
The dram is a confusing unit of measurement, I think. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

41. Local theater, informally NABE
A “nabe” is a neighborhood, or a familiar term for a local movie theater. Although I've never heard "nabe" in this neighborhood ...

44. __ se PER
"Per se" is a Latin phrase, and it translates as "by itself". We use "per se" pretty literally, meaning "in itself, intrinsically".


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Meg, to Jo SIB
4. Lighter LAMP
8. Fashion first name COCO
12. Cathedral feature  CRUCIFIX
14. "Frère Jacques," e.g. CANON
15. Heartfelt class? AEROBICS
16. Dismiss, in a way WAVE AT
17. Adopted RAN WITH
18. Daughter of Oceanus TELESTO
19. Monopoly acquisition DEED
20. Installments EPISODES
22. Run using water, as a plant HYDROELECTRIC
24. Unsettled items IOUS
25. Gets absorbed SINKS IN
26. Lightweight boxer? PUP
27. Redcap's workplace: Abbr. STN
28. "__ Down In Darkness": Styron novel LIE
29. Little projectiles BBS
32. Hardly keeps cool SEES RED
34. Rock __ SALT
35. Greeting words NICE TO MEET YOU
37. Like some pasta HOMEMADE
38. Full of vitality GO-GO
39. Filing aid DIVIDER
40. Call before a head-to-head contest EN GARDE
43. Reacted to a sock REELED
44. Fruit sometimes fried PLANTAIN
45. City on the Rhone ARLES
46. Like some fancy stationery EMBOSSED
47. Forest coat MOSS
48. "Walkabout" director Nicolas ROEG
49. Many boomers: Abbr. SRS

Down
1. Plastic surgeon's concern SCAR
2. "Roger that" I READ YOU
3. Reduced to ashes BURNED UP
4. Drive in the bedroom? LIBIDO
5. Words with throw or have A FIT
6. One of an elite eatery trio MICHELIN STAR
7. Spots for private shoppers?: Abbr. PXS
8. Gave CAVED IN
9. "Almost ready!" ONE SEC!
10. Covers COATS
11. More than not sure about ONTO
13. Quails COWERS
14. Nutritionist's unit CALORIE
16. Lincoln Center locale WEST SIDE
18. Subject of a 1996 holiday craze TICKLE ME ELMO
21. Sword's superior? PEN
22. Not square HIP
23. Venerable ESTEEMED
27. Forms a new state SECEDES
29. Aquatic plant that reduces erosion BAY GRASS
30. More rare, in a way BLOODIER
31. __ Redman, Gary Sinise's role in Stephen King's "The Stand" STU
32. Like expressions? SIMILES
33. Fuel __: reactor component ROD
34. Rabbit predators STOATS
35. They have plots NOVELS
36. Traditional beverage EGGNOG
37. Prefix meaning "sacred" HIERO-
39. Scotch serving DRAM
41. Local theater, informally NABE
42. Purposes ENDS
44. __ se PER


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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.

I answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

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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