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Greetings from Louisburgh, County Mayo 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 20 Jan 13, Sunday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Jim Hyres
THEME: Turning Heads … each of today’s themed answers are common phrases but the first word turned around:
23A. Nail salon supplies? TIPS AND POLISH (spit and polish)
34A. Couch-jumping and yard-running? PETS AEROBICS (step aerobics)
40A. Tongue twister? TRAP OF SPEECH (part of speech)
64A. Good golf rounds? PAR SESSIONS (rap sessions)
72A. Energetic ghosts? LIVE SPIRITS (evil spirits)
92A. Torches in Dracula's crypt? DOOM LIGHTING (mood lighting)
99A. Sharp dresser features? DRAWER POINTS (reward points)
116A. Talk shows? YAP TELEVISION (pay television)
COMPLETION TIME: 28m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … DEES (deas!), SEGO (sago)

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
22. "Wild Thing" rapper TONE LOC
Tone Lōc is the stage name of the rapper Anthony Smith.

28. Popular skiing destination VAIL
The Vail Ski Resort in Colorado is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the whole country. The resort was opened in 1962, basically in the middle of nowhere. It was given the name Vail after Vail Pass which runs by the mountain (now also called Vail Mountain). The town of Vail, Colorado was established four years later in 1966, and now has a population of about 5,000.

30. Former NBA coach Brown HUBIE
Hubert “Hubie” Brown is a retired basketball coach who was twice named as the NBA’s Coach of the Year. Now that he is retired, you can hear Brown calling games on television and the radio.

32. Exam for a jr. PSAT
I think the acronym PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test.

45. 68-Across neighbor NEB
(68. Where Manhattan is: Abbr. KANS)
Nebraska gets its name from the Platte River which flows through the state. “Nebraska” is an anglicized version of Otoe or Omaha words meaning “flat water”.

46. Abscam agcy. FBI
The FBI set up a sting operation in 1978, eventually targeting corruption within Congress. Central to the "scam" was a front company called "Abdul Enterprises, Ltd", which company name led to the whole operation being nicknamed "Abscam". At the end of the say, one senator and five House members were convicted of bribery and conspiracy. Kraim Abdul Rahman was the fictional sheik that gave "his" name to the front company.

49. Dawn-of-mammals epoch EOCENE
The Eocene Epoch lasted from 56 to 34 million years ago, and is noted for the emergence of the first mammals on the planet.

56. Lincoln Logs, e.g. TOY
The toy known as Lincoln Logs was invented by John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The toy was of course named after President Abraham Lincoln who was born in a log cabin.

60. Former Buick sedan LESABRE
The Buick Special was a car produced by General Motors in various forms from 1936, making a final brief appearance in 1975. The Buick Special was given the name “LeSabre” in 1959, and a “Skylark” option was introduced in 1961. The engine was changed from a V8 in 1962, making the Buick Special the first American production car to use a V6.

61. Mean Amin IDI
Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda Amin joined his country's military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies, Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country's president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. Amin died in 2003.

66. Actress Ward SELA
The actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show "Sisters" in the nineties, and was in "Once and Again" from 1999-2002. I don't know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama "House" in which she played the hospital's lawyer, and Greg House's ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently Ward has been playing a lead role on "CSI: NY" and is a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast ...

68. Where Manhattan is: Abbr. KANS
Manhattan, Kansas is the fourth largest city in the state and is known as a college town, home to Kansas State University. The original settlement that grew to be Manhattan was known as Boston back in the mid-1800s when settlers from the Cincinnati-Manhattan Company of Ohio landed (actually, they ran aground!) in the area. The settlers agreed to stay in Boston provided the settlement was renamed to Manhattan, a condition that was readily agreed to. In 1977 Manhattan was officially given the nickname of "The Little Apple", for obvious reasons.

71. Italian hot spot 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.

75. "Oliver Twist" criminal FAGIN
"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 is the 2005 Roman Polanski production.

77. Holder and Reno: Abbr. AGS
Eric Holder is the Attorney General of the United States, and is the first African American to hold the position. Holder was close to President Obama during the presidential campaign. Holder was the campaign's legal advisor and was also one of the three members on the Obama vice-presidential selection committee, which of course opted for Vice-President Joe Biden.

Janet Reno was Attorney General of the US from 1993 to 2001. Reno was the person to hold the office second longest, and was our first female Attoney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life.

79. Certain Ukrainian ODESSAN
The city of Odessa in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as "Odessa" and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

83. Classic name in shoes MCAN
Thom McAn footwear was introduced in 1922 by the Melville Corporation (now CVS Caremark). The brand was named after a Scottish golfer called Thomas McCann. The Thom McAn line is epitomized by the comfortable leather casual and dress shoe, so sales have really been hurt in recent decades by the growing popularity of sneakers.

84. Ones with many feet VERSES
In poetry, a foot is the natural unit of stressed and unstressed syllables which make up the work. For example, an iambic foot consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

85. Snoopy, for one BEAGLE
The Beagle breed of dog is a scent hound, developed for tracking small game. Because of this characteristic, Beagles are often used as detection dogs in customs halls around the world. The world’s most famous Beagle is probably Snoopy from the comic strip “Peanuts”.

87. Mimosa family tree ACACIA
Acacia is a genus of tree and shrub, also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle.

Some members of the Mimosa genus of plant are capable of rapid movement. For example, if you touch the leaves of the Mimosa pudica, they curl up in less than a second.

90. Airport uniform initials TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was of course created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks.

92. Torches in Dracula's crypt? DOOM LIGHTING (mood lighting)
"Dracula" is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker, and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn't the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can't stand vampire fiction ...

95. Ed of "Modern Family" O’NEILL
Ed O'Neill made it big on television playing Al Bundy on the sitcom "Married ... with Children", not a show I ever cared for. However, O'Neill is in the cast of a great show currently being aired that I do recommend: "Modern Family".

98. Barbecue fare WIENERS
What we call a wiener in this country is known as a Vienna sausage in Germany. It was first produced by a butcher from Frankfurt who was living in Vienna, hence the name “Wiener”, which is German for “of Vienna”. Paradoxically, the same sausage is called a Frankfurter in Vienna, as it was created by someone from Frankfurt. It’s all very confusing …

104. __ Beach, Fla. VERO
Vero Beach, Florida was the home of spring training for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1948 to 2008 (after which the team moved spring training to Arizona).

105. Raiders' gp. AFC
The Oakland Raiders football team was founded in 1960, and was originally intended to play in Minnesota. Instead,the team played in Oakland from 1960 to 1981 and then spent 12 years in Los Angeles before returning to Oakland in 1995.

108. When doubled, Northwest wine valley WALLA
The Walla Walla Valley is a wine-growing region in Washington that extends into the northeast of Oregon. The valley is named after the Walla Walla people who lived in the area.

110. Title for Jackson or King: Abbr. REV
Jesse Jackson is a civil rights activist and Baptist minister from Greenville, South Carolina. Jackson twice ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for US president, in 1984 and 1988.

Martin Luther King Jr's father was born Michael King. On a trip to Germany in 1934, Michael came to admire Protestant leader Martin Luther and changed his name to Martin Luther King on his return the United States. Famously, he passed on his new name to his son: Martin Luther King, Jr.

111. "West Side Story" song MARIA
Leonard Bernstein's musical "West Side Story" is of course based on William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets falls in love with Maria from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona.

121. London-based news agency REUTERS
The Reuter news agency was formed way back in 1851 by German-born, British entrepreneur Paul Julius Reuter. Reuter had checked the feasibility of a news service for a couple of years prior to launching the agency, and the technologies he used for his study were the telegraph and carrier pigeons …

122. Lighthouse lens inventor FRESNEL
Augustin-Jean Fresnel was an engineer and physicist from France. He is most famous for inventing the Fresnel lens, which was first installed in lighthouses in 1823 and is still in use today. The design of a Fresnel lens allows for a very compact lens with high visibility of light transmitted over great distances.

124. Music producer Estefan EMILIO
Emilio Estefan is a Cuban American producer and musician. Emilio is the husband of singer Gloria Estefan.

Down
8. Wee, in a small way LI’L
“Li’l” is a “wee” word that’s short for “little”.

11. Long division? SCHISM
A schism is a split or a division, especially in a religion.

13. Malarkey ROT
It’s not really known how the word “malarkey” came to mean “lies and exaggeration”, although “Malarkey” is also used as a family name.

16. Story ALIBI
"Alibi" is the Latin word for "elsewhere" as in, "I claim that I was 'elsewhere' when the crime was committed ... I have an 'alibi'".

18. Entr'__: play intervals ACTES
The term entr'acte comes to us from French, and is the interval between two acts ("entre" deux "actes") of a theatrical performance. It often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

20. Dick Francis has four of them EDGARS
The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (the Edgars) are presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America.

Dick Francis was a very successful crime writer whose stories always revolved around horse racing in England. Francis was himself a very successful jockey and for four years was the jockey to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

29. "Mule Train" singer LAINE
The singer Frankie Laine was known for singing the theme songs from Western movies and shows, although he wasn’t a country & western singer. Laine released a version of the theme for “High Noon” for example, and “Champion the Wonder Horse”, and they became bigger hits than the originals.

36. Dollars : cents :: __ : kopecks RUBLES
The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as several other countries of the former Soviet Union. One ruble is divided into one hundred kopecks.

38. "__ Miz" LES
The 1980 musical "Les Misérables" is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London's West End. My wife and I saw "Les Miz" in the Queen's Theatre in London quite a few years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The old theater's seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor that had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn't really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn't seem to hang together for me.

40. Actress Garr TERI
The lovely Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr's big break came with the role of Inga in "Young Frankenstein", and her supporting role in "Tootsie" earned her an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

44. Luau dances HULAS
Hula is the name of the Polynesian dance. The chant or song that the dance illustrates, that's known as the mele.

Nowadays the word "luau" denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of "poi", the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.

46. Eponymous Italian mathematician FIBONACCI
Leonardo of Pisa was a famous and respected Italian mathematician, also known as simply “Fibonacci”. He is remembered for writing about a number sequence (although he didn’t "discover” it) that later was given the name “Fibonacci sequence”. He wrote about the series of numbers in his book called “Liber Abaci”, a celebrated work that introduced Arabic numerals (i.e. 0-9) to the Western world.

48. Another name for Saint Agnes INES
Agnes of Rome (also known as “Saint Ines”) is the patron saint of chastity, but also the patron of gardeners, girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins. Her name "Agnes" is from the Greek "hagne" meaning chaste, pure, sacred. St. Agnes suffered a terrible death according to tradition. She was just twelve or thirteen when she refused to marry a Roman prefect around the year 300 AD, for which she was tortured and eventually beheaded.

51. Finishing touch of a sort SERIF
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif (using the French word "sans" meaning "without"). Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I'm not so sure though ...

53. German industrial city ESSEN
I knew a man back in Ireland, a German national from the city of Essen. He had very sad tales to tell from the days of WWII. As a young boy he lost his (socialist) parents during the Nazi purges early in the war. In 1943 he was living with his grandmother and still attending school when he was drafted into the army along with the rest of his class (at 14 years of age). His platoon leader was his school teacher who made a point of tutoring the boys in place of military drilling. One day he was on guard duty with his class/platoon at the dam above the city, and along come the Dam Busters with their bouncing bombs. The raid was successful (from the perspective of the Allies), but he described terrible famine faced by the people below the dam due to flooding of the farmland that surrounded the factories.

57. Pest control name in a red diamond ORKIN
Orkin is a pest-control company. If you want to learn more about insects, you might want to visit the O. Orkin Zoo, a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The exhibit has over 300 live insects, all displayed in their natural habitats.

58. Oenophile's concern YEAR
In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us "oen-" as a prefix meaning "wine". For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

62. No longer in PASSE
“Passé” is a French word, meaning "past, faded".

74. Lily that's Utah's state flower SEGO
The Sego Lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

83. Dojo accessories MATS
The Japanese word dojo literally means "place of the way". Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

85. "The Jungle Book" bear BALOO
"The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling was originally published in 1894 and is a collection of adventure stories or fables featuring the animals of the jungle and a young boy called Mowgli. Baloo is a sloth bear who teaches the cubs of a wolf pack the Law of the Jungle. His most challenging pupil however is no lupine, but  Mowgli the man-cub.

86. Brit. record label EMI
EMI is a British music company, with the acronym originally standing for Electric and Musical Industries.

88. Element in stainless steel CHROMIUM
In order to resist the tendency to rust, stainless steel (as opposed to carbon steel) has about 11% chromium. Stainless steel does in fact tend to rust, but just not as easily as regular carbon steel.

97. Like some of the Sahara LIBYAN
The name "Sahara" means "greatest desert" in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That's almost the size of the United States.

99. Sleepy, e.g. DWARF
In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called "Snow White", the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". The seven dwarfs are:
- Doc (the leader of the group)
- Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife ...)
- Happy
- Sleepy
- Bashful
- Sneezy
- Dopey

102. Hall of Fame football coach Earle "Greasy" __ NEALE
Greasy Neale was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1941-1950.

105. The Little Mermaid ARIEL
In the 1989 Disney animated film "The Little Mermaid", the title character is given the name Ariel. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen dating back to 1836, the Little Mermaid is given no name at all and so "Ariel" is a creation by Disney. There is of course a famous statue of the unnamed Little Mermaid sitting in Copenhagen Harbor in Andersen's native Denmark.

106. Flower-shaped pasta FIORI
The flower-shaped pasta is named “fiori” as “fiori” is the Italian for “flowers”.

112. __ Spumanti ASTI
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

114. One past due? TRE
“One, two, three” in Italian is "uno, due, tre".

115. Manual transmissions?: Abbr. ASL
It's really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

117. King in a Steve Martin song TUT
Comedian Steve Martin wrote the comic song "King Tut" himself, and it appeared on his 1978 album "Wild and Crazy Guy". The song was later released as a single, and made it as high as number 17 in the charts. Some of the song's success might have been due to the fervor surrounding the exhibition of the real King Tut’s tomb artifacts that was touring the country at the time.

King Tut is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamen's magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

118. Success sign VEE
One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V for victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it's a very obscene gesture.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Over the top, design-wise GARISH
7. Goes like the wind? BLOWS
12. Fairly shared PRO RATA
19. Like much summery footwear OPEN-TOE
21. Mauve relative LILAC
22. "Wild Thing" rapper TONE LOC
23. Nail salon supplies? TIPS AND POLISH (spit and polish)
25. Was humbled ATE DIRT
26. Bud's promise BLOOM
27. Midsection GUT
28. Popular skiing destination VAIL
30. Former NBA coach Brown HUBIE
31. However YET
32. Exam for a jr. PSAT
34. Couch-jumping and yard-running? PETS AEROBICS (step aerobics)
37. Customarily AS A RULE
39. Getting the wrong order and such MIX-UPS
40. Tongue twister? TRAP OF SPEECH (part of speech)
45. 68-Across neighbor NEB
46. Abscam agcy. FBI
49. Dawn-of-mammals epoch EOCENE
50. Wedding acquisition SPOUSE
52. Multitude LEGION
55. Fan sounds RAHS
56. Lincoln Logs, e.g. TOY
59. One and only SOLE
60. Former Buick sedan LESABRE
61. Mean Amin IDI
62. Funeral lighting? PYRES
64. Good golf rounds? PAR SESSIONS (rap sessions)
66. Actress Ward SELA
68. Where Manhattan is: Abbr. KANS
70. Alluvium SILT
71. Italian hot spot ETNA
72. Energetic ghosts? LIVE SPIRITS (evil spirits)
75. "Oliver Twist" criminal FAGIN
77. Holder and Reno: Abbr. AGS
79. Certain Ukrainian ODESSAN
80. They're worth 1.0 DEES
82. Soccer __ MOM
83. Classic name in shoes MCAN
84. Ones with many feet VERSES
85. Snoopy, for one BEAGLE
87. Mimosa family tree ACACIA
89. Road course curve ESS
90. Airport uniform initials TSA
92. Torches in Dracula's crypt? DOOM LIGHTING (mood lighting)
95. Ed of "Modern Family" O’NEILL
98. Barbecue fare WIENERS
99. Sharp dresser features? DRAWER POINTS (reward points)
104. __ Beach, Fla. VERO
105. Raiders' gp. AFC
108. When doubled, Northwest wine valley WALLA
109. Follow OBEY
110. Title for Jackson or King: Abbr. REV
111. "West Side Story" song MARIA
113. Short operatic solo ARIETTA
116. Talk shows? YAP TELEVISION (pay television)
119. Apartment dwellers, typically RENTERS
120. One way to read ALOUD
121. London-based news agency REUTERS
122. Lighthouse lens inventor FRESNEL
123. Cozy spots NESTS
124. Music producer Estefan EMILIO

Down
1. Sidestepped GOT BY
2. Loads A PILE
3. Do a gardener's chore REPOT
4. __ many words IN SO
5. Tries to put out, as a small fire STAMPS ON
6. Dear HON
7. Reputation stain BLOT
8. Wee, in a small way LI’L
9. One stuck in a bar? OLIVE
10. Attended WAS AT
11. Long division? SCHISM
12. School support gp. PTA
13. Malarkey ROT
14. Like some grounders ONE-HOP
15. Gives a new name to REDUBS
16. Story ALIBI
17. Doughnut-shaped TORIC
18. Entr'__: play intervals ACTES
20. Dick Francis has four of them EDGARS
24. Provide, as money PUT UP
29. "Mule Train" singer LAINE
33. Firearm feature SAFETY
34. Quick looks PEEPS
35. Computer program suffix EXE
36. Dollars : cents :: __ : kopecks RUBLES
37. Copies APES
38. "__ Miz" LES
40. Actress Garr TERI
41. Impromptu picnic locales ROADSIDES
42. Go-getters ACHIEVERS
43. Confine, with "up" COOP
44. Luau dances HULAS
46. Eponymous Italian mathematician FIBONACCI
47. Revitalized BORN AGAIN
48. Another name for Saint Agnes INES
51. Finishing touch of a sort SERIF
53. German industrial city ESSEN
54. Amble, e.g. GAIT
57. Pest control name in a red diamond ORKIN
58. Oenophile's concern YEAR
60. Fire LET GO
62. No longer in PASSE
63. Not nice at all SNIDE
65. Pan or roast SLAM
67. Minus LESS
69. Lieu STEAD
72. Affectionate valediction LOVE
73. Kindergarten craftsman PASTER
74. Lily that's Utah's state flower SEGO
76. Diagnostic machine IMAGER
78. Trouble spot SNAG
81. Responds to a yellow SLOWS
83. Dojo accessories MATS
85. "The Jungle Book" bear BALOO
86. Brit. record label EMI
88. Element in stainless steel CHROMIUM
91. Taste SIP
93. Tool box item LEVEL
94. "The nerve!" I NEVER!
95. Small hooters OWLETS
96. Tidy NEATEN
97. Like some of the Sahara LIBYAN
99. Sleepy, e.g. DWARF
100. Less done RARER
101. Dress style A-LINE
102. Hall of Fame football coach Earle "Greasy" __ NEALE
103. Red-lined items, perhaps TYPOS
105. The Little Mermaid ARIEL
106. Flower-shaped pasta FIORI
107. Childish comeback CAN SO!
110. Malbec and Merlot REDS
112. __ Spumanti ASTI
114. One past due? TRE
115. Manual transmissions?: Abbr. ASL
117. King in a Steve Martin song TUT
118. Success sign VEE

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This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the Los Angeles Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, usually before midnight PST.

I've been writing the NYTCrossword.com blog (about the New York Times crossword) since 2009. I finally started this LAXCrossword.com blog in response to many requests over the years to write about the daily LA Times crossword.

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The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

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Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Los Angeles Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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