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LA Times Crossword Answers 4 Feb 13, Monday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Bernice Gordon
THEME: S & S … each of today’s themed answers is pair of words joined by “and”, with both starting with the letter S:
17A. Main idea, as of an argument SUM AND SUBSTANCE
25A. Stick to a strict budget SCRIMP AND SAVE
42A. To the point SHORT AND SWEET
56A. Burnout cause STRESS AND STRAIN
COMPLETION TIME: 05m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. David Copperfield's forte MAGIC
“David Copperfield” is the stage name used by illusionist David Kotkin. Copperfield is incredibly successful as a magician. He has grossed over $3 billion in ticket sales in his career, which is more than any other solo entertainer in any field. Copperfield actually owns his own chain of islands in the Bahamas.

10. Like the Sahara ARID
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.

14. Last new Olds ALERO
The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made under the Oldsmobile brand. The Alero was produced from 1999 to 2004.

15. Alike, in Lourdes 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).

Lourdes is a town in France where a 14-year-old peasant girl reported visions of the Virgin Mary. One of the instructions Mary gave to the girl was to drink water from a nearby spring. A local priest and bishop bought the land where the spring was located and developed it for visitors. This all happened in 1858, and now over 80,000 pilgrims a year visit the site.

20. "__ Pinafore" HMS
“H.M.S. Pinafore” is one of my favorite of the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas (a production we staged at high school, many moons ago). "Pinafore" was one of the first big hits for Gilbert & Sullivan (in their native Britain, and in America), and they followed it up with "The Pirates of Penzance" and "The Mikado".

22. Inventor Howe ELIAS
Elias Howe was an American inventor. Howe wasn't the first to come up with the idea of a sewing machine, but he was the first to develop one that was functional.

38. Needed a Band-Aid BLED
“Band-Aid” is a brand name owned by Johnson & Johnson, although like many popular brands “band-aid” has become the generic term for an adhesive bandage, at least here in North America. The generic term we use in the British Isles for the same product is “plaster” …

40. __ fatale FEMME
A “femme fatale” is a dangerously seductive woman. “Femme fatale” is French for “deadly woman”.

41. Town near the tip of Cape Cod TRURO
Truro is a town in the Outer Cape, close to the northern tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The area was settled in the late 1600s by English colonists who named it for the city of Truro in Cornwall, England.

45. Notes after mis FAS
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

46. Contents of a cruet OIL
A cruet is a small glass bottle for holding a condiment or perhaps a dressing. The word "cruet" comes from the Old French word for an earthen pot.

47. Saltwater candy TAFFY
Taffy was invented in Atlantic City and is now found all over the US, but primarily in coastal towns (for some reason) and not really outside America. Taffy is made by stretching the solid mass made by boiling up sugar, butter, flavoring, and coloring until it achieves a fluffy texture.

53. __ Beta Kappa PHI
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".

61. 18th-century Swiss mathematician EULER
Leonhard Euler was a brilliant Swiss mathematician and physicist, a pioneer in the fields of logarithms and graph theory.

64. Baseball's Pee Wee REESE
Pee Wee Reese met Jackie Robinson after he was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As Reese tells the story, when he greeted Robinson it was the first time he had shaken hands with a black man. In those early days life was difficult for Robinson, and Reese made himself very visible as a friend, supporting the breaking down of racial barriers despite very vocal opposition.

Down
1. Sitcom set in Korea M*A*S*H
"M*A*S*H" has only three stars (three asterisks, that is!). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

2. Homecoming visitor ALUM
An "alumnus" (plural ... alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is "alumna" (plural ... alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil.

9. Three racing Unsers ALS
The Unser family seems to have racing cars in its blood. Al Unser, Sr. won the Indy 500 on four occasions. Al’s brother Jerry was the first of the Unsers to compete at Indianapolis. Al’s other brother Bobby, won the Indy three times. Al’s son, Al Junior, won the Indy twice. Al Junior’s son is also a racing driver who competes at the Indy Speedway.

10. Colorful garden shrub AZALEA
Azaleas are very toxic to horses, sheep and goats, but strangely enough cause no problem for cats or dogs. And if you go to Korea you might come across "Tugyonju", which is azalea wine made from the plant's blossoms.

12. Ancient Peruvian 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.

25. Comical Soupy SALES
Soupy Sales was a comic actor. He was most famous for his children’s TV show “Lunch with Soupy Sales. On the New Years Day show in 1965, as a joke Soupy told his young viewers to go get some “funny green pieces of paper with pictures of US Presidents” from their parents wallets and to mail them to him. The joke backfired and money started turning up in Soupy’s mail. The incident caused enough of a fuss for the TV company to suspend Sales for two weeks.

27. Cheese city in northeast Italy PARMA
Parma is a city in northern Italy, famous for its ham and cheese.

28. End of Rhett's sentence that begins "Frankly, my dear" A DAMN
In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, when Rhett Butler finally walks out on Scarlett O’Hara he utters the words “My dear, I don’t give a damn”. Most of us are more familiar with the slightly different words spoken by Clark Gable in the film adaption of the story: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

32. Le Carré character SPY
John Le Carré is the pen name of David Cornwell, an English author famous for his spy novels. Cornwell worked for British Intelligence during the fifties and sixties, even as he was writing his spy thrillers. He left MI6 in 1963 soon after his most famous novel, "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold", became such a great success.

35. Tokyo's former name EDO
Edo is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today's Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

38. Songwriter Jacques BREL
Jacques Brel was a songwriter from Belgium whose songs were most popular in France, although English translations of his works became hits for artists all around the world.

41. Social network for short messages TWITTER
I have never tweeted in my life, and have no plans to do so. Twitter is a micro-blogging service that limits any post sent to just 140 characters. In a sense, it is similar to this blog. Here I send out a post once a day containing information that I think might be useful to folks (thank you for reading!). I don't think I could send out much of interest using just 140 characters. I believe that many people who do tweet tend to send out messages like "I'm at dinner now. I am having sushi" and "There's nothing on TV. I'm bored". Nope, I don't think so!

47. Old Russian monarch TSAR
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. "Czar" is derived from the word "Caesar", which was synonymous with "emperor" at that time.

49. Guitar ridge FRET
A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, like a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

51. City west of Tulsa ENID
Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn't like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Idylls of the King". Maybe if he hadn't changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname "Queen Wheat City" because is has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

55. Legal memo opener IN RE
The term "in re" is Latin, derived from "in" (in) and "res" (thing, matter). "In re" literally means "in the matter", and is used to mean "in regard to", or "in the matter of".

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. David Copperfield's forte MAGIC
6. High-ranking Indian RAJA
10. Like the Sahara ARID
14. Last new Olds ALERO
15. Alike, in Lourdes EGAL
16. Madcap ZANY
17. Main idea, as of an argument SUM AND SUBSTANCE
20. "__ Pinafore" HMS
21. Handy bags TOTES
22. Inventor Howe ELIAS
23. Candy in a wrapper BAR
24. WSW's opposite ENE
25. Stick to a strict budget SCRIMP AND SAVE
32. Beauty parlor SALON
33. Saying to remember ADAGE
34. Tool for a lumberjack AXE
36. Cultivate the soil PLOW
37. Car pedal BRAKE
38. Needed a Band-Aid BLED
39. Till now YET
40. __ fatale FEMME
41. Town near the tip of Cape Cod TRURO
42. To the point SHORT AND SWEET
45. Notes after mis FAS
46. Contents of a cruet OIL
47. Saltwater candy TAFFY
50. Rested (against) LEANT
53. __ Beta Kappa PHI
56. Burnout cause STRESS AND STRAIN
59. Part of USA: Abbr. AMER
60. Like dedicated fans AVID
61. 18th-century Swiss mathematician EULER
62. Goes bad ROTS
63. High roller's rolls WADS
64. Baseball's Pee Wee REESE

Down
1. Sitcom set in Korea M*A*S*H
2. Homecoming visitor ALUM
3. Jeweler's inventory GEMS
4. 401(k) alternative, briefly IRA
5. Have inside CONTAIN
6. Take a break REST
7. Flu-like symptoms AGUE
8. Pokes JABS
9. Three racing Unsers ALS
10. Colorful garden shrub AZALEA
11. Wife of a 6-Across RANI
12. Ancient Peruvian INCA
13. Turns blue, perhaps DYES
18. Campus residence DORM
19. Like someone pacing back and forth TENSE
23. Forehead BROW
24. Rim EDGE
25. Comical Soupy SALES
26. Material CLOTH
27. Cheese city in northeast Italy PARMA
28. End of Rhett's sentence that begins "Frankly, my dear" A DAMN
29. Like a newborn NAKED
30. Relative worth VALUE
31. Put forth, as effort EXERT
32. Le Carré character SPY
35. Tokyo's former name EDO
37. Puts money (on) BETS
38. Songwriter Jacques BREL
40. Wears at the edges FRAYS
41. Social network for short messages TWITTER
43. Bids OFFERS
44. Male offspring SONS
47. Old Russian monarch TSAR
48. Prefix with sphere ATMO-
49. Guitar ridge FRET
50. Volcanic output LAVA
51. City west of Tulsa ENID
52. Does some sums ADDS
53. Ashen PALE
54. Hurries HIES
55. Legal memo opener IN RE
57. Carpentry tool SAW
58. Feel bad about RUE

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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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