LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Sep 12, Sunday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Gail Grabowski
THEME: Group Practice … all of the theme answers are “groups”, pointed to by a cryptic clue:

25A. Group providing pro bono services? FREE AGENCY
27A. Group overseeing porch furniture? ROCKER PANEL
45A. Group dealing with hard stuff? LIQUOR CABINET
82A. Group supervising subs? SANDWICH BOARD
97A. Group testing antipasto tidbits? OLIVE BRANCH
103A. Group specializing in spinal complaints? BACK OFFICE
35D. Group assisting St. Peter? HEAVENLY BODY
39D. Group handling hand-held phone sales? CELL DIVISION

COMPLETION TIME: 28m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ERISA (ERISE), GRAB BARS (grabbers!)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
20. Scandinavian wife of comics HELGA
Helga is the wife of Hagar the Horrible, in the comic strip.

“Hagar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hagar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons.

22. Joyful dance HORA
The hora (also “horah”) is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. The hora was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional Israeli folk songs. The dance is a regular sight at Jewish weddings.

25. Group providing pro bono services? FREE AGENCY
The Latin term “pro bono publico” means “for the public good”, and is usually shorted to “pro bono”. The term applies to professional work that is done for free or at a reduced fee as a service to the public.

27. Group overseeing porch furniture? ROCKER PANEL
A rocker panel is a section of a car’s bodywork, a section lying beneath the passenger compartment.

30. Land chronicled by Lewis NARNIA
Apparently it’s not certain how C. S. Lewis came to choose Narnia as the name of the fantasy world featured in his series of children’s books, including “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. There was an ancient city in Umbria that the Romans called Narnia, but there is no evidence of a link with the Lewis books.

34. Mazatlán munchie NACHO
Mazatlán is a city in Mexico on the Pacific coast sitting right opposite the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.

37. Teammate of Pee Wee and Duke JACKIE
Pee Wee Reese met Jackie Robinson after he was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As Reese tells the story, when he greeted Robinson it was the first time he had shaken hands with a black man. In those early days life was difficult for Robinson, and Reese made himself very visible as a friend, supporting the breaking down of racial barriers despite very vocal opposition.

40. Hive member DRONE
Drone bees and ants are fertile males of the species whose sole role in life seems to be to mate with a queen.

49. Santa __ ANA
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city. The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

55. Océan sight ILE
“Île” is the French word for “island”.

57. Garbo of “Grand Hotel” GRETA
Famously, Greta Garbo lived a life of seclusion in New York City after she retired from the entertainment business. Commentators often associated her need for privacy with a line she uttered in the great 1932 movie “Grand Hotel”. Her character, Grusinskaya the Russian ballerina, said, “I want to be alone (…) I just want to be alone”.

58. Jerry Rice’s record 208, briefly TDS
Retired footballer Jerry Rice scored a record 208 touchdowns in his career. Rice also won three Super Bowl rings with the San Francisco 49ers; in Super Bowl XXIII vs the Bengals, Sup[er Bowl XXIV vs the Broncos and Super Bowl XXIX vs the Chargers.

59. St.-finding aid GPS
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The modern GPS system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

60. Scary noble gas RADON
Radon is a radioactive gas, a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

61. Online newsgroup system USENET
Remember the good old days, when you read messages online in “newsgroups”? Well, that system of aggregating public messages is known as Usenet, and it’s still around today. Usenet started operating in 1980, some ten years before the World Wide Web was introduced (which system has displaced Usenet in terms of popularity). Usenet definitely played a significant part in the history of the Internet. For instance, the terms “FAQ” and “spam” were both born on Usenet.

66. Soldiers’ org. formed during WWII AMVETS
American Veterans (AMVETS) is a charitable service organization founded by World War II veterans. The objective of AMVETS is to provide support for all US veterans and active military personnel.

68. Gaucho gear RIATA
A riata is another name for a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for lasso.

70. One of four in Massachusetts: Abbr. SYL
There are four syllables in the word “Massachusetts”.

74. The Snake R. runs through it IDA
The Snake River in the US northwest is the largest tributary of the Columbia River.

75. Morocco’s capital RABAT
Rabat is the capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco. After WWII, the United States maintained a major Air Force Base in Rabat, part of Strategic Air Command (SAC). Responding to pressure by the Moroccan government of King Mohammed V, the USAF pulled out in 1963.

77. Edinburgh girl LASS
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and is a really beautiful city. In days gone by it might not have been quite so charming though. Like many cities, plumes of smoke hung over Edinburgh when coal and wood fires weren’t regulated. To this day, the city has the nickname “Auld Reekie”, Scots for “Old Smoky”.

79. Island republic near the Malay Peninsula SINGAPORE
The Asian city-state of Singapore takes its name from the Malay word “Singapura” which means “Lion City”. However, lions in the wild never made it to Singapore, so the city is probably misnamed and should have been called “Tiger City”.

85. Pursue, as a deadbeat DUN
“To dun” is to insist on payment of a debt.

91. Maternally related ENATE
Something that is enate is growing outward, and “enate” is used to describe ancestors related on the mother’s side. Something that is agnate comes from a common source, and “agnate” is used to describe relatives on the father’s side of the family tree.

94. Radio-active sort? CBER
A CBer is someone who operates a Citizens’ Band radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens’ Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

107. Pension law acronym 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.

112. Birthstone before topaz OPAL
Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month that we tend to use today:

January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Pearl or Moonstone
July: Ruby
August: Sardonyx or Peridot
September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
November: Topaz or Citrine
December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

Down
3. Univ. recruiter ROTC
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be a part of the new school’s curriculum.

4. Iowa city named for a Sauk chief KEOKUK
The city of Keokuk, Iowa is named for the Sauk Chief Keokuk  Chief Keokuk is believed to be buried within the bounds of the city.

5. Wrinkly dogs SHAR PEIS
The Shar Pei breed of dog is that one with the wrinkly face and really dark tongue. The breed originated in China, with “Shar Pei” being the British spelling of the Cantonese name.

7. “The First Lady of Song” ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. Fitzgerald was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while she was still a schoolgirl, and around that time young Ella became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

8. Austrian painter Schiele EGON
Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter. Schiele is noted for his explicit and sexual drawings, and indeed his style got him locked up in 1912 and he was eventually found guilty of exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible by children. The judge even burned one of Schiele’s drawings over a candle flame in the court.

10. Lab greeting ARF
The Labrador breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a decade later in the 1930s.

11. Seine tributary MARNE
The River Marne runs roughly northwestward for over 300 miles, running into the River Seine just outside Paris. The Marne was the site of two major battles in WWI, one fought in 1914, and one in 1918.

12. Mountain nymph OREAD
The Oreads were the nymphs that accompanied the goddess Artemis on her hunting expeditions.

13. “Oh, thou did’st then __ love so heartily”: Shak. NE’ER
“Oh, thou did’st then ne’er love so heartily” is a line from Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It”.

In the play “As You Like It”, there is a speech that yields one of the most-quoted phrases written by William Shakespeare, namely “all the world’s a stage”:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:

18. Kentucky Derby time MAY
The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875. The Kentucky race is modeled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, The Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 the race was shortened to 1¼ miles.

28. Pugilist Griffith et al. EMILES
Emile Griffith is a former professional boxer and world champion from the US Virgin Islands.

29. R.I. governor Chafee LINC
Link Chafee is the Governor of Rhode Island and former US Senator. While he was a US Senator, Chafee was the only Republican not to vote in 2006 for authorization of the use of force in Iraq. He left the Republican Party in 2007 is now an independent who supports President Obama.

37. Mutt’s mate JEFF
“Mutt and Jeff” was a newspaper cartoon strip that was drawn by Bud Fisher. “Mutt and Jeff” first appeared in 1907 and is regarded as the first daily comic strip.

42. Chicago Sky’s org. WNBA
The Chicago Sky is a professional basketball team playing in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

43. Egyptian Peace Nobelist SADAT
Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination two years later.

46. Cotton-on-stick cleaners Q-TIPS
Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name “Baby Gays”, but this was changed in 1926 to “Q-Tip”, with the Q standing for “quality”.

47. Ties with clasps BOLOS
I’ve never worn a bolo tie, and was surprised to discover that it is a relatively recent invention. The first bolo tie was apparently produced in Wickenburg, Arizona in the late 1940s by a silversmith. The bolo takes its name from the boleadora, an Argentine lariat.

51. Sonnet sections SESTETS
A sestet is a group of six lines of poetry similar to a quatrain, a group of four lines.

57. Prime meridian std. GST
GST is Greenwich Standard Time.

A meridian is a line of longitude, and the Prime Meridian is that line of longitude defined as 0 degrees. The Prime Meridian is also called the Greenwich Meridian as it passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in southeast London. Of course which line of longitude is used to represent 0 degrees is an arbitrary decision. 25 nations formally decided in 1884 to use the Greenwich Meridian as 0 degrees as it was already a popular choice. That is all except the French, who abstained from the vote and used the Paris Meridian as 0 degrees on French charts for several decades.

59. NASA’s Grissom GUS
Gus Grissom was the second American to fly in space, and the first astronaut at NASA to make two space flights. Sadly, Grissom was one of the three astronauts who died in a terrible launch pad fire 1967.

61. A, in Arles UNE
A few years ago I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and where he painted his famous “Cafe Terrace at Night”, as well as “Bedroom in Arles”.

65. Old Colgate competitor IPANA
Ipana toothpaste was introduced in 1915, and was at the height of its popularity in the forties and fifties. Sales declined in the sixties and the product was withdrawn from the US market in the seventies. Bucky the Beaver was the “spokesman” for Ipana. Bucky Beaver’s slogan was “Brusha… Brusha… Brusha. Get the New Ipana – it’s dandy for your teeth!”

66. Improvise AD LIB
“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar. For example, an actor may substitute his or her own words for forgotten lines using an ad lib, or a director may instruct an actor to use his or her own words at a particular point in a performance to promote a sense of spontaneity.

71. 1983 Golden Boot Award winner Lash LARUE
Alfred LaRue was an actor who appeared in a lot of western movies in the forties and fifties. He was very adept with the bullwhip, earning him the nickname “Lash”. Years after his onscreen career ended, LaRue was the guy who trained Harrison Ford how to use a bull whip for his role in the “Indiana Jones” series of films.

Golden Boot Awards are presented to actors and crew members who are deemed to have made a major contribution to the genre of Western TV and film.

73. Phnom __ PENH
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia, and has been since the French colonized the country in the late 1800s. The name translates from the Khmer language as “Hill of Penh”.

74. Library ID ISBN
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) was invented by one Gordon Foster who is now a professor at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. The code was originally developed for booksellers, so that they had a unique number (and now a barcode) for each publication.

75. “It’s Always Something” autobiographer RADNER
Gilda Radner was a comedian and actress, one of the original cast members of the hit television show “Saturday Night Live”.

80. Wall-mounted grips GRAB BARS
A grab bar is a bar mounted on a wall that serves as a steadying hand grip.

83. Uno minus uno CERO
In Spanish “uno” (one) minus “uno” (one) is “cero” (zero).

87. “A-Tisket, A-__” TASKET
“A-Tisket, A-Tasket” was a hit for Ella Fitzgerald. The song is quite unusual in that the lyrics are taken from a nursery rhyme. In 1938, Ella Fitzgerald and Al Feldman took the words of the rhyme, extended them and created what is now a jazz standard.

90. Smaug in “The Hobbit,” for one DRAGON
The dragon named Smaug is the principal antagonist in J. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.

92. Tummy trouble AGITA
Agita is another name for acid indigestion.

93. Old Renault LE CAR
French automaker Renault made the “mini-like” Renault 5 and sold it as the Renault “Le Car” in North America. My Dad had a Renault 5 back in Ireland …

94. Composer Franck CESAR
César Franck was a composer from Liège in Belgium who spent his working life in Paris.

98. Camaro __-Z IROC
The IROC-Z is a model of Camaro, introduced in 1978. The IROC-Z takes its name from a famous stock car race, the International Race of Champions.

99. ’80s “This Old House” host Bob VILA
“This Old House” first aired in 1979, on PBS, with Bob Vila as host. After ten years on the show, Vila was able to make extra income with commercial endorsements. These earnings caused conflict with commercial-free PBS, and so Vila was replaced by Steve Thomas.

100. Western wine region NAPA
Apparently the name “Napa” comes from the Native American Patwin word “napo” meaning “house”.

105. Drama set in Vegas CSI
I’m told that the TV show “CSI” gets a lot of razzing by law enforcement professionals for its unrealistic portrayal of the procedures and science of criminal investigation. I don’t care though, as I just think it’s fun television. The original “CSI” set in Las Vegas seems to have “gone off the boil”, but the addition of Sela Ward to the cast of “CSI: NY” has really, really raised the level of the sister show centered around New York City.

106. Letter opener? ELL
The opening letter in the word “letter” is “L”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Find a space PARK
5. Baking aid SHEET
10. Surrounded by AMONG
15. Project leader’s selection TEAM
19. Ingredient in some soaps ALOE
20. Scandinavian wife of comics HELGA
21. Redder inside RARER
22. Joyful dance HORA
23. That-say connection IS TO
24. Under control across the board ALL OK
25. Group providing pro bono services? FREE AGENCY
27. Group overseeing porch furniture? ROCKER PANEL
30. Land chronicled by Lewis NARNIA
31. Some Little League volunteers UMPS
32. Punished, in a way FINED
34. Mazatlán munchie NACHO
37. Teammate of Pee Wee and Duke JACKIE
40. Hive member DRONE
42. When many shovels may be seen WINTERS
44. Meadow matriarch EWE
45. Group dealing with hard stuff? LIQUOR CABINET
49. Santa __ ANA
50. Blunder FALSE STEP
52. Crypts, e.g. TOMBS
53. ESPN pitch, say TV AD
54. Record holders FILES
55. Océan sight ILE
56. Eyelashes CILIA
57. Garbo of “Grand Hotel” GRETA
58. Jerry Rice’s record 208, briefly TDS
59. St.-finding aid GPS
60. Scary noble gas RADON
61. Online newsgroup system USENET
62. “Here we are!” IT’S US
64. Sensitive spots SORES
65. CIA briefing info INTEL
66. Soldiers’ org. formed during WWII AMVETS
68. Gaucho gear RIATA
69. Alarming way to go? APE
70. One of four in Massachusetts: Abbr. SYL
72. Prayer object DEITY
73. Remains unsettled PENDS
74. The Snake R. runs through it IDA
75. Morocco’s capital RABAT
77. Edinburgh girl LASS
78. Bashes FETES
79. Island republic near the Malay Peninsula SINGAPORE
81. Ristorante suffix -INI
82. Group supervising subs? SANDWICH BOARD
85. Pursue, as a deadbeat DUN
86. Risky stock category BIOTECH
88. Faculty officials DEANS
89. “Despite that …” AND YET
91. Maternally related ENATE
92. On the ball ALERT
94. Radio-active sort? CBER
95. Comedian’s sidekick STOOGE
97. Group testing antipasto tidbits? OLIVE BRANCH
103. Group specializing in spinal complaints? BACK OFFICE
107. Pension law acronym ERISA
108. Major function GALA
109. Bailiff’s request RISE
110. Disastrous FATAL
111. __ system SOLAR
112. Birthstone before topaz OPAL
113. Settled down ALIT
114. Growl relative SNARL
115. They may be emotional SCARS
116. It may get hot under your collar NAPE

Down
1. Two of a kind PAIR
2. Besides ALSO
3. Univ. recruiter ROTC
4. Iowa city named for a Sauk chief KEOKUK
5. Wrinkly dogs SHAR PEIS
6. Goes to bat for HELPS
7. “The First Lady of Song” ELLA
8. Austrian painter Schiele EGON
9. Assume to be TAKE FOR
10. Lab greeting ARF
11. Seine tributary MARNE
12. Mountain nymph OREAD
13. “Oh, thou did’st then __ love so heartily”: Shak. NE’ER
14. Moms’ moms, familiarly GRANNIES
15. Bad thing to be caught in THE ACT
16. Quite a stretch EON
17. Detour, perhaps ARC
18. Kentucky Derby time MAY
26. Humongous GIANT
28. Pugilist Griffith et al. EMILES
29. R.I. governor Chafee LINC
33. “Very creative!” NEAT IDEA
35. Group assisting St. Peter? HEAVENLY BODY
36. Highly decorative ORNATE
37. Mutt’s mate JEFF
38. Look forward to AWAIT
39. Group handling hand-held phone sales? CELL DIVISION
40. Dramatic one-on-ones DUELS
41. It might be skipped ROPE
42. Chicago Sky’s org. WNBA
43. Egyptian Peace Nobelist SADAT
46. Cotton-on-stick cleaners Q-TIPS
47. Ties with clasps BOLOS
48. “Call,” in poker I’M IN
51. Sonnet sections SESTETS
53. Syrup source TREE SAP
56. Course rentals CARTS
57. Prime meridian std. GST
59. NASA’s Grissom GUS
60. Shoulder location ROADSIDE
61. A, in Arles UNE
63. Squalid quarters STY
64. Tendon SINEW
65. Old Colgate competitor IPANA
66. Improvise AD LIB
67. Nasty sort MEANIE
68. No longer working: Abbr. RETD
69. “Later, amigo” ADIOS
71. 1983 Golden Boot Award winner Lash LARUE
73. Phnom __ PENH
74. Library ID ISBN
75. “It’s Always Something” autobiographer RADNER
76. Shelter near a fire TENT
78. Open confrontations FACE-OFFS
80. Wall-mounted grips GRAB BARS
82. Brief brawl SET TO
83. Uno minus uno CERO
84. Like ballplayers during the national anthem HATLESS
87. “A-Tisket, A-__” TASKET
90. Smaug in “The Hobbit,” for one DRAGON
92. Tummy trouble AGITA
93. Old Renault LE CAR
94. Composer Franck CESAR
96. End-era link OF AN
98. Camaro __-Z IROC
99. ’80s “This Old House” host Bob VILA
100. Western wine region NAPA
101. Give the band a hand CLAP
102. Robust HALE
103. Uplifting item BRA
104. Have a bug AIL
105. Drama set in Vegas CSI
106. Letter opener? ELL

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LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Sep 12, Saturday

CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 17m 08s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Heavy D, e.g. RAPPER
Heavy D was the stage name of singer Dwight Myers, a Jamaican-born American rap artist. Heavy D died in 2011 from a pulmonary embolism, at just 44 years of age. He had just taken a flight from Europe back to the US and developed deep vein thrombosis in one of his legs. Part of the clot broke off and traveled to his lung where it killed him. My wife developed deep vein thrombosis from prolonged sitting on a plane some years ago. She is very careful to keep moving around now when she flies, and for good reason …

7. Herb related to oregano MARJORAM
Marjoram is a fragrant herb that is native to the Mediterranean area. The related species of oregano is sometimes known as wild marjoram.

15. 1960s-’70s San Francisco mayor ALIOTO
Joseph Alioto was the 36th mayor of San Francisco, serving from 1968 to 1976.

16. Natural soother ALOE VERA
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

17. Suit portmanteau HAZMAT
Dangerous goods are commonly referred to as hazardous materials, or HazMat. People working with dangerous goods might wear a HazMat suit.

19. French naturalism pioneer ZOLA
The most famous work of French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to then French president Félix Faure. It was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down, choosing to let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.

Naturalism was a literary movement in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century. Naturalism was inspired by Darwin’s theory of evolution and suggested that environment and heredity shaped the human character. This realism was starkly in contrast with the works of the romantics and surrealists.

24. Philosophy that influenced Buddhism TANTRA
Tantrism (sometimes “Tantra”) is a relatively recent class of religious ritual and meditation that has its roots in 5th century India. The tantras are sometimes considered as advanced teachings that extend the basic tenets of several Indian religions including Buddhism and Hinduism.

27. Rocket scientist’s calculation ESCAPE VELOCITY
When a space rocket reaches the speed known as escape velocity, it has sufficient energy to break free of the Earth’s gravity. In other words, once at escape velocity the engines can be shut down and the rocket will continue into space using momentum.

32. Acre’s land: Abbr. ISR
Acre is a port city in northern Israel, on Haifa Bay.

34. 2012 Angels rookie standout Mike TROUT
Mike Trout plays baseball for the Los Angeles Angels. Trout’s nickname is the “Millville Meteor”, as he grew up in Millville, New Jersey.

36. Purple Label designer LAUREN
Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer, born Ralph Liftshitz in the Bronx, New York. Lauren started off working as a salesman for Brooks Brothers after spending two years in the US Army. He then opened a necktie store, featuring his own tie designs. The ties were sold under the name “Polo”, which became Lauren’s most famous brand. Other Lauren brands are Purple Label and Black Label.

38. React when the brass walks in SNAP TO
Snap to attention …

39. Janitor’s supply LYSOL
The disinfectant called Lysol takes its name from the words “lysosome” and “solvent”. Lysosomes are structures found within cells that have the job of breaking up waste material and cellular debris.

40. Invention credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori circa 1700 PIANO
Bartolomeo Cristofori was a maker of musical instruments from Italy. In the very early 1700s, Cristofori invented two keyboard instruments, the spinettone and the oval spinet, both variants of the harpsichord. However, it was Cristofori’s third invention which was most enduring, what we now call the piano. His new instrument gave the player the ability to influence the loudness of the note by varying the pressure applied to the key. An early name for the piano was “pianoforte” which combines the Italian words “piano” and “forte” meaning “quiet” and “loud”.

44. 1979 Einstein Medal recipient STEPHEN HAWKING
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 of course is “E = mc2”.

48. 10th-century Russian Orthodox saint OLGA
St. Olga of Kiev was actually a ruler of the Medieval state of Rus (located in Eastern Europe) from 945 – 963 AD. By all accounts, Olga was a brutal woman in the early days of her reign. She came to power after her husband’s assassination and ruled as regent, acting for their son. She carried out terrible acts of vengeance on those responsible for her husband’s death. Later in her rule, she converted to Christianity. She was eventually proclaimed a saint for her efforts to spread the Christian religion in Rus.

49. Modern code letters HTML
HTML is HyperText Markup Language, the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

54. Big name in music compilations K-TEL
K-Tel was founded in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by one Philip Kives. K-Tel’s recipe for success was the sale of inexpensive goods with a simple sales pitch and mail-order distribution.

56. Principal McGee portrayer in the “Grease” films EVE ARDEN
Eve Arden’s most famous role early in her career was playing the high school teacher in the 1950’s radio and television show “Our Miss Brooks”. Years later she played the Principal of Rydell High School in the movies “Grease” (a great film!) and “Grease 2” (a terrible film!).

58. Five-time all-star catcher Santiago BENITO
Benito Santiago is a former Major League Baseball catcher from Puerto Rico.

62. Put in a row ALINED
“Alined” is an archaic variant of “aligned”.

63. Crowd-control device SAWHORSE
Sawhorses are used to support boards for sawing. Sawhorses are also used as barricades.

64. Ska kin 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.

Down
3. Place for toppings PIZZA CRUST
Pizza was invented in Naples where it has a long tradition that goes back to Ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

4. City mentioned in the 1964 hit “G.T.O.” POMONA
The city of Pomona, California is mentioned in the song “G.T.O.”, the debut recording for the surf rock group from the sixties known as Ronny & the Daytonas.

5. Citation ender, perhaps ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

7. “Battle Cry” squad members MARINES
“Battle Cry” is a novel by Leon Uris, first published in 1953. The story follows men in the US Marines during WWII. “Battle Cry” is somewhat biographical as Uris served with the 6th Marine Regiment during the war. The book was adapted into a 1955 movie of the same name for which Uris wrote the screenplay.

9. Guitarist Ángel or Pepe ROMERO
The Romeros are a classical and flamenco guitar quartet. The group was founded and led by Celedonio Romero in 1960, and originally included three of his sons: Ángel, Celin and Pepe.

10. Actress famous for “The Rachel” hair style, familiarly JEN
Jennifer Aniston won a 2002 Emmy for playing Rachel on the great sitcom “Friends”. Jennifer’s parents are both actors, and her godfather is the actor Telly Savalas.

12. Western city with an annual balloon race RENO
Reno, Nevada was named in honor of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War. The city has a famous “Reno Arch”, a structure that stands over the main street. The arch was erected in 1926 to promote an exposition planned for the following year. After the expo, the city council decided to keep the arch and held a competition to decide what wording should be displayed, and the winner was “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

13. NEA part ARTS
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark.

22. 1947 Tony-winning composer for “Street Scene” WEILL
Kurt Weill was a German composer, noted for his work with Bertolt Brecht. The most famous work by Weill and Brecht is “The Threepenny Opera”, which includes the celebrated ballad “Mack the Knife”. Weill was Jewish and had to flee Nazi Germany and eventually settled in the US.

“Street Scene” is a Broadway musical by Kurt Weill and Langston Hughes. “Street Scene” was written as a fusion of European traditional opera and American musical theater, so it is often referred to as an “American opera”.

23. Lamb treats ESSAYS
The “Essays of Elia” began appearing in “London Magazine” in 1820, and were immediate hits with the public. The author was Charles Lamb, and Elia was actually a clerk and one of Lamb’s co-workers. The most famous of the essays in the collection are probably “Dream-Children” and “Old China”.

25. Colorado skaters, in sports reports AVS
The Colorado Avalanche is a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche were founded in Quebec in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques, and moved to Denver in 1995.

28. Impossible Missions Force leader Jim PHELPS
We all remember Jim Phelps (played by Peter Graves), the leader of the Impossible Missions Force team in the great television series ”Mission Impossible”. However, in season one the team was led by a Dan Briggs (played by Steven Hill). Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin wrote the very, very recognizable theme music for the show (and indeed the themes for “The Man from U.N.C.L.E”, “Mannix” and “Starsky and Hutch” among others).

29. After-work plan, for short IRA
I have to tell you, when I first came to the US from Ireland it was pretty confusing seeing big signs along the freeway advocating IRA contributions. Back in Ireland, contributing to the IRA was pretty illegal (where IRA stands for the outlawed Irish Republican Army!).

31. Chinese author Lin __ YUTANG
Lin Yutang was a Chinese writer who lived much of his life in the US. Among other accomplishments, Yutang is noted for his very popular translations of classic Chinese texts into English.

35. Kingdom called the Friendly Islands TONGA
The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles.

42. Hawaiian tuna AHI
Yellowfin tuna is usually marketed as “ahi”, its Hawaiian name. It’s one big fish, often weighing over 300 pounds.

45. Shot from the top? HEADER
A header is a pass or shot at goal in soccer made by heading the ball, hitting it with the head.

46. Chekov portrayer on “Star Trek” KOENIG
Walter Koenig played Pavel Chekov in the original “Star Trek” series. Mr Chekov was a Russian character, but Koenig himself was born in Chicago, the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania.

49. Name on a collectible toy truck HESS
The Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them every since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.

50. “Rescue Me” rating TV-MA
“Rescue Me” is a television drama made for the FX Network. Star of the show is Denis Leary who plays a veteran New York City firefighter.

52. Wood strip LATH
The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall.

57. Density symbol, in physics RHO
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Heavy D, e.g. RAPPER
7. Herb related to oregano MARJORAM
15. 1960s-’70s San Francisco mayor ALIOTO
16. Natural soother ALOE VERA
17. Suit portmanteau HAZMAT
18. Scraps REMNANTS
19. French naturalism pioneer ZOLA
20. Fury IRE
21. Without hope LOST
22. Withdraw WEAN
24. Philosophy that influenced Buddhism TANTRA
27. Rocket scientist’s calculation ESCAPE VELOCITY
32. Acre’s land: Abbr. ISR
33. Burst of bad temper HISSY
34. 2012 Angels rookie standout Mike TROUT
36. Purple Label designer LAUREN
38. React when the brass walks in SNAP TO
39. Janitor’s supply LYSOL
40. Invention credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori circa 1700 PIANO
43. Block BAN
44. 1979 Einstein Medal recipient STEPHEN HAWKING
47. Infected SEPTIC
48. 10th-century Russian Orthodox saint OLGA
49. Modern code letters HTML
53. Make fun of APE
54. Big name in music compilations K-TEL
56. Principal McGee portrayer in the “Grease” films EVE ARDEN
58. Five-time all-star catcher Santiago BENITO
61. Suppresses SMOTHERS
62. Put in a row ALINED
63. Crowd-control device SAWHORSE
64. Ska kin REGGAE

Down
1. Stadium backing RAH
2. As per A LA
3. Place for toppings PIZZA CRUST
4. City mentioned in the 1964 hit “G.T.O.” POMONA
5. Citation ender, perhaps ET AL
6. Gradually substitute ROTATE IN
7. “Battle Cry” squad members MARINES
8. With awareness ALERTLY
9. Guitarist Ángel or Pepe ROMERO
10. Actress famous for “The Rachel” hair style, familiarly JEN
11. Cricket infield shape OVAL
12. Western city with an annual balloon race RENO
13. NEA part ARTS
14. Spar MAST
22. 1947 Tony-winning composer for “Street Scene” WEILL
23. Lamb treats ESSAYS
25. Colorado skaters, in sports reports AVS
26. Ad directive ACT NOW
28. Impossible Missions Force leader Jim PHELPS
29. After-work plan, for short IRA
30. What stars get TOP BILLING
31. Chinese author Lin __ YUTANG
35. Kingdom called the Friendly Islands TONGA
37. Sturgeon yield ROE
38. Theater feature SNACK BAR
40. 3-Down topping PEPPERS
41. Strong INTENSE
42. Hawaiian tuna AHI
45. Shot from the top? HEADER
46. Chekov portrayer on “Star Trek” KOENIG
49. Name on a collectible toy truck HESS
50. “Rescue Me” rating TV-MA
51. “Got milk?” MEOW
52. Wood strip LATH
55. Marketing leader? TELE-
57. Density symbol, in physics RHO
59. Party serving TEA
60. Dedicated work ODE

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