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Greetings from Dundalk, County Louth in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland, and have extended my stay until October 24th. I am focused on getting the puzzle solved and at least a basic post up each day. It's proving to be difficult to do much more than that due to pressure of time, which I am sure you can understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

LA Times Crossword Answers 13 Jan 13, Sunday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Gail Grabowski
THEME: Editorialization … each of today’s themed answers are common phrases with “ED” inserted to suit the wording of the clue:
23A. Snow-laden spruce? COATED TREE (from “coat tree”)
25A. Noble in a he-man contest? OILED BARON (from “oil baron”)
49A. Aghast runway figure? FLOORED MODEL (from “floor model”)
70A. Posse? ARMED BAND (from “armband)
95A. Intimidated ballplayer? COWED CATCHER (from “cowcatcher”)
118A. Disgraced stage production? FOULED PLAY (from “foul play”)
122A. Saloon wholly endorsed by its patrons? BACKED DIVE (from “back dive”)
36D. Hoodwinked management group? SNOWED BOARD (from “snowboard”)
48D. Philanthropic Mensa member? GIFTED GIVER (from “gift giver”)
COMPLETION TIME: 20m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
30. Sandbags may be used for them LEVEES
A levee is an artificial bank usually made of earth, running along the length of a river. A levee is designed to hold back river water at a time of potential flooding. "Levée" is the French word for "raised" and is an American term that originated in French-speaking New Orleans around 1720.

31. 13½-inch-tall honors OSCARS
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards also known as the "Oscars". The root of the name "Oscar" is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named "Oscar" in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days ...

35. San Joaquin Valley city FRESNO
Fresno is the largest inland city in the whole state of California. The city was named for the many ash trees that lined the San Joaquin River, as “fresno” is the Spanish for “ash tree”.

42. Beethoven's Third EROICA
Beethoven originally dedicated his Symphony No. 3 to Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven admired the principles of the French Revolution and as such respected Bonaparte who was "born" out of the uprising. When Napoleon declared himself Emperor, Beethoven (and much of Europe) saw this as a betrayal to the ideals of the revolution so he changed the name of his new symphony from "Bonaparte" to "Eroica", meaning "heroic" or "valiant".

45. Seven-Emmy actor ASNER
Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and on the spin-off drama "Lou Grant". Off-screen, Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When "Lou Grant" was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact one of Asner's activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever), found that his show "WKRP in Cincinnati" was also cancelled ... on the very same day ...

46. Biblical trio MAGI
"Magi" is the plural of the Latin word "magus", a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, magi is commonly used with reference to the "wise men from the East" who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born.

54. Powder mineral TALC
Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days "baby powder" can also made from cornstarch.

55. Wagner heroine ISOLDE
According to Arthurian legend, Iseult (also “Isolde”) was the adulterous lover of Sir Tristan, one of the Knights of the Round Table. Iseult was an Irish Princess who fell in love with Tristan who had been sent to win Iseult’s hand in marriage for King Mark of Cornwall. The tale was used as the basis for Richard Wagner’s celebrated opera “Tristan und Isolde”.

57. Justice Dept. bureau ATF
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is today part of the Department of Justice. The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. "Explosives" was added to the ATF's name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

70. Posse? ARMED BAND (from “armband)
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

81. "Picnic" playwright INGE
Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. Inge's most celebrated work of that time was the play "Picnic", for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of "Picnic" included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway. His name was Paul Newman.

82. Film feline ELSA
The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when she was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book "Born Free" about Elsa, and then "Living Free" which told the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on "Born Free", Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.

89. Frère's siblings SOEURS
“Soeur” is the French word for “sister’. “Frère” is the French word for “brother”.

92. Product created by a Kansas Dairy Queen owner ICEE
Icee is the brand name of one of those slushy drinks. Ugh ...

94. Letters seen near an 8 TUV
The 8-key on a phone bears the letters TUV.

97. City SSE of Sana'a ADEN
Aden is a seaport in Yemen, located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967.

Sana (also Sana’a) is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today's metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site.

101. Ocean predators ORCAS
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name "orca", rather than "killer whale", is becoming more and more common. The Latin word "Orcinus" means "belonging to Orcus", with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

103. Colorful cover-up SERAPE
"Serape" is the English pronunciation and spelling of the Spanish word "zarape". A zarape is like a Mexican poncho, a soft woolen blanket with a hole in the middle for the head. Most serapes have colorful designs that use traditional Mayan motifs.

105. Milo of the movies O'SHEA
Milo O'Shea is a great Irish character actor from Dublin who has appeared in everything from "Romeo and Juliet" to "The West Wing".

125. Pic Sans Nom, par exemple ALPE
Pic Sans Nom is a peak in the French Alps. The name "Pic Sans Nom" translates from French as "Peak Without Name".

128. Steal passwords, e.g. PHISH
Phishing is the name given to the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a variant of the word "fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PIN numbers etc."

129. Saloon supply RYES
For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

131. Young kilt wearer LASS
I think I am right in saying that traditionally a lass wouldn’t wear a kilt. Kilts were only worn by men and boys.

Down
1. Like Eastwood characters MACHO
The actor and director Clint Eastwood is a native of San Francisco, California. As many of us perhaps remember, Eastwood’s big break was playing the supporting role of Rowdy Yates in the TV show “Rawhide” in the late fifties and early sixties. He then became the face of the spaghetti western genre of movie in the sixties, most notably in the classic “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. In later years Eastwood has branched out into directing and producing with remarkable success. And of course in the late eighties he also served as mayor of his hometown, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

2. Succulents that soothe ALOES
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

3. Son of Sarah ISAAC
According to the Hebrew Bible, Isaac was the only son of Abraham, born to his wife Sarah when she was beyond her childbearing years and when Abraham was 100 years old. Isaac himself lived until he was 180 years old. When Isaac was just a youth, Abraham was tested by Yahweh (God) and told to build an altar on which he was to sacrifice his only son. At the last minute an angel appeared and stopped Abraham, telling him to sacrifice a ram instead.

6. WWII carriers LSTS
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.

11. Bronx-born playwright NEIL SIMON
Neil Simon is one of my favorite playwrights. Simon has written over thirty plays and about thirty screenplays. He has received more nominations for Oscars and Tony Awards than any other writer. My favorite play penned by Simon has to be "Brighton Beach Memoirs", but the list of his great stage works seems endless and includes "Barefoot in the Park", "The Odd Couple", "Sweet Charity", "Plaza Suite", "California Suite", "Biloxi Blues" and "The Goodbye Girl".

12. Grimm account TALE
The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

16. Long-snouted fish GAR
The fish known as a gar is very unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What is interesting about gar is that their swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

17. Jurist in 1995 news ITO
Judge Lance Ito came in for a lot of criticism for his handling of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The lead prosecutor in that trial was Marcia Clark, you might recall. I read the book that's Clark wrote about the trial called "Without a Doubt", and she pointed out one trait of Judge Ito that I think is quite telling. Ito would almost always refer to the prosecutor as "Marcia", while addressing the men on both sides of the case as "Mister".

24. Designer Saarinen EERO
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK.

37. Katmandu native NEPALI
Although Katmandu is the capital city of the lofty nation of Nepal, it sits in a bowl-shaped valley so is only at an elevation of 4,600 ft. Air pollution is a huge problem in the city. Industry and residents launch a lot of smog into the air and, given the surrounding geography and climate, any pollution blown away during the day tends to fall back into the valley at night.

38. Crater Lake locale OREGON
Crater Lake is my favorite locale in the whole country. Crater lake sits in a volcanic crater giving it a near perfect circular shape. The water appears to have a deep, deep blue color and is extremely pure. There are no rivers running into the lake, so man hasn’t really had the chance to contaminate it with pollutants.

41. Diva highlights SOLI
"Soli" (the plural of "solo") are pieces of music performed by one artist, whereas "tutti" are pieces performed by all of the artists.

"Diva" comes to us from Latin via Italian. "Diva" is the feminine form of "divus" meaning "divine one". The word is used in Italy to mean "goddess" or "fine lady", and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

48. Philanthropic Mensa member? GIFTED GIVER (from “gift giver”)
If you ever had to learn Latin, as did I, "mensa" was probably taught to you in Lesson One as it's the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means "table". The Mensa organization for folks with high IQs was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member, one is required to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

50. William of __, for whom a logical "razor" was named OCCAM
Ockham's Razor (also Occam's Razor) is a principle in philosophy and science that basically states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. This explanation is a corollary to the more exact statement of the principle, that one shouldn't needlessly use assumptions in explaining something. The principle was developed by 14th-century logician and Franciscan Friar William of Ockham (or "Occam" in Latin). The principle is dubbed a "razor" as it is used as a philosophical tool used to cut out absurd and spurious reasoning in an argument.

58. Key letter BETA
Not having been educated in this country, I often get stumped by references to fraternities and sororities. A kind reader of the blog explained to me that this clue refers to the key that is the symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity.

Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for "philosophia biou kybernētēs", which translates into "philosophy is the guide of life".

72. Marx trademark ANTIC
The five Marx Brothers were born to "Minnie" and "Frenchy" Marx in New York City. The more famous older boys were Chico, Harpo and Groucho. Zeppo was the youngest brother, and he appeared in the early Marx Brothers movies. The fifth son was called Gummo, and he decided to pursue a different career off the stage.

74. Vaqueros' gear RIATAS
"Riata" is another name for a lariat or a lasso. "Riata" comes from "reata", the Spanish word for lasso.

"Vaquero" is the Spanish word for a "cowboy".

76. Tampico tender PESO
Tampico is a port city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

79. Arctic sight FLOE
An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.

80. Young Faline, in "Bambi" FAWN
In the novel and film “Bambi”, Faline is a fawn, the daughter of Ena. Falen is a friend to Bambi and later becomes Bambi’s mate.

The 1942 Disney classic "Bambi" is based on a book written by Felix Salten called "Bambi, A Life in the Woods". There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi's mother is shot by hunters.

91. Goldman __ SACHS
Goldman Sachs made out like bandits during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08 as the company actually short-sold subprime mortgage bonds. As the price of the bonds nose-dived, Goldman Sachs made huge profits.

95. Facetious "Get it?" CAPEESH?
“Capeesh?” is a slang term meaning “do you understand?” It comes from the Italian “capisce” meaning “understand”.

99. Caruso's birth city NAPLES
Naples is the third largest city in Italy. The name “Naples” comes from the city’s Ancient Greek name, which translates as “New City”. That’s a bit of a paradox in modern times as Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.

Enrico Caruso was an Italian tenor, famous as one of the first opera singers to embrace the phonograph technology of the early 1900s. Caruso made 290 recordings that were released between 1902 and 1920, and today they’re all available on CD or as digital downloads.

104. LAX datum ETD
Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

108. Soap vamp __ Kane ERICA
Susan Lucci is perhaps the most famous actor associated with daytime soap operas, and was the highest paid actor in daytime television. Lucci was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series an incredible 21 times, for her portrayal of Erica Kane in “All My Children”.

115. Prefix with plasm ECTO-
In the real world, ectoplasm is part of the cytoplasm of a cell. In the paranormal world, ectoplasm is that spiritual energy that some people claim to be able to see, that emanates from ghostly characters. It's that ethereal shape that is sometimes seen in photographic images, which can be interpreted as the energy of some spirit from "the other side". Spooky stuff ...

116. Surfboard fin SKEG
A skeg is an extension to the keel of a boat, towards the stern. A skeg is also the name for the fin on the underside of a surfboard, positioned towards the rear.

120. Action film firearm UZI
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel Gal of the Israel Defense Forces who gave his name to the gun.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Primary MAIN
5. Lays an egg FLOPS
10. Part of a pot ANTE
14. On the level LEGIT
19. Start of an afterthought ALSO
20. Out of whack ASKEW
21. Agreement DEAL
22. Hot IRATE
23. Snow-laden spruce? COATED TREE (from “coat tree”)
25. Noble in a he-man contest? OILED BARON (from “oil baron”)
27. Throw with effort HEAVE
28. Introductory course SALAD
30. Sandbags may be used for them LEVEES
31. 13½-inch-tall honors OSCARS
33. People often see patterns in them STARS
35. San Joaquin Valley city FRESNO
39. Curved shapes LOOPS
42. Beethoven's Third EROICA
45. Seven-Emmy actor ASNER
46. Biblical trio MAGI
49. Aghast runway figure? FLOORED MODEL (from “floor model”)
52. Reveal, in verse OPE
53. Etcher's supply ACID
54. Powder mineral TALC
55. Wagner heroine ISOLDE
56. Ill-gotten gains SWAG
57. Justice Dept. bureau ATF
58. "No arguing!" BE NICE!
60. No longer in force NULL
61. Dramatic start? MELO-
62. Wintertime lost-and-found item MITTEN
64. Assert with confidence AVER
67. Interfered with MESSED IN
69. Take in a course EAT
70. Posse? ARMED BAND (from “armband)
73. Tourist transport CAB
74. Source of colorful autumn foliage RED MAPLE
77. Botch RUIN
78. Hardly around the corner FAR OFF
81. "Picnic" playwright INGE
82. Film feline ELSA
84. Become involved STEP IN
87. Styled after A LA
88. Warts and all AS IS
89. Frère's siblings SOEURS
92. Product created by a Kansas Dairy Queen owner ICEE
93. Increase GROW
94. Letters seen near an 8 TUV
95. Intimidated ballplayer? COWED CATCHER (from “cowcatcher”)
97. City SSE of Sana'a ADEN
98. Battleground ARENA
100. Informant SNITCH
101. Ocean predators ORCAS
103. Colorful cover-up SERAPE
105. Milo of the movies O'SHEA
107. Kicks out EXPELS
111. Took care of a toy? PET SAT
114. Socks away SAVES
117. Uncanny EERIE
118. Disgraced stage production? FOULED PLAY (from “foul play”)
122. Saloon wholly endorsed by its patrons? BACKED DIVE (from “back dive”)
124. Exudes, as confidence OOZES
125. Pic Sans Nom, par exemple ALPE
126. Refers to CITES
127. Sailed through ACED
128. Steal passwords, e.g. PHISH
129. Saloon supply RYES
130. Plods SLOGS
131. Young kilt wearer LASS

Down
1. Like Eastwood characters MACHO
2. Succulents that soothe ALOES
3. Son of Sarah ISAAC
4. Full of holes, in a way NOT VALID
5. It runs its course quickly FAD
6. WWII carriers LSTS
7. Pickled or deep-fried veggie OKRA
8. Sheds some skin PEELS
9. Skiwear item SWEATER
10. Hoo-ha ADO
11. Bronx-born playwright NEIL SIMON
12. Grimm account TALE
13. High-sign letters? ELEV
14. Ample LIBERAL
15. Wipes clean ERASES
16. Long-snouted fish GAR
17. Jurist in 1995 news ITO
18. Decimal base TEN
24. Designer Saarinen EERO
26. Dict. entry DEF
29. "Is it too risky?" DARE I?
32. Give in somewhat SOFTEN
34. Casting needs RODS
36. Hoodwinked management group? SNOWED BOARD (from “snowboard”)
37. Katmandu native NEPALI
38. Crater Lake locale OREGON
40. Get ready for the wedding, say PLAN
41. Diva highlights SOLI
43. Newspaper part COLUMN
44. In a fog ADDLED
46. Hat-tipper's word MA'AM
47. Play period? ACT I
48. Philanthropic Mensa member? GIFTED GIVER (from “gift giver”)
50. William of __, for whom a logical "razor" was named OCCAM
51. Ocean burrowers EELS
56. Bit of ugly politics SMEAR
58. Key letter BETA
59. "Did you __?" EVER
63. Brings under control TAMES
65. Part of an academic address EDU
66. MLB stats RBIS
68. Reading at the checkout counter SCAN
70. Tolerates ALLOWS
71. Watched again RESEEN
72. Marx trademark ANTIC
74. Vaqueros' gear RIATAS
75. Make certain ENSURE
76. Tampico tender PESO
78. Intense FIERCE
79. Arctic sight FLOE
80. Young Faline, in "Bambi" FAWN
83. Recording of a sort AUDIOTAPE
85. Return call? ECHO
86. Look closely PEER
90. They're needed for returns: Abbr. RCTS
91. Goldman __ SACHS
93. Step on it GAS PEDAL
95. Facetious "Get it?" CAPEESH?
96. Preschool subject THE ABCS
99. Caruso's birth city NAPLES
102. Gave the boot AXED
104. LAX datum ETD
106. Help AVAIL
108. Soap vamp __ Kane ERICA
109. What seatbelts save LIVES
110. Origins SEEDS
112. Yard or boom, e.g. SPAR
113. One on your side ALLY
115. Prefix with plasm ECTO-
116. Surfboard fin SKEG
118. Dandy FOP
119. "I'm impressed!" OOH!
120. Action film firearm UZI
121. Okay YES
123. Tricky curve ESS

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2 comments:

Mrs. Jett said...

Thanks for the answers! Our paper cut off the answers this week!!

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Mrs. Jett,

I am glad to have been of service!

I hope you drop by again soon, regardless of any mistakes made by your local paper :)

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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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