LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Jan 17, Saturday










Constructed by: Neville Fogarty

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Robin on ’60s TV : BURT WARD

The television show “Batman” aired from 1966-1968. Burt Ward played Robin opposite Adam West’s Batman. Supposedly, Burt Ward was offered the part taken by Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”, but Ward couldn’t get out of his contract for the “Batman” television series. Holy xxxx, Batman!

15. What one taking a flight doesn’t use? : ELEVATOR

Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

16. Mustang rival : CAMARO

The Chevrolet Camaro is a car produced by General Motors from 1966 to 2002, and reintroduced in 2009. The Camaro shared much of its design with the Pontiac Firebird, and was introduced as a potential competitor to the Ford Mustang.

17. Abomination : ANATHEMA

“Anathema” is a source of persistent annoyance. Anathema is the Latin word for an excommunicated person. Note that “anathema” does not take an article, so we say “he is anathema” rather than “he is an anathema”.

19. Coach Eric Taylor’s wife on “Friday Night Lights” : TAMI

“Friday Night Lights” is a TV series about a high school football team in Texas. The television show was inspired by the book “Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, and a Dream”, as well as the 2004 movie based on the book. I binge-watched a few seasons of the TV show recently, and really enjoyed the characters and the writing …

22. Hardboard brand : MASONITE

Masonite is a hardboard made by pressure-molding steam-cooked wood fibres. The product was patented in 1924 by William H. Mason, who was a friend and protégé of Thomas Edison.

24. William Donovan’s WWII org. : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

William J. Donovan was the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during WWII. Given that the OSS was the precursor to the CIA, Donovan is known as the “Father of Central Intelligence”. Donovan was the only person to have received the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Model and the National Service Medal, all four of the highest awards in the US.

31. “Star Trek” rank: Abbr. : ENS

An extra in “Star Trek” is often an ensign (ens.).

When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

32. __ St. Louis : EAST

East St. Louis is a city in Illinois that is located right across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. East St. Louis is home to a riverfront fountain called Gateway Geyser. The fountain sits opposite the Gateway Arch and shoots water about 630 feet into the air, which is the same height as the arch.

35. Exodus pronoun : THOU

The Book of Exodus is the second book in the Bible, and deals with Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt. The name “Exodus” comes from the Greek “exodos” meaning “departure”.

38. “The Time Machine” race : ELOI

In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

40. Jethro Tull frontman Anderson : IAN

Jethro Tull is a rock band from the UK, formed in 1967 and active until 2012. The band uses the name of a 18th-century, English agriculturist.

41. Big name in printers : EPSON

Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (EP standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

44. Drea de Matteo’s role on “The Sopranos” : ADRIANA

Drea de Matteo is an actress who is most familiar to me for playing Adriana la Cerva on HBO’s wonderful series “The Sopranos”. De Matteo also played Joey’s sister on the short-lived “Friends” spin-off called “Joey”, and the character Angie Bolen on “Desperate Housewives”.

48. Balderdash : UTTER ROT

“Balderdash” means “senseless jumble of words”. The original balderdash (back before the late 1600s) was a jumbled mix of liquids, like maybe beer and wine, or even beer and milk!

50. Dark personification : GRIM REAPER

The Grim Reaper one of the personifications of death, along with the Hooded One and the Angel of Death. Death has been depicted since the 1400s as a skeleton in a hooded, black cloak and carrying a scythe. The name “Grim Reaper” only dates back to the mid-1800s.

61. Toll road convenience : E-ZPASS

E-ZPASS was a technology development driven (pun!) by the tolling agencies of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The first E-ZPASS toll booth was built on the New York Thruway, and opened at the Spring Valley toll plaza in 1993.

62. Site of Napoleon’s last exile : ST HELENA

The island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic is one of the most remote islands in the world. It was discovered by Galician explorer João da Nova, who was sailing under the Portuguese flag. He name the island after Helena of Constantinople, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Famously, the British opted to exile Napoleon on Saint Helena soon after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The former French emperor died on the island in 1821.

Down

2. Radius neighbor : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

3. Office quantity : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”.

7. “Think Like a Man Too,” e.g. : ROMCOM

“Think Like a Man Too” is a 2014 sequel to the 2012 film “Think Like a Man”. Both movies are romantic comedies, with the original based on comedian Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”.

9. Terrier type : SCOTTISH

Scottish Terrier is another name for the Aberdeen Terrier, commonly referred to as the Scottie. One of the most famous Scotties in American history was Fala, the much-loved dog belonging to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Also, the Scottie is famous as one of the playing pieces in the original game of Monopoly.

10. Participates in a camp activity : CANOES

The boat called a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

11. Grace closing : AMEN

A “grace” is a short prayer recited before or after a meal.

13. Hybrid hatchback : PRIUS

The Toyota Prius is still the most fuel-efficient, gasoline-powered car sold in the US, according to the EPA. The name “Prius” is a Latin word meaning “ahead, leading”. In the US we pronounce the name “pree-us”, but across the Atlantic it’s pronounced “pry-us”. Oh, and I drive one …

21. “We __ Start the Fire”: Billy Joel : DIDN’T

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” is a 1989 song by Billy Joel. The lyrics are really quite unique, consisting mainly of over a hundred newspaper headlines from 1949 to 1989. Joel chose 1949 as it was the year of his birth.

23. Shakespearean title word : ADO

“Much Ado About Nothing” is a play by William Shakespeare, and is a favorite of mine. It is a comedic tale of two pairs of lovers with lots of mistaken identities and double meanings. I once saw it performed in the fabulous Globe Theatre in London … by an all-female cast. Such a performance was somewhat ironic, given that in Shakespeare’s day the practice was to use an all-male cast.

25. Power eponym : WATT

James Watt was a Scottish inventor, a man who figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, named in his honor.

26. Dos cubed : OCHO

In Spanish, “dos” (two) raised to the power of three is “ocho” (eight).

34. Brown of publishing : TINA

Tina Brown is a British/American journalist and author. Brown wrote “The Diana Chronicles”, a biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, of whom Brown was a personal friend. She emigrated to the US in 1984 to become editor for “Vanity Fair”, and later took the helm at “The New Yorker”.

36. Marshland waders : BITTERNS

Bitterns are wading birds in the heron family. Unlike most of their heron cousins, bitterns tend to have short necks.

37. Dreaded figure? : RASTA

Dreadlocks are matted coils of hair nowadays usually formed intentionally, although if one lets hair grow out without grooming then it naturally forms twisted and matted dreadlocks. The hairstyle is associated with the Rastafarian movement in which “dread” is a very positive term meaning “fear of the Lord”.

41. “__ e Leandro”: Handel cantata : ERO

The Greek myth of Hero and Leander gave rise to a couple of operas (one by Giovanni Bottesini and another by Arrigo Boito) and a more famous cantata from George Frideric Handel, all called “Ero e Leandro”.

45. Longtime “Sexually Speaking” host : DR RUTH

Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a German sex therapist who made a name for herself as a media personality. Westheimer is the daughter of Orthodox Jews and was sent away from Germany by her family just before WWII. She ended up in Palestine and participated in the 1948 Palestine War serving as a scout and sniper. Westheimer was seriously wounded, and spent several months unable to walk. She moved to France in 1950, and soon after arrived in the US. It was in the US where she did her training as a sex therapist.

47. Pollo partner : ARROZ

In Spanish, “pollo” (chicken) might be served with “arroz” (rice).

54. Engine with a lot of juice : V-TEN

The engine known as a V10 is configured with two rows of five cylinders mounted on a crankcase. The rows of cylinders are offset from each other around the crankshaft at right angles, or perhaps a little less. This arrangement of ten cylinders in a V-shape gives rise to the name “V10”.

55. Slugger who began and ended his career as a Texas Ranger : SOSA

Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Robin on ’60s TV : BURT WARD

9. Mischievous kids : SCAMPS

15. What one taking a flight doesn’t use? : ELEVATOR

16. Mustang rival : CAMARO

17. Abomination : ANATHEMA

18. Common soccer result : ONE-NIL

19. Coach Eric Taylor’s wife on “Friday Night Lights” : TAMI

20. Biting criticism : ACID TONGUE

22. Hardboard brand : MASONITE

24. William Donovan’s WWII org. : OSS

25. Dropped jaws : WOWED ‘EM

28. Computer media : DISKS

30. Cold sound? : ACHOO!

31. “Star Trek” rank: Abbr. : ENS

32. __ St. Louis : EAST

35. Exodus pronoun : THOU

36. Liquid diet component : BROTH

38. “The Time Machine” race : ELOI

39. Traffic sound : TOOT

40. Jethro Tull frontman Anderson : IAN

41. Big name in printers : EPSON

42. Library exchanges : PSSTS

44. Drea de Matteo’s role on “The Sopranos” : ADRIANA

46. Sources of remote power : AAS

48. Balderdash : UTTER ROT

50. Dark personification : GRIM REAPER

52. Speeds (up) : REVS

56. More affected, in a way : ARTIER

57. More than familiar with : INURED TO

59. Arrive copiously : POUR IN

60. Some summer homes : COTTAGES

61. Toll road convenience : E-ZPASS

62. Site of Napoleon’s last exile : ST HELENA

Down

1. Overpower : BEAT

2. Radius neighbor : ULNA

3. Office quantity : REAM

4. Some breaks in the NFL action : TV TIMEOUTS

5. Nursery noise : WAH!

6. Base command : AT EASE

7. “Think Like a Man Too,” e.g. : ROMCOM

8. Exhaust : DRAIN

9. Terrier type : SCOTTISH

10. Participates in a camp activity : CANOES

11. Grace closing : AMEN

12. Fruity chip go-with : MANGO SALSA

13. Hybrid hatchback : PRIUS

14. They may leave prints : SOLES

21. “We __ Start the Fire”: Billy Joel : DIDN’T

23. Shakespearean title word : ADO

25. Power eponym : WATT

26. Dos cubed : OCHO

27. Goes wild : WHOOPS IT UP

29. Contemporary “Be yourself” : KEEP IT REAL

31. Great spell : EON

33. “Are we there yet?” reply : SOON

34. Brown of publishing : TINA

36. Marshland waders : BITTERNS

37. Dreaded figure? : RASTA

41. “__ e Leandro”: Handel cantata : ERO

43. “Yup!” : SURE IS!

44. “Nope!” : ARE NOT!

45. Longtime “Sexually Speaking” host : DR RUTH

46. Catching flies, so to speak : AGAPE

47. Pollo partner : ARROZ

49. Sweeping stories : EPICS

51. “Look, amigo!” : MIRA!

53. One of a cube’s dozen : EDGE

54. Engine with a lot of juice : V-TEN

55. Slugger who began and ended his career as a Texas Ranger : SOSA

58. Hwy., e.g. : RTE

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LA Times Crossword Answers 20 Jan 17, Friday










Constructed by: Debbie Ellerin

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Sounds Familiar

Each of today’s themed answers sounds like a familiar phrase:

  • 16A. Played hooky from the office? : DUCKED WORK (sounds like “ductwork”)
  • 26A. Was sorry to have set the alarm? : RUED AWAKENING (sounds like “rude awakening”)
  • 46A. Made it through the Civil War? : PASSED HISTORY (sounds like “past history”)
  • 60A. Reached the 2016 Olympics the hard way? : ROWED TO RIO (sounds like “Road to Rio”)

Bill’s time: 8m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Zurich-based sports org. : FIFA

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA, standing for “Fédération Internationale de Football Association”) is the governing body of the game of soccer. FIFA was founded in 1904 in Paris, but the organization’s first permanent headquarters was established in Zurich, in 1932.

10. Dis : RIP

“Dis” is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

13. Metaphorical title word in a McCartney-Wonder hit : EBONY

“Ebony and Ivory” is a hit song written by Paul McCartney and recorded by him with Stevie Wonder in 1982. The song uses the image of the ebony and ivory keys on a piano to symbolize racial integration and harmony.

14. Major composition : OPUS

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”.

15. Dr Pepper Museum city : WACO

Dr Pepper was introduced in 1885 in Waco, Texas, one year before the competing Coca-Cola was released to the market. I spent an entertaining few hours at the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco a while back.

16. Played hooky from the office? : DUCKED WORK (sounds like “ductwork”)

Apparently the term “playing hooky” comes from “hoekje”, the Dutch name for the game hide-and-seek. To play hooky is to shirk one’s responsibility, as in a schoolkid taking a day off without permission.

18. Journalist/author Larson : ERIK

Erik Larson is a journalist, most notably contributing features to “The Wall Street Journal” and “TIME” magazine. Larson is also a very successful author of nonfiction books, such as “The Devil in the White City” (about the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893) and “Dead Wake” (about the sinking of the Lusitania).

19. Telegram period : STOP

The punctuation mark used to terminate a sentence is called a “period” in American English, and a “full stop” in British English. The same punctuation mark has no symbol in Morse code, so the word STOP is used instead in telegraphy.

21. Texas-Louisiana border river : SABINE

The Sabine River passes through the states of Louisiana and Texas, forming part of the border between the two states for some of its length. There are a lot of cypress trees growing along the river’s banks as it approaches the Gulf of Mexico. These trees give the river its name as “sabinas” is the Spanish for “cypress trees”.

32. Give a halfhearted effort : DOG IT

“To dog it” is a slang term (unknown to me outside of crosswords) meaning to not expend the effort necessary to accomplish a task.

33. Gratified and then some : SATED

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

36. Pizzeria staples : PIES

Pizza was invented in Naples where it has a long tradition that goes back to Ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today, on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

40. Bush advisor : ROVE

Karl Rove is a Republican political consultant, and the man who is usually credited with the successful election campaigns mounted by George W. Bush. As well managing Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, Rove was also at the helm for Bush’s 1994 and 1998 gubernatorial victories in Texas. Rove is a Christmas baby, born on December 25, 1950.

43. Piaggio transport : VESPA

Vespa is a brand of motor scooter originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.

45. X or Y preceder : GEN-

The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

The Millennial Generation are sometimes referred to as “Generation Y” (Gen-Y). Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

49. Lunchbox container : THERMOS

The vacuum flask was invented in 1892 by Sir James Dewar. It comprises two flasks, one inside the other, joined at the neck. The air between the walls of the two flasks is expelled, creating a near-vacuum. This vacuum minimizes heat transfer, so that liquids in the inner flask remain hot or cold longer. Two German glassblowers commercialized Dewar’s design, starting in 1904, and sold the flasks under the trademarked name “Thermos”. Thermos is still a registered trademark in some countries, but was deemed a genericized trademark in the US in 1963.

51. “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” airer : NPR

Chicago Public Radio produces one of my favorite radio shows, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” It is indeed a fun game show, hosted by Peter Sagal. The “Morning Edition” newsreader Carl Kasell used to act as judge and scorekeeper, until he retired in 2014. There should be more game shows of that ilk on the radio, in my humble opinion …

52. Small creek : RUNLET

A “runnel” or “runlet” is a small stream or creek.

59. Downwind : ALEE

“Alee” is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing “aweather”.

60. Reached the 2016 Olympics the hard way? : ROWED TO RIO (sounds like “Road to Rio”)

Even though the 2016 Olympic Games was a “summer” competition, it was held in Rio de Janeiro in the winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the opening ceremony on 5th August 2016 fell in the local season of winter. The 2016 games was also the first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

“Road to Rio” is the fifth of the “Road” series of films that starred Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. “Road to Rio” was released in 1947. Crosby and Hope play vaudeville performers who stow away on an ocean liner bound for Rio. Lamour plays someone with a crooked guardian who is a fortune hunter, and who uses hypnosis to control the young woman.

63. Joker, for one : CARD

Playing cards, in various forms, have been around for centuries and were probably invented in China. The Joker card is an American invention, appearing first in the late 1860s. The Joker was introduced as a card for the game of Euchre, and the suggestion is that the term “Joker” comes from “Juker” or “Juckerspiel”, the original German name for Euchre.

64. Continental divide : URAL

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

65. “Buffy” spin-off : ANGEL

“Angel” is a TV series that ran for five seasons starting in 1999. It is a spin-off from the very successful “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, with Angel originally introduced in “Buffy” as a love interest for the title character. Angel was an Irishman who lived in the 1700s who became a sadistic vampire. He was cursed with a human soul, so becomes a “good guy”.

66. Superhero symbol : ESS

There’s a letter S (ess) on the chest of the uniform worn by Superman.

68. Crystalline stone : GEODE

A geode is a rock in which there is a cavity lined or filled with crystal formations.

Down

1. Bench mates? : REDS

Johnny Bench is a former Major League Baseball catcher who played for the Cincinnati Reds. Bench is now a spokesman for the Stryker Corporation, makers of medical implants. After a career as a baseball catcher, his natural hip joint was in bad shape and so he had very successful replacement surgery in 2004. Bench isn’t just a spokesman for Stryker, he’s a customer.

7. 2001 Apple debut : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

8. Lab coat : FUR

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

15. Online workshop : WEBINAR

Webinar is short for “Web-based seminar”, a presentation, lecture or similar event held online. In a Webinar there is two-way interaction, with the audience able to ask questions of the presenter.

17. The Platters’ genre : DOO-WOP

The Platters were a vocal group from Los Angeles active in original form from 1954 until 1970. They had four #1 records: “The Great Pretender” (1955), “My Prayer” (1956), “Twilight Time” (1958) and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (1958).

25. Amulet : FETISH

At the beginning of the 19th century, “fetishism” was the worship of “fetishes”. Back then, a fetish was an object that was revered and considered to have mysterious powers. A few decades later, the usage of the term “fetish” was extended, probably by New England Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, to describe an object of blind devotion. The concept of sexual fetishism arose at the end of the 19th century.

Amulets are items worn to ward off disease or to protect against harmful magical spells.

26. Emulates Eminem : RAPS

Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers, a native of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Mathers grew up poor, raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …

29. Plants used to make tequila : AGAVES

Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave. The drink takes its name from the city of Tequila, located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara.

30. Cashed, as a forged check : KITED

Check kiting is illegal. The idea behind kiting is to write a check, even though there are insufficient funds to cover the amount. The con artist then writes another check, also with insufficient funds, from another bank’s account to cover the original check. I am not sure it would work nowadays, but then I am as honest as the day is long! Oh, and I think the term “kiting” comes from the older phrase “go fly a kite”, the idea being that the bad check is floated on air (non-existent funds).

39. Put in one’s two cents : OPINED

“To put in one’s two cents” is to add one’s opinion. The American expression derives from the older English version, which is “to put in one’s two pennies’ worth”.

42. Mrs. Cullen in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” : ESME

The reference is to a character in “The Twilight” series of books by Stephenie Meyer. “The Twilight Saga” is a series of films based on the books. “The Twilight” books feature vampires, and I don’t do vampires …

44. Venomous snake : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

50. Luau entertainment : HULAS

The “hula” is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a “noho” dance”) or while standing (a “luna” dance).

53. Gala giveaways : SWAG

“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. Swag is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events. That said, there’s an urban myth that the promotional “swag” is an acronym standing for “stuff we all get”.

54. “Electric” swimmers : EELS

Electrophorus electricus is the biological name for the electric eel. Despite its name, the electric “eel” isn’t an eel at all, but rather what is called a knifefish, a fish with an elongated body that is related to the catfish. The electric eel has three pairs of organs along its abdomen, each capable of generating an electric discharge. The shock can go as high as 500 volts with 1 ampere of current (that’s 500 watts), and that could perhaps kill a human.

56. “For that reason … ” : ERGO

“Ergo” is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.

58. North __ : POLE

The geographic North Pole is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, although there is almost always a covering of sea ice at that location. The geographic South Pole is located on land, on the continent of Antarctica.

61. URL ending : ORG

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Quick : RAPID

6. Zurich-based sports org. : FIFA

10. Dis : RIP

13. Metaphorical title word in a McCartney-Wonder hit : EBONY

14. Major composition : OPUS

15. Dr Pepper Museum city : WACO

16. Played hooky from the office? : DUCKED WORK (sounds like “ductwork”)

18. Journalist/author Larson : ERIK

19. Telegram period : STOP

20. Long in the tooth : OLD

21. Texas-Louisiana border river : SABINE

23. “Without further __ … ” : ADO

25. Taco toppings : FIXINGS

26. Was sorry to have set the alarm? : RUED AWAKENING (sounds like “rude awakening”)

31. Random selection : ANY

32. Give a halfhearted effort : DOG IT

33. Gratified and then some : SATED

36. Pizzeria staples : PIES

38. Romantic dining spot : PATIO

40. Bush advisor : ROVE

41. You can skip it : STONE

43. Piaggio transport : VESPA

45. X or Y preceder : GEN-

46. Made it through the Civil War? : PASSED HISTORY (sounds like “past history”)

49. Lunchbox container : THERMOS

51. “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” airer : NPR

52. Small creek : RUNLET

53. Meet at the poker table : SEE

55. Hound sound : YELP

59. Downwind : ALEE

60. Reached the 2016 Olympics the hard way? : ROWED TO RIO (sounds like “Road to Rio”)

63. Joker, for one : CARD

64. Continental divide : URAL

65. “Buffy” spin-off : ANGEL

66. Superhero symbol : ESS

67. They’re fixed shortly after being intentionally broken : EGGS

68. Crystalline stone : GEODE

Down

1. Bench mates? : REDS

2. Bump up against : ABUT

3. Little, to Luis : POCO

4. Rubber stamp partner : INK PAD

5. Highlight provider : DYE

6. Barnyard regular : FOWL

7. 2001 Apple debut : IPOD

8. Lab coat : FUR

9. Welcomes warmly, as a visitor : ASKS IN

10. Ready in a big way : RARING TO GO

11. Cupcake cover : ICING

12. Uses a fireplace tool : POKES

15. Online workshop : WEBINAR

17. The Platters’ genre : DOO-WOP

22. x or y follower : -AXIS

24. Senior, to Junior : DAD

25. Amulet : FETISH

26. Emulates Eminem : RAPS

27. Meter or liter : UNIT

28. Revelations : EYE-OPENERS

29. Plants used to make tequila : AGAVES

30. Cashed, as a forged check : KITED

34. “… happily __ after” : EVER

35. Say no to : DENY

37. Tangled : SNARLED

39. Put in one’s two cents : OPINED

42. Mrs. Cullen in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” : ESME

44. Venomous snake : ASP

47. “I know, right?” : SO TRUE

48. Sign next to free samples : TRY ONE

49. Hint : TRACE

50. Luau entertainment : HULAS

53. Gala giveaways : SWAG

54. “Electric” swimmers : EELS

56. “For that reason … ” : ERGO

57. Told a fantastic story, perhaps : LIED

58. North __ : POLE

61. URL ending : ORG

62. Identify on Facebook : TAG

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