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LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Apr 14, Wednesday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Skoczen
THEME: Aha Moment … each of today’s themed answers contains two words, the first beginning with A, the second with HA. Aha!
17A. "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" collaborator ALEX HALEY
24A. "The helpful place" sloganeer ACE HARDWARE
36A. Many a circus employee ANIMAL HANDLER
53A. Wayne Manor resident AUNT HARRIET

62A. Light-bulb-over-the-head instance, and a hint to 17-, 24-, 36- and 53-Across AHA MOMENT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 08m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. 48-Across brand SOBE
The brand name SoBe can be found on teas, juices and bottled waters. SoBe is an abbreviation for South Beach, the neighborhood in Miami Beach, Florida.

14. K-12, to textbook publishers ELHI
"Elhi" is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

17. "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" collaborator ALEX HALEY
Not only did Alex Haley author the magnificent novel "Roots", but he was also the collaborator with Malcolm X on "The Autobiography of Malcolm X". His 1976 novel "Roots" is based on Haley's own family history, and he claimed to be a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the The Gambia in 1767. If you remember the fabulous television adaptation of "Roots", you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on "Star Trek: the Next Generation".

Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little, in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925. He told his own life story in the incredibly successful book "The Autobiography of Malcolm X", on which he collaborated with author Alex Haley. Malcolm Little changed his name when he joined the Nation of Islam, choosing "X" to represent the African family name that he could never know.

21. Google executive chairman Schmidt ERIC
I used to visit Google a lot when I was in the industry. It is an amazing place, but the culture wouldn't suit an old fogey like me. It is a great company that produces wonderful products though. Eric Schmidt was brought in as CEO in 2001 as the "grown up" needed by Google's young co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Not too long ago Google announced that Page and Brin are "all grown up" now, and so Schmidt stepped down as CEO in April 2011, with Page taking over the the reins. Schmidt is now Executive Chairman of the company.

24. "The helpful place" sloganeer ACE HARDWARE
The Ace Hardware chain of stores was founded in 1924 in Chicago, Illinois. The name “Ace” was chosen after “ace” fighter pilots from World War I.

28. Mu followers NUS
The Latin equivalent of the Greek letter nu is "N". An uppercase nu looks just like the Latin capital N, however, the lowercase nu looks like our lowercase "v". Very confusing ...

29. Pt. of a sentence PHR
Phrase (phr.)

31. Certain commuter's destination: Abbr. STN
Station (stn.)

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

32. Belmonts frontman DION
Dion and the Belmonts were a vocal group from the fifties who had success in the late fifties. The four singers were from the Bronx in New York, with two living on Belmont Avenue, hence the name that was chosen. Perhaps the biggest hits for Dion and the Belmonts were “A Teenager in Love” and "Where or When".

34. 1930s migrants OKIES
“Okies” was a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.

42. Scheherazade's milieu HAREM
"Harem" is a Turkish word, derived from the Arabic for "forbidden place". Traditionally a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area.

Scheherazade was a Persian queen of legend, and the storyteller in the wonderful "One Thousand and One Nights".

43. Designer St. Laurent YVES
Yves Saint-Laurent was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint-Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint-Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from prison, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story ...

45. Tech sch. overlooking the Hudson RPI
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the "application of science to the common purposes of life", an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school's sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

The Hudson River flows through eastern New York State from Henderson Lake in the Adirondacks to the Port of New York and New Jersey. The river is named for the English explorer Henry Hudson who navigated it in 1609.

49. "Just an update" letters FYI
For your information (fyi)

53. Wayne Manor resident AUNT HARRIET
Aunt Harriet was the maternal aunt of Dick Grayson (Robin) in the sixties TV show "Batman". Aunt Harriet was played by actress Madge Blake, it being her most famous role. Aunt Harriet's appearances became fewer and fewer towards the end of the series as Madge Blake struggled with failing health.

Wayne Manor is where Bruce Wayne lives, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access is to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne's parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.

56. Actress Peeples NIA
Actress Nia Peeples is from Hollywood, California. Peeples is probably best known for playing the character Nicole Chapman in the TV series "Fame". She also played Karen Taylor on the daytime soap “The Young and the Restless”. Peeples now runs a wellness website called “Nia’s Elements of Life”.

57. Sasquatch cousin YETI
A yeti is a beast of legend, also called an abominable snowman. "Yeti" is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

58. "The Dukes of Hazzard" deputy ENOS
Enos Strate (played by Sonny Shroyer) was the small-town deputy in the television sitcom “The Dukes of Hazzard”, and the success of his character merited a follow-on show. The spinoff "Enos" only ran for 18 episodes though.

59. Mt. Sunflower is its highest point KAN
The official nickname of Kansas is the Sunflower State. One of Kansas’s major crops is the sunflower. The sunflower is the state symbol, and Mount Sunflower is the highest point in Kansas.

60. Antacid, briefly BROMO
Bromo-Seltzer is an antacid that was first produced back in 1888, and is still available today, although it’s hard to find. The Bromo-Seltzer headquarters were in downtown Baltimore in a building that features a magnificent clock tower that was patterned on the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The tower is a famous landmark in the city. The four clock faces display the letters B-R-O-M-O S-E-L-T-Z-E-R beside the much smaller Roman numerals that tell the time.

65. Proofreading mark DELE
"Dele" is the editorial instruction to delete something from a document, and is often written in red.

66. Winans of gospel CECE
CeCe Winans (real name Priscilla) is a Gospel music singer. She is part of a duo with her brother, BeBe Winans (real name Benjamin).

Down
4. "Kid-tested" cereal KIX
Kix cereal has been around since 1937, would you believe? Kix used to be just puffed grains, processed to give the characteristic shape. Then the decision was made to add sugar to get better penetration into the young kid marketplace. Sad really ...

7. Nut-bearing tree BEECH
Beech wood is prized as firewood as it burns for many hours with a bright flame and is easily split.

8. Big name in ice cream EDY
Dreyers' ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy's in the Eastern states. The company's founders were William Dryer and Joseph Edy.

9. Wall St. deal LBO
A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a transaction in which an investor acquires a controlling volume of stock in a company, but buys that stock with borrowed funds (hence "leveraged"). Often the assets of the acquired company are used as collateral for the borrowed money. There is a special form of LBO known as a management buyout (MBO) in which the company's own management team purchases the controlling interest.

11. Athletic brand founded by Adolf Dassler ADIDAS
The brand name Adidas dates back to when Adolf "Adi" Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother's laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The companies big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi's brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed "Ruda" shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed "Adidas".

13. Birthplace of Bergman and Garbo SWEDEN
The wonderful actress Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm and named for Princess Ingrid of Sweden. The three Bergman performances that stand out for me are in 1942’s “Casablanca” opposite Humphrey Bogart, in 1944’s “Gaslight” opposite Charles Boyer and in 1946’s “Notorious” opposite Cary Grant. What a stunningly beautiful woman she was ...

Famously, Greta Garbo lived a life of seclusion in New York City after she retired from the entertainment business. Commentators often associated her need for privacy with a line she uttered in the great 1932 movie "Grand Hotel". Her character Grusinskaya the Russian ballerina said, "I want to be alone (...) I just want to be alone".

25. "Eso Beso" singer ANKA
"Eso Beso" is Spanish for "That Kiss", and is the name of a hit song recorded by Canadian-born singer Paul Anka.

26. Picnic worry RAIN
Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable pot-luck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

33. Bethesda-based medical org. NIH
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is made up of 27 different institutes that coordinate their research and services. Examples of member institutes are the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.

34. Resistance unit OHM
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm's Law.

39. King with three daughters LEAR
“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the storyline. The three are, in order of age:
- Goneril
- Regan
- Cordelia

44. Italicized SLANTED
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as "italic" because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

45. Sunglass Hut brand RAY-BAN
Ray-Ban sunglasses were first introduced in 1937 for the US Army Air Corps. The Ray-Ban Aviator model of glasses became very popular with the pilots, and apparently with General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur was wearing a pair when he was photographed "returning" to the Philippines in WWII.

46. Mexico's __ Vallarta PUERTO
Puerto Vallarta is a resort city in Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean. The name Vallarta comes from a former governor of the state, Ignacio Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta partly got on the map as a resort after the filming of the 1963 John Huston film "The Night of the Iguana". There was lots of publicity surrounding the making of the movie, as Richard Burton brought Elizabeth Taylor to the shoot, with whom he was having an extramarital affair at the time.

50. Naval petty officers YEOMEN
In the US Navy, a yeoman is tasked with administrative and clerical work. In fact the position of yeoman is the oldest rating in the navy. You’ll see a lot of yeomen in the background on “Star Trek”.

51. "Make __": Picard catchphrase IT SO
When Gene Roddenberry was creating the “Star Trek” spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I think he chose a quite magnificent name for the new starship captain. The name "Jean-Luc Picard" is imitative of one or both of the twin-brother Swiss scientists Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard. The role of Picard was of course played by the wonderful Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart.

63. Intro givers MCS
"Emcee" come from "MC", an abbreviation for the Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Spice organizer RACK
5. 48-Across brand SOBE
9. Right-angled supports L-BARS
14. K-12, to textbook publishers ELHI
15. Neck and neck TIED
16. Slightly moisten BEDEW
17. "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" collaborator ALEX HALEY
19. Green hue OLIVE
20. Camcorder button REC
21. Google executive chairman Schmidt ERIC
22. Had too much, briefly ODED
23. Antlered animal ELK
24. "The helpful place" sloganeer ACE HARDWARE
28. Mu followers NUS
29. Pt. of a sentence PHR
30. Vote against NAY
31. Certain commuter's destination: Abbr. STN
32. Belmonts frontman DION
34. 1930s migrants OKIES
36. Many a circus employee ANIMAL HANDLER
42. Scheherazade's milieu HAREM
43. Designer St. Laurent YVES
45. Tech sch. overlooking the Hudson RPI
48. Iced drink TEA
49. "Just an update" letters FYI
52. Pipe bend ELL
53. Wayne Manor resident AUNT HARRIET
56. Actress Peeples NIA
57. Sasquatch cousin YETI
58. "The Dukes of Hazzard" deputy ENOS
59. Mt. Sunflower is its highest point KAN
60. Antacid, briefly BROMO
62. Light-bulb-over-the-head instance, and a hint to 17-, 24-, 36- and 53-Across AHA MOMENT
64. When many take morning breaks AT TEN
65. Proofreading mark DELE
66. Winans of gospel CECE
67. Calf-roping loop NOOSE
68. Sign OMEN
69. You might steer one with your feet SLED

Down
1. Behind, or hit from behind REAR END
2. Christian chant ALLELUIA!
3. Inspects CHECKS ON
4. "Kid-tested" cereal KIX
5. Pasta or potato, e.g. STARCH
6. More slippery OILIER
7. Nut-bearing tree BEECH
8. Big name in ice cream EDY
9. Wall St. deal LBO
10. Subordinate to BELOW
11. Athletic brand founded by Adolf Dassler ADIDAS
12. Backslide REVERT
13. Birthplace of Bergman and Garbo SWEDEN
18. Accumulation HEAP
25. "Eso Beso" singer ANKA
26. Picnic worry RAIN
27. Turned green, say DYED
33. Bethesda-based medical org. NIH
34. Resistance unit OHM
35. Devious SLY
37. Field with roots and logs MATH
38. __ rug AREA
39. King with three daughters LEAR
40. Symbol of balance EVEN KEEL
41. Faith RELIANCE
44. Italicized SLANTED
45. Sunglass Hut brand RAY-BAN
46. Mexico's __ Vallarta PUERTO
47. Altogether IN TOTO
49. Fireworks highlight FINALE
50. Naval petty officers YEOMEN
51. "Make __": Picard catchphrase IT SO
54. Movie listing listings TIMES
55. Bring up again? REHEM
61. What two heads are better than ONE
62. Disturbance ADO
63. Intro givers MCS


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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.

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

Bill
January 29, 2009

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