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Greetings from Kilkenny, in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland until October 9th. I plan on doing the puzzle each day (with a pint, no doubt), although I may be a little late due to time zone differences. I am sure that you understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Nov 12, Tuesday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Five Big Wet Spots … the five Great Lakes make up the theme answers today:
1A. Pennsylvania city of about 100,000 ERIE
9A. Tribe also called the Wyandot HURON
20A. Motor City's state MICHIGAN
37A. London's province ONTARIO
54A. A cut above, with "to" SUPERIOR

64A. With 66-Across, one of five found in this puzzle GREAT
66A. See 64-Across LAKE
COMPLETION TIME: 8m 01s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Pennsylvania city of about 100,000 ERIE
Erie is a city in the very north of Pennsylvania, right on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area.

5. Fabled blue ox BABE
The mythological Paul Bunyan had a sidekick called Babe the Blue Ox. Both Bunyan and Babe were gigantic in size.

9. Tribe also called the Wyandot HURON
The Native Americans known as the Wyandot people are also called the Huron. The Wyandot people mainly inhabit a reserve in Quebec, Canada.

14. TV warrior princess XENA
The Xena character, famously played by actress Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys". Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the role.

15. LAX postings ARRS
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.

16. Prefix with meter ANEMO-
An anemometer is an instrument for measuring the speed of wind. The most common form of anemometer is the one with four hemispherical cups that rotate faster as wind speed increases.

19. News anchor Connie CHUNG
Connie Chung has been a news anchor and reporter for many of the television networks over the years. Chung is married to talk show host Maury Povich.

20. Motor City's state MICHIGAN
Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan. Detroit was founded in 1701 by the French explorer Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. The city takes its name from the Detroit River, which in French is called “le détroit du Lac Érié” meaning “the strait of Lake Erie.

22. Striped zoo creatures OKAPIS
The okapi is closely related to the giraffe, although it does have markings on its legs and haunches that resemble those of a zebra. The okapi’s tongue is long enough to reach back and wash its eyeballs, and can go back even further to clean its ears inside and out.

23. Man, in Milan UOMO
“Uomo” is the Italian word for “man”. The Italian for “woman” is “donna”.

Milan is Italy's second largest city, second only to Rome. Milan is a European fashion capital, the headquarters for the big Italian fashion houses of Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Prada and others. Mario Prada was even born in Milan, and helped establish the city's reputation in the world of fashion.

24. Chili spice CUMIN
Cumin is a flowering plant native to the region stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to East India. Cumin spice is made from the dried seeds and is the second most common spice used in the world (only black pepper is more popular). Cumin is particularly associated with Indian cuisine and is a key ingredient in curry powder. Lovely stuff ...

26. Star footballer ALL-PRO
The term “All-Pro” is used in the NFL as a designation for the best player across the whole league in a particular position for a given season.

28. Emergency levee component SANDBAG
A levee is an artificial bank, usually made of earth, running along the length of a river. A levee is designed to hold back the river water at a time of potential flooding. "Levée" is the French word for "raised" and is an American term that originated in French-speaking New Orleans around 1720.

32. Scottish hillside BRAE
"Brae" is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.

35. Where Mandela was pres. RSA
As a young man, Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela was eventually arrested and admitted to charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964. He remained behind bars for 27 years, mainly in the infamous prison on Robben Island. As the years progressed, Mandela became a symbol of the fight against apartheid. He was released in 1990, and immediately declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s white minority. Mandela was elected president of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) in 1994, an office that he held until 1999.

36. Tonsillitis-treating MD ENT
An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist is an ENT.

The palatine tonsils are located at the back of the human throat. The exact role that tonsils play isn’t completely understood, but it is known that they are in the first line of defense in the body’s immune system. They provide some level of protection against pathogens that are ingested and inhaled.

37. London's province ONTARIO
The city of London, Ontario lies about halfway between Detroit, Michigan and Toronto, Ontario. Just like the city’s better known namesake in England, Canada's London is located on the Thames River.

41. iPod button PAUSE
The iPod is Apple's signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

50. French cathedral city METZ
The city of Metz is in the northeast of France, close to the German border. Given the proximity to Germany, Metz has both a strong German tradition and a French tradition. Metz was handed over to the French following WWI, after nearly 50 years of German rule. It quickly fell back into German hands in 1940 during WWII, with many German officers delighted to have back the city of their birth. Perhaps because of this long association with German, the US Army under General Patton encountered stiff resistance when liberating Metz in 1944.

51. Job listing of a sort RESUME
A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

58. Two-time loser to Ike ADLAI
Adlai Stevenson ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were "Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!" followed up with, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!"

60. K thru 12 ELHI
"Elhi" is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

61. Glowing signs NEONS
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

63. Scads A LOT
The origin of the word "scads", meaning "lots and lots", is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s "scads" was used to mean "dollars".

Down
2. Do followers, scalewise RE MI
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti. The solfa scale was developed from a six-note ascending scale created by Guido of Arezzo in the 11th century. He used the first verse of a Latin hymn to name the syllables of the scale:
Ut queant laxis resonāre fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.
The "ut" in this scale was changed to "do", as "do" was a more "open ended" sound. "Si" was added (the initials of "Sancte Iohannes") to complete the seven-note scale. Later again, "si" was changed to "ti" so that each syllable began with a unique letter.

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

7. Bucking horse BRONC
A "bronco" (also "bronc") is a horse that is untamed. In Mexican Spanish "bronco" is a word for "horse", and in the original Spanish "bronco" means "rough, rude".

12. Former Atlanta arena OMNI
The Omni Coliseum was the arena that was home to the Atlanta Hawks basketball team from 1972-1997. “The Omni” was part of the Omni Complex that is now called the CNN Center, the world headquarters of CNN.

13. Christmas quaffs NOGS
It's not really clear where the term "nog" comes from although it might derive from the word "noggin", which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

22. Gulf State resident OMANI
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The capital city of Muscat has a strategic location on the Gulf of Oman and has a history of invasion and unrest. Centuries of occupation by the Persians ended in 1507 when the Portuguese took the city in a bloody attack. The Portuguese held Muscat for much of the next one hundred years until finally being ousted by local Omani forces in 1648. A Yemeni tribe invaded the area in 1741 and set up a monarchy that has been in place in Oman ever since.

26. Immortal PGA nickname ARNIE
Arnold Palmer is one of the greats of the world of golf. Palmer is very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers are usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”.

29. Control freak in a white dress BRIDEZILLA
A bridezilla is a difficult and demanding bride, with the term first used in 1995 in “The Boston Globe”.

30. Syrian leader ASSAD
Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the current President of the Syrian Arab Republic and the son of the former President Hafez al-Assad whom he replaced in 2001. President Assad is a medical doctor, speaks fluent English and conversational French. Assad was studying ophthalmology in London when he met his wife, an Englishwoman.

31. "CSI: NY" actor Sinise GARY
Actor Gary Sinise was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the 1994 film "Forrest Gump". Senise has been playing the lead in television's "CSI: NY" since 2004. The actor was awarded the Presidential citizen medal by President Bush for his work helping Iraqi school children and his work with the USO.

32. Bunch of beauties BEVY
“Bevy” is a collective noun used for a number of types of bird, including quails and swans. "Bevy" is also sometimes used as a collective noun for ladies.

34. Andalusian article LAS
Andalusia (Andalucia in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region's history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.

44. Tropical lizard IGUANA
An iguana is a lizard, and as such is cold-blooded. There are times when pet iguanas need heat from a UV lamp to maintain body temperature.

46. Ewing Oil, e.g. EMPIRE
Ewing Oil is the fictional oil company at the center of the TV show “Dallas” .

The mega-hit TV show “Dallas” started out life as a five-part mini-series in 1978. Who can remember who shot J.R.? (It was Kristin Shepard: J.R.’s mistress … and sister-in-law).

49. Sends regrets, perhaps RSVPS
RSVP stands for "Répondez s'il vous plaît", which is French for "please, answer".

52. River of central Germany EDER
The Eder is a river in Germany, a tributary of the Fulda River. The Eder has a dam near the small town of Waldeck which holds water in the large Edersee reservoir. This was one of the dams that was attacked by the RAF during WWII with the famous Barnes Wallis bouncing bombs. It was destroyed in the Dam Busters raid in 1943, but rebuilt the same year.

53. Gin flavoring SLOE
The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and is the flavoring that gives gin its distinctive taste.

57. Communion, for one RITE
The Communion rite is the part of the Mass in the Roman Catholic tradition. The rite involves distribution of the Communion bread (the host, a wafer) to the faithful.

59. Miler Sebastian COE
Sebastian Coe is a retired middle distance runner from the UK who won four Olympic medals including golds in the 1500m in 1980 and 1984. After retiring from athletics, Coe went into politics and served as a Member of Parliament from 1992 to 1997. He headed up London's successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pennsylvania city of about 100,000 ERIE
5. Fabled blue ox BABE
9. Tribe also called the Wyandot HURON
14. TV warrior princess XENA
15. LAX postings ARRS
16. Prefix with meter ANEMO-
17. Señorita's love AMOR
18. Modernists, for short NEOS
19. News anchor Connie CHUNG
20. Motor City's state MICHIGAN
22. Striped zoo creatures OKAPIS
23. Man, in Milan UOMO
24. Chili spice CUMIN
26. Star footballer ALL-PRO
28. Emergency levee component SANDBAG
32. Scottish hillside BRAE
33. To the point BLUNT
35. Where Mandela was pres. RSA
36. Tonsillitis-treating MD ENT
37. London's province ONTARIO
39. Medit. land ISR
40. "C'est la __" VIE
41. iPod button PAUSE
42. Down Under greeting G’DAY
43. Insistent words of affirmation YES IT IS!
45. Deal with a bare spot, perhaps RESEED
48. Selfless sort GIVER
50. French cathedral city METZ
51. Job listing of a sort RESUME
54. A cut above, with "to" SUPERIOR
58. Two-time loser to Ike ADLAI
59. Caesar's 107 CVII
60. K thru 12 ELHI
61. Glowing signs NEONS
62. Letters on a phone button OPER
63. Scads A LOT
64. With 66-Across, one of five found in this puzzle GREAT
65. Caesar's being ESSE
66. See 64-Across LAKE

Down
1. Midterm, e.g. EXAM
2. Do followers, scalewise RE MI
3. Protects from disease INOCULATES
4. Batting helmet opening EAR HOLE
5. Orono, Maine, is a suburb of it BANGOR
6. Surveyor's measure AREA
7. Bucking horse BRONC
8. Start of summer? ESS
9. Access illegally, as computer files HACK INTO
10. "__ me, you villain!" UNHAND
11. Agree to another tour REUP
12. Former Atlanta arena OMNI
13. Christmas quaffs NOGS
21. Holy terror IMP
22. Gulf State resident OMANI
25. Loan shark USURER
26. Immortal PGA nickname ARNIE
27. Thick OBTUSE
29. Control freak in a white dress BRIDEZILLA
30. Syrian leader ASSAD
31. "CSI: NY" actor Sinise GARY
32. Bunch of beauties BEVY
34. Andalusian article LAS
37. Rose-colored glasses wearer OPTIMIST
38. Wet behind the ears NAIVE
42. "Who are you kidding?!" GET REAL!
44. Tropical lizard IGUANA
46. Ewing Oil, e.g. EMPIRE
47. Notice SEE
49. Sends regrets, perhaps RSVPS
51. Pealed RANG
52. River of central Germany EDER
53. Gin flavoring SLOE
55. Direction reversals, in slang UIES
56. "Yeah, what the heck!" OH OK!
57. Communion, for one RITE
59. Miler Sebastian COE


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About This Blog

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.

About Me

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.

I answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com, contact me on Google+ or leave a comment below.

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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