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LA Times Crossword Answers 3 Jul 15, Friday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeffrey Wechsler
THEME: ST to SC … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase in which the letters ST have been replaced with SC:
16A. Imperfect produce? SCUFFED CABBAGE (from “stuffed cabbage”)
23A. Nocturnal picket-line crosser? SCAB IN THE DARK (from “stab in the dark”)
34A. Reconnaissance team? SCOUT-HEARTED MEN (from “stout-hearted men”)
48A. Result of a London tea cart mishap? ROLLING SCONES (from “rolling stones”)
57A. Feature of a taped hardcore punk performance? VIDEO SCREAMING (from “video streaming”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. 17th-century privateer KIDD
William Kidd was a Scottish privateer who went by the name “Captain Kidd”. Although Kidd was a privateer, someone authorized by the government to attack foreign shipping, he was eventually arrested and executed for piracy. There is common opinion held today that the charges against Kidd were actually trumped up. Captain Kidd’s story was the basis of a 1945 film called “Captain Kidd” starring Charles Laughton in the title role. Laughton also appeared as Captain Kidd in 1952’s comic movie “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd”.

A privateer is a person or ship that is authorized by a government to attack enemy ships during time of war. A privateer might be regarded as a pirate with some government backing, although many privateers had a very respectable reputation. One famous privateer of that ilk was Sir Francis Drake who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I.

13. About IN RE
The term "in re" is Latin, derived from "in" (in) and "res" (thing, matter). "In re" literally means "in the matter", and is used to mean "in regard to", or "in the matter of".

14. Downtime for Mars? PAX
As Mars was the Roman god of war, “pax” (Latin for “peace”) would be a period of downtime for him.

Mars was the god of war in Ancient Rome. Mars was viewed as the father of the Roman people, and the father of Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers who founded Rome according to Roman mythology..

19. Rob's "West Wing" role SAM
The actor Rob Lowe is one of the “founding members” of the so-called Brat Pack, having appeared in the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire”. More recently, Lowe played a regular character on the TV show “Parks and Recreation”. My favorite of his roles though, was playing Sam Seaborn on Aaron Sorkin’s great drama series “The West Wing”. When “The West Wing” first aired, Seaborn was billed as the show’s main character, but outstanding performances from the rest of the cast and some great writing meant that Lowe’s role became “one of many”. This led to some dissatisfaction on Lowe’s part, and eventually he quit the show.

21. "__ Wedding": "The Simpsons" episode involving a fortune-teller LISA’S
Lisa Simpson is Bart's brainy younger sister on TV's "The Simpsons". Lisa is voiced by actress Yeardley Smith.

23. Nocturnal picket-line crosser? SCAB IN THE DARK (from “stab in the dark”)
We first started calling strikebreakers "scabs" in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word probably comes from the use of "scab" as a symptom of a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.

26. Wild partner WOOLLY
Something described as “wild and woolly” lacks culture and is perhaps lawless. The phrase is American in origin and is a reference to the Wild West of the second half of the 19th century.

28. __ Alamos LOS
The town of Los Alamos, New Mexico takes its name from the Spanish for "the poplars" or “the cottonwoods”. Famously, it is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory which was founded during WWII to work on the Manhattan Project, the development of the first atomic bomb. The town of Los Alamos didn't exist as such, until it was planned and constructed to support the employees working on development of the bomb.

29. Screening gp. TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks. TSA personnel carry out the baggage and body searches at US airports.

30. Woodstock performer before Joan ARLO
Joan Baez followed Arlo Guthrie in the lineup at the Woodstock music festival.

1969’s Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on a dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

40. Romance novel features TRYSTS
In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting.

41. 1963 role for Shirley IRMA
"Irma la Douce" is a wonderful Billy Wilder movie, released in 1963. It stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. Lemmon plays a maligned Parisian policeman, and MacLaine is the popular prostitute Irma la Douce (literally "Irma the Sweet"). Don't let the adult themes throw you as it's a very entertaining movie ...

46. It merged with Coors in 2005 MOLSON
The Molson Brewery in Montreal is the oldest brewery in North America. In fact, Molson (now owned by Coors) is the second oldest company in Canada, after the Hudson’s Bay Company.

52. __ Blades, Latin jazz star RUBEN
RubĂ©n Blades is a salsa singer from Panama. He is very accomplished, with a Masters Degree in International Law from Harvard. Blades garnered 18% of the vote when he ran for the Panamanian presidency in 1994, and in 2004 was appointed as the country’s Minister of Tourism.

53. Oater omen NOOSE
The term "oater" that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

54. Uma's "Pulp Fiction" role MIA
Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter "Uma" as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name "Dbuma". Uma’s big break in movies came with her starring role as mobster wife Mia Wallace in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

62. Relative of -ule -ETTE
The suffixes “-ule” and “-ette” are used in diminutive nouns, with the former occurring in loanwords from Latin, and the latter in loanwords from French. Examples are capsule, globule and nodule, as well as brunette, cigarette and coquette.

64. '60s campus org. SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

65. Their Christmas feast included roast beast WHOS
The Whos live in Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

Down
1. Petruchio's request of Kate KISS
William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" is about a courting couple. The male is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina, 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".

2. Empire whose last stronghold was conquered in 1572 INCA
The Inca people emerged as a tribe around the 12th century, in what today is southern Peru. The Incas developed a vast empire over the next 300 years, extending along most of the western side of South America. The Empire fell to the Spanish, finally dissolving in 1572 with the execution of Tupac Amaru, the last Incan Emperor.

3. Ginger Baker specialty DRUM SOLO
Ginger Baker is a drummer from London who famously founded the rock trio Cream in 1966, along with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. Baker lived for a few years in Africa in the seventies, largely driven by his interest in African music.

6. Pizza cuts, essentially RADII
"Radius" (plural “radii”) is a Latin word, as one might expect, meaning "spoke of a wheel". Makes sense, huh ...?

8. Flash drive letters USB
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

9. Roi et reine, par exemple NOBLESSE
In French, a king and queen (roi et reine) are members of the nobility (noblesse).

17. Future yearling FOAL
There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:
- Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
- Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
- Filly: female horse under the age of four
- Colt: male horse under the age of four
- Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
- Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
- Mare: female horse four years or older

22. Jamaican genre SKA
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.

27. Tolkien terror ORC
Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.

31. Chanel creations DESIGNS
Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer. Perhaps because I am a man, clothes design is not my forte. However, if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really liked, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that looked so elegant on a woman.

33. Ballet's Black Swan ODILE
"Swan Lake" is such a delightfully light and enjoyable ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. “Swan Lake” tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer. The ballet also features Odile, Odette's "evil twin". Odile is disguised to look like Odette with the goal of tricking the prince to fall in love with her. In the ballet, the roles of Odette and Odile are played by the same ballerina.

36. "Amazing Grace," e.g. HYMN
“Amazing Grace” is a very, very famous hymn, with words written by John Newton in 1779. The words have been set to a number of different melodies, and what we are used to hearing is music of a tune named “New Britain”.

37. Big name in pies MRS SMITH
The company known as Mrs. Smith’s Pies was founded by Amanda Smith and her son in the 1920s. The Smiths started the company to take advantage of increasing demand for her own fruit pies that she sold at a local YMCA lunch counter in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

38. Comic Philips EMO
Emo Philips is a stand-up comedian from Chicago. He's had a long and successful career, and listed on his resume is a small acting part in the 1992 hit movie "Meet the Parents" starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. Philips was also the executive producer for that very same film, so, I'd say he made a few pennies ...

42. LAX stat ARR
Arrival (arr.)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

44. Spooner of Spoonerism fame, for one ALBINO
An “albino” is an organism lacking normal pigmentation. The term comes from “albus”, Latin for “white”.

Spoonerisms are errors in speech in which letters or sounds are switched from one word to another. Famous examples are "Three cheers for our queer old dean" (dear old Queen ... Victoria) and "Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?" (customary to kiss ...). Spoonerisms are named after an Oxford don William Archibald Spooner, who was notorious for his tendency to pepper his speech with "spoonerisms".

46. Walks unhurriedly MOSEYS
"Mosey" is American slang for "amble", of unknown origin.

47. Most fit to serve ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System(SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

58. Scrap ORT
Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

59. Copy cats MEW
If we wanted to copy a cat, we might start mewing.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. 17th-century privateer KIDD
5. Rock worth unearthing ORE
8. Military groups UNITS
13. About IN RE
14. Downtime for Mars? PAX
15. Absorb SOP UP
16. Imperfect produce? SCUFFED CABBAGE (from “stuffed cabbage”)
19. Rob's "West Wing" role SAM
20. Domestic tearjerker ONION
21. "__ Wedding": "The Simpsons" episode involving a fortune-teller LISA’S
23. Nocturnal picket-line crosser? SCAB IN THE DARK (from “stab in the dark”)
26. Wild partner WOOLLY
28. __ Alamos LOS
29. Screening gp. TSA
30. Woodstock performer before Joan ARLO
31. Kid's comeback DOES SO!
34. Reconnaissance team? SCOUT-HEARTED MEN (from “stout-hearted men”)
40. Romance novel features TRYSTS
41. 1963 role for Shirley IRMA
42. In the same way as A LA
45. Defensive question AM I?
46. It merged with Coors in 2005 MOLSON
48. Result of a London tea cart mishap? ROLLING SCONES (from “rolling stones”)
52. __ Blades, Latin jazz star RUBEN
53. Oater omen NOOSE
54. Uma's "Pulp Fiction" role MIA
57. Feature of a taped hardcore punk performance? VIDEO SCREAMING (from “video streaming”)
60. Stage direction ENTER
61. Vital KEY
62. Relative of -ule -ETTE
63. Ruled quarters? ROOST
64. '60s campus org. SDS
65. Their Christmas feast included roast beast WHOS

Down
1. Petruchio's request of Kate KISS
2. Empire whose last stronghold was conquered in 1572 INCA
3. Ginger Baker specialty DRUM SOLO
4. Dict. entry DEF
5. Ready for business no later than OPEN BY
6. Pizza cuts, essentially RADII
7. Halfway house resident EX-CON
8. Flash drive letters USB
9. Roi et reine, par exemple NOBLESSE
10. "The drinks were on me" I PAID
11. Affects, as one's heartstrings TUGS AT
12. Divers' weapons SPEARS
17. Future yearling FOAL
18. Hunting lodge decoration ANTLERS
22. Jamaican genre SKA
24. Influence CLOUT
25. One taking coats, perhaps HOST
26. Used to be WAS
27. Tolkien terror ORC
31. Chanel creations DESIGNS
32. Grain generally pluralized OAT
33. Ballet's Black Swan ODILE
35. Green workers TRAINEES
36. "Amazing Grace," e.g. HYMN
37. Big name in pies MRS SMITH
38. Comic Philips EMO
39. Indian flatbread NAN
42. LAX stat ARR
43. Adjustable door feature LOUVER
44. Spooner of Spoonerism fame, for one ALBINO
46. Walks unhurriedly MOSEYS
47. Most fit to serve ONE-A
49. Engendered LED TO
50. Subjects of washday mysteries SOCKS
51. Hollowed out CORED
55. Delighted by INTO
56. Quite a long time AGES
58. Scrap ORT
59. Copy cats MEW


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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 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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