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Greetings from Blackrock, in Dublin, 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 5 Mar 13, Tuesday





CROSSWORD SETTER: Mel Rosen
THEME: It’s Patt to Putt … today’s themed answers include a vowel progression inserted after a starting P and in front of a double-T:
18A. Singer called the "Godmother of Punk" PATTI SMITH
23A. Misdemeanor PETTY CRIME
38A. Set in opposition to PITTED AGAINST
50A. One given to bad language POTTY MOUTH
57A. Finishing the 18th, say PUTTING OUT
COMPLETION TIME: 7m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
1. Politicos Reagan and Paul RONS
Ronald Reagan started out his political career as a member of the Democratic Party, but switched to the Republicans in the early fifties. He served as Governor of California for eight years, and vied unsuccessfully for the nomination for US President on two occasions. He finally succeeded in 1980 and defeated President Jimmy Carter to become the 40th US President in 1981.

Ron Paul is a celebrated Republican Congressman from Texas. He is a libertarian, and actually ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian Party candidate. He ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 as a member of the Liberty Caucus of the party, meaning that he values a federal government that is limited in size and scope.

9. Mallorcan seaport PALMA
Palma is the main city and port on the island of Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea, off the east coast of Spain.

The Island of Majorca (“Isla Mallorca” in Spanish) is Spain's largest island, and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the island ballooned over the past few decades as Majorca became a mecca for tourists from all over Europe.

17. Playground frolicker TYKE
"Tyke" has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

18. Singer called the "Godmother of Punk" PATTI SMITH
Patti Smith is a singer-songwriter who was a big player in the seventies punk rock movement in New York City. Smith’s most successful song is “Because the Night”, a song co-written with Bruce Springsteen and recorded by Smith in 1978. Her influence in the punk rock scene earned Smith the nickname “Godmother of Punk”.

22. Mozart's "Così fan __" TUTTE
Mozart's comic opera "Così fan tutte" is also known in English as "The School for Lovers". The literal translation of the opera's title is "Thus do all (women)", or "Women are like that".

30. "Bambi" doe ENA
Ena is Bambi's aunt in the 1942 Disney film “Bambi”. The movie is based on the novel "Bambi, A Life in the Woods" written by Austrian author Felix Salten and first published in 1923.

34. Triangular Indian pastry SAMOSA
A samosa is quite a nice appetizer, usually a triangular-shaped savory that often has a vegetarian filling. The word "samosa" is primarily used on Indian menus, and the name comes from "sanbosag", the name for the dish in Persia.

37. Bufferin targets PAINS
Bufferin is a brand name of aspirin. Aspirin is noted as a painkiller, and is also noted for increasing risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. The manufacturers of Bufferin coat their aspirin with a “buffer” that neutralizes stomach acid in an attempt to reduce the risk of bleeding.

41. Land, in Le Havre TERRE
“Terre” is French for “land, ground”.

Le Havre is a city on the mouth of the river Seine on the northwest coast of France. The city’s name translates as “the haven”.

45. Classical lead-in NEO-
Neoclassicism is a movement in the field of music, art or perhaps architecture, one that draws on the classical art of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome.

49. Color for a panther? PINK
A lot of people think that the Inspector Clouseau character (played originally by Peter Sellers) is "The Pink Panther". It's actually the jewel that was stolen in the original movie. Would you believe there are eleven "Pink Panther" movies in the whole series?

54. Movie reviewer Roger EBERT
Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Ebert was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002, and since then has undergone a number of surgical procedures. Sadly he has lost his voice, but continues work as a film critic, focusing these days on the print medium.

56. China's Zhou __ ENLAI
Zhou Enlai (also Chou En-Lai) was the first government leader of the People's Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon's famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

57. Finishing the 18th, say PUTTING OUT
There’s an urban myth that the standard number of holes on a golf course is 18 because it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch whisky. However, the truth is that the standard number of holes in the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland happened to settle down over time at 18, and that standard was adopted all around the world.

64. Where the clergy sit, in many churches APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

65. Mayberry boy OPIE
Ron Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show". Howard has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like "Apollo 13", "A Beautiful Mind" and "The Da Vinci Code". And today, "Opie" is a grandfather ...

67. Tiny time div. NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to "ns", and really is a tiny amount of time ... one billionth of a second.

68. MADD ads, e.g. PSAS
Public service announcement (PSA).

Candice Lightner lost her 13-year-old child to a drink driver in 1980. Soon after, Lightner formed the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Down
2. Roughly 21% of the atmosphere OXYGEN
Air is mainly composed of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%) and argon (1%). We hear a lot about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It makes up (or should make up!) just 0.04% of air.

3. "La Femme __" NIKITA
"La Femme Nikita" is a Canadian action/drama series based on the film “Nikita” that was written and directed by Luc Besson.

4. Angioplasty implant STENT
Angioplasty is a mechanical widening of a narrowed artery. In the surgical procedure, a balloon catheter is inflated at the point of the obstruction to open up the artery. A stent may then be inserted to make sure the vessel remains open.

7. Capone cohort Frank NITTI
Frank Nitti was one of the top henchmen working for Al Capone. Unlike American-born Capone, Nitti was actually from Italy and was born near the city of Salerno. When Capone was eventually put away for 11 years for tax evasion, Nitti was convicted of the same crime. Nitti was only imprisoned for 18 months, and when released he was labelled as the new head of Capone's Chicago Outfit. However the truth seems to be that he was just a frontman, with others making the decisions.

10. Azerbaijani's neighbors ARMENIANS
Armenia is a landlocked country found east of Turkey, and is a former Soviet Republic. Back in the year 301 CE, the ancient Kingdom of Armenia became the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its national religion.

Azerbaijan is a former Soviet Republic, lying on the Caspian Sea just northeast of Iran. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established in 1918 became the Muslim world’s first democratic and secular state. It didn’t last long though, as two years later it was absorbed into the Soviet Union.

11. Welcoming wreath LEI
"Lei" is the Hawaiian word for "garland, wreath", although in more general terms a "lei" is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

25. __ Island RHODE
Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets.

27. Weapons from Israel UZIS
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.

28. Mild-mannered fictional reporter KENT
Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

33. Exemplification EPITOME
The more common meaning of "epitome" is a perfect example of a group, quality, type etc. "Epitome" is also another word for an abstract or summary of a book or article.

35. Erie Canal mule SAL
The song "Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal" was written in 1905. The lyrics are nostalgic and look back to the days when traffic on the canal was pulled by mules, bemoaning the introduction of the fast-moving engine-powered barges. The first line is "I've got an old mule and her name is Sal".

38. Mani partner, salonwise PEDI
Manicure or pedicure …

40. __-deucy ACEY
Acey-deucy is a fast-played variant of backgammon. Apparently the game has been a favorite with members of the armed forces since the days of WWI.

46. Blooms from bulbs TULIPS
We usually associate the cultivation of tulips with the Netherlands, but they were first grown commercially in the Ottoman Empire. The name “tulip” ultimately derives from the Ottoman Turkish word “tulbend” which means “muslin, gauze”.

47. Home to Firenze ITALIA
“Firenze” is the Italian name for the city that we know in English as Florence.

48. __ rellenos: stuffed Mexican dish CHILES
“Chile relleno” translates from Spanish as “stuffed chile”.

52. Sporty car roofs T-TOPS
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

53. Seuss's "Hop __" ON POP
"Hop on Pop" is a Dr. Seuss book that was first published in 1963, subtitled "The Simplest Seuss for Youngest Use". "Hop on Pop" was listed by former First Lady Laura Bush as her favorite title, citing the memories evoked of family life with her young daughters.

57. Pollutant banned by Cong. in 1979 PCB
Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) ...

58. www address URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

61. Investigator, slangily TEC
“Tec” is slang for a private detective.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Politicos Reagan and Paul RONS
5. Do some healing MEND
9. Mallorcan seaport PALMA
14. Lit sign in a dark theater EXIT
15. Operatic song ARIA
16. Regions AREAS
17. Playground frolicker TYKE
18. Singer called the "Godmother of Punk" PATTI SMITH
20. Not getting any younger AGING
22. Mozart's "Così fan __" TUTTE
23. Misdemeanor PETTY CRIME
26. Reheat leftovers, in a way NUKE
30. "Bambi" doe ENA
31. Pep rally yell RAH
32. Grabbed at will SEIZED
34. Triangular Indian pastry SAMOSA
37. Bufferin targets PAINS
38. Set in opposition to PITTED AGAINST
41. Land, in Le Havre TERRE
42. Puts into office ELECTS
43. Enthusiastic reply to "Who wants ice cream?" I DO! I DO!
45. Classical lead-in NEO-
46. Involuntary sign of nerves TIC
49. Color for a panther? PINK
50. One given to bad language POTTY MOUTH
54. Movie reviewer Roger EBERT
56. China's Zhou __ ENLAI
57. Finishing the 18th, say PUTTING OUT
62. Caplet or gelcap PILL
63. Dentist's insertion CROWN
64. Where the clergy sit, in many churches APSE
65. Mayberry boy OPIE
66. It's found in veins BLOOD
67. Tiny time div. NSEC
68. MADD ads, e.g. PSAS

Down
1. Put on a new cassette RE-TAPE
2. Roughly 21% of the atmosphere OXYGEN
3. "La Femme __" NIKITA
4. Angioplasty implant STENT
5. "You are here" document MAP
6. Timeline time ERA
7. Capone cohort Frank NITTI
8. Factual tidbit DATUM
9. Yesterday's tense PAST
10. Azerbaijani's neighbors ARMENIANS
11. Welcoming wreath LEI
12. Welcoming floor covering MAT
13. Bit of fire evidence ASH
19. Adherents: Suff. -ITES
21. Danced wildly GYRATED
24. Amounted (to) CAME
25. __ Island RHODE
27. Weapons from Israel UZIS
28. Mild-mannered fictional reporter KENT
29. L.A. Times staffers EDS
33. Exemplification EPITOME
34. Ump's call STRIKE TWO
35. Erie Canal mule SAL
36. Athlete's promoter AGENT
38. Mani partner, salonwise PEDI
39. Laundry room tool IRON
40. __-deucy ACEY
41. Advice at the track TIP
44. Pop one's cork? OPEN
46. Blooms from bulbs TULIPS
47. Home to Firenze ITALIA
48. __ rellenos: stuffed Mexican dish CHILES
51. Church keyboard ORGAN
52. Sporty car roofs T-TOPS
53. Seuss's "Hop __" ON POP
55. Difficult situation BIND
57. Pollutant banned by Cong. in 1979 PCB
58. www address URL
59. On top of everything else TOO
60. Employ USE
61. Investigator, slangily TEC

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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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