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LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Apr 14, Wednesday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gareth Bain
THEME: Shots … today’s themed answers each start with a type of shot:
17A. *Tyke's dinnertime perch BOOSTER SEAT (giving “booster shot”)
25A. *Unfair deception CHEAP TRICK (giving “cheap shot”)
37A. *Insignificant amount DROP IN THE BUCKET (giving “drop shot”)
48A. *Numero uno HEAD HONCHO (from “headshot”)

59A. Try, or a hint to the first words of the answers to starred clues GIVE IT A SHOT
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 07m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

11. "Captain Phillips" actor Hanks TOM
Tom Hanks is a such a great actor, I think. He has played so many iconic roles in a relatively short career. Hanks is from California, and studied theater for a couple of years in Hayward, California not far from here. Hanks is married to the talented actress Rita Wilson.

I've seen so many films recently that are "based on real events", and one always has to ask, how much liberty have the screenwriter and director taken with the truth. I saw "Captain Phillips" when it first came out, and then read a “New York Times” article that basically called the whole thing fiction, a rewriting of history. But, it is still a very engaging film ...

14. __ ink INDIA
The black ink known as “India ink” was actually developed in the China, although the carbon pigment used was imported from India, hence the name.

16. Title heartbreaker in a Three Dog Night song ELI
“Eli’s Coming” was a 1969 hit for Three Dog Night.

The rock band Three Dog Night had its first and biggest success back in 1969 with the Harry Nilsson song “One”. The song is perhaps best known for it's opening words, "One is the loneliest number ..." Three Dog Night took their name from an Australian expression. Apparently indigenous Australians would sleep in a hole in the ground alongside their tame dingos. On a cold night, they would huddle up to two dingos, and if it was really, really cold, it was a "three dog night".

19. "I'm not a crook" monogram RMN
President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

21. Plowing measure ACRES
At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land one furlong long (660 feet) and one chain wide (66 feet). The word "furlong" is actually derived from the Old English words meaning "furrow long", the length of the furrow plowed by the oxen.

23. Ad Council ad, briefly PSA
Public service announcement (PSA)

32. "Spider-Man" trilogy director Sam RAIMI
Sam Raimi is a very successful director and producer, responsible for the "Spider-Man" series of films among others, and TV series' such as "Xena: Warrior Princess".

42. Weekend TV fare for nearly 40 yrs. SNL
NBC first aired a form of "Saturday Night Live" (SNL) in 1975 under the title "NBC's Saturday Night". The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from "The Tonight Show". Back then "The Tonight Show" had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call "Saturday Night Live".

43. Reading after resetting OOO
After resetting a counter, it might show three zeros.

44. "Roots" hero __ Kinte 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".

45. Scandinavian port OSLO
Oslo is the capital of Norway. The city of Oslo burns trash to fuel half of its buildings, including all of its schools. The problem faced by the city is that it doesn’t generate enough trash. So, Oslo imports trash from Sweden, England and Ireland, and is now looking to import some American trash.

48. *Numero uno HEAD HONCHO (from “headshot”)
“Honcho” is a slang term for a leader or manager. The term comes to us from Japanese, in which language a "hancho" is a squad (han) leader (cho).

54. Lover of Euridice, in a Monteverdi work ORFEO
Monteverdi was a true pioneer. "L'Orfeo" was one of the first operas ever composed. The debut performance of "L'Orfeo" was in 1607 and it is still performed regularly to this day.

58. Cambridge sch. MIT
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

66. Kevin of "Cry Freedom" KLINE
The actor Kevin Kline stars in many of my favorite films, like “French Kiss” (in which he had a very impressive French accent) and “A Fish Called Wanda.” Kline also appeared in the romantic comedy “In & Out”, another favorite. “In & Out” is perhaps best remembered for it's dramatic "interaction" between Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck ... if you haven't seen it yet, I won't spoil it for you by saying any more!

"Cry Freedom" is a 1987 British film directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Denzel Washington. It tells the story of Steve Biko, a black activist in South Africa during the days of apartheid.

Down
2. Ambient music innovator ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno's most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft's "start-up jingle", the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:
I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

4. Brainy Simpson LISA
Lisa Simpson is Bart's brainy younger sister on TV's "The Simpsons". Lisa is voiced by actress Yeardley Smith.

5. Yoga class supply MATS
In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

6. Onetime rival of Sally Jessy OPRAH
What can you say about Oprah Winfrey? Born into poverty to a single mother and with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah's name was originally meant to be "Orpah" after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that's how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing "Orpah", so she's now "Oprah".

Sally Jessy Raphael is the stage name of former talk show host Sally Lowenthal. She hosted her show “Sally” for two decades.

7. Stocking thread LISLE
Lisle is a cotton fabric that has been through an extra process at the end of its manufacture that burns off lint and the ends of fibers leaving the fabric very smooth and with a clean edge.

8. Mark of concern DEE
A grade D on a student’s paper might cause concern.

9. Roth __ IRA
Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.

11. Country singer Gibbs TERRI
Terri Gibbs is a country music singer. Gibbs had thirteen singles that made the Billboard country singles charts in the eighties. Gibbs was born blind.

12. Ancient Mexican tribe known for carved stone heads OLMEC
The Olmec were an ancient civilization that lived in the lowlands of south-central Mexico from about 1500 BC to about 400 BC.

13. Capital WSW of Moscow MINSK
Minsk is the capital of Belarus, formerly known as the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. One of Minsk’s more infamous residents was Lee Harvey Oswald who lived there from 1960 to 1962.

18. "__ homo" ECCE
According to the Gospel of John, when Pilate presented a scourged and beaten Jesus to the crowd he used the words "Ecce homo", Latin for "Behold the man".

22. Style reportedly named for Ivy League oarsmen CREW CUT
The term “crew cut” probably originated in Yale in the 1890s. The Yale football players were noted for wearing their hair relatively long, as it helped protect their heads inside the flimsy leather football helmets of the day. In contrast, the rowing team wore their hair relatively short, in a style that came to be known as the “crew cut”.

26. Hot-and-cold fits AGUE
An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

27. Working class Roman PLEB
“Plebe” is a slang term for a freshman in the US military and naval academies. Plebe is probably short for "plebeian", the name given to someone of the common class in Ancient Rome (as opposed to a Patrician). "Pleb" is a shortened version of plebeian, and is a term used outside of the military schools.

33. Greek consonant RHO
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter "p".

36. Neon swimmer TETRA
The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

38. Court plea, briefly NOLO
"Nolo contendere" is a legal term that translates from Latin as "I do not wish to contend". It's the plea of "no contest" and is an alternative to "guilty" or "not guilty", meaning that one doesn't admit guilt but nor does one dispute the charge.

39. Multi-cel creature? TOON
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the "cel" its name.

40. Commonly four-stringed instrument UKE
The ukulele (“uke”) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

41. Bits of ankle art, say TATS
The word "tattoo" (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word "tatau" into our "tattoo".

46. Former Japanese military ruler SHOGUN
The shoguns of Japan were military dictators who generally inherited their position and power. The term “shogun” can be translated as ‘general”. The position of shogun was effectively eliminated in 1867 with the demise of the Tokugawa shogunate. The modern equivalent of a shogun in Japan is a prime minister.

47. Horseradish, e.g. ROOT
Horseradish is a plant in the cabbage family. The horseradish root produces mustard oil, but only if it is cut or grated. Mustard oil irritates the mucous membranes of the sinuses. I love horseradish …

48. Pal, slangily HOMIE
Homie is short for homeboy: someone from one's home neighborhood.

49. Novelist Jong ERICA
The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later she wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

51. Oteri of 42-Across CHERI
Cheri Oteri was the SNL cast member who regularly appeared with Will Farrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

57. Land surrounded by agua ISLA
In Spanish, land (tierra) surrounded by water (agua) is an island (isla).

60. Prefix with metric ISO-
The word "isometric" comes from Greek, and means "having equal measurement". Isometric exercise is a resistance exercise in which the muscle does not change in length (and the joint angle stays the same). The alternative would be dynamic exercises, ones using the joint's full range of motion.

63. English poet Hughes TED
English poet Ted Hughes was Poet Laureate for Britain from 1984 until 1998. Hughes was also married to American poet Sylvia Plath.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Monarchy REALM
6. Many a class reunion tune OLDIE
11. "Captain Phillips" actor Hanks TOM
14. __ ink INDIA
15. Fishing spots PIERS
16. Title heartbreaker in a Three Dog Night song ELI
17. *Tyke's dinnertime perch BOOSTER SEAT (giving “booster shot”)
19. "I'm not a crook" monogram RMN
20. Rogue RASCAL
21. Plowing measure ACRES
23. Ad Council ad, briefly PSA
25. *Unfair deception CHEAP TRICK (giving “cheap shot”)
28. Energetic ACTIVE
31. Obvious joy GLEE
32. "Spider-Man" trilogy director Sam RAIMI
33. Feel sorry about RUE
34. Quipster WIT
37. *Insignificant amount DROP IN THE BUCKET(giving “drop shot”)
42. Weekend TV fare for nearly 40 yrs. SNL
43. Reading after resetting OOO
44. "Roots" hero __ Kinte KUNTA
45. Scandinavian port OSLO
47. Comeback RETORT
48. *Numero uno HEAD HONCHO (from “headshot”)
53. Used to be WAS
54. Lover of Euridice, in a Monteverdi work ORFEO
55. Decide not to ride HOOF IT
58. Cambridge sch. MIT
59. Try, or a hint to the first words of the answers to starred clues GIVE IT A SHOT
64. Rocks found in bars ICE
65. Software buyers USERS
66. Kevin of "Cry Freedom" KLINE
67. Audio receiver EAR
68. Tag cry NOT IT!
69. Loosened EASED

Down
1. Cage component RIB
2. Ambient music innovator ENO
3. Worship ADORATION
4. Brainy Simpson LISA
5. Yoga class supply MATS
6. Onetime rival of Sally Jessy OPRAH
7. Stocking thread LISLE
8. Mark of concern DEE
9. Roth __ IRA
10. Collection of heir pieces? ESTATE
11. Country singer Gibbs TERRI
12. Ancient Mexican tribe known for carved stone heads OLMEC
13. Capital WSW of Moscow MINSK
18. "__ homo" ECCE
22. Style reportedly named for Ivy League oarsmen CREW CUT
23. Western chum PARD
24. Lasting marks SCARS
26. Hot-and-cold fits AGUE
27. Working class Roman PLEB
29. Collapse inward IMPLODE
30. Sundial hour VII
33. Greek consonant RHO
35. "Don't tell me, don't tell me!" I KNOW THIS!
36. Neon swimmer TETRA
38. Court plea, briefly NOLO
39. Multi-cel creature? TOON
40. Commonly four-stringed instrument UKE
41. Bits of ankle art, say TATS
46. Former Japanese military ruler SHOGUN
47. Horseradish, e.g. ROOT
48. Pal, slangily HOMIE
49. Novelist Jong ERICA
50. "... happily ever __" AFTER
51. Oteri of 42-Across CHERI
52. Lift HOIST
56. Knockoff FAKE
57. Land surrounded by agua ISLA
60. Prefix with metric ISO-
61. Doc who administers a pet scan? VET
62. United ONE
63. English poet Hughes TED


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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.

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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.

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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 everyday 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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