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LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Feb 16, Friday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeffrey Wechsler
THEME: Yo! … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with a “YO!” inserted:
58A. Fighter whose stock greeting affects 17-, 29-, 35- and 45-Across ROCKY BALBOA

17A. Generic City Hall dog? MAYOR’S ROVER (from “Mars Rover”)
29A. Why some seek a certain cactus? FOR PEYOTE’S SAKE (from “for Pete’s sake!”)
35A. Essay on meditation? YOGI TRACT (from “GI tract”)
45A. Eschew medical attention? STAY OFF DOCTORS (from “staff doctors”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Item in a '60s drug bust LSD TAB
The drug LSD is often sold impregnated into blotter paper. The paper blotter is usually divided into squares with ¼-inch sides, with each square referred to as a “tab”.

LSD (colloquially known as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn't until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man ...

7. Marshal Tito, for one SLAV
The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:
- the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
- the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
- the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

Marshal Josip Broz Tito led the Yugoslav resistance during WWII. After the war, he led the country as Prime Minister and then President.

17. Generic City Hall dog? MAYOR’S ROVER (from “Mars Rover”)
There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successful for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and it is still going. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today.

19. Caustic chemical LYE
What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

20. __ Toy Barn: "Toy Story 2" setting AL’S
"Toy Story 2" is a Pixar feature film that was released in 1999. The film was an even bigger hit than the original “Toy Story” and grossed just under $500 million.

21. Japanese volcano Mount __ ASO
Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan and is found on the island of Kyushu.

24. Half a prison? SING
Sing Sing is the nickname of the famous prison in Ossining, not far from New York City and “up the river” Hudson.

28. Toon who often wore a Metallica T-shirt BEAVIS
“Beavis and Butt-Head” is an adult cartoon television show and film. The show ran on MTV, which is only one reason that I don’t watch it …

Metallica is a heavy metal band from Los Angeles, formed in 1981. Not my thing ...

29. Why some seek a certain cactus? FOR PEYOTE’S SAKE (from “for Pete’s sake!”)
The peyote is a small spineless cactus that is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico. When ingested, the peyote is known to have a psychoactive effect. One of the psychoactive alkaloids in peyote is mescaline, a drug of choice for the likes Aldous Huxley and Pablo Picasso.

"For Pete's sake" is a minced oath, meaning it's a milder version of a less pleasant expression. "For Pete's sake" probably came from "for God's sake", and maybe even refers to St. Peter.

32. Bacchanal vessel EWER
A bacchanalia is a drunken spree, a term that derives from the ancient Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, the god of winemaking.

34. Choler IRE
“Choler” is “anger, irritability”. Choler (also “cholera”) was one of the body’s four basic substances, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:
- Black bile (melancholia)
- Yellow bile (cholera)
- Phlegm (phlegma)
- Blood (sanguis)

35. Essay on meditation? YOGI TRACT (from “GI tract”)
A yogi is a practitioner of yoga.

A tract is a political pamphlet, originally a discussion document. The name "tract" comes from the Latin verb "tractare" meaning "to discuss".

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a tube by which humans and other animals deliver food to the digestive organs, and dispose of solid wastes.

50. LAX stat ARR
Arrival (arr.)

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. "Let her not say __ that keep you here": "Antony and Cleopatra" ‘TIS I
"Antony and Cleopatra" is one of William Shakespeare's tragedies, telling the story of the relationship between Mark Antony and Cleopatra after the death of Julius Caesar.

53. Language from which "julep" is derived FARSI
The mint julep is a bourbon-based cocktail that is associated with the American South, and with the Kentucky Derby in particular. Although the Mint Julep mixed drink has probably only been around a couple of hundred years or so, the term “julep” dates back to the 14th century, when it described a syrupy drink in which medicine was administered. The term came into English from Old French, but ultimately derives from the Persian “golâb”. If you’d like to make yourself a mint julep, one recipe is:
- 3 oz of Bourbon
- 4-6 sprigs of mint
- granulated sugar to taste

56. Rosamund's "Gone Girl" co-star BEN
“Gone Girl” is a thriller novel written by Gillian Flynn that was first published in 2012. The story tells of a man whose wife has disappeared, with the reader not being certain if the husband is involved in the disappearance. The book was adapted into a movie of the same name released in 2014, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

58. Fighter whose stock greeting affects 17-, 29-, 35- and 45-Across ROCKY BALBOA
You might remember Rocky Balboa saying, "Yo, Adrian!" in the original Rocky movie. Adrian was Rocky's wife played by the lovely Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be "Rocky" for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and "Rocky" was eventually made with him playing title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and "Sly" Stallone had arrived ...

64. __ dixit IPSE
"Ipse dixit" is Latin, meaning "he himself said it". The term is used in contemporary English to describe an unsupported assertion, usually by someone in authority.

65. Shape, as dough for cloverleaf rolls BALL UP
Cloverleaf bread rolls are so called because they comprise three almost identical sections. The rolls are made by placing three balls of dough in each cup of a muffin tin, which results in a cloverleaf pattern on the top.

66. Strong desire YEN
The word "yen", meaning "urge", has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word "yin" imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!

68. Adam, of the "Bonanza" brothers ELDEST
On the TV show “Bonanza”, the character named Adam was one one of the Cartwright sons, the others being Hoss and Little Joe. Adam was played by actor Pernell Roberts.

The western TV series “Bonanza” ran for 14 seasons, making it the second longest-running western show on television (after “Gunsmoke”, which ran for 20 seasons).

Down
2. Cousteau's concern SEALIFE
Jacques-Yves Cousteau started off his career in the French Navy, aiming for a working life in aviation. Because of a car accident, Cousteau had to abandon his first career choice and instead went to sea. Famously, he co-invented the Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA), also called the aqua-lung.

3. Oxymoronic skiing condition DRY SNOW
The word "oxymoron" is in itself an oxymoron, as it is derived from the Greek words "Oxys" and "moros" meaning "sharp" and "stupid".

4. All-encompassing concept TAO
The Chinese character "tao" translates as "path", but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world.

5. Gillette brand ATRA
Fortunately for crossword setters, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

6. "Empress of the Blues" Smith BESSIE
The singer Bessie Smith had the nickname “The Empress of the Blues”. Smith was the most popular blues singer in the twenties and thirties.

7. "The Tudors" sta. SHO
“The Tudors” is a very entertaining period drama that is perhaps mistitled, as it focuses on the life of King Henry VIII as opposed to the whole Tudor dynasty. Produced for Showtime, the entire series was filmed in Ireland. Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays Henry VIII.

8. Actress Tyler LIV
Actress and model Liv Tyler is the daughter of Steven Tyler, lead singer with Aerosmith, and Bebe Buell, a celebrated model and singer. Liv Tyler plays the Elf maiden Arwen Undómiel in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

10. Frost output VERSES
The wonderful poet Robert Frost was a native of San Francisco, but lived most of life in New England. He also spent a few years in England, just before WWI. Frost was well recognized for his work during his lifetime, and received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He was also Vermont’s first Poet Laureate, a position that he held from 1961 until his death in 1963.

11. Eponymous South American leader BOLIVAR
Simón Bolívar was a military and political leader who led a revolution that overthrew Spanish rule in Venezuela. Bolívar’s military exploits continued after independence, resulting in the conquest of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The latter was named was named for Simón Bolívar.

12. Beamish? RAYLIKE
Raylike: like a ray, beam.

25. Their colour is affected by melanin GREY EYES
One suggestion is that the color difference between green eyes and blue eyes, is the concentration of melanin in the iris.

Melanin is a natural pigment found in most organisms. In humans, melanin is the pigment in the skin, the production of which accelerates in response to UV radiation causing a “tan”. Melanin is also what is released as cephalopod ink, a defensive cloud squirted into the water by squids and octopuses.

27. Fare on a flat tortilla TOSTADA
In Mexican cuisine, a tostada is a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla. “Tostada” translates literally from Spanish as “toasted”.

28. __ test BETA
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the "alpha" version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a "beta" and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as "beta". The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right ...

36. One of a biblical trio GIFT
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.

37. Global financial org. IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding an effort to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.

39. Diplomatic case ATTACHE
“Attaché” is a French term which literally means "attached", and is used for a person who is assigned to the administrative staff of some agency or other service. The term is most recognized as it applies to someone assigned to an Ambassador's staff at an embassy. The word was extended to “attaché case” at the beginning of the twentieth century, meaning a leather case used for carrying papers, perhaps by an attaché at an embassy.

40. Dutch landowner in colonial America PATROON
In the 17th-century Dutch colony of New Netherland on the East Coast of New America, “patroon” was a title given to someone who owned substantial tracts of land. “Patroon” is the Dutch word for “patron”.

43. Court action DRIBBLE
In sports, one can “dribble” a ball, advancing it by bouncing or giving it a series of short kicks.

44. Bony OSSEOUS
Osseous tissue is bone tissue. The term comes from the Latin “os” meaning “bone”.

46. Pluto's Egyptian counterpart OSIRIS
Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. Osiris was the son of Geb the Earth god, and Nut the sky goddess. His wife Isis was also his sister. Osiris was killed and mutilated by Set, his own brother. Isis reassembled Osiris and revived him, just long enough that they could conceive their son Horus.

In classical mythology, the god of the underworld was named Hades. Over time, “Hades” came to mean the underworld itself and the name for the god became Pluto. Pluto’s character was more positive than the god Hades, and he represented a more rewarding afterlife compared that offered by the darker Hades.

47. Alternative to de Gaulle ORLY
Orly is on the outskirts of Paris, to the south of the city. It is home to the Paris-Orly Airport, the second busiest international airport for the city after the more recently built Charles de Gaulle Airport. That said, Orly is home to more domestic flights than Charles de Gaulle.

48. Buster who portrayed Flash Gordon CRABBE
As an actor, Buster Crabbe was best known for playing Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. Before taking up acting, Crabbe was a championship swimmer, the winner of the 1932 Olympic gold medal for the 400 meter freestyle.

55. Canaanite deity BAAL
The name “Baal” was used for several gods and sometimes human officials by ancient Semitic peoples. In the Hebrew Bible, Baal is notably cited as a false god. As a result, we sometimes use the term “baal” today to mean a false god or an idol.

60. Lee side: Abbr. CSA
The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation and retained the post for the life of the government.

Robert E. Lee is renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state. During the Civil War, Lee’s men referred to him affectionately as “Marse Robert”, with “marse” being slang for “master”.

61. Cooper's creation KEG
A cooper is a craftsman who makes wooden vessels, such as barrels. The term “cooper” ultimately derives from the Latin “cupa” meaning “tub, cask”.

62. Honorary legal deg. LLD
The honorary degree of Legum Doctor (LL.D.) translates from the Latin as Doctor of Laws, a plural. This practice of using the plural originated in Cambridge University in England, as one was awarded an LL.D. after having been taught both Canon Law and Civil Law.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Item in a '60s drug bust LSD TAB
7. Marshal Tito, for one SLAV
11. Friendly address BRO
14. Make effervescent AERATE
15. Queen's place HIVE
16. Move on water OAR
17. Generic City Hall dog? MAYOR’S ROVER (from “Mars Rover”)
19. Caustic chemical LYE
20. __ Toy Barn: "Toy Story 2" setting AL’S
21. Japanese volcano Mount __ ASO
22. Guzzle SWILL
24. Half a prison? SING
26. Suffix for professionals -IST
28. Toon who often wore a Metallica T-shirt BEAVIS
29. Why some seek a certain cactus? FOR PEYOTE’S SAKE (from “for Pete’s sake!”)
32. Bacchanal vessel EWER
33. Rested SAT
34. Choler IRE
35. Essay on meditation? YOGI TRACT (from “GI tract”)
39. Arboreal critter APE
41. "__ believer!" I’M A
42. Icon with a curved arrow UNDO
45. Eschew medical attention? STAY OFF DOCTORS (from “staff doctors”)
49. Certify ATTEST
50. LAX stat ARR
51. "Let her not say __ that keep you here": "Antony and Cleopatra" ‘TIS I
53. Language from which "julep" is derived FARSI
54. Centrifuge site LAB
56. Rosamund's "Gone Girl" co-star BEN
57. Green beginning? ECO-
58. Fighter whose stock greeting affects 17-, 29-, 35- and 45-Across ROCKY BALBOA
63. However, to texters THO
64. __ dixit IPSE
65. Shape, as dough for cloverleaf rolls BALL UP
66. Strong desire YEN
67. Lacking a date STAG
68. Adam, of the "Bonanza" brothers ELDEST

Down
1. Holy men who turn prayer wheels LAMAS
2. Cousteau's concern SEALIFE
3. Oxymoronic skiing condition DRY SNOW
4. All-encompassing concept TAO
5. Gillette brand ATRA
6. "Empress of the Blues" Smith BESSIE
7. "The Tudors" sta. SHO
8. Actress Tyler LIV
9. GPS datum AVE
10. Frost output VERSES
11. Eponymous South American leader BOLIVAR
12. Beamish? RAYLIKE
13. Warning words … OR ELSE!
18. Upbeat ROSY
23. "Obviously, right?" WAS IT NOT?
25. Their colour is affected by melanin GREY EYES
27. Fare on a flat tortilla TOSTADA
28. __ test BETA
30. Master PRO
31. Roofing sealer TAR
36. One of a biblical trio GIFT
37. Global financial org. IMF
38. Tournament elimination point CUT
39. Diplomatic case ATTACHE
40. Dutch landowner in colonial America PATROON
43. Court action DRIBBLE
44. Bony OSSEOUS
45. __ pin SAFETY
46. Pluto's Egyptian counterpart OSIRIS
47. Alternative to de Gaulle ORLY
48. Buster who portrayed Flash Gordon CRABBE
52. Uncalled for INAPT
55. Canaanite deity BAAL
59. Decide OPT
60. Lee side: Abbr. CSA
61. Cooper's creation KEG
62. Honorary legal deg. LLD


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About This Blog

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.

About Me

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 try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

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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