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LA Times Crossword Answers 30 May 15, Saturday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 23m 37s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Org. whose website has a Track & Manage option USPS
The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government's right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

9. Checked out CASED
The term "case the joint" is American slang dating back at least to 1915, meaning to examine a location with the intent of robbing it. The origins of the phrase are apparently unknown.

14. Copper mine? SQUAD ROOM
“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

16. Floral perfume ATTAR
Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers. The term may particularly refer to attar of roses.

17. Predictable patterns SYNDROMES
A “syndrome” is a pattern of symptoms indicating a particular condition, often medical or social in nature. The term comes from the Greek “syndromos” meaning “place where several roads meet”.

19. Map lines: Abbr. RDS
Road (rd.)

21. Some Buffalo wings SABRES
The Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League in the 1970-71 season. The team took the name "Sabres" following a fan contest.

22. Subway device OVEN
The SUBWAY chain of fast food restaurants is the largest single-brand restaurant in the world. I’m a big fan of SUBWAY sandwiches, especially the toasted ones …

23. Like bodegas, to Span. speakers FEM
“Bodega” is a feminine (fem.) noun, in Spanish.

“Bodega” is the Spanish term for a winery, or these days for a grocery store.

31. Like the Southeast, vis-à-vis other U.S. regions RAINIEST
Recent studies show that the rainiest region of the US is the Southeast, with Mobile, Alabama logging the most rainfall of any city in the country. The driest part of the country is the Southwest, with Yuma, Arizona getting fewer days of precipitation than any other American city.

39. Moby-Dick, e.g. ALBINO
In Herman Melville’s 1851 novel “Moby-Dick”, the animal named in the title is an albino sperm whale.

The full title of Herman Melville’s novel is “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale”. Note that the convention is to hyphenate “Moby-Dick” in the title, as that was how the book was first published, in 1851. However, there is no hyphen in the name of the whale “Moby Dick” as reproduced throughout the text.

40. Where Langley is FAIRFAX COUNTY
Fairfax County, Virginia is home to several US intelligence agencies, most notably the CIA (in Langley). Also headquartered there is the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (in Springfield) and the National Counterterrorism Center (in McLean).

42. Jug part EAR
The handle of a jug might be referred to as its ear.

44. Critter in a clowder CAT
Here are some colorful collective nouns:
- A shrewdness of apes
- A cloud of bats
- A bench of bishops
- A clowder of cats
- A waddling of ducks
- An army of frogs
- A knot of toads

46. Title heroine in a Humperdinck opera GRETEL
Engelbert Humperdinck was a composer from Germany whose best known work is his opera “Hansel und Gretel”. “Hansel und Gretel” was the first opera that New York’s Metropolitan Opera transmitted live on radio, back in 1931.

53. Two-time winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar MARIO PUZO
The novelist and screenwriter Mario Puzo, was best known for his book “The Godfather”, which he also co-adapted for the big screen. His name is less associated with some very famous screenplays that he wrote, including “Earthquake”, “Superman” and “Superman II”. Puzo won two Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay: for “The Godfather” (1972) and for “The Godfather Part II” (1974).

57. Angström, e.g. SWEDE
The angstrom is a very small unit of length, equal to one ten-billionth of a meter. As such a small unit, the angstrom is used to measure the size of atoms and molecules. The unit is named for the Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Ångström.

58. Aptly named Civil War general Henry GRAY
Henry Gray was a Civil War general in the Confederate Army, as well as a politician who served in the state legislatures of both Mississippi and Louisiana.

59. Fake DEKE
A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. "Deke" is a colloquial shortening of the word "decoy".

Down
1. BOAC flier's destination in a 1968 song USSR
The Beatles’ hit “Back in the U.S.S.R.” starts out:
Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC
Didn't get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man, I had a dreadful flight
I'm back in the USSR
You don't know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the USSR, yeah
By the time the Beatles recorded "Back in the U.S.S.R", they were having a lot of problems working with each other. The song was recorded in 1968, with the band formally dissolving in 1970. Tensions were so great during the recording of "Back in the U.S.S.R" that Ringo Starr actually stormed out saying that he had quit, and the remaining three Beatles made the record without Ringo. Drums were played mainly by Paul McCartney, but there are also drum tracks on the final cut by both George Harrison and John Lennon. Interesting, huh?

British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was one of the two airlines that were merged in 1974 to form British Airways (the other was British European Airways).

3. "Alice in Wonderland" features PUNS
Lewis Carroll's children’s novel “Alice in Wonderland” is noted for its puns, although some are quite esoteric. Here’s a more straightforward example:
“We called him Tortoise, because he taught us,” said the Mock Turtle angrily ...

6. Incite FOMENT
To foment is to promote the growth of.

8. Corp. symbols TMS
Trademarks (TMs)

9. Zinc compound CALAMINE LOTION
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.

21. Rig SEMI
A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

22. 1998 Masters champion O’MEARA
Mark O'Meara is an American golfer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is known as one of the American players who competes in international tournaments more than most, and has a reputation as a real gentleman all around the world.

Golf's Masters Tournament is the first of the four major championships in the annual calendar, taking place in the first week of April each year. It is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and has a number of traditions. One is that the winner is awarded the famous "green jacket", but he only gets to keep it for a year and must return it to the club after twelve months.

26. Tiny parasites LICE
Lice are small wingless insects of which there are thousands of species, three of which are human disease agents. The three kinds of lice affecting humans are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick ...

27. Engine protector ANTIFREEZE
The antifreeze that we put into our cars has ethylene glycol as the active ingredient. Ethylene glycol is dangerous stuff, and is very poisonous. Ingestion causes calcium oxalate crystals to form in the kidneys. It sounds like a horrible way to go ...

29. Halo NIMBUS
Nimbus (plural nimbi) is another word for a halo, or an aura. “Nimbus” is Latin, and can also translate as “cloud”.

33. Home to Paris TROY
In Greek legend, Paris was the son of the king of Troy. Paris eloped with Helen, Queen of Sparta, and this act was a major trigger for the Trojan War. Also it was Paris who fatally wounded Achilles by shooting him in the heel with an arrow.

41. Nissan whose last model year is 2015 XTERRA
The Nissan Xterra is a compact SUV built in Smyrna, Tennessee (and in Brazil). The vehicle is named for the XTERRA series of off-road triathlon races, for which Nissan served as sponsor for several years.

42. "Some things are too delicious to share" food EGGOS
Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg's. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name "Eggo" was chosen to promote the "egginess" of the batter. "Eggo" replaced the original name chosen, which was "Froffles", created by melding "frozen" and "waffles".

43. Hood defense ARROW
Robin Hood is a figure from English folklore, celebrated in story and song. Some stories suggest that Robin Hood the outlaw was actually a real nobleman, the Earl of Huntington. Robin Hood's famous companion was Maid Marian. Interestingly, the legend of Maid Marian (full name Lady Marian of Leaford) had been around for centuries before she became associated with Robin Hood starting in the 1700s.

48. Allen's successor PAAR
Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

Steve Allen was a television personality who always seemed to be on air in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Famously, Allen was the original host of “The Tonight Show”. He also played a little piano and composed over 10,000 songs, perhaps more than anyone in history. His best known song is probably “This Could Be the Start of Something Big”.

50. O.T. book EZEK
The Book of Ezekiel (Ezek.) in the Old Testament (OT) is a collection of the preachings of the prophet Ezekiel.

54. Crossing party, briefly PED
Pedestrian (ped.)


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Org. whose website has a Track & Manage option USPS
5. Ending sound PFFT
9. Checked out CASED
14. Copper mine? SQUAD ROOM
16. Floral perfume ATTAR
17. Predictable patterns SYNDROMES
18. Imprecise LOOSE
19. Map lines: Abbr. RDS
20. Clinches ICES
21. Some Buffalo wings SABRES
22. Subway device OVEN
23. Like bodegas, to Span. speakers FEM
24. Pitches ADS
25. Assigning responsibility by committee, in modern lingo BLAMESTORMING
30. Facial cosmetics LINERS
31. Like the Southeast, vis-à-vis other U.S. regions RAINIEST
34. Assume the role of ACT AS
35. Put down LAY
36. Camp sight EMBER
37. Thing handed down HEIRLOOM
39. Moby-Dick, e.g. ALBINO
40. Where Langley is FAIRFAX COUNTY
42. Jug part EAR
44. Critter in a clowder CAT
45. Small songbirds TITS
46. Title heroine in a Humperdinck opera GRETEL
48. Start to cure? PEDI-
49. Marker, e.g. PEN
52. Inexperienced GREEN
53. Two-time winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar MARIO PUZO
55. Runs slowly OOZES
56. Allied PARTNERED
57. Angström, e.g. SWEDE
58. Aptly named Civil War general Henry GRAY
59. Fake DEKE

Down
1. BOAC flier's destination in a 1968 song USSR
2. Carpeting unit: Abbr. SQ YD
3. "Alice in Wonderland" features PUNS
4. Blue SAD
5. Work through PROCESS
6. Incite FOMENT
7. They aren't behind you FOES
8. Corp. symbols TMS
9. Zinc compound CALAMINE LOTION
10. Narrow range A TO B
11. Flier's convenience STORAGE BIN
12. Let up EASED
13. Adorn DRESS
15. Many wallets contain one DRIVER’S LICENSE
21. Rig SEMI
22. 1998 Masters champion O’MEARA
23. Wear FRAY
25. Lackluster BLAH
26. Tiny parasites LICE
27. Engine protector ANTIFREEZE
28. Slangy event suffix -ORAMA
29. Halo NIMBUS
32. On the way SENT
33. Home to Paris TROY
35. Tall story? LOFT
38. Like some history ORAL
39. Bite ACIDITY
41. Nissan whose last model year is 2015 XTERRA
42. "Some things are too delicious to share" food EGGOS
43. Hood defense ARROW
47. Started a hole TEED
48. Allen's successor PAAR
49. Sheer PURE
50. O.T. book EZEK
51. Networking connection point NODE
53. Odometer stat. MPG
54. Crossing party, briefly PED


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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.

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 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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