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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 10 Feb 13, Sunday





CROSSWORD SETTER: John Lampkin
THEME: Floridation … each of the themed answers is a well-known term with the letters FL inserted. Although the letters FL are the atomoic symbol for fluorine gas, the puzzle's title "Floridation" points us to the state of Florida, also denoted by the letters FL:
24A. Jaw-dropping reaction to butterflies? (FL)UTTER AMAZEMENT
43A. Salutation to an out-of-shape friend? DEAR (FL)ABBY
52A. Outrageous ice cream concoctions? WILD (FL)OATS
65A. Masters of the felt-tipped pen? (FL)AIR ACES
82A. Bulletproof linen fiber? BATTLE (FL)AX
89A. Cowering caterpillar? (FL)INCH WORM
112A. Cuban tortilla king? (FL)OUR MAN IN HAVANA
COMPLETION TIME: 22m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
5. Macbeth's hallucination DAGGER
In William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", one of the more famous soliloquies starts with, "Is this a dagger which I see before me ...?" There isn't an actual dagger in front of Macbeth, but instead he sees the vision of a dagger pointing at King Duncan's bedchamber, perhaps suggesting that he should go ahead with his plan to murder the King.

11. Pearly entrance? GATES
“Pearly gates” is a term used for the gates of Heaven. The term comes from a description of “Heavenly Jerusalem’ in the Book of Revelations in which the walls of the city had twelve gates, each made of a single pearl.

20. Plaza Hotel girl ELOISE
Kay Thompson wrote the "Eloise" series of children's books. Kay Thompson actually lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the setting she would choose for her "Eloise" stories. Eloise started out as a hit song for Thompson, a success that she parlayed into the book franchise.

32. Mike who married Liz Taylor TODD
Mike Todd was a theater and film producer. Todd won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1957 for producing the marvelous David Niven/Shirley MacLaine film “Around the World in Eighty Days”. Famously, Todd was also the third husband of Elizabeth Taylor. He was also the only husband whom Taylor did not divorce, as he died in an airplane crash while still married to her. In a disgraceful act, robbers broke into Todd’s coffin searching for a valuable ring that his wife had supposedly placed there. His desecrated body has to be reburied in a secret location.

36. Legal deg. LLB
Bachelor of Laws (LLB) is a an undergraduate degree in law. The abbreviation “LLB” stands for Legum (LL, for the plural “laws”) Baccalaureus (B, for Bachelor).

43. Salutation to an out-of-shape friend? DEAR (FL)ABBY
The advice column "Dear Abby" first appeared in 1956. Pauline Phillips was Abby back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the "Abby" pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Philips came up with by combining "Abigail" from the biblical Book of Samuel, and "Van Buren" after the former US president.

51. Tripoli's country LIBYA
Tripoli is the capital city of Libya and sits on the Mediterranean Coast. The city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was originally called Oea.

54. Mobile phone site?: Abbr. ALA
Mobile, Alabama was the first capital of French Colonial Louisiana, and was founded in 1702. The city takes its name from the Mobilian tribe of Native Americans who lived in that area.

56. __ Na Na SHA
Do you remember the band "Johnny Casino & The Gamblers" in the movie "Grease"? That was actually the real-world group Sha Na Na. Johnny Casino & the Gamblers sang "Those Magic Changes" at the high school dance, in between "Rock'N Roll Is Here to Stay" and "Hound Dog". Sha Na Na got together in the sixties and are still performing today.

58. Barrel cleaner RAMROD
A ramrod is a “stick” that is inserted into the barrel of an older firearm in order to pack the bullet or ball tightly against the charge of gunpowder. A ramrod can also be used to push a cleaning rag through the barrel of a gun.

63. George who plays Stokes on "CSI" EADS
George Eads is an actor from Fort Worth, Texas, Eads is best known for playing the investigator Nick Stokes on the CBS show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”.

71. Israel's Netanyahu, familiarly BIBI
Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has been the Prime Minister of Israel since 2009. Neanyahu is the only leader of the country who had actually been born in the state of Israel.

73. It helps dough rise GLUTEN
Gluten is a protein mixture found in foods processed mainly from wheat. The sticky properties of gluten are used in making bread, giving dough its elasticity and making the final product very chewy. “Gluten” is the Latin word for “glue”.

74. Climbers' spikes PITONS
“Piton” is a French word for a “hook”.

75. Officer's ornament EPAULET
Epaulet (or epaulette) comes from the French, and literally means "little shoulder".

78. Future father's sch.? SEM
You can study towards the degree of Doctor of Theology (D.Th.) at a seminary (sem.).

81. Ex halved VEE
In Roman numerals, V (five) is half of X (ten).

87. Scrap for Rover ORT
Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

88. Going on, to Holmes AFOOT
As Sherlock Holmes said, “the game is afoot!”

93. Boffo abbr. SRO
Standing Room Only (SRO).

95. "The Good Wife" fig. ATT
“The Good Wife” is a legal drama showing on CBS starring Julianna Margulies. I haven’t seen it, but I hear good things …

98. 1957 war movie title river KWAI
The river referred to in the movie (and novel) "The Bridge on the River Kwai" is actually called the Khwae Yai River, and is in western Thailand. The original novel by Pierre Boulle was published in French in 1952, and the wonderful movie released in 1957. Both tell the story of construction of part of the Burma Railway and a bridge over the river, using prisoners of war as laborers. The film stars William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.

100. Hoi polloi RIFFRAFF
"Hoi polloi" is a Greek term, literally meaning "the majority, the many". In English it has come to mean "the masses" and is often used in a derogatory sense.

105. "I Have __": 1963 speech A DREAM
I remember listening to the full text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's "I have a dream ..." speech not long after I moved to this country. I think I am man enough to admit that my eyes misted up as I listened to the words. I also recall thinking how lucky I was to have been invited to live in this great country, which was facing up to some of the sins of its past.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

112. Cuban tortilla king? (FL)OUR MAN IN HAVANA
Graham Greene was a writer and playwright from England. Greene wrote some of my favorite novels, including “Brighton Rock”, “The End of the Affair”, “The Confidential Agent”, “The Third Man”, “The Quiet American” and “Our Man in Havana”. Greene’s books often feature espionage in exotic locales. Greene himself worked for MI6, the UK’s foreign intelligence agency. In fact, Greene’s MI6 supervisor was Kim Philby, the famed Soviet spy who penetrated high into British intelligence.

115. Macbeth's burial isle IONA
Although the small island of Iona lies just off the west coast of Scotland, it was the site of a monastery built in the Middle Ages by a monk from Ireland names Colm Cille (also known as Columba). Colm Cille and his followers were sent into exile from the Irish mainland and settled in Iona, as at that time the island was part of an Irish kingdom. This monastery in Iona expanded its influence over the decades and founded other institutions all over Ireland and Great Britain. It is believed that the famous Book of Kells may have been written, or at least started, at the monastery on Iona. Iona is also the burial site for Macbeth, King of Scotland who was immortalized in Shakespeare’s fictional account of the king’s life.

118. Some state-spanning rds. TPKS
Back in the 15th century a “turnpike” was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travellers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike was the name given to a road with a toll.

119. Postal motto word NOR
There is no official creed or motto for the US Postal Service. However, there is the oft-quoted inscription found posted (pun!) at the James Farley Post Office in New York City ... "It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed."

120. Big name in vacuums ORECK
The Oreck Corporation is named after founder David Oreck and makes vacuum cleaners and air purifiers. The company started out selling vacuum cleaners by mail, a new concept in 1963. David Oreck himself appears regularly as a spokesman in the company's ads and infomercials.

122. In __: actually ESSE
The Latin term "in esse" is used to mean "actually existing", and translates as "in being".

Down
5. Table DEFER
These "tabling" and "shelving" idioms drive me crazy, because they are always misused. If a topic is shelved, it is set aside. If a topic is tabled, it is brought "off the shelf" and put “on the table” for discussion. But, maybe it's just me ...

7. Big wheel in delis GOUDA
Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, given it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

10. Pre-splashdown stage RE-ENTRY
When a spacecraft re-enters the earth’s atmosphere, it compresses the air in front of it creating a tremendous amount of heat. This heated air ionizes and surrounds the vehicle. The ionized air interferes with radio signals leading to the famous spacecraft re-entry communications blackout. This blackout lasted for about 3 minutes for each of the Apollo missions. Famously, the miraculous Apollo 13 spacecraft entered the atmosphere at a much shallower angle than was routine, and the resulting blackout lasted for a nail-biting 6 minutes.

11. Pancreas, for one GLAND
The hormone insulin is secreted by structures in the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans, named for their island-like appearance under a microscope and for their discoverer Paul Langerhans. The hormone is named for the “islets”, as the Latin for island is “insula”.

14. Carmaker Ferrari ENZO
Enzo Ferrari was an Italian race car driver, and founder of the Ferrari car manufacturer. Ferrari died in 1988, and in 2003 the company named the Enzo Ferrari model after its founder.

18. Met acquisition ART
The Metropolitan Museum of Art ("the Met") was founded in 1870 by a group of private citizens. The current museum is huge, with 2 million square feet of floor space.

22. Insect preserver AMBER
Amber's technical name is "resinite", reflecting its composition and formation. Amber starts out life as soft sticky tree resin but then under high temperature and pressure from overlying layers of soil, it fossilizes. The sticky resin can trap organisms or other plant matter, and this material can sometimes remain virtually intact inside the amber fossil giving us a unique gift from the past.

25. Aussie hoppers ROOS
The name “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

31. Belch in "Twelfth Night" TOBY
Sir Toby Belch is a much loved character in William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”.

William Shakespeare wrote his comedy "Twelfth Night" as a Christmas entertainment (Twelfth Night being the end of the Christmas season).

38. 95-Across's org. ABA
The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

43. __ Lama DALAI
The Dalai Lama is a religious leader in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th to hold the office. He has indicated that the next Dalai Lama might be found outside of Tibet for the first time, and may be female.

45. Like Abner—but not really LI’L
"Li'l Abner" was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years.

46. Season 1 judge on "The X Factor" ABDUL
Paula Abdul is primarily a singer and dancer, and someone who endeared herself even more to the American public in recent years as a judge on "American Idol". She had a famous husband for a couple of years, as she was married to actor Emilio Estevez from 1992-94.

48. Folk tale rubber? ALADDIN
“Aladdin” is a famous tale in the “Arabian Nights”, also called “The Book of One Thousand and One Nights”. However, there is no evidence at all that the story was in the original collection. It is generally believed that one Antoine Galland introduced the tale when he translated the “Arabian Nights” into French in the early 1700s.

52. Thresher grain WHEAT
Years ago I was taking a tour of a beautiful Elizabethan manor house in England, and was told a little "threshing" story by the guide as we stood in one of the rooms. She reminded us that threshing was the removal of seeds from chaff, and told us that back in the day the "chaff" was sometimes called the "thresh". Thresh would be used on the floors, particularly in the kitchen areas where it would soak up spills and provide some thermal insulation, much as sawdust was used in my favorite pubs many moons ago. She pointed to two slots at the bottom of the door jambs where she said a low board was placed upright on the floor, to hold the thresh in the room. The board was called a "thresh hold", giving us our contemporary word "threshold". I am not sure if all of that is really true, but it makes a nice story.

55. Animal named from a Greek word meaning "tribe of hairy women" GORILLA
The gorilla is the largest primate still in existence, and is one of the nearest living species to humans. Molecular biology studies have shown that out nearest relatives are in fact the species in the genus Pan (the chimpanzee and the bonopo), which split from the human branch of the family 4-6 million years ago. Gorillas and humans diverged at a point about 7 million years ago. The term “gorilla” derives from the Greek "gorillai” meaning “tribe of hairy women”.

62. Big name in coffeemakers SILEX
Proctor Electric merged with the Silex corporation in 1960 creating Proctor Silex Co.

66. Bankrupt energy giant ENRON
After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow's wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

70. River of Flanders YSER
The Yser originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a "race to the sea". But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was "stabilized". As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

Flanders is a historical region in Europe that largely lies in Belgium, but also stretches into France and the Netherlands. One describes something from Flanders as Flemish, although a person from the region is known as a Fleming. The region of Flanders includes the city of Brussels, which is the Flemish capital.

75. WWII Treasury offering E BOND
Series E Savings Bonds were introduced in 1941, just before the start of WWII, as ‘defense bonds”. After the attack on Pearl Harbor they became known as “war bonds”.

83. Take a gander LOOK
To take “a gander” is to take a long look. It’s a term we’ve been using since the 1880s and comes from the idea that in taking a long look one might be craning one’s neck like a goose (or gander).

84. Canterbury quaff ALE
Canterbury is a cathedral city in the county fo Kent in the southeast of England. Canterbury Cathedral is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England.

85. Cologne quaff BIER
“Bier” is the German word for "beer".

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is called “Koln” in German.

89. Parts of darts FLIGHTS
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.

106. Love, to Luis AMOR
In Spanish, signs of love (amor) might be kisses (besos).

107. "We Need a Little Christmas" musical MAME
The song “We Need a Little Christmas” is from the Broadway musical “Mame”. The original lyrics include the line “But, Auntie Mame, it’s one week past Thanksgiving Day now!”. The Christmas season has become such a commercial windfall and seems to start earlier and earlier each year, so recent recordings have a slightly different lyric: “But, Auntie Mame, it’s one week “from” Thanksgiving Day now!”

109. Partner of Rodgers HART
Lorenz Hart was the lyricist in the songwriting team of Rodgers and Hart. The long list of hits with lyrics from Hart includes such classics as “Blue Moon”, “The Lady Is a Tramp”, “My Funny Valentine” and “Isn’t It Romantic?”

113. "Football Night in America" network NBC
“Football Night in America” is a pre-game show aired on NBC.

114. Part of KJV: Abbr. VER
In 1604, King James I of England convened a conference at Hampton Court in order produce a new translation of the Bible, as the Puritan sect within the church had problems with prior versions. 47 scholars made new translations for the New Testament from Greek and from the Old Testament from Hebrew. The result is the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Drift, as smoke WAFT
5. Macbeth's hallucination DAGGER
11. Pearly entrance? GATES
16. Pedicure place SPA
19. That girl, in Quebec ELLE
20. Plaza Hotel girl ELOISE
21. Performer with a whip LION TAMER
23. Poker, e.g. TOOL
24. Jaw-dropping reaction to butterflies? (FL)UTTER AMAZEMENT
26. Bellyacher SOREHEAD
28. Auth. unknown ANON
29. Within reach DOABLE
30. Birthday tiara, e.g. PAPER HAT
32. Mike who married Liz Taylor TODD
34. Gets out of shape? MELTS
36. Legal deg. LLB
37. Backwash creators OARS
39. Bi- halved UNI-
42. Uncommon RARE
43. Salutation to an out-of-shape friend? DEAR (FL)ABBY
47. Animals FAUNA
49. Beat it RAN
50. Like some beans WAXY
51. Tripoli's country LIBYA
52. Outrageous ice cream concoctions? WILD (FL)OATS
54. Mobile phone site?: Abbr. ALA
55. Neuter, as a horse GELD
56. __ Na Na SHA
57. Research foundation, often GRANTEE
58. Barrel cleaner RAMROD
60. Like pitfalls UNSEEN
63. George who plays Stokes on "CSI" EADS
64. Dough hoarder MISER
65. Masters of the felt-tipped pen? (FL)AIR ACES
67. Hunter's trick DECOY
71. Israel's Netanyahu, familiarly BIBI
73. It helps dough rise GLUTEN
74. Climbers' spikes PITONS
75. Officer's ornament EPAULET
78. Future father's sch.? SEM
79. Flower bed wetter RAIN
81. Ex halved VEE
82. Bulletproof linen fiber? BATTLE (FL)AX
84. Scrub the mission ABORT
86. What's needed for the job GEAR
87. Scrap for Rover ORT
88. Going on, to Holmes AFOOT
89. Cowering caterpillar? (FL)INCH WORM
91. Unspecified degrees NTHS
93. Boffo abbr. SRO
94. Happiness GLEE
95. "The Good Wife" fig. ATT
96. Some crash programs DIETS
98. 1957 war movie title river KWAI
100. Hoi polloi RIFFRAFF
105. "I Have __": 1963 speech A DREAM
108. Costly HIGH
110. Aquamarine NILE BLUE
112. Cuban tortilla king? (FL)OUR MAN IN HAVANA
115. Macbeth's burial isle IONA
116. Nuclear family? ATOM BOMBS
117. Faddish TRENDY
118. Some state-spanning rds. TPKS
119. Postal motto word NOR
120. Big name in vacuums ORECK
121. Accent STRESS
122. In __: actually ESSE

Down
1. Prepares for shampooing WETS
2. Throw for __ A LOOP
3. Botany major's hurdles? (FL)ORAL EXAMS
4. Work for the small screen TELEPLAY
5. Table DEFER
6. God of Islam ALLAH
7. Big wheel in delis GOUDA
8. "Beat it, ya varmint!" GIT
9. This, to Juanita ESTA
10. Pre-splashdown stage RE-ENTRY
11. Pancreas, for one GLAND
12. End AIM
13. Horned __ TOAD
14. Carmaker Ferrari ENZO
15. Power plant output STEAM
16. Harbor suspicion SMELL A RAT
17. Get behind, as enemy lines PENETRATE
18. Met acquisition ART
22. Insect preserver AMBER
25. Aussie hoppers ROOS
27. Lang. of Israel HEBR
31. Belch in "Twelfth Night" TOBY
33. __ citizenship DUAL
35. Common quality? SENSE
38. 95-Across's org. ABA
40. Pokes NUDGES
41. Structural opening? INFRA-
43. __ Lama DALAI
44. Beat it FLED
45. Like Abner—but not really LI’L
46. Season 1 judge on "The X Factor" ABDUL
47. Betrothed FIANCE
48. Folk tale rubber? ALADDIN
50. Affectionate WARM
52. Thresher grain WHEAT
53. Dawn ONSET
55. Animal named from a Greek word meaning "tribe of hairy women" GORILLA
56. Shot contents SERUM
59. Prove otherwise REBUT
61. Pesters persistently NAGS AT
62. Big name in coffeemakers SILEX
65. Made to suit FIT FOR
66. Bankrupt energy giant ENRON
68. Turkeys no one knows about? COVERT FLOPS
69. Late retirement time ONE AM
70. River of Flanders YSER
72. Bellyaches BEEFS
74. Central part PITH
75. WWII Treasury offering E BOND
76. Especially fond of PARTIAL TO
77. Where you might experience hard knocks? AT THE DOOR
80. Arrow's path ARC
83. Take a gander LOOK
84. Canterbury quaff ALE
85. Cologne quaff BIER
86. Raided the fridge GOT A BITE
89. Parts of darts FLIGHTS
90. Hard or soft ending -WARE
92. Doodle on the guitar STRUM
94. Advance GAIN
97. __-Croatian SERBO
99. Beat in the kitchen WHISK
101. Birdbrained INANE
102. Comes across FINDS
103. Criticizes harshly FLAYS
104. Depressions FUNKS
106. Love, to Luis AMOR
107. "We Need a Little Christmas" musical MAME
109. Partner of Rodgers HART
111. Mollify EASE
112. Source of support FAN
113. "Football Night in America" network NBC
114. Part of KJV: Abbr. VER

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3 comments:

rationallady said...

I enjoy your blog. However, today I believe you made a mistake about the gorilla. Research, especially genetic, has shown that the bonobo and chimpanzee are our closed relatives. I hope you will look into it and correct your post. Hey, the NYT corrects theirs all the time.

rationallady said...

Hey, I'm correcting my comment. You should have an editing button!
I meant 'closest' relatives.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, RationalLady.

Thank you for watching my back. I should have said "one of our nearest relatives" when referring to the gorilla. Thank you for educating me! I really do appreciate the help.

All fixed now ...

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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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