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LA Times Crossword Answers 25 Oct 14, Saturday






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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 12m 16s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Maker of Select writing products BIC
Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

4. Bulls' arena? STOCK MARKET
The terms "bull" and "bear" markets come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an "up" market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a "down" market).

15. "Microsoft sound" composer 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.

16. Fighter with a record 131 career knockouts ARCHIE MOORE
Archie Moore was a professional boxer from Benoit, MIssissippi who was raised in Saint Louis, Missouri. Moore was nicknamed “the Old Mongoose” and managed to knock out 131 opponents over a long career, more than any other professional boxer..

17. Georgia, once: Abbr. SSR
The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

19. Player THESPIAN
A “thespian” is used for an actor. The term derives from the name of the Greek poet of the 6th century, Thespis, known as the father of Greek tragedy.

21. Experts WONKS
A "wonk" is an overly studious person. It is an American slang term that has been around at least since 1954. More recently, “wonk” has acquired an air of respectability as it has come to mean someone who has studies a topic thoroughly and become somewhat expert.

26. Onetime Klein assistant KARAN
Donna Karan is an American fashion designer, creator of the Donna Karan New York (DKNY) clothing label. Karan was very much raised in the fashion industry, as her mother was a model and her stepfather a tailor. Karan herself started her career working for Anne Klein, eventually heading up the Anne Klein design team, before launching her own label.

31. Maestro's wear TUX
The style of men's evening dress called a "tuxedo" was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” is the Italian word for “master”.

35. "The Clapping Song" singer, 1983 PIA ZADORA
“The Clapping Song" is a novelty number first recorded by Shirley Ellis in 1965. The actress Pia Zadora recorded a version that made it into the charts 1983. That version was recorded for the film score of the 1983 film “The Lonely Lady”, in which Zadora played the title role.

37. Santa Ana Volcano locale EL SALVADOR
Santa Ana is a large volcano in El Salvador. The summit of Santa Ana contains four nested craters, with the innermost of these containing a small crater lake.

40. "La __ Breve": de Falla opera VIDA
Manuel de Falla was a composer from Cádiz in Spain. In recognition of de Falla’s contribution to Spanish culture, his image was placed on the 1970 100-peseta banknote.

45. Tanglewood Music Festival town LENOX
Tanglewood is an estate in Lenox, Massachusetts. Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The estate takes its name from “Tanglewood Tales” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The author wrote the book in 1853 while staying in a cottage in the area. The owner renamed the cottage after Hawthorne's work, and the name was then adopted for the nearby estate.

50. Experts GURUS
“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

57. Buck: Abbr. DOL
The guilder was the currency used in the Netherlands until it was replaced by the euro at the start of 2002. One-and-a-half guilder used to be called a dalder (or thaler). It is “dalder/thaler” that gave us our word “dollar”.

"Buck" and "clam" are both slang terms for "a dollar". The term "buck" has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days. It has been suggested that "clam" has a similar derivation, a throwback to the supposed use of clams as units of currency in ancient cultures.

58. Reef dwellers SEA ANEMONES
The name "anemone" means "daughter of the wind" in Greek, and at one time it was believed that the wind was what actually caused the flower to bloom. The sea anemone is named for the terrestrial plant even though it isn't a plant at all. The sea anemone is a predatory animal found on the ocean floor.

61. They may resolve 59-Acrosses, briefly OTS
Overtime (OT)

Down
1. Film crew assistant BEST BOY
In a film crew, a best boy is an assistant to the department heads known as the gaffer and the key grip. The gaffer heads up the electrical department,and the key grip heads up the lighting and rigging department. The term “best boy” comes from the old English apprentice system, in which it referred to the oldest and most experienced apprentice to the master craftsman.

3. First name in civil rights CORETTA
Coretta Scott King was the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. Coretta was a civil rights leader herself, and maintained a prominent role in the movement following her husband’s 1968 assassination. She is sometimes referred to as the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement.

5. Nice crowd? TROIS
In France, three (trois) is a crowd, whereas two (deux) is company.

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.

7. "Keeper of the Keys" detective CHAN
Charlie Chan is the main character in a series of novels by Earl Derr Biggers. Chan is a Chinese-American detective working with the Honolulu police department. There have been almost 50 movies made featuring the Charlie Chan character.

11. Colorful mounts ROANS
A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

12. Capital of the state of West Bengal KOLKATA
Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the capital of West Bengal, India. Kolkata grew up around a fort that the British built in the area in 1712. Prior to the arrival of the British, there were three villages at the site, one named Kalikata. Kalikata gave its name to the city that eventually developed. This was anglicized to “Calcutta” which became the official name for centuries, until it was changed back to Kolkata in 2001.

13. Dutch humanist ERASMUS
Desiderius Erasmus was a Dutch priest and theologian. Erasmus was a very prolific and successful writer and in the 1530s his written works accounted for 10-20% of all book sales in the world. A famous quotation accredited to Erasmus is:
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

14. Rock star Nugent TED
Ted Nugent was the lead guitarist with the Amboy Dukes, and is now a successful solo artist.

20. Nepali language SHERPA
In the Tibetan language, Sherpa means "eastern people" (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

24. George Strait's "All My __ Live in Texas" EX’S
“All My Ex's Live in Texas” is a song released in 1987 by country singer George Strait.

George Strait is a country music singer, known as the “King of Country”. The moniker seems to be well deserved as Strait has had more number one hits on Billboard’s list of Hot Country Songs than any other artist.

26. "On the Waterfront" director KAZAN
Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for "Gentleman's Agreement" and in 1955 for "On The Waterfront". In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

The 1954 drama "On the Waterfront", starring Marlon Brando, told a story of violence and corruption among longshoremen. The movie was based on a series of 24 articles written by investigative journalist Malcolm Johnston and published in "The New York Sun". The original news stories uncovered mob infiltration on the New York City Waterfront, but the location for the film was chosen as Hoboken, New Jersey.

27. "Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon" author AMADO
Jorge Amado was a writer from Brazil, whose most famous work is the 1978 novel "Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands". “Dona Flor ...” was made into a film of the same name that became the most successful Brazilian film in history on its release in 1976. It was remade in English in 1982 as “Kiss Me Goodbye” starring Sally Field, James Caan and Jeff Bridges.

“Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon" is a 1958 novel by Brazilian writer Jorge Amado that was first published in English in 1962. The novel was made into a Brazilian film called “Gabriela” in 1983.

28. Chemical reaction portmanteau REDOX
In the world of chemistry, “redox” reactions are those in which electrons are transferred between species. “Redox” is a portmanteau of “reduction” and “oxidation”, where reduction is the gain of electrons by a molecule or atom, and oxidation is the corresponding loss of electrons. Examples of redox reactions are the oxidation of carbon to create carbon dioxide, and the reduction of carbon using hydrogen to create methane.

34. Pioneer in conditioning research PAVLOV
Ivan Pavlov was studying gastric function in dogs in the 1890s when he observed that his subject dogs started to salivate before he even presented food to them. This "psychic secretion", as he called it, interested him so much that he changed the direction of his research and studied the reactions of dogs to various stimuli that were associated with the presentation of food. Famously, he discovered that a dog could be conditioned to respond as though he was about to be fed, just by sensing some stimulus that he had come to associate with food. This might be a bell ringing, an electric shock (poor dog!) or perhaps the waving of a hand. Nowadays we might describe someone as "Pavlov's Dog" if that person responds just the way he/she has been conditioned to respond, rather than applying critical thinking.

36. Peaked ILL
The adjective “peaked” can mean “sickly-looking”. The term comes from the obsolete verb “to peak” meaning “to look sickly”. Both words possibly come from the more common usage of “to peak” i.e. to become pointed, the idea being that one’s features might become pointed through emaciation.

39. Kabuto-wearing warrior SAMURAI
A kabuto is a type of helmet worn by Japanese warriors. The kabuto is part of the traditional armor and garb used by the samurai class.

42. Ford Field city DETROIT
Ford Field is the football stadium that is home to the Detroit Lions. Ford Field is an indoor stadium, and was opened for business in 2002.

46. Swiss, e.g. CHEESE
Swiss cheese is a relatively generic term, a type of cheese produced in various countries and not necessarily in Switzerland. What they all have in common though, is a resemblance to the original Swiss Emmental cheese.

48. Lucie of "The Jazz Singer" (1980) ARNAZ
The actress and singer Lucie Arnaz is the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Arnaz started acting at an early age, appearing frequently on her mother’s television show “Here’s Lucy”. Lucie’s most famous appearance on the big screen was opposite Neil Diamond in 1980’s “The Jazz Singer”.

49. Logician known for "incompleteness theorems" GODEL
Kurt Gödel was an American mathematician and philosopher who was born in Austro-Hungary. Gödel fled Austria just before World War II and relocated to Princeton, which was also home to Albert Einstein by this time. Gödel and Einstein were fond of taking long walks together.

51. __ Reader: eclectic magazine UTNE
The "Utne Reader" is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The "Utne Reader" was founded in 1984, with "Utne" being the family name of the couple that started the publication.

52. Apt collie name SHEP
The collie isn’t actually a breed of dog, but rather the name given to a group of herding dogs that originate in Scotland and Northern England. An obvious (and wonderful) example would be the Border Collie. Many dogs classed as collies don’t have the word “collie” in the name of the breed, for example the Old English Sheepdog and the Shetland Sheepdog.

54. City on the Danube LINZ
Linz is the third-largest city in Austria (after Vienna and Graz). Linz is located in the north of the country, about 20 miles south of the border with the Czech Republic.

The Danube is the second largest river in Europe (after the Volga), and actually flows through four European capitals (Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava).

56. Shield supporter on Australia's coat of arms EMU
The official symbol of Australia is a coat of arms that features a kangaroo and an emu.


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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Maker of Select writing products BIC
4. Bulls' arena? STOCK MARKET
15. "Microsoft sound" composer ENO
16. Fighter with a record 131 career knockouts ARCHIE MOORE
17. Georgia, once: Abbr. SSR
18. Deli order POTATO SALAD
19. Player THESPIAN
21. Experts WONKS
22. Washes BATHES
23. Word heard before and after old SAME
25. Elected OPTED
26. Onetime Klein assistant KARAN
31. Maestro's wear TUX
32. Academic __ YEAR
33. Occurred CAME TO PASS
35. "The Clapping Song" singer, 1983 PIA ZADORA
37. Santa Ana Volcano locale EL SALVADOR
40. "La __ Breve": de Falla opera VIDA
44. Rustic setting LEA
45. Tanglewood Music Festival town LENOX
46. Made aware, with "in" CLUED
47. Family nickname MAMA
49. Target of some reality show hunts GHOSTS
50. Experts GURUS
53. Natural moisturizer ALOE VERA
55. Cause a dramatic reversal TURN THE TIDE
57. Buck: Abbr. DOL
58. Reef dwellers SEA ANEMONES
59. Deadlock TIE
60. Wheel of Fortune highlight PRIZE PUZZLE
61. They may resolve 59-Acrosses, briefly OTS

Down
1. Film crew assistant BEST BOY
2. Fit IN SHAPE
3. First name in civil rights CORETTA
4. Exhausted SAPPED
5. Nice crowd? TROIS
6. Prefix with -gon OCTA-
7. "Keeper of the Keys" detective CHAN
8. Handy set KIT
9. Shelter cry MEOW!
10. Recess retort AM SO!
11. Colorful mounts ROANS
12. Capital of the state of West Bengal KOLKATA
13. Dutch humanist ERASMUS
14. Rock star Nugent TED
20. Nepali language SHERPA
24. George Strait's "All My __ Live in Texas" EXS
26. "On the Waterfront" director KAZAN
27. "Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon" author AMADO
28. Chemical reaction portmanteau REDOX
29. Decor attachment -ATOR
30. Logical connector NOR
33. Yield CAVE
34. Pioneer in conditioning research PAVLOV
36. Peaked ILL
37. American __, North Dakota state tree ELM
38. Big or Little follower LEAGUER
39. Kabuto-wearing warrior SAMURAI
41. "That was normal for me once" I USED TO
42. Ford Field city DETROIT
43. Magazine department AD SALES
46. Swiss, e.g. CHEESE
48. Lucie of "The Jazz Singer" (1980) ARNAZ
49. Logician known for "incompleteness theorems" GODEL
51. __ Reader: eclectic magazine UTNE
52. Apt collie name SHEP
53. Comprehensive A TO Z
54. City on the Danube LINZ
55. Sugar meas. TSP
56. Shield supporter on Australia's coat of arms EMU


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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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