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LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Jul 14, Monday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: D. Scott Nichols & C.C. Burnikel
THEME: Hello There … each of today’s answers starts with a word often seen following HELLO:
17A. Nautically themed boy's outfit SAILOR SUIT (giving “Hello, sailor!”)
25A. "9 to 5" singer DOLLY PARTON (giving “Hello, Dolly!”)
47A. Filler for Tabby's box KITTY LITTER (giving “Hello Kitty”)

58A. Friendly greeting, and a hint to the starts of 17-, 25- and 47-Across HELLO THERE!
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 4m 41s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Electrical pioneer Nikola TESLA
The Tesla unit measures the strength of a magnetic field, and is named after the physicist Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. His work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

15. Morales of "NYPD Blue" ESAI
Esai Morales is best known for his role in the 1987 movie "La Bamba". The film depicted the life of Ritchie Valens (played by Lou Diamond Phillips) and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Morales).

"NYPD Blue" is a police drama that was originally aired in 1993, and ran until 2005. Stars of the show are Dennis Franz, David Caruso, Jimmy Smits and Rick Schroder. The show created a bit of a fuss back in the nineties as it featured a relatively large amount of nudity for broadcast television.

16. Charles Lamb pseudonym ELIA
Charles Lamb published a famous collection of essays simply entitled "Essays of Elia". Elia was actually a clerk and co-worker of Charles Lamb, whereas Lamb was the author.

20. Caesar's rebuke to Brutus ET TU
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, Brutus?), in his play "Julius Caesar", although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It's not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in Ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

21. JFK prediction ETA
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at La Guardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

25. "9 to 5" singer DOLLY PARTON (giving “Hello, Dolly!”)
Dolly Parton is a country music singer-songwriter, as well as an actress. Parton has written over 3,000 songs, my favorite of which is “I Will Always Love You”, a hit for herself and for Whitney Houston.

"9 to 5" is a really fun movie (with a great theme song of the same name) released in 1980 that tells the story of three female office workers getting their revenge on their sexist boss. It has a great cast: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Dabney Coleman. There is now a stage version of the movie called "9 to 5: The Musical", that premiered in LA in 2009. I hear it is heading out on tour, and I that's one I definitely have to see …

“Hello, Dolly!” is a Broadway musical first produced in 1964, adapted into a hugely successful movie in 1969. The title role of Dolly Levi was of course played by Barbra Streisand in the film, with Gene Kelly directing and a leading part for a young Michael Crawford.

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

29. Direction after Near, Far or Middle EAST
In geographical terms there are three “easts”. The Near East and Middle East are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

30. Three-layer cookies OREOS
How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

32. Greasy spoon orders, briefly BLTS
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

“Greasy spoon” is a familiar term for a restaurant, usually a diner, that is less than pristine and that serves cheap food.

33. Green __, Wisc. BAY
The city of Green Bay is the third-largest in the state of Wisconsin, after Milwaukee and Madison. The city is located on an arm of Lake Michigan called Green Bay. People in the area refer to the city as “Green Bay” and the body of water as “the Bay of Green Bay” in order to avoid confusing one with the other.

36. Overplay on stage HAM UP
The word "ham", describing a performer who overacts, is apparently a shortened form of "hamfatter" and dates back to the late 1800s. "Hamfatter" comes from a song in old minstrel shows called "The Ham-Fat Man". It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the "acting" qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

40. NBA tiebreakers OTS
Overtime (OT)

43. Femmes fatales VAMPS
A “vamp” (short for vampire) is a seductive woman. The term was first used in reference to the sultry performance of actress Theda Bara in the 1915 film “A Fool There Was”. The movie’s title is a quotation from Rudyard Kipling’s 1897 poem “The Vampire”. Bara’s role was positioned as a “vampire”, a woman out to seduce a man, launching the use of “vamp” as an alternative term for a “femme fatale”.

A “femme fatale” is a dangerously seductive woman. “Femme fatale” is French for “deadly woman”.

44. Pretzel topping SALT
Pretzels originated in Europe and are especially popular in Southern Germany where a pretzel is known as “Brezel”. Pretzels were introduced into the US in the 1800s by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who came to be known over here as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

45. Far from posh SEEDY
No one really knows the etymology of the word "posh". The popular myth that POSH stands for "Port Out, Starboard Home" is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". The myth is that wealthy British passengers travelling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.

47. Filler for Tabby's box KITTY LITTER (giving “Hello Kitty”)
Hello Kitty is a female bobtail cat, a character and a brand name launched in 1974 by the Japanese company Sanrio. Folks can overpay for stationary, school supplies and fashion accessories with the Hello Kitty character emblazoned thereon.

55. Dinghy propeller OAR
Our term “dinghy” comes from the Hindi “dingi”, the word for a small boat.

57. March Madness org. NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

March Madness is the name given to (among others) the NCAA Men's Division 1 Basketball Championship, held in spring each year.

62. Jump on the ice AXEL
An “Axel” is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. It was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

63. Eye surgery tool LASER
The term “laser” comes from an acronym, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn't quite so appealing, namely LOSER …

64. Picnic spoilers ANTS
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.

Down
1. Stun gun kin TASER
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called "Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle". The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym TASER stands for "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle".

4. Doozie LULU
We call a remarkable thing or a person a “lulu”. The term is used in honor of Lulu Hurst, the Georgia Wonder, who was a stage magician active in the 1880s.

Eleanora Duse was an Italian actress, known professionally simply as “Duse”. There is a theory that our term “doozy” derived from Eleanora’s family name. I guess she was a “doozy”.

8. "__-Pan": Clavell novel TAI
“Tai-Pan” is a novel by James Clavell, the second in his famous “Asian Saga” suite of six titles. The six books are:
- “King Rat”
- “Tai-Pan”
- “Shōgun"
- “Noble House”
- “Whirlwind”
- “Gai-Jin”

12. Classic laundry detergent RINSO
Rinso was a laundry detergent that was first manufactured in England in 1908 by a company called Hudson's Soap. It was introduced into the US in 1918. In America, Rinso took to radio advertising and sponsorship in the days of "soap operas". Their most famous program association was with "The Amos 'n' Andy Show" in the forties. One of the brand's slogans was "Solium, the sunlight ingredient". I have no idea what Solium is, but it certainly did sell a lot of soap!

18. Antique autos REOS
The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom E. Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

23. Holiday with a Seder PASSOVER
The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. One of the traditions at the meal is that the youngest child at the table asks "The Four Questions", all relating to why this night is different from all other nights in the year:
- Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?
- Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
- Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
- Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

26. Website providing restaurant reviews YELP
yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

28. Reed of The Velvet Underground LOU
Lou Reed is best known as a rock musician and songwriter, and is especially associated with fabulous 1973 hit "Walk on the Wildside". Reed is less well known as a photographer, but he has published two collections of his work. The first was released in 2003 under the title "Emotions in Action", and the second in 2006 called "Lou Reed's New York".

The Velvet Underground was an influential New York City rock band active in the late sixties and early seventies. The group was formed by Lou Reed and John Cale, and was managed by pop artist Andy Warhol.

34. Snake on a pharaoh's crown ASP
The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in Ancient Egypt.

37. Pasta tubes ZITI
Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends.

44. Outback specialties STEAKS
Outback Steakhouse is a chain of restaurants that was established in 1987, with the first Outback opening in Tampa, Florida. Outback serves largely American food in an Australian-themed dining locale.

46. Designer Saarinen EERO
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK.

47. Kinte of "Roots" KUNTA
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".

48. Peruvian native INCAN
Peru's name comes from the word "Biru". Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru's empire and the land that he found was designated "Peru", a derivative of "Biru".

52. "... poem lovely as __": Kilmer A TREE
The American journalist and poet Joyce Kilmer is primarily known for his 1913 poem titled “Trees”. The original text of the poem is:
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Kilmer died a few years after writing “Trees”. He was a casualty of the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 at the age of 31.

56. Indian spiced tea CHAI
Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with "chai" being the Hindi word for "tea". We often called tea "a cup of char" growing up in Ireland, with "char" being our slang word for tea, derived from "chai".

60. Compassionate handling, briefly TLC
Tender loving care (TLC)


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Electrical pioneer Nikola TESLA
6. __ and bolts NUTS
10. Take the chance DARE
14. Not whispered ALOUD
15. Morales of "NYPD Blue" ESAI
16. Charles Lamb pseudonym ELIA
17. Nautically themed boy's outfit SAILOR SUIT (giving “Hello, sailor!”)
19. Repressed, with "up" PENT
20. Caesar's rebuke to Brutus ET TU
21. JFK prediction ETA
22. Thinly distributed SPARSE
24. Hi-__ image RES
25. "9 to 5" singer DOLLY PARTON (giving “Hello, Dolly!”)
27. Beethoven's "Für __" ELISE
29. Direction after Near, Far or Middle EAST
30. Three-layer cookies OREOS
32. Greasy spoon orders, briefly BLTS
33. Green __, Wisc. BAY
36. Overplay on stage HAM UP
37. Nil ZIP
38. More than chubby OBESE
40. NBA tiebreakers OTS
41. Put down, as linoleum LAID
43. Femmes fatales VAMPS
44. Pretzel topping SALT
45. Far from posh SEEDY
47. Filler for Tabby's box KITTY LITTER (giving “Hello Kitty”)
51. Space between things GAP
54. Pre-riot state UNREST
55. Dinghy propeller OAR
56. Aww-inspiring? CUTE
57. March Madness org. NCAA
58. Friendly greeting, and a hint to the starts of 17-, 25- and 47-Across HELLO THERE!
61. Poster-hanging hardware TACK
62. Jump on the ice AXEL
63. Eye surgery tool LASER
64. Picnic spoilers ANTS
65. Wobbly walkers TOTS
66. Credits as a source CITES

Down
1. Stun gun kin TASER
2. Lift the spirits of ELATE
3. "Evidently" SO IT SEEMS
4. Doozie LULU
5. Commotion ADO
6. Get snuggly NESTLE
7. Bar regular's order, with "the" USUAL
8. "__-Pan": Clavell novel TAI
9. Refuses to make changes SITS PAT
10. Leave DEPART
11. Like a sentry ALERT
12. Classic laundry detergent RINSO
13. All finished, as dinner EATEN
18. Antique autos REOS
23. Holiday with a Seder PASSOVER
25. Showroom exhibitions DISPLAYS
26. Website providing restaurant reviews YELP
28. Reed of The Velvet Underground LOU
30. "Now I get it!" OHO!
31. Lab rodent RAT
32. Bridge player's call BID
33. "Help yourself" BE MY GUEST
34. Snake on a pharaoh's crown ASP
35. Thumbs-up YES
37. Pasta tubes ZITI
39. Like stormy weather BAD
42. "It's __ and a bag of chips" ALL THAT
44. Outback specialties STEAKS
45. Delays on purpose STALLS
46. Designer Saarinen EERO
47. Kinte of "Roots" KUNTA
48. Peruvian native INCAN
49. Parcel of land TRACT
50. Apartment vacancy sign TO LET
52. "... poem lovely as __": Kilmer A TREE
53. Social equals PEERS
56. Indian spiced tea CHAI
59. Prefix with thermal EXO-
60. Compassionate handling, briefly TLC


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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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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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