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LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Dec 12, Monday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke
THEME: O! O! … the themed answers today are made up of two words, each starting with the letter O:
17A. Now and then : ON OCCASION
21A. Quick look : ONCE-OVER
39A. Lived in by the seller : OWNER-OCCUPIED
58A. Vinaigrette dressing ingredient : OLIVE OIL
64A. Presidential workplace : OVAL OFFICE
COMPLETION TIME: 07m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
5. When Juliet drinks the potion : ACT IV
In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, the last words uttered by Romeo are:
O true apothecary!
They drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.
Juliet’s last words are:
Yea, noise? then I'll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die.

14. "Sommersby" actor Richard : GERE
Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet.

The 1993 romantic drama "Sommersby" stars Richard Gere and Jodie Foster. The film is about an imposter who returns after the Civil War and moves in with a woman while claiming to be her husband. The real husband returns, and things get very rancorous. I know it sounds implausible, but the storyline is based on true events that took place in France in the 1500s.

19. Ye __ Tea Shoppe : OLDE
The word "olde" wasn't actually used much earlier than the 1920s. "Olde" was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.

27. One of 100 members of Cong. : SEN
The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the US Senate seats come up for reelection.

29. Young socialite : DEB
Deb is short for "debutante", translating from French as "female beginner".

32. Game with sharp projectiles : DARTS
Darts is a wonderful game often played in British and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called "Round the Clock" is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 in sequence.

34. Siouan speakers : OTOS
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

36. Dutch Renaissance 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.

49. Fly in the ointment : SNAG
Our expression “a fly in the ointment” is used when we come across some relatively minor snag that is a hindrance to completing something. We started using the expression in the 1700’s, and it refers to some lines in the Bible; Ecclesiastes 10:1:
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

51. Eclectic musician Brian : 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".

52. Like the Oz woodsman : TIN
The actor Buddy Ebsen is best known for playing Jed Clampett in television’s “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ebsen had been cast in the role of the Tin Man in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, but he developed an allergy to the aluminium dust that was used in the makeup. He ended up in hospital and had to walk away from the part. Ebsen blamed “The Wizard of Oz” on persistent problems that he had with his lungs in subsequent years. But Ebsen lived 16 years longer that any of the other major cast members of the film, so maybe he got the last laugh!

56. "Xanadu" rock gp. : ELO
The title song of the 1980 movie "Xanadu" was performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (who starred in the film). Despite the popularity of ELO around the world, the song "Xanadu" was the band's only number one hit back in their homeland of the UK.

57. Shares an email with : CCS
I wonder do the kids of today know that "cc" stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?

58. Vinaigrette dressing ingredient : OLIVE OIL
“Vinaigrette” is the diminutive of “vinaigre”, the French word for “vinegar”. And so what we tend to call vinaigrette dressing here in the US is usually referred to as French dressing in the British Isles
.
63. '70s Russian gymnast Korbut : OLGA
Olga Korbut is from modern-day Belarus, but was born during the days of the Soviet Union. Korbut competed for the USSR team in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games. She was 17 when she appeared in the 1972 Munich Games, and had been training in a sports school since she was 8-years-old. The world fell in love with her as she was a very emotional young lady, readily expressing joy and disappointment, something that we weren't used to seeing in athletes from behind the Iron Curtain. Korbut immigrated to the US in 1991 and now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

64. Presidential workplace : OVAL OFFICE
Although there have been several “oval offices” used by US presidents in the White House, the current Oval Office was designed and constructed at the bequest of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The room has four doors: one door opens onto the Rose Garden; a second door leads to a small study and dining room; a third opens onto the main corridor running through the West Wing; the fourth door opens to the office of the president’s secretary.

69. Delaware's capital : DOVER
The city of Dover is the capital of Delaware, and is the state’s second biggest city (after Wilmington). Dover is named after the town of Dover on the south coast of England, and was given that name by William Penn. The English Dover lies in the county of Kent, and the American Dover resides in Kent County.

70. "__ Almighty": Steve Carell film : EVAN
Steve Carell's "Evan Almighty" was actually a sequel, to Jim Carrey's "Bruce Almighty". "Evan Almighty" is a cute enough film, with Evan mutating into a Noah character who goes as far as building an ark in his front yard.

The actor Steve Carell has achieved great success on both television and in movies. On the small screen he came to prominence on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and then of course as the lead in the US version of “The Office”. On the big screen he starred in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, “Evan Almighty” and my personal favorite, ”Dan in Real Life”, starring opposite the wonderful Juliette Binoche.

71. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED acronym stands for the Latin "quod erat demonstrandum" meaning "that which was to be demonstrated".

Down
5. GP's gp. : AMA
The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The first female member was allowed to join the AMA in 1868, but the first African American members weren't admitted until one hundred years later, in 1968.

10. Buck suffix : -AROO
The American English word “buckaroo” comes from “vaquero”, the Spanish for cowboy.

18. Unresponsive state : COMA
"Coma" comes from the Greek word "koma" meaning "deep sleep".

25. Juan's January : ENERO
In Spanish, a year (año) starts in January (Enero) and ends in December (Diciembre).

26. Mystic's deck : TAROT
Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future.

31. RPM gauges : TACHS
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word "tachos" meaning "speed". A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

38. Picture on a ceiling : MURAL
A “mural painting” is a painting which is applied directly to a wall or a ceiling. The term comes from the Latin “murus” meaning “wall”.

42. Quaint headgear for a class clown : DUNCE CAP
John Duns Scotus was a theologian and scholar in the Middle Ages, responsible for many writings that were used as textbooks in British universities of the day. New ideas developed during the English Renaissance, but Duns Scotus and his followers resisted the changes. The word "dunse" came into use as a way of ridiculing those refusing to learn anything new, a precursor to our modern usage of "dunce".

45. Red Sox home: Abbr. : BOS
The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston's Fenway Park, the team's home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell out since May of 2003.

46. Unwitting victim : STOOGE
We use the term “stooge” these days to for an unwitting victim, or perhaps the straight man in a comedy duo. The first “stooges” were simply stage assistants, back in the early 1900s.

47. Rudder control : TILLER
A rudder is usually a flat sheet of wood or metal located at the stern of a boat, under the waterline. The rudder is attached to a rudder post, which rotates to change the orientation of the rudder hence steering the boat. That rotation of the rudder past can be achieved by pulling or pushing a lever at the top of the post called a tiller.

50. Game with holes : GOLF
There’s an urban myth that the standard number of holes on a golf course is 18 because it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch whisky. However, apparently the truth is that over time the standard number of holes in the Old Course at St. Andrews settled down at 18 and that standard was adopted all around the world.

67. Tonsillitis M.D. : 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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Elementary lessons : ABCS
5. When Juliet drinks the potion : ACT IV
10. Sailing or whaling : ASEA
14. "Sommersby" actor Richard : GERE
15. Thérèse's thanks : MERCI
16. Hot streak : ROLL
17. Now and then : ON OCCASION
19. Ye __ Tea Shoppe : OLDE
20. Ratio phrase : IS TO
21. Quick look : ONCE-OVER
23. Apt. coolers : ACS
24. Bumped into : MET
27. One of 100 members of Cong. : SEN
28. Repairman's initial fig. : EST
29. Young socialite : DEB
30. Pre-med subj. : ANAT
32. Game with sharp projectiles : DARTS
34. Siouan speakers : OTOS
36. Dutch Renaissance humanist : ERASMUS
39. Lived in by the seller : OWNER-OCCUPIED
43. One more : ANOTHER
44. Botch : FLUB
46. Dance movements : STEPS
49. Fly in the ointment : SNAG
51. Eclectic musician Brian : ENO
52. Like the Oz woodsman : TIN
53. Baseball arbiter : UMP
56. "Xanadu" rock gp. : ELO
57. Shares an email with : CCS
58. Vinaigrette dressing ingredient : OLIVE OIL
61. After the buzzer : LATE
63. '70s Russian gymnast Korbut : OLGA
64. Presidential workplace : OVAL OFFICE
68. Emeralds and pearls : GEMS
69. Delaware's capital : DOVER
70. "__ Almighty": Steve Carell film : EVAN
71. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT
72. Deer dads : STAGS
73. Had a good cry : WEPT

Down
1. In the past : AGO
2. Treat with courtesy : BE NICE TO
3. Medieval arrow shooter : CROSSBOW
4. Religious offshoot : SECT
5. GP's gp. : AMA
6. These, to Thérèse : CES
7. Duo plus one : TRIO
8. Computer symbols : ICONS
10. Buck suffix : -AROO
11. Crossword fan : SOLVER
12. Sibling who usually baby-sits other siblings : ELDEST
13. Tips off : ALERTS
18. Unresponsive state : COMA
22. Ultimately become : END UP
23. Big fuss : ADO
25. Juan's January : ENERO
26. Mystic's deck : TAROT
31. RPM gauges : TACHS
33. "I highly doubt that!" : AS IF!
35. Lose one's cool : SNAP
37. Play division : SCENE
38. Picture on a ceiling : MURAL
40. Happen next : ENSUE
41. Course that's not required : ELECTIVE
42. Quaint headgear for a class clown : DUNCE CAP
45. Red Sox home: Abbr. : BOS
46. Unwitting victim : STOOGE
47. Rudder control : TILLER
48. Puzzle : ENIGMA
50. Game with holes : GOLF
54. Frames of mind : MOODS
55. Turn on an axis : PIVOT
59. Seemingly endless : VAST
60. Volcanic flow : LAVA
62. Some : A FEW
65. Drumstick, e.g. : LEG
66. Surg. facilities : ORS
67. Tonsillitis M.D. : ENT

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LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Dec 12, Sunday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Pancho Harrison
THEME: Missing Piece …. each of today’s themed answers is made up two words, the second of which often goes with “gun”:
23A. Item on a resolution list STOP SMOKING (gun)
25A. Wiggly belt? JELLO SHOT(gun)
47A. Flour or sugar, e.g. FOOD STAPLE (gun)
70A. Classic comedy duo BOB AND RAY (gun)
93A. Sucker that debuted in 1931 TOOTSIE POP (gun)
117A. '60s-'70s compact resurrected in 2012 DODGE DART (gun)
121A. Vigorous effort ELBOW GREASE (gun)
36D. Fixture in many an office hallway CANDY MACHINE (gun)
40D. Tyke LITTLE SQUIRT (gun)

120D. Piece that can follow the ends of the nine longest puzzle answers GUN
COMPLETION TIME: 22m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Argentine grassland PAMPA
The Pampas are fertile lowlands covering a large part of Argentina, Uruguay and some of Brazil. “Pampa” is a Quechua word meaning “plain”.

11. Cell unit: Abbr. MIN
Most cellphone plans are based on minutes …

19. Oklahoma natives OTOES
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

20. Poetry middle name ALLAN
Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn't really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

21. "Double Fantasy" artist ONO
“Double Fantasy” is an album released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on 17 November 1980. Three weeks later, John Lennon was gunned down by Mark Chapman outside Lennon’s apartment building in New York City.

30. Dr. concerned with rhythm DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

31. __ tai MAI
The Mai Tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic's restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum.

42. Those, in Tijuana ESAS
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana's growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar's in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar's claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

52. Floride, e.g. ETAT
In French, Florida (Floride) is a state (état).

53. Desdemona's husband was one MOOR
Desdemona is one of the main characters in William Shakespeare’s play “Othello”. She is the daughter of a Venetian senator called Brabantio whom she vexes by eloping with Othello, a man not of her race and several years older than her.

58. Fictional plantation TARA
Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O'Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind". Tara was founded by Scarlett's father, Irish immigrant Gerald O'Hara. Gerald named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

61. "Madness put to good use": Santayana SANITY
George Santayana was a Spanish philosopher who was raised and educated in the US. There are several famous quotations attributed to Santayana, the most famous of which is probably:
The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again.

63. Richard's "Stakeout" co-star EMILIO
Emilio Estevez is one of the members of Hollywood's famous "Brat Pack", having appeared in "The Breakfast Club" and "St. Elmo's Fire". Estevez's father (and can't you tell it from looking at him?) is actor Martin Sheen. Estevez decided to keep his father's real name, and not the stage name of "Sheen". Charlie Sheen is Emilio's brother, and Charlie's real name is Carlos Estevez.

“Stakeout” is a fun 1987 film starring Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez as two cops working the night shift on a stakeout operation. The subject being surveilled is played by the lovely Madeleine Stowe.

66. Marcus's partner NEIMAN
Herbert Marcus, along with his sister Carrie Marcus Neiman and her husband A. L. Neiman, were partners with a tidy of profit of $25,000 from a business they had founded. This was in 1907 Atlanta, and they were offered the chance to invest in a new company that was just starting to make "sugary soda drinks", a company called Coca-Cola. The partners declined and instead returned to their home of Dallas and founded a department store they called Neiman-Marcus.

70. Classic comedy duo BOB AND RAY (gun)
"Bob and Ray" were a comedy team who worked together for over 40 years, performing mainly on radio and television. Bob Elliott started out as disk jockey, and Ray Goulding as a news reader.

75. Jet-setter's transport, perhaps CESSNA
The Cessna Aircraft manufacturing company was founded in 1911 by Clyde Cessna, a farmer from Kansas. Cessna is headquartered in Wichita and today has over 8,000 employees.

77. Dutch painter of "The Cat Family" STEEN
Jan Steen was a Dutch painter active in the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Steen's most famous work is probably “The Feast of Saint Nicholas”, which you can see at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

82. Andean ancient INCA
Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro discovered the Incas in 1526, marking the beginning of the end for an ancient civilization that was to be ravaged by brutal Spanish colonists and by imported smallpox. The last leader of the Inca was Atahualpa. Pizarro staged a mock trial and then condemned Atahualpa to execution by burning. A Spanish friar intervened on behalf of the condemned man, as Atahualpa believed that if he was burned his soul would not move on to the afterlife. Pizarro, was kind enough to have Atahualpa garroted instead.

84. Baseball family name ALOU
Felipe Alou is a former professional baseball player and manager. Alou managed the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 2001, and the San Francisco Giants from 2003 to 2006. Alou was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and came to the US to play for the Giants in 1955. Felipe’s brothers Matty and Jesús followed him to the US, and into Major League baseball.

91. Supermodel Sastre INES
Inés Sastre is a model and actress from Spain.

92. Pueblo Revolt tribe HOPI
The Pueblo Revolt took place in 1680, and was an action taken by the Pueblo Indians against the Spanish who settled what is today New Mexico. The local people had basically welcomed the new settlers in the area and then lived under Spanish rule for just over 80 years. Spanish atrocities eventually ignited a revolt resulting in 400 Spanish deaths and the 2,000 settlers moving out. However, the Spanish returned just 12 years later.

93. Sucker that debuted in 1931 TOOTSIE POP (gun)
Tootsie Pops were developed as a derivative product from the popular Tootsie Roll candy. How popular, I hear you say? About 60 million Tootsie Rolls and 20 million Tootsie Pops are produced every day!

108. But, to Brutus SED
The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in Ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

113. Pablo __ y Picasso RUIZ
Pablo Picasso's full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a name he was given right from birth. Got that?

117. '60s-'70s compact resurrected in 2012 DODGE DART (gun)
The Dodge Dart was produced by Chrysler from 1960 to 1976. “Dart” was the name chosen by the team managing the car’s development program. However, Chrysler executives didn’t like “Dart” so spent a lot of money with market researchers to come up with a new name. That name was “Zipp”. Zipp was quickly rejected and the Dart name was resurrected.

124. Path to enlightenment ZEN
Zen is one of the Buddhist schools, and it developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word "chan", which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word "dhyana" meaning "meditation".

125. Notre Dame's river SEINE
Notre Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle on the River Seine in Paris. Notre Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, which was placed in the cathedral in 1239. It's also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them.

127. Wimbledon courts, in essence LAWNS
The Wimbledon Championships of tennis are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club located in Wimbledon, a district of London. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and are still played on grass.

130. Oscar winner Witherspoon REESE
Reese is not actually Ms. Witherspoon's given name. She started out life as Laura Jeanne Witherspoon. Reese is her mother's maiden name.

Down
2. Fragrant extract ATTAR
Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers, and the term may particularly refer to attar of roses.

3. Yellowstone bellower MOOSE
Yellowstone National Park was the first National Park to be established in the world, when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

Yellowstone National Park takes its name from the Yellowstone River, as the park is located at its headwaters. Yellowstone River was named "Roche Jaune" by French trappers ("Yellow Stone" in French), which was likely a translation of the Minnetaree name for the waterway, which they called Rock Yellow River.

4. Latino Muppet prawn PEPE
Pepe the King Prawn is a character on the show “Muppets Tonight”. Pepe is part of a vaudeville double act with his partner Seymour the Elephant.

6. __ Paulo SAO
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. São Paulo is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city's streets.

11. Spell-casting art MOJO
The word “mojo”, meaning magical charm or magnetism, is probably of Creole origin.

13. "Cape Fear" actor NOLTE
The actor Nick Nolte got his first big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that he had worked as a model, and in fact appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model, Sigourney Weaver.

The 1991 film called “Cape Fear” is a Martin Scorsese remake of a 1962 movie of the same name. The 1991 version stars Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte, and there are also cameo appearances by Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck who starred in the 1962 original.

24. Assigner of G's and R's MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) film-rating system (R, PG-17, G etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

26. Teddies and such LINGERIE
"Lingerie" is a French term, but as used in France it just means any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use "lingerie" to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term "lingerie" comes into English via the French word "linge" meaning "washables", and ultimately from the Latin "linum", meaning "linen". We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like "lan-zher-ee", as opposed to "lon-zher-ay" (American) and "lon-zher-ee" (British).

The item of lingerie known as a teddy can also be called “camiknickers”. The alternative name was used when the one-piece garment was introduced in the twenties, a combination of a camisole and panties (aka knickers).

40. Tyke LITTLE SQUIRT (gun)
"Tyke" has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

48. Toothbrush handle? ORAL-B
The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first "model" was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

50. 1974 title role for Dustin LENNY
The 1974 movie called "Lenny" is a biopic, about the life of comedian Lenny Bruce (played by Dustin Hoffman). It's a pretty sad tale, as Lenny Bruce died of a morphine overdose in 1966.

52. Henry James biographer Leon EDEL
Leon Edel wrote a highly respected biography of author Henry James, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.

53. Alley Oop's kingdom MOO
"Alley Oop" is a comic strip that ran for four decades starting in 1932. "Alley Oop" was drawn by V. T. Hamlin.

57. Infomercial cutter GINSU
Ginsu knives are more famous for their hard-sell television ads than they are for their efficacy in the kitchen. The Ginsu phenomenon took off in the seventies when two brothers found a set of knives called "Eversharp" that were being manufactured in Ohio. The brothers changed the brand name to something more exotic, and Japanese in particular (Ginsu), and then produced ads that made references to Japanese martial arts. I think they made a fortune ...

59. Nutritional stds. RDAS
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

62. Church pledge TITHE
A tithe is traditional payment of one tenth of a person's annual incomeand is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

65. Site of a Biblical plot EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden "in" Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

70. Baccarat call BANCO
Baccarat, in all of its three variants, is a relatively simple casino card game. Baccarat is the favored game of chance for James Bond 007, and it looks so cool when he plays it! Banco!

71. One may include a walk-off homer RECAP
In a recap on a sports show, one might get a second look at a walk-off homer in a baseball game.

78. Blood typing letters ABO
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a "universal donor".

81. URL opener HTTP
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

85. It means nothing at Arthur Ashe Stadium LOVE
In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (the egg). The idea is that the written character "0" looks like an egg.

88. Bolivian bears OSOS
In Spanish, "osa" is a female bear, and "oso" is a male.

95. Scout shirt feature EPAULET
Epaulet (or epaulette) comes from the French, and literally means "little shoulder".

101. In-flight beverage? TANG
Tang is a fruity drink that is sold in powdered form. The sales of Tang “took off” when John Glenn took Tang on his Mercury flight. However, it is a common misconception that Tang was invented for the space program. That’s not true, although it was included in the payload of many missions.

104. White-plumed wader EGRET
At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to excessive hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women's hats.

106. Long bone TIBIA
The tibia is the larger of the two bones right below the knee, and is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. "Tibia" is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

110. Caterpillar rival DEERE
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere's invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of "stickiness".

112. Mount near Catania ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius.

Catania is the second largest city on the island of Sicily (after Palermo). Catania has a long and rich cultural history, and today is best known as a center for technology industries earning it the nickname of the "European Silicon Valley".

116. Head of France? TETE
"Tête" is the French word for "head".

117. High-speed PC connection DSL
DSL originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is the technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

118. Andean tuber OCA
The plant called an oca is also known as the New Zealand Yam. The tubers of the oca are used as a root vegetable.

119. Daily newspaper index DOW
Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today, the company's most famous publication has to be "The Wall Street Journal". In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day, including the renowned Dow Jones Industrials.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Argentine grassland PAMPA
6. Teacher's request SEE ME
11. Cell unit: Abbr. MIN
14. Wise words ADAGE
19. Oklahoma natives OTOES
20. Poetry middle name ALLAN
21. "Double Fantasy" artist ONO
22. Pageant accessory TIARA
23. Item on a resolution list STOP SMOKING (gun)
25. Wiggly belt? JELLO SHOT(gun)
27. Abate EASE UP
28. Headliner STAR
29. Choose to participate OPT IN
30. Dr. concerned with rhythm DRE
31. __ tai MAI
33. Some are inflated EGOS
35. Stick-to-it-iveness TENACITY
40. Listed in England? LEANT
42. Those, in Tijuana ESAS
44. Look askance GLANCE
45. __ test ACID
47. Flour or sugar, e.g. FOOD STAPLE (gun)
51. High degrees NTHS
52. Floride, e.g. ETAT
53. Desdemona's husband was one MOOR
54. Stage direction ENTER
55. One may be coed DORM
56. Words to one taking off DON’T GO
58. Fictional plantation TARA
61. "Madness put to good use": Santayana SANITY
63. Richard's "Stakeout" co-star EMILIO
64. Blast from the past OLDIE
66. Marcus's partner NEIMAN
69. Closet contents, maybe LINEN
70. Classic comedy duo BOB AND RAY (gun)
73. Snacks in shells TACOS
75. Jet-setter's transport, perhaps CESSNA
77. Dutch painter of "The Cat Family" STEEN
78. Blessing elicitor AH-CHOO
79. Deal with, as thirst QUENCH
82. Andean ancient INCA
83. Trailing BEHIND
84. Baseball family name ALOU
87. Prefix meaning "vinegar" ACETO-
89. Further ALSO
91. Supermodel Sastre INES
92. Pueblo Revolt tribe HOPI
93. Sucker that debuted in 1931 TOOTSIE POP (gun)
96. M.I.T. grad, often ENGR
97. Opposed AVERSE
99. Splendor POMP
100. "I have no idea" GOT ME
102. It's often between two periods SENTENCE
105. Tiff SPAT
107. Ready, as a keg TAP
108. But, to Brutus SED
111. Brink VERGE
113. Pablo __ y Picasso RUIZ
115. Plant with stickers NETTLE
117. '60s-'70s compact resurrected in 2012 DODGE DART (gun)
121. Vigorous effort ELBOW GREASE (gun)
123. Use 121-Across on SCOUR
124. Path to enlightenment ZEN
125. Notre Dame's river SEINE
126. River frolicker OTTER
127. Wimbledon courts, in essence LAWNS
128. Cockpit calc. ETA
129. Vampire's undoing STAKE
130. Oscar winner Witherspoon REESE

Down
1. Got set for a shot? POSED
2. Fragrant extract ATTAR
3. Yellowstone bellower MOOSE
4. Latino Muppet prawn PEPE
5. Took over ASSUMED
6. __ Paulo SAO
7. Yellowstone buglers ELKS
8. A-list ELITE
9. Got by MANAGED
10. Captivate ENGROSS
11. Spell-casting art MOJO
12. Not up to it INEPT
13. "Cape Fear" actor NOLTE
14. Really hard to hum along to ATONAL
15. Bad-mouth DIS
16. "That's the spot!" AAH
17. Miracle-__ GRO
18. Use the feed bag EAT
24. Assigner of G's and R's MPAA
26. Teddies and such LINGERIE
32. Data INFO
34. Fill to the bursting point SATE
36. Fixture in many an office hallway CANDY MACHINE (gun)
37. Digging INTO
38. Sch. staffer TCHR
39. Polite rural affirmative YES’M
40. Tyke LITTLE SQUIRT (gun)
41. Very affected TOO TOO
43. Without SANS
45. __ energy ATOMIC
46. Fang CANINE
48. Toothbrush handle? ORAL-B
49. Home-school link: Abbr. PTA
50. 1974 title role for Dustin LENNY
52. Henry James biographer Leon EDEL
53. Alley Oop's kingdom MOO
57. Infomercial cutter GINSU
59. Nutritional stds. RDAS
60. "__ a stinker?": Bugs Bunny line AIN’T I
62. Church pledge TITHE
65. Site of a Biblical plot EDEN
67. In need of a massage ACHING
68. Midday event NOONER
70. Baccarat call BANCO
71. One may include a walk-off homer RECAP
72. Like pre-digital recordings ANALOG
74. Fixes the fairway, say SODS
76. Made tidy NEATENED
78. Blood typing letters ABO
80. Bus. driver? CEO
81. URL opener HTTP
84. Cries of discovery AHAS
85. It means nothing at Arthur Ashe Stadium LOVE
86. Go on first OPEN
88. Bolivian bears OSOS
90. Tea serving? SPOT
94. Dazzle IMPRESS
95. Scout shirt feature EPAULET
96. Largest penguin EMPEROR
98. Breaks off SEVERS
101. In-flight beverage? TANG
103. It doesn't last CRAZE
104. White-plumed wader EGRET
106. Long bone TIBIA
108. Condition STATE
109. "It's nobody __ business" ELSE’S
110. Caterpillar rival DEERE
112. Mount near Catania ETNA
114. Doze, with "out" ZONK
116. Head of France? TETE
117. High-speed PC connection DSL
118. Andean tuber OCA
119. Daily newspaper index DOW
120. Piece that can follow the ends of the nine longest puzzle answers GUN
122. Pint-size WEE

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LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Dec 12, Saturday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Ed Sessa
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 21m 50s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
18. Bearded ladies and sword swallowers CARNIES
"Carny" is American slang, and is short for "carnival worker".

21. Sunny Day Real Estate's music genre EMO
Sunny Day Real Estate is a band from Seattle, Washington and is one of the first bands to be classified as “emo”.

The musical genre of "emo" originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from "emotional hardcore". Not my cup of tea ...

22. Rating org. MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) film-rating system (R, PG-17, G etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

27. Ditat __: Arizona's motto DEUS
Arizona’s motto is “Ditat Deus”, which translates from Latin as “God Enriches”.

29. Botox target BROW
Botulinum toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The toxin is a protein that can cause botulism, an extremely dangerous illness in humans and animals. Botulinum toxin is sold under the trade name Botox. Botox is used therapeutically and in cosmetic applications to weaken muscles, perhaps muscles that are in uncontrollable spasm. The cosmetic application involves the paralyzing of facial muscles in order to eliminate or reduce wrinkles, at least for a few months.

32. Biennial games gp. IOC
There is an Olympic Games held every two years, alternating between a Winter and Summer Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894, and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

35. '60s Bruce Wayne portrayer ADAM WEST
Adam West is the actor who played the title role in the sixties TV series “Batman”. These days you might hear West as the voice of a character called “Adam West” on the animated show “Family Guy”. Back in 1970, West was offered the role of James Bond in the movie “Diamonds are Forever”, but he turned it down!

Bruce Wayne is the secret identity of Batman in the comic series created by DC Comics. The first name of Bruce was chosen as a homage to the Scottish king and heroic figure, Robert the Bruce. The family name was a nod to "Mad Anthony" Wayne, the US Army general and statesman who rose to prominence in the Revolutionary War.

43. One acting badly HAM
The word "ham", describing a performer who overacts, is apparently a shortened form of "hamfatter" and dates back to the late 1800s. "Hamfatter" comes from a song in old minstrel shows called "The Ham-Fat Man". It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the "acting" qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

44. Unlike the OED ABR
I may be missing something, but I think I disagree with this clue. The “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) can be published unabridged, but usually is published in one of several abridged (abr.) forms. We own a Shorter Oxford English Dictionary that takes up two huge volumes rather than the twenty volumes in the full second edition.

45. Aptly named pope PIUS
There have been twelve popes named Pius, the latest being Pope Pius XII who led the Roman Catholic Church until his death in 1958.

47. Printer's measure PICA
A pica is a unit of measure used in typography. It is equivalent to 1/72 of a foot, or 1/6 of an inch. Each pica unit contains 12 "points".

51. 1969 baseball expansion team ROYALS
The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball team was founded in 1969. The team takes its name from the American Royal, a livestock show and rodeo held annually in Kansas City since 1899.

57. Malmö Airport carrier SAS
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg.

58. 2005 Christopher Nolan action film BATMAN BEGINS
Director Christopher Nolan is best known for "rescuing" the floundering Batman movie franchise. He directed "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight".

61. Czech region where Freud was born MORAVIA
The historical region of Moravia is in the east of the Czech Republic. The region is named for the Morava River which rises in Moravia.

64. SkyDome city TORONTO
The SkyDome is a stadium in downtown Toronto, home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and the Toronto Argonauts Canadian football team. The SkyDome is now called the Rogers Center.

65. New York film festival site TRIBECA
TriBeCa is a clever little abbreviation that expands into "TRI-angle BE-low CA-nal Street. The name was developed by local residents who basically copied the naming technique used by residents of the neighboring area of SoHo, which is short for SO-uth of HO-uston Street.

The Tribeca Film Festival was launched in 2002 by film producer Jane Rosenthal and actor Robert De Niro. The festival was a very successful attempt to revitalize the TriBeCa neighborhood in Lower Manhattan after the devastation of the September 11th attacks.

67. Historic Venetian basilica ST MARK’S
St. Mark’s Basilica is the Roman Catholic cathedral in the the city of Venice, Italy. In front of the basilica is the Piazza San Marco, the city's main public square. St. Mark’s Square is a remarkable urban space in Europe as the sound of the human voice dominates, rather than the sound of traffic. That is indeed remarkable ...

Down
5. Derby setting EPSOM
The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse, at which is run the Epsom Derby. "The Derby" is one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. You might also have heard of Epsom salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time.

6. Campaign in STUMP
“To stump” can mean to go on a speaking tour during a political campaign. This peculiarly American term dates back to the 19th century. Back then a “stump speech” was an address given by someone standing on a large tree stump that provided a convenient perch to help the speaker get his or her message across to the crowd.

7. Rare medical classification TYPE AB
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a "universal donor".

10. City east of Lac de Neuchâtel BERNE
Bern (or Berne) is the capital city of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

Lake Neuchâtel is the largest lake that lies entirely within Switzerland’s borders.

12. Forest part of 2006 IDI
"The Last King of Scotland" is a 2006 film adaptation of a 1998 novel of the same name by Giles Foden. The story tells of a Scottish doctor (played by James McAvoy) who was employed by Idi Amin (played by Forest Whitaker). The title of the piece comes from the fact that Idi Amin offered his services as King of Scotland, should he ever be needed.

13. Diamond head? DEE
D (dee) is the first letter in the word “diamond”.

14. Money changers?: Abbr. EDS
Editors make changes in “Money” magazine.

24. Cancún crowd? TRES
In Spanish, two is company and three (tres) is a crowd.

Cancún is a city and island on the east coast of Mexico, on the other side of the Yucatan Channel from Cuba. The city is growing rapidly due to its booming tourist business. Cancún is the center of what’s often called “The Mexican Caribbean” or the “Mayan Riviera”.

25. Nod, vis-à-vis Eden EAST
According to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, after Cain murdered his younger brother Abel he fled to the Land of Nod, located "east of Eden". These words from the Bible are the source for the title of John Steinbeck's celebrated novel "East of Eden".

28. __ qua non SINE
"Sine qua non" is a Latin phrase that we use to mean "the essential element or condition". The literal translation is "without which not". One might say, for example, "a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper". Well, crossword fans might say that anyway ...

30. Horace work ODE
One of Ancient Rome's leading lyric poets was Quintus Horatius Flaccus, or "Horace" as we tend to know him.

33. Anxious med. condition OCD
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as common as asthma.

34. You can't eat with one CHOPSTICK
It’s difficult to eat with one chopstick, and easier to eat with two …

36. Poet's deg. MFA
Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

39. Iberian wolf LOBO
The Ebro is the longest river in Spain. The river was known by the Romans as the Iber, and it is the Iber or Ebro that gives the Iberian Peninsula its name.

40. Elision from Eliza ‘ENRY
Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins' speech student in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion". Of course "Pygmalion" was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady". The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was "'Enry 'Iggins".

41. Québécois's approval OUI
The name "Québec" comes from an Algonquin word "kebec" meaning "where the river narrows". This refers to the area around Quebec City where the St. Lawrence River narrows as it flows through a gap lined by steep cliffs.

46. "In America" novelist SONTAG
“In America” is a 1999 novel by Susan Sontag.

49. Dantean divisions CANTOS
A canto is a section of a long poem, and is a term first used by Dante. "Canto" is the Italian for "song".

52. Ethiopian map word ABABA
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia. The city is relatively young, having being founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II.

53. Four-time Wimbledon champ LAVER
Rod Laver is a former professional tennis champion, from Australia. Laver won all four Grand Slam singles titles in 1962, and at that time he wasn't even a professional player. He won all four titles again in 1969, no longer an amateur, becoming the only tennis player to have achieved the feat twice. Not surprisingly, Laver was the world's number one for seven consecutive years, from 1964 to 1970. After he retired, Laver suffered a stroke during an interview with ESPN in 1998, but by all accounts he has made an excellent recovery.

59. "Serpico" writer Peter MAAS
The movie “Serpico”, directed by Sidney Lumet, is a based on a book by Peter Maas, which in turn is based on the true story of undercover police officer Frank Serpico. Serpico went undercover to investigate corruption within the New York Police Department.

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

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Least likely to be free BUSIEST
8. Prime time for clammers EBB TIDE
15. Desperate way to run ON EMPTY
16. Unlike bald tires TREADED
17. Increases, as production STEPS UP
18. Bearded ladies and sword swallowers CARNIES
19. "Don't just sit there!" SAY SOMETHING!
21. Sunny Day Real Estate's music genre EMO
22. Rating org. MPAA
23. AriZona rival NESTEA
27. Ditat __: Arizona's motto DEUS
29. Botox target BROW
31. Lit out RAN
32. Biennial games gp. IOC
35. '60s Bruce Wayne portrayer ADAM WEST
38. Display anger CLENCH ONE’S FISTS
42. Stopped paying attention ZONED OUT
43. One acting badly HAM
44. Unlike the OED ABR
45. Aptly named pope PIUS
47. Printer's measure PICA
51. 1969 baseball expansion team ROYALS
54. Earth LOAM
57. Malmö Airport carrier SAS
58. 2005 Christopher Nolan action film BATMAN BEGINS
61. Czech region where Freud was born MORAVIA
64. SkyDome city TORONTO
65. New York film festival site TRIBECA
66. One taking off regularly AVIATOR
67. Historic Venetian basilica ST MARK’S
68. Words before a disappearing act? GET LOST

Down
1. Exercised authority over BOSSED
2. Feral UNTAME
3. "Toodles!" SEE YOU!
4. Little devils IMPS
5. Derby setting EPSOM
6. Campaign in STUMP
7. Rare medical classification TYPE AB
8. Carve in stone ETCH
9. Leave without reason? BRAINWASH
10. City east of Lac de Neuchâtel BERNE
11. Zippy tastes TANGS
12. Forest part of 2006 IDI
13. Diamond head? DEE
14. Money changers?: Abbr. EDS
20. Hairy crawler TARANTULA
24. Cancún crowd? TRES
25. Nod, vis-à-vis Eden EAST
26. Workers on a hill ANTS
28. __ qua non SINE
30. Horace work ODE
33. Anxious med. condition OCD
34. You can't eat with one CHOPSTICK
36. Poet's deg. MFA
37. Namby-pamby WIMP
38. Antidrug honcho CZAR
39. Iberian wolf LOBO
40. Elision from Eliza ‘ENRY
41. Québécois's approval OUI
46. "In America" novelist SONTAG
48. Really enjoys IS INTO
49. Dantean divisions CANTOS
50. Put in order ASSORT
52. Ethiopian map word ABABA
53. Four-time Wimbledon champ LAVER
55. Higher in rank than ABOVE
56. Worth MERIT
59. "Serpico" writer Peter MAAS
60. Net score GOAL
61. Range parts: Abbr. MTS
62. Leftover bit ORT
63. Outer margin RIM

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LA Times Crossword Answers 28 Dec 12, Friday



CROSSWORD SETTER: Marti DuGuay-Carpenter
THEME: The Age After … each of today’s themed answers are well-known terms with -AGE added at the end to suit the clue:
17A. Somnambulist's icebox raid? SLEEPING PILL(AGE)
27A. Personalized gauze? ONE-MAN BAND(AGE)
47A. Big problem at KFC? CHICKEN OUT(AGE)
63A. After-hours spa service? MIDNIGHT MASS(AGE)
COMPLETION TIME: 13m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
14. Volkswagen brand AUDI
The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch's young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that "Horch" was German for "hear" and he suggested "Audi" as a replacement, the Latin for "listen".

16. Acid used in soap-making OLEIC
Oleic Acid is a fatty acid, found in many animal and plants sources, but most notably in olives. As such, “Oleic” means “derived from the olive”.

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

17. Somnambulist's icebox raid? SLEEPING PILL(AGE)
A somnambulist is a sleepwalker.

21. Neither esta nor esa OTRA
In Spanish, the other (otra) is neither this (esta) not that (esa).

23. Hot porridge ingredient PEA
Pease pudding or pease porridge, is a very English dish similar to split pea soup. We used to sing a nursery rhyme as kids:
"Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold, pease pudding in the pot, nine days old".

25. Work requiring oversized shelves, briefly OED
The "Oxford English Dictionary" (OED) contains over 300,000 "main" entries and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb "set". When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb "put". Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).

26. Otto I's realm: Abbr. HRE
Otto I the Great, ruled the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th century.

The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) existed from 962 to 1806 AD and was a territory of varying size over the centuries that centered on the Kingdom of Germany. The HRE was a successor to the western half of the Ancient Roman Empire.

38. Channel watched in many a bar ESPN
ESPN is the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day. ESPN was launched back in 1979.

39. EZ or MT, e.g. REBUS
A rebus is a representation of a word in the form of symbols, letters or perhaps a picture. A rebus crossword is one in which some squares are replaced with a symbol or picture (although we often use multiple letters when solving).

45. WWII craft LST
LST stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were the large vessels used mainly in WWII that had doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles could roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.

46. Anderson of "WKRP in Cincinnati" LONI
Loni Anderson's most remembered role was Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati". Anderson has been married four times, most famously to actor Burt Reynolds from 1988 to 1993.

47. Big problem at KFC? CHICKEN OUT(AGE)
The famous "Colonel" of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a "Colonel", Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a "character" had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of "Kentucky Colonel". Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel's secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

51. Derby-wearing Addams ITT
In the television sitcom "The Addams Family", the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

55. Justice Fortas ABE
Abe Fortas was a US Supreme Court Justice from 1965 to 1969. Fortas has to resign his position on the bench due to a scandal about payments received, allegedly for favors granted.

56. Array in many an NBA game TATS
The word "tattoo" was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word "tatau" into our "tattoo".

58. Old oddball GEEZER
Geezer is a not-so-nice term for an old man.

63. After-hours spa service? MIDNIGHT MASS(AGE)
The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

Down
1. Commercial building with a conical roof, traditionally OAST
An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an "oast house".

2. Backless shoe MULE
A mule is a shoe without a back and usually with a closed toe. The original mule was a shoe worn by the highest magistrates in Ancient Rome.

7. Golden Fleece vessel ARGO
Jason is a hero from Greek mythology, most noted for leading the quest for the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-haired winged ram. For his quest, Jason assembles a group of heroes who were given the name Argonauts, as they journeyed on the ship called the "Argo". The vessel was called the "Argo" in honor of the ship's builder, a man named Argus.

9. Rum concoctions COLADAS
Piña colada is a Spanish term which translates into "strained pineapple". The Piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum ...

12. Peak near the Jungfrau EIGER
The Eiger is a mountain in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. It is a noted peak for mountain climbing, with its treacherous north face being the most famous approach to the summit. Over sixty climbers have died since 1935 on that north face.

18. Rap's Salt-N-__ PEPA
Salt-n-Pepa are a hip hop trio from New York. Their 1991 song "Let's Talk Sex" created quite a fuss as the lyrics explored the subject of sex, and safe sex in particular. A later version addressed the dangers of AIDS.

28. Graham __, co-founder of the Hollies NASH
The Hollies are a great pop group from Manchester in the north of England. The band formed in 1962 and had big hits in the late sixties and early seventies. The list of songs from the Hollies includes classics like “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, “Carrie Anne”, “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” and “The Air That I Breathe”.

Graham Nash is a singer-songwriter from England. Nash is famous as one of the founders of the Hollies, and as a member of the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

30. Winged chatterbox MYNAH
Some species of myna (also "mynah") bird are known for their ability to imitate sounds.

37. Pennsylvania port 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.

40. Md. institution since 1845 USNA
The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

49. First name in '80s-'90s morning talk KATHIE
Kathie Lee Gifford is most famous for working alongside Regis Philbin on the talk show "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee", a stint that last for about 15 years.

50. All-purpose vehicles UTES
A utility vehicle is often called a "ute" for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sports utes and crossover utes.

51. Literary feet IAMBI
An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Robert Frost's "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" consists of lines made up of four sequential iambs e.g. "Whose woods / these are / I think / I know". With a sequence of four iambs, the poem's structure is described as iambic tetrameter.

52. Classic V-8 T-BIRD
Ford manufactured the Thunderbird from 1955 to 2005, originally as a two-seater sporty convertible.

59. Latin 101 verb ESSE
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

60. Billy of "Titanic" ZANE
Billy Zane is an actor from Chicago, Illinois. One of Zane’s most prominent roles was the title character in the 1996 superhero film called “The Phantom”. He also played the somewhat creepy bad guy in the 1989 thriller movie called “Dead Calm”.

61. Even, to Yves EGAL
"Egal" is the French word for "equal, alike", and a word we sometimes use in English. The national motto of France is "Liberté, égalité, fraternité", meaning "Liberty, equality, fraternity (brotherhood).

64. Peeples in pictures NIA
Actress Nia Peeples played the character Nicole Chapman in the TV series "Fame".

65. Strong joe MUD
It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as "joe", but we've been doing so since early in WWII.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Drop OMIT
5. Watery, perhaps WEAK
9. Informal eateries CAFES
14. Volkswagen brand AUDI
15. Staff addition HIRE
16. Acid used in soap-making OLEIC
17. Somnambulist's icebox raid? SLEEPING PILL(AGE)
20. Dollhouse plaything TEA SET
21. Neither esta nor esa OTRA
22. King's value, sometimes TEN
23. Hot porridge ingredient PEA
25. Work requiring oversized shelves, briefly OED
26. Otto I's realm: Abbr. HRE
27. Personalized gauze? ONE-MAN BAND(AGE)
33. Like some still-life items WAXY
34. Stately tree ELM
35. Power problem SURGE
38. Channel watched in many a bar ESPN
39. EZ or MT, e.g. REBUS
42. Bridge beam I-BAR
43. Bundle SHEAF
45. WWII craft LST
46. Anderson of "WKRP in Cincinnati" LONI
47. Big problem at KFC? CHICKEN OUT(AGE)
51. Derby-wearing Addams ITT
53. La-la leader TRA-
54. Likely APT
55. Justice Fortas ABE
56. Array in many an NBA game TATS
58. Old oddball GEEZER
63. After-hours spa service? MIDNIGHT MASS(AGE)
66. Intellectual BRAIN
67. "Me next!" I’M UP!
68. Easy-peasy thing SNAP
69. Airport freebie ID TAG
70. Airport data, for short ETDS
71. Slippery swimmers EELS

Down
1. Commercial building with a conical roof, traditionally OAST
2. Backless shoe MULE
3. Start of a project IDEA
4. They bind TIES
5. Dentist's recommendation WHITENER
6. German article EIN
7. Golden Fleece vessel ARGO
8. Didn't quit KEPT ON
9. Rum concoctions COLADAS
10. Have it __ ALL
11. Burlesque accessory FEATHER BOA
12. Peak near the Jungfrau EIGER
13. Public row SCENE
18. Rap's Salt-N-__ PEPA
19. Mightily miffed IRED
24. Qualified ABLE
27. Is shy, in a way OWES
28. Graham __, co-founder of the Hollies NASH
29. Scheduled to go to EXPECTED AT
30. Winged chatterbox MYNAH
31. Take it slow AMBLE
32. Therapy subject GUILT
36. Bunch of buds GANG
37. Pennsylvania port ERIE
40. Md. institution since 1845 USNA
41. They're good enough for the time being STOPGAPS
44. Appropriate FITTING
48. Bit of a bluff CRAG
49. First name in '80s-'90s morning talk KATHIE
50. All-purpose vehicles UTES
51. Literary feet IAMBI
52. Classic V-8 T-BIRD
57. Monthly acct. update STMT
59. Latin 101 verb ESSE
60. Billy of "Titanic" ZANE
61. Even, to Yves EGAL
62. Crunches, e.g. REPS
64. Peeples in pictures NIA
65. Strong joe MUD

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LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Dec 12, Thursday



CROSSWORD SETTER:C.C. Burnikel & Dennis Ryall
THEME: Inside Jobs … each of today’s themed answers contains a job hidden inside:
17A. Rossini's "Cinderella," e.g. COMI(C OP)ERA
23A. Judge's protective ruling NO-CONT(ACT OR)DER
37A. When-all-else-fails act LAST DIT(CH EF)FORT
48A. Like a good project manager DE(TAIL OR)IENTED

59A. Employee crimes, and literally, the positions hidden in 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across INSIDE JOBS
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
10. U.K. awards OBES
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:
- Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
- Knight Commander (KBE)
- Commander (CBE)
- Officer (OBE)
- Member (MBE)

14. Slobbering comics pooch ODIE
Odie is the best friend of "Garfield" and is a slobbery beagle, a character in Jim Davis’s comic strip.

15. Core group CADRE
A "cadre" is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. "Cadre" is a French word meaning a "frame". We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a "framework" for the larger organization.

17. Rossini's "Cinderella," e.g. COMIC OPERA
“La Cenerentola” (or “Cinderella” in English) is a comic opera by Gioachino Rossini first performed in 1817. Rossini composed the piece when he only 25 years old, and a year after his extremely successful opera “The Barber of Seville”.

20. Pluto, for example ORB
Pluto was discovered in 1930, and was welcomed as the ninth planet in our solar system. It is relatively small in size, just one fifth of the mass of our own moon. In the seventies, astronomers began to discover more large objects in the solar system, including Eris, a "scattered disc object" at the outer reaches. Given that Eris is actually bigger than Pluto, and other objects really aren't that much smaller, Pluto's status as a planet was drawn into question. In 2006 there was a scientific definition for a "planet" agreed for the first time, resulting in Pluto being relegated to the status of "dwarf planet", along with Eris.

27. Golfer nicknamed "The Big Easy" ELS
Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname "The Big Easy". He has a child who suffers from autism and so Els has been very effective in raising money for charities that focus on the condition.

41. Cooperstown's Mel OTT
At 5' 9", Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don't think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

42. Tricky rink move DEKE
A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. "Deke" is a colloquial shortening of the word "decoy".

43. Like X, in some cases ROMAN
X is the Roman numeral for “ten”.

44. Noted Titanic passenger ASTOR
John Jacob Astor IV was a member of the famous and wealthy Astor family of New York. Astor was a passenger on the RMS Titanic when it made its fateful journey in 1912. Astor did not survive the tragedy, and was the wealthiest person to go down with the ship.

The RMS Titanic set off on her tragic maiden voyage in 1912, sailing from Southampton, England bound for New York City. Regulations only required that the ship have lifeboat capacity for 1,178 people, even though a full complement of passengers and crew was 3,547. When the order was given to abandon ship, the captain adhered to the traditional protocol of "women and children first". As a result, only 20% of male passengers survived the disaster, compared to 75% of the female passengers. Perhaps more telling is that 61% of those in first class survived, and only 25% of those in third class. The crew fared even worse though, with only 24% making it home.

54. Greek labyrinth island, in myth CRETE
Minos was the King of Crete in Greek mythology, and the son of Zeus and Europa. Minos had an elaborate labyrinth built under the island, designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus (who famously died trying to escape from the island by "flying" away). In the labyrinth, King Minos kept the Minotaur, a dreadful creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man.

55. He plays Jack on "30 Rock" ALEC
Alec is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec's big break was playing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan in "The Hunt for Red October", but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin has made a name for himself in recent years playing Jack Donaghy on "30 Rock", opposite Tina Fey. He has also hosted the sketch show “Saturday Night Live” on more occasions than anyone else (16 times).

56. November honoree VET
Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and is observed on November 11th each year. This particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

58. Bike basket escapee of film TOTO
Toto is Dorothy’s dog in the film “The Wizard of Oz”. Toto was played by a dog called Terry, but Terry’s name was soon changed to Toto in real life, due to the success of the film.

62. Isaac's oldest ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins "the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)". As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father's wealth (it was his "birthright"). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a "mess of pottage" (a meal of lentils).

63. Carved symbol TOTEM
Totem is the name given to any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. So, "totem" poles are really misnamed as the poles are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

67. Rotary Club symbol GEAR
The first Rotary Club meeting was held in 1905 in Chicago in the office of one of the four businessmen who attended. The name “Rotary Club” was chosen as the plan was to “rotate” the locations of the meetings to the offices of each of the club's members in turn.

Down
1. First name in fashion COCO
Coco Chanel was a French designer. Perhaps because I am a man, clothes design is not my forte, however, if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really liked, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that looked so elegant on a woman.

2. Sew on rickrack, for instance ADORN
Rickrack is an adornment placed on curtains and clothing. It is a narrow braid that includes a zigzag pattern.

4. Floral garland LEI
"Lei" is the Hawaiian word for "garland, wreath", although in more general terms a "lei" is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

7. "A Passage to India" schoolmistress ADELA
"A Passage to India" is a wonderful novel by E. M. Forster set in the days of the British Raj. There are two excellent adaptations for the screen that I would recommend. There's a BBC television version from 1965 starring a wonderful cast including Virginia McKenna and Cyril Cusack. There is also an Oscar-winning movie version from 1984 with Alec Guinness and Peggy Ashcroft. Forster had first-hand knowledge of life during the Raj, having worked in India during the twenties.

12. First name in skin care ESTEE
Estée Lauder was quite the successful businesswoman with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called "Youth Dew". "Youth Dew" was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder's "perfume" into their baths, while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That's quite a difference in sales volume ...

24. Euro fraction CENT
The European Union today stands at a membership of 27 states. The Euro is the official currency of only 16 of the 27. The list of states not using the Euro includes the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

32. Prefix meaning "wing" PTERO-
The prefixes pter- and ptero- mean "pertaining to a wing, or a feather", coming from the Greek word "pteron" (feather). Examples of use would be in the words "pterosaur" and "pterodactyl".

35. Two-piece piece BRA
The word "brassière" is of course French in origin, but it isn't the word the French use for a "bra". In France what we call a bra is known as a "soutien-gorge", translating to "held under the neck". The word "brassière" is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby's undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. "Brassière" comes from the Old French word for an "arm protector" in a military uniform ("bras" is the French for "arm"). Later "brassière" came to mean "breast plate" and from there the word was used for a type of woman's corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

39. Coneheads' home, so they said FRANCE
“The Coneheads” first appeared in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch in 1977. The three family members back then were played by Dan Ackroyd (father), Jane Curtin (mother) and Laraine Newman (daughter). The characters became so popular they were featured in a “Coneheads” movie in 1993.

46. Ascot or cravat TIE
An Ascot tie is that horrible-looking (I think!) wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

The cravat originated in Croatia and was an accessory used with a military uniform. Cravats were introduced to the fashion-conscious French by Croatian mercenaries enlisted into a regiment of the French army. The English placed a lot of emphasis on the knot used for the cravat, and in the period after the Battle of Waterloo the cravat came to be known as a "tie". What we now call a tie in English is still called a "cravate" in French.

48. 747 competitor DC-TEN
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a very recognizable passenger aircraft, with one engine under either wing and a third incorporated into the base of the vertical stabilizer at the rear of the plane.

The first jet to be called a "Jumbo" was Boeing's 747, as it was the first wide-body airliner. This means that it was the first to have seating laid out with two aisles running the length of the plane. The plane also has three decks for part of its length, with the lower deck being used for cargo and galley space, and the upper deck for extra passenger seating. The Airbus A380 is called a "Superjumbo" as it has two full decks of passengers.

49. Irregularly notched EROSE
An edge that is "erose" is irregularly notched or indented.

50. Many a reggae musician RASTA
I must admit that I don't really understand Rastafarianism. I do know that a "Rasta", like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

53. Messing of "Smash" DEBRA
Debra Messing’s most famous role is Grace, in the television series “Will & Grace”.

“Smash” is an NBC television show about the creation of a new Broadway musical. The cast of “Smash” includes Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston.

59. Addams cousin ITT
In the television sitcom "The Addams Family", the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. "Steeerike!" is one CALL
5. Good-sized slices SLABS
10. U.K. awards OBES
14. Slobbering comics pooch ODIE
15. Core group CADRE
16. Going around in circles, maybe LOST
17. Rossini's "Cinderella," e.g. COMIC OPERA
19. See DATE
20. Pluto, for example ORB
21. Administered by spoon ORAL
22. Self-gratifying outing SPREE
23. Judge's protective ruling NO-CONTACT ORDER
27. Golfer nicknamed "The Big Easy" ELS
28. Shady plot ARBOR
29. Tantrum in a restaurant, say SCENE
32. Clip PACE
34. Docs who deliver OBS
37. When-all-else-fails act LAST DITCH EFFORT
41. Cooperstown's Mel OTT
42. Tricky rink move DEKE
43. Like X, in some cases ROMAN
44. Noted Titanic passenger ASTOR
47. Groupie FAN
48. Like a good project manager DETAIL ORIENTED
54. Greek labyrinth island, in myth CRETE
55. He plays Jack on "30 Rock" ALEC
56. November honoree VET
58. Bike basket escapee of film TOTO
59. Employee crimes, and literally, the positions hidden in 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across INSIDE JOBS
62. Isaac's oldest ESAU
63. Carved symbol TOTEM
64. Pod veggie OKRA
65. At the front of the line NEXT
66. Subject of a sports deadline TRADE
67. Rotary Club symbol GEAR

Down
1. First name in fashion COCO
2. Sew on rickrack, for instance ADORN
3. State of oblivion LIMBO
4. Floral garland LEI
5. Pooh-poohs SCORNS
6. Splash gently against LAP AT
7. "A Passage to India" schoolmistress ADELA
8. "It's too darn cold!" BRR
9. Mermaid's milieu SEA
10. Veteran OLD PRO
11. Decision-making setting BOARDROOM
12. First name in skin care ESTEE
13. Pilot STEER
18. Lost enthusiasm COOLED
22. Have a good cry SOB
24. Euro fraction CENT
25. Hidey-hole CACHE
26. Apple, for one TREE
29. __-mo SLO
30. Alley lurker CAT
31. Subject of IRS Form 706 ESTATE TAX
32. Prefix meaning "wing" PTERO-
33. "Good grief!" ACK
35. Two-piece piece BRA
36. RR depot STN
38. Star frequently gazed at IDOL
39. Coneheads' home, so they said FRANCE
40. Type type FONT
45. Warmed the bench SAT OUT
46. Ascot or cravat TIE
47. What a baby's cry often means FEED ME
48. 747 competitor DC-TEN
49. Irregularly notched EROSE
50. Many a reggae musician RASTA
51. Fibber's admission I LIED
52. Bring forth EVOKE
53. Messing of "Smash" DEBRA
57. Old autocrat TSAR
59. Addams cousin ITT
60. Hide-hair link NOR
61. Nudge JOG

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LA Times Crossword Answers 26 Dec 12, Wednesday



CROSSWORD SETTER:Neville Fogarty
THEME: Listen to BINGO … each of the theme answers today starts with the sound of a letter, and the letters spell out B-I-N-G-O:
71A. Name spelled out in a canine song, and also by the starts of the answers to starred clues BINGO
18A. *"The Golden Girls" actress BEA ARTHUR (letter B)
23A. *Interior designer's forte EYE FOR DETAIL (letter I)
39A. *Traveling EN ROUTE (letter N)
52A. *"My goodness!" GEE WILLIKERS! (letter G)
62A. *Head-slapper's cry OH BROTHER! (letter O)
COMPLETION TIME: 09m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … GEE WILLIKERS! (gee yillikers!), WAHOO! (yahoo!)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. 1978 co-Nobelist from Egypt 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.

6. Bookstore 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.

17. Monteverdi character seeking to bring Euridice back from Hades ORFEO
Monteverdi was a true pioneer. "L'Orfeo" is one of the first operas ever composed. The debut performance of "L'Orfeo" was in 1607 and it is still performed regularly to this day.

18. *"The Golden Girls" actress BEA ARTHUR (letter B)
Actress Bea Arthur's most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the "All in the Family" spin-off "Maude" and as Dorothy Zbornak in "The Golden Girls". Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of "Mame" in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

21. Williams-Sonoma purchases PANS
The Williams-Sonoma company is based San Francisco, California. Williams-Sonoma specializes in selling high-end kitchenware through retail outlets.

28. __ v. Ferguson: 1896 segregation case PLESSY
In 1890 the State of Louisiana enacted Separate Car Act, a statute requiring separate accommodations for African Americans and whites on trains. An alliance of African American and white activists arranged for one Homer Plessy to be arrested for breaking the law, so that they could forward an appeal to the US Supreme Court. However, the plan backfired when the decision of the upper court (Plessy v. Ferguson) led to the doctrine of "separate but equal", a doctrine that remained in place until it was struck down in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education.

32. Gem of a Hitchcock film? TOPAZ
“Topaz” is a Hitchcock film released in 1969, a Cold War spy story based on the book of the same name by the great Leon Uris. "Topax" is a little unusual for a Hitchcock work as it doesn’t feature a big Hollywood name, and it wasn’t particularly well received at the box office.

34. Gumbo vegetable OKRA
Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the "holy trinity" of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is "okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

37. Playbill listing ROLE
I get quite a kick out of reading the bios in "Playbill" as some of them can be really goofy and entertaining. "Playbill" started off in 1884 in New York as an in-house publication for just one theater on 21st St. You can't see any decent-sized production these days anywhere in the United States without being handed a copy of "Playbill".

38. Thurman of "Pulp Fiction" UMA
Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter "Uma" as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name "Dbuma".

I"m not a big fan of Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think "Pulp Fiction" is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence it's really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta's career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly received performances.

39. *Traveling EN ROUTE (letter N)
I tend to pronounce the “en” in “en route” more like the word “on” than the letter N …

“En route” is a French term that means “on the way”, and is used the same way that we use the phrase in English.

42. Like a limbo bar, late in the game LOW
The limbo dance originated on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. The name "limbo" is an alteration of our word "limber", which isn't surprising given what one has to do to get under that bar!

45. Mideast VIP EMIR
An emir is a prince or chieftain, most notably in the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written as “amir” and “ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

48. Like chinchillas ANDEAN
A chinchilla is a rodent found in the Andes in South America. The chinchilla is a little larger than a squirrel, and has velvet-like fur. It takes its name from the local Chincha people who made clothing out of the fur. Chinchillas are quite rare in the wild now as they been hunted almost out of existence, but there are plenty of farm-raised chinchillas around supporting the fur industry, sad to say ...

50. Beaded counters ABACI
The abacus was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numerical numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that it is still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

67. Oliver's request MORE
“Please, sir. I want some more.”

"Oliver Twist" is of course a novel by Charles Dickens. It is a popular tale for adaptation to the big screen. There were two silent film versions, in 1909 and 1922, and the first talkie version was released in 1933, with many to follow. The latest "Oliver" for the big screen was a 2005 Roman Polanski production.

68. River past Geneva RHONE
The Rhone river rises in Switzerland and flows through the southeast of France.

Genève (Geneva in English) is the biggest city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. I’ve been to Geneva only once and sadly, what I remember most is how expensive it is. It is in fact the fourth or fifth most expensive city in the world.

69. Biblical reformer EZRA
Ezra the Scribe, also called Ezra the Priest, is the central character in the Book of Ezra in the Hebrew Bible.

70. Small bit IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word "iota" to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

71. Name spelled out in a canine song, and also by the starts of the answers to starred clues BINGO
There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.

Down
3. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" rockers DEF LEPPARD
Def Leppard is a hard rock band from Sheffield in England. Drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car crash, severed by an incorrectly-worn seat belt. With the encouragement of the band, he returned to the lineup by using a specially designed electronic drum set. Amazing indeed …

5. Chinese menu general TSO
General Tso's chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zontang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

9. Code-breaking org. NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname ... "No Such Agency".

11. Dos y dos y dos y dos OCHO
In Spanish, 4 x two (dos) is eight (ocho).

13. Brontë's Jane EYRE
"Jane Eyre" is of course the novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I've shared here on my blogs that the "Jane Eyre" story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.

24. Monk's title FRA
The title "Fra" (brother) is used by Italian monks. For example, Fra Angelico was an Italian Renaissance painter.

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

31. Trees with elastic wood YEWS
Yew is the wood of choice for the longbow, a valued weapon in the history of England. The longbow is constructed with a core of yew heartwood (as the heartwood resists compression) that has a sheath of yew sapwood (as the sapwood resists stretching). The yew was in such demand for longbows that for centuries yew trees were in short supply in Britain and the wood had to be imported from all over Europe.

32. Bass brass TUBA
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). "Tuba" is the Latin word for "trumpet, horn".

33. Yemen neighbor OMAN
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.

35. Decorative pond fish KOI
Koi are also called Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

40. Hawaiian flier NENE
The bird called a nene is a native of Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name "nene" is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful.

41. 57-Across Morales ESAI
Esai Morales is best known for his role in the 1987 movie "La Bamba", which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai).

44. Galway "Golly!" BEGORRA
I've always thought of “begorra/begorrah” as one of those softened "by God" oaths, like "by golly". I can't think of one person back home in Ireland who uses the term though!

Galway is a city on the west coast of Ireland, and is the fourth most populous city in thecountry (after Dublin, Cork and Limerick).

51. Brief diner order? BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

54. Like a noble gas INERT
An inert gas can be different from a noble gas. Both are relatively non-reactive, but a noble gas is an element. An inert gas on the other hand, might be a compound i.e. made up of more than one element.

56. Canonized fifth-cen. pope ST LEO
The first pope named Leo is now known as Pope Saint Leo the Great. He is famous for meeting with the feared Attila the Hun and persuading him to turn back his invading force that was threatening to overrun Western Europe.

58. French eatery word CHEZ
"Chez" is a French term meaning "at the house of", which comes from the Latin word "casa" meaning "cottage" or "hut".

59. Skier's transport T-BAR
A T-bar is a type of ski lift in which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers who remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There's also a J-bar, a similar device, but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

63. Texter's "I've heard plenty, thanks!" TMI
Too Much Information (TMI)!

64. Texter's "I'm away for a moment" BRB
Be right back (BRB).

65. Sushi bar tuna AHI
Yellowfin tuna is usually marketed as "ahi", its Hawaiian name. Yellowfin tuna is one big fish, often weighing over 300 pounds.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across

Down
1. Sharpshooter's apparatus SCOPE
2. Matrix, e.g. ARRAY
3. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" rockers DEF LEPPARD
4. Wonder AWE
5. Chinese menu general TSO
6. Breaking all the rules IN BAD FORM
7. Act subdivision SCENE
8. Talk a good game BOAST
9. Code-breaking org. NSA
10. Audible snake RATTLER
11. Dos y dos y dos y dos OCHO
12. Ostracize SHUN
13. Brontë's Jane EYRE
19. Skatepark component RAIL
21. How some amateurs turn PRO
24. Monk's title FRA
25. Move viscously OOZE
26. Give __ on the back A PAT
29. Continues despite hardship SOLDIERS ON
30. Plumlike fruit SLOE
31. Trees with elastic wood YEWS
32. Bass brass TUBA
33. Yemen neighbor OMAN
35. Decorative pond fish KOI
36. The sticks RURAL AREA
40. Hawaiian flier NENE
41. 57-Across Morales ESAI
44. Galway "Golly!" BEGORRA
47. "That's nasty!" ICK
49. Dynamic start? AERO-
51. Brief diner order? BLT
53. "Hooray!" WAHOO
54. Like a noble gas INERT
55. Wishing one hadn't RUING
56. Canonized fifth-cen. pope ST LEO
57. Topnotch A-ONE
58. French eatery word CHEZ
59. Skier's transport T-BAR
63. Texter's "I've heard plenty, thanks!" TMI
64. Texter's "I'm away for a moment" BRB
65. Sushi bar tuna AHI

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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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