LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Sep 2017, Saturday










Constructed by: Mark Diehl

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. The punch in Planter’s Punch : ETHANOL

Planter’s Punch is a cocktail that may have originated in the Planters Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina some time in the 19th century, hence the name. It is a rum-based cocktail that also includes several fruit juices, grenadine and Angostura bitters.

14. Disk problem : SCIATICA

Sciatica is pain caused by compression and inflammation of one or both of the sciatic nerves that run from the lower back down to the lower legs.

15. Curly-haired “Peanuts” character : FRIEDA

Charles Schulz introduced the Frieda character in the sixties. She is a little girl with a head of curly, red hair. Schulz modeled Frieda on his longtime friend from real life Frieda Rich, a local artist from Minneapolis.

17. Like rattlers : FANGED

The scales covering the tip of a rattlesnake’s tail are made of keratin, the same structural protein that makes up the outer layer of human skin, as well as our hair and nails. The rattlesnake shakes its tail vigorously to warn off potential predators, causing the hollow scales to vibrate against one another and resulting in that scary “rattle” sound. The rattler’s tail muscles “fire” an incredible fifty times a second to achieve that effect, demonstrating one of the fastest muscular movements in the whole animal kingdom.

19. Former Haitian president : ARISTIDE

John-Bertrand Aristide is a Haitian native. When he was 29 years old he entered the priesthood, after having studied in Italy, Greece and Israel. He served as a priest in Haiti under the brutal regimes of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc”. Aristide became an outspoken critic of the dictators, and many times incurred their wrath. While still a priest, he was elected to the office of president, in the country’s first democratic election. Aristide was also an outspoken critic of the church, and in 1994 left the priesthood, getting married 12 months later.

22. Display some guns : FLEX

“Guns” is a slang term for very strong arms or biceps.

The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

23. “Wuthering Heights” setting : MOOR

“Wuthering Heights” is the only novel written by Emily Brontë, and one that she published using the pen name Ellis Bell. “Wuthering Heights” was published in December of 1847, a date chosen to take advantage of the wave of success enjoyed by Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” that had been published just two months earlier.

25. Taylor of “American Crime” : LILI

The actress Lili Taylor had supporting roles in films like “Mystic Pizza”, “The Haunting” and “Rudy”. She also had a recurring role in the HBO series “Six Feet Under”.

“American Crime” is a crime drama TV series that ran for three seasons from 2015 to 2017. I haven’t seen this one, but I hear good things.

26. Wedding announcement : BANNS

In the Christian tradition, the banns of marriage are the public announcement posted in a parish church of an intended marriage. The banns are intended to give anyone a chance to raise any valid objections to the union.

28. Sachet filler : LAVENDER

“Lavender” is the common name for the plant genus Lavandula. Lavender is used as an ornamental plants, as a culinary herb and for the production of essential oils. The plant’s name might ultimately be derived from the Latin word “lavare” meaning “to wash”, a reference to the use of essential oils in bathing.

38. Lummox : APE

The word “lummox” comes from East Anglian slang (northeast of London), and describes an ungainly and often clueless person. The term is probably a contraction of “lumbering ox”.

39. Covered carriages : SHAYS

A chaise is a light carriage with a folding hood that transports one or two people. “Chaise” is the French for “chair”, and takes its name from the “sedan chair” means of transportation. In the US, the name “chaise” evolved into “shay”.

42. Reverse of a knit : PURL

As all of us knitters know, the purl stitch and knit stitch are very similar, one being sort of the inverse of the other. Yes, I’ve knitted a few sweaters in my day …

45. Pâté base : FOIE

Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made up of a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, made from the fattened livers of geese (“foie gras” means “fat liver” in French).

46. Month after diciembre : ENERO

In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

47. Immortal Kiev-born pianist : HOROWITZ

Vladimir Horowitz was a classical pianist from Kiev who escaped to the West in 1925, and then settled in the US. Horowitz was married to Wanda Toscanini, daughter of the famed Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini.

50. Commonly seen brown vehicle : UPS VAN

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

54. Like the praying mantis : ONE-EARED

The term “praying mantis” is often used for species of insects more correctly called simply “mantises”. The familiar term refers to the prayer-like posture adopted by the insect with their fore-limbs folded. Strangely, the praying mantis is the only animal that we know with only one ear. That ear is located deep in the thorax or chest.

55. In Tupperware, say : SEALED

Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal”, which were provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

Down

2. Dessert with a kick : TIRAMISU

Tiramisu is an Italian cake. The name “tiramisu” translates from Italian as “pull me up”, and is often translated into our English phrase “pick-me-up”.

3. Mad __ : HATTER

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, the Mad Hatter makes his first appearance in a chapter called “A Mad Tea-Party”. This event is usually described as “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”, even though the Mad Hatter was just a guest. The host was the March Hare. In fact, the phrase “mad Hatter” doesn’t appear anywhere in Lewis Carroll’s novel, although the character, the Hatter (and sometimes “Hatta”), is described as mad.

5. West Coast ZIP starter : NINE

ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

6. Neatnik’s possible condition, briefly : OCD

Apparently, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.

7. Mississippi explorer : LA SALLE

The French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River basin for France in 1682. He named the region “La Louisiane” in honor of Louis XIV, who was King of France at that time. It is from “La Louisiane” that we get the state name “Louisiana”.

9. Line 32 items on 1040 forms : IRAS

Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

10. D, P or S, on quarters : MINT MARK

Mint marks are inscribed on coins to indicate where the coin was minted. In the US, the current mint marks are:

  • “P” for the Philadelphia Mint
  • “D” for the Denver Mint
  • “S” for the San Francisco Mint
  • “W” for the West Point Mint

12. Had way too much of : ODED ON

Overdose (OD)

13. Angler’s gear : WADERS

We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.

14. Grand children? : SPINETS

A spinet is the name given to a smaller version of keyboard instruments, such as the harpsichord, piano or organ. Spinets are still made today, as smaller and cheaper versions of full-size instruments.

20. Pull over, say? : REINJURE

To pull a muscle again is to reinjure said muscle.

22. Fin : FIVE SPOT

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

28. Wranglers alternative : LEES

The Lee company that’s famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

Wrangler is a manufacturer of jeans headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. Wrangler jeans were first made in the mid-1940s and were designed specifically for use by cowboys in rodeos.

29. Part of DINK : DUAL

The acronym “DINK” stands for “Dual Income, No Kids”, and describes a couple who are both working for a wage, and have no children. The extended term “DINKER” stands for “Dual Income, No Kids, Early Retirement”. The opposite situation is sometimes referred to as SITCOM, meaning “Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage”!

31. Fleming work : SPY NOVEL

Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

35. Ran off : XEROXED

A xerox is a copy made on a xerograph machine. Xerography is a dry photocopying technique that was invented in 1938 by Chester Carlson, although he originally referred to the process as electrophotography. Joseph Wilson commercialized Carlson’s process some years later, coining the term “Xerography” using the Greek words for “dry” and “writing”. Wilson changed the name of his own photographic company to Xerox.

37. Subway alternative : QUIZNOS

Quiznos is one the finer fast food joints, in my humble opinion. The main meal served is a toasted submarine sandwich.

39. Speed down a slope : SCHUSS

A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, with no turns taken to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

40. Rockers Mott the __ : HOOPLE

Mott the Hoople was a glam rock band from England that was big in the mid-seventies. The name of the band comes from the title of a novel by Willard Manus.

52. Literary assortment : ANA

An ana (plural “anas”) is a collection, perhaps of literature, that represents the character of a particular place or a person. “Ana” can be used as a noun or as a suffix (e.g. “Americana”).

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. The punch in Planter’s Punch : ETHANOL

8. Set overly easy goals : AIM LOW

14. Disk problem : SCIATICA

15. Curly-haired “Peanuts” character : FRIEDA

16. Foreshadows : PORTENDS

17. Like rattlers : FANGED

18. Drawn : IN A TIE

19. Former Haitian president : ARISTIDE

21. Policy at certain clubs : NO MEN

22. Display some guns : FLEX

23. “Wuthering Heights” setting : MOOR

24. Gulf States leader : EMIR

25. Taylor of “American Crime” : LILI

26. Wedding announcement : BANNS

27. It’s in many poems : ‘TIS

28. Sachet filler : LAVENDER

30. Informal passing remark? : ‘SCUSE ME

32. Repository for spare or unused parts : JUNK BOX

36. Cheerleading outfit? : PEP SQUAD

38. Lummox : APE

39. Covered carriages : SHAYS

42. Reverse of a knit : PURL

43. Selfish sort : USER

44. Be the first to say : COIN

45. Pâté base : FOIE

46. Month after diciembre : ENERO

47. Immortal Kiev-born pianist : HOROWITZ

49. Company whose name appears in an odometer in its logo : CARFAX

50. Commonly seen brown vehicle : UPS VAN

51. Gross out : NAUSEATE

53. It may be rolled up on a farm : SLEEVE

54. Like the praying mantis : ONE-EARED

55. In Tupperware, say : SEALED

56. Ready to ride : SADDLED

Down

1. Cost-effective : ECONOMIC

2. Dessert with a kick : TIRAMISU

3. Mad __ : HATTER

4. Took courses at home : ATE IN

5. West Coast ZIP starter : NINE

6. Neatnik’s possible condition, briefly : OCD

7. Mississippi explorer : LA SALLE

8. Tack on : AFFIX

9. Line 32 items on 1040 forms : IRAS

10. D, P or S, on quarters : MINT MARK

11. Vast multitude : LEGION

12. Had way too much of : ODED ON

13. Angler’s gear : WADERS

14. Grand children? : SPINETS

20. Pull over, say? : REINJURE

22. Fin : FIVE SPOT

25. Lighter : LAMP

26. Give a little : BEND

28. Wranglers alternative : LEES

29. Part of DINK : DUAL

31. Fleming work : SPY NOVEL

33. Ride cost before taxes and such : BASE FARE

34. Ran : OPERATED

35. Ran off : XEROXED

37. Subway alternative : QUIZNOS

39. Speed down a slope : SCHUSS

40. Rockers Mott the __ : HOOPLE

41. Like some offshore rescues : AIR-SEA

43. “Are you kidding me?!” : UNREAL!

45. Punished in court, in a way : FINED

46. Let up : EASED

48. Parade greeting : WAVE

49. Helped on stage : CUED

52. Literary assortment : ANA

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LA Times Crossword Answers 22 Sep 2017, Friday










Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Noisy Dogs

Each of today’s themed answer includes a sound made by a dog, but that same answer sounds like a common phrase:

  • 21A. Hogwarts chronicler imitating noisy dogs? : JK GROWLING (sounds like “JK ROWLING”)
  • 26A. Devices that record data on noisy dogs? : BARKING METERS (sounds like “parking meters”)
  • 47A. Photographer of noisy dogs? : YIPPER SNAPPER (sounds like “whippersnapper”)
  • 52A. Paintings depicting noisy dogs? : WORKS OF ARF (sounds like “works of art”)

Bill’s time: 7m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Thompson of “Westworld” : TESSA

Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”.

“Westworld” is an HBO series that is based on a 1973 movie of the same name, which was written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton. Westworld is a high-tech theme park populated by androids that interact with the guests.

14. Stephen Hawking subject : TIME

Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist from Oxford, England. Hawking owes much of his fame in the world of popular science to his incredibly successful book called “A Brief History of Time”. “A Brief History of Time” has sold over 10 million copies and was on London’s “Sunday Times” bestseller list for over four years. Hawking does a wonderful job of explaining many aspects of cosmology without losing the average reader. There is only one equation in the whole book, and that equation is “E = mc2”. Hawking’s life story is recounted in the excellent 2014 film “The Theory of Everything”.

17. Princess Royal of Britain : ANNE

Anne, Princess Royal was born in 1950 and is the only daughter of British Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Anne has been in the public spotlight for many things, including her success as an equestrian. Princess Anne was the first member of the British Royal Family to have competed in an Olympic Games. Her daughter Zara Phillips continued the tradition and competed as a member of the British equestrian team in the 2012 Olympic Games. Zara’s medal was presented to her by her own mother, Princess Anne.

“Princess Royal” is the title given to the eldest daughter of a British monarch.

20. Setup provider’s abbr. : BYOB

Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)

21. Hogwarts chronicler imitating noisy dogs? : JK GROWLING (sounds like “JK ROWLING”)

Joanne Rowling changed her name to J. K. Rowling at the request of her publisher, who believed that young boys might have shied away from reading the first “Harry Potter” book if they believed the story was written by a woman (this was 1997!). “Jo” Rowling chose J for Joanne, and K for Kathleen after her grandmother (Jo has no middle name to use).

23. Like many deli orders : TO GO

The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

25. Western peer of Tex and Gene : ROY

Cowboy actor and singer Roy Rogers’ real name was Leonard Franklin Slye, and his nickname was “King of the Cowboys”. Roy Rogers married Dale Evans in 1947. Evans’ nickname was “Queen of the West”.

Tex Ritter was a country singer and actor from Murvaul, Texas. On the big screen, Ritter was known as a “singing cowboy”, and appeared in around 40 westerns in which he belted out a tune or two. Tex’s son was actor John Ritter, who played Jack Tripper so well in the sitcom “Three’s Company”.

Gene Autry was a so-called singing cowboy who had an incredibly successful career on radio, television and in films starting in the thirties. Autry’s signature song was “Back in the Saddle Again”, and his biggest hit was “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. He also had a hit with his own Christmas song called “Here Comes Santa Claus”. There’s even a town in Oklahoma called Gene Autry, named in his honor. Famously, Autry owned the Los Angeles Angels (now the Anaheim Angels) for many years, from 1961 to 1997.

26. Devices that record data on noisy dogs? : BARKING METERS (sounds like “parking meters”)

An early patent for a parking meter, dated 1928, was for a device that required the driver of the parked car to connect the battery of his or her car to the meter in order for it to operate!

32. Part of XL: Abbr. : LGE

Extra-large (XL)

33. Toon cat since the silent era : FELIX

Felix the Cat is a cartoon character who dates back to the era of silent movies. A papier-mâché model of Felix was used in one of the first ever broadcasts of a television image, in 1928. At that time, RCA was using a Felix doll in experimental transmissions in New York.

37. War-torn land : IRAQ

Iraq is often called the “Cradle of Civilization” as it was home to Sumer, which was the earliest known civilization on the planet. By 5000 BC the Sumerian people were practicing year-round agriculture and had a specialized labor force. For the first time, a whole race were able to settle in one place by storing food, instead of having to migrate in a pattern dictated by crops and grazing land.

42. St. Anthony’s home : PADUA

The city of Padua is in northern Italy, and not far from Venice. Padua has many claims to fame. For example, Galileo was one of the lecturers at the University of Padua, and William Shakespeare chose the city as the setting for his play “The Taming of the Shrew”.

44. It’s not exactly a pick-me-up : DECAF

The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …

50. Disney Store collectible : CEL

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.

51. Semi bar : AXLE

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.

58. First name in folk : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

64. News article intro : LEDE

The opening paragraph in any work of literature is often just called “the lead”. In the world of journalism, this is usually referred to as “the lede”.

69. Bellicose god : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

Someone described as bellicose is inclined to favor strife or war. The term comes from “bellum”, the Latin word for “war”.

Down

2. Like a mite : TINY

Mites are tiny arthropods in the arachnid (spider) class. Mites are (annoyingly!) very successful creatures that have adapted to all sorts of habitats, and being so small, they generally pass unnoticed. Ick …

4. Adidas subsidiary : REEBOK

The brand name Reebok was adopted as the new company name for Foster Shoes of the UK in 1960. The name Reebok (more commonly “Rhebok”) is an Afrikaans word for an antelope, and comes from the term “roe buck”.

5. He beat out Sonny & Cher and Herman’s Hermits, among others, for the Best New Artist Grammy : TOM JONES

Tom Jones … now he has a real voice and is a great showman. I saw him in Las Vegas many, many moons ago, and it was one of the best Vegas shows I’ve ever attended. Although “Tom Jones” is a carefully selected stage name (he was born Thomas Woodward) the name isn’t too far from reality as Jones is his mother’s maiden name. The stage name was chosen by his manager to capitalize on the appeal of “Tom Jones”, a filmed version of the Henry Fielding novel that was having a successful run at the time. The name also emphasized Tom’s Welsh roots, as Jones is a very common name in Wales.

The famous duo Sonny & Cher started out in the mid-1960s as backing singer working with Phil Spector. The couple married in 1964, and the next year released their breakthrough numbers “Baby Don’t Go” and “I Got You Babe”. Sonny and Cher divorced in 1975, and dissolved their act that same year. Cher moved onto a successful solo career that continues to this day. Sonny Bono was elected as a US Congressman for California in 1995. Sadly, he didn’t finish his term in the House as he died from injuries sustained in a skiing accident in 1998.

Herman’s Hermits are a band from the north of England that formed in 1964 as “Herman & the Hermits. The band’s list of hits includes “I’m into Something Good” (1964), “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” (1965), “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” (1965) and my personal favorite “There’s a Kind of Hush” (1967).

6. Christine’s phantom admirer : ERIK

In Gaston Leroux’s novel “The Phantom of the Opera”, the young Christine Daaé is obsessively admired by Erik, the “phantom” who lives below the Paris Opera House.

11. Nutritious berry : ACAI

Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

13. Giant film primate : KONG

When RKO released the 1933 movie “King Kong”, the promotional material listed the ape’s height as 50 feet. During filming, a bust was created for a 40-foot ape, as well as a full-size hand that went with a 70-foot Kong.

24. Desktop animation image suffix : GIF

A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.

26. Control tower signal : BLIP

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

27. Indian shrine site : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

30. CFOs, e.g. : EXECS

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

31. Orient Express feature : SLEEPER CAR

The Orient Express was a celebrated luxury passenger train service that operated from 1883 until 2009. The cities served by the Orient Express varied over the decades, but most famously ran between Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul).

35. Shakespeare’s shrew : KATE

William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male in the couple is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina/Kate, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.

36. Vega, for one : STAR

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Vega (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) is also part of the group of three stars that is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of this triangle.

43. Homo sapiens relatives : APES

The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:

  • chimpanzees
  • gorillas
  • humans
  • orangutans

The literal translation of “Homo sapiens” from Latin is “wise or knowing man”. The Homo genus includes the species Homo sapiens (modern humans), but we’re the only species left in that genus. The last known species related to humans was Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man) which died off about 24,000 years ago. However, another species was discovered in Indonesia in 2003 that has been dubbed Homo floresiensis (Flores Man … sometimes called “hobbit”), and it may possibly have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. Watch this space …

48. Small wading bird : PLOVER

Plovers are small wading birds with relatively short bills. Many of the 60-70 species of plovers are referred to as dotterels.

49. State of matter : PLASMA

When I was a schoolkid, I was taught that there were three fundamental states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. I think it is now generally accepted that there is a fourth fundamental state matter, namely plasma. Plasma is a state without a definite shape or volume, and in that sense is similar to a gas. In a plasma, electrons have been ripped away from their nuclei, forming a conductive electron “sea”. Plasmas are created from gases by applying a massive voltage difference or an extremely high temperature.

55. Gift from Prometheus : FIRE

In Greek mythology, Prometheus was one of the Titans. He was said to have created man from clay as well as giving fire to humanity, hence allowing the human race to prosper.

57. Play polo, say : RIDE

The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back them primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Hubbub : STIR

5. Thompson of “Westworld” : TESSA

10. One way to lean : BACK

14. Stephen Hawking subject : TIME

15. Tough tests of knowledge : ORALS

16. Offer the same opinion as : ECHO

17. Princess Royal of Britain : ANNE

18. -, at times : MINUS

19. Reclined : LAIN

20. Setup provider’s abbr. : BYOB

21. Hogwarts chronicler imitating noisy dogs? : JK GROWLING (sounds like “JK ROWLING”)

23. Like many deli orders : TO GO

25. Western peer of Tex and Gene : ROY

26. Devices that record data on noisy dogs? : BARKING METERS (sounds like “parking meters”)

32. Part of XL: Abbr. : LGE

33. Toon cat since the silent era : FELIX

34. Reacts to bad news, perhaps : SULKS

37. War-torn land : IRAQ

39. More rational : SANER

41. All in : BEAT

42. St. Anthony’s home : PADUA

44. It’s not exactly a pick-me-up : DECAF

46. Airport approx. : ETA

47. Photographer of noisy dogs? : YIPPER SNAPPER (sounds like “whippersnapper”)

50. Disney Store collectible : CEL

51. Semi bar : AXLE

52. Paintings depicting noisy dogs? : WORKS OF ARF (sounds like “works of art”)

58. First name in folk : ARLO

61. Choppers : AXES

62. Stop by : VISIT

63. Printer function : SCAN

64. News article intro : LEDE

65. Gradually weaken : ERODE

66. It can be hard to get out of : MAZE

67. It can be hard to get out : KNOT

68. Call attention (to) : REFER

69. Bellicose god : ARES

Down

1. Attempt : STAB

2. Like a mite : TINY

3. “Give me a few minutes” : I’M NOT READY

4. Adidas subsidiary : REEBOK

5. He beat out Sonny & Cher and Herman’s Hermits, among others, for the Best New Artist Grammy : TOM JONES

6. Christine’s phantom admirer : ERIK

7. Emulated 5-Down : SANG

8. Nasty comment : SLUR

9. Categorize : ASSORT

10. Source of much canine delight : BELLY RUB

11. Nutritious berry : ACAI

12. Gym exercise : CHIN

13. Giant film primate : KONG

22. Burdens : WOES

24. Desktop animation image suffix : GIF

26. Control tower signal : BLIP

27. Indian shrine site : AGRA

28. Forest clearing : GLADE

29. Member of the underground economy? : MINER

30. CFOs, e.g. : EXECS

31. Orient Express feature : SLEEPER CAR

35. Shakespeare’s shrew : KATE

36. Vega, for one : STAR

38. Cement type for home repairs : QUICKSET

40. Pursued vigorously : RAN AFTER

43. Homo sapiens relatives : APES

45. 63-Across alternative : FAX

48. Small wading bird : PLOVER

49. State of matter : PLASMA

52. Constitutional : WALK

53. Strong farm team : OXEN

54. Overhaul : REDO

55. Gift from Prometheus : FIRE

56. Beginning : AS OF

57. Play polo, say : RIDE

59. Relax : LAZE

60. Word that can replace “your” : ONE’S

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