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LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Jan 15, Thursday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Marti DuGuay-Carpenter
THEME: Can You Break a Ten? … Each of today’s themed answers comprises two words, with each word being a separate answer found side-by-side in the grid. The black square that separates the two words actually BREAKS up the letter sequence T-E-N, as I’ve shown in my grid:
37A. Question about change, which hints at the hidden feature of four two-part puzzle answers CAN YOU BREAK A TEN?

14A. With 15-Across, accounting unit DEBIT
15A. See 14-Across ENTRY

29A. With 31-Across, anathema BETE
31A. See 29-Across NOIRE

44A. With 47-Across, some receivers TIGHT
47A. See 44-Across ENDS

65A. With 66-Across, National Book Award-winning novel by Don DeLillo WHITE
66A. See 65-Across NOISE
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 53s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Noble __ GASES
The rare gases are better known as the noble gases, but neither term is really very accurate. Noble gas might be a better choice though, as they are all relatively nonreactive. But rare they are not. Argon, for example, is a major constituent (1%) of the air that we breathe.

20. Scotch cocktails ROB ROYS
Rob Roy was a folk hero in Scotland from the 18th century. He was a sort of Scottish Robin Hood, an outlaw who had the support of the populace. Rob Roy's full name was Robert Roy MacGregor, itself an anglicization of the Scottish Raibeart Ruadh. He gave his name to a famous cocktail called a Rob Roy, a relative of the Manhattan that is made with Scotch instead of bourbon.

22. Zenith ACME
The "acme" is the highest point, coming from the Greek word "akme" which has the same meaning.

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith.

28. Toothbrush-endorsing org. ADA
American Dental Association (ADA)

29. With 31-Across, anathema BETE
31. See 29-Across NOIRE
"BĂȘte noire" translates from French as "black beast" and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.

42. Blue Grotto locale CAPRI
The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight , which takes on a lovely blue color as it passes through the seawater into the cave. Natives of Capri are known as “Capriotes”.

43. "Ramona and Beezus" co-star Gomez SELENA
Selena Gomez is a young actress from Grand Prairie, Texas. Gomez’s first television role was in the children’s show “Barney & Friends”. She then played the lead in the TV series “Wizards of Waverly Place”. Offscreen, Gomez made a splash as the girlfriend of Canadian singer Justin Bieber for a couple of years.

“Ramona and Beezus" is a 2010 kid’s movie based on the “Ramona” series of children’s novels by Beverly Cleary. The title characters are played by Joey King (Ramona) and Selena Gomez (Beezus).

44. With 47-Across, some receivers TIGHT
47. See 44-Across ENDS
Tight end is a position in the sport of American football.

50. Malady in the 2000 film "Memento" AMNESIA
“Memento” is a 2000 psychological thriller with an unusual narrative structure. Black-and-white sequences are interspersed with color sequences, with the color sequences shown in reverse chronological order. The color sequences take place after the black-and-white, but the two sequences eventually meet up in time at the end of the film. This structure helps recount the adventures of the hero (played by Guy Pearce) who is suffering from amnesia after a physical attack by two men. I haven’t seen this one, but it was well-received by the critics and I think it sounds intriguing ...

52. Like the best occult films EERIEST
The adjective “occult” means “secret, beyond the realm of human comprehension”. The term derives from the Latin “occultus” meaning “hidden, concealed”.

56. Yield figures CD RATES
A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

59. Fife-and-drum drum TABOR
A tabor is a portable snare drum that is played with one hand. The tabor is usually suspended by a strap from one arm, with the other hand free to beat the drum. It is often played as an accompaniment for a fife or other small flutes. The word "tabor" comes from "tabwrdd", the Welsh word for “drum”.

67. "M*A*S*H" titles LTS
Lieutenant (lt.)

"M*A*S*H" has only three stars (three asterisks, that is!). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

Down
1. Pigs out (on) ODS
Overdoses (ODs)

2. Center of gravity? VEE
The center of the word “gravity” is the letter V (vee).

3. Presidential nickname ABE
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the US, elected in 1860 as the first president from the Republican Party. Lincoln’s electoral support came almost exclusively from the north and west of the country, winning only two out of 996 counties in the Southern slave states. Lincoln led the country through Civil War, and then was assassinated in 1865 just a few days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his army of Northern Virginia. President Lincoln was succeeded in office by Vice President Andrew Johnson.

4. Petrol unit LITRE
Petrol is the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.

6. One of six British kings GEORGE
King George VI was ruler of the United Kingdom during WWII. George VI took over the crown unexpectedly in 1936 on the abdication of his older brother Edward VIII, who surrendered the throne to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. George VI was the father of Queen Elizabeth II.

7. Year in Tuscany ANNO
Tuscany is a beautiful region of central Italy, the capital of which is the city of Florence. Tuscany is considered to be the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, centered around Florence. It was home to great artistic icons such as Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Galileo and Puccini.

9. Pension law signed by Ford, briefly ERISA
ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, enacted in 1974. ERISA regulates the operation of a pension plan once it has been established. However, ERISA does not require that a pension plan be offered by an employer.

10. Jordan neighbor: Abbr. SYR
The modern state that we know as Syria was established after WWI as a French mandate. Syria was granted independence from France in 1946.

The nation that we know as Jordan takes its name from the River Jordan that forms part of the country’s border with Israel and Palestine to the west. Jordan achieved independence in 1946 after the UN approved the end of the British Transjordan Mandate. The Kingdom of Transjordan changed its name to Jordan in 1948.

11. Gillette razor TRAC II
Gillette introduced the Trac II in 1971. It was the world's first twin-blade razor.

13. Cleave ADHERE
I’ve always found “to cleave” an interesting verb. When used with an object, to cleave something is to split it, as one would would using a cleaver. When used without an object, to cleave is to cling, to adhere, as in “to cleave to one’s principles in the face of adversity”. Although not exactly so, the two definitions seem to have opposite meanings to me …

23. Traffic stopper? NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated illegal drugs.

25. "Elf" actor CAAN
James Caan is an actor from the Bronx in New York City. Caan is noted for his appearances in some very big movies such as “The Godfather”, “Misery”, “A Bridge Too Far”, “Rollerball” and more recently “Elf”. Caan is quite the sportsman. He plays golf with an 8 handicap, and is a 6-Dan Black Belt Master of Gosoku Karate.

“Elf” is a comedy movie released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role with James Caan supporting. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City.

27. Shoshone Falls river SNAKE
Shoshone Falls is a major waterfall on the Snake River in southern Idaho. Shoshone Falls is sometimes referred to as the Niagara of the West, and is actually 45 feet taller than Niagara Falls.

30. Shroud city TURIN
Turin (“Torino” in Italian) is a major city in the north of Italy that sits on the Po River. Back in 1861, when the Kingdom of Italy was formed, Turin was chosen as the first capital of the country .

The Shroud of Turin has to be one of the most controversial, and most studied, human artifacts ever unearthed. The Shroud is a linen cloth on which there is the image of a man who appears to have wounds inflicted by crucifixion. Many believe that the Shroud is the burial cloth in which Jesus Christ was placed after he died on the cross. The Shroud was kept in various locations in France for centuries before being moved to Turin Cathedral in 1578, from which it gets its name, and where it has been located ever since.

33. Chinese evergreen LYCHEE
Litchis are better known in English as lychees. One can't eat the skin of the lychee fruit, which is why you'll notice that you are only served the sweet flash. If you've never tried them, you should do so as they're delicious. Even though there is a nut-like seed within the edible flesh of the lychee fruit, I wouldn't eat it as it is poisonous ...

34. Zoo security features MOATS
A “moat” is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or a an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

36. Droopy-eared hound BASSET
The Basset Hound wouldn’t be my favorite breed of dog, to be honest. Basset Hounds have a great sense of smell with an ability to track a scent that is second only to that of the Bloodhound. The name “Basset” comes from the French word for “rather low”, a reference to the dog’s short legs.

38. Wonderful container? BREAD BIN
Wonder Bread was introduced in 1921, a bread produced by the Taggart Baking company of Indianapolis. Back then Wonder Bread was unsliced, with the sliced version being introduced nationally in the 1930s.

39. Bordeaux bean? TETE
“TĂȘte” is French for “head”.

A slang term for a “head” might be “bean” or “noggin”.

Bordeaux is perhaps the wine producing capital of the world. Wine has been produced in the area since the eighth century. Bordeaux has an administrative history too. During WWII, the French government relocated from Paris to the port city of Bordeaux when it became clear that Paris was soon to fall to the Germans. After the German's took France, the capital was famously moved to Vichy.

40. "The Dukes of Hazzard" officer ENOS
Enos Strate (played by Sonny Shroyer) was the small-town deputy in the television sitcom “The Dukes of Hazzard”, and the success of his character merited a follow-on show. The spinoff "Enos" only ran for 18 episodes though.

41. Tammany Hall caricaturist NAST
Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. Nast was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party's donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today. Thomas Nast drew some famous cartoons in which he depicted the Tammany Society as a vicious tiger that was killing democracy. Nast’s use of the tiger symbology caught on and was used by other cartoonists to harp at the society.

The building known as Tammany Hall was home to the Tammany Society, an organization in New York City that came to be the political machine behind the Democratic Party that held sway in New York State from the late-18th century to the mid-20th century. The society was named for Tamanend, a leader of the Native American Lenape people.

44. Mortarboard frill TASSEL
Mortarboards, or square academic caps, are associated with school graduations all over the world, although traditions do differ. For example in Ireland (where I come from), mortarboards are only worn by female graduates.

46. Speakers of Tolkien's Noldorin language GNOMES
J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien was an English author, best known by far for his fantasy novels "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". Although Tolkien lived in England and was a professor at Oxford, he served for many years as an external examiner at my old school, University College Dublin in Ireland.

51. Corporate raider Carl ICAHN
Carl Icahn has many business interests, and is probably best known in recent years for his dealings with Yahoo!

59. Prefix with light or night TWI-
“Twilight” is the light experienced when the sun is below the horizon, both in the morning and the evening. The prefix “twi-” seems to come from the sense of “half”, and in “half light”. There appears to be no connection to the word “twice”, despite twilight occurring twice each day.

“Twi-night” is a slang term used in baseball for a doubleheader in the which the first game is played in the late afternoon, and the second in the early evening.

63. Former Ohio governor Strickland TED
Ted Strickland was the Democratic Governor of Ohio from 2007 to 2011. Strickland succeeded term-limited Republican Bob Gaft as governor, and was ousted by Republican John Kasich in the 2010 election.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Some portrait frames OVALS
6. Noble __ GASES
11. Singsong syllable TRA
14. With 15-Across, accounting unit DEBIT
15. See 14-Across ENTRY
16. Like some aces RED
17. Manage SEE TO
18. Walking __ ON AIR
19. Sound after a satisfying swig AAH!
20. Scotch cocktails ROB ROYS
22. Zenith ACME
23. "I won't hurt you" NICE DOG
26. Not as deliberate HASTIER
28. Toothbrush-endorsing org. ADA
29. With 31-Across, anathema BETE
31. See 29-Across NOIRE
32. Worlds REALMS
35. __ legend URBAN
37. Question about change, which hints at the hidden feature of four two-part puzzle answers CAN YOU BREAK A TEN?
42. Blue Grotto locale CAPRI
43. "Ramona and Beezus" co-star Gomez SELENA
44. With 47-Across, some receivers TIGHT
47. See 44-Across ENDS
49. Set-__ TOS
50. Malady in the 2000 film "Memento" AMNESIA
52. Like the best occult films EERIEST
55. It's about a foot SHOE
56. Yield figures CD RATES
58. Figure under a line SUM
59. Fife-and-drum drum TABOR
60. Two cents INPUT
64. Bardic before ERE
65. With 66-Across, National Book Award-winning novel by Don DeLillo WHITE
66. See 65-Across NOISE
67. "M*A*S*H" titles LTS
68. Private INNER
69. Mount STEED

Down
1. Pigs out (on) ODS
2. Center of gravity? VEE
3. Presidential nickname ABE
4. Petrol unit LITRE
5. Gave up a seat STOOD
6. One of six British kings GEORGE
7. Year in Tuscany ANNO
8. "Wait for me" STAY HERE
9. Pension law signed by Ford, briefly ERISA
10. Jordan neighbor: Abbr. SYR
11. Gillette razor TRAC II
12. Hole enlarger REAMER
13. Cleave ADHERE
21. Comes to the surface BOBS UP
22. Harsh-sounding, to some ATONAL
23. Traffic stopper? NARC
24. Notion IDEA
25. "Elf" actor CAAN
27. Shoshone Falls river SNAKE
30. Shroud city TURIN
33. Chinese evergreen LYCHEE
34. Zoo security features MOATS
36. Droopy-eared hound BASSET
38. Wonderful container? BREAD BIN
39. Bordeaux bean? TETE
40. "The Dukes of Hazzard" officer ENOS
41. Tammany Hall caricaturist NAST
44. Mortarboard frill TASSEL
45. "That upset me!" I’M HURT!
46. Speakers of Tolkien's Noldorin language GNOMES
48. Costing more DEARER
51. Corporate raider Carl ICAHN
53. Jockey's handful REINS
54. "This __ a drill!" IS NOT
57. Mechanical repetition ROTE
59. Prefix with light or night TWI-
61. "Easy as __!" PIE
62. Wear and tear USE
63. Former Ohio governor Strickland 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.

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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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