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LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Aug 14, Thursday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark Feldman
THEME: Dog Sounds … each of today’s themed answers contains a hidden word that is a sound made by a dog:
17A. Tarot card representing union TWO OF CUPS
24A. Brightening near a sunspot SOLAR FLARE
35A. Mixer? BARKEEPER
49A. Ingredient that mimics the flavor of an edible fungus TRUFFLE OIL

58A. Checkers' speech? (or what are hidden in 17-, 24-, 35- and 49-Across) DOG SOUNDS
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Travelocity user's request AISLE
Travelocity is my favorite online travel agency, although it’s not the only one I use (one must shop around!). The feature I most like on Travelocity is “Top Secret Hotels”, where one can find hotel rooms at below the regular published online rates, but … the booking is made without knowing the hotel’s name. You get the general location, star-rating, facilities etc. and then “take a chance”. I booked a room in a 4-star hotel in San Jose recently for $120 for the night, when the best online quote I could find for the same hotel was $359. We book Top Secret Hotels (usually way cheaper than that one in San Jose!) on our road trips for I’d say one night in three …

15. Duvall's role in "Gods and Generals" LEE
“Gods and Generals" is a not-so-great 2003 film that has a plot centered on the Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, played by Stephen Lang. There are a lot of cameo appearances in this movie. Ted Turner funded the whole coast of production, and was partially rewarded with the role of Colonel Waller T. Patton, the great uncle of WWII General George S. Patton. US Senators George Allen, Robert Byrd and Phil Gramm all played parts as well, as did US Congressman Ed Markey.

16. Rap sheet entry CRIME
A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

17. Tarot card representing union TWO OF CUPS
Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future.

21. Chowed down ATE
"Chow" is an American slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. "Chow" comes from the Chinese pidgin English "chow-chow" meaning "food".

22. Prairie home TEEPEE
A tepee (also written as "tipi" and "teepee") is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

24. Brightening near a sunspot SOLAR FLARE
A “solar flare” is a sudden energy release from the surface of the Sun that can be perceived as a flash of brightness and an eruption of magnetic energy. That magnetic energy reaches the Earth about two days after the event, and can disrupt long-range radio communications on our planet. The location of solar flares has been strongly linked to sunspot groups, groups of dark spots on the Sun’s surface.

26. Genre that evolved from ska REGGAE
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term "ska", but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

42. See 5-Down SANTA
Saint Nicholas of Myra is the inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (now in modern-day Turkey) during the 4th century AD, and was known for being generous to the poor. Centuries after he died, his remains were desecrated by Italian sailors and moved to Bari in Italy. One legend has it that the relics were moved again centuries later and reburied in the grounds of Jerpoint Abbey in Co. Kilkenny in Ireland, where you can visit the grave today. I choose to believe that Santa Claus’s relics are indeed buried in Ireland …

48. Pantomime ACT OUT
Our word “pantomime” comes from the Greek word “pantomimos” meaning “actor”. The literal translation of the Greek is “imitator of all”, from “panto-” (all) and “mimos” (imitator). We use the term today to describe communication by means of facial expression and physical gestures. On the other side of the Atlantic, pantomimes (“pantos”) are also very popular Christmas entertainments based on nursery tales like “Mother Goose”, “Aladdin” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Great, great stuff ...

49. Ingredient that mimics the flavor of an edible fungus TRUFFLE OIL
Truffle oil is an ingredient used in cooking that mimics the flavor of truffles, bit is actually a synthetic product. I love truffle oil, but then, I also love truffles …

53. Citi Field player MET
Citi Field is the new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets, and sits right next door to Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the name of course comes from sponsor Citigroup.

54. Set of devotional prayers ROSARY
The Rosary is a set of prayer beads used in the Roman Catholic tradition. The name "Rosary" comes from the Latin "rosarium", the word for a "rose garden" or a "garland of roses". The term is used figuratively, in the sense of a "garden of prayers".

55. Genetic stuff RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

57. Time piece? ISSUE
“Time” magazine has a readership of about 25 million, making it the largest circulation weekly news magazine in the world.

58. Checkers' speech? (or what are hidden in 17-, 24-, 35- and 49-Across) DOG SOUNDS
The “Checkers speech” was a television address made in 1952 by then vice presidential candidate Richard Nixon. Nixon had been accused of financial improprieties and went to the nation to defend himself and attack his opponents. Having been accused of receiving inappropriate gifts, he stated in the speech that he intended to keep a dog that had been given the family that Nixon’s children had named “Checkers”. This reference led to the address going down in history as the “Checkers speech”.

60. Nickel and dime COINS
The 5-cent American coin known as a nickel is actually made up of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The first nickel was introduced in 1866, and was named the “Shield nickel” due to the shield design on the front of the coin. The current design is the Jefferson nickel, which was introduced in 1938.

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

61. Lennon's love ONO
Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. Ono actually met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

65. Low cards TREYS
A trey of clubs, for example, is a name for the three of clubs in a deck of cards. The name “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips.

Down
1. King and Queen AUTHORS
Stephen King is a remarkably successful author having sold over 350 million copies of his books, many of which have been made into hit movies. I’ve tried reading two or three, but never finished one. I really don’t do horror …

The Ellery Queen series of detective novels was somewhat unique in that Ellery Queen was the hero of the tales, and was also the pen name of the author. Actually, the “author” was a pair of writers; two cousins from Brooklyn, New York named Frederic Dannay and James Yaffe.

4. Beast in Royal Arms of England LION
The Royal Arms of England is the coat of arms that is used as a symbol for the country and for the English monarchy. The design of the coat of arms features three golden lions in a column on a red shield. The first use of the three-lions symbol on a shield goes back to King Richard I, who was also known as Richard the Lionheart.

6. Second-most-massive dwarf planet PLUTO
Pluto was discovered in 1930, and was welcomed as the ninth planet in our solar system. Pluto is relatively small in size, just one fifth of the mass of our own moon. In the seventies, astronomers began to discover more large objects in the solar system, including Eris, a "scattered disc object" at the outer reaches. Given that Eris is actually bigger than Pluto, and other objects really aren't that much smaller, Pluto's status as a planet was drawn into question. In 2006 there was a scientific definition for a "planet" agreed for the first time, resulting in Pluto being relegated to the status of "dwarf planet", along with Eris.

9. Symbols seen in viola music C-CLEFS
Clef is the French word for "key". In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. Usually, a G-clef is used for high parts, a C-clef for middle parts and an F-clef for low parts.

10. "The Tempest" spirit ARIEL
Ariel is a spirit, a character who appears in William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and who becomes a servant of the magician Prospero. Ariel was actually viewed as a male character when the play was first staged, and the text of the play supports this assumption. Many believe that the part was originally played by a boy actor, and over time the tendency has been to use female actors, but not exclusively.

William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" tells the story of Prospero, who was removed from the throne of Milan and banished to a deserted island along with his daughter Miranda. Prospero learns sorcery while cast away, and eventually conjures up a tempest that drives those who usurped his throne onto the island's shores (in particular his own brother, Antonio). On the island, Prospero is eventually successful in revealing Antonio’s lowly nature.

11. Percussion instruments TIMPANI
The timpani are also called the kettledrums. “Timpani” is an Italian term with the same meaning as in English, the plural of “timpano”.

12. Beethoven's last piano concerto, familiarly, with "the" EMPEROR
Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73” is better known as the Emperor Concerto”. It was written between 1809 and 1811 and was the last piano concerto composed by Beethoven. The nickname “Emperor” was coined not by the composer himself, but rather by the publisher of the concerto in England.

22. __ steamer TRAMP
We've been using "tramp" to mean a person who wanders about, since the 1660s. We applied the term to a steamship in the late 1800s. A tramp steamer is one that picks up cargo wherever it can and delivers it anywhere it is needed. This is as opposed to a vessel that works for a regular shipping line.

28. Letters in a dossier AKA
Also known as (aka)

A “dossier” is a collection of papers with information about a person or subject. “Dossier” is a French term meaning “bundle of papers”. The French word comes from the word “dos” meaning “back”. It is suggested that the term “dossier” arose as there was usually a label on the back (dos) of the bundle.

32. Do lutzes, say SKATE
In figure skating, a Lutz is a toe-pick-assisted jump that one starts skating backwards and ends skating backwards (there's more to it that I don't really understand!). The maneuver is named after Alois Lutz, an Austrian skater who first performed it in competition way back in 1913. Lutz wowed the crowd with a single jump, and today both men and women are landing triple Lutz jumps. No one has landed a clean quadruple Lutz in competition.

33. The Beatles' "And I Love __" HER
“And I Love Her” is a lovely ballad recorded by the Beatles in 1964. It is one of my favorite Lennon/McCartney compositions …

37. "Abort!" key ESC
The escape key (esc) was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

38. Poet's art METRICS
“Metrics” is the term used for the use of metrical structure in verse.

39. Spray AEROSOL
Strictly speaking, the term "aerosol" defines a suspension of either liquid droplets or solid particles in a gas. A good example of an aerosol is smoke. We tend to use the “aerosol” to describe what comes out of a spray can, even though the liquid droplets usually fall out of the gas and don't say suspended.

40. Frederick the Great's realm PRUSSIA
Prussia was a German kingdom that had as its capital the city of Berlin. The German monarchies were abolished after WWI, and “Prussia” ceased to exist as an entity right after WWII.

Frederick the Great (also “Frederick II”) ruled the German Kingdom of Prussia from 1740 to 1786. Frederick was widely proclaimed as a former hero, great warrior and leader in Germany during WWI and WWI, but his reputation has been seen in a less favorable light since 1945.

44. Time associated with graceful children TUESDAY
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

50. Mythical goat-men FAUNS
Fauns are regarded as the Roman mythological equivalent of the Greek satyrs, but fauns were half-man and half-goat and much more "carefree" in personality than their Hellenic cousins. In the modern age we are quite familiar with Mr. Tumnus, the faun-like character encountered by the children entering the world of Narnia in C. S. Lewis's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe".

51. Academic Maine town ORONO
The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation.

56. Oberhausen's region RUHR
Oberhausen is the name of a number of municipalities in Germany, the most famous being the city on the river Emscher in the Ruhr region in the very west of the country.

The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Travelocity user's request AISLE
6. Get too personal PRY
9. Prepare a spread for CATER
14. Word after open, in retail UNTIL
15. Duvall's role in "Gods and Generals" LEE
16. Rap sheet entry CRIME
17. Tarot card representing union TWO OF CUPS
19. Hobbles LIMPS
20. Wind that can be controlled HORN
21. Chowed down ATE
22. Prairie home TEEPEE
23. Fertility lab supply OVA
24. Brightening near a sunspot SOLAR FLARE
26. Genre that evolved from ska REGGAE
29. Spanish article LAS
30. Wordless okay NOD
31. __ preview SNEAK
32. Leveling piece SHIM
34. Spruce cousins FIRS
35. Mixer? BARKEEPER
38. Auto club amenities MAPS
41. Work for EARN
42. See 5-Down SANTA
46. Mountain ending -EER
47. Inclined APT
48. Pantomime ACT OUT
49. Ingredient that mimics the flavor of an edible fungus TRUFFLE OIL
53. Citi Field player MET
54. Set of devotional prayers ROSARY
55. Genetic stuff RNA
56. React to yeast RISE
57. Time piece? ISSUE
58. Checkers' speech? (or what are hidden in 17-, 24-, 35- and 49-Across) DOG SOUNDS
60. Nickel and dime COINS
61. Lennon's love ONO
62. Swindler CHEAT
63. Cut drastically SLASH
64. Youngster TOT
65. Low cards TREYS

Down
1. King and Queen AUTHORS
2. Meshed together INWOVEN
3. Place to put things STORAGE
4. Beast in Royal Arms of England LION
5. 42-Across helper ELF
6. Second-most-massive dwarf planet PLUTO
7. Force back REPEL
8. __-man YES
9. Symbols seen in viola music C-CLEFS
10. "The Tempest" spirit ARIEL
11. Percussion instruments TIMPANI
12. Beethoven's last piano concerto, familiarly, with "the" EMPEROR
13. Deals with a patchy lawn RESEEDS
18. Trumpet protector CASE
22. __ steamer TRAMP
25. Stranger ALIEN
27. Yaks GABS
28. Letters in a dossier AKA
32. Do lutzes, say SKATE
33. The Beatles' "And I Love __" HER
34. Host of some off-campus parties FRAT
36. Wedding invitation request REPLY
37. "Abort!" key ESC
38. Poet's art METRICS
39. Spray AEROSOL
40. Frederick the Great's realm PRUSSIA
43. Party choice NOMINEE
44. Time associated with graceful children TUESDAY
45. Swears (to) ATTESTS
47. From the beginning AFRESH
48. "That's a shame!" ALAS!
50. Mythical goat-men FAUNS
51. Academic Maine town ORONO
52. Gold brick INGOT
56. Oberhausen's region RUHR
58. Period, for one DOT
59. Autumn mo. OCT


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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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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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