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Greetings from Kilkenny, in Ireland

I am on vacation in Ireland until October 9th. I plan on doing the puzzle each day (with a pint, no doubt), although I may be a little late due to time zone differences. I am sure that you understand. Happy puzzling, and slainte!

Bill

LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Mar 13, Saturday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Doug Peterson & Brad Wilber
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
9. It'll knock you out OPIATE
Opiates are the narcotic alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant, although some synthetic versions and derivatives of the same alkaloids are also called opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

15. Major influence in '60s music BRITISH INVASION
The Beatles arrived in the US for their first tour in February 1964, arriving at John F. Kennedy Airport to a very, very warm reception. The group's arrival was the first “action” in what came to be known as “the British Invasion”.

17. Is subjected to a series of attacks RUNS THE GAUNTLET
The phrase “running the gauntlet” arose with a brutal rite practiced by British fighting men. Two lines of men would punish a culprit by forcing him to pass between them stripped to the waist while they whipped and beat him. There were no “gauntlets” (gloves) involved, as such. The ritual was known back then as “running the gantelope”, with “gantelope” being the term used for the “gate” of soldiers or sailors providing the beating. “Gantelope” evolved over time, and somehow was misheard as “gauntlet”, the word for a type of glove.

21. Like Walter Mitty MEEK
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a short story by James Thurber first published in 1939 in “The New Yorker”. The story was made into a film in 1947 with Danny Kaye in the title role. Mitty is a mild-mannered man with a very active fantasy life.

22. Spinal column? TITLE
In the US, the convention is to write the title on the spine of a book from top-to-bottom. In most of Europe, the convention is to write the title from bottom-to-top. We have a lot of books in the “library” in our house from both sides of the Atlantic, and so there is a lot of moving of the head from left to right as we glance along our bookshelves.

23. __-dieu PRIE
Prie-dieu literally means "pray (to) God" in French. A prie-dieu is basically a padded kneeler, with an armrest in front and a shelf on which one placed books of prayer.

26. "In bad company," to Bierce ALONE
Ambrose Bierce was, among other things, an American satirist. He wrote a satirical lexicon called "The Devil's Dictionary" published in 1911. The book is still popular today, with an updated version released in 2009. It includes "new" definitions from Bierce that were not included in his original work. Roy Morris, Jr. wrote a biography about Bierce called “Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company”.

27. Right triangle ratio SINE
The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent. Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The reciprocal of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent.

30. Brightly colored silica AGATE
Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called "banded agate".

33. Antarctic expedition vehicles SNO-CATS
The brand name Sno-Cat is owned by the Tucker company. All "snowcats" are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four, independently-mounted tracks.

35. Three-sect. exam PSAT
I think the acronym PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test. The PSAT is divided into three sections: Math, Critical Reading, and Writing Skills.

37. "Cattle" or "Reddish" wader EGRET
At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to excessive hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women's hats.

42. River to the Gulf of Finland NEVA
The Neva is a very large river that spills into the Gulf of Finland at the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The river forms an expansive delta as it reaches the Baltic Sea and the delta gives rise to numerous islands, with the number of islands further increased by a network of canals. The historic part of the city is built on these islands giving St. Petersburg a very Venetian feel. I had the privilege of visiting the city some years ago, and I can attest that it is indeed spectacular ...

44. San Francisco Giants closer Sergio ROMO
Sergio Romo is a pitcher who has been playing for the San Francisco Giants since 2008.

45. Onetime cohort of Eazy-E DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

Eazy-E was the stage name of rapper Eric Lynn Wright. Eazy-E had a pretty liberal lifestyle, fathering seven children with six different women. In 1995, he died due to complications from AIDS. He was only 32 years old.

46. Dance named for a horse's gait GALOP
A galop is a type of dance, very popular in Parisian society in the 1800s. It is a fast-paced dance, named after the fastest running gait of a horse (a gallop). The most famous exponent of the form was Johann Strauss II.

47. ACC team with a turtle mascot TERPS
The sports teams of the University of Maryland are called the Maryland Terrapins, or "the Terps" for short. The name dates back to 1932 when it was coined by the the university's president at the time, Curly Byrd. He took the name from the diamondback terrapins that are native to the Chesapeake Bay.

48. Mideast pearl-shaped pasta ISRAELI COUSCOUS
Israeli couscous is a toasted pasta that is shaped into little balls. Also called Jerusalem couscous, it is known as Ptitim in Israel.

52. "__ & Juliet": 2011 animated film GNOMEO
“Gnomeo & Juliet” is an animated film that is based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The title characters are garden gnomes, voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt.

53. Kentucky Derby wreath RED ROSES
The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875, and is a race modelled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, The Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses.

Down
1. "Fringe" co-creator J.J. ABRAMS
J. J. Abrams is a director and producer of both movies and television shows. He created the TV dramas "Alias" and "Fringe", and co-created the highly successful show "Lost". He also directed "Mission: Impossible III" on the big screen, and the 2009 movie "Star Trek".

2. Sultanate on the South China Sea BRUNEI
The official name of Brunei is the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace. Brunei is situated in the island of Borneo, almost completely surrounded by Malaysia. Brunei's government is dictated by the constitution adopted in 1959, and is ruled by a sultan with full executive authority.

5. Irving or Norman, e.g. CITY
Irving is a city in Texas located not far from Dallas. The Dallas Cowboys NFL team used to play in Texas Stadium, which stood in Irving until it was demolished in 2010.

Norman, Oklahoma is a city located just a few miles south of Oklahoma City.

6. Silent butler contents ASH
A silent butler is a small container with a handle and lid that is used for collecting ash or crumbs from the dinner table.

9. Elementary seed OVULE
As we all remember from botany class, an "ovule" is a small structure in many plants that develops into the seed after fertilization. We do remember, don't we?

10. Philatelist's purchase PANE
Stamp collectors (philatelists) might purchase a whole pane of stamps.

12. Banking aids AILERONS
In traditional aircraft designs, pitch is controlled by the elevator and roll is controlled by the aileron. On some newer aircraft these two functions are combined into single control surfaces called "elevons".

14. Steaks and chops, say ENTREES
Entrée of course means "entry" in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in", an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the "entry" to the meal, the first course. I found it very confusing to order meals when I first came to America!

26. Key of Chopin's "Heroic Polonaise" A-FLAT
Chopin’s Polonaise in A-flat major has the nickname “Polonaise héroïque”, the “Heroic Polonaise”. The piece was given the nickname by Chopin’s longtime the lover, the author George Sand (aka Baroness Dudevant).

27. Pelvic bones SACRA
The sacrum and the two ilia are three bones in the human pelvis.

29. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" co-star EBSEN
“Breakfast at Tiffany's” is a wonderful 1961 big screen adaptation of the novella of the same name by Truman Capote. The romantic lead in the film are played by Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Supporting roles are played by Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen and Mickey Rooney. Hepburn sung the marvelous “Moon River” in the film, which won the Oscar that year for the Best Original Song.

30. "Anne of the Thousand Days" playwright Maxwell ANDERSON
Maxwell Anderson was an American playwright and author. Anderson’s 1948 stageplay “Anne of the Thousand Days” is one Anderson’s most famous works, largely due to the successful 1969 film adaptation starring Richard Burton as King Henry VIII and Geneviève Bujold as the ill-fated Anne Boleyn.

41. Western outfits POSSES
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

43. One of Mowgli's mentors in "The Jungle Book" 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.

44. Page 5, say, usually RECTO
The left and right pages of a book or magazine are known in publishing circles as verso and recto. Recto comes from the Latin for "right", and verso comes from the Latin word for "turned". The idea is that the left side of the page is "turned" and is the reverse of the recto/right side.

47. Member of an old Russian line 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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Relinquish power ABDICATE
9. It'll knock you out OPIATE
15. Major influence in '60s music BRITISH INVASION
17. Is subjected to a series of attacks RUNS THE GAUNTLET
18. Disturb ANNOY
19. Even though WHILE
20. Be off ERR
21. Like Walter Mitty MEEK
22. Spinal column? TITLE
23. __-dieu PRIE
24. Base address SIR
25. To the point TERSE
26. "In bad company," to Bierce ALONE
27. Right triangle ratio SINE
28. Renders less dangerous, in a way DEFANGS
30. Brightly colored silica AGATE
32. No mere joy BLISS
33. Antarctic expedition vehicles SNO-CATS
35. Three-sect. exam PSAT
36. Deck out ADORN
37. "Cattle" or "Reddish" wader EGRET
39. Lulu PIP
42. River to the Gulf of Finland NEVA
43. Bigwig in big oil BARON
44. San Francisco Giants closer Sergio ROMO
45. Onetime cohort of Eazy-E DRE
46. Dance named for a horse's gait GALOP
47. ACC team with a turtle mascot TERPS
48. Mideast pearl-shaped pasta ISRAELI COUSCOUS
51. Out of character NOT IN ONE’S NATURE
52. "__ & Juliet": 2011 animated film GNOMEO
53. Kentucky Derby wreath RED ROSES

Down
1. "Fringe" co-creator J.J. ABRAMS
2. Sultanate on the South China Sea BRUNEI
3. Many dates involve one DINNER
4. Words of consolation IT'S OK
5. Irving or Norman, e.g. CITY
6. Silent butler contents ASH
7. It can be exciting to get down to it THE WIRE
8. Round numbers EIGHTS
9. Elementary seed OVULE
10. Philatelist's purchase PANE
11. Lobby extension? -IST
12. Banking aids AILERONS
13. Worn-down jewelry? TOE RINGS
14. Steaks and chops, say ENTREES
16. Threw out on the basepaths, in baseball lingo NAILED
22. Precept TENET
23. Braid PLAIT
25. Colossus TITAN
26. Key of Chopin's "Heroic Polonaise" A-FLAT
27. Pelvic bones SACRA
29. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" co-star EBSEN
30. "Anne of the Thousand Days" playwright Maxwell ANDERSON
31. Approach GO OVER TO
33. Carpenter's activity SANDING
34. Keep from escaping SEAL IN
35. Suggest PROPOSE
38. Apron wearer GROCER
39. Like sponges POROUS
40. Sullied IMPURE
41. Western outfits POSSES
43. One of Mowgli's mentors in "The Jungle Book" BALOO
44. Page 5, say, usually RECTO
46. Modern map element GENE
47. Member of an old Russian line TSAR
49. Goal AIM
50. __ so weiter: Berliner's "et cetera" UND


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4 comments:

LAT Addict said...

Bill, Just wanted to say that 10 and a half minutes for a Doug and Brad Saturday Lat cw is impressive in my book. Took me almost an hour with two mistakes. I'll take It as a win for one of their Sat. puzzles.

Anonymous said...

Regarding inverse trigonometric functions: These are not the inverse ratios as you describe. Let me give an example: sin(30 deg) = 0.5, implies arcsin(0.5) = 30 deg. In general sin(t) = r implies arcsin(r) = t. In other words the inverse functions are the trigonometric functions "run backwards", or the inverse function "undoes the effect" of the original function. So sine takes an angle and gives you a ratio, and arcsin takes that ratio and gives you back the angle. (There's a little complication here because the trig functions are not strictly speaking invertible, but I think this is enough trigonometry for a crossword puzzle!)

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Addict.

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with the time. I usually look forward to a more troubling soliving experience on a Saturday. This one just seemed to play to my strengths, though, as can happen.

Next week it's your turn, Addict :)

Bill Butler said...

To our anonymous visiting mathematician.

Thank you!

You are of course correct. I am afraid I was getting confused with reciprocal functions. My only excuse is that it has been over 40 years since I dealt with them!

Your explanation about inverse fucntions is wonderfully clear, so I modified my little blurb to describe the recipocal functions, correctly this time (I hope).

Thank you so much for taking the time to point this out!

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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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